Guns are a real danger to people and countries without them just fare better.


I'm from the UK. I've heard many of the arguments on both sides, but to me nothing is more convincing than the statistics (example: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-34996604). I'm also a libertarian, I fully understand that if anything a right to bear arms is needed because any other way is a breach of personal liberty. However, I can't help but see that as a negative side effect of full liberty, because inevitably it just leads to more people getting hurt. That's the numbers talking.

Yes, cars also kill people, but I don't need a gun to get to work. The benefits of having cars in society vastly outweight the drawbacks. With guns, the only benefits arise when a really tough intruder is in my house or when the government is trying to oppress me. In the UK we still manage to survive a break in without shooting everything in sight, and if the government came after us, they'd likely win even if we had a gun.


  • πŸ€”Changed Author's View
    2 years ago

    but to me nothing is more convincing than the statistics

    As the saying goes, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. Reality is far more complex. For example, between 1993 and 2011, gun-related homicide dropped by 39% in the US, despite the fact that gun ownership is higher than ever (EDIT: Commenters have pointed out that while the total guns owned has increased, the rate of ownership has decreased.) (This has coincided with an overall decline in crime which most people aren't even aware of.) I'm not necessarily suggesting that more guns caused the decrease in crime, I'm just pointing out that more guns does not mean more crime.

    The causes of crime are far more complex. The U.S. has countless other problems that are different in other countries (War on Drugs, gang violence, cycle of poverty, etc.). This makes it especially difficult to compare crime levels between countries. Switzerland has very high gun ownership (30-60% of the population), but their murder rate is half that of the UK. There is also the oft-cited example of Chicago, which has a notoriously high murder rate, despite the increasingly stringent gun control measures.

    Yes, cars also kill people, but I don't need a gun to get to work. The benefits of having cars in society vastly outweight the drawbacks.

    I understand that this might sound like a nutty-American thing, but we're serious about the idea of "inalienable rights." The Constitution doesn't grant rights, it protects them. It's not contingent on the "benefits to society." I realize this might be hard to convince you of, but it's how a lot of people see things here.

    With guns, the only benefits arise when a really tough intruder is in my house or when the government is trying to oppress me. In the UK we still manage to survive a break in without shooting everything in sight, and if the government came after us, they'd likely win even if we had a gun.

    In the case of a break in, would you rather have a gun or not have one? I don't own a gun, but in that scenario, I'd rather have one.

    Regarding the idea of defending yourself from government oppression, I get that you and I live in two of the most stable governments with the most powerful militaries, so it doesn't seem important. However, the general idea of an armed rebellion in response to a tyrannical government shouldn't be dismissed. A cursory glance at the recent history of the Middle East shows how much trouble armed rebellion and militias can cause for a regime.

    Also, if the government came after us, they'd likely win in any scenario. But the kind of government that would use military force against its own people is exactly the kind of government that should be overthrown. If that happened, I'd much rather have an armed population.

    EDIT: Wow, thanks for the gold!

    • 🎀Author
      2 years ago

      Thanks for that, really gave me something to think about. I'm struggling with the idea of a system that maximises liberty but also allows so much more death and violence than a more regulated one. However, I definitely see how other huge problems in the US could be the very reason for these gun deaths, rather than guns themselves. Now I just need to figure out how much regulation is justified and if none at all is feasible.

      Here's a golden βˆ† :)

  • πŸ€”Changed Author's View
    2 years ago

    From the UK too, but I've lived in America in the past also - so perhaps I can add some insight.

    The way that you approach the issue is one of needing a reason to be free to be allowed to do something, which is contrary to the way the law (and your libertarian values) work: the law is there to define what you cannot do. So you need compelling reasons to take away guns. Which to be fair to the UK we had with Dunblane - it was the final nail in the gun coffin as far as public opinion was concerned.

    The thing that I (and many Americans will attest to also) have experienced is that the people who are raised around guns are the least likely to be on either end of gun violence - they know how dangerous guns are, and do almost anything to avoid using them (or having them used on them). If people were educated on how to safely handle guns and treat them with respect, accidental gun deaths would drastically drop.

    However, when it comes to deliberate violence: guns don't kill people, people kill people. Guns make this easier, but also level the playing field: sex, muscle mass, martial arts training, etc. don't matter when both people have guns - so universal gun ownership could (in theory) reduce violence.

    Personally speaking, I enjoy shooting for sport: clay pigeons, and hunting very occasionally. Currently it's a lengthy and tedious process to purchase and own any firearms here: so much so that our Olympic shooting team can't even train in the UK.

    So in conclusion I'd say that this is a question of which you value more: individual liberty or societal "safety". The law won't change in the UK, so this is purely a thought discussion.

    • πŸ€”Changed Author's View
      2 years ago

      I have guns. They are not for personal protection. They are locked in a safe in my office on the opposite side of the house from my bedroom, so if someone broke in, they will not be shot.

      I slaughter my pigs by shooting them in the head. I protect my chickens, ducks, and turkeys from raccoons, coyotes, foxes, and possums by shooting predators. I harvest a couple wild turkeys, 3-4 deer, rabbit, squirrel, and grouse each year. My guns are as much a tool on my farm as my chainsaw or wood chipper. And honestly, if I had to bet, I'd wager that I'd more likely die as a result of something I did with my chainsaw than something I did with a gun

      • 🎀Author
        2 years ago

        I might underestimate the dangers of american wildlife, but we have farmers in Europe and they don't have as many guns. We have lots of happy free roaming chickens too.

      • 2 years ago

        Do your chickens get eaten by raccoons, coyotes, foxes, or possums?

    • πŸ€”Changed Author's View
      2 years ago

      I don't need a gun to get to work.

      Maybe you don't, but what about people who do? Firearms are considered necessary tools of the trade in many cases of farming and wildlife management. Furthermore, people who live in an area with dangerous wildlife have a need for using guns to protect themselves even if they do not need them in a professional capacity.

      In the UK we still manage to survive a break in without shooting everything in sight

      In the UK, the chances of that break in being a bear are pretty much non-existent. I don't think it is really appropriate to draw a direct comparison.

      • 🎀Author
        2 years ago

        Bears kill 1 to 3 people a year on average in North America (that's Canada, USA and Mexico combined). Guns kill over 30,000 people in the US alone. A very rare thing like a bear attack does not justify IMO the use of guns throughout the country. How many bear attacks are going to happen in inner cities where gun violence is at its highest?

        Also, chances are that the bear would survive a gunshot and even get angrier. If you wanna scare a poor bear (who most likely ended up in your house by accident) with a loud noise there are other non-lethal options.

      • 2 years ago

        I have no problem with making the rules for rural areas different than for urban areas. They are different conditions and do not need to be treated the same. However, guns are most certainly a necessity in rural areas.

        As far as scaring away a bear with a noisemakers, brown bears don't run, they maul. Black bears you might be able to scare away (unless they are rabid) but brown bears would much rather fight something that scares them than run. When you look at total numbers of deaths, you have to remember that while the totals for bears might be low (in part thanks to people who interact with them having guns) there are many more animals that one might need to be concerned about. Wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, moose, feral hogs, and many other animals can prove a danger to humans.

        All of that still ignores the fact that guns are necessary for many professions. Hunting is considered crucial for managing wild populations of several different animals (white-tailed deer, snow geese, feral hogs, and a few others) as they are overpopulated but their natural predators have suffered a population hit. Without guns in the hands of hobbyist hunters, it would be very difficult to organize management hunts. Farmers need guns to protect their crops and livestock from damage and in some cases they are the most effective and humane method of slaughtering an animal available. I have also had one of my professors advice to never conduct trapping research without a gun on hand in case of an animal being so injured it has to be put down. He told an anecdote of him having to drown a raccoon because it was injured beyond the point of recovery but he had not taken his gun with him. As he told it, both him and the raccoon would have been better off if he had a gun with him and had simply shot the raccoon.

      • 🎀Author
        2 years ago

        I don't think guns are as vital as you say, given that farming is one of the oldest occupations in human history and guns are a relatively recent invention. However, even if rural areas needed guns more, you need to differentiate between hunters' shotguns and urban handguns. My problem is less with the odd shotgun in the country and more with people walking around with a gun on them or in a drawer of the house when so many people live their lives in other countries without needing one.

      • 2 years ago

        I don't think guns are as vital as you say, given that farming is one of the oldest occupations in human history and guns are a relatively recent invention.

        The tractor is a relatively modern invention as well, but you would be hard pressed to convince any farmer that it is not crucial to what he does. Many technological advances improve our quality of live in many ways. In the case of using firearms for farming, their use increases crop yield per labor and land while also decreasing the labor and discomfort for every animal slaughtered.

