The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 3, 2019, 02:16 AM   #26
Scorch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 13,634
I for one have no issues with accepting that firearms are designed to kill. We talk about it all the time, ft-lbs of energy on target, penetration, expansion, shock, whatever. In our current political climate, as occurred in our grandparents' era, we find it uncomfortable to discuss killing and death and owning the "tools of the trade". I have committed no crimes, so my owning of firearms is allowed under a universal right to own and use firearms. But with any great right come great responsibilities to use proper judgement and caution in the use and exercise of those rights.

So, are guns made for killing? They are a tool for firing projectiles. What about knives and axes? Bows? Cars? Fertilizers and pesticides? Application and design kinda go hand in hand. But I studied martial arts (the "arts of war" so to speak) for the better part of 3 decades without ever killing anyone, and I own and use firearms all the time without killing anyone or anything. Maybe mine are defective? I was taught in the USMC that a firearm is a tool, the weapon is the mind of man. Intent of the user has more to do with whether something is a "weapon" than its shape and design. Blaming inanimate objects for the conscious act of a person or group of people makes no sense.
__________________
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services
Taylor Machine
Scorch is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 07:01 AM   #27
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Posts: 12,058
Quote:
Swords and daggers were also designed as weapons, not tools.
You do understand that a weapon is just a type of tool, don't you. You can't say these are weapons and not tools because weapons are tools.
__________________
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher." -- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
My Hunting Videos https://www.youtube.com/user/HornHillRange
Double Naught Spy is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 09:03 AM   #28
PhotonGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2019
Posts: 104
Quote:
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.
I suppose that could be done if the bowling ball was hollowed out and filled in with some kind of explosive material, making the bowling ball into a bomb.
If that was done I seriously doubt there would be a whole song and dance about banning bowling balls.
Airplanes have been used to kill thousands of people, and there has been no song and dance about banning airplanes.
PhotonGuy is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 09:14 AM   #29
Glenn E. Meyer
Staff
 
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 20,052
That's irrelevant to the discussion.

The bottom line is that the 'tool' folks are trying to make excuses for the existence of the firearm. That will never work. The right, as I said before, is because of their design and utility as a weapon. Training or sports variants are irrelevant to maintaining the right.

Making the tool argument in an RKBA debate makes you look like an idiot. It is one of the long list of things RKBA people say among themselves that have no force and are in fact counterproductive. A stupid first argument makes your later reasonable arguments tainted.

So it's for sports! I'm a sportsman. OK - Sportty - thus keep your guns locked up at the sports club, only to be used in supervised events. You maintain and clean them there. That is the way it's done in some countries.

I'm a hunter - so, same thing - check you guns out for the hunt. If you can't successfully hunt with a 5 round mag or even a single shot Ruger 1, you are a bozo and shouldn't hunt. Oops - kiss your MSSA good bye.

The whole MSR thing was a whine while on your knees to antigun folks. Also, if look at the number of ARs sold and the number of competitors with them - kind of a mismatch in numbers. They weren't bought for matches or shooting rocks at the 'ranch' by most folks who bought them.
__________________
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc. - Aux Armes, Citoyens
Glenn E. Meyer is online now  
Old May 3, 2019, 09:15 AM   #30
PhotonGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2019
Posts: 104
Quote:
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.
The word "tool" is defined in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as, "a handheld device that aids in accomplishing a task," and in Wikipedia as, "an object used to extend the ability of an individual to modify features of the surrounding environment."
So knives, swords, and guns can all be called tools. Sure, swords, guns, and knives are often used as weapons but a weapon is a type of tool.
PhotonGuy is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 09:24 AM   #31
PhotonGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2019
Posts: 104
Quote:
I'm a hunter - so, same thing - check you guns out for the hunt.
What if Im a farmer and I need to keep a gun on my property for shooting vermin?
I know a fellow in Denmark whose a farmer and he has two shotguns that he keeps in his house.
Even in Japan, which has among the strictest gun control in the world, you can keep guns in your house under certain conditions, for instance if you're a farmer.
PhotonGuy is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 09:29 AM   #32
BobCat45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 18, 2004
Location: East Bernard, TX
Posts: 326
The mismatch in numbers is interesting.

