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Old May 3, 2019, 01:06 PM   #51
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44AMP
Sadly, so are some people...
I'm blushing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AB
Now you're falling into the trap of discussing the design of a couple of specific firearms as opposed to considering the entire genus fire arms.
It isn't a trap. Every firearm is a specific one, and no one has a general gun. If we are to consider the entire category of firearms, it includes the 10/22, Hammerli and big Gewehr, and a categorical assertion will have problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AB
This is no different from singling out the Hammerli 230 and saying that because THIS gun was "designed" for putting holes in paper with exceptional repeatability, therefore guns were not designed to kill.
In the spirit of precision, I wouldn't contend that guns are not designed to kill.

I would contend that the assertion "guns are designed for killing" invites questions. Which guns? Which designers? The answers to these questions indicate that the unqualified assertion is false.

Perhaps more importantly, why would we focus on the designer's goals? Does the designer's intent determine the utility of his design?


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Originally Posted by Scorch
...the weapon is the mind of man.
At least now we know what to outlaw.

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Old May 3, 2019, 01:37 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zukiphile
It isn't a trap. Every firearm is a specific one, and no one has a general gun. If we are to consider the entire category of firearms, it includes the 10/22, Hammerli and big Gewehr, and a categorical assertion will have problems.
But the reason this discussion comes up is that anti-gun people generalize that "guns are for killing." If/when we attempt to counter that assertion with a finely-nuanced discussion of "Well, maybe some guns were designed for killing -- once upon a time -- but MY guns certainly weren't designed for killing," we don't win the argument, we just look like we're being evasive and ducking to issue. And we look that way because we are. Especially if we use guns like a Hammerli 230 as our proof, but we're wearing a Glock or a 1911 or a SIG and we have an AR-15 or three in the gun safe at home.

Screwdrivers were invented and are designed for turning screws. The fact that some screwdrivers aren't used to turn screws doesn't change their genesis. The same is true for guns. Guns were invented to kill, and especially to kill people. The fact that the primary purpose of some firearms today isn't to kill people doesn't change the genesis of guns as a class of things.

When an anti-gun person complains that "guns are for killing," he/she is not thinking about Hammerly 230 Olympic competition pistols. He/she is thinking of AK-47s, AR-15s, and Glock "invisible to metal detector" pistols with thousand-round "clips." There's simply no point in trying to convince those people that guns aren't designed for killing when even we have to go through multiple pages of Internet debate to even try to justify why we can claim otherwise for a few, specific types of guns.

Why are we having this discussion? PhotonGuy made the initial post, so he should explain why he asked the question. I suspect that he asked it because he's looking for ammunition (pardon the term) to refute the anti-gun claim that guns are designed for killing. I respectfully submit that, since we can't come up with a simple way to absolutely refute that statement, we should not even attempt to refute it. We should accept it as true, and focus instead on how to explain to "those people" that guns are not inherently evil because of what they are, that the evil they should be worrying about is the evil people who use guns for evil purposes.
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Old May 3, 2019, 02:01 PM   #53
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In my mind the intent of the inventor, designer, or manufacturer of firearms is academic and irrelevant. What matters is the intent of the user.

My intent in purchasing my guns was strictly protection - protection of me, my family, and perhaps other innocent people if the occasion arises. The guns would achieve my intent by immediately stopping a serious and imminent threat. Killing might be the outcome, but is certainly not my intent.

The intent of other users might be for providing food through hunting, or pleasure through sport shooting. Even users in law enforcement usually do not intend to kill, but rather to protect themselves or others by quickly and efficiently stopping a threat.

