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January 03, 2006

Comments

Owning guns is indeed a civil liberties issue -- just like owning cars or other forms of property.

However you talk about it how it makes "sense" to own guns -- when it really doesn't. Guns are almost always more likely to do harm than good.

If you want to make the world a better place, sell your guns, and give the $300 to UNICEF.

Any firearm is like any other tool. Used properly and safely, it can be fun. But like any tool, some idiots abuse them.

My firearms are for target shooting, and for home self defense. Break into my house (castle) and you might be seriously hurt or dead. Then 12 people can decide my fate instead of 6 people carrying me to my grave.

When UNICEF or the local law enforcement people can eliminate all the druggies, lowlifes, etc that would rather hurt someone, steal from someone, then yes, I could see some weapons being illegal. Drunk driving kills more than guns do, so why don't you outlaw vehicles?

And I do not nor have I ever been associated with the NRA.

I agree with your article and am also among the gun bearing liberals or progressives as it seems to be called today. I had my first rifle at 12 and learned how to use it properly.

My daughter and her husband are hunters who eat the meat (I have no sympathy with trophy hunting). They one time, just to have the experience, killed a deer, skinned and butchered it themselves. They are also gun owning liberals. I think letting ordinary citizens own assault rifles is wrong; but for the rest-- handguns to rifles, I'm all for it. As for whether it's needed. I hope never but I sleep better knowing I have a .357 and know how to use it. When my grandkids come around, all guns get unloaded and put into the gun safe.

The 'bad' guys will not turn in their weapons if all were confiscated tomorrow and anyone who thinks they will forgot that they are already breaking laws. What's one more?

I have a shotgun, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a rural house in Oregon that wasn't armed. Predators aren't going to leave my livestock alone just because I ask them nicely, be they coyotes or irresponsible-owner-dogs. I think law-abiding citizens should be able to own guns. I agree the NRA gun safety programs do a good job. I think the Oregon concealed-handgun permit program is fine.

Most guns owners in Oregon are law-abiding and never cause any violence or accidents their whole lives. The very small percentage that do cause problems, principally those in urban inner cities which up until the last few decades never had a tradition or a use for gun ownership, generate all the bad statistics that the rabid anti-guns types like to quote over and over.

The key problem the the NRA's political position, and those of Lars Larson and all the other right-wing wackos, is they believe the 2nd amendment is intended to guard the "citizenry" against "government tyranny". In other words, say you get into a legal dispute with the government. Now you, me, and most Americans acknowledge that we're a democracy, are governed by the rule of law, and are no longer a British colony fighting for independence. If you are in a legal dispute, you go to court. If federal agents come to arrest you, you put up your hands, hire Johnny Concoran, Jerry Spence, or whoever, and fight your battle in court. When you win, you sue the government and get a book deal.

But this isn't what Lars and company believes. The NRA maintains that the 2nd amendment means you have the option to declare any dispute with the government as "government tyranny", and you have the right to "defend yourself". In other words, to shoot and kill any government agent that attempts to arrest you. That's why Randy Weaver and David Koresh are such heroes to the Lars crowd.

This position precludes any sensible gun ownership system, such as those that exist in other countries with high gun ownership levels like Canada and Switzerland. it means that ownership must be completely anonymous; if licensing or any other such system existed, some government paper trail of ownership would exist, and that scares the h*ll out of the "government tyranny" paranoids. They'd rather have a system that allows criminals, terrorists, and mentally unstable people unlimited access to firearms.

Well, most of what I would have said seems to have been covered. So I'll just say this. I have no problem with guns. I have never owned one. I just had a air rifle when I was a teenager. I never shot an animal nor would I want to. Like Allen said, firearms are tools, nothing more. I could just as easily use a screwdriver to hurt someone (ok, I admit, a gun *would* be easier). My problems with them are: 1) I don't like hunting OR hunters. If they all shot themselves to extintion I'd be ok. 2) The idiots that have guns and leave them lying around at the reach of children.
Other than that, I'm fine with firearms. :-)

I don't expect anyone to read this, but a thought entered my mind this weekend about this subject (and thoughts rarely enter my mind). While my comments still stand, I would like to point out that unlike other "tools", guns are made for one purpose only, to shoot. And I don't think someone said "Hey, cool! I can now shoot this projectile and cause a lot of damage for......target practice! I've invented a new game!" Guns are made to kill. Bottom line. Yes, we created alternative shooting games, but the purpose of a gun is to kill. And that was my wonderful insight. Now the voices in my head are telling me to clean my AK-47. (This is a joke! In case I get in trouble for writing this).

[I got this email from Lorna and wanted to add it as a cogent comment about the pros of gun ownership--Brian]

I started handling guns at the age of 7, under expert supervision. I've trained many others over the years. Neither I, my supervisors, or any of those I trained, ever committed a gun crime, or had a gun accident. The only person I ever shot was a drugged out home invader who broke into my home and assaulted me. My motto is :

" It's better to have a gun, and not need it, than to need a gun, and not have it."

I'm alive, because I had a gun, and knew how to use it, the one time-in 48 years-that I really needed it. My Swiss ancestors would be proud, and I am alive, well, and thankful.

The anti-gunners can never make a similar claim...being alive because they did not have a gun in a time of need. It's something to think about.

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