I have several friends who hunt with bolt action rifles, who do not compete, who 'plink' with .22s, who bought AR-15-type rifles when the prices dropped after the 2016 election.

None of those new ARs have been fired.

People brought them over to show me what they'd bought, and have me show them how to disassemble and clean them.

They cleaned the new rifles, left some clean oil in the bore, and as far as I know they jut put them in their safes. One fellow asked me about scopes and I answered that he knew more about scopes than I do.

They bought those rifles because they wanted weapons that were not yet 'banned' but were in jeopardy of being so, in the future.

I read (probably here on TFL) that 10 million AR-15s had been sold since President Obama was elected. Does anyone have any real numbers or links where I might research the numbers?
__________________
Retractable claws - the *original* concealed carry

http://www.bayourifles.org
TinyURL.com/qgdojvh
BobCat45 is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 09:30 AM   #33
Glenn E. Meyer
Staff
 
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 20,052
So farmers will be strictly licensed and controlled as in those countries. There may be even licensed varmint hunters you have to hire.

There is no RKBA in that scenario. The gun is similar to cyanide licensed to an exterminator.

The rules to get a gun in Japan are fierce, want to live under that?

You are missing the point that the RKBA is postulated for guns as weapons, not a variant of a can of Raid.
__________________
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc. - Aux Armes, Citoyens
Glenn E. Meyer is online now  
Old May 3, 2019, 09:38 AM   #34
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 3,452
Whether firearms have a sporting purpose cannot be irrelevant to the untruth of the assertion that guns are designed to kill. That arms are used frequently for sport, and in fact used far more frequently for sport than any other purpose, flatly contradicts any idea that their primary use is homicide. That millions of people bought ARs who didn't enter formal competitions does not reasonably suggest that they were bought for the purpose of killing anyone. If someone has an idea about whether a true observation is useful in a constitutional context, they can make the constitutional argument, but that doesn't bear on the issue of their use.

The 2d Am. does not tell you why people have the right; it merely tells you that they do have the right.

I bet this conversation could be improved if we didn't tell people they look like idiots when we don't accept their assertions.
zukiphile is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 09:41 AM   #35
Aguila Blanca
Staff
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 12,075
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotonGuy
The word "tool" is defined in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as, "a handheld device that aids in accomplishing a task," and in Wikipedia as, "an object used to extend the ability of an individual to modify features of the surrounding environment."
So knives, swords, and guns can all be called tools. Sure, swords, guns, and knives are often used as weapons but a weapon is a type of tool.
You are arguing semantics. It doesn't hold up.

Swords and knives were not developed as "tools," they were developed as weapons. Over the course of many centuries, they have come to have numerous different sub-designs, but the underlying concept was "weapon." Dogs began as domesticated wolves, and over the course of many centuries have developed into the myriad of breeds we have and know today. That doesn't change the fact that the domestic dog originated as a wolf.

The same is true of guns ("fire arms"). The "fire arm" was developed by the Chinese as a weapon of war, for the purpose of killing the enemy. That was the origin of the species and, as Glenn commented, denying that reality makes us look foolish. The "fire arm" was not developed or conceived as a benign "tool," something that could be used for any of a number of purposes. Look at your definition of "tool." A tool is a "handheld device that aids in accomplishing a task." What task was the "fire arm" developed to accomplish? Let's be honest -- the "fire arm" was developed to accomplish the task of killing people from farther away than could be done using swords and lances.