There are over 300 million of these inanimate mechanisms floating around in the USA and if properly used they present no problems, indeed they are good. Only improper use is a problem. For that I don't blame the gun, only the user.
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Old May 3, 2019, 02:09 PM   #54
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB
Screwdrivers were invented and are designed for turning screws. The fact that some screwdrivers aren't used to turn screws doesn't change their genesis. The same is true for guns. Guns were invented to kill, and especially to kill people. The fact that the primary purpose of some firearms today isn't to kill people doesn't change the genesis of guns as a class of things.
Why do you attribute a motive to an inventor/designer that you don't attribute to yourself as a user?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AB
But the reason this discussion comes up is that anti-gun people generalize that "guns are for killing."
Adopting the error doesn't help to address the error. I think I know why they indulge the error, and it isn't innocent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AB
If/when we attempt to counter that assertion with a finely-nuanced discussion of "Well, maybe some guns were designed for killing -- once upon a time -- but MY guns certainly weren't designed for killing," we don't win the argument, we just look like we're being evasive and ducking to issue. And we look that way because we are.
It can't duck an issue to address it. I don't recommend the beauty school philosophy of polemics. I don't recommend the argument you suggest about your guns not being designed for killing.

In most settings, few things are more persuasive that actually being correct. If one focuses on what is true first, and then marshals those true observations in support of his position, he is likely to occupy the better position.


I contend that "guns are designed for killing" accomplishes a deception by conflating a potential result with something that they falsely believe inheres in the object. It reflects sloppy reasoning at best.

Why not just say "Guns can be lethal"? That certainly reflects one possible result of use, but it doesn't quite suggest an evil intent.

Why not say "Some modern firearms are optimized for stopping people immediately"? That seems to be the focus of defensive use literature, but "stopping people" doesn't sound all that bad.

Why not say "Firearms are often used to kill people"? That's true, but raises the question about how they are more often used by civilians and police for other purposes.

"Guns are designed to kill (people)" makes "guns" the subject rather than human behavior. "Designed" raises the concept of intent, and intent is central to criminal and moral culpability. "Kill(ing) people" is a problem noted in the prior century's greatest atrocities in which evil is present by the bucket load, and we've assigned both criminal and moral culpability.

The bumper sticker slogan is a shorthand that conveys that guns are a designed evil. Who wants more designed evil?

If the phrase is literally false and substantially deceptive, I wouldn't be so quick to concede its validity.

Quote:
I respectfully submit that, since we can't come up with a simple way to absolutely refute that statement, we should not even attempt to refute it.
I once heard that "guns don't kill people..."
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Old May 3, 2019, 02:29 PM   #55
Aguila Blanca
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Originally Posted by zukiphile
It can't duck an issue to address it. I don't recommend the beauty school philosophy of polemics. I don't recommend the argument you suggest about your guns not being designed for killing.
I don't argue that my guns were not designed for killing. My position is that all guns, as a class of things, are inherently designed so as to be capable of killing. That's what guns are. I don't intend to kill anyone, but the guns I own can kill if I (or someone else) use them for that purpose.

We should not be arguing about the guns. Guns are inanimate objects. We should be discussing what can be done to alleviate the problem of people who want to kill other people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zukiphile
Why not just say "Guns can be lethal"? That certainly reflects one possible result of use, but it doesn't quite suggest an evil intent.
Because the anti-gun people don't say "Guns can be lethal," they say "Guns are only good for killing."

Quote:
Originally Posted by zukiphile
I once heard that "guns don't kill people..."
I've heard that, too. "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Has that argument stopped a single anti-gun legislative initiative ... anywhere, ever? If not, then I respectfully submit that it's a rather poor counter argument.
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Old May 3, 2019, 02:55 PM   #56
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB
I don't argue that my guns were not designed for killing.
I don't either,

Quote:
Originally Posted by AB
I've heard that, too. "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Has that argument stopped a single anti-gun legislative initiative ... anywhere, ever? If not, then I respectfully submit that it's a rather poor counter argument.
I don't know whether it has played a role in stopping a single anti-gun initiative. It is simple, and unnuanced, so it avoids two of your objections to more detailed analysis. It also illustrates the salient different between a morally neutral object and a moral actor in just seven words. If explaining that illustrates the problem with neutral object restrictions, then it may be an important part of the conversations that inform public sentiment.


