A Common Sense (Non-Religious) Case Against Guns

Let’s imagine, for a second, that a junkie walks up to you and says, “Give me all your money, or I am going to cut you!” Unarmed, you quickly hand over all your money. You call the police and make a report, and later that day, the police pick up a person matching the description you gave. After identifying the person who robbed you, you watch as the junkie is convicted and sentenced to (depending on the state you are in) anywhere from 48-180 months. No rational person (or judge) would ever justify the use of the death penalty for a crime of this nature.

Not today, junkie....You picked the wrong person to rob.

However…. Now, imagine that the same situation happened to you while carrying a handgun (possibly you are one of the many people who stocked up on guns fearing that the new administration would attempt to limit you right to possess concealed killing devices). After hearing the junkie’s threat and demand for your money, you pull out your gun and put a bullet in his chest, ending his life. This is a perfectly legal response.

Innocent until proven dead.

If there is a case where the death penalty is even a possibility, the accused person is given an attorney, a jury hears both sides, and only the most experienced and tested judges hear the case. These cases last days, weeks, or months, and then juries and judges deliberate for a long time to decide the right thing to do. Things happen this way because you don’t want to make hasty decisions when someone’s life is at stake. So my question is this: HOW CAN WE RATIONALIZE GIVING PEOPLE THE RIGHT TO WALK AROUND WITH A LITTLE JUDGE, JURY, AND EXECUTIONER THAT FITS IN THEIR POCKET?????

The Second Amendment reads “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” (–Is this even a sentence?) This amendment was adopted in 1791 at a time when the best guns (with a skilled user) could fire about 10 bullets in a minute. We now apply the words of this amendment to allow people to possess uzis. What does it mean to “keep and bear arms” anyway? Do we have the right to have a bazooka? Armor piercing bullets? Nuclear weapons? All of these things are “arms.”

Imagine if I invented a device that was basically a button that I kept in my pocket that, if I pushed it, the person who I was looking at fell down and died. Of course, I would give it a safety and try to insure that felons didn’t get their hands on one–only responsible, law-abiding people should have a Kill-O-Matic 3000 (Did I mention that I would call this new means of self defense the “Kill-O-Matic 3000?”). This device would be so illegal, and yet we, as a country, have decided to condone the carrying of handguns whose purpose, when fired, is to kill the person at which it is fired. How does this make sense? It doesn’t.

The pro-gun lobby is so powerful and well-run that to even question the legitimacy of these policies seems “Un-American.” Think about it: If I want to drive a car, I am forced to purchase insurance in case of the event that I injure someone else or someone’s property. Even if I’m a responsible driver and never had an accident, I still need this insurance–just in case. There is nothing like this for people who decide to purchase a gun. Why is this? And this gun show loophole thing? Give me a break. Not to mention the fact that (for some reason) people who claim to be followers of a dude who commanded us to love our enemies seem to be the biggest supporters of gun rights (for a good laugh or cry, check this out  ).

The only hand-held executioner I'm okay with.

The technology exists to allow people to defend themselves without killing someone. Before a judge hears a case where someone could lose their life, he or she usually has to go through law school and get elected or appointed to that position. The only prerequisite for someone to purchase a hand-held executioner? Basically, if you’re not a felon, you’re good to go. And we justify this because of those ancient, cryptic words in the 2nd amendment. Having a law that keeps the government from taking the weapons from a well regulated militia (in order to protect themselves from attack, and also to maintain the ability for said militia to be able to fight back in the event of broad government and military abuses) is not the same thing as allowing every jackass (who manages to keep a felony off his record) to carry a small, efficient killing machine where ever he goes. Seriously, someone explain it to me, because I just don’t get it.

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25 Responses to A Common Sense (Non-Religious) Case Against Guns

  1. Tracy Starkweather says:

    1. What about hunting? 2. Not everyone is able to get a concealed weapons permit. It is not that easy. 3. Have you ever seen an oozy? Lay off prime time t.v.. 4.1791 or 2011, it only takes one bullet. Everything evolves. Now with that being said, I do agree we should keep as many guns off the streets as possible.

