Wanted: Rational, well-informed gun advocates

Introduced: August 08 2012


IWD tries to present perspectives from all sides. But the recent Weigh-In on gun control was remarkably one-sided in stating a need for more restrictions on gun purchases. Members raised some interesting questions that can only be answered by someone on the “other side.” Here's what one member asked:

Will a member/supporter of the NRA please explain to this Independent voter-open minded citizen why the second amendment "Right to Bear Arms" should not have limitations appropriate for 2012?

1.  Is an assault weapon with 100-round  clips necessary to kill a deer...or protect your home from an invader?

2.  Armor piercing bullets are sold for what purpose... deer with flack jackets?

3.  Exactly what 'arms' do citizens have a  'right to bear'? In a legal discussion on the 'meaning of arms', could it include nuclear devices -We have all heard of the  'Arms' Race. Define Arms.

I believe personal Defense is now and always has been a Right.

I do not understand the Right to have arms for Offense.

I understand the tradition of hunting as a sport.

(Full disclosure, I feel hunting animals and birds with high power technology devices/sights/ammunition belies the term 'Sport' and killing a deer or duck with an assault weapon wouldn't leave much as a trophy or meal.)

So, we’re hoping someone who hasn’t yet spoken up will respond.

What is your basis for opposing increased laws to control gun purchases?

Note From IWD: "Weigh-Ins" are no longer an active feature on IWD. Our members expressed a preference for longer dialogues. The content of the previous Weigh-Ins remains on the site for your enjoyment and enlightenment. 

Member Responses


I am not a gun fanatic. I did buy a gun about 12 years ago, but I don’t expect to ever use it. So I may not be as informed as a spokesperson should be, but I will try to present some views of people that oppose adding laws to restrict gun ownership.

I bought a gun because I wanted to be able to protect myself against other people who have guns. If gun laws ever make it impossible to buy a gun, I don’t want to be at the mercy of people who own guns. I believe it is irresponsible to own a gun – or to keep a gun where you can use it – without being trained and becoming skilled in its use.  That’s why I keep mine locked away, because I didn’t really want to get into the culture of gun ranges where I could practice. If I ever feel that my situation in life makes me more vulnerable, I may get out the gun and re-learn how to use it. I would respect all the laws and I would treat the responsibility with utmost respect.

I have heard the argument that if the government ever succeeds in getting guns out of the hands of private citizens, the government would have too much power. That seems overly paranoid to me, so I am not convinced by that.

What concerns me most about owning a gun are the statistics that say that a gun in the house is likely to increase the incidence of suicide or accidental shooting.  I can’t see that happening in my house – but I suppose no one really does.

Note from IWD: Here’s an article suggesting that fear – as in the kind of fears raised by crime stories on TV – is what leads people to oppose gun control. http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/23/opinion/frum-guns/index.html


I’m not the gun advocate you asked for, but I do think it’s important to try to understand how people feel about it.  In doing some research, I found a disturbing article in the Washington Post that credited the election of Barack Obama with increasing the number of people who support gun rights. From April of 2008 to April of 2009, the number of people who thought gun control was more important than gun rights dropped from 58% to 49% -- and the biggest shift was among white Americans.

What I've read about the type of semi-automatic gun that was used in Colorado is that they are light, easy to use, and are popular in marksmanship competitions.

Note from IWD: A federal ban on assault weapons went into effect in 1994, under President Bill Clinton, including a restriction on sales of the AR-15. But in 2004, the ban expired and it was not re-enacted.