Apr 152013

T-800.4A gun is a tool like any other. But its function is specifically to kill, which makes it a tool we’ve got good reason to be wary of and maybe place some restriction on (an obvious no-brainer is the magazine capacity limit). Some people find the registration of guns controversial. I don’t think it should be.

Of course one cannot blame a tool for how its used, one can only blame the user. For this reason we have restrictions on who can use guns – we don’t give them to children, or the insane, or people who are likely to use them for criminal purposes. And yet somehow these people still often get their hands on guns, guns which they do not legally own. This is because some gun owners do not treat the ownership of guns as a responsibility. If you have created or purchased a tool who’s purpose is to dispense death, you have some responsibility in ensuring it isn’t used for evil.

My support for registration comes from my opinion that the legal owner of a gun should be held at least partially liable whenever a gun is used illegally. Which means that a gun must have a legally registered owner from the point of manufacture, through transportation, resale, and final ownership. Any time a gun is reported stolen, lost, or missing, there would be a hefty fine on the owner, reflecting the cost to society for having a death-machine unaccounted for on the loose. I assume this may lead to gun insurance, with lower rates for more responsible owners.

Yes, people will complain when their guns are used by criminals against their consent to do things they would never endorse, so why should they be held partially responsible? My reply is that they should think about the consequences of owning a death-machine when they purchase one. It’s fucking pathetic that someone would need a law to make them feel responsible about what a gun they’ve made/sold/purchased was used for, but it looks like many people lack a sense of basic responsibility. Anyone who would complain about this doesn’t have the maturity to own a gun in the first place.

If you own a dog you may be held liable if it maims someone. Especially if it has a history of aggression, and doubly so if you are a negligent owner who allows it to roam the neighborhood without supervision. The standard should be at least as high for the ownership of firearms. The primary purpose of a gun is to kill. That is why they are made, that is what they are designed to do most efficiently. They are literally death-machines. Yes, sometimes we need death-machines, that’s why they were invented in the first place. I’m not saying they are inherently bad. I am saying that if you buy a device who’s purpose is to spit death, you need to treat that ownership like the responsibility it is. Which means accepting the consequences when your death machine is taken to hurt or kill someone.

  4 Responses to “Take Responsibility For Your Death Machine”

  1. This … is a very good argument, which has gone a long way to changing my opinion, actually.

    The main resistance from gun owners toward registration springs from the history of governments using gun registries to later implement gun confiscations. In the gun culture I grew up in, people DO NOT trust the government not to later use registries as a way of implementing gun bans, as has happened in, for example, the UK and Australia. This is a shame, I think; as otherwise I would feel a lot more comfortable fully supporting your position, and I imagine many people like me would feel the same way.

    I was raised and currently reside in New Zealand, so I imagine there may be some cultural differences between here and the USA, although quite honestly I suspect in this case people’s logic is pretty similar.

    • That is pretty much the same reasoning here. And I can’t really argue against it, because a gun registry obviously could be used for that. The political climate in the USA is such that right now you would have more success making Russian the official language of the government than enacting a gun ban like this. But in theory, yes, it is possible.

      I think the benefits of such a responsibility law would be worth it, but that may not be the case in countries where gun ownership is less protected.

  2. It has been shown that magazine capacity limits do not affect outcomes if the shooter has multiple magazines:

    Found from this article worth reading from a data point of view:

    • I’m not as convinced of the magazine limits as I was a couple years back. However I’m still leaning more towards them being a good thing. The video demonstrated how quickly one can reload under ideal conditions while standing still with the magazines laid out in front of you. These conditions would never be found in the real world.

      I do agree that the assault weapons ban as implemented is ludicrous, mainly because the people behind it have no freakin’ clue what they’re talking about. Nowadays it’s gotten even more ridiculous, since I guess the term “semi-automatic” is scary-sounding. Everytime I see a media piece stressing that a shooter was using “semi-automatic” weapons I groan.

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