It's a problem when people weigh the truth or accuracy of a statement less than what sort of result the statement will elicit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zuk
Why not just say "Guns can be lethal"? That certainly reflects one possible result of use, but it doesn't quite suggest an evil intent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AB
Because the anti-gun people don't say "Guns can be lethal," they say "Guns are only good for killing."
Why not say "Some modern firearms are optimized for stopping people immediately"? That seems to be the focus of defensive use literature, but "stopping people" doesn't sound all that bad.

Why not say "Firearms are often used to kill people"? That's true, but raises the question about how they are more often used by civilians and police for other purposes.
I'm sure that someone has asserted that they are only good for killing. My point above is that given so many more reasonable options, "guns are designed for killing" appears to indulge errors so profound that accepting it as true will have you building on those errors.
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Old May 3, 2019, 03:13 PM   #57
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Zukiphile you make compelling points. My position is that all of my guns are weapons and by nature dangerous. It is also my position that weapons have always been developed and designed to kill, even if that is not the sole purpose for having one. These positions do not support the notion all guns are designed to kill and therefore evil. To paraphrase Forest Gump, "evil is as evil does." The fundamental right of free men to keep and bear arms is to give the ability to defend from threats foriegn and domestic. This is the argument I make to folks who question that right. Some tools are dangerous by necessity and design. So be it.
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Old May 3, 2019, 04:42 PM   #58
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So farmers will be strictly licensed and controlled as in those countries. There may be even licensed varmint hunters you have to hire.
Will the licensed varmint hunters be available 24/7? They had better be since farmers shoot vermin at all sorts of odd hours. And besides what if the farmer lives in the middle of nowhere with no licensed varmint hunters nearby?

Quote:
There is no RKBA in that scenario. The gun is similar to cyanide licensed to an exterminator.
I believe cyanide is legal although regulated but obtainable with a license.

Quote:
The rules to get a gun in Japan are fierce, want to live under that?
Absolutely not. I am just pointing out that even countries with the strictest gun control, you are allowed to keep guns in your house legally if you take the time and trouble of going through the necessary procedures. The only countries I can think of where you can't keep guns in your house are communist countries.

Anyway, as you talked about earlier with being required to keep guns at a sports club, hunting ground, ect instead of at home that would go against the fourth amendment in that the government cannot prevent citizens from keeping their own property in their own homes.
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Old May 3, 2019, 04:44 PM   #59
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You are missing the point that the RKBA is postulated for guns as weapons, not a variant of a can of Raid.
Alright so guns are weapons, although much of that depends on use, you can't really argue against that.
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Old May 3, 2019, 04:46 PM   #60
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Swords and knives were not developed as "tools," they were developed as weapons.
And a weapon is a type of tool. "Weapon" falls under the category of "tool."
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Old May 3, 2019, 04:48 PM   #61
PhotonGuy
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But the reason this discussion comes up is that anti-gun people generalize that "guns are for killing."
If Im using a gun against a bad guy it would be more accurate to say "guns are for stopping." If I were to shoot a perpetrator I would not be shooting to kill I would be shooting to stop.
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Old May 3, 2019, 05:48 PM   #62
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Alright so guns are weapons, although much of that depends on use, you can't really argue against that
Sure you can. A gun is weapon that can be used for a variety of purposes. That does not mean it isn't a weapon.

This argument that guns are used for stopping and somehow that means they are not a tool for killing is not really valid either. Immediate incapacitation happens from massive blood loss or major damage to the central nervous system. It is the reason we are taught to aim for center mass. That gives one the best chance of stopping the violence. By all legal standards that is use of lethal force. Why? Because done properly death is a very real possibility. Trying to defend the use of a lethal weapon by claiming it isn't meant to be lethal has no merit.
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Old May 3, 2019, 06:30 PM   #63
zukiphile
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Originally Posted by K_Mac
Sure you can. A gun is weapon that can be used for a variety of purposes. That does not mean it isn't a weapon.
You could also say that a gun is a useful thing that can be used as a weapon. That doesn't mean it isn't useful for things other than a weapon.

