I'm not personally into guns but I am a strong believer in the right for citizens to legally purchase pretty much any type of precision target weapon (i.e. guns).
One of the strawman arguments I hear often is "Why not let people have nukes then?" and the reason is that the constitution intended citizens to bear arms -- specifically weapons that have a relatively high degree of precision. Explosives, canons, etc. are not precision weapons.
Now before someone gets hung up on the above paragraph and starts naming various non-gun weapons that are arguably precise let me get to the meat of this discussion:
Guns are the great equalizer. Societies in which citizens have few guns also tend to have more crime when comparing similar demographics. Gun opponents tend to fixate at overall crime rates or cherry pick types of crime ("gun violence") but when you compare apples and apples (like two middle class families in the US or UK) you find that the society that has guns tends to suffer less from crime.
That's because criminals have to think twice before doing a home invasion. Home invasion, in Britain, is relatively common. Former Beatle George Harrison was attacked in his home by an intruder and severely injured. In the US, home invasions are very rare because the would-be intruder never knows when the residents might be armed.
I don't want to have to rely on a benevolent government for all my protection. I expect to have the right to defend myself and my family -- with lethal force if necessary.
Certainly, there are a few nuts out there and some of them (not many but some) do purchase their weapons legally. But that's going to be true with anything. More people die due to cars and alcohol and I don't think we're going to be outlawing those things any time soon either.
As if to help prove my point...
Found on this blog today:
An intended rape victim shot and killed her attacker this morning in Cape Girardeau when he broke into her home to rape her a second time, police said.
The 57-year-old woman shot Ronnie W. Preyer, 47, a registered sex offender, in the chest with a shotgun when he broke through her locked basement door.
The woman told police he was the same man who raped her several days earlier. Officials do not intend to seek charges against her.
In the first incident, the woman heard glass breaking in her basement about midnight on Saturday. She went to leave the house, and the man attacked when she opened the front door. He punched her in the face and then forced her into a bedroom, where he raped her, said H. Morley Swingle, prosecuting attorney in Cape Girardeau County.
The victim reported the crime to police, and her landlord repaired the broken window.
She was home alone again Friday about 2:15 a.m. when Preyer broke the same basement window. The victim was awake watching television, when Preyer switched off the electricity to her house.
She tried to call 911, but couldn’t because the power was off. She got a shotgun and waited as the man began banging on the basement door. She fired when Preyer came crashing through the door. When Preyer collapsed, the woman escaped and went to a neighbor’s home, where she called police. Officers, who arrived within a minute, found a bleeding Preyer stumbling away from the house. He was taken to St. Francis Medical Center, where he died several hours later.
Swingle said the victim identified Preyer as the attacker in both incidents. Preyer, of Jackson, Mo., had wet caulking from the recently repaired basement window on his clothing when he was shot.
“I will not be filing any sort of charge against this 57-year-old woman, who was clearly justified under the law in shooting this intruder in her home,” Swingle said.
Thank God we haven't given the government the ability to take our guns.