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Old April 17, 2013, 10:05 PM   #1
smartperson
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On the fence about gun rights.

Don't know where I stand. On one hand, I feel like guns don't kill, it's people that do. On the other hand, getting guns out of the hands of the people that kill really couldn't hurt. Sometimes I feel like we love our guns so much (understandably so, there awesome) that we would rather all of the violent crimes continue to happen, than live without them. It's a moral dilemma that I face.
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Old April 17, 2013, 10:12 PM   #2
teeroux
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Violent crimes don't happen because there are guns out there its because bad people are out there.
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Old April 17, 2013, 10:13 PM   #3
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Gun control does not reduce crime.

The Constitution is non-negotiable.
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Old April 17, 2013, 10:27 PM   #4
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Who are the people that kill? Did you know that there are over 20,000 guns laws already? Did you know that felons and mentally ill people are already prohibited from owning firearms? Considering that many prohibited people try to buy guns each day where are the prosecutions for these crimes? Doesn't it make better sense to enforce the existing laws more effectively than to make more laws that will simply be ignored anyway? Do we need to keep the mentally ill and violent felons from guns? Yes but what is the best way to do it? Why incroach on my rights as an honest law abiding citizen when you won't go after the badguys trying to get guns until after they do go into a school and kill? What have I done to be treated like a criminal? I would like to know. Sorry for the rough tone but when someone says because Pete over there did something illegal but I have to pay for it I get a little testy.
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Old April 17, 2013, 10:32 PM   #5
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How come a smart person does not know that no matter how many laws you pass only the law abiding people are inconvenienced by them and the outlaws who pay no heed to laws anyway will still acquire guns. Are you advocating we all give up our guns so the bad guys will give up theirs?

The moral dilemma you face is do you stand unarmed when you and your family are in danger or do you stand like a citizen and exercise your constitutional right to defend yourself with a gun.
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Last edited by Vanya; April 17, 2013 at 10:36 PM. Reason: no need to get snarky.
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Old April 17, 2013, 10:54 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum.
Think about this:
In the "modern" mid-90s, Rwanda racked up a six digit murder toll using machetes. How good are you at machete fighting?
If you think that guns are the problem, you're under-thinking the problem.

Don't feel bad about the harsh tone of some comments to this topic; it's tough love.
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Old April 17, 2013, 10:57 PM   #7
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Smartperson ... it's my opinion that the very first murder was done without a firearm of any kind. I think it was a rock or a club ... but it sure wasn't a firearm.

Friend ... it's a "people" thing. Some are good and would never do harm, others are not and you can see that by the trail of destruction and misery they leave behind as they go through life.

Firearms are tools. Just like my hammer, just like my screwdrivers, just like my lug wrench, just like my axe and hatchet. If you have a moral dilemma overthis, I suggest that you are over-thinking the matter and just need to stop over-thinking.
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Old April 17, 2013, 11:02 PM   #8
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I truly understand where you are coming from. Sometimes one has to evaluate where they stand on issues in other to get the better picture. These are some of the questions that run through my head sometimes.

Why can't we find a way to prevent people who are mentally challenged from acquiring a firearm?

Could universal background check without gun registration prevent some of these people from purchasing firearms legally assuming their names are in a database?

Should responsible gun owners support the above?

Why do some family members prevent their loved ones from getting help because they don't want them to be labeled? Should the owner of the firearm be culpable if a crime is committed in this instance?

To what extent are our broken home especially absentee fathers and the devaluation of fatherhood playing a part in criminal activities?

The partial answer that keeps coming to me is that it is not about the quantity of laws that are important but it is the right laws that are specifically targeting the perpetrators of these crimes instead of trying to criminalize the whole population.

Questions are always important because they provide a framework to think constructively. As a human being you should always embrace reflections and thoughtful considerations no matter your stands on any issue. Don't be bothered with some of the harsh words because the gun debate is an emotional issue and rightfully so.
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Old April 18, 2013, 01:33 AM   #9
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Hey smartperson if your wondering what to do about the increasing amount of violent crime in the country well, check out this video

http://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/impo...-with-friends/

The person points out that FBI crime statistics show violent crime and murders have been going DOWN in recent years. From 1992 to 2011 violent crime and murder both have dropped by about 50%. Almost unbelievably if you just look at violent crime, the US rate is actually lower than England and Wales.