  2. theboeskool says:

    I’m totally cool with hunting. It’s not really MY thing, but I think people should be able to do it. And yes–getting a concealed weapons permit is not super easy. Unfortunately, it is way, way harder than getting a concealed weapon. Like this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jared_Loughner_USMS.jpg
    And I have seen an uzi. I live in the south–they hand out fully automatic weapons to people after they sign on their houses down here….

  3. theboeskool says:

    Oh, and I forgot–I miss me some TJ.

  4. Brian says:

    Not a great argument… Unless you believe everyone should just submit to being victims. Not to mention the fact that some people would be out to harm you, not just take your cash (you’re in the wrong neighborhood or encroach on some gang’s “turf”). Pepper spray isn’t 100% effective – the police only see 85% effectiveness in their usage. Sorry, but 85% doesn’t cut it for me. Tasers are even worse at 77%. You don’t even seem to understand that you can’t just get a gun and carry it around with you. You need a permit in most states to carry concealed, and some states don’t allow it at all. Only 4 states allow concealed carry without a permit (Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming). Uzis are Class 3 and heavily restricted (the automatic ones, the semis are no faster than any standard semi-auto handgun).

    • theboeskool says:

      Thanks for your comment, Brian.

      I am not arguing that “everyone should just submit to being victims.” I’m not sure how you got that from what I wrote. My argument is this: It doesn’t make sense (to me, at least) for a society to champion the cause of its citizens (criminals or law-abiding) having the right to carry around small, highly effective killing machines. We are granting to that person the right to decide (usually in the middle of a very scary and tense situation) whether deadly force should be used, and the test to tell whether that person is competent to make that decision is being free from a felony–not a hard test to pass.

      And what does “85% effective” mean? Or “effective,” for that matter? And what percent effective are guns? If, by “effective,” you mean “adequate to accomplish the purpose of not taking the life of a person who didn’t deserve to die,” then I’d say pepper spray is way more effective than guns. In this country, we don’t sentence people to death for stealing a wallet–or even for threatening someone with a gun–but we seem to have little problem with letting some shmo who took a pistol safety course pass that judgment in the heat of the moment.

      Does this make sense to you?

      • Brian says:

        ” Let’s imagine, for a second, that a junkie walks up to you and says, “Give me all your money, or I am going to cut you!” Unarmed, you quickly hand over all your money. You call the police and make a report, and later that day, the police pick up a person matching the description you gave. After identifying the person who robbed you, you watch as the junkie is convicted and sentenced to (depending on the state you are in) anywhere from 48-180 months. No rational person (or judge) would ever justify the use of the death penalty for a crime of this nature.”

        That passage. As I understood it, that its preferable to defending one’s self with a gun.

        85% effective is referring to how many times the pepper spray was sufficient to stop the perpetrator from continuing to act or resist arrest. i.e. bad guy doesn’t stop 15% of the time and they have to use something else (gun, baton, etc).

        Re: not deserving the death penalty, yes, but said junky knows his risks. If he doesn’t retreat when resisted by someone that is armed, his death is his own doing. Protip for junkies: don’t rob people, and if you do, run away if they have a gun.

  5. Jesse Gunn says:

    I’m just going off the top of my head here, so I apologize for not having specifics, but have you seen D.C.’s violent crime index since they legalized guns? It hit a 45 year low (strange.. which is how long the BAN WAS.). Thus, the abrupt fall directly coincides with the ruling. I would ask you why DC, which had the strictest gun laws in the nation had some of the highest homicide rates, but you probably would say, as most gun control advocates said, it was ineffective because the areas around DC had guns. Really? Then how do you explain England’s skyrocketing violence rates? “Not important!” “Not relevant!” Gun control advocates insist. But that’s false, and it doesn’t stop with guns, it can’t. Once you ban guns, you have to ban knives, and after knives, you have to ban any item that can be used to hit another person, including especially sturdy jewelry or key rings, and once the citizens have accepted that, you have to ban martial arts or any defensive actions besides running. This is what England has done, and it’s ironically given the streets to the violent.

