Friday, January 28, 2011

The primary purpose of guns - Killing? Nope.

The statement is often made by gun control advocates that guns are made for killing, period. Or, that anything else guns are used for (such as sport/target shooting) are secondary to killing. However, logical analysis and statistics clearly show this to be opinion, not fact.

Now that's not to say that designers of some firearms didn't intend their weapons to be used for killing. Some of them did. Certainly some firearm designers have built some guns specifically for sport (Such as competition target rifles and handguns), Others are designed to kill varmints or pests, and there actually are some guns that were designed and manufactured specifically to kill a person.

However, the general utility of almost all firearms lends them to much more purposes than killing.

Consider the actual function of almost any firearm: To load a cartridge to fire a bullet (or multiple projectiles from a shotgun) with a specified degree of reliability, accuracy, and power.

That capability (firing a lead projectile very very fast) can be used for multiple purposes. Remember that purpose is how a person uses the tool to accomplish a goal. If that goal is to try and punch a hole in a piece of paper at 100 yards, or send a can flying, or shatter a clay target in mid-air, that obviously has nothing at all to do with a purpose of killing.

Now by its nature, a firearm can be used as a weapon, and in that use it has more utility than actually using its designed function. The threat alone of using a weapon on someone can accomplish the goal of the user, whether it's to coerce a victim to hand over their wallet, convince a criminal suspect to get out of the vehicle with their hands in the air, or to scare a violent criminal into stopping their attack and running away. The fact that in most firearm-related crimes, and in the overwhelming majority (over 95%) of defensive gun uses, no shots are even fired. In the majority of times firearms are used to commit crimes, or by police, or in self defense, the THREAT of using the firearm accomplished the goal, and thus fulfilled the purpose of the user.

There's further proof that weapons can be used without using their actual function. Consider the biggest weapons of them all, Nuclear weapons. Their designed function is to create a massive explosion. It has a capability of being used for the purpose of killing people if that is the purpose of the person using it. However, a nuclear weapon's most common purpose by far is as a defensive deterrant - the THREAT of using it if we are attacked or threatened - purely defensive.

Studies show that self defense is the third most common use of a firearm in this country (behind hunting and sport/recreational shooting). Considering that in the US, people purchased 12 billion rounds of ammunition in 2009, compared with roughly 30,000 firearm-related deaths, that is absolute evidence that killing people with a gun is just about dead last on the list of purposes it's used for in this country.

So where is the logic in claiming that guns are only made to kill? There is no reason behind the suggestion that killing is the primary designed purpose of firearms when over 99% of the time they're used for other purposes than killing. It merely shows ignorance of all the the facts and a personal bias against firearms.

As always, comments are encouraged.

...Orygunner...

23 comments:

  1. I wonder if Baldr Odinson expected the amount of debate he's be getting over at New Trajectory? I don't really expect that we are going to change his mind but I do hope that we give him something to think about and provide some dissenting comments for other visitors to read.

    The link to the 1911 page did more damage to his argument than help as the first paragraph talks about the .38 not being adequate to 'stop attackers' Stopping attackers pretty much defines what a defender does, so only willful ignorance will keep him arguing this point.

    His refusal to link to you blog actually caused me to look it up. I hope you are enjoying engaging him as much as I am.

    Best,

    Chuck aka 18Echo.

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  2. And even if one were to accept that firearms were specifically designed to kill, it does not matter - intent is non-transferrable.

    We are tool-using monkeys, and we are (for the most part) intelligent tool-using monkeys, which means we can devise all kinds of uses for any kind of tool - at last count, I think folks found five different ways to open a bottle with a 1911. Conversely, I am sure there are people in this world who can find all sorts of interesting ways to kill you with a corkscrew.

    "Intent" is wholly the realm of the tool user, not the tool itself. Unfortunately, that degree of common sense completely ruins the utility of the totemistic, cultish tendencies of anti-rights nuts, so they do their best to ignore it whenever possible. Such is life.

