Drlee wrote:I am a conservative but I am for gun control. So here are some thoughts.
I don't think "liberals" present a united viewpoint on this. I imagine there are very few who "hate" guns. The very notion sounds like a Fox News talking point.
Most Americans (not just liberals) favor various forms of gun control. Overwhelmingly as a matter of fact. only 14% of responders to a Gallup poll favor making gun laws less strict while 38% say they should be left the same and a whopping 47% want them to be more strict. Let those numbers sink in for a moment. This means that a great many self-identified conservatives must be in favor of tighter gun laws. Do you identify this 85% of Americans as "gun haters"?
Here is another interesting number to chew on. In the same poll, of self-identified gun owners (42% of responders) fully 60% say the gun is for protection and only 36% say they want them for hunting and 13% want them for target shooting. 83% want background checks for ALL gun purchases and 91% want to close the gun show loophole... And most Americans want to limit magazine capacities. The oddest turn of all is that though most Americans favor more gun ownership, they believe they are less safe in places that allow concealed carry.
So you want to figure out why liberals hate guns. The short answer is that most of them don't. Further most conservatives favor gun control of one sort or another. Your time would be far better spent not trying to find a one-over-the-world solution but rather trying to figure out a responsible position to take based upon all of the variables.
I live in a state that allows concealed carry. I could carry a firearm virtually everywhere I go. Because I am a retired soldier and very familiar with firearms my opinion is that I would not be safer with the gun. Just the opposite. And the statistics support my position. I have concluded very simply that there is very little chance that I will get into a gun fight if I don't have a gun. The chances of being shot by a stranger in the US are vanishingly small. But if you are armed you are 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than if you are not carrying a gun and in the past 30 years not one mass slaying has been prevented or ended by a civilian carrying a gun.
So the ball is in your court. It is up to you to decide whether to make an emotional decision or one made on the facts like Fox News and the NRA want you to.
Thanks for your thoughts. I was really hoping to understand my fellow (U.S.) liberals' motivations for supporting the stances they do (and they overwhelmingly do favor more restrictions), but I'm happy to respond to your comments. (And, yes, I titled my post in a somewhat inflammatory way so as to encourage replies. Guilty as charged.)
1. "Most Americans favor ... gun control." Likely true. If most Americans favored executing convicted homosexuals, would that support an argument in favor of doing so? Of course not. Unlike you and I, many -- likely most -- Americans are pathetically uninformed about guns; many do not even understand the difference between semi- and fully-automatic weapons (or know that the latter are very tightly regulated, indeed).
2. "The short answer is that most [liberals] don't" hate guns. Perhaps I should have asked why Democrats
hate guns, and have conflated the two. I don't at the moment have statistics to quote, but I believe it is true that most Democrats want more gun control, and would, in fact, love to see a ban on those nasty handguns.
3. "I would not be safer with the gun. Just the opposite. And the statistics support my position." Ah, statistics... for the present, let's grant your assertion regarding the statistics, and not question where they came from or who had an axe to grind while generating them. Let's say you really are statistically safer. So you would encourage me to forego the ability to defend myself, should the "vanishingly" unlikely occur, as it has, repeatedly, in schools, restaurants, movie theaters and other businesses here in the U.S. and abroad. Even were it demonstrated to my satisfaction that it would be safer to do so, I refuse to forfeit my natural right to self-defense should I (or a loved one) be faced with death or disfigurement as the result of a criminal assault. Thanks, but I'll "take my chances."
4. "In the past 30 years not one mass slaying has been prevented or ended by a civilian carrying a gun." Just off the top of my head, I can recall a situation in a Colorado Springs church a few years back where a civilian security guard did exactly that. And it's not really all about mass killings. There is a boatload of informal evidence that civilian gun ownership has allowed numerous citizens to thwart burglaries, robberies, rapes and other violent crimes.
5. "It is up to you to decide whether to make an emotional decision" or make one based on facts. I am not trying to make any kind of decision. I've thought long and hard about this issue, and have made my decision. I am trying to understand why liberals (Democrats?) -- why people who share my values on so many other issues -- espouse the position they overwhelmingly do on guns. I suspect that few of them have really thought deeply about the issue, have taken the time to imagine themselves, perhaps with their children, having lunch somewhere, and having some armed, disgruntled ex-employee walk in ready to shoot the place up then kill themselves. I suspect that few of them have ever asked themselves if they would prefer to take their chances rather than to rely on the mercy of the criminal.
So we must agree to disagree, seemingly. But again, I appreciate your thoughts.
Now... how about my fellow liberals? Do you agree with the good Doctor? 'Tis nobler to die a victim than to insist on one's right to self-defense? Step right up...