        However, when I refer to guns being crucial for some professions, I am thinking more about the control of invasive and overpopulated species. I am looking into focusing my career in this area and most jobs involve using guns to control the populations in one way or another. In some cases, mass hunts of particular species are organized and this is a tactic that simply isn't possible if there are not mass numbers of hunters. In some cases, states have actually made it illegal to live trap certain species and require any animal that is trapped to be killed before being removed from the trap. The only way to do this without significant risk to the human is with a gun. You might argue that people have been hunting boars for a long time, but up until recently this was only done with a great risk to the hunter. With a gun, the risk of death for the human is drastically decreased.

        However, even if rural areas needed guns more, you need to differentiate between hunters' shotguns and urban handguns. My problem is less with the odd shotgun in the country and more with people walking around with a gun on them or in a drawer of the house when so many people live their lives in other countries without needing one.

        All of this is very different from saying no guns at all. Rules need to be nuanced and allow for the different sorts of situations people are in. A blanket ban like you imply is the correct course in your OP is not the right direction.

      • 🎀Author
        2 years ago

        I'm leaning more towards stricter regulation rather than a blanket ban now, but that's still quite far from not clashing with my libertarian idea of personal freedom. Either way, I did CMV a bit so here's good ol' βˆ† .

        This one is a admittedly a bit of a tangent, but I could also argue that a "risk to the hunter" when hunting is what makes hunting "fair". The incredible advantage of guns is what makes hunting detrimental in some cases to animal populations. Giving the animals a fair chance at survival might bring more balance between humans and nature.

      • 2 years ago

        The issue is that in some cases, there are too many of the prey species and not enough predators. We are trying to compensate for this by having humans step in and be the predator, and this is more effective the more humans hunt. It is not about giving the animals a sporting chance.

        I keep coming back to feral hogs because they are an extreme example. They are not native to the US so local plants and animals have no defenses against them while they have no natural predators. What would be ideal for the environment is the complete eradication of their population in the US. However, despite our best efforts their population is expanding and causing even more problems. What is best for a balance between humans and nature here is not giving the hogs a sporting chance, but killing as many as possible.

    • 2 years ago

      In Canada we have a relatively high rate of gun ownership per capita, not as high as the US but quite high compared to many european nations. Yet there doesnt seem to be any great correlation between those guns and crime. I would argue this is primarily because most of those guns are rifles or shotguns rather than handguns as well as because of our strict (relative to the US) laws regarding their access and use. I believe there are several other countries with high rates of gun ownership and low crime rates, notably finland and switzerland. So it appears guns arent the problem. Perhaps handguns are, perhaps gun laws are, but not guns generally.

      • 🎀Author
        2 years ago

        According to statistics (just a Google search) the US has well over 3 times more guns per capita than Canada. I would also assume that many of those guns are the ones causing the problems, as the Canadian guns are likely to be shotguns as you said. Nevertheless, gun laws still seem to be what keeps deaths in check in Canada, therefore I still believe government regulation is needed in this area.

      • 2 years ago

        Your premise is that countries without guns are better and I showed that that is not the case.

      • 🎀Author
        2 years ago

        Less deaths, less violence and less guns. I still think countries without guns are better off in this area. There might be other ways around it, but the correlation between gun ownership and the country having to deal with more deaths is clear.

    • 2 years ago

      I'll preface by saying that I agree with your sentiment, so this is devil's advocate. I do think there is some argument here though:

      Your statistics are valid for a country as a whole, but it doesn't take into account the individual. The necessity of a gun differs greatly between a 2m tall man who lives in an upper-class suburb and is good friends with everybody and a 1,40m woman who has an abusive, agressive (ex-)boyfriend living in a ghetto. On average, you will be more likely to shoot/hurt yourself when you own a gun, but on an individual level, chances differ greatly between the schizophrenic nutjob who always carries and is quickly irritated and the guy who keeps it locked in a safe for emergencies separate from the ammunition.

      Additionally, there is a game theorical problem at play here: Ofcourse the country is much safer if and when no one has a gun. But you cannot ensure that happening. Some people may break the "social contract" and acquire a gun to gain an advantage (that's why we need armed police forces! Edit: And once you have armed police/military forces, Americans will argue that you need armed citizens to prevent the forces from abusing their advantage) and once someone does, when in conflict, it's a strictly dominated strategy (= a disadvantage you cannot overcome) not to have a gun. Edit: So there are two equillibrium states, one is "no one ones a gun" and one is "everyone owns a gun", and the latter is more stable.

      • 🎀Author
        2 years ago

        Still, more people die when guns are legal. Some people could obtain them illegally in any country, but just looking at the numbers you can see how much less of an issue they are when they can only be obtained illegally. Defenseless people exist outside the US, there are ways for them to get assistance or to defend themselves without a gun. Humanity has gone 99% of its existance without guns. (Thanks for the insight btw!)

      • 2 years ago

        Yes, but again you are looking at it as a whole. I'll try to give a concrete example with made-up numbers.

        Say once you own a gun, your chance of hurting yourself with it is 5%.

        Person 1, the 2m tall suburb dad, has a 0,5% chance of getting killed in an armed robbery. This person should not own a gun.

        Person 2, the woman with the overly jealous, abusive ex-boyfriend, has a 7% chance of getting lethally assaulted by him - this woman should own a gun (provided her owning it will prevent 100% of assaults.. again, random numbers.)

        Humanity has gone 99% of its existance without guns. (Thanks for the insight btw!)

        Yes, but humanity has gone approx. 0% of its existance without -insert most lethal weapon of its time here- prevalent in society. In the stone age, people who wanted to gain an advantage over other people created big clubs and hit them over the head with it.

      • 🎀Author
        2 years ago

        Person 2 can get pretty good protection from the police and her ability to own a gun means her ex-boyfriend could also own a gun and hurt her.

        If you were Person 2 and you could choose what society you could live in, would you choose the one where your crazy ex could shoot you or the one where the crazy ex would get arrested for violating the restraining order and nobody gets hurt?

      • 2 years ago

        Good protection is relative. The UK (and most of Europe's countries, really) is comparably small and heavily populated, so police coverage tends to be pretty good. If you live in a secluded area somewhere in Iowa, police may take 30min+ to get there.

        Yes, the ex-boyfriend can also own a gun and hurt her, but that happens regardless of whether she has one or not.

        Therefore, I would not assume a society where my ex has no chance of acquiring a gun and want to protect myself if the chances were presented to me as I made them up for this scenario. Just because you have a gun doesn't mean that you cannot call the cops and have him arrested in most cases.

        For example, I live in Berlin, Germany. We have very strict gun laws. Nevertheless, if I wanted to buy a gun I'd know where I would have to go and who to contact to get one. I'm almost 100% sure that's the same for most of the UK. What if I was someone's crazy ex?

      • 🎀Author
        2 years ago

        Canada is also sparsely populated, but gun-related deaths are significantly lower. It seems that there is a middle way, but it does require some regulation that makes the American "right to bear arms" outdated.

    • 2 years ago

      This is just a Copypasta of a previous post, so some of the lines might seem outside the context of what you're asking:

      The average person in the US during a given year will be neither especially aided or harmed by a gunshot. When examining the right to keep and bear arms, either side will be looking at the marginal benefits on the scale of single digits per 100k population on an annual basis. The most clear and commonly used statistic is intentional homicide rate compared to firearm ownership rate. Comparing these two, there is no correlation between firearm ownership rate and intentional homicide rate globally or regionally.

      Here is just something I picked out that illustrates the point clearly for US states. Feel free to check the numbers, as they should be publicly available. Here's one that covers OECD countries. This one shows the global scale stats..

      Australia is frequently cited as an example of successful gun control, but the US saw a similar drop in homicide over similar time frames without enacting significant gun controls. /u/vegetarianrobots has a better writeup on that specific point than I do.

      Note that I cite overall homicide rates, rather than firearm homicide rates. This is because I presume that you are looking for marginal benefits in outcome. Stabbed to death, beat to death, or shot to death is an equally bad outcome unless you ascribe some irrational extra moral weight to a shooting death. Reducing the firearm homicide rate is not a marginal gain if it is simply replaced by other means, which seems to be the case.

      As for the more active value of the right, the absolute lowest estimates of Defensive gun use are in the range of 55k annual total, which is about 16.7 per 100k (assuming US population of 330 million), but actual instances are estimated to be closer to 200k annually, or about 60.6 per 100k.

      Additionally, there is the historical precedent that every genocide of the 20th century was enacted upon a disarmed population. The Ottomans disarmed the Armenians. The Nazis disarmed the Jews. The USSR and China (nationalists and communists) disarmed everyone. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democide

      Events of this scale are mercifully rare, but the modern US, and certainly not Europe are not somehow specially immune from this sort of slaughter except by their people being aware of how they were perpetrated, and they always first establish arms control.

      Lets examine the moral math on this: The Nazis managed to murder 10 million people (not counting any war action) in 7 years. The annual total homicides in the US is about 14,000, 8,897 of which were gun homicide. This means that even assuming that there was some gun control you could pass that would eliminate every gun homicide with 0 substitution with other means (clearly implausible), if the people's right to Keep and Bear arms stalls a genocidal or omnicidal regime for 7 out of the next 1,123 years, then it has proven its value. If nothing else, the costly obstacle of a heavily armed population represents a deterrent to even attempting democide.

