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Bucket
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So it happens that I have some friends who fly the "guns don't kill people" banner during gun control discussions. I can pretty successfully disarm them, so to speak, with the "baby with a gun" defense. I'd like some other thoughts on the subject.

My assertion is that people who look at guns as innocuous objects are confusing and misrepresenting the issue just as much as the people they oppose. A gun is a tool used only for killing; that's the only function it serves*. It doesn't require intent to be a killing machine. If function and intent must be inseparable, then it must be proven by putting a gun in the hands of someone who couldn't possibly have murderous intent: say, a four-year-old child. It must be proven that a gun in the hands of a baby is not a killing machine.

I'm not debating child death statistics or the use of other objects as weapons, only that the "guns don't kill people" argument is illogical.

(* Sporting use is just pantomime for other violent acts. And besides, no one is trying to ban starter pistols here.)

Old Post 01-11-13 08:19 #
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Gez
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Even though I find the "guns don't kill people" thing risible, I don't think the "baby with a gun" defense is a good counterpoint: for example, airplanes are not designed to kill people, and yet I wouldn't trust a baby to pilot one.

Old Post 01-11-13 09:13 #
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Bucket
ROCK & LOAD
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I can certainly counterpoint that:

A baby in the pilot's seat has no intention to ferry the passengers safely to a specific destination. Needless to say, that won't happen.
A baby with a gun has no intention to shoot his sister in the face. But that may still happen.

Even without intent, a gun still has an essential function.

Last edited by Bucket on 01-11-13 at 09:20

Old Post 01-11-13 09:14 #
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DoomUK
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Bucket said:
A baby with a gun has no intention to shoot his sister in the face. But that may still happen.

That's called an accident. I'm trying not to make an analogy like the one Gez made, but there's lots of other situations where you could argue that something should be more regulated or shouldn't exist be because it could be accidentally used to kill or maim someone. The fact that a gun's primary function is killing people is incidental, if it's only accidentally used to kill someone.

Old Post 01-11-13 10:21 #
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Maes
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Bucket said:
It must be proven that a gun in the hands of a baby is not a killing machine.


The army beat you to it: most armies issue guns but not ammunition to their soldiers, depending on their level of trust, lest they turn against the wrong people at the wrong time. For the average conscript combat soldier, this often meant that ammo was issued only right before combat, and retrieved after the action. This way, even though they have "guns", they are effectively neutered until their COs say they are not. For reasons of prestige and discipline, only Officers could carry a gun + ammo at all times.

Let me assure you, "having a gun" under these terms becomes more of a chore, and any fantasies of being some sort of super-duper action hero just because you have one soon fade away, marred in a thousand of regulations, inspections, and obligations. To the point that when you're actually given ammo, you are much more concerned with not displeasing your COs (e.g. your rifle jamming due to negligence in maintenance) than smiling in glee because "you shoot stuff".

If you ever did sentry duty, you'll be surprised at how complex, anal and almost anti-gun the rules of engagement are. A sentry is really expected to only be able to fire a warning shot as the very last thing he does before he's overwhelmed by an enemy attack, so all rules of engagement are designed towards this: ammo is often kept separate from the rifle even when on duty, accessing it is made complex by SEWING ammo clips into a tight cloth bag, and even then the first 3 shots are blanks.

On the converse, e.g. cops, armoured car sentries and bodyguards go around with live ammo, AMIDST CIVILIANS one chambered, and NO blanks.

TL; DR: other than that, the "child with a gun" argument is pretty weak: it stumbles upon the grey area of improper weapons (tools whose primary purpose is not as weapons, but which can take up that role just fun). Enter "kid with a gunpowder-powered nail gun", "kid with a large kitchen knife", "kid with a chainsaw", "kid with a blinding laser pointer", "kid with a bottle of vitriol" etc. or even just "kid with a can of spray and a zippo lighter".

Oh and BTW, the role of a self-defense gun should be primarily one of deterrence against violent things/killings happening TO YOU ;-)

Last edited by Maes on 01-11-13 at 11:02

Old Post 01-11-13 10:56 #
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Technician
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I wish Americans would spend more time and money preserving every other liberty the government is slowly eroding away.

Old Post 01-11-13 12:16 #
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Gez
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The second half of the Second Amendment is the only thing that matters in the entire US Constitution, the rest is rubbish nonsense written by atheists and communists so it is rightfully ignored by true-blooded Americans.

