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    Posted July 24, 2012 by
    Calhoun, Georgia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Gun ownership in America

    More from cateswm

    Right to Bear Arms


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Using the several guns he owns primarily for home defense, civil defense and recreational shooting, cateswm says he chooses to own guns because he wants to be able to defend himself, but more importantly, his family. "I work the night shift, so it comforts me to know that my wife sleeps next to a revolver. Especially when I am an hour away, and it comforts her as well. She knows how to be safe with a gun, and how to use it," he says. In regards to the recent theater shooting that has sparked a national conversation on gun control, he says he finds it nauseating that a person could do such a thing to innocent people and can understand the viewpoint of those advocating for stricter legislation, but believes owning a gun is a human and a constitutional right. "In terms of not having rights abused, look for mental health issues. Make sure they are not criminals. Anything past that is bearing down on our rights as citizens," he says. "Getting the appropriate mental healthcare for those who would commit such crimes is definitely one thing that I believe would truly help massacres such as this from happening."
    - Anika3, CNN iReport producer

    When I was growing up, I played with army men, I played violent video games, and I watched war movies. As you can imagine, guns were not foreign to me at all. My grandfather, with who I am very close, is practically a gunsmith; he has built several custom firearms himself. My father is a former United States Marine, and he taught me most of what I know today about firearms.


    We have always had tons of kids in our family. I had 5 cousins and 3 siblings and we each grew up in a house full of firearms of various types. The trick, is the safety habits you put in place. Just as if you lived next to a highway, you would never let your 5 year old venture in that direction. Or just as you would never let your child run with scissors, play with knives, or stick tweezers in an electrical outlet; you would never let you child put their hands on a firearm.


    In my opinion, due to lack of research, I believe that firearms are no more dangerous than any other fatal hazard in our environment. As parents, and responsible gun owners, you simply have to compensate and adopt the proper safety precautions to keep something bad from happening.


    Accidents are certainly dangers that are incurred when having firearms in the household. But what about suicides? Or murder? The question really is what if someone is deliberately trying to misuse firearms? Sure, having firearms in the house makes it easy for someone to take their own life in a fairly quick way. But pain killers will do the job; so will cliffs, and knives, and ropes. If someone wants to die badly enough, they will find a way to kill themselves.


    Murder. Okay, obviously people are murdered with all sorts of weapons, that's an easy inference. What about mass-murder? Yes, having a fully-automatic belt-fed rifle makes it pretty easy. To get a fully automatic weapon, however, it takes quite an extensive background investigation and the ATF knows exactly where you are and what you are doing at any given moment. But a semi-auto rifle, with several high capacity magazines can be just as effective if employed correctly. So should we get rid of these types of weapons?


    We first have to classify this 'type' of weapon. Semi-automatic? Yes. But so is a .22 caliber pistol or rifle (also very deadly if utilized properly). Almost all gun owners have a semi-automatic firearm, and several studies estimate an average of about 42% of Americans own guns. Obviously, the Fed is not going to confiscate everyone's firearms; there would be violence on a large scale against the confiscators (I would participate).


    But the problem that many of you have already thought of is that if someone wanted to commit murder on a large scale, they could with or without guns. It is easy enough to murder well over a hundred people in the blink of an eye, ask Timothy McVeigh. So, in reality, if someone wants to murder, they will. If someone wants to commit suicide, they will. Opposing firearms is like fat people opposing spoons; you are fighting the wrong enemy. The enemy is the mind. Specifically, the minds of murderers, thieves, rapists, and suicidal individuals.


    Depriving a man of a weapon deprives him of the right to defend himself. That is not freedom. To be a free man, that man must be able to bear arms. He must have a defense against criminals. More importantly, he must have a defense against any potential tyrant that wanders into power. The constitution guarantees it, and that is a basic right of humanity. To provide a formidable defense for yourself against wrongdoers. That is your right as a human being.


    And yes, I do believe that all of the countries that do not allow their citizens to own guns are wrong. I believe that is a human rights violation whether the people do or not. But hey, if they don't mind living in fear of rapists, murderers, and thieves, let 'em. It might be that they are just oblivious to the dangers, I don't know. But if they want to live life without firearms or other dangerous objects then they are certainly entitled to do so.


    If firearms were removed from the homes of citizens in the US, they would still be available coming out of Mexico. And tons of firearms would be stashed and stolen from the homes of existing gun owners. Then, only the law abiding citizens would be unarmed and basically have a sign that says "rob/rape/kill me" wrapped around their neck.


    Have you ever seen the movie I ROW BOT? The core AI was trying to protect humans by restricting them because they were causing their own deaths by doing stupid things that are normal for people to do. The AI determined that the only way to keep all of the humans safe was to keep them indoors and have robots monitor their every move, and not allowing them to do anything that could be the least bit dangerous.


    It's a slippery slope.

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