      And yes, small arms can and have been used to significant success to fight oppressive regimes, and are a vital component of any violent resistance against regular army actions. See Afghanistan (all of them), Vietnam, and Iraq for examples of the technological superiority of a regular military failing to eliminate an insurgency based off of small arms.

      • 2 years ago

        There are many factors involved when we try to compare one country against another. For example, comparing the US to UK when trying to look at the "gun problem" is insane because the cultures are so different. What we can do however is look at the same country before and after gun controls went into effect to see if removing guns actually had the desired effect of lowering the homicide rate. I will concede that the gun homicide rate may have gone down, but if they traded spoons for guns, and killed at the same rate as before, then it disproves that taking guns away moved the ball down the field.

        Lets look at 3 countries and the before/after effects of a gun ban.

        United Kingdom: The UK enacted its handgun ban in 1996. From 1990 until the ban was enacted, the homicide rate fluctuated between 10.9 and 13 homicides per million. After the ban was enacted, homicides trended up until they reached a peak of 18.0 in 2003. Since 2003, which incidentally was about the time the British government flooded the country with 20,000 more cops, the homicide rate has fallen to 11.1 in 2010. In other words, the 15-year experiment in a handgun ban has achieved absolutely nothing.

        Ireland: Ireland banned firearms in 1972. Ireland’s homicide rate was fairly static going all the way back to 1945. In that period, it fluctuated between 0.1 and 0.6 per 100,000 people. Immediately after the ban, the murder rate shot up to 1.6 per 100,000 people in 1975. It then dropped back down to 0.4. It has trended up, reaching 1.4 in 2007.

        Australia: Australia enacted its gun ban in 1996. Murders have basically run flat, seeing only a small spike after the ban and then returning almost immediately to preban numbers. It is currently trending down, but is within the fluctuations exhibited in other nations.

        This is just 3 examples, there are more. The point of this is that removing guns has not proven to be an effective way to stop homicides anywhere it's been done.

        • 2 years ago

          Have you ever noticed that people who live in countries with large amounts of firearms don't worry about them at all? While most of the people who are 'afraid' of guns are people who live in countries that don't have them? I think that's worth mulling over a bit.

          That aside, there's also not a strict correlation between what you're asserting here.

          http://imgur.com/a/ch8aI

          Never-mind that gun-violence overall is dropping despite that ownership has only dropped marginally. (in the US)

          http://imgur.com/a/Iq0Ro

          http://imgur.com/a/ryNgi

          There isn't as strong of a correlation as you're assuming here. And they aren't a 'real danger' regardless. That's sensationalism. You're taking an inch and creating a mile out of it. There is a good reason why people in the US defend their right to own guns, despite the much higher related violence rates than in some other countries when you ignore all other variables. For your average person, it's never going to be a problem what-so-ever-at-all and the data also reflects that. Gun-related problems are just not likely unless you're living in a pretty nasty ghetto, which the absolute majority of the US isn't. And that's worth thinking about, because 'chances of X' work that way. If you have 4 people with 3 of those people possessing only $1, while the 4th person possesses $100, then the average between them is much, much higher than $1. It's kind of the same thing here. If you have 5% of the country that has very bad gun violence rates, then that's going to affect the other 95% unless you isolate for those variables, which most 'data' doesn't do. This 'real danger' of a problem that you're peddling is totally fabricated. It doesn't exist except in data and only when compared to other sets of data.

          That aside; Having an armed populace serves other benefits than just micro-scale ones as others are pointing out. In the case of invasion or a far-off dystopian future, it would be much better to have an armed populace. In fact, having an armed-populace could very well prevent either of those things from happening to begin with. But even speaking within current times, it's a good reminder for many of those who are in power. You don't want to mess with an armed-populace too much. And I think as technology advances for both sides, this will become even more true than it is now. Power will one day be very easy to obtain because of technology. Having a populace that isn't armed sounds like a good way to increase the chances of those dystopian futures that currently only exist in sci-fi novels.

          I'm not willing to trade the threat of violence of an armed populace, now or going into the future, just because you have data that nobody in the real world but anti-gun advocates care about. It just doesn't affect that much of the population. At all. And that seems to be more and more true as times goes on, especially in other countries where they have very high gun ownership but very low homicide rates.

          • 2 years ago

            The statistics you posted specifically focus on gun related violence. If someone was murdered, I don't care whether they were shot, stabbed, poisoned, bludgeoned, etc. When guns are banned or tightly controlled, gun violence goes down, but that says nothing of violence in general.

            Guns are an equalizer. There are some elderly members of my family who carry guns (fully compliant with the law of our state). If someone tried to mug them, either with bare handed or with a knife, they wouldn't stand a chance on their own. With a gun, my 74 year old grandmother stands a chance against an 18 year old guy who decides she looks weak.

            If you ban guns, that 18 year old guy is going to be pretty damn sure my 74 year old grandma isn't packing, which means there is very little physical risk to him mugging her. If it's legal to carry guns, he's going to think twice about whether that 74 year old lady is really worth it, and she doesn't even have to be carrying for the law to create those second thoughts.

            So back to the statistics you cited: sure gun violence goes down in places where guns are banned, but go look up statistics for other violent crimes correlating to gun control measures and you'll see that gun control doesn't make much difference for violence as a whole, and can even make certain populations easier targets.

            • 2 years ago

              I don't have statistics nor am I interested in building an argument that way. I own one hunting shot gun and as we speak there are four more shotguns and two hunting rifles no more than ten feet from the bed I'm sleeping in while I visit my parents. I know there are an additional two more shotguns, one hunting rifle, and a functional but ceremonial desert eagle hand gun in this house. I live in the Midwest where hunting is an honoured sport and your game is prepared and eaten. Some people stuff the head but my family believes in eating all the meat to pay respect to the animal for which we took their life to support our own ongoing life.

              So that's a little bit about the philosophy of where I live. Here's my own.

              Yes have a gun and people owning guns increases the risks of a shooting or violent crime. As an American, part of owning a gun is for self protection for when the government has failed to do so for you. Historically, gun ownership was also meant as a deterrent to the government from trying to violate our constitutional rights and freedoms, and now internationally recognized basic human rights. I think it's ok to own a gun but I think people need to be properly screened for criminal or psychiatric background which would place them at a much higher likelihood of committing a violent crime. Additionally, I think all firearms need to be registered. The laws which allow gun shows to skip background and psychiatric checks need to be removed as they do not help protect us. I also believe if you own a gun, you must take a safety class that teaches you how to safely handle a gun. Texas has a great history for excellent gun safety classes for their concealed and carry license. I also believe people need to store guns safely in the home.

              I view gun ownership more as a privilege these days than a right much like driving a vehicle. You do not get to just drive a car without proper training. Similarly, after a serious event, your license may be revoked for a period of time or indefinitely.

              If you cannot show you have the capacity to be a responsible and safe gun owner, then you should not be allowed to own a gun.

              Edit: To respond directly to your statement that the government would likely win even if we had a gun, I totally agree. I agree that this argument is antiquated because the government now has body armor, riot shields, much more advanced weapons that we could ever afford, and tactical training beyond our understanding. I still think having a gun to deter an oppressive government has a significance, although it be a very small one. I think we would be better off with alternative safeguards within the government and society to prevent oppressive and violent governments, like the separation of powers, term limits, and other laws. I believe those are far more powerful and effective than gun ownership as a deterrent to an oppressive government.

              • 2 years ago

                I believe Jeremy Clarkson had a bit where he discussed the various merits and drawbacks to the Ford F150, by driving it around small villages and city centers in the UK, and by the end he essentially illustrated how profoundly disruptive, useless, and out of place such a vehicle was in that climate. Guns are much the same.

                Despite having a shared tongue, religions, customs, etc, the UK is a fundamentally different country than the US, and comparing them on the basis of one variable (gun ownership) totally ignores wealth inequality, policing, education, rural/urban divide, and thousands more.

                Not having a ton of time to address all of them, I'll just look at one variable, population density. You can see that vast swaths of the US are doubly as rural as even the most remote tracts of the UK or France or even Germany. When you talk of taking guns out of the hands of Americans on a national level, you must realize you're talking about people that are literally hours away from any sort of police force. Having lived in Kansas personally, and driven through remote mountain passes, having a firearm suddenly really makes sense, if for nothing else but the comfort that you can confront various lethal threats independent of the nonexistent police force. You start to look at it not as the tool of the murderer, but as any other tool, like a tire iron or flashlight (torch for you, I guess). For these people living in the rural underbelly of the USA, that's all guns ever have been, and to suggest that they be curtailed due to the whims of the urbanites seems downright treacherous. I suggest this kind of misaligned viewpoint has led to more than one electoral upset.