Just look at 13th or 16th amendments. Shameful socialism!

Old Post 01-11-13 13:16 #
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exp(x)


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inb4 bbg

Old Post 01-11-13 14:26 #
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Phobus
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I keep reading the title of this thread as some sort of come-on :O

Old Post 01-11-13 14:44 #
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kristus
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Bucket said:
A gun is a tool used only for killing; that's the only function it serves*.

(* Sporting use is just pantomime for other violent acts. And besides, no one is trying to ban starter pistols here.)

As someone who used to do marksman shooting as a sport. I can very much attest to that this is not the case. Initially, of course for the excited youth it's about firing a gun. But once you get past that first excitement and get to the sport, firing the gun is merely a means to an end.

You enter a slippery slope when you make such generalizations, because you can just as easily switch that around and say that Doom is just pantomime for conducting other violent sets. Like a massacre, and while it might be partially true, and I would argue the point actually being more valid when it comes to playing video games like Doom than actual marksman shooting. It doesn't equate to it in any meaningful way.

Firing a gun at a circular target, with as much precision as humanly possible is all about control of your own body and mind, much in the same way that computer games are.

EDIT: Also, as far as the "guns are only made for killing". That's not true either. Just like with knives there are utilitarian guns, like a nail gun for instance. Sure, you can kill someone with it. Pretty gruesomely. But it's not made for it.

Also we got the guns I used for marksman shooting, none of those were made for anything but marksman shooting. Even if you did shoot with it at another person, they really wouldn't take any lethal damage from it. Would never try and do it of course, cause it would be dangerous and could cause some serious damage. But most unlikely would it be lethal.

Last edited by kristus on 01-11-13 at 14:57

Old Post 01-11-13 14:46 #
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david_a


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Yeah, the "guns are only for killing" statement is pretty dumb. You could kill someone with a $3000 Anschütz single-shot .22LR target rifle but it would make a pretty miserable offensive weapon. That gun is designed to kill paper.

I've noticed that US gun culture is a little more about 'fun' rather than utility; target shooting like what Kristus is talking about is fairly popular in Sweden but I haven't heard too much about it here in the US.


Even if you did shoot with it at another person, they really wouldn't take any lethal damage from it. Would never try and do it of course, cause it would be dangerous and could cause some serious damage. But most unlikely would it be lethal.

I do have to take issue with this, though. .22LR is easily capable of killing or causing severe wounds.

Old Post 01-11-13 16:18 #
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Maes
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david_a said:
I do have to take issue with this, though. .22LR is easily capable of killing or causing severe wounds.


Yup. Even if you go down the scale, e.g. Flobert "garden guns" or even some powerful airguns, it's kinda of a grey territory. Truth be said, you're much more likely to "just" wound someone (and possibly pissing them off) with such "weapons", than if you used a good ol'e kitchen knife or even a rock or a stick picked from the ground.

Old Post 01-11-13 16:23 #
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gggmork
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You can make the firing of a gun part of a Rube Goldberg machine. Even shooting a person could be part of that machine, all completely autonomous and innocent, then their blood could drain into a scale that eventually weighs enough to tip to continue the machine. In the baby case, the baby lacks much cognitive development (kind of like myself actually) to know what a gun is or what it does or any implications, so the responsibility would be on whichever adult to keep guns away just like using back burners on the stove so toddlers don't dump boiling water on themselves. Adults have cognitive ability, and government/cops are just adults in costumes who like to pretend the populace are infants and they are the adults. Really they hijack a primitive built in adult/child relationship behavior and use it against us. Similar to creating a man with a beard who sits in the sky, no wonder rulers have historically claimed to be holy with midi-chlorian links to gods or whatever.

Also, the elites surely have sophisticated astroturfing software. Surely they have infiltrated every forum with operatives and/or bots. Such aliases would likely have been planted long ago in order to build a reputation and seem legit. Its all a part of memetic warfare.

Old Post 01-11-13 17:06 #
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Maes
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gggmork said:
In the baby case, the baby lacks much cognitive development (kind of like myself actually) to know what a gun is or what it does or any implications


Similarly, you could place the finger of a baby on a button commanding a hydraulic press with someone underneath it....or switching off the flare in a refinery, and poisoning everybody around with HS gas within seconds....an "easy" action with deadly consequences. Truth be said, a handgun is among the most compact and standalone devices capable of such consequences.

