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Old July 14, 2010, 01:33 PM   #6
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,702
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
...You must make the case that the utility of the firearm outweighs the bad behaviors that are enhanced by firearms usage.

The good usages are:

1. Self-defense

...You have to make the case on 1 and 2. If a country doesn't see that - then you are sunk for gun rights.
And a very worrisome factor is that in today's world self defense is not universally respected, or even acknowledged. There are influential people and groups who specifically oppose, on principle, self defense.

See, for example, Armed by Gary Kleck and Don Kates (Prometheus Books, 2001). On pages 116 - 121, they discuss various liberal, moral objections to the notion that one may be justified to defend himself.

Feminist Betty Frienden is cited as denouncing the trend of women to arm themselves for self defense as, "...a horrifying, obscene perversion of feminism...." Her ridiculous notion that , "...lethal violence even in self defense only engenders more violence and that gun control should override any personal need for safety...." is probably widely held in liberal circles. Indeed, according to Kleck and Kates, Mario Cuomo avowed that Bernie Goetz was morally wrong in shooting even if it was clearly necessary to resist felonious attack.

Kleck and Kates also report that an article was published by the Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church condemning defensive gun ownership. In the article, Rev. Allen Brockway, editor of the board's magazine, advised women that it was their Christian duty to submit to rape rather than do anything that might imperil the attacker's life.

Kleck and Kates also note that the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) has taken a strict anti-self defense view. Rev. Kathy Young testified as a representative of that group before a Congressional Panel in 1972 in support of handgun control that the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) opposes the killing of anyone, anywhere for any reason (including, in the context of the testimony, self defense)

While these positions appear to us to be nonsense, they have some following. Note, for example that self defense is not considered in many countries to be a good reason to own a gun. Indeed in Great Britain, the natural right of self defense has been significantly curtailed by law. For an excellent study of the erosion of gun and self defense rights in Great Britain see Guns and Violence, the English Experience by Joyce Lee Malcolm (Harvard University Press, 2002).

The point of the foregoing is that the universal acceptance of the right of self defense can not be taken for granted.

(However, the Roman Catholic Church takes a much more sensible view of things. Under its doctrine, one's life is a gift from God and one has a moral obligation to preserve it even if doing so means taking the life of an attacker. Unfortunately, as outlined by Kleck and Kates, this rational perspective is not universally accepted.)
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