    I apologize for being somewhat aggressive in this posting, you’ve written some excellent ideas elsewhere, but here you’re rather painfully arrogant. The entire entry is pretty much opinion based and nothing more, yet purports to be not just an excellent basis for national policy, but the ONLY valid line of thinking.

  6. Jesse Gunn says:

    Ah, and I forgot to mention the very best thing about the DC example: It finally, finally showed the ridiculous “There are too many guns available too close to DC” for the sham it was, because introducing MORE guns has REDUCED crime. Dramatically.

    • theboeskool says:

      Thanks for the thoughts, Jesse, but you can’t just make comments like “introducing more guns has reduced crime (dramatically)” and not back it up with statistics. Has DC kept the amount of law-enforcement the same during the time to which you are referring? Have the number of social programs remained constant? Has there been more security in the capital since 9/11? Are there more or fewer people living in poverty in the city? There are a lot of other important pieces of data to consider.

      Here are some interesting statistics from a study called “Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearm-Related Deaths in the Home.” by Kellermann, AL and Reay, DT. and a FBI Supplementary Homicide Report data in1997 It says:

      “For every time a gun in the home is used in a self-defense homicide, a gun will be used in 1.3 unintentional deaths, 4.6 criminal homicides, and 37 suicides
      In 1997 there were 15,690 homicides. Of these, 8,503 were committed with handguns.
      Among handgun homicides, only 193 (2.3 percent) were classified as justifiable homicides by civilians. For every time in 1997 that a civilian used a handgun to kill in self-defense, 43 people lost their lives in handgun homicides alone.”

      Now let’s say there was a pill that allowed people to sleep better. Let’s call this drug “Sleepinall. “The people that it helps swear by it, but unfortunately, for every one person Sleepinall helps, 1.3 people accidentally kill someone or themselves using the drug, 4.6 people use the drug to rape or murder someone else, and 37 people use the drug to commit suicide. Do you think that Sleepinall would be approved for use–even if it is only by prescription? Never.

      By the way, it makes the news in England if someone is robbed and is “cuffed about the face and neck.” We don’t even have enough time on the news in the US to report every time a gun is used in a crime. One more stat from the National Vital Statistics Report: From 1962 to 1997 more than one million Americans have died in firearm homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings. Handguns were used in more than 650,000 of these fatal shootings.

  7. Smith says:

    First off, I am extremely anti religion and so pro gun that I build the “Killing Machines” you mention. I build them for competition and because it is fun. I reload my own ammunition too. Not everyone who is pro gun is pro religion. Second of all, people who consider themselves to be “Anti Gun” always say that the technology didn’t exist at the time of the second amendment to shoot multiple projectiles. What you fail to understand is that at that time, the muzzle loader was the most deadly weapon known to man at that time. The dream of firearms developers since the inception of the firearm was “Can I make it shoot faster and reload quicker.” The framers of the constitution understood this and understood that someday firearms would have the capacity to shoot more than once. I am a huge proponent of free speech too, but speech has killed more people throughout history BECAUSE it persuades people to pick up arms and kill others. Massacres based on differences in opinion and religions have been perpetrated long before guns were in existence. The second amendment is there to protect us all from the government. That is the reason it was put in the constitution. The third and last point I would like to make is, In your scenario, you describe someone who pulls a knife out and demands the wallet and runs away. You assume those pushed to doing something like that are just desperate and will go away if you give them what they want. You have to understand that sticking a knife in someone’s face is a brazen act. That person has had to build up the nerve to do that. You and I are moral people. We would never do this to someone let alone kill them. I personally don’t want to take the chance that a person who is already morally corrupt is not going to kill me while he is sticking me up to stay out of prison. Keep in mind also that there are legal ramifications for pulling the trigger on someone who is threatening you. If someone has a knife and demands your money in my state, you are not allowed to shoot them unless they are trying to attack you. In that instance, the gun is a deterrent factor. Simply pulling out the gun is going to deter that person.

