I started shooting at the age of 6: BB guns, pellet guns, then graduated to a .22. At the age of 13 I was hunting, carrying a .308 rifle with a scope. I have fired long guns, shotguns, and handguns. I enjoyed using guns.
But other than “pleasure” I really had absolutely no use for a weapon designed only to kill or injure. None. I quit hunting and had no use for any kind of gun at all, other than “i want to own them”. I finally graduated to “there is no reason to have these, and my place might be robbed while I’m away and then they would be in the hands of criminals.” So I got rid of them.
This is the 21st century, not the 19th. In a supposedly civilized society there is no reason for anyone other than the military to have weapons that can kill or injure. The argument that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is specious and designed to avoid the actual issue: people use guns to kill people.
There is no “answer” to eliminating violence – human beings will always engage in violence if only because a certain percentage of us are either maladjusted or simply insane. There is an answer to curbing gun violence and that is get rid of the guns! Gun violence is the #1 way to murder people in the U.S., and in particular the #1 way to murder large numbers of people.
To those who say: “They’ll get illegal guns”
Obvious answer: Not if making them is illegal as well. We don’t need handgun and assault rifle manufacturers if no one is supposed to have them. Hunting weapons can be manufactured and designed so they are ill-suited to perpetrating massacre (the simple limitation on magazine capacity to three rounds, and a minimum length to make them unconcealable would do). Obviously weapons would still be made for the military (and kept secure and out of the hands of the public).
To those who say: “They’ll use a knife”
Obvious Answer: Yes, but it is doubtful the person in the recent Aurora, Colorado theater attack would have murdered 12 and wounded 50 with a knife. A knife serves another purpose: you can use it to make dinner. A gun serves no other purpose than to kill.
To those who say: “But people need guns to hunt”
Obvious Answer: They don’t need guns when they aren’t hunting. Register your long gun and have it kept in a secure place, where you must tell authorities you are “checking it out”. This can be handled through the fee for hunting licenses.
The best “you can’t get rid of guns” argument is the fact there are more guns in the U.S. than people, in private hands right now. It will take decades to gather and remove them all. If we arrest and prosecute everyone who has an illegal weapon we will choke our justice system. For this practical reason we should confiscate weapons without arrest or prosecution, and track the identity of those who have weapons taken from them just as we track convicted child molesters.
Eventually, with no private guns being produced domestically, and importation banned and made a crime, most of the weapons that people are carrying around (and there are millions and millions of these) will be removed from society. Others will be willingly turned-in by their owners. Others will sit in closets and attics and rust. The goal is to reduce the number of weapons available for use in crime to a fraction of what it is now. Nothing is absolute or perfect, but just a simple expedient like seat belts has saved countless lives, banning handguns and controlling long guns will save countless lives.
No one in the Unites States of America who lives in a place that has electricity and running water needs to possess a gun. Not one single person. Even law enforcement can use non-lethal means to control people if they know the chances of someone having a gun are almost nonexistent.
All arguments in favor of gun ownership are irrelevant in the face of this argument against it: the only purpose a gun can be used for is to injure or kill. It has no other use. All arguments in favor of gun ownership come down to “but I want to own them.”
Perhaps, but I don’t want you to. One day America will abandon “the right to bear arms” because it is no longer supportable in a civilized society.