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Old May 1, 2019, 11:38 PM   #1
PhotonGuy
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Guns, designed for killing?

There has been some debate in this other thread over whether or not guns were and are designed for killing. As its been mentioned in the other thread, since that thread is not supposed to be about debating the purpose of guns that it would be more appropriate to start another thread where that can be discussed and that's what Im starting this thread for. So lets discuss that here.

The way I see it, the design and purpose of guns is specifically to throw small pieces of metal at high speeds. Obviously that can kill if it hits a person or animal but there are millions of other things in this world that can kill too. Whether or not that method of sending small pieces of metal at high speeds in a controlled direction is used to kill is, as another poster put it, an application not a purpose. I can fire a gun into the ground or a wall and its not killing any person or animal. I can fire a gun at a nonliving paper target and it is not killing any person or animal. So there you have it.

I can fire a gun at a bad guy and that might or might not kill him but the idea of shooting a bad guy is not to kill but to stop. So that is another application of a gun, to stop bad guys. Not kill but stop and if the bad guy just happens to get killed in the process, sometimes that's what's necessary to stop them.
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Old May 1, 2019, 11:50 PM   #2
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Some of my guns are primarily designed for self-defense, an enterprise in which killing is understood to be a possible outcome. I have some guns that are either military designs, or based on military designs--those were designed with shooting people as a goal.

I have other guns which were made for target shooting and are, in one way or another, quite unsuitable for self-defense or military use. They clearly weren't designed for shooting people.

HOWEVER, I could use my self-defense guns, or my military design guns exclusively for purposes that have nothing to do with killing. My Swedish Lahti pistol, for example will never be used for self-defense--at least I have no plans at all for it to fill that role. Likewise, I might end up in a jam with only one of my target-type firearms handy and have to use it for self-defense.

It seems pretty clear that the intent of the user plays a much more important part in how the gun is used than the intent of the designer...
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Old May 2, 2019, 04:53 AM   #3
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GPS was designed to facilitate killing, so was radar. But that doesn't invalidate their civilian applications.
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Old May 2, 2019, 05:37 AM   #4
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"Guns" comprise an awfully broad range of things. I'm sure some of them were designed to send metal bits towards a target. Plenty of others were designed to defeat [insert some type of bad guy here], quite likely by killing said bad guys. I'm comfortable with that. I carry a pistol because it's a weapon, not in spite of it.
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Old May 2, 2019, 05:53 AM   #5
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Guns are tools, nothing more, nothing less.
Make of them as you will.
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Old May 2, 2019, 07:29 AM   #6
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It never fails to boggle my mind when people cannot understand the difference between design versus application.
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Old May 2, 2019, 07:50 AM   #7
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Guns designed for a primary purpose other than killing is a relatively new idea. Target rifles/handgun and skeet/trap shooting shotguns are fairly new to weaponry. The first guns were designed for war, as were the majority of firearms since then. War is all about killing. Most of the designs that later entered into hunting and sporting, were first developed for military usage.....and killing. Even the sporting rifles and shotguns that followed were designed to kill, their target was game and not human. To claim anything else is shear foolishness. One only has to look at the majority of bullet design intended to inflict the most damage to tissue.

DNS summed it up well. Just because something is designed to kill, doesn't mean it has to, especially when it comes to illegal usage. It still takes a human and a human thought, to pull the trigger.
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Old May 2, 2019, 08:43 AM   #8
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Are guns designed to kill people? A design requires a designer. Guns have more than one designer. I doubt Bill Ruger designed my 10/22 to kill people; I'm fairly confident he designed it to outsell his competitors. Once you've a single exception to the suggested rule, "Yes" is the wrong answer.

Are rifle optics designed to kill people at great distance? Well, some are certainly used for that, but many also aren't, so a flat "Yes" is wrong there as well. Nevertheless, it is odd to ascribe this motive to people in the optics business.

Why would the designer's goal matter? If I manage to kill someone with a 10/22, the tool I used isn't likely to get me a more lenient sentence. If I did it intentionally, my criminal punishment will recognize both my intent and the result, but Bill Ruger's ideas about the 10/22 will not be material. If I killed someone accidentally my negligence will be an issue, but Bill Ruger's ideas about his product will still be immaterial.

In the context of public policy, "Are guns designed to kill people?" is a sort of sloppy category error that assigns a designer's intent to a result.
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Old May 2, 2019, 09:07 AM   #9
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I certainly hope my hunting rifle was designed to kill. Otherwise I wasted money on it.
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Old May 2, 2019, 09:13 AM   #10
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Guns were originally designed to kill. No avoiding that fact.

That basic design construct still exists today and even the smallest of firearms is capable of killing.

Most guns these days have been retasked for other purposes that do not involve killing any more but the basic design still enables a gun to kill.

Ironic as it may seem, on a per capita basis, guns kill a lot less than other things which were NOT designed to kill for example, cars and swimming pools.

