Wow, this topic has already generated far more interest than I anticipated, so I'll start off with this first area of discussion which basically boils down to "what's the point of guns?"
Just some points regarding the discussion:
- I'm not basing thoughts on current laws.
- Topic is aimed at civilian ownership, not police/military.
- I assume most Kimber owners are American, so we're talking about America! (although I like to use examples from other countries.
- Any examples I use aren't de facto sources, so refute them as you see fit!
Let me start with one of the favorite lines I've seen so far from Albert.Cairns: "...our rights being INFRINGED in every state because of personal opinions. I don't have an opinion..." alluding to the stance that his views being based on constitutional dictation. So I'll use that to lead into briefly talking about the constitution and history. Since I'm sure most of you know this, I'll try to keep it as brief as possible. I'd say most modern legal legislation is based on the Second Amendment (2A), a section of the Bill of Rights, a document adopted in 1791. If you've never read it, do so! It's short. One sentence--literally. That's great! Right? Well, maybe not. If you look at how the interpretation has changed over time
you'll notice how legal opinion
has affected its interpretation (mostly whether it talks about collective rights vs. individual rights). As much as I hate to admit it, maybe there is
a reason modern legalese is written in such a painful way. Oops
Bringing it back to Mr. Cairns, I want to say that I don't have a problem with opinions as we can see that even what we base our arguments on can change over time. While I'm not saying "throw out" 2A in these discussions, don't feel like you have to base all arguments around it either. Someone else has also pointed out that the world today is much different than when 2A was created as well.
So getting to the first topic that I wanted to bring up, let's start simple: "What is the purpose of gun ownership for civilians?"
If we look at 2A, some of the earliest interpretations were that it was more for militia maintenance (like today's National Guard, a state owned entity vs federal) instead of individual rights. That's changed, of course, but I think I've also heard an argument of people wanting to interpret this a person's right to defend against government attack--okay
So in my mind there are 3 purposes:
Hunting/Leisure, Self-Defense, "Self-Militia"
Hunting/Leisure: Hunting is the most obvious to me. Historically, it started as a necessity for survival. Today, it's more recreation than anything. I'm sure you could say it's required for game management, but the counter-argument is that natural predation could also be managed properly to eliminate the "need" for hunting. Since it's now primarily a recreational activity, I'll also lump in shooting sports and competition in this category as well. I'm fine with this because firearms are part of America's culture which is great!
Self-Defense: This is in the context of being against both Mr. Badguy and also from lions/tigers/bears (especially if hunting were to be eliminated, lol). All in all, a firearm is an extreme equalizer. With relatively little training, a small, frail person can protect themselves on nearly equal ground with a much physically stronger threat. It can be argued that with enough training in fighting techniques, a small woman can defend themselves sufficiently from an attacker. While this may be true, it can take months or years of dedicated training and they still could be at a disadvantage from a naturally physically stronger attacker. Also, good luck trying to karate chop that mountain lion
In my mind firearms make sense in this context.
"Self-Militia": I think the argument is if your government turns into a dictatorship, or you're in a "Red Dawn" situation where the Russians invade. I don't really see this as a viable purpose, but I have heard it before.
So with that, I want to see what other people's thoughts are on this. This will lead into other topics that I'll follow on with in other threads (maybe weekly). Also I have a few more counter-points to make, but I feel that I've already made this long enough.