Also I'd like to make these two points.
1. I’ll concede that if you get rid of guns you will get rid of ‘gun violence’.
2. There are at least 200 million guns in the country, admit you are not going to be able to get rid of the guns.
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Old April 18, 2013, 03:08 AM   #10
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DaleA your link didn't work, I was very interested to read it as everything I have read would've suggested England and Wales had much lower crime rates.

I think that universal background checks could be a good idea, of course it wont stop all gun crime, but if it could stop a few mentally unstable, or stop some people who shouldn't guns from doing so.
But I'm also very wary of any Government making a rule like that, and then adding a bit more and a bit more and a bit more, until you have something very different to what first started.

Quote:
Why do some family members prevent their loved ones from getting help because they don't want them to be labeled? Should the owner of the firearm be culpable if a crime is committed in this instance?
This is an excellent point, you are never going to stop criminals having guns, but people who are mentally unstable who are a threat to themselves or others that are left to get to a point where they shoot people is something that should never happen.
Is this something that actually happened or just speculation?
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Old April 18, 2013, 03:50 AM   #11
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From my understanding, the problem is, the mental healthcare system is ridiculously broken and underfunded (just what I've been told). There are a good number of people who should be adjudicated and accepted into mental institutions for treatment and or safe keeping, but are rejected or are simply brought in, kept there for x period of time, and then released. Some of these individuals are just as broken as they were when they went in.

Now I'm no expert on the subject, and this is all here say, so don't take what I say as the gospel. But the biggest issue I see is that when we delve into the world of mental health, things get murky, fast! I'd much rather legislation being put into effect that allocates more money to the research and development of new techniques to diagnose and treat/cure such ailments. As it stands right now, medical practitioners simply do not have enough data on how to properly treat those who suffer from mental disorders. We walk a fine line for those who are truly dangerous to themselves and others and those who function just fine and only need some medication and some basic assistance from a physician.

It's a heated and touchy topic, and truth be told, we really don't know a whole lot about the subject in the grand scheme of things.

On the topic of gun rights, with all due respect, stating that we would rather violence to go on just to keep our firearms is terribly foolish IMHO. If anything, the vast majority would rather it stop, but the fact of the matter is, the laws and legislation that is being proposed will do absolutely nothing to stop someone who is determined to commit a crime.

Laws only affect the law abiding, every person must make a conscious and moral decision to ignore that law, there is nothing out there that will make you follow that law except YOU.

If we want to try and lower crime, we should first take a look at society, and how we've grown over the past few decades. Guns were never the problem, they were always there in fact. Ask yourself why is it, back in the 50's and 60's when we had high action gun slinging cowboys shooting up saloons and robbing trains that we didn't have the issues that we have today with mass murders etc. We had just as much access to an assortment of firearms back then than we do now (more in fact if memory serves). Fast forward to now, and we now have stabbings and all sorts of horrible tragedies occurring (though far between).

What happened? Is it guns are more accessable? No, they've always been there, they never left. So what changed? I'll tell you what changed, social and moral decay.

Lets face it, I was born in 1980's, I watched it happen, hell I was a part of the newer generation. Children of my generation grew up with the TV as their guardians, parents that were too scared to actually discipline their child for fear of "traumatizing" them, or that they would grow up to hate them.

Kids that learn zero respect for what is right and wrong, or about what their actions will do to another person. This has been going on for generations long before mine, but it's evident now that our society is very sick.

We have a generation of self entitled freeloaders that only care about what they can get, without any qualms about who else will suffer so long as they get what is theirs. A society that is centered around "me". This is not something that we'll fix over night, not in a year, not even several decades.

I recognize that I am far from perfect, society even more so, but what needs to change is the mind set of the people, one person at a time. Until we recognize the fact that the people of this world appear to be going morally bankrupt, then we'll continue down this dark path where more and more families are raising children in broken homes and those children grow up to become very messed up individuals. (I should know, I was one of them!)