Designed for killing? Yes. Actually used for killing? Not so much.

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Old May 2, 2019, 09:25 AM   #11
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The earliest proximity fuzes (yes, in this instance the 'z' is correct) used tiny vacuum tubes in their electronics since there were no transistors at the time. The development of transistors and solid-state electronics was driven by military applications (radar too). So are cell phones designed to kill people?

Speaking of computers, the earliest computers were designed for code breaking, for war. So is a laptop for killing people? One could use such a device to hack into the power grid, shut it down, and cause chaos, incidentally killing far more people than I could with any of my rifles or handguns.

The Colt Single Action Army was designed for - the Army! Who would have guessed? So does that make it a "Military-style Assault Weapon"? To some people it does.

My guns are weapons because they are derived from implements that had their genesis in conflict. Whether the conflict was organized, between warring cities / states - or ad hoc, between a person and and prospective supper (or between two irreconcilably hostile persons) makes no difference.

I would not chose my Ar-spacegun for self defense - the globe sights are ill-suited to it unless the attackers are circular. Nor would I chose a SAA since it is slower to reload than a double action revolver, or autoloading pistol. But I make no bones about the fact that they are weapons. And I like them! And I have a right to them, whether for self defense or for putting little holes in paper targets.

To my mind the problem is with people who think that "nobody should have weapons" - either because they will unilaterally go berserk, or because weapons in the hands of the citizenry challenge the absolute power of the government.

Forgive me, I'm too lazy to find it right now, but in The Prince Machiavelli wrote that the wise ruler allows, even encourages, his people to 'keep their arms' because in doing so, 'he makes their arms his own' - but confiscating their weapons gives them the idea that you do not trust them and starts them wondering whether on not they should trust you.

Whenever I get down about the state of RKBA, I go to http://gun-nuttery.com/rtc.php and watch the progression. Means nothing but makes me feel better.
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Old May 2, 2019, 10:48 AM   #12
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My firearms are for killing critters and self defense, that’s my intent, application and execution.

Naturally I’ve selected firearms that were designed for my intended use and that’s what allows for my success.


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Old May 2, 2019, 12:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
It never fails to boggle my mind when people cannot understand the difference between design versus application.
There it is. Simple in concept, unbelievably difficult for some people to comprehend. The complexities of the way people use, and mis-use language adds to the confusion.

"Guns are designed to kill!"

No, they aren't. Guns are designed to SHOOT. BULLETS are designed to kill!

(see what I did there? )

Absolutely no argument that the most common and most useful application for many guns is killing.

I like the RADAR analogy. Yep, Radar was designed to kill. Sort of. Radar was designed to FIND things. Locate objects (planes, ships, etc) so that if they were the enemy we could kill them.

We can say it a lot of different ways, people who say "guns are made to kill" usually aren't interested in the correct use of language, and seldom take instruction to enhance their comprehension and linguistic skill well.
Often all one gets for one's efforts is a snarky "you know what I mean!"

Perhaps the simplest reply is just to paraphrase Rooster Cogburn. from True Grit
"Guns are designed to kill!!!!"
"well, they ain't a whole lotta good if they don't!!!!"


If you want to know the real reason guns are designed, its so simple it escapes most folks. Guns. like every other product, are designed to earn money for the designer, so he can make a living.
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Old May 2, 2019, 03:22 PM   #14
PhotonGuy
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I certainly hope my hunting rifle was designed to kill. Otherwise I wasted money on it.
Your hunting rifle was designed to send metal slugs at high speeds in a controlled direction. Can that principle be effective for killing the game you're hunting? If it is then you haven't wasted your money.

But anyway you look at it the rifle was designed for the former. The latter is just an application.
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Old May 2, 2019, 03:24 PM   #15
PhotonGuy
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Guns. like every other product, are designed to earn money for the designer, so he can make a living.
Only if they're mass produced, which guns obviously are.
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Old May 2, 2019, 03:39 PM   #16
grinner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotonGuy View Post
Your hunting rifle was designed to send metal slugs at high speeds in a controlled direction. Can that principle be effective for killing the game you're hunting? If it is then you haven't wasted your money.

But anyway you look at it the rifle was designed for the former. The latter is just an application.
I see. Then I guess a knife is designed so that one can hold a sharpened piece of metal in one hand. Cutting rope (or skinning a deer killed with the metal slug that my rifle was designed to propel) is just an application of said design.

I guess the creator of the first cannon/gun thought to himself, “Hmm. How can I get this piece of metal from over here to over there faster?” and not “you know, if I propel this slug of metal fast enough I bet it would kill that **** better than an arrow.”
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Old May 2, 2019, 04:26 PM   #17
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Do you think our ancestors quibbled over whether or not the arrow, or spear, or sword were designed to kill? Do you think they fretted over whether or not such items would be used against 2 legged targets instead of 4 legged targets?

