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.