I am on the side that guns are a tool, they have no morality, no reasoning, nor a desire to do anything. It is the person behind the tool that has to make the decision to pull the trigger, if I could stop all the crime in the world, so that no parent would ever have to go through the sorrow of losing a loved one to violent nut jobs by turning in my AR15, I would do it in a heart beat. however, the sad fact is, we do not live in Equestria, where everything is sunshine with pastel coloured ponies with cutie marks and butterflies.

Reality is, you cannot legislate morality, and few criminals go through legal channels to begin with let alone these nut jobs that go and shoot up elementary schools (Adam Lanza stole his mothers legally owned firearms, he was willing to kill her for them, so ultimately, the background checks would have done nothing to stop someone with so much evil in their heart).

That's me $20's worth on the topic.
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Old April 18, 2013, 04:12 AM   #12
NWPilgrim
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On the fence about gun rights.

Smartperson, can you explain why you think criminals, or those planning violent attacks, care one whit about gun laws? Do you really think someone planning to kill another person is worried about ignoring background checks, or laws against stealing firearms?

Your moral dilemma stems from a poor understanding of criminal behavior.

I notice a flood of these new postings with the current legislative actions and wonder how can real gun owners be this ill informed of the nature of crime and the responsibility to be armed and defend one's family. Do real people actually believe more gun laws will have any impact on gang bangers? Robbers and muggers? Vengenace killers such as that former TX judge?

After I have one firearm what good does a background check do any way? If I intended to attack someone why would I try to buy a gun through legal means rather than use the one I already have or one I could steal?

Before, what, 1968 there were no background checks, you could buy guns through direct mailorder catalogue or most department stores. I dare say our society was much more polite and respectful of each other on the whole back then compared to today when we have MANY gun laws piled on the shoulders of law abiding citizens. Not such a smart thing.
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Old April 18, 2013, 04:55 AM   #13
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As hard as it can be to try to inject reality into this question, you also have to look at the relative risks of OTHER commonly-available things in society, and don't just stop at ordinary things like cars. Although I genuinely feel grief for the children of Sandy Hook, punishing the 99.9999 of owners of firearms who will never hurt anyone else with those firearms isn't going to make those kids less dead, and is simply a distraction to issues that are MORE likely to result in farm more deaths. More than 80 kids each year of the ages of the Sandy Hook victims die from eating HOT DOGS, but those kids apparently don't matter. By ratio, swimming pools are involved in 100 times more deaths of young children each year than guns are, with more than 700 drownings, but the same people that know absolutely nothing about guns and would be happy to see them banned would be aghast if someone were to suggest banning swimming pools "for public safety".
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Old April 18, 2013, 06:30 AM   #14
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That was a great post Kimio.

Very sad how right you are on every point, society is getting more and more morally bankrupt, and the PC brigade that says you can do what you what as it's your life is whats driving that.

I don't know what its like in the US, but in New Zealand criminals have so much Human rights that they are generally more looked after than their victims and after getting a slap with a wet bus ticket are sent on their way again with a stern warning not to be bad again.
There is just no sense of personal responsibility or respect for others and thats what id the root of most if not all problems.

The worst part of all is the same PC brigade think that instead of being hard on criminals that trying to remove guns is the better way to reduce crime.
And they aren't willing to listen to logic as feelings over rule logic and if all else fails "you need to think of the children".

Its great to see you Americans stand up for what you believe in, as if this were in New Zealand, I think the laws would've been passed straight away.

Lets hope that there is enough public support to either show logically that banning guns will do nothing, otherwise enough support to overwhelm the anti's.
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Old April 18, 2013, 07:34 AM   #15
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well lets look at modern countries.

england band most guns outright. yet within a year their government claimed gun related violent crime went up 170%. yet no one could phycially get the guns to commit crimes.

japan got rid of private gun ownership. yet they still have violent crime and random mass murders. however there criminals prefer to release poison gas on trains and in shopping centers. or to walk around shopping centers and stab people in the vitals with really nice knives.
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Old April 18, 2013, 07:49 AM   #16
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Thanks, kimio, . . .

Personally, . . . I don't know of one person in all of my extended family who was killed by a criminal or nut job with a gun.

AND, . . . yes, . . . I do feel sorry for those who have.

