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Guns

A series of posts on gun control.

6/04/2004 (Some revisions made on the 21st of Novermeber, 2008. Blog posts below this one have not been altered since last posted, though they may be somewhat different from their original versions.)

Firearms

First, I will lay out my basic philosophy on the topic, then, in general terms, address some counter arguments which might be made in response.

My philosophy is simple: Individual right of self defense against intended harm supercedes the risk to the general welfare of the public, including as the consequence of both the lawful and unlawful uses of firearms.

Now to attempt to address some of the counter arguments which might be made.

Total or major banishment and restriction of  firearms has succeeded in multiple countries, and has lowered their crime rates.

Re: As I said, I am being general in my contentions, and, as this is issue of principle and morality for me, even if such statistics are true, they really would not dissuade me away from my beliefs on the matter. Also, it is fair to ask whether or not those supposed successes can be achieved in the Unites States by the same, or similar, means used to achieve them, as claimed, in other countries, and whether it would be appropriate to attempt them, whether or not the chances of success are high. The strongest point to be made for firearm control is the presumptive benefit to society it might bring, by virtue of the inherent nature of most people to be law abiding, one hopes. But it is also inherent in people that they will remain true to their nature, good or bad. I will grant that firearm control can succeed. I wish tranquil times to all societies who have chosen to strictly limit or ban the ownership of firearms, but not every society is guaranteed such success, which may not be possible, as the character of their respective people is not assured to be good and lawful.

But you virtually acknowledged that firearm control can lessen the overall crime rate, and that’s a good thing, right?

Re: That is true. Part of my objection, though, is with the the insistence that a person must be reliant on the ableness of his community, his neighbors, the local police, etc, when they cannot always be relied upon, and when defensive, life saving aid from them is not always viable to expect. And intent matters greatly to me. I know this may sound cruel, like my priorites are backwards, but if it comes down to a man’s right to use deadly force, or the threat thereof, in protection of his person and family, et al, I will always put that above the children slain as the alleged consequence of having a firearms culture.

But the firearm culture is the problem. It helps keep in place an endless cycle of violence.

Re: Which also causes one to ask to who would benefit if strict firearm control were enacted. Would violent people become peacable because of it? Not likely. From a strategic standpoint, and that of safety, in some cases, firearms are preferrable because of they’re superiority against most other weapons, so a weak person may be wise in having a gun ready against a person not armed the same way, and could be balanced against persons whom are. But, most importantly, It is not the obligation of intended victims to be weaker than those assaulting them.

Firearms don’t often work in common situations.

Re: That’s probably more often the result of human error, which is an inescapable part of life. And we can apply the potential risk of human error not only to a would be victim’s use of a firearm, but to his attacker’s as well. But It can e error and circumstance which affords a person the opportunity to use his gun defensively. In other words, situations are not the same, nor are their end results. A firearm’s capacity for defensive and offensive purposes is soundly assumed by its design. Since the situational circumstances that could preclude its effectiveness are inconstant, that soundness of use remains valid, albeit not in all cases. Still, some greater capability to defend oneself is better than none.

PS. At some later date I might address this issue further.

———————————————
1/22/2005
Firearms 2
Earlier today I was told that what I need to understand about the gun control debate comes from understanding the effects of deaths by gun misuse on children. I was told that I need to investigate such tragedies. The implication being, that if I understood on that level, I would be an advocate for stricter gun control. Such a presumption is wrong. I submit that my own presumption of myself is as valid as those which anyone else make of me.
———————————————–

8/21/2005

Yet another incessant firearms debate

 

Yes, I saw another one, and I posted the following there first.

I call these the 7 sinful points.

1. As far as guns having the only purpose of killing. In some cases, good.

2. I am interested in a full refutation of why a gun can never be effective for individual defense, not situational statistics that have yet to disprove a simple, and basic fact: Guns are within their physical capacity to effect the desired out come of self preservation and the defeat, and yes that might mean death, of an assailant.

3. Yes or no, is distance and power considered a standard for most good strategem?

4. Situations which are variable cannot disprove the validity of my effectiveness claim. If one sites that a merchant with a gun is likely to be killed by the armed robber, he first admits it is not a guarantee, and he second confirms that the situation does not totally preclude the merchant from having the possibility of using his gun to save his life. The merchant’s right to a firearm cannot be measured by the improbability of its effectiveness, since that improbability is not an absolute, making preventing his ownership of a gun on that basis unfair.

5. Self defense against intended harm does preclude consequences from the use of the means in question, guns, of that defense. Persons whom are confronted with a threat to themselves are not morally bound to give up a means of defense solely on the basis that society might be harmed by his gun or the guns of other persons, for which he has no responsibility for.

