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In the Name of God بسم الله

Is it time to change the European view on U.S. gun ownership?

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As a European, I have always had a strong view that gun ownership laws in the U.S. are wrong and that guns should be banned.

But I think we are also entering into uncharted times when it comes to the social and economic upheaval that is to come. Yesterday's industries will be laying off and tomorrow's will not have had time to recruit.

We're likely to face severe economic dislocation. Unemployment and poverty will mean that people who otherwise would not use their guns to seize money etc. will now be tempted to do so.

In countries where guns are widely available (especially the U.S.) I had always said that I did not think having one was worthwhile because the statistics on:

  1. Deaths by accidental discharge
  2. Deaths by suicide
  3. Deaths of people who are close to the gun owner

All suggested that the defence benefit was outweighed by the above.

But given the possible risks to property etc. I now wonder whether it's time to revisit that anti-gun thinking?

Where there are few guns widely available e.g. Europe, my anti-gun stance remains.

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I think the 'good guys' have the right to owning a deterrent equivalent in strength to that of the 'bad guys' in order to protect themselves and families. This is a general principle that I believe is reasonable especially when one cannot rely on authorities for protection and order. 

As for something like mass shootings which seems to be one of the most prominent arguments against gun ownership, I think deranged individuals and criminals will always find ways to act out and they can turn anything into a deadly weapon. As brother @Mahdavist alluded to, we should look at and address the root causes of such crime rather than the tools used to commit them.

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1 hour ago, Moalfas said:

I think the 'good guys' have the right to owning a deterrent equivalent in strength to that of the 'bad guys' in order to protect themselves and families.

 

My view is based on this. As I see it the danger from the wide availability of guns is not necessarily in terms of strangers killing each other, but the good people shooting themselves, their families and their kids firing off by mistake.

 

1999-_Gun-related_deaths_USA.png

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States#/media/File:1999-_Gun-related_deaths_USA.png

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1 hour ago, Haji 2003 said:

but the good people shooting themselves, their families and their kids firing off by mistake.

One could argue that corrosive substances or rat poison for example also pose such risks. I'm all for responsible ownership and handling of anything that can be deadly, be it a firearm, a car, medication or bleach. 

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1) The federal assault ban signed by Bill Clinton had very little affect on the crime statistics, and it lasted for 10 years.

2) The bad guys will not hand in their weapons. Gun violence will continue because guns are widespread anyway.

3) Gun violence in the US has actually been decreasing even though gun ownership has not declined, mainly because of success in law enforcement and the fact that gangs are less powerful than they were in the 80s/90s inside the US.

4) Americans keep guns for a variety of reasons, one of them is so they can protect themselves from a tyrannical over-reaching authoritarian government. An unarmed populas is easier to control than an armed one. And democracies have turned tyrannical in the past, so it is very possible, in fact one can argue the current US Government is already too authoritarian compared to what the founding fathers envisioned, especially when it comes to things like NSA unwarranted spying programs.

5) Switzerland is an armed nation, and has a much better rate on homicide and gun violence than many unarmed nations even in Europe. It does have more regulations than many US states, but it really shows that the argument of more guns = more crime/death is nonsensical.

My belief is there is cultural and economic problems in the US, which if you get rid of, crime will decrease noticeably. Particularly the culture that makes people think joining a gang is cool, which to me is a result of poverty, negligence and family/communal issues.

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I've owned guns in the past. I see absolutely no problem with people in the US owning guns, nor do I see a problem with people in any other country owning guns. People should have a means to defend themselves from attackers and thieves. However, I have given up my guns because I bought them for the wrong reason.

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