Was my biathlon rifle ever a weapon even if it was never used as one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_Mac
This argument that guns are used for stopping and somehow that means they are not a tool for killing is not really valid either. Immediate incapacitation happens from massive blood loss or major damage to the central nervous system. It is the reason we are taught to aim for center mass. That gives one the best chance of stopping the violence. By all legal standards that is use of lethal force. Why? Because done properly death is a very real possibility. Trying to defend the use of a lethal weapon by claiming it isn't meant to be lethal has no merit.
It really does.

Lethal force isn't force with an intent to kill. That death is a possible result or collateral effect does not mean that death is the intended result of the act.

The distinction isn't merely academic. Where lethal force is used in self defense, a jury can get a sense of the purpose of a shooting in reaching a verdict. I recall a case in which the defendant stopped a large home invader with a 9mm loaded with FMJ range ammunition. The defendant had emptied a 15 round magazine from his Taurus before the invader stopped. The jury had a hard time accepting that a defensive use was present, and the defendant was convicted.

If the point of shooting someone where to kill him, bullets with toxic agents, say polomium 210, would be marketed with the lethality of the bullet front and center. CCI Blazer with polonium 210 - If your attacker doesn't die weeks later, your money back. They don't do that because the point of self-defense isn't punishment by death. It's quick incapacitation.

You aren't taught to shoot center of mass because it is more likely to kill, but because it is more likely to incapacitate quickly, when the incapacity is useful to you.

Last edited by zukiphile; May 3, 2019 at 06:56 PM.
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Old May 3, 2019, 07:05 PM   #64
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I don't recall anyone stating guns don't kill. I stated they were designed to launch a "rock" further and harder than you can throw it. I'm afraid I fell guilty to the same error as the antis with that statement, the error of leaving unsaid the part that "everyone knows".

Guns aren't designed to kill, they are designed to shoot. The better they do that, the better they are at killing. Or stopping, or anything else you use them for.

Skipping the steps inbetween (what the user does with it) is like saying your cheeseburger is designed to be feces. Skip the parts about its "designed" to be eaten, it's "designed" to taste good, its intent to provide enjoyable nourishment, none of that matters, since it always ends up as feces that MUST be what it was designed to do...

or so some would think if they had the intellectual integrity to follow their own logic about firearms in other parts of their lives.

I believe the argument "designed to kill" and especially the phrasing are intended to imply that the gun is somehow, evil. Things that kill are evil, a definition that goes back to the middle ages at least. Probably much further.

Ordinary folk believing that, was a benefit to the ruling class. Evil things were forfeit to the Crown, or the local representative. Wagon rolls over some commoner, its evil. the sherriff takes it. Somebody killed in your mill? forfeit to the crown, its evil, you can't keep it, etc.,

Make a thing evil, you can take it, (because in your responsible hands, its no longer evil) or you can ban it . Want a more modern application? Taking the dope dealers car, boat, house, money, etc. (and doing it BEFORE a conviction!)

Seizing the family car because daddy talked to a hooker who wasn't a hooker but a cop, etc. We do it all the time, every day, day in and day out and the masses approve, because they either don't really think it through, and/ or they believe it will never affect them.

One argument I have heard is "are the police designed to kill? They carry guns, after all..." and variations of that.

Face it, the anti gun zealot in danger is glad to see that "good guy with a gun", BECAUSE guns can kill, and they can save their precious ass. They do, however have an OCD problem thinking only police can be "good guys with guns".
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Old May 3, 2019, 08:38 PM   #65
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Zukiphile your biathlon rifle is a weapon by definition in my view. Being useful for other things doesn't change that.