                • 2 years ago

                  You should know that during WWII as your country was forming its citizens into militias to fight a Nazi invasion, they found themselves short of a lot of rifles because they had recently got rid of a lot of them in an anti-gun purge. So, a lot of U.S. citizens and the NRA here in America donated thousands of rifles to be given to your citizen militias.

                  You should also read about the battle of Athens Tennessee in 1947. Please don't read the wikipedia article, it is trash. In summary, small town citizens took up arms to fight corrupt government and police and won.

                  • 2 years ago

                    to me nothing is more convincing than the statistics

                    If you look at all countries, there is no clear relationship between guns and homicide. You can find faces in the clouds if you wish, but really should not.

                    Breaking US data by state shows relationship between guns and suicides with a gun, but not with homicides or even with mass shootings.

                    • 2 years ago

                      If it is purely death statistics that drive your view, I'll suggest another way to look at it.

                      In the 20th century, governments killing their own people cost more lives than war and gun violence put together. The term for it is democide. Democide has never happened against an armed populace. I'm sure all 262 million people killed by their own government in the 20th century thought it could never happen to them until it was too late.

                      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democide

                      Additionally, having an armed populace was a deterrent against anyone messing with the Swiss, and against anyone mounting a land invasion against the US (as well as geographical separation of course) during WWII. How many American deaths did we avoid by not having an American theater of war?

                      • 2 years ago

                        I live more than 45 minutes away from the nearest police station and am a law abiding citizen.

                        The only person a law against weapons hurts are those willing to follow the law. A criminal willing to use a weapon to commit a crime does not care for the law.

                        As far as government intrusion, and the guarantee of liberty. Saying "they have tanks, so guns wouldn't help." is like saying "a home intruder has a shotgun, so why would I want a knife?".

                        The point is never being in a position where someone could enforce their living will upon me or my family; the same is true against a military force. We will be free, or we will be dead.

                        • 2 years ago

                          As many others have pointed out, and as you have already awarded deltas for, the causes of crime, even gun crime, don't seem to be statistically related to the availability of guns. Other factors seem to control, to the point where the influence of gun availability seems irrelevant, or even to work in the opposite way.

                          To use the UK as an example, check out this graph:

                          http://crimeresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/UK-Firearm-Homicide-Rate.png

                          As you can see, the british ban on handguns in 1997 doesn't seem to have had any effect on gun murders. The graph (from a pro gun site) is done in a way to make it look like the ban increased gun murders, but honestly it looks more like "no effect" to me. The homicide rate now is lower than it was pre ban (according to the data on this graph), but that didn't really start until 10 years post ban, and pretty much all western societies have had similar decreases in gun deaths recently.

                          The point is, the UK didn't see a decrease in gun violence that could be in any way attributable to the gun ban. What decrease there has been seems unrelated, and likely due to a lot of the same reasons that the US has had a declining homicide rate (standards of living have improved greatly for the poorest among us in the internet age, even if only for the fact that it keeps young, potentially violent people too busy with twitter and facebook to go on a drive by).

                          Proponents of UK style gun control say that the UK has a lot lower rate of gun deaths than the US. This is 100% true. But an unbiased look at the numbers shows that this rate was lower in the UK before the UK enacted this gun control. All indications point to other factors far outweighing the guns themselves when it comes to gun crime.

                          I can't say what effect the widespread availability of guns has on crime. While pro-gun people (like myself) will say that it deters crime, I don't really think that that can be empirically verified. I've been researching this issue for years, and I've read all kinds of "studies" and "statistics" on both sides, and I have yet to see any that are particularly reliable. The methodology is usually flawed pretty badly. So the only thing that I can say with any confidence is that "gun control or gun ownership doesn't appear to have a strongly measurable effect on crime one way or the other."

                          But as a fellow libertarian, that's all the info that I need, really. I don't support bans on anything, especially if they aren't clearly bad. I don't have to be convinced that guns are a net societal good in order to support liberal gun ownership laws. Something would have to be completely, irredeemably bad for me to even consider supporting a ban. If there isn't even a clear showing one way or the other, there is no question in my mind - when in doubt, keep the government out. We should always err on the side of individual liberty.

                          • 2 years ago

                            Maybe I can appeal to your Libertarian side. Think about all the other rights people have. In America, we also have 4th Amendment rights against search and seizure. If we got rid of this right, the police could search any private residence they wish, at any time. If they did this in high crime neighborhoods, the crime rate, particularly the violent crime rate, would plummet. And if you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to hide, right?

                            My point above is, just because there are less murders and crimes when you take away peoples freedoms, it doesn't necessarily make it a good thing. I'm sure there are very few violent crimes in North Korea, because they have no rights. Freedom comes with a price. Criminals of course can exploit these freedoms, but that's the price we pay to live in a free society. The right for me to defend my family and property also allows criminals to commit violent crimes.

                            The question you have to ask yourself is; why do you draw the line at guns and not at search and seizure, right to a fair trial, right to remain silent, etc... Getting rid of any of these would have a much greater effect on crime reduction.

                            • 2 years ago

                              Here is the thing: you don't believe in "no guns for anybody." You believe in "no guns for us common folk. Army, and some police should still have them."

                              See, you come from a country where it's common for you to think of yourself as "common people", and common to think of the government as royalty or gods. You have no problem saying, "we little people are not entitled to the same level of freedom as those who rule us.

                              My country, the US, well, we used guns to free ourself from your royalty. They tried to stop us with guns. Had we not been allowed to own guns, we couldn't have won our freedom. So, for obvious reasons, we are not keen on having our current government take our guns and keep guns for themselves.

                              I am libertarian. Part of the party here in the US. You might want to spend some time thinking about the "only the kings have guns" version of the world you envision. I think you'll quickly find you are not libertarian, nor do you understand freedom.

                              Governments go bad. That's why civilians need to be armed, too. It's happens ALL THE TIME. at any given time in history there is a revolution some were.

                              Yes, you shouldn't need to use a gun on an average day. But your life will not contain only average days.

                              • 2 years ago

                                For all the gun grabbers in here, if you were an American and Donald Trump ordered all guns to be turned in for "public safety," would you hand yours over? Would you want all of your neighbors to hand theirs over? It's just Mr. Trump trying to protect you. What's the harm?

                                • 2 years ago

                                  I would like to advance not one but three argument lines if I may.

                                  First, you say "countries without them (firearms) just fare better". First of all, countries without firearms don't exist. They have been assimilated into their more warlike neighbors a long, long time ago :-). But of course this is not what you meant - you were talking about civilian ownership of the firearm.

                                  Let's see what it means for the military though. In the US you have roughly 100m people who have guns. Let's say 10% of them can use these guns competently - though this is a very conservative estimate. This means that US can immediately produce a 10m army should the need arise (as it happened in WWII). This may not be a primary fighting force, but it will be sufficient to occupy land once the enemy was pushed back with the air force and armored forces. Almost wherever the engagement happens you will have these Americans who spent their lives being armed to the teeth civilians controlling civilian population which have never had guns before.

                                  Now imagine the reverse - a foreign power trying to occupy America. The city where I live quite likely has more guns than the occupying force would have. And it's a liberal West Coast city. Controlling American farmland where gun ownership and proficiency rates are 100% is simply not possible.

                                  (I used to live in Soviet Union where gun control was so strong that it even spread into ammunition control: Individual rounds in the army and police were accounted for. I went through"military training" at school, and at the end of it there was a test: I was given 5 rounds of ammunition and was told to shoot at the target. I missed completely, but somehow still passed this test. My military training in college, at the completion of which I was awarded a lieutenant rank, did not include any live fire training. I read memoirs of a paratrooper who was among the first deployed to Afghanistan - same thing. Whatever poor Soviet conscripts could do against armed to the teeth American civilians - I don't know. But it makes me laugh.)

                                  The second challenge is this. Today guns in US have primarily entertainment value. Sure, people claim that it's for self defense, but we manufacture 10b rounds of ammunition a year. Since we aren't yet swimming in it, it is probably a reasonable guess that people shoot most of it - it's not used for firearms'"primary goal", as gun control activists claim of killing people.

                                  Shooting is a lot of fun. Enjoying martial sports is in human DNA, the lines that didn't have it didn't survive. And of course as with most other entertainment, it is dangerous, and it costs lives. Per hour of activity, however, it just as unsafe (total lives lost divided by per day visitors to the range or a ski slopes) as skiing, and the total number of deaths is vastly less than those caused by alcohol. Are you against alcohol? I think it is easier to argue that alcohol has fewer public benefits than guns.

                                  Finally, guns in America is a trade off between different avenues for violence. In many European countries, in UK in particular, there is a lot of low level violence - there are certain parts of almost every town where you can be mugged or beat up or both. We have a lot less of it in the US. People who enjoy beating up other people just don't live very long, as every fourth of their victim may be carrying a firearm. Low level scum just doesn't last here, and for the most part their DNA lines are no longer with us. Now, you DO have a higher chances of getting killed in a bad part of town here than in the UK, but in absolute numbers the probability ly is infinitesimal - far lower than being beaten up. And this is the trade off I am prepared to take.

