Thursday, 5 October 2017

Question of the Day: "A war on guns will give us..." ?

"A war on poverty got us more poverty. The war on drugs got us more drugs. A war on guns will give us..." ~ Austin Peterson


  1. War on Guns is such an emotive term.

    Why don't we use a more rational description:

    Treat guns as the dangerous instruments that they are, requiring common sense measures such as licencing, competency testing, storage requirements, user education requirements, and regulating the availability of certain particularly dangerous models and features *

    Sure, it doesn't quite roll off the tongue, and it requires the use of one's brain to engage with, rather than a knee jerk emotive response.

    But surely that should be the point of this debate.

    Note: I also strongly feel that this is an American debate, as it is they who would have to live with the consequences. New Zealand already has common sense restrictions in place, which is why we have massively reduced numbers of gun related deaths. This relative safety is one of the reasons I live here, and I assume the same goes for you.

    * Before you point out that none of these would have stopped the Vegas killer, let me do that for you: None of this would stop a dedicated killer hellbent on taking lives. No regulation would. However, gun regulation goes beyond the big mass shootings. Gun violence accounts for ~15,000 deaths in the US per year, including ~50 people who get shot by toddlers every year. Once again, this is a US decision, but those are not consequences I would want to live with. To each his own, I guess.

    1. I agree. We recently had an ex-policeman at my house for 3 hours interviewing both myself and my wife (separately) for the renewal of my gun licence, which is required every 10 years. He asked very personal and probing questions, but always in a respectful way. I have no problems with this on a philosophical level, but I expect many Americans would. If I want to own and use something that's potentially dangerous to others, I don't mind having to demonstrate I'm a fit and proper person. It's a pain, but only having to do it every 10 years is not overly demanding.

      On the other hand this ex-cop did relate several stories during his interview about near death experiences with criminals with firearms. I asked him whether those criminals had licences. He admitted that generally they didn't, and that he accepted that it was only law abiding citizens like myself who did.

      I guess that leaves me agreeing with neither side in this polarised debate.

  2. I can understand some brainwashed American dumbass making this argument.

    But Peter, you enjoy the common sense gun regulations of NZ. The chances of you getting shot at a concert are virtually zero, yet you're arguing in favour of the US status quo? You must be a special kind of stupid.

  3. May I suggest all you gentlemen read the article linked to in the post above this one, i.e., in the 'Question of the Day: 'What share of its legal monopoly on the use of force should the government share with its citizens?''
    I believe it makes clear that 'both sides' have already framed their debate incorrectly.


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