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It is an established fact that violent crime is down and has been steadily decreasing since 1993.  Murder is down, rape is down, robberies are down and aggravated assault is down. While the fact that violent crime is down and cannot be disputed, what we can do is ask the reason why it is down. Some of the reasons may be less lead in our homes and schools, incarceration rates or possibly abortion. These are all factors that have possibly contributed to the reduction in violent crime, yet there is no single thing that we can point to and say “this is why violent crime is down”.

With violent crime down and apparently still on the decline I don’t think that it’s beyond the pale to ask the question “Why do some people still own firearms?” I think it is good to be curious, regardless of what curiosity did to the cat. It is good to question and try to learn the why of things and to find answers to questions. Determining the why of a thing is important to understanding ourselves and each other. I feel that understanding why also enhances and strengthens our ability to function in and interact with the world.

Of course there is no single answer or one thing that we can point to and say “this is why some people still own firearms.” People own firearms for a variety of reasons. They own firearms because they inherited them, they own them to hunt, they own them for competitive shooting, they own them to collect, they own them for self-defence, there are some out there that own firearms because it is a right and they want to exercise it. I am sure these reasons or whys for firearm ownership engender additional questions, more whys and maybe even an increase in curiosity to gain a greater understanding of the why of firearm ownership. I am also sure that there are additional, more subtle reasons for firearm ownership but I think these broad categories answer the general question of why people own firearms.

With violent crime down and apparently still on the decline there is another question that is equally valid that we can ask, which is “Why are some people against firearm ownership?” Again there is no single answer or one thing that we can point to and say “this is why some people are against firearm ownership.” There are a number of reasons people have for being against firearm ownership but since I am not one of those people all I can offer are the reasons I have seen presented in gun related diaries. Some people are against firearm ownership because they believe that guns are only for killing people, that guns are bad and cause crime, that it is the job of the police to protect us, that there isn’t an individual right to gun ownership, that firearms are too dangerous for most people to handle and that firearm owners might snap at any moment and go on a shooting spree.  The same that applied above applies here, that there are additional reasons people have for being against individual firearm ownership and increased gun control but these reasons should cover the broad question of why people are for it.

Let’s now take a look and compare if we can the two sets of reasons.

Why do some people still own firearms?
     They inherited them
     They hunt with them
     They participate in competitive shooting
     They collect them
     They have them for self defense
     They are exercising a right

Why are some people against firearm ownership?

     They believe that firearms are only for killing people
     They believe that firearms are bad and cause crime
     They believe that it is the job of the police to protect us
     They believe that there isn’t an individual right to firearm ownership
     They believe that firearms are too dangerous for most people to handle
     They believe that firearm owners might snap and go on a shooting spree.

The contrast is quite stark. In the first category all of the reasons are objective, they have actual existence in reality, they are not influenced by emotion or personal prejudices whereas the second category is entirely subjective, they do not have existence in reality, they take place in and proceed from a persons mind, emotions and prejudices.  One set of reasons based in reality, one set of reasons based on emotion.

Violent crime is not up, it is down. Gun violence is not up, it is down and while we cannot definitively say why violent crime and gun violence is down we can definitively say that the reformation of gun laws and increased gun ownership has not resulted in an increase of violent crime or gun violence or to put it another way, gun ownership is not the root cause of violent crime. Now since violent crime is down, since the relaxing of gun laws hasn’t resulted in an increase in violent crime, since firearms aren’t for only killing people, since firearms are not inherently bad or cause crime, since the police have no legal obligation to protect us, since there is an individual right to own a firearm, since firearms aren't too dangerous for most people to handle and people don’t just snap and go on shooting sprees, the question that needs to be asked is “What is the real reason people are against firearm ownership?

Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a DKos group of second amendment supporters who also have progressive and liberal values. We don't think that being a liberal means one has to be anti-gun. Some of us are extreme in our second amendment views (no licensing, no restrictions on small arms) and some of us are more moderate (licensing, restrictions on small arms.) Moderate or extreme or somewhere in between, we hold one common belief: more gun control equals lost elections.  We don't want a repeat of 1994. We are an inclusive group: if you see the Second Amendment as safeguarding our right to keep and bear arms individually, then come join us in our conversation. If you are against the right to keep and bear arms, come join our conversation. We look forward to seeing you, as long as you engage in a civil discussion.  If you're just here to disrupt or troll, expect to get a Do Not Respond (DNR) comment and then be ignored. Insults, lies, and willful ignorance will be dealt with by normal community moderation. Disagreement by itself is not considered trolling.

As always, if you're interested in joining RKBA, message KVoimakas.

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