                                  • 2 years ago

                                    Nothing you said is really relevant. Maybe those countries are safer... but who cares.

                                    You don't understand why Americans need guns. If any other country has a government takeover/dictator they have the United States to keep them in check. We see this with Russia and Putin now. He can't do anything because at some point the United States can stop him. The citizens there would benefit from guns but they don't need them since America keeps their dictator in check.

                                    If there is a government takeover/dictator in America no one can keep them in check. Germany isn't going to do shit. Russia won't do shit. China won't do shit. They would all get rolled over by our military. This dictator would have the power to take over the world and enslave/genocide anyone they want.

                                    So who is preventing this American government takeover/dictator? American citizens with guns.

                                    The second amendment and guns have one real main purpose. To rebel against a government takeover. Without them the dictator can just have local police force round everyone up.

                                    • 2 years ago

                                      There a good societies with guns, and good ones without. However, it is false to say that societies with out guns are objectively better than those with.

                                      Switzerland is one of my favorite countries for a lot of reasons, but one of them is their genius gun control. The main reason they have been able to remain neutral in almost every war within the past 100 years is due to their gun control system.

                                      Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. To include just one, the homicide rate was 0.49 in 100,000 in 2014. Half of the offenses that happened in 2014 were also foreigners, which is almost 20% of the population. Their gun ownership is 45.7 per 100,000 as of 2014.

                                      In the UK, guns are heavily restricted, with a 6.2 per 100,000 homicide rate in 2012. Even China, guns also banned, is 1 per 100,000 in 2012 (however I don't trust this, because I've lived in China and am engaged to a Chinese woman. Their statistics are often completely fudged/exaggerated due to the Communist government).

                                      So, already, you can't conclude that it is objectively safer to have a society with no guns. Not only are the homicide rates low in Switzerland, but so are the crime rates.

                                      I have Swiss friends from living in a few international cities, and I find their country's culture to be fascinating. In Switzerland, when you turn 18, every able bodied person is required to do 2-3 weeks of military training every year. It's not like the boot camps that are insanely physically and mentally challenging like the ones we see here in the US. They focus on teaching basic combat and gun use.

                                      They also require to own an assault rifle at the age of 18. Not a handgun, rifle, or shotgun; an assault rifle. They require it. The ownership rate is 45.7 guns per 100 citizens in 2014.

                                      There are also a lot of restrictions on buying ammunition, as it is kept in silos. The gun laws are very different from the US, but that's why it works.

                                      I can 100% agree the gun culture in the states is unsafe, inefficient, and ineffective. To say that society is objectively better off without guns, though, is false.

                                      Edit: In reference to your point on government tyranny, the reason guns fight tyranny is not because the citizens would win, it's because the threat of any government officials dying in the process is enough. No government would be able to oppress a citizenship that is armed, because it would practically become a war. It would be a losing war, but many government officials would die in the process, and that alone is enough to deter it.

                                      • 2 years ago

                                        Not an argument, but just a random fact to consider about arms being in the hands of beat cops: american police shoot more americans in one month than all of british cops have killed people since 1900.

                                        • 2 years ago

                                          if the government came after us, they'd likely win even if we had a gun.

                                          Guns are still the primary factor in success when resisting even an overwhelming force. We saw it in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it's been a key factor in virtually every revolution since guns have been around.

                                          Isn't it clear how much differently the Iraq / Afghanistan war would have gone if the opposition didn't have guns? What about when they overthrew Gaddafi in Libya? What about the Cuban revolution? What about the American revolution?

                                          Having guns to resist your government isn't a footnote--it's critically important, and history has supported this. It didn't stop when airplanes and nukes came around.

                                          Also, what if it's not your government that comes after you?

                                          • 2 years ago
                                            • 2 years ago

                                              nothing you said is relevant. Maybe those countries are safer... but who cares.

                                              You don't understand why Americans need guns. If any other country has a government takeover/dictator they have the United States to keep them in check. We see this with Russia and Putin now. He can't do anything because at some point the United States can stop him. The citizens there would benefit from guns but they don't need them since America keeps their dictator in check.

                                              If there is a government takeover/dictator in America no one can keep them in check. Germany isn't going to do shit. Russia won't do shit. China won't do shit. They would all get rolled over by our military. This dictator would have the power to take over the world and enslave/genocide anyone they want.

                                              So who is preventing this American government takeover/dictator? American citizens with guns.

                                              The second amendment and guns have one real main purpose. To rebel against a government takeover. Without them the dictator can just have local police force round everyone up.

                                              • 2 years ago

                                                This point is rather brief, but if you are indeed most convinced by statistics, like myself, then this will likely be enough to change your position completely. That was the effect it had on me.

                                                • 2 years ago

                                                  Before we begin let's clarify what a gun is, it's a tool that shoot projectiles.

                                                  It is just that, a simple tool, like a hammer, a fork, a screwdriver.

                                                  Sure, it may not be useful all the time, but there are times when the need to shoot may arise, and would you rather it be done by another person with other agendas and interest or by you?

                                                  Also, you can ban the gun, but you can not ban man's ingenuity to create tools for it's own goals.

                                                  • 2 years ago

                                                    I'm a Libertarian anarchist-capitalist as well. If you are a libertarian, you would agree that it is up to the individual whether they own a gun or not.

                                                    I am an avid shooter, and I feel my family and I are safer with a gun. In addition, I do not believe it is the government's responsibility to dictate to who may or may not own a gun. And, if employees of the government are required to carry a firearm, then the citizens should as well.

                                                    • 2 years ago

                                                      First off, guns certainly are deadly. That's the point. The scientific evidence is pretty clear that gun control can reduce gun-related crime sprees. But not all cultures have the same values.

                                                      I'll speak from a US perspective. I imagine it's relatable, even though our governments are pretty different.

                                                      In the US, we value individualism (which we call personal liberty) over collectivism. This means you have the right to defend yourself from any aggressor, up to and including using lethal force. This even includes using force against our own government and even our own police. That almost never happens (in a justifiable way - we have a lot of people and some of them are antisocial and violent, but those types are people don't care about the law anyway, so I'm not referring to them), but the ability to use force means the establishment won't overstep it's bounds.

                                                      This is codified in the second amendment to the US Constitution - the right to have and bear arms shall not be infringed.

                                                      The ideology is that above all else (including the government), the individual shall have power.

                                                      Imagine a dystopian future where our government had run amok and had turned on its own people. They might decree that certain malcontents should be eliminated. Those "malcontents" would surely (and justly) fight back. Without guns they wouldn't stand a chance. This has happened many times in many parts of the world. With guns they represent a barrier to any would-be dictator. No ruler shall have greater power over any American than they themselves. Nobody can ever make that kind of decree because we wouldn't stand for it. If push came to shove we'd have more than a strongly worded letter to send at an oppressive dictator.

                                                      Incidentally, this means the more fit a gun is as a weapon, the better it is. Thus, gun control measures like bans on assault rifles, short barreled rifles, sawn-off shotguns, hi-capacity magazines, etc, etc are antithetical to the ideology of the second amendment.

                                                      In summary, the argument that guns are dangerous misses the point about why we have them. Dangerous weapons are a logical consequence of governing a people who will not be ruled.

                                                      To have an informed opinion, you have to consider the consequences. If guns are easy to get how can we stop people from using them in a despicable manner? How can we stop the various massacres that seem to be happening more and more often? The short answer is that we can't. For as long as humans have violent urges, they will find a way to act on them.

                                                      The more nuanced answer is to address the reason people commit those atrocities. But those are varied and complicated and ugly.

                                                      Having guns gives people the opportunity to commit unspeakable acts. Statistically, almost nobody ever acts on those impulses. Almost no guns are ever used for crime.

                                                      Not having guns would remove the ultimate (meaning last resort) check on oppression. It would hollow out our ultimate guarantee of freedom.

                                                      • 2 years ago

                                                        I'm going to lead with an anecdote and roll into a counterargument, so bear (haha) with me: I have an acquaintance who is a wildlife biologist. Several years ago, his studies took him into the Canadian hinterlands. This is grizzly country, and even though encounters with bears are somewhat unusual they are far from unheard of -- and there is no way to reliably survive a grizzly bear attack without a firearm of some type. He and the rest of his research group were required by his Canadian university to purchase and train in the use of a 12-gauge shotgun and a high-powered revolver, in order to defend themselves in case they encountered a hungry or territorial bear during their field studies.

                                                        What this points to is that in many countries (or in certain parts of them) one cannot rely on the government to protect oneself in a life-threatening situation, be it a home invasion or a bear attack. There is simply too much ground to cover and not enough resources for a government agency to intervene, and in many cases even if there were the amount of time it would take for a policeman, park ranger, or what-have-you to respond would be far too long to save a life. The best way to protect oneself in these places and situations is to own a firearm and be proficient in its use. On top of this, hunting is also an important part of providing for one's survival in many of these places.