But yeah, what you described pretty much can be summed up as "the monopoly of violence by the state". The only legitimate violence is the one exercised directly by the state, or otherwise regulated and authorised by the state.

Old Post 01-11-13 17:29 #
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kristus
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david_a said:
I do have to take issue with this, though. .22LR is easily capable of killing or causing severe wounds.
You basically echoing what I said though, only emphasizing thast it certainly can kill. But truth be told, my statement was based on ignorance, I really don't know what kind of damage a air gun or carbon dioxide gun would do. I've not delved into that territory before today.

Old Post 01-11-13 17:46 #
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Maes
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kristus said:
I really don't know what kind of damage a air gun or carbon dioxide gun would do. I've not delved into that territory before today.


Small birds and animals such as mice and lizard will almost certainly die if you hit them anywhere with a spring-loaded 4.5mm airgun.

Larger animals, they will only get wounded, often only temporarily disabled.

E.g. a dog or cat will limp for a few days, if you only aim at legs/shoulders and big muscles in general, but most breeds have tough skin and muscles that will stop penetration in some cases, and you'll only get some fur off. Don't ask how I know....

I suppose aiming for the eyes, the nose or for softer areas such as the stomatch would be more damaging, but even then, that would still not kill, at least not directly, but it would cause a lot of needless, prolonged suffering.

CO2 Pistols are usually weaker than any air rifle, and there are some high-powered and large caliber air-rifles (e.g. 5.5 mm, 6.5 mm, same as 22LR) that can do way more damage. Some can even penetrate (and exit) a standard oil drum using just a soft lead pellet. Now, considert that there are even steel-tipped saboted pellets...

Old Post 01-11-13 19:36 #
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Bucket
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Maes said:
The army beat you to it: most armies issue guns but not ammunition to their soldiers, depending on their level of trust, lest they turn against the wrong people at the wrong time.

Of course. You have to learn proper respect for the weapon and treat it like what it is.

TL; DR: other than that, the "child with a gun" argument is pretty weak: it stumbles upon the grey area of improper weapons (tools whose primary purpose is not as weapons, but which can take up that role just fun).

It really doesn't. Guns were invented solely to deal death.

Oh and BTW, the role of a self-defense gun should be primarily one of deterrence against violent things/killings happening TO YOU ;-)

If you make this argument, you're still illogically conflating intent and function. They're not the same thing.

kristus said:
As someone who used to do marksman shooting as a sport. I can very much attest to that this is not the case. Initially, of course for the excited youth it's about firing a gun. But once you get past that first excitement and get to the sport, firing the gun is merely a means to an end.

So you don't think training and competing to shoot a gun with accuracy has roots in warfare?

Old Post 01-11-13 20:01 #
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kristus
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That's what one would call a loaded question. Competing as a whole has it's roots in warfare.

EDIT: What you're doing isn't arguing the points. What you are doing is asking loaded questions that makes responders put in a position where they need to defens a position they don't necessarily hold.

Sort of like the, if you're not with us, you're against us retoric of the Bush era regarding terrorism.

Old Post 01-11-13 20:12 #
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Maes
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kristus said (about Bucket):
EDIT: What you're doing isn't arguing the points. What you are doing is asking loaded questions that makes responders put in a position where they need to defens a position they don't necessarily hold.


^ Yeah, that. At the cost of appearing like the moderator's lackey, I'll have to fully side with kristus on this one.

And, Bucket, you haven't addressed my "kid with [insert improper weapon here] scenario". It's immaterial to this discussion if [insert improper weapon here] wasn't designed with the sole purpose of "dealing death", a kid with [insert improper weapon here] is still just as potentially harmful. I'm very curious about your position on nail guns.

A statistic of how many deadly household accidents are attributed to actions other than accidental gun discharge would be useful...

Also, I wonder how come none ever debated the equivalent of "guns" in other eras e.g. "X don't kill people, people kill people", where X= warhammers, swords, stilettos, knives, bows, crossbows, morning stars, pitchforks, clubs, sticks, poison daggers, rocks picked from the ground, etc.

Maybe because it was fucking obvious that without a handler all of these things did abso-fucking-lutely nothing?

