This is kind of relevant, and I am board as hell so I thought I would bring this back a bit. I was going threw the news, and read something somewhat similar to the theater incident, a boy in China, that is a 17 year old boy, killed 8 people with "just a knife", injuring 13 in all. That is more then most shooting cases, so logically I put that we ban all knives. After all, what purpose do knives have other then cutting?
What? Orion, are you nuts? I thought I'd taught you better.
Of course gun control is a moral issue. It HAS to be a moral issue. I have said this multiple times, but it bares repeating: all political issues are moral issues. Political philosophy is a subset of moral philosophy. Any political opinion, including the age-old poorly-thought-out line "don't force your morals on other people" is an ethical point of view, held for ethical reasons.
This is because of the is-ought fallacy. Let's do a hypothetical: let's say that it was 100% objectively proven that gun control strictness and violent crime had a causal relationship. To say that guns should be regulated or not so as to reduce that crime is a moral view. There is no objective and rational way to actually reach the conclusion that any steps should be taken to reduce crime. "If we do X, then fewer people will be killed" is a perfectly logical induction given sufficient evidence. Here's where it ceases to be rational: "therefore, we should do X." Why? Why should we do X? Because fewer people will die. So what? Who cares? Why should that inform our laws? There is no deductive or rational answer, only ethical answers. Orion's argument that his views are objective conclusions is based upon the belief that reducing violent crime ought to be worked towards, which is an ethical view most people hold.
Some of us don't, however. We have seen arguments that guns should be restricted because they are made for violence, and using them is wrong. These sorts of arguments are almost universally put forth by people with no actual understanding of guns and their use. They simply don't get that anyone could care about firearms and shooting in a meaningful way.
So now I'll weigh in a bit: my ethical view does not conform to the "reduce crime is our main/only goal" stereotype. First, allow me to say that I think reducing crime is a good thing, and that statistical analysis will reveal that gun control and crime are positively correlated. I believe greater firearm freedom decreases crime.
However, there are other issues at stake. I'm a diehard liberal as you all know, and I believe, fundamentally, that civil rights should not be restricted without a very convincing reason. Even if guns increased crime (which again, they don't) I'd still be against gun control, because it is a largely arbitrary restriction of freedom. Crime isn't really caused, primary, by guns or a lack of guns. It's caused by wealth stratification and sociology-economic factors, for the most part. No gun control law has ever affected crime in any way remotely close to the results of Roe vs. Wade. Simply put, blaming guns for crimes is just another way of confusing the masses as "the Man" shoves money in his pocket.
And of all civil rights, guns do a lot to empower the population. Gun freedom reduces the gap in power between civilians and governing agencies, which I think is a good thing. Gun rights is just as important as freedom of speech in maintaining ideal governmental structure to me. If we ever developed some utopian society ruled without question by an infallible machine, this balance of power would cease to be important, but really, as long as there are two people left on this earth, balancing power will be important.
So for the above reasons, I disagree with Orion's proposition to impose greater restrictions on handguns. First, I don't think that such restriction would affect violent crime. Second, handguns are an important category for self-defense, and restricting them would cut off that category.
Let me address another argument: "no one really needs guns!" This argument deserves special mention for being one of the most actively idiotic and arbitrarily totalitarian arguments, not just on this issue, but in all of existence. Let's apply it to other things: "no one really needs gay marriage. Therefore we should make it illegal." "No one needs videogames. Let's ban them." "You don't need a chair. So we shouldn't sell them to anyone under 21." Why? What's the point of giving out only the civil rights one needs to survive? Civil rights should be granted unless there is a reason not to. The burden of proof is on you to supply a reason why civil rights should be restricted.
This applies to the good ol' "no one needs a rocket launcher" argument. Personally, I have no interest in firing a rocket launcher and I doubt many people do, but in principle, the right to own and operate one safely should not be infringed without adequate reason. It just seems like a good idea, because rocket launchers are so extreme that people will just assume they're bad and treat the concept of civilian ownership as preposterous, even without any remotely defensible for holding such a view.
Speaking of views like that, it makes me both laugh and cry when people support the disarming and disenfranchisement of convicted felons. No, they do not "deserve" it. No, they are not significantly more likely to commit violent crimes. The poor treatment of criminals is just another way of systematically marginalizing and oppressing a population so that the innocent majority can have a larger slice of the pie, hidden, even from the perpetrators of such theft, under the pretense of some barbaric conception of justice.
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