When you get down to the meat of the issue, its about whether or not Humans are designed to kill. Humans have always had, and always will have, conflicts with other humans. Between countries, or tribes, villages, etc. Humans are hard coded to eradicate enemies. We deviate from our nature when we be 'nice'.
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Old May 2, 2019, 06:12 PM   #18
Nathan
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Guns were designed to fire a small piece of metal rapidly and accurately so this piece of metal can make a hole as it is designed to do. Humans have recognized this value for the purpose of killing game, killing fellow humans and putting holes in other things at a distance. Without the human action, firearms don’t kill.
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Old May 2, 2019, 07:00 PM   #19
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The AK47 comes to mind as a firearm deigned with a very specific intended use. Mass produced, end engineered to operate in most conditions with inexpensive materials to be used by a conscript army of mostly untrained personnel.
Not a typical sporting rifle.
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Old May 2, 2019, 07:10 PM   #20
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The Constitutional protection of the 2nd Amend. was based on the firearms as a weapon, to be used against human beings that were threatening the nation and its people.

All other recreational uses, which usually are derivative sporting applications from military usage or hunting - have no relevance in protecting the right.

If someone could take a bowling bowl to the top of a hotel and kill 50 and wound 500, there wouldn't be a bowling ball left in the country as its sporting use is irrelevant.

The attempt to defend gun ownership based on sport has failed in every country that has put in bans but where the gun owners bleated about sport.

The only industrial application I know is specialized guns used to blast scale out of blast furnances with very large gauge shells.
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Old May 2, 2019, 07:19 PM   #21
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I don't know-it's either walk to school or carry a lunch
I would say in its initial design and use it was used to stop a threat
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Old May 2, 2019, 07:46 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by krunchnik
I don't know-it's either walk to school or carry a lunch
I would say in its initial design and use it was used to stop a threat
And I would say that in its initial design it was used (and was intended to be used) AS the threat.
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Old May 2, 2019, 09:42 PM   #23
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I see. Then I guess a knife is designed so that one can hold a sharpened piece of metal in one hand. Cutting rope (or skinning a deer killed with the metal slug that my rifle was designed to propel) is just an application of said design.
The knife was designed to cut, now as to exactly what you cut with it, the air, a rope, a deer you just hunted, an assailant, those are all applications of the principle of cutting. Same thing with guns, they are designed to throw projectiles. Whether you're hitting paper targets, a deer, or a bad guy, those are applications.

Quote:
I guess the creator of the first cannon/gun thought to himself, “Hmm. How can I get this piece of metal from over here to over there faster?” and not “you know, if I propel this slug of metal fast enough I bet it would kill that **** better than an arrow.”
He probably thought of both, but the latter was an application he though of which he applied the principle of the former to.
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Old May 2, 2019, 11:23 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer View Post
The Constitutional protection of the 2nd Amend. was based on the firearms as a weapon, to be used against human beings that were threatening the nation and its people.

All other recreational uses, which usually are derivative sporting applications from military usage or hunting - have no relevance in protecting the right.

If someone could take a bowling bowl to the top of a hotel and kill 50 and wound 500, there wouldn't be a bowling ball left in the country as its sporting use is irrelevant.

The attempt to defend gun ownership based on sport has failed in every country that has put in bans but where the gun owners bleated about sport.

The only industrial application I know is specialized guns used to blast scale out of blast furnances with very large gauge shells.
Gotta agree with Glenn. We are fooling ourselves if we say otherwise. Guns were primarily designed to kill, some for people some for game. Target shooting was originally just practice for the guns real purpose, not sport. Have things changed some? Yes, when I was in the police academy we were taught that if we had to shoot it was to "stop the action" and the result would often be the death of the perp and we had to be able to accept that. Why do we train to shoot center mass? Certainly not to wound.

Swords and daggers were also designed as weapons, not tools. Sure your SAK or Buck 110 or whatever are primarily tools, but a sword? a 12" double edged dagger? Tools I thinks not.

Yes some, many guns are designed for target shooting, but they are not the ones you use for Self Defense. The 2nd Amendment recognizes our inalienable right to defend ourselves and that takes a gun designed to kill.
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Old May 3, 2019, 01:01 AM   #25
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Our language is full of all kinds of subtle and not so subtle nuances, inferences and implications.

I don't care for the simplistic "guns are designed to kill". It denigrates the skill and the art that goes into creating a functional, efficient weapon. To some of us it also seems an attempt to denigrate the user, as well.

I suppose the logic is "all you can do with one is kill, and since killing is bad, someone who kills is bad..." or something like that. This mindset assumes killing is always bad, and completely ignores the fact that killing is necessary to survive.

Some hold that the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" is mistranslated, and should be read as "Thou shalt not murder".

And that problem with language. Murder is always killing , but killing isn't always murder.

so, how to respond to someone who claims "guns are designed to kill!"

???

How about,

That's right! And its a damn good thing, too!
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