Gun Control

May. 8th, 2017 12:11 pm
[personal profile] tigertoy
When you are holding a gun, everything looks like a target. Responsible gun ownership means recognizing this tendency and controlling it.

I mean this seriously, not humorously. I do not mean no one should have guns. Everyone I know who has guns is responsible by this metric. Responsible owners are still human and can make mistakes, but I assert that most of the gun crime we hear about is caused by irresponsible owners who should not have guns. The real issue of gun control is how to keep the irresponsible from having guns without taking away the rights of the responsible.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-08 06:01 pm (UTC)
matrixmann: (Ready)
From: [personal profile] matrixmann
Once something reasonable I stumble upon.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-08 06:52 pm (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
What gets me is the insistence on gun ownership "for the responsible", when dozens of countries no less free than we are somehow manage to get by without it. Perhaps it's time for a change in perspective.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-09 05:06 pm (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Your choice of example is poor, because there is literally no way for an individual to own a tiger "responsibly". The closest anyone can get to that is to sponsor the care of a tiger in a zoo or preserve. But that's a side issue.

It's painfully obvious that our gun-saturated society and the attitudes which go with it are causing harm, quite a lot of harm in fact, and so there is a strong case for the government to do something to limit the extremism that has infected certain segments of the population.

My position on gun ownership varies depending on the type of gun and the circumstances. Hunting rifles, owned by someone who actually uses them for hunting, I don't have any problem with. Handguns owned by someone who has a demonstrated need for them, such as a courier of valuable items or sensitive information, I don't have any problem with. People who want handguns for the express purpose of walking around visibly packing to intimidate other people (and let's face it, there is no other reason to do that) are not "responsible gun owners" by any definition, and should not be given access to guns. Military-grade automatics, or semi-automatics that can easily be altered to be full-auto... those have no business whatsoever in civilian hands.

Then you get into the huge grey area. This is one place where I think that treating the symptom will do a lot to eliminate the cause, because one of the huge drivers in gun ownership is the fear that someone else will attack you with a gun. The whole "self-defense" argument crumbles if there's no easy access to guns for criminals and domestic terrorists and dudes with anger management issues. I'm sure you're aware that on the same day as the Sandy Hook incident, a guy in China went nuts in an elementary school and stabbed 20-odd people. Nobody died. For that matter, the outcome at Sandy Hook would probably have been very different if whatsisname had only had access to a hunting rifle. And there's no way to limit easy access to guns to only part of the population, which is what you're arguing for.

But I'm drifting from my point, which is that people who live in a war zone, or who have convinced themselves that they do, want guns out of fear. If the source of fear was removed, I believe that a lot of those people would decide after not very long that they didn't want to go back to it. Much the same way that once people were given access to something resembling a civilized health care plan, they figured out that they were better off with it than without it. In a country without the constant risk provided by unlimited access to guns, people would get used to not having that constant low-level worry in their lives, and they wouldn't want to have to live with it again.

Or here's another thought. Every gun enthusiast I know insists that they can tell the difference between a responsible gun owner and someone who shouldn't be allowed to get their hands on a gun, and that this is largely based on personal knowledge. So what if you couldn't get a license to own a gun without being vetted by a committee of your friends and neighbors? Say somewhere between a dozen and 25 people who know you personally, who have to agree by at least 90% that you're responsible enough to be given access to a tool designed to kill people. Not that it would ever be implemented, but it would certainly be an interesting example of social checks and balances.

And yet another notion... suppose we were to give the NRA's own gun-safety standards force of law nationwide? If your gun kills someone and it can be demonstrated that you weren't being responsible (how DO toddlers get hold of a gun?), you go to prison, no matter what color you are or how much money you have. And that would be the rub, just as it always has been.



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