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Gun control becomes a faith debate in wake of Colorado shootings

Strong arguments are made on both sides of gun control debate

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  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    July 23, 2012 8:53 p.m.

    The real issue is why people need assault weapons with military firepower. Hard to conceal and carry. Should everyone walk around with a weapon excessive firepower? Ban assault weapons again. The right to keep and bear arms doe not extend to nuclear arms.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    July 23, 2012 9:53 p.m.

    Weird article. God and guns as a faith issue? A question of limited relevance that is ancillary to the real issue: do guns keep you safer? What I've heard second hand from public health experts is that the data shows a gun is far more likely to be used against someone in the household than it is to be used against an intruder. You've essentially increased your risk of injury by violence. My neighborhood isn't anywhere near bad enough to take that risk. No guns for me, then.

  • David B. Cedar City, UT
    July 23, 2012 10:47 p.m.

    One post says why is there a need for a civilian to have large capacity and calibur weapons.Lets ask this another way,why does a non-military agency (law enforcement)have the need of full automatic weapons with large capacity and calibur ammo? Now I'm a gun owner and collector,I alos have large capacity magazines.It's a pain to reload a mag with 5 rounds every couple of minutes.It seves no purpose that put you at a disadvantage in a situation when you're to far away from ammo in an emergency situation. Whether it be from man or wild animal. I confine my shooting to targets and I don't hunt animals unless there is a bonafide need.I have a healthy working knowledge of all my weapons and they stay locked up but one for home protection.

  • JoCo Ute Grants Pass, OR
    July 23, 2012 11:11 p.m.

    Get a clue. . . guns do kill people. As for TJ's argument that the cities and states with the strictest gun controls have the highest # of deaths, this is twisted logic. The reason certain cities and states have gun controls is because there are millions of unlicensed unregistered guns in the hands of criminals in their city/state. All they criminals have to do is cross over to states where there are little or no controls or just steal guns that are legally owned. Gun control must be national and it must include a ban on assault weapons. It's the gun culture pure and simple. Makes no difference if you're a gangsta drug lord, a simple gang member or a god fearing member of the NRA. . . it's still the gun culture.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    July 24, 2012 12:06 a.m.

    Thomas Jefferson,
    You're using bad stats and anecdotal evidence. Sorry, I don't have the citation in front of me, this is from a personal acquaintance in the public health field. I have no reason to make it up though, I'm not a gung-ho gun control kind of person.

    "The cities and states with the strictest gun control laws have the highest # of death by guns"

    Bad stats, bad reasoning. Correlation does not equal causation; you are not taking a myriad of other factors into account to isolate the effect of gun control. And what if these numbers are high because of criminals shooting criminals? That wouldn't fit in with your thesis at all.

    "Read about the elderly gentleman that recently prevented a hold up and hostage taking situation by firing on two thugs"

    Anecdotal and not relevant to the research I was referencing, which looked at incidents within the home. i.e. the risk of stopping a home invasion vs. accidentally/intentionally shooting a member of your own family. Context is everything, and one example does not a pattern make!

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    July 24, 2012 12:16 a.m.

    Thomas Jefferson,

    About your automobile analogy; that's a really bad one too. The intent and purpose of the car is so different from hand guns and assault rifles that you are not comparing apples and oranges.

    And no, you don't want to start an anecdotal evidence war about gun control. For every example of a pistol-wielding hero who stops a bank robber that may not have even harmed anyone in the first place, you can come up with an example of the toddler who finds the family handgun, the drunken older brother who forgot to clear the chamber before casually pointing it at his younger brother's head (this was recently in the news), the case of domestic homicide that would have turned out very differently if a lethal weapon hadn't been within reach during the argument. I'd cite the Colorado shooting, but like your examples above, that didn't occur to family members within the home by the gun they assumed would be protecting them.

    I don't want to take away your right to own handguns, but the gun rights enthusiasts tend to overplay the benefits and downplay the risks.

  • across the sea Topeno, Finland
    July 24, 2012 2:26 a.m.

    This really ISN'T a faith issue!
    THINGS are NEVER birthrights!
    And freedoms always come with responsibilities.

  • setaf Rome, PA
    July 24, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    "Get a clue. . . guns do kill people. As for TJ's argument that the cities and states with the strictest gun controls have the highest # of deaths, this is twisted logic. The reason certain cities and states have gun controls is because there are millions of unlicensed unregistered guns in the hands of criminals in their city/state. All they criminals have to do is cross over to states where there are little or no controls or just steal guns that are legally owned."

    Perhaps you should sit down and read the firearms laws that we already have. To make the statement some cities/states have "little or no" controls shows you do not have a clear picture of the facts to say the least! And yes, criminals are by definition those who don't obey laws, no matter how many are written. It really has worked so well with other things which have been made illegal to own/use. No, it's not so much a gun culture as it is a sick society which most liberals refuse to address. Most "good" citizens are raised in good homes. Most "bad" people come from broken homes.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    July 24, 2012 10:23 a.m.

