I’ve waited a few days to let not only my own passions cool, but those of others as well. I always find it sad that the only time we can have a discussion on gun control is after a tragedy like the shootings in Colorado, or even Toronto’s own bloodsoaked week. The main problem is, in the wake of these events, passions run high, and critical thinking seems to run low. Those who are “anti-gun” propose massive changes, bans, and (in the USA) the complete repeal of the second amendment. The “pro-gun” side hears these calls, and responds back with equally outrageous claims that no gun anywhere should ever be restricted.
Destroying the “ban all guns” argument is easy enough. The % of people who misuse guns is very low compared to total owners, and while the UK might not have a thriving hunting community, we here in North America do. I grew up around guns, and people who hunt, and if anything it makes you understand better that a gun is NOT a toy.
Now, the arguments for why no gun should be restricted are often as crazy as they are varied. (I’m yet to hear a solid argument in favour of ZERO restrictions. Probably because only idiots and the insane would claim that)
But lets look at some of the most common:
1: “I Need it for Protection” (Personal)
Ok? Protection from what exactly? If we are talking protecting a home, a rifle/shotgun is MORE than sufficient to deter burglars. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be loaded! Who is going to call you bluff looking down the barrel of a 12 gauge? If we are talking “out on the streets” protection, I have news for you: This isnt the 1850s, and You are not Billy the fucking Kid. If someone is going to rob you with a gun, they’ll already have it drawn, and pointed at you. At this point, trying to draw your own gun is suicide. AT BEST you’re going to get shot. And that fucking hurts. A LOT.
2: “I need it for Protection from the Government/for Armed Insurrection”
Ok, this one I hear a lot. It also bothers me the most. I am a hunter. I’m a good shot, know how to handle, maintain, and use a wide range of shotguns, rifles, and accessories. I am also not delusional enough to think this puts me on par with the fucking military. Many seem to believe this is also the best reason for allowing automatic and high powered weapons. As if owning a Browning .50 rifle meant they were automatically as good with it as the guys who train with their weapons EVERY SINGLE DAY. Further, even if by some fluke I managed to repel a group of soldiers coming to arrest me/take my guns/whatever… it’s only a matter of time before they send better soldiers. And better. And then tanks and APCs if needed. Hell, if it got to that point, there are Apache attack choppers, or fighter planes.
The next time someone suggests this as a “good” reason for owning large weapons, maybe point out to them how easily the US Military tore through Iraq. And that was fighting another fully trained, decently armed, military force, with its own aircraft, tanks, and support.
This isn’t nearly as much of a problem in canada as people seem to either be more sane, or (more likely) the idiots are just quieter.
Fact is, guns have uses. But we need laws to keep SOME people (you know, the dangerous ones) from owning guns, and there is NO REASON why a civilian requires military hardware.