    • theboeskool says:

      I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. I really like the “Sleepinall” example that I used above (turns out that there is a real medicine called something close to Sleepinall that people have been researching when they found this blog–I thought it sounded good). If you, as a gun enthusiast, think that there were never supposed to be limits on weapons (as far as the writers of the Bill of Rights were concerned), do you think that there are any weapons that people shouldn’t be allowed to have?

      • smith says:

        There are already limits on firearms in this country, just as there are on free speech.

      • smith says:

        Something else I want to mention. It is a legal flaw in your argument. You lump bazookas and nuclear arms in with guns. They are, according to the law not the same. Bazookas are classified under 18 U.S.C. 921 as destructive devices and nuclear weapons are classified under 18 U.S.C. 2332a the law as weapons of mass destruction. They are different according to the law from firearms. There is a legal distinction made between those arms and firearms. That said, I personally think that weapons of mass destruction as described under 18 U.S.C. 2332a should be prohibited to the public as should destructive devices as described under 18 U.S.C. 921 should be prohibited. To answer your question more completely, I believe that every person in this country who is not a felon should be allowed to possess a firearm without restriction. When I say firearm, I am referring to the legal definition as it pertains to 18 U.S.C 921.
        Whether that firearm is a 30 cal Browning machine gun or an old American Gun Company double shotgun makes no difference.

  8. smith says:

    theboeskool, I have a question for you. What do you consider ‘Armor?’

    • theboeskool says:

      I’m pretty sure a 30 cal Browning machine gun is a destructive device. Guns are classified into different groups just like bazookas and Nuclear weapons are.

      I’m not sure about the whole “armor” thing–I haven’t really though about it. Why do you ask?

      • smith says:

        A 30 cal Browning Machine gun is not a destructive device according to the law, hence the reason I mentioned it. It is a firearm. Yes it is a machine gun, but it is not a destructive device. It is classified as a class III firearm and is regulated (actually more so) just like all firearms in this country. Transferable machine guns, or class III firearms are required to be registered with the BATF, and subject to a 200 dollar transfer fee. Before you get really bent out of shape (and also the reason I call foul on your comment that they hand out fully automatic weapons when someone buys a house in the ‘south’), the new manufacture of transferable fully automatic firearms ended in 1986 with the passage of the Hughes amendment. Also, The ‘Uzi’ you like to mention is actually pretty sedate. You have seen an Uzi (semi auto in all likelihood). I have fired a semi auto Uzi. They are just a 9mm pistol that looks ‘scary.’ I own a Browning Hi Power that shoots the same 9mm ammunition and is semi auto like about 99 percent of all the Uzi’s in this country.

        I live in the North and attend shooting competitions attended by thousands of people. The love of the shooting sports extends far beyond the south. To tear down another stereotype you seem to try and perpetuate, I am educated (a BS and a teaching license) and love to build firearms, reload and shoot in competition. There are more of us than you would think. Last year I shot The National Matches between an MD and a PhD college history professor.

        The reason I asked about the ‘armor’ thing is that a standard bullet fired from a 30-06 hunting rifle will penetrate police Kevlar. Does that make it armor piercing? It should also be mentioned that armor piercing ammunition for the most part is banned. So called ‘cop killer’ bullets are banned as is armor piercing ammunition available in calibers most commonly found in pistols, .308 Winchester and 7.62 x 51 (very close to .308 Winchester, SOME consider it to be interchangeable, hence the reason I lumped them together). Keep in mind that a projectile fired from a standard .308 Winchester will penetrate Kevlar. It is also a cartridge LOTS of people use to hunt deer and even elk.

        You mention that people who own firearms should have to purchase ‘insurance’ because people who drive are required to have a license. Does the purchase of a license and insurance make safe drivers? There are over 6 million auto accidents each and every year. There are 255,917,664 vehicles in the United States. Those count for 43,000 deaths every year. There are (by most estimates) 270,000,000 firearms in private hands. There are (by most estimates) about 12,000 homicides a year by firearms. There are fewer vehicles on the roads than firearms in private hands and there are STILL more deaths from automobiles.