You are playing with my words counselor. I never said we trained to hit center mass with intent to kill, but that it gave us the best chance of immediate incapacitation. The reality is immediate incapacitation with a firearm generally requires serious damage, and that damage may be lethal. I'm not talking about shooting if avoidance or compliance will do. I'm not talking about using more force than required to stop the threat. I'm talking about the use of a lethal weapon to stop an unprovoked attack where I am reasonably afraid for my life.

In our efforts to assure folks that we are not blood thirsty vigilantes we cannot tell thinking people that a gun is not a lethal weapon, or that its use in a self defense encounter doesn't put the attacker's life at risk. Carrying a gun means we are willing to take another life to save our own or someone's in our charge. All of the rest is this is just conversation.
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Old May 3, 2019, 09:23 PM   #66
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After reading through many of the posts on this thread and thinking it over myself I've come to this conclusion. We can argue back and forth whether or not guns are designed for killing until the cows come home but what matters more, in my opinion, is not what something is designed for but what its good and effective at. Sure, guns can be good at killing in the hands of somebody who is using them for that purpose but so can many other things. I myself have used guns to kill. I have shot and killed an alligator and I have shot and killed a hog and I've killed squirrels with airguns. I never have and hopefully never will be in a situation where I kill a person with a gun or by any other means. So I can tell you from my own experience that guns are very good and effective at killing if you're using them for that purpose.

However there are other things which can be just as good and effective or moreso then guns at killing. If somebody wants to kill the most people in the shortest amount of time airplanes have been shown to be more effective than guns at that. Airplanes are not designed to kill, I think we can all agree on that, yet they're better for that purpose if you want to kill the most people in the shortest time. Same thing with trucks loaded with explosive fertilizer. Even driving a truck into a crowd at high speed could kill more people in less time than using an AR semi automatic rifle or even a full automatic. So if you ask me, what's more important is what something is good at, not what its designed for.
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Old May 3, 2019, 09:49 PM   #67
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they say "Guns are only good for killing.
It is a fallacy to argue otherwise.

Guns are made for killing. Guns are a necessary tool man has developed because some things on God's Green Earth need killing if we are going to control our environment in order to remain safe as well as top the food chain.

While it is fun to shoot holes in paper at the end of the day it started as preparation for performing the intended design task of the gun....to kill.

That design purpose still stands on its own in its relevance today and does not require justification.

Food often does not just lay down on the plate. Food often runs away and can even fight back injuring the potential diner. It requires killing.

Depending on your location in the country, a walk in the woods can put you on the menu. To prevent ending up as Bear, Wolf, or Cougar poop ....killing might be required.

There are bad people in the world who want to do bad things to good people. Killing is often necessary to keep the bad people from doing bad things to good people because the bad people just won't stop no matter how nicely we ask.

The Supreme Court has already ruled that when the bad people come to do bad things, YOU are responsible for YOUR OWN defense.

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Justices Rule Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect Someone
Quote:
The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm, even a woman who had obtained a court-issued protective order against a violent husband making an arrest mandatory for a violation.
https://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/p...o-protect.html
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Old May 3, 2019, 10:54 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidsog
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
they say "Guns are only good for killing.
It is a fallacy to argue otherwise.
Which fallacy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_Mac
Zukiphile your biathlon rifle is a weapon by definition in my view. Being useful for other things doesn't change that.
I've no quarrel with that. I believe you would also agree that it isn't only a weapon. While an epee is a weapon, it's also sporting equipment. That's also true of a baseball bat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_Mac
You are playing with my words counselor. I never said we trained to hit center mass with intent to kill, but that it gave us the best chance of immediate incapacitation. The reality is immediate incapacitation with a firearm generally requires serious damage, and that damage may be lethal. I'm not talking about shooting if avoidance or compliance will do. I'm not talking about using more force than required to stop the threat. I'm talking about the use of a lethal weapon to stop an unprovoked attack where I am reasonably afraid for my life.
Indeed. It's intended use is to stop an attack, not kill.