BUT, . . . I know the pain of having someone you love dearly being snatched away from you by a deranged person, . . . but not by a gun, . . . by a 4000 pound rocket hurtling down the street at 100 miles per hour, . . . piloted by an individual too drunk to walk, . . . had to drive.

Punishment for killing my sister, . . . scarring me for life??? $392.00 was the total fine given to George Barry.

There are problems much deeper than the few good folks out there randomly killed by nut jobs with guns, . . .

Rant off !

May God bless,
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Last edited by Vanya; April 18, 2013 at 10:07 AM. Reason: deleted off-topic para.
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Old April 18, 2013, 08:06 AM   #17
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While I can't identify a causal link based upon correlation, I strongly suspect that there is a causal link because of the conistency of the data. Where gun laws about gun availability make them increasingly available, violent crime goes down. This has been consistent for over two decades.

While it is obvious that there will be more "gun" crimes with the availability of guns, the total of crime is the what's important. You can have less crime by use of guns if you are in favor of crimes by use of knife. But I prefer the concept of less crime by all means.

Further, one must consider that more guns are in the country every year while the crime has been decreasing.
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Old April 18, 2013, 08:12 AM   #18
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We need to have an honest, bipartisan search for a way to keep madmen from getting guns. Here's a hint ... it's not the guns. Our system is set up so that the easiest solution to any problem is to impact the largest number of people so that the handful causing the problem are caught up in the net. That's a bad solution.

Guns are like cars, hammers, baseball bats and knives. All have legitimate functions and all can be used to kill. Disarming America so horrors like Newtown don't happen would be like outlawing driving to keep drunk drivers from killing other motorists. Find a solution to keeping bad guys from obtaining guns (in my opinion, virtually impossible), don't come after every law-abiding citizen in hopes you'll cancel some madman's plans.
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Old April 18, 2013, 09:12 AM   #19
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Quote:
What happened? Is it guns are more accessable? No, they've always been there, they never left. So what changed? I'll tell you what changed, social and moral decay.

Lets face it, I was born in 1980's, I watched it happen, hell I was a part of the newer generation. Children of my generation grew up with the TV as their guardians, parents that were too scared to actually discipline their child for fear of "traumatizing" them, or that they would grow up to hate them.
That is IMO, only part of the problem at hand: another part also happened in the 1980's. That was the closing of most State Mental Hospitals, in favor of outpatient medicated "care" ...... Back in the 1950's or 60's, people like the Sandy Hill nut would be institutionalized, rather than given a cocktail of psychotropic drugs that seem to work almost all the time ...... until they don't.

I'll bet most, if not all of these spree killers were on one or more of these drugs before or during their atrocities.

Am I saying that everyone on Ritalin, Abilify, Paxil, Prozac, or any of the dozens of other phych meds out there is going to "Go off his meds"* and shoot up a public place? No. ...... but folks that do these things are generally on one or more of them. You won't hear much about it, though: there's a ton of money out there making sure you don't.


Quote:
While it is obvious that there will be more "gun" crimes with the availability of guns, the total of crime is the what's important. You can have less crime by use of guns if you are in favor of crimes by use of knife. But I prefer the concept of less crime by all means.
I always wondered just why it would be so much worse to be murdered with a gun than with any other tool........ seems to me that I don't want to be murdered at all, and the tool used is irrelavant.

*Think about this: When did that term enter the vernacular? Late 80's, early 90's, right?
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Old April 18, 2013, 09:40 AM   #20
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Quote:
...we would rather all of the violent crimes continue to happen, than live without them.
Say what?

If we gave up arms, or if we never had them to begin with, the weak or righteous might very well find themselves at the mercy, or lack thereof, of the strong. Strong probability of that happening actually, if history is any indicator.

A moral dilemma that has been faced since man first picked up a stick or rock and coveted another's possessions, I fear.

Your call and decision, smartperson.
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Old April 18, 2013, 09:59 AM   #21
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Oh don't get me wrong Jimbob, I wholeheartedly agree that there is much more to this issue than just poor parenting and a morally bankrupt social body.

I can speak from experience on this. When my father was young, he used to get into all sorts of trouble (You know, boy trouble) being rowdy in class, not being very attentive, stuff like that. He was 7-8 years old. Teachers coped, he was just being a kid, nothing was considered odd about his behaviour, him playing cops and robbers was not seen as symptoms of him being mentally deficient in any which way or form.

