The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.
It is a part of nature that every animal tries to survive. It is also a part of nature that in order to survive, every creature must consume
other life, be it animal or plant.
It is also a fact that certain species are more susceptible to using violence in order to acquire food. Primarily, this violence is an inherent
quality of those we call predators. Such creatures will always use violent means in order to survive, as long as they remain predators.
That's just nature, and it is not subject to ideology, legality, or politics. Nature, like physics, transcends such.
Humans are an inherently violent species. We are predators, although technically omnivores rather than carnivores. That, however, is not the only
thing that is unique about our species; we are also capable of forethought and reason. It is this trait that I believe leads to our problems with
Instead of competing to survive, we compete to 'win'. While one may walk calmly past a satiated lion in relatively little danger, a human will seize
an opportunity to provide for the future. We hoard; we try to improve our lot in life by placing ourselves in a position of superiority to others; we
search for pleasure, even when such pleasure comes at the high price of hurting others in our own species. Such is the nature of the human animal.
War is a logical extension of such traits. And in the broadest sense, war can be applied to more than standing armies; a simple crime of violence can
be thought of logically as a small war. A burglar robbing a house is at war with the owner of the things he steals, in order ot provide for himself at
their expense. A rapist is at war with his victim, in order to acquire a feeling inside himself at the victim's expense. The guy racing down the
highway at ridiculous speeds is at war with those around him, in order to conserve his time at their possible expense.
The man who shoots another human is definitely at war with his victim.
The gun as a choice of weapon is simply a matter of efficiency and convenience. In its most basic form, a gun is nothing more than a way to launch a
projectile. It is not the fact that a projectile is launched that does the damage; rather it is the direction and intended usage of that projectile
that becomes dangerous. Before guns, there were swords. Before swords there were knives. Before knives, there were spears. Before spears, there were
sharp sticks. before sharpened sticks, there were clubs. Before clubs there were rocks. Before rocks there was teeth.
There will always be weapons. It is possible to kill another human with a plastic dinner fork. It is possible to do extreme damage to another human
with a car key. It is possible to murder in cold blood with an ink pen or pencil.
Should a law be passed tomorrow that made every gun in the world illegal, and if a massive effort were to be undertaken to round up all the guns in
the world, and if that effort would succeed, there would still be guns. I have the capability right now to make a gun from pieces of steel. It might
not be an AK-47, but it could use gunpowder to launch a projectile: a gun.
Taking away my tools would not work either. I could create new tools to build a less advanced gun without my present tools. Now multiply that by 6
billion people, all who have the capability to do the same thing, and you have an impossible task to remove all guns, much less all weapons.
The same tools that make a gun can also moake a car, a TV, a computer case, a robot, or a home appliance. Banning tools equals banning all the modern
conveniences of society, even if it could be done. It would mean no more homes with climate control, no more electronics, no more transportation
(unless one rode another animal), no more refrigeration, no more stores... it would mean no more society.
And all that would do nothing to prevent sharpened sticks, or clubs, or rocks, or teeth....
No, the only way to reduce abuse of weapons is to reduce the perceived need to use them. That can be accomplished by giving people the opportunity to
provide for themselves within the bounds of civilized society (as in via a good-paying job or the opportunity to have their own business) or it may be
accomplished by making the abuse of weaponry counter-productive to survival (as in making it easier for people to protect themselves from would-be
criminals). Both of these attempts are difficult due to the politics of control of others; the former because our present society is at the mercy
economically to greedy politicians, and the latter because the weapons are blamed for the problems rather than the true source of the problem: an
imbalance of power.
More guns (in law-abiding hands) = less crime. That is a proven fact, proven time and time again by different local societies. It is no accident that
the same areas of the US which have strict gun laws are the same ones which have the bulk of gun crime. Rural areas, on the other hand, typically are
areas where almost everyone has a gun, yet the crime rates are far far lower than in the former example.
I close with a statement once told to me by a friend:
Your will is your weapon; your gun is your tool.
As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.