That's why I don't agree that,

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_Mac
Trying to defend the use of a lethal weapon by claiming it isn't meant to be lethal has no merit.
Emphasis added.

A use that is meant to be lethal is meant to kill. An intent to kill isn't present where one merely means to stop an attack. They are two different goals that may be pursued with the same result, but that doesn't make the intent the same even where one foresees the possibility of death.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_Mac
In our efforts to assure folks that we are not blood thirsty vigilantes we cannot tell thinking people that a gun is not a lethal weapon,...
I wouldn't suggest arguing that a gun can't be a lethal weapon; even my biathlon rifle could be used to lethal effect.

If a gun is designed to shoot, and shooting to stop someone isn't the same thing as intending to kill him, then the idea that "guns are designed for killing" seem quite wobbly.

Quote:
Carrying a gun means we are willing to take another life to save our own or someone's in our charge.
It could mean that. It could mean we are willing to use it to make people give us their wallets. It could mean we want to impress our friends with the newest neatest carry pistol. It could even mean that we intend to kill an innocent person to suit or own ends.

Yet none of those motives are reasonably attributable to the designer.
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Old May 3, 2019, 11:57 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsog
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
]they say "Guns are only good for killing.
It is a fallacy to argue otherwise.
I know people who have owned and used guns all their lives and never used any of them to kill anything.

Clearly guns are good for things other than killing and it's not any kind of a fallacy to point that fact out.

One could argue that guns are MADE for killing, but that's certainly not true of all guns although it is clearly true of some. I have an old military rifle that was made to kill people. Although it was clearly never used for that purpose (it is in unissued condition) that was clearly the intent of the person who designed it and the people who manufactured it.

But there are other guns which were clearly not designed or manufactured for killing. That's not to say that they have no lethal potential, just that their design purpose has nothing to do with killing. This pistol, for example, was not designed for anything involving killing. It does have an intended use for which it is ideal--so it is an obvious example of a gun that is not only good for something other than killing, it is a gun that was not designed or intended for killing.

http://www.morini.ch/product_det.php?id=7

So, we see that the statement: "Guns are ONLY good for killing." is obviously false.

We also see that the statements: "Guns are made for killing." and "Guns are designed to kill." have counterexamples that prove that while many guns are made/designed to kill, others are clearly designed for other purposes having nothing to do with killing. So these two statements are false too.

It is clear that guns were originally designed for killing and the first guns were made only for that purpose. It was likely some time before recreational shooting other than hunting became a common use of firearms, but now, at least in some countries, recreational use, not even involving hunting, is now likely the most common use for firearms. To the point that there are many firearms designed and made exclusively for uses that have nothing to do with killing.

What could we say that is true? We can say the following:

1. Guns were, in the very beginning, designed and used exclusively for killing.

2. Many guns are designed for uses that can involve killing, either for military use, self-defense/LE use, or hunting use. However, that design intent does not constrain the owner to use the firearms for only those purposes and there are clearly common, legitimate, uses for these types of guns that do not involve killing.

3. Although it wasn't true in the very early history of firearm, now there are firearms not designed or manufactured or purchased for killing. They have purposes having nothing to do with killing and, although any gun is potentially lethal, most of this class of firearm would be an obviously poor choice for any type of application involving killing. They are typically slow to load, have low capacity, sights that are poorly adapted for hunting or self-defense or military use, too fragile for military or LE use, too unwieldy, or too heavy to carry, chambered in cartridges not generally considered suitable for military, LE or self-defense use and uncommon for hunting purposes, etc.
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Old May 4, 2019, 12:37 AM   #70
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This subject comes up every so often and always winds up the same way.

Let's call this one done for now. Anyone who is disappointed that he didn't get his chance to make his point, just hand around for a few months; and this will come up again.
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