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View Diary: "Firearms are not inherently dangerous." (28 comments)

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  •  Guns also (4+ / 0-)

    have a purpose. I have one on my farm. It is very old. For over 60 years it belonged to my great aunt, a widow who used it to hunt deer to feed her family of four children.

    Now it does not hunt but does protect the farm on occasion from four legged, furry predators. This is the only humane way to deal with them a very quick death that does not involve hours of horrible suffering.  My gun has never had an accident, it has only been aimed at a person 1 time that I know of and yes I would have shot him if it had come to that.

    The situation there was a man who beat his wife to the point of breaking a cheek bone and ribs. She got out of the hospital and was staying with neighbors. Her husband tried to kidnap her and in fact had her by the hair and was dragging her to his car when her host got out his rifle. His wife dialed the phone tree. The neighborhood came to the rescue armed to the teeth with hunting rifles. Not a shot was fired and the husband left the area for good on his own two feet.

    Had we called the police the wait would have been from 12 hours to 3 days.

    It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

    by PSWaterspirit on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:23:58 AM PST

    •  No one denies that guns have a purpose. (4+ / 0-)

      But that's a separate issue from whether or not they're inherently dangerous.

      At bottom, a gun's sole function is as I described it: to propel solid metal projectiles through the air at supersonic speeds. The purpose of propelling solid metal projectiles through the air at supersonic speeds -- which is inherently dangerous -- is to have the projectile strike a target and either damage, destroy, would or kill that target, instantly. Because this is its sole function and purpose, a gun can be used to threaten a person with injury or death and thereby coerce that person to act or deter that person from acting, without ever actually executing its sole function. But now we're getting beyond the nature of the instrumentality itself.  

      Inherently dangerous instrumentalities generally all serve legitimate purposes, but the legitimacy of those purposes doesn't make them any less dangerous, nor does the fact that they can be operated safely and might never actually cause harm. No one can reduce the risk of any instrumentality to zero, let alone an inherently dangerous instrumentality.

      •  Right but in most cases (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annecros, BlackSheep1

        We weigh one against the other. If something is dangerous but its purpose outwieghs that we find a way to deal with it like cars, or even asprin.

        If the danger is greater than the benefit we usually try to get rid of it.

        My point is the scale is different in different places. In a large city the scale tips to the negative. In the rural west is tips more to the useful. They are different views given different sets of life facts.

        We can not eliminate every danger from life nor even really mitigate most of them.

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:49:34 AM PST

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        •  With cars we have spent decades (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          improving their safety , we have reduced the number killed and wounded per passenger mile . We need to do the same same for guns .

          People in modern cars are walking away from crashes that 40 years ago would have left them wounded or killed .

          "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

          by indycam on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:33:15 AM PST

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          •  Hmmmmm..... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annecros, BlackSheep1, Neuroptimalian

            Cars have a sensor that informs the driver if there is something  behind it as it backs up, and anti-lock brakes, and now, they are even starting to have "lane keep assist" technology.  

            There should be ways to have "smarter" safeties on guns,  like fingerprint recognition or security codes so that the gun will only fire for authorized users, and timed safety locks, so that the user must re-authorize the gun to fire during each shooting session (perhaps it "times out" and re-engages safety, if not fired during a specified, even configurable, period of time).

            None of this addresses the shooter who deliberately collects up firearms with the intent to shoot people, other than ensuring that, maybe, they can't steal someone else's gun to do it with without also stealing their authorization codes.

            Adam Lanza and James Holmes are what started this latest round of gun violence debate.  Both Adam Lanza and James Holmes dropped out of school.   James Holmes was reported by his psychiatrist as a possible threat to others, and Adam Lanza's mother had started the process of commitment.    

            Both shooters had been identified as not being safe around the public, either for their own welfare or someone else, and both remained free to walk around, and ultimately, that is why this happened.

            When we start taking these situations seriously, and helping families get help for their sick relatives, and acting swiftly and effectively when a psychiatrist reports a person as a threat to safety, then we will reduce gun violence.  

            Just as we decreased auto accidents by restricting driver licenses and putting drunk drivers in jail.

            •  Like cars and drivers, then, you're arguing for... (0+ / 0-)

              ... licensing both guns and gun owners and users. That makes good sense for dangerous instrumentalities like guns and those who would use them, even if such measures wouldn't prevent all violent crimes with guns.

              To have no laws criminalizing guns means there is no way to penalize a person who has or uses guns carelessly, negligently or intentionally. Or by intention or neglect, allows them to be used that way.

              As for relying strictly on reporting and treatment of those deemed to be "possible threats" to themselves or others, that may be a reasonable objective, even if unrealistic, and a lot hangs on that word "relying."

              The mental health argument is appealing because it acknowledges that we need to put resources behind treatment and destigmatize the varieties of mental illnesses ... but that's not much of an answer to gun violence. After a massacre, the press can be counted on to talk about the mental instability of the shooter; otherwise, how could someone do such a thing?

              That after-the-fact judgment has paved the way for the NRA to deflect attention from the proliferation of guns, unimpeded and unregulated, in America.

              2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

              by TRPChicago on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:16:04 PM PST

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        •  Guns, like planes, trains, cars, kitchen knives, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neuroptimalian, oldpunk

          knapped stones, cast iron skillets, and a host of other inanimate objects, when NOT actively being manipulated by a human, don't in and of themselves present inherent danger or exude evil mojo to cause crime.

          In the right hands they can defend a person, livestock, a home, a life from a variety of threats not nearly so effectively neutralized by other means; in the right hands they can stop suffering (horses with broken legs come to mind).

          In the wrong hands -- just like planes, trains, cars, kitchen knives, stones, cast iron skillets, liquor bottles, baseball bats and a host of other inanimate objects -- they can indeed be used in dangerous, illicit, criminal and even murderous ways.

          Just like you must do when operating, maintaining or storing an aircraft, or an automobile, or welding equipment, or kitchen knives and cast iron skillets, you must take the time to be safe with a firearm.

          Whether or not you own it (military members are issued firearms, as are public safety officers, that they don't own -- the taxpayers do. So even if you're a dedicated pacifist with a deep abiding loathing of all things firearm-related, you own at least a part of the firearms the DoD / county / state / municipality issues its armed personnel), it's up to you to ensure that its use, storage and maintenance are safe and proper.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:42:15 PM PST

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