        I should also mention, in case you didn’t know. Your argument has already been settled in the Supreme Court of the United States concerning how the Second Amendment of the Constitution should be interpreted. The case was District of Columbia vs. Heller. The court ruled that the Second Amendment is not a collective right but an individual right despite what you describe as ancient and cryptic language. Again in Parker vs. District of Columbia, the court struck down the Firearms regulation act of the District of Columbia as unconstitutional. They determined that handguns are arms for the purpose of the second amendment. They also ruled under McDonald vs. Chicago that that right extends to the states. Hopefully that explains it to you and you will now ‘get it’. If you follow the guidelines and are legally able to carry a firearm concealed for personal protection; how is this a legal issue? It is now a moral issue. If you choose not to carry a firearm due to your own moral objections, that is your choice, but is it really right to push that morality off on other people? I could understand if you were objecting to people breaking the law (I do too), but this is a legal practice.

  9. theboeskool says:

    You’re missing the point of the blog. I think you should read it again.

    I am not interested in what pierces what, or how a 30 cal. machine gun is a certain class and a 50 cal. machine gun is something different…. Just because our government separates weapons into “classes” (that term is not in the 2nd Amendment–all it says is “arms”), does not suddenly solve the problem. And the Supreme court has been wrong plenty of times.

    My issue is basically this:
    1) Guns (especially handguns) are meant to kill people
    2) The Government, rightly, wants to make sure that only people who “deserve” to die are being killed (usually in big court cases).
    3) It doesn’t make sense to give everyone the right to use deadly force simply because they have kept a felony off their record.

    In handing out a death penalty in all other cases, there are all kinds of safeguards in place before the decision is made to take a life–this makes sense, as taking a life is a permanent thing, and you don’t want to get it wrong. That is not the case with guns. No felony? Here’s your killing tool. There is nothing in the 2nd Amendment that mentions felons not being able to bear arms. There is also nothing in todays laws that make sure that the people with the guns are part of a “well-regulated militia.”

    The Government doesn’t want innocent people being put to death. The Government also doesn’t want innocent people being put in prison. The legal system is set up so that is would be better to let 1000 guilty people go free than condemn 1 innocent person. With a system like this in place, it wouldn’t make sense to let every non-felon have their own jail at their house where they could imprison people who have committed crimes. Nor should they have little electric chairs. So why do we interpret the 2nd Amendment as every man’s “right” to carry highly concealable killing implements almost everywhere they go?

    Sorry, dude–I appreciate your passion and your knowledge, but it just doesn’t make logical sense.

  10. theboeskool says:

    Again, it’s not the legality that I dispute. It’s the logic.

  11. smith says:

    How is your argument logical at all? Your tone changed quite a bit in that last post. I did read your blog, hence the reason I mentioned what I did. You are not making an argument on logical grounds, but personal feelings and your own morality. As far as logical grounds, it is logical for a human being to defend themselves if attacked. You don’t seem to get the fact that it is legal to carry if you take the right steps. You also dispute what the Supreme Court has to say. Do you only agree with the court when it has feelings that follow your own political agenda? How about Brown vs. Board of Ed, were they wrong there too? As far as the court’s decision, they went back over years of gun cases and made the decision based on legal precedent set in this country for the last 200+ years. Just because you don’t like the wording doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hold water. As far as what will shoot through what, it is very important and part of the reason that myself and people like me question gun legislation. The people who try and write the laws to govern us don’t know what they are talking about. That is the reason I got so technical. There was even a push to ban all ammunition that was capable of putting a hole through armor. I mentioned why that was a problem already.

    Back to your comment concerning firearms classes. You didn’t read the law. The law gives a legal definition of a firearm (that pesky ARMS clause in the 2nd amendment) That definition includes a MACHINE GUN. According to the 2nd amendment, the right to bear arms should not be infringed. Gun bans of any type are unconstitutional and were knocked down under the 1934 National Firearms Act. That is the reason the worst they could do was implement a tax on class III firearms. You lumped bazookas and nuclear arms together with guns. The government makes distinctions between them and guns for a reason.