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  3. Excellent employment of rationalization skills. Unfortunately it doesn't change the fact that guns are a very effective tool with the sole purpose of killing organisms. Sure they can be used for plinking cans or opening bottles but that is practicing to use it effectively or misuse.
    I have carried guns my entire adult life, both professionally and personally.

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    1. Guns are a very effective tool if the USER'S sole purpose is kiling organisms.

      Objects can't have a purpose by themselves. Tools have functions. Sometimes those functions are designed to accommodate the user's purpose, but the purpose is still squarely on the shoulders of the user, period.

      ...Orygunner...

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  4. That is incorrect. The design purpose of a gun is to kill. Animals..people..etc. because you descide to use the fire arm for a different purpose has nothing to do with it's design purpose. That is precisely why firearms are classified as weapons. You can use it as dildo if you like. Nothing to do with it's design purpose.

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    1. @Jim, Now I did write this some time ago, but the fact remains that guns in the US are used far, far more for good purposes such as hunting, shooting sports, and self defense than they are for bad (such as violent crimes and accidents).

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    2. Not going to debate what guns are used for. I am simply pointing out the history and design purpose
      of a firearm. There is only one. That is to kill. It has no other purpose. I am a gun owner and i know precisely what my guns were designed to do. If you don't know, then you have no business owning a firearm. If you point a gun at someone and pull the trigger, the gun will do exactly what it was designed to do. Nothing else. Just what it was designed to do.

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  5. I have to disagree with Jim. The primary function of a gun is to kill, however the primary purpose is entirely up to the person with the gun. The primary function of a hammer is to bludgeon a nail into wood, but *it* also be used for self defense ; to make someone think twice before attacking you, or to kill. The author expressly stated "purpose" and not "design purpose" which equates to "function".

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  6. Ridiculous to say that guns are designed for the sole purpose of killing. Here's a partial list: airsoft, paintball, nail, glue, flare, cap, blank, replica and that is all that springs to mind. I'd also venture to bet that the vast majority of AR-15s have never killed anything. They sure are failing at their "sole purpose".

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  7. Of course guns are designed for a sole purpose. Ask the a gun designer what's it is designed to do. What is your car designed to do? Does it change because your son has a toy car? If you have a toy airplane does the design purpose of an airplane change? If I use a baseball bat to hit a mugger does it change the design purpose of a baseball bat?

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  8. "...when over 99% of the time they're used for other purposes than killing. It merely shows ignorance of all the the facts and a personal bias against firearms."
    Where did the 99% come from?

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    1. That's a rough, low estimate. Consider there's roughly 300,000 violent firearm related crimes in a year, and 1000 times that many firearms NOT used in a crime. (99.9%) Or that for every gun-related homicide there's 30,000 guns not involved (99.997%).

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  9. Irrelevant to the dead. And if you don't understand that then we have nothing to discuss.

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    1. Also irrelevant to those who have defended themselves with a firearm. Which happens about 95% of the time without even firing a shot.

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    2. Also irrelevant to the hundreds of thousands of people who defend themselves with firearms every year (which about 95% of the time, no shots are even fired).

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    3. Also irrelevant to the hundreds of thousands of people who defend themselves with firearms every year (which about 95% of the time, no shots are even fired).

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. I'm really glad that Jim Des deleted his last two comments, because they were total emotional and indefensible anti-gun and anti-self defense rhetoric. "Penis enhancement," really?

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  13. I'm really glad that Jim Des deleted his last two comments, because they were total emotional and indefensible anti-gun and anti-self defense rhetoric. "Penis enhancement," really?

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  15. I deleted my comment t because it's a waste of time. You can't discuss issues with people that don't understand the difference between good gun laws and gun banning. The purpose of good gun laws is to keep guns away from the wrong people. However we probably agree on a few points. If I visited Somolia or America I would certainly want to carry a gun. Violent societies , banana republics and failed states demand that. You have created a self fulfilling prophecy.

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    1. And it's just as difficult to try and discuss the ineffectiveness of gun control with someone that doesn't understand the value of freedom and individual liberty.

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