                                                        That said, there is definitely a cost/benefit analysis to be done, and it will come out differently for different places. A country like Finland, with a large rural population, sees more benefit and less harm from permissive gun laws than a more urban and largely tame (from a wildlife perspective) country like the UK. Similarly, within a country different regions could have different needs. States like Alaska or Montana could gain great benefits from high rates of firearm ownership because they permit far-flung individuals to defend and provide for themselves without the need for an equally far-flung and expensive police force, whereas Chicago or New York City justifiably see guns as a menace first and foremost.

                                                        One compromise could be tighter regulation of handguns, which are mostly useless in hunting and outdoors scenarios but feature prominently in homicide statistics, while having comparatively looser regulations on rifles and shotguns, which are hard to conceal and somewhat ungainly in close quarters, where most homicides take place. You will note that this aligns with British and typical European gun law. American gun law is an anomaly among developed nations in allowing civilian handgun ownership.

                                                        • 2 years ago

                                                          if the government came after us, they'd likely win even if we had a gun

                                                          I just want to take a moment to address this attitude like I do whenever I see it. Other people have already tackled the brunt of your argument very well.

                                                          I'd invite you to take a look at the concept of "asymmetric warfare".

                                                          To give you a good example, I'd invite you to examine the case of the War in Afghanistan, in which the United States military, in all its civilization-stomping over-spending invincible glory, tried to take on an organization that it absolutely dwarfed in scale, technology, and power. And for all those overwhelming advantages, what happened? Not a decisive victory, that's for certain.

                                                          And that's Afghanistan. The United States government trying to subjugate its own citizens would be far worse.

                                                          1. US citizens are far better educated than Afghanis. Given the kinds of improvised weaponry that they managed to devise (EFPs that could disable tanks, for instance), I really shudder to imagine what an insurgent US population could create.

                                                          2. US citizens are far better trained than Afghanis. Most of them aim like drunk stormtroopers. Here, target shooting is a pretty popular pastime amongst gun owners. There are loads of military veterans with extreme levels of training that could pass that knowledge on to rookies too.

                                                          3. The US dwarfs Afghanistan in scale. At just shy of 2 million, the US Army doesn't have anywhere near the number of soldiers it would need to subjugate the entire nation, especially if a significant portion of the population was actively hostile.

                                                          4. US soldiers subjugating US citizens would almost certainly foster discontent and desertion in the ranks, which simultaneously bleeds good personnel from the Army and supplies skilled new personnel to the resistance.

                                                          These are just a few reasons, there are loads more. You may laugh at our guns, but the simple fact is that they perform exactly the function that they were intended to by our founders: a hostile takeover by the US government would be utterly doomed from the beginning, and every politician knows it.

                                                          • 2 years ago

                                                            Cities with more restrictive gun laws actually have more crime compared to areas with looser gun laws.

                                                            The idea behind this is that if criminals know you can't fight back, they're more likely to commit a crime. i.e. if every woman carried a gun, there would be far fewer rapes.

                                                            • 2 years ago

                                                              Stalking & insulting Asian grade school kids as they walked to the bus stop. Dumping garbage on our neighbors' lawn, physically assaulting his Dad who is 70. Collecting & hiding weapons for 'in case'. Barricading himself in the basement. I know him to talk to, sort of like him, & feel sorry for him. He can't keep a job, has no friends, and goes in and out of serious drinking and, I think, drugs.

                                                              Yes, guns are collectible. So are tea spoons and ford trucks. My family used to hunt for food. Mostly squirrels & birds. If you don't have enough money for a freezer you hunt as you eat. Lots of small animals that don't taste good and need LOTS of spices to be edible. Only rich people hunt big animals. And then there is lots & lots of work to clean them. I guess some of my belief about guns comes from relief at being able to get meat at the supermarket. Like many poor families, small animal hunters, not big animal hunters, I baffled by the 'mystique' of guns. They are a tool, sometimes essential, that always causes pain and, if the target is lucky, kills quickly.

                                                              That is my belief and I know most Americans disagree. But then most Americans never ate squirrel stew because there was nothing else. It takes the romance out of guns. Maybe that's the solution. Part of gun training is to shoot, gut & cook enough squirrel for a family of 7.

                                                              I think gun training should be mandatory. The police, military &lunatics should not be the only people who know what guns are and how to use them. Guns should be very hard for society to get. Not just civilians but government bodies also.

                                                              But he really is disturbed and next week he will be back with a lot of anger and the knowledge of how to buy illegal guns. I emphatically agree with the person who posted this topic.

                                                              (I have all of the lego technic race car kits, the entire Lego town series, the Lego train and the Lego space shuttle, collections are important)

                                                              • 2 years ago

                                                                Stalking & insulting Asian grade school kids as they walked to the bus stop. Dumping garbage on our neighbors' lawn, physically assaulting his Dad who is 70. Collecting & hiding weapons for 'in case'. Barricading himself in the basement. I know him to talk to, sort of like him, & feel sorry for him. He can't keep a job, has no friends, and goes in and out of serious drinking and, I think, drugs.

                                                                Yes, guns are collectible. So are tea spoons and ford trucks. My family used to hunt for food. Mostly squirrels & birds. If you don't have enough money for a freezer you hunt as you eat. Lots of small animals that don't taste good and need LOTS of spices to be edible. And then there is lots & lots of work to clean them. I guess some of my belief about guns comes from relief at being able to get meat at the supermarket. Like many poor families, small animal hunters, not big animal hunters, I baffled by the 'mystique' of guns. They are a tool, sometimes essential, that always causes pain and, if the target is lucky, kills quickly.

                                                                That is my belief and I know most Americans disagree. But then most Americans never ate squirrel stew because there was nothing else. It takes the romance out of guns. Maybe that's the solution. Part of gun training is to shoot, gut & cook enough squirrel for a family of 7.

                                                                I think gun training should be mandatory. The police, military &lunatics should not be the only people who know what guns are and how to use them. Guns should be very hard for society to get. Not just civilians but government bodies also.

                                                                But he really is disturbed and next week he will be back with a lot of anger and the knowledge of how to buy illegal guns. I emphatically agree with the person who posted this topic.

                                                                (I have all of the lego technic race car kits, the entire Lego town series, the Lego train and the Lego space shuttle, collections are important)

                                                                • 2 years ago

                                                                  This is a old argument but I have not seen it here yet so here goes: Gun violence on and overwhelming average is committed by criminals (this being people who already have criminal records). These are people who are already going to break the law so breaking a law that says 1. All guns are banned or 2. most guns are banned, some are accepted but you can't have the one you are looking for, would already be okay with these people.

                                                                  So making a law that says no guns is only going to stop already law abiding citizens who you already don't mind having guns from owning them. Now if you argue that it makes it harder for criminals to get guns then look at some examples. In states with already high gun regulation like CA gun violence with banned weapons still occurs, in other words they obtained the weapon illegally then used it to kill or hurt someone. No legal channel to use it and it still happened. These weapons that are illegal are still smuggled in by criminals.

                                                                  Having lived in Texas I can tell you that there is an air of fear in criminals about breaking and entering, because Texas is very armed and proud of it, any intruder is certainly not taking their life into their own hand but, placing it in the hand of the armed and likely capable homeowner. I do not see this as a bad thing. I think that guns are basically necessary to liberty until you can eradicate all crime, especially crime at the level of government and are able to legitimately prevent oppression from a government on its people. As mentioned maybe the government would certainly defeat a militia but the ideal of liberty pushes you to stand and be heard even if it means defeat. Without this idea you simply say "yeah we can't win anyway why put up any fight? It's okay, oppress us with no consequences, you can get away with this and expect no losses".

                                                                  • 2 years ago

                                                                    I agree in the cities, but rural areas 100% need guns. I live up in Canada where hunting is a big part of peoples lives. Some people are required to have a gun due to safety. You don't want to run into a moose without something to protect you.

                                                                    • 2 years ago

                                                                      I realize you've already changed your view, but even your premises were problematic.

                                                                      For example, that chart that shows how very deadly guns are in the US? They draw your eyes with the darker section of the bar, pointing out that it's 60% of the homicides in the US are firearms related. That looks pretty terrible, right?

                                                                      But think about what else that chart is telling you. Imagine what that chart would look like if, guns in the US solved problems without causing harm. In this magical scenario, not only would those 60% of homicides not happen with guns, but they wouldn't happen at all, nor even be turned into assaults. Imagine they just went away. What would that look like? It would look like this. There's obviously something else that is seriously wrong with the US.

                                                                      ...but it's not even the entire story. That article doesn't acknowledge the beneficial impact of guns. There are numerous defensive gun uses every year, somewhere between 55,000 and 4,700,000 times per year. Yes, that's a pretty bloody wide range, because there is clearly a question of the methodology of these studies, etc.; in short, we know that it happens, and that it happens a fair bit, but we don't know how often it happens.