    “We don’t have a crime problem, or a gun problem, or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem,” Huckabee said.

    The ignorance and superstition of the Christian right is insufferable. The devil made me do it! What about your free agency and free will. We are not slaves of God or the Devil.

    If you buy a gun to protect yourself. You are making the conscientious decision that you are going to use the weapon and kill if necessary.

    What follows after that decision sometimes is very different to what you had initially in mind.

    Our country may easily be the most violent society in the western world. The NRA and its mindless followers should consider gun control not as limitation of their freedom. But as a compromise within the social contract of a modern and civilized society.

  • Armed Citizen Mesa , AZ
    July 24, 2012 10:23 a.m.

    How does my faith intersect with my gun ownership?

    I believe that I have right, granted by God and not by government, to protect my family.

    Much has been made of the argument that carrying a concealed handgun would not have helped much in the Aurora theater shooting. That may be so.

    However, the point of carrying a concealed handgun is not to eliminate every possibility of bodily harm. It is to lower that risk as much as possible. Not every who dies by violent crime dies in a mass shooting.

    There are thousands of actual and attempted carjackings, rapes, robberies, muggings, and kidnappings every year in the United States. No one has a right to deny me a chance to protect myself and my family from those things, unless I myself squander that right through crime or irresponsibility.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    July 24, 2012 11:37 a.m.

    " the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

    What does the word infringed mean generally speaking?

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    July 24, 2012 12:03 p.m.

    @ Zoar 63
    Amendment 2 - Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    There is some controversy in the way we interpret this amendment. Historically the word "people" has been interpreted as meaning individual citizens. If that was the original intent, perhaps is time to Amend or eliminate the second amendment. 1791 and 2012 are quite different times, wouldn't you agree?

  • sanpaco Sandy, UT
    July 24, 2012 1:20 p.m.

    EMajor,

    Your point about there being more family deaths than intruder deaths in homes with guns is a valid one, however, the solution to this problem is not to ban all guns but to educate gun owners about gun safety in the home. That said, if you decide that you do not want guns in your home, well that's fine with me and everyone else here, but its frankly none of your or anyone else's business how I decide to protect my own family. If I decide that I am willing to deal with that risk then that is my decision. Gun control limits the rights of good people to make the choice of how they wish to protect themselves. Make no mistake, no matter how many laws you make, criminals are going to find guns.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    July 24, 2012 1:29 p.m.

    This biased 'article' (seems more like an editorial) has not truly presented both sides of the issue. The reporter has presented this "religious" issue as if it's a choice between gun control on the one hand, or surrendering to gun violence on the other. In reality both of these options encourage more gun violence.

    The true other side of the issue is encouraging gun ownership and training for responsible, law-abiding adults. This helps to deter gun violence or cut it short, which saves lives. And if you want to put this in a religious context, how about the Declaration of Independence, which says that our Creator has endowed us with the right to "life"?

  • sanpaco Sandy, UT
    July 24, 2012 1:32 p.m.

    In regards to the whole religious view of gun control, seems like the only scriptures gun control advocates can ever remember are "Thou shalt not kill" and "Love your enemy". Well here are just a few scriptures that are pro 2nd amendment.

    "Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed"

    "If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed."

    "...and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one."

    The scriptures plainly state that we ought to be able to protect ourselves. By no means however is it stated that we ought to run around looking for opportunities to use our weapons. That seems to be the factor that divides us. Gun control advocates think we just want to buy weapons and run around shooting each other. Not the case at all. Believe me, shooting someone is my LAST resort and I hope I never have to. But, I have made the personal decision that saving innocent life and having that choice is better than sitting there helplessly watching.

  • donn layton, UT
    July 24, 2012 1:41 p.m.

    @ Baccus0902, If you buy a gun to protect yourself. You are making the conscientious decision that you are going to use the weapon and kill if necessary. True,
    Several years ago while visiting California, I read in a local paper where a dog got loose and attached some children in a home pre-school the neighbor tried to chase it away with some garden tools but it attached a 4 year old girl, while it was chewing on the girl the pre-school lady went into the house came back and shot and killed the pit bull with a 9mm pistol at point blank range. The cops did not press charges and California has very tough gun controls versus Utah. The little girl recoverd.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    July 24, 2012 2:26 p.m.

    @Sanpaco 1:32 pm

    I found your entry quite interesting. Not the part using the scriptures,I don't think that would stand scrutiny. However, the second part it was human and reasonable (according to me).

    I am strong believer in Gun Control yet I make the difference between Gun Control and abolishing gun ownership.

    Personally, I have never and hope never will allow a gun in my house. However, I can understand that some people may feel a gun can be a good defense.

