Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Feedback on the gun thing

Not that I'm anti-guns, but I live in a country where we aren't allowed them, with the small exception of hunting type shotguns, underwhich very strict licensing exists (including inspection of where they're kept by an officer of the law).

The biggest difference I can think of, certainly in society here, between cars and guns is that while cars can be misused to cause harm, they are by and large useful things.

Guns however are much much less so. Sure, in certain situations they are useful, but by and large day to day, I don't think to myself "Boy, wish I had a gun".

That said, society over here is different. I've not had a gun, so don't miss it.

The above comment was posted yesterday by an anonymous reader. I'm reposting it here to address his points.

Guns, by and large, are "useful things." Americans use firearms over a million times each year to thwart a crime. The vast majority of the time, the gun isn't even fired. Merely brandishing it at the criminal convinces him that being somewhere else would be more healthy.

Cars are misused in the US much more frequently than guns. Two words: drunk driving.

I may not a need a firearms every day to defend myself, but if I do need it, I need it. Just like fire insurance on my house. Additionally, the fact that a population is armed is a deterrent to tyrannical government and genocide.

Aside from these serious uses for firearms, they have plenty of recreational uses. There are many different kinds of competitive shooting sports, many of which are Olympic events. There's informal target shooting. There is hunting, both for subsistence and recreation. In Pennsylvania alone there are over 1 million deer hunters. Deer hunting is such a part of Pennsylvania's culture that much of the state shuts down on opening day of buck season. (Just think of the impact on the economy if the sales of hunting-related equipment ceased.)

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