That's the "what is" about guns. Are there some modern "fire arms" that were designed for a primary purpose other than killing people? Yes -- the most extreme examples perhaps being the very expensive and specialized guns used in Olympic competition. But to argue that those guns weren't designed for killing is like arguing that your wife's Toy Poodle isn't related to a wolf because Toy Poodles don't hunt wild prey.

An Olympic pistol can kill. A Crossman or Daisy BB gun can kill.

There is one area where the "it's a tool" argument has merit. That, IMHO, is not in trying to claim that guns were not designed for killing. Where the "it's a tool" argument has merit is in arguing that the gun should not be blamed for the crimes committed by the shooter.

A screwdriver is, for the most part, a rather specialized tool. It was designed to do a certain task -- to turn threaded pieces of metal so they will advance into whatever it is that you want to hold together. It's a tool, and turning screws is the task for which it was developed. But screwdrivers can be (and are) used for other purposes. Straight-blade screwdrivers are the implement of choice for prying the lids of paint cans. Screwdrivers get used as pry bars in all sorts of situations (often to the detriment of the screwdriver). Screwdrivers have also been used as stabbing weapons. But, just as we wouldn't (probably) say that screwdrivers were designed as stabbing weapons, we also shouldn't try to claim that guns were "designed" (which, in the broad context I think means the species "fire arm," not the Olympic target pistol specifically) as "tools" rather than as military weapons.
Aguila Blanca is online now  
Old May 3, 2019, 09:42 AM   #36
Aguila Blanca
Staff
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 12,075
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotonGuy
What if Im a farmer and I need to keep a gun on my property for shooting vermin?
I know a fellow in Denmark whose a farmer and he has two shotguns that he keeps in his house.
Even in Japan, which has among the strictest gun control in the world, you can keep guns in your house under certain conditions, for instance if you're a farmer.
But those applications involve killing. You're trying to argue that guns aren't for killing.
Aguila Blanca is online now  
Old May 3, 2019, 10:04 AM   #37
jackstrawIII
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2016
Location: Upstate NY.
Posts: 609
I'm kinda scratching my head on this one. The answer is super simple: yes.

People have been inventing ways to kill (animals and other humans) since the dawn of time. Guns are simply a step in that process. Any attempt to deny that is delusion.

Some are saying, "Do all guns exist only to kill? No." But that wasn't the question. The question was, "Were guns designed for killing." Yes they were. Done.
__________________
In God we trust.
jackstrawIII is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 10:06 AM   #38
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Posts: 12,058
Quote:
You are arguing semantics. It doesn't hold up.

Swords and knives were not developed as "tools," they were developed as weapons.
Wait, you are saying that arguing semantics doesn't hold up and then argue semantics?????
__________________
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher." -- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
My Hunting Videos https://www.youtube.com/user/HornHillRange
Double Naught Spy is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 10:12 AM   #39
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 3,452
Quote:
Originally Posted by AB
Swords and knives were not developed as "tools," they were developed as weapons. Over the course of many centuries, they have come to have numerous different sub-designs, but the underlying concept was "weapon." Dogs began as domesticated wolves, and over the course of many centuries have developed into the myriad of breeds we have and know today. That doesn't change the fact that the domestic dog originated as a wolf.
Canids are wily predators and a danger to people!


In a martial context, the ultimate purpose to which arms are put is to impose one's will on a opponent through his incapacity or submission. A high death toll isn't itself a goal. If it were, we'd just wait around for our enemies to die of old age.

This topic generally involves use of the terms "design", "purpose", "intent" and "use" in ambiguous ways. Figuring out what we mean when we use them is more than half the battle.
zukiphile is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 10:17 AM   #40
K_Mac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2010
Posts: 1,843
Since the beginning of time man has used tools. Since that time tools have been designed and used as weapons. Even then though I imagine there were sporting contests to see who could throw a rock farther or more accurately for prizes and bragging rights. Clubs, blades and firearms have always been weapons. Their ability to kill and protect more effectively and efficiently is why they were developed. That has been true throughout history.