    As far as the wording of the 2nd amendment, the militia in the 1700’s was mustered from the population at large. The requirement of a militia man was to own his own firearm. “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Notice they didn’t say “The right of the militia shall not be infringed.” It was intentional. You don’t have a problem with free speech, but for some reason the language when applied to the 2nd amendment is “ancient and cryptic.”

    Lets go back to your issues-
    1) Guns (especially handguns) are meant to kill people
    2) The Government, rightly, wants to make sure that only people who “deserve” to die are being killed (usually in big court cases).
    3) It doesn’t make sense to give everyone the right to use deadly force simply because they have kept a felony off their record.

    1. I have one thing to say- 2012 Summer Olympics. There is a pistol event and some of the best pistol shooters in the world will compete. I guarantee that their pistols will not be used to kill anyone. I possess more than a few pistols, none of which has ever been used to kill anyone. Shooting a pistol is fun, hence the reason it is one of my hobbies. There are also lots of people who use pistols and revolvers for hunting in areas where rifles are not allowed due to fears of over travel.
    2. Who really deserves to die? I don’t even think that people who are FORCED to use deadly force think that the people who they have to shoot want to do it. Did I mention that I am anti-death penalty? Well I am. The death penalty only fulfills one thing-societies need for revenge. If I ever have to use a firearm to defend myself, it would truly be one of the darkest days of my life. Also, if they prove in a court of law that you were seeking revenge if you used a firearm for self-defense. you would be brought up for 1st degree murder charges.
    3. Does it make sense to have laws on the books that don’t protect people who are forced to defend themselves? I was in Chicago (actually Englewood) a few weeks ago and the cab driver I was with pointed to a corner store with police tape around it. He told me that the man who owned the store was almost pistol whipped to death by a man who was robbing him. He actually left him for dead. I responded that if the store owner could have used a gun to defend himself, it may have made a difference. The driver responded “That is illegal here.” Does that even make sense? And by the way, it was right across the street from a police camera on a telephone pole. I asked about that and the driver said that the criminals just hide their faces. Where are the torrents of blood in the street promised by the Brady Campaign and other groups due to concealed carry? We had four instances in my area that involved people using CCW’s to defend themselves. In two of the incidents, the perpetrators came in shooting and were killed by the store owner. Were those store owners wrong to shoot people who were trying to kill them? Would it have been better for the felons who possessed the guns illegally to kill the store owner? I personally threatened to shoot a meth addict who was going to bludgeon my neighbor to death with a sledge hammer. If I had stood by and watched as a man high on drugs beat my neighbor to death with a hammer; would that have been logical or moral?

    If you don’t want to possess a firearm based on moral grounds, that is fine for you. For me or others, that may not be the case. It doesn’t make us less enlighten then you and it sure doesn’t make us less educated. I am rather disappointed. I found your blog because of your views on religion, but couldn’t let this one rest due to the tone of your original piece. I am educated, anti organized religion and just happen to be a gun guy. Get over the stereotypes you have created in your life concerning what you view as uneducated gun owners.

    In closing, you do not know what you are talking about “Dude.” You seem rather defensive when a smart “Gun Guy” portrays himself in a manor that refutes what you say on both moral and legal grounds and knows what he is talking about. You rant on and on and imply that gun owners are stupid, morally corrupt people who are trigger happy. I have never had so much as a parking ticket EVER. You attack firearms that you have no knowledge of whatsoever based on how they look. You don’t even understand what makes a firearm work, but you seem to think that a machine, a hunk of steel is going to cause someone to go on a killing spree. You mention banning AP ammo and you don’t even know what AP AMMO IS. Before you write a blog on a subject, you should research it and avoid using stereotypes that may inflame your audience and turn them completely off to your point of view. Well, I guess we do have the ‘religion thing’ in common.

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