                                                                      We do know, however, that the US actually has lower violent crime rate than England & Wales, according to FBI/Home Office data (at least, as of ~2012; I haven't run the numbers since).

                                                                      • 2 years ago

                                                                        Ideally, this would be perfect; however, man will always find a way.

                                                                        • 2 years ago

                                                                          but to me nothing is more convincing than the statistics (example: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-34996604).

                                                                          Only one of those statistics has any meaning in the argument to restrict gun ownership, the overall homicide rate. The rest improperly separate shootings from other means of violence, while it is the total rate of that general form of violence that is important. Mass shootings are only a meaningful statistic as a portion of all mass murders.

                                                                          Given that the non-gun homicide rate of the US is not comparable to the non-gun homicide rate of the other countries, the presence of a large contingent of gun-related homicides cannot be said to be extra. We could easily see the method change without a meaningful alteration in total homicide rate.

                                                                          For the one honest statistic presented in your link to be convincing, it would need to demonstrate a relatively consistent non-gun homicide rate across many countries with and without gun restrictions, alongside a high gun homicide rate solely in countries with those restrictions. As the statistic is presented, it is quite clear that gun homicides are not an isolated variable in the comparison.

                                                                          In short, the statistics listed on that page should not be convincing.

                                                                          • 2 years ago
                                                                            • 2 years ago

                                                                              So, you're from the UK, right? Then you're aware that Glasgow is (or, was) the murder capital of Western Europe. But no guns are allowed in Scotland, right?

                                                                              Like the old adage goes: Guns don't kill people, people kill people. If someone has the drive to murder, give them a banana and some dental floss and they'll find a way to kill someone. You don't need a gun for that.

                                                                              Simply put: You could give every household on the planet a gun, but that doesn't give them the license to kill. Most right-minded people understand that. And people who want to kill will eventually kill, gun or no gun. You should know that, living in the UK. So tell me again: what about guns are bad? Sure, it makes killing easier, but remember: the person with the drive to kill will eventually kill. It's like cheating on your spouse and trying to make it so they don't. If they want to cheat, they will eventually cheat. There's nothing you can do to stop them. If someone wants to kill, they will eventually kill.

                                                                              This is why I don't understand the gun argument. All guns do is give the innocent a way to defend themselves from the guy with the banana and the dental floss.

                                                                              • 2 years ago

                                                                                I believe that the second amendment is not there for hunting, or for protecting yourself from crime or break ins by criminals. It is there to make the US govt afraid of the people. If there were a war, the people of the US would be destroyed by the military. But a fighter jet can't break down your door at 4 am and take you away. An aircraft carrier can't arrest you for thought crimes. As long as the police know the populace is armed, they will be hesitant to tyrannize the people. No matter how many police there are, there can't be more police than citizens. If they know there could be a gun on the other side of the door, then politicians and the police will be careful not to tread on our freedoms. The us govt could turn the whole country into glowing green glass, but what would be the point in that? The second amendment protects us from a soviet or North Korean style police state. Sadly, people will die bc people are idiots and use them for crime, but that is a whole lot better than a police state. It's a transaction cost for freedom. I support better gun control measures like background checks, but that's about it.

                                                                                • 2 years ago

                                                                                  You can't ignore the fact that the UK is an Island. Period. The relative size of the country and the fact that it's fairly manageable to track weapons coming in via ships, planes, or the english channel (chunnel? I forget the exact name) is a huge factor in why England is able to function well with guns being outlawed. It's remarkably more difficult for traffickers to transport illegal guns to the UK than it would be for them to bring guns to a larger country like the US, which has long borders with Canada and Mexico. It's hard enough for us to keep people out of our country who aren't supposed to be there, let alone small weapons.

                                                                                  So where in the UK you have a scenario where all guns can to some degree be controlled, in the US a gun ban would lead to only people involved in illicit activities like weapon and drug smuggling having the guns.

                                                                                  Ultimately, just because something works in England does not mean it will work in the rest of the world, where circumstances are wildly different.

                                                                                  • 2 years ago

                                                                                    Something that a lot of people don't seem to talk about is who has all the guns in the US. Most gun owners have multiple firearms here, so to compare the amount of guns owned to other countries might be a little skewed.

                                                                                    A lot of people have also pointed out the just because he laws are strict doesn't mean that it reduces crime, with Chicago as the typical example. Chicago recently went a week without a murder, but that's just because the shootings didn't actually kill the victim. And as someone else also pointed out handguns are the dominate firearm of choice for crime. Joe blow isn't going to hold up the liquor store with a Barret 50 BMG, he's going to do it with a cheap handgun that he can dump. The US has a massive hard on for restricting firearms that are not used a lot in crime while not caring about the ones that are. And in some instances we freely give guns to criminals in the name of "getting bad guys off the streets" but that backfires every time.

                                                                                    • 2 years ago

                                                                                      However, I can't help but see that as a negative side effect of full liberty, because inevitably it just leads to more people getting hurt. That's the numbers talking.

                                                                                      That's not the numbers talking, it's the BBC (i.e. fake news) talking. Just look at their sources - pure bias.

                                                                                      Take a look at this recent article for example.

                                                                                      "More than 30,000 people on average are killed by gun violence across the country each year, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence."

                                                                                      Which of course is a lie. That's the total number of deaths, including accident and suicide, murder, justifiable homicide and cops shooting criminals. People who lie to you are not your friends.

                                                                                      The number of people murdered with guns, for example, is irrelevant. The number would be pretty much the same even if there weren't any guns available (the availability of guns make no difference to the homicide rate), but the article is trying to insinuate that the US homicide rate would be 60% lower if it wasn't for guns, which it wouldn't (note the lack of details over whether the homicide was justifiable or not - they don't seem to think it matters).

                                                                                      Yes, cars also kill people, but I don't need a gun to get to work.

                                                                                      Special pleading. More people are killed by cars than guns but that's okay because walking is inconvenient?

                                                                                      With guns, the only benefits arise when a really tough intruder is in my house or when the government is trying to oppress me.

                                                                                      That sounds like a trump card to me. And your description of home defence ("shooting everything in sight") is very childish.

                                                                                      • 2 years ago

                                                                                        In my opinion gun violence isn't a gun issue, it is a violence issue. Every neighbor I have owns at least ten guns yet our city has maybe one murder a year. Why? Because our city is wealthy. People have no reason to be violent.

                                                                                        Taking away every single gun would stop gun violence, but it would just be a bandaid. The real issue is poverty and the war on drugs. I don't have any evidence to support my hypothesis, but I would be willing to be that ending the war on drugs, providing health care to the poor, and implementing more welfare programs would be cheaper, (politically and financially) and actually solve the issue instead of simply changing the way which the issue manifests.

                                                                                        • 2 years ago

                                                                                          You probably don't need one in the UK. Society is much different there than it is in other parts of the world.

                                                                                          Though in America, where I live, I feel everyone should be able to carry a gun because it's obvious that we have a lot of crime here that involves guns.

                                                                                          Check out this video on this website:

                                                                                          http://www.guns.com/2013/09/23/dont-mess-armed-citizen-montage-gun-owners-fighting-back-crime-video/

                                                                                          Criminals would be less willing to go into a public establishment and commit a crime with a gun if they had a feeling that a lot of the patrons would be carrying a gun as well. Criminals want the path of least resistance.

                                                                                          • 2 years ago

                                                                                            There is a belief that murder, torture and heinous acts don't count as crime if it's the government doing the murder, torture and heinous acts. I strongly disagree with this assumption. There is no way around it, the number of murders, incidents of torture and heinous acts committed in nations where people can't defend themselves against their government out numbers such incidents that can by several hundred million, perhaps even a billion. Most times governments that deny people the right to bear arms are benevolent. But when they aren't, people die violently by the millions.

                                                                                            • 2 years ago

                                                                                              If someone wants to get a gun they can do it illegally, gun laws don't help much

                                                                                              • 2 years ago

                                                                                                If you give away your gun you will one day give away your liberty; no fact beyond that is needed.

                                                                                                But, if you have such an infatuation with statistics, it is worth knowing that there is no relation between gun ownership and violent crime.

                                                                                                Stossel has a segment in which he examines that increases in gun control increase violent crime and proliferation of guns reduces it.

                                                                                                • 2 years ago

                                                                                                  I live in the US where the LGBT minority is under constant threat of harrassment, violence, and even murder. I myself was attacked and had to draw my firearm in self defense.

                                                                                                  The police sometimes care, depending on geographic location, and sometimes they don't care. We would be lucky if they even filed a report, much less actually do something.

                                                                                                  Living in a country full of religious crazies who want to hurt us, we need to defend ourselves. The police won't help us, so we have to take matters into our own hands. Arming ourselves is our only recourse.