Zukiphile I don't think anyone is making the argument
that all, or even most guns are purchased with the intent to use them for killing. The question is were they designed to kill? The answer to that question is objectively yes. Trying to convince anyone that guns are just another tool is ineffective and makes us look disingenuous at best in my opinion.
__________________
"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do." Benjamin Franklin
K_Mac is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 10:36 AM   #41
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 3,452
Quote:
Originally Posted by k_mac
Zukiphile I don't think anyone is making the argument
that all, or even most guns are purchased with the intent to use them for killing. The question is were they designed to kill? The answer to that question is objectively yes.
It has been suggested here that most ARs aren't purchased for hunting or sport.

The intent of a designer isn't an object; a conclusion about it will necessarily be a conclusion as to the specific designer's subjective intent and goals with each specific design.

The original question, the pertinent portion of which you correctly reproduce, is whether they are "designed to kill". It isn't qualified, and that kind of unqualified assertion is always going to have problems.

In the US, where most peoples' arms are commercial products, it's fair to conclude that most guns are designed to appeal to buyers. Taurus made a revolver that shot .410; it appeared to be designed to appeal to buyer who thought a little shot out of a revolver would be neat. Did someone at Taurus sit over a blank piece of paper thinking "I know what would be great at killing -- a bit of small shot from a revolver!"


Moving beyond the problems with the assertion, I believe 44AMP correctly identifies the subtext of the problemmatic assertion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44AMP
I suppose the logic is "all you can do with one is kill, and since killing is bad...
If the only purpose to which an object is put is itself illegitimate, then there is no harm, and may be real good, in banning the object itself. This is the sort of logic that brings a lot of scrutiny to drug paraphernalia vendors. Certainly, the paraphernalia is merely a tool, but it is a tool purchased for the buyers plan to do something wrong or illicit.

Last edited by zukiphile; May 3, 2019 at 11:00 AM.
zukiphile is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 11:02 AM   #42
K_Mac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2010
Posts: 1,843
Zukiphile you make a good point that 44 correctly identifies the problematic assertion that all you can with a gun is kill, sporting use notwithstanding.

One may not like the assertion that guns were designed to kill. Then let's say that guns are weapons and that the ability to kill is inherently part of a firearm's pedigree. Of course some will argue that guns are not weapons, only tools...
__________________
"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do." Benjamin Franklin
K_Mac is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 11:13 AM   #43
DaleA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2002
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 4,323
Quote:
guns were designed to kill
You say that like it's a bad thing.

This isn't original. I think there's a comedian that uses it in their act. When the 'designed to kill' comment comes out realize you're not about to have a rational discussion with someone. The comment indicates their mind is made up already with an almost religious fervor that they are right and you have no possible way to defend your position.
DaleA is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 11:16 AM   #44
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 3,452
My problems with the "designed for killing" language is that it is sloppy, unqualified and untrue, and relies on a fallacy for its force.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_mac
Then let's say that guns are weapons and that the ability to kill is inherently part of a firearm's pedigree.
That surely makes more sense, but it doesn't flow as well into"...so we should ban these evil items!".
zukiphile is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 11:31 AM   #45
K_Mac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2010
Posts: 1,843
Zukiphile your designers intent and goals when designing a gun are manifest by his or her choice, objectively.
__________________
"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do." Benjamin Franklin
K_Mac is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 11:43 AM   #46
Aguila Blanca
Staff
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 12,075
Quote:
Originally Posted by zukiphile
This topic generally involves use of the terms "design", "purpose", "intent" and "use" in ambiguous ways. Figuring out what we mean when we use them is more than half the battle.
This is the crux of the matter. When we (or someone) says, "Guns are/were designed for killing," does "guns" refer to the entire historical spectrum of "fire arms," or does it refer narrowly to the Hammerli 230 (.22 Short) Olympic pistol that your great uncle used in the 1968 Olympics