    I think most people in the U.S. would agree that allowing a registered revolver or rifle for hunting, would be O.K.

    However, can you explain to me why a household may need automatic weapons?

    I don't think we have more crazy people in the U.S. than other countries. I think the difference is that crazy people in this country have more access to arms than other societies.

    @ Donn
    I have other anecdotes that have a very sad and chilling end.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    July 24, 2012 4:03 p.m.

    Sanpaco,
    I didn't tell you how to protect your family, now did I? I wrote nothing promoting the banning of firearms. I pointed out some risks that often get overlooked.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 24, 2012 6:52 p.m.

    A WELL REGULATED MILITIA, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Two things from that... 1. reasonable gun regulations are not unconstitutional so things like closing gun show loopholes or limiting high capacity clips/magazines is not a violation of your rights. 2. militia... there should be a rule that says gun owners are first in line to be drafted, I'd be totally willing to let the NRA have a ton of things it wants in exchange for that provision to be added.

  • Allisdair Thornbury, Vic
    July 24, 2012 9:10 p.m.

    Apparently 30,000 people a year are killed by firearm in the States. WOW I am glad I live in Australia where we have one tenth of that. The reason being No assult rifles No Automatic weapons and regulated gun license. If you think it is OK to be 10 times more likely to have your child shot so you have the "Right to carry an Assult Rifle" then please don't come to Australia.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    July 24, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    In our present society, the need to have a gun to protect your home is pretty remote. However, there may be a day when there are riots and civil disorders in our cities and owning a gun might be a good thing in order to protect yourself and your family. People should have the right to own guns for their own self protection if not now, then at some future date.

  • Tumbleweed Centerville, UT
    July 24, 2012 10:45 p.m.

    God helps those who help themselves. Arming one's self for self-defense or taking a life in self-defense is something that occurs thoughout the Bible and the Book of Mormon. David slew Goliath in defense of self and his country. He led armies in defense of country. Some of the most spiritual men in the Book of Mormon were forced to use deadly force to defend themselves, others and their country. Examples: Nephi, Captain Moroni, 2000 Stripling Warriors, Mormon, Moroni. God does not expect us to be shot and die like fish in a barrel. Be prepared by arming yourself. He who is prepared shall not fear.

  • JP71 Ogden, UT
    July 25, 2012 9:11 a.m.

    Sometimes there are horrible things that just happen. This was just a crazy person who went nuts. We think we can stop all bad things from happening but we can't. We try to find reasons why something like this happened when sometimes it was just a crazy person who went nuts.

    As far as creating more gun laws. Read about New Orleans and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. There were no police, women were being raped, and gangs were roaming the street killing people. I'm sure those victims wished they had a gun. There is a thin line in society between order and chaos and when it breaks there will be no one there to help your family except you.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 25, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    It doesn't take faith to believe that an off duty policeman with a concealed weapon saved lives at Trolley Square when a gun man took it upon himself to fire at bystanders, this is a factual matter. When the off duty police officer began firing at the gunman, the gunman retreated to a place where the off duty police officer couldn't hurt him, and from this location, neither could the gunman hurt others.

    The person with the conceiled weapon could have just as easily have been a citizen with a carry permit. If you don't think an offense is justified as a defence, don't take antibiotics and curse the fact that you have an immune system that works whether you want it to or not.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 25, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    Before guns there were murders. Should the time ever come when there are no more guns. There will still be mass murders. A person with a sword or gasoline bombs can kill a lot of people in a crowded place before they are stopped.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 27, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    Armed Citizen,

    "How does my faith intersect with my gun ownership?"

    Matthew 26:52 - "Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again your sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 27, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    atl134,

    "A WELL REGULATED MILITIA, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    I appreciate you putting the first phrase into all caps, even though gun rights advocates' eyes will glaze over anyway. I've never heard the NRA explain how 300 million guns in this country in the hands of people whose use of those guns is determined by their own personal judgment constitutes a well-regulated militia.

    It's historical roots are in America's colonial militias when able-bodied men required to serve were often required to provide their own firearms. So military defense of the 13 colonies was literally dependent on an armed populace. That was reaffirmed when Washington as President signed into law an act requiring men to own firearms. Today, of course, that need is met by the most powerful military in the world.

    But don't tell that to good old Rufus and Bubba sitting on their front porch oiling their shooting irnos. They might be drinking whisky.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    July 27, 2012 4:28 p.m.

    @Baccus0902

    "There is some controversy in the way we interpret this amendment. Historically the word "people" has been interpreted as meaning individual citizens. If that was the original intent, perhaps is time to Amend or eliminate the second amendment. 1791 and 2012 are quite different times, wouldn't you agree?"

    Those ten amendments that are commonly considered the Bill of Rights are different then the rest of the amendments in the constitution they cannot be repealed or amended. The government cannot touch them.

    "A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth."
    Thomas Jefferson