I was very happy with the response to the first "What CAN we agree on?" diary. For the most part, the conversation and comments were highly respectful to both sides of the gun debate, and I applaud the efforts of everyone on that count.
So, since we can talk about this with civility, I'd like to continue this train of thought, with some more bare bones, bargain basement, nobody should have a disagreement, thoughts.
I'd like to start with one that there were no major complaints regarding, and delve a little deeper into exactly what we do agree on.
What is a legitimate use of a gun, and what is not.
(Bare-bones assumptions on the flip)
I am not going to get to heavily into grey areas here. This is specifically about bare bones, we all can agree on this, stuff.
If we can establish a base, we can at least talk with some shared assumptions. Shared assumptions will help us all in the long run, IMHO, since we will no longer be arguing about terms and instead can concentrate on the real issue, which is of course what we can all do to prevent as many gun deaths as possible.
So, I'm going to provide 10 uses of guns. 5 that everyone can agree are fine and dandy, and 5 that probably are pretty obviously wrong.
We can all agree on this. Hunting is already regulated, calibers, types of bullets, animals killed, etc. I think we can all agree that hunting for food is a legitimate hobby. While some of us might disagree at the morality of hunting in toto, we can agree that it is a legitimate use of a firearm.
2. Target shooting.
Once again, pretty cut and dried. I don't think that anybody is going to disagree that folks who enjoy shooting sports should have their hobby completely curtailed. It's a legitimate use of firearms, and one that has a long history and tradition in the US.
3. Protection against animals in the wild.
Fairly simple one, but needs to be addressed. If you live in a rural area, I think that it's pretty much established that your gun is a tool which you need. There are mountain lions, there are wild animals, etc. We can argue all we want about human encroachment, etc, but right now, as things stand, I believe this is a legitimate use.
4. Self-defense against an armed intruder in your home.
Once again, this one is pretty straight forward, but I think that it's worth pointing out. If someone breaks into your home, I think you should have the right to defend yourself. I see absolutely nothing wrong with someone in such a black and white situation having a weapon to defend themselves. Any further discussion gets into those grey areas that we argue about, but I think we can state that THIS specific scenario is a legitimate use of a gun.
5. Gun collecting for historical purposes.
Not my hobby. But I understand that there are quite a few folks who want to own a weapon for this exact reason. I do not see anything wrong with this type of collecting. Granted, I might want more restrictions on it than a person who practices the hobby, but I can at least agree that this is a legitimate use of a gun.
And now we get into the illegitimate uses of a gun. Now once again, these are pretty blatantly obviously wrong. I'm doing that because I want to build consensus. If we can agree on black and white, we can at least begin to discuss the various shades of grey.
1. Premeditated Murder.
Fairly obvious, I would think. But this is not a legitimate use of a gun. Planning to kill someone, getting the gun, and shooting another human being with malice aforethought is flat out wrong. It is not a grey area, and I'm pretty sure we can all agree on that one.
2. Shooting the neighbors pet because you want to.
Again, pretty fricking obvious, right? However, it's not a legitimate use of a gun.
3. Rampaging through a Crowd, shooting as many people as possible.
I'm surprised that this one is even on the list, honestly, but I think we should put it here. It's not a thing that a responsible gun owner even considers, and yet it happens. I think we can all agree that this is not something we condone.
4. Obviously threatening or intimidating someone with a gun
I'm not talking about the "self-defense" legitimate use that we already discussed, or pulling a gun to dissuade an attacker. I'm talking about the guy who wants to intimidate someone or get his way, and so pulls out his gun and levels it at the person's head. I think we can agree that this is not a use that we condone or support. Once again, a VERY narrow point.
5. Randomly shooting weapons into the air to celebrate.
I don't get this one, and it's damned dangerous. I think we can agree that randomly spraying fire into the air is not in anyone's best interest.
So there we are. These are EXTREMELY black and white, I am aware. However, once again, this has to do with establishing a baseline, not a final end all and be all solution.
These uses are simply uses that we agree are legitimate and illegitimate uses of a gun. If we can agree on this, we can move on to talking about other things, as well as trying to really reach some kind of consensus as to what needs to be done.
Here's hoping again. Last time was pretty good, and I'd like to keep it that way, so please, no invective, pejorative, or changing the subject.