OTOH, if you want something truly deadly in and on itself...poisons, infectious diseases, toxic and highly radioactive materials classify. You literally just need to be in their general vicinity to become pretty fucked up, without anyone doing anything directly (ok, someone still needs to make the poison and it somehow needs to enter your body, someone needs to create the radioactive stuff etc.)

Last edited by Maes on 01-11-13 at 20:53

Old Post 01-11-13 20:45 #
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Coopersville
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Bucket said:
A gun is a tool used only for killing; that's the only function it serves*.

(* Sporting use is just pantomime for other violent acts. And besides, no one is trying to ban starter pistols here.)



Guns are also used to breach doors.
Guns are also used to launch flares into the sky.
Guns are also used to collect.
Guns are also used to salute dead people.
Guns are also used to pose with supermodels.
Guns are also used to better reach an itch on my back.

If a gun is a tool for murder, does that make a camera a tool for child porn? If you give a baby a camera, will is accidentally shoot a naked picture of itself?

Old Post 01-11-13 22:06 #
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Bucket
ROCK & LOAD
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kristus said:
That's what one would call a loaded question. Competing as a whole has it's roots in warfare.

It's not a loaded question just because you want to confuse an object's original function with a far-removed ritual.

EDIT: What you're doing isn't arguing the points. What you are doing is asking loaded questions that makes responders put in a position where they need to defens a position they don't necessarily hold.

What I'm saying is that "guns don't kill people" is a shitty slogan and it confuses the real issue. Of course guns kill people. That's what they're for.

Coopersville said:
Guns are also used to breach doors.
Guns are also used to launch flares into the sky.
Guns are also used to collect.
Guns are also used to salute dead people.
Guns are also used to pose with supermodels.
Guns are also used to better reach an itch on my back.


You were doing well at the the start, and wandered off into improper uses of a gun. You can hammer nails with it for all I care; just be careful it doesn't accidentally perform its function.

Old Post 01-11-13 22:17 #
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Maes
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At least we can all agree to disagree, I guess...for I won't become a pussified nanny-stater, and Bucket won't become an NRA member any soon :-p

Old Post 01-11-13 22:21 #
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Gez
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Using a gun to salute is actually an extension of its function as a weapon, since this originates to giving homage to soldiers who fell on the battlefield.

When it's used for purely civil stuff (shooting the sky with AK-47 is the third world's approach to fireworks), there's usually an accident when gravity makes the bullet fall back down on the crowded streets of celebrators.

Old Post 01-11-13 22:24 #
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Bucket
ROCK & LOAD
COCK BEEN BLOWED
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MANJUICE EXPLOAD


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Maes said:
At least we can all agree to disagree, I guess...for I won't become a pussified nanny-stater, and Bucket won't become an NRA member any soon :-p
I have no problem with guns. When I get a house, a gun will be one the first things I buy.

Old Post 01-11-13 22:30 #
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Maes
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Bucket said:
I have no problem with guns. When I get a house, a gun will be one the first things I buy.


Well, played, Sir, well played. You, Sir, just won a MegaTroll (TM) award. You, 'squire, had us all by the balls, wink wink nudge nudge, saynomore, saynomore, a nod is good as a wink to a blind bayt, eh?

Old Post 01-11-13 22:37 #
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Bucket
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I don't know how I could've made my specific stance any clearer.

Old Post 01-11-13 22:39 #
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Maes
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Bucket said:
I don't know how I could've made my specific stance any clearer.


http://users.otenet.gr/~velktron/Pics/advanced_troll.jpg

Last edited by Maes on 01-11-13 at 22:50

Old Post 01-11-13 22:40 #
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Bucket
ROCK & LOAD
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> can't understand what he's arguing
> posts le troll face
> 2013

I seriously hope you guys don't do this.

Old Post 01-11-13 23:02 #
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kristus
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Bucket said:
I don't know how I could've made my specific stance any clearer.
Maybe then you should take some time and actually read what you've written. Because a lot of it is pretty nutty.

Old Post 01-11-13 23:25 #
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Bucket
ROCK & LOAD
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I have a specific problem with the "guns don't kill people" argument because it erroneously confuses function and intent. Even without intent, a gun is still a tool for killing. I didn't say "ban guns", I didn't say "ban flare guns, glue guns, starter pistols and color guard rifles", I didn't say "ban all household objects that could possibly be harmful". If you inferred any of those things, you can blame poor reading comprehension. Was there anything in particular you didn't understand?

Old Post 01-11-13 23:50 #
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