6. It is relevant and true that the police cannot be everywhere. And There might not be certainty of even the obligation of police to aid people, let alone to try to prevent harm to them. And that obligation, to be carried to its arguable necessity, would entail granting powers that would have the same effect of a police state, that of constant and large presence, which might be good or bad, depending on a populace’s relations with their police and other police, and allowing constant searches for a very hard to predict event, I presume, unless someone knows when all violent crimes occur.

7. Superiority and balance of force does not make one immoral.

Iterating again old contentions I have made, though maybe the phrasing has some slight differences.

I am right. Period.

—————

 

My view on guns comes from a belief in the right of self defense against intended harm and the capacity of guns vs. all other lesser tools/weapons to meet the needs of that right.

While it is terrible that many die because of gun use, it does not supersede a right of self defense, the necessity of which is situational and can therefor not be disproven. Nor can the effectiveness of guns in the practice of self defense be disproven. In both cases, there is a human element to consider.

Gun ownership should have some restrictions. But what kind is another debate.

It was also suggested that homes with children should not have guns in them, but that is unfair. In the first place, because it would take a round about way to attempting automatic mass gun banishment, and in the second place, because, instead of restrictions based on personal competence, or proof of a lack of it, it is a restriction that presupposes incompetence. Again, we return to the human element. In order to accept the application of a statistic on the dangers of gun ownership in homes with children, it must first be accepted that those human elements which largely contribute to disrespecting those dangers are inherent and unavoidable. I do not accept those as universal constants.

Va Tech and the gun control debate

I’m not going to speak about whether or not guns should’ve been more readily available to Va Tech campus security, etc. In fact, I’m going to go no further on that than to say I’m pro gun. Because there’s a time and a place for such discussions. The massacre at Va Tech doesn’t have to be a distant memory, it never shall be for too many, but at least a few days should pass before paranoid appearing bickering about there being “too many guns,” or about them “taking your guns away” starts. Unfortunately, it hasn’t. I understand the public tendency to grow deaf to issues not “relevant” to current events, but it’s still rather amoral to make the focus more about what could happen in some hypothetical, than about what must be done. As far as I’m concerned, learning how many were involved with the Va Tech shootings is more important than pre-empting pro and anti gun positions on the incident.

Europe, et al, on America’s gun culture

As should be expected, the Virginia Tech massacre has resumed the gun debate. Of course those in Europe, often critical of the US’s gun culture, have weighed in, as is their right.

But a right does not guarantee a person uncritical tolerance, and I cannot give it to Europe on one very important, for me at least, issue: We, the US, are not uncivilized, barbaric, nor are we inferior to you because we have a large amount of guns, or so much, as it is seen, gun related crime.
I am tired of this simple understanding of what civilized is. The conceit is appalling, and the irony is staggering. Civilized is not something only measured by consequences, it is also defined with respectful consideration of the rights of individuals, of the principles of self reliance, self defense, and trust in the populace of a nation to act well toward itself. If civilized can be defined by results, than near any method can be seen as just, so long as it is presented well enough. The irony is in the greater self reliance on neighbor and government that is consequential to more restrictive gun laws, when such trust in US government is so often seen as American naiveness.

Sadly, many in Europe and elsewhere do not respect the underlying principles of why people own guns, or support others owning them. The issue is not about agreeing with gun ownership, it is about understanding it, and not putting people down with sanctimonious, too often erroneous, assumptions about their culture and why they believe in what they do.
I have always tried to make some effort to be fair, but there is only so much I can take. Europe, et al, you have never been, nor shall you ever be, more civilized than me, and my country’s gun culture does not prove you right. To believe to the countrary is to prove you arrogant.

How I pretend to think: Gay marriage and guns examples

What I try to let guide my views on public issues are the following.

My sincerity of interest.

My sincerity of empathy.

Comparison of consequences.

Individual rights.

Honesty.

Fairness.

Humbleness.

The merits of others’ contentions.
Etc.

So, because I see no reason to fear them, don’t believe any religion has the privilege of owning the definition of the inherently social institution of marriage, I see no rational reason to fear gays or be against them marrying, and feel no aversion to it, therefor, gays should be allowed to get married, the state should recognize it, and those opposed should be ashamed for absurdly thinking they own something so intrinsically natural as marriage, and admit to being paranoid.

Because I believe the right of the individual to defend himself against inteded harm, and because I believe guns to be an objective means of defense, noting the variation of circumstances, I see a person’s right to use one to effect his defense as superior to the right of a bystander against bodily harm against a more hypothetical or indirect threat. Put most simply and bluntly, I have the right to defend myself with one if I see it as necessary, even if I endanger others.

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