Fast forward to recent years when I was just a wee brat, and at the tender age of 6 my teachers saw fit to say that they thought I had ADD or ADHD because I would not sit still, mouth shut, and attentive to their lectures on the english aplhabet and how to add 2+2.

They immediately suggested I be placed on Ritlen, which caused all sorts of issues. Fortunately, my mother had enough sense to not blindly listen to what my teachers said, and through her own studies found that there were days that I was just fine and behaved as they "expected" me to even when I was off the medication, while others I was the typical 6 yo deliquent with ADHD that they thought I was when on the medication.

The solution for taking care of the burden of parenting nowadays is to push off the responsibilty to either drugging up our children until they're mindless zombies, or letting television or video games do the work for us. Ultimately though, what does that do to these children when they are confronted with problems that occur in every day life?

Such as bullying. Without proper guidance, most children (I emphasis most) don't know how to properly handle the situation, some break down and get depressed, others get angry, sometimes violently so.

They then grow up, and have all these unresolved issues in their past affecting them in their adolescent/adult life, and when that one last straw breaks them, they go on a rampage, seeking release, seeing as getting even or killing themselves as the only resolution.

Each and every one of us, our lives are filled with choices, and while free will plays as much of a role in anything we do (We all know some parents, that did all the right things, that still end up with bad apples), and a child will have one of two options depending on their personality among other things. To handle a situation responsibly or irresponsibly.

However, if they are never shown how to do so, it is less likely that they will go the responsible route when dealing with intense emotions such as anger or sorrow. (I've gone down both paths as a child)

My generation in particular is really messed up, how many times have I heard kids saying they just want to shoot someone that wronged them, that they wish all the pain in the world to descend upon their shoulders etc. Proper parenting is not a fool proof way to ensure a child will not take a wrong turn in life and do evil things, but it certainly does help encourage them not to do so. Again free will.

All of the above factor into what happens and what drives these individuals to do what they do IMO. So let us ask ourselves, do we have a gun problem, or a violent criminal/individual problem in our country/world. I'm more inclined to think the latter.

Mental health being as murky as it is, and seeing as I have no real experience on the topic, I'll leave it at what I mentioned in my previous post and let someone who works in the field expand upon it.

another $20 worth on the topic from me.
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Old April 18, 2013, 10:30 AM   #22
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Quote:
we would rather all of the violent crimes continue to happen, than live without them.
Getting rid of the guns will not prevent violence.

Without firearms, what you have is rule by the strong: things get Medieval in a hurry, when Might makes Right: Were the Middle Ages a time of "Peace"? Not at all- IIRC, they began with the Sacking of Rome, and ended with "The Hundred Years War" ..... and the rise of gun equipped armies that could shoot down the mightiest, best armored warriors in the world .......

I suggest everyone should read the most excellent essay by Marko Kloos, entitled "Why the Gun is Civilization.

http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.co...-civilization/

I'm irritated that a search for the essay still has entries attibuting Marko's work to a "Major Caudill". I'm sure Marko is, too.
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Old April 18, 2013, 10:37 AM   #23
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Quote:
we would rather all of the violent crimes continue to happen, than live without them.
Better you should say, we don't believe violent crimes would cease, if guns were banned, and so we prefer not to give up one of our best means of self-defense.

You could even say, we believe that the tendency of government to overreach, over-legislate, and seize power and wealth would accelerate much faster, if the government could convince the citizenry to disarm.

We don't live in Utopia. Pretending we might will not make it so.
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Old April 18, 2013, 10:38 AM   #24
BfloBill
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Bottom Line: Laws only effect the people who follow them. Criminals will always be armed, and new laws (particularly in NY) are only serving to limit the law abiding citizens' ability to protect themselves.
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Old April 18, 2013, 10:43 AM   #25
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"It's a moral dilemma that I face."

There is no moral dilemma. Prevent criminals and mental cases from possessing firearms and the solution is at hand.

There is no way to determine if law-abiding citizens and those with mild personality issues are going to commit mayhem with a firearm, that's not something we need to be concerned about.
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