A pistol is equal to nothing if you're going up against the US military. How many troops in Iraq do you think were killed with pistols?
At least one, that I'm aware of; a soldier was in line with Iraqi civilians to get a soda from a vending machine when somebody came up from behind him and shot him in the back of the head. Last I heard the shooter was never identified.
It's not the quantity that is the issue, it's the fact that owning small arms serves no purpose other than for one civilian to kill another civilian. There are plenty of handguns out there. In fact, the US is known for having one of the highest percentages of handgun ownership in the world. Strange enough, there are several countries with stricter gun control which are better are protecting people's civil liberties than the US, supposed home of the free.
The purpose to the right of owning a handgun is to protect yourself, your property, and your loved ones from criminally minded human beings since A) guns will exist for as long as human civilization continues to exist as it does, and B) there will always be a percentage of criminally minded human beings in any and all human societies.
The difference between the U.S. and other countries only illustrates how the U.S. allows some rights while restricting others, while the other countries restrict and allow their own respective rights.
I certainly hope you never get elected into any offices. Not everybody, even among those without a criminal record, should have that right. I personally know several people who I would never let buy a gun.
By what standard and authority are you judging those individuals? I'm being rhetorical there. Do you remember the precept of Innocent Until Proven Guilty? Certainly it has it's weaknesses, but I think it's far better for 10 guilty men to be set free due to lack of evidence than for 1 innocent man to be criminally punished just because of a case of mistaken identity, or social unpopularity. When you start prejudging, and subsequently punishing, individuals out of fear of what they might do, as opposed to what their actual history is you start treading into Salem Witch Trial territory. Now these individuals you mention may very well have a history of criminal violence, in that case I would agree that they have permanently forfeited their right to a firearm, but if they don't, and you're merely just intimidated by them, then there is no objective reason to take their rights away.
If you don't wish to own a gun, that is your choice. Peaceful and honest citizens should not have to give up any of their rights just because others choose not to exercise them /quote
And what about the rest of us? What about our right to peace of mind? I feel my rights as a human being are being violated any time I come in contact with a person with a gun. I cannot act or do as I please in their presence. That isn't freedom.
Peace Of Mind, is merely a State of MIND, and is far too immaterial and subjective to ever be considered a regulatable right, hence ultimately is the responsibility of the individual whose Peace Of Mind is in question. If somebody is too scared to move or act confidently while being in the pressence of somebody who is merely carrying a gun, then they have more problems than just the gun.
It's not that your human rights would be violated, you simply feel the disadvantage you are at because somebody has a weapon, while you don't - a disadvantage for which you ( and the laws preventing you, a law-abiding citizen, from carrying one ) would be responsible for. Now, if they use the weapon to threaten you, to impose a restriction on your freedom of movement, then your rights would be violated ( assuming that you yourself have done nothing to physically threaten their own well being, freedom of movement, property, or loved ones, which would have been justifiable cause for him to threaten you ). Honestly, is a police officer violating your rights by having a glock attached to his belt when he's talking to you? Answering with "but he's a police officer so it's okay" is not acceptable; we've had too many incidents of police brutality for that.
A different set of circumstances would be if somebody entered your own personal property, upon which you expressly forbid personal weapons. On your property, you have every right to decide who stays or leaves and demand accordingly. If someone is carrying a personal weapon, you have every right to demand that they leave and do what is necessary to remove them from your property. As long as you don't impede on their right to live, the property they possess on their person, or their freedom to leave your property, you may impose what you will. If they physically threaten you, your loved ones, and/or your propertery, then their rights are forfeit. Now, a moral individual would do what they can to resolve the situation without anybody being seriously injured, but if it comes down to it, then it comes down to it. In all likelyhood the cops are not going to get there in time.
A government collapse will most likely not happen within our lifetimes, but it very well might, and IF it does, those of us who are armed will be that much more capable of protecting ourselves, our loved ones, and our property.
Because anarchy is the preferred solution in cases of economic decline. I mean it worked so well during the Great Depression. In case you couldn't tell, that was sarcasm. Guns didn't help store clerks during the Great Depression. If anything, the more guns you have, the more likely people with ill intentions are to get and use them.
I didn't mean to imply that anarchy is a solution that I would like to see, only that if it were to occur, I'd rather have a handgun than not have a handgun to protect myself against said ill-intending people. Remember the L.A. Riots? I remember news footage being shot from a helicopter as these thugs drug a truck-driver out of his semi and started beating him to death. I remember private footage of thugs pissing on the face of man that they had just beaten into near unconciousness. Had I been in the vicinity of either of those incidences I would have shot those motherfuckers with almost no remorse. But most likely, had I been in L.A., I would have stayed in my home, and had anybody tried to break into my house while I was there, I would have shot them in defence of myself and my property, and been fully justified in doing so. There are not enough cops to protect every home in situations like that, nor should there ever be. Nothing that happened to Rodney King justified the disgusting hateful behaviour of all those thuggish people, no matter what their race may be.
I don't believe the U.S. fell into an actual state of anarchy during the Great Depression, merely a state of poverty - it's noteable that the Great Depression, and all other Boom-Bust cycles since, has been traced to artificial regulation of the economy, by both the Central Government and the Federal Reserve Bank ( despite the 'federal' in it's name, it's privately owned ); yet another example of government incompetence and how it can't be depended upon to protect our rights, only to punish those who violate them.
I agree with Subcultured that the best means of changing the government is through a peaceful, orderly process; but history shows that doesn't always happen.
And recent history shows that revolution is often a long and bloody process and more often than not, the people lose. Most countries which are "liberated" these days require assistance from other countries with stronger militaries.
Again, I'm not trying to promote bloody revolution, but if it happens, I want my own gun.
On a side note: it's a good day to be a Texan. Governor Perry took the first step with his announcement that the State legistlature needs to start debating getting rid of those idiotic "weapon-free" zones so that licenced law-abiding citezens can go anywhere open to the public with their weapons on them. Seriously, those things were a joke - all they did was keep the lawful gun-carriers out of the restaurants or what have you, and the criminals would just ignore those stupid signs, that is what makes them criminals after all.
In light of the recent shooting in Kansas City, it amazes me that corporate retailers like Target haven't trained and armed their employees. Well no, not really, why would they spend the money on something like that?