                                                                                                  • 2 years ago

                                                                                                    Here in Brazil, we have one of the most restricting gun laws in the world and yet we have more than 60k murders every year (and increasing). Gun laws only work to disarm the regular non-criminal citizen. Our bandits carry assault rifles, submachine guns and can even take down police helicopters. :/. Have you ever give thought if being able to own guns can out weight the risks? There are researches that shows that bandits are far more scared of gun owning citizens than the police or that owning guns prevent/discourage crimes by providing more risks to criminals (despite not being something that can be accurately measured). Not to mention the concrete cases of bandits getting shot/expelled/killed when trying to invade a property. Here in Brazil we can't even protect our own family if some bandit by himself get in your house and rapes your wife and daughter in front of you.

                                                                                                    • 2 years ago

                                                                                                      legal gun owners almost never shoot anyone (except in self defense)...gun related violence and crime is almost always coming from illegally obtained guns...which is going to happen in your utopia as well and with greater vigor because criminals dont need to worry about self defense anymore.

                                                                                                      Also, if you measure the gun violence among only the white population in the US, you will find that it is very comparable to the white population in the uk.

                                                                                                      If you are so concerned about statistics, you would need to ban black people, not guns.

                                                                                                      Your car versus gun analogy is funny. As a white person in a city with really bad crime...i can tell you that I would sell my car to get a gun. I can still take a bus, but without a gun im probably going to be dead. Life is more important than easy commute.

                                                                                                      I dont think you folks in the UK can appreciate how bad it is in parts of the US. you have never seen anything like it. If you were living in iraq, you would probably think that its a good idea to have a gun, right? you wouldnt be so flippant about how unnecessary it is. The US has war zones just as bad as iraq. And its not because of legally owned guns.

                                                                                                      • 2 years ago

                                                                                                        I think all you have to do is look at the regions that have the strictest gun laws, Chicago for example. And look at the crime rates involving firearms. Chicago is one of the most strict places on gun laws and the crime rates are staggering. It all depends on who has the weapon. If no citizens had weapons to protect them self and to use it as the 2nd amendment has granted, then who would be left to protect those who are innocent and would you really trust them?

                                                                                                        • 2 years ago

                                                                                                          In the U.K I'm going to make the assumption that the politicians atleast pretend to care.

                                                                                                          In the US our politicians and a few cops have no moral code to speak of when I went down south to my cousins house (I live in tri state area) cop walked in through the backyard when we were smoking.

                                                                                                          Basically the cop tried to take our stuff and he basically said "unless you have a warrant gtfo of my property or I'll make you get off my property" cop said he was going to seize our smoking pieces and he replied with the same thing this time pointing to a shotgun and saying some law I never heard of and the cop ended up leaving.

                                                                                                          Now where I'm from your ass would get handcuffed, fines if you even think that you have any authority over a cop.

                                                                                                          Moral of the story? Idk I just know that I dont want ANY more power to be put in the hands of the people in the US government

                                                                                                          • 2 years ago

                                                                                                            Guns don't kill people. People kill people. There is no negative to "Full Liberty". You wouldn't consider taking away someone's right to free speech if they said something that offended someone else would you? You either believe in Full Liberty or you don't. There are statistics that show a negative effect of banning guns in countries. Australia for example has seen a rise in violent crime since guns have been banned.

                                                                                                            • 2 years ago

                                                                                                              if the government came after us, they'd likely win even if we had a gun.

                                                                                                              This is only true in the last 30 years, in the age of instantaneous communications and overwhelming force multipliers. But an armed populace still makes a dictatorial takeover much harder to achieve. We in the US do still need more regulation of access, but the fundamental right to reasonable self-defense remains.

                                                                                                              • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                I'm not a pro-gun person by any standards, but I am Canadian. We have lots and lots of guns, but gun violence is not a real problem here.

                                                                                                                We're doing just fine. With how frequently they are used as tools by farmers and hunters, compared to how infrequently they are used in crimes or mass killings, I would argue that Canada benefits from having them.

                                                                                                                • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                  How do you propose to just "remove" guns from a society?

                                                                                                                  Sure you can make them illegal to own, but that does not make them magically disappear. Therein lies the issue. I don't think many people disagree that a society where guns did not exist would be better for everyone, but we do not live in that reality and cannot feasibly create that reality.

                                                                                                                  • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                    Brasil is a perfect example of why this isn't true at all. When criminals can get their hands on guns through illegal means anyway then you're helping criminals become more deadly because now they're thinking if they rob someone they don't have to worry because no one can defend themselves. One of the reasons why there's violent crimes there.

                                                                                                                    • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                      I've read that since guns are restricted in the UK people have been using acid attacks against each other, like walking up to someone and throwing acid in their face. The acid can be made from common household cleaning agents and cause burns for the victim. That was interesting to me because I also felt the same way OP did about guns.

                                                                                                                      • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                        An armed populace is a deterrent to genocide, foreign invasion etc.

                                                                                                                        Imagine any populace of people who were victims of genocide, mass execution etc. Victims of the holocaust, or Rwandan genocide, victims of the Khmer Rouge etc.

                                                                                                                        Hard to imagine those people not wishing they had a more armed populace at the time of their persecution.

                                                                                                                        • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                          You don't need a knife either, but those are seriously restricted in your country as well... also, many countries with serious gun laws have massive knife and axe casualties...

                                                                                                                          • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                            What do you mean by "fare better"? If you want to compare the US and the UK, look at GDP, GDP per capita, GINI index, human development index etc. In all those the US beats the UK. You're right that countries without guns have less gun deaths, but to say that they fare better overall, with everything, is just plain wrong.

                                                                                                                            • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                              Yes, cars also kill people, but I don't need a gun to get to work.

                                                                                                                              This right here is one of my issues with this type of argument. Who cares if you need one or not? Guns are items that many people enjoy. If they're being compared to cars, then just regulate their usage, don't outright vilify them and ban them.

                                                                                                                              Also, cars are a privilege. If you can't afford one or don't have a license, then unfortunately you don't exactly need a car to get to work, since people aren't entitled to them, despite the reality that they make it far easier to get around.

                                                                                                                              • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                                As a libertarian myself, "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it."

                                                                                                                                It is definitely better to have a gun and not need it than to need it and not have it. We can't tell the future, so anything can happen, ya know?

                                                                                                                                • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                                  It depends on the length of time youre looking at the country. In the long run, countries with guns do better because the government cant massively kill people. Imagine if all the Jews in Germany had been armed, same with other places where mass genocides have taken place.

                                                                                                                                  • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                                    250-odd years ago or so, our country rejected the tyranny of your country... With guns.

                                                                                                                                    Guns are thus part of the very DNA of the United States.

                                                                                                                                    Full stop.

                                                                                                                                    Your stats are correct, but national psychology trumps statistics. The price of freedom, and all that.

                                                                                                                                    Guns are already highly controlled in many jurisdictions here, by the way (such as mine, New York suburbia). It's the states with lax gun laws that always make the news (I'm looking at you, Floriduh!)

                                                                                                                                    It should be very difficult to get a gun, but not impossible. It will never, ever, ever be made impossible in the United States.

                                                                                                                                    Your best bet is a technological development that is superior to guns (same stopping capacity, but not fatal) such as an Electrolaser. Then, you could make that available for home or personal defense and further restrict conventional gunpowder-driven weaponry and far fewer people would go apeshit about it.

                                                                                                                                    • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                                      I can't help but see that as a negative side effect of full liberty, because inevitably it just leads to more people getting hurt. That's the numbers talking.

                                                                                                                                      That's also true of most freedoms, though. What makes guns any different?

                                                                                                                                      • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                                        without a gun you can't fight cops. its a standard of violence in America. disarming the state would make things safer. (and the car analogy is bunk cause you are artificially needing a car for a "job"

                                                                                                                                        • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                                          Nobody is talking about banning hunting rifles for game wardens or suggesting anything remotely like that. Game wardens are LEOs anyway so civilian restrictions wouldn't apply.

                                                                                                                                          • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                                            Someone had a decent video about gun control and racism'a intertwined history... Forget who it was.

                                                                                                                                            Obviously they are biased. But still interesting history.

                                                                                                                                            • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                                              So tired of always being afraid. A mentally unstable man down the street from us was found to have 88 guns. His parents reported him because they were afraid. He was 'getting ready'.

                                                                                                                                              He was institutionalized for 4 months. He will be home tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                              Everyday I walk past his house and wonder what he was getting ready for.

                                                                                                                                              • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                                                Look at the murder rate in India, where they don't give police officers guns. Only high ranking detective or constable or whatever they call it.

                                                                                                                                                • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                                                  It's not clear whether gun related homicides out way the small risk of a totalitarian government (however farfetched that may seem).

                                                                                                                                                  • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                                                    Reality does suck, indeed, but those who beat their swords into plowshares, will end up plowing for the swordsmen.

                                                                                                                                                    • 2 years ago

                                                                                                                                                      How else should i defend myself against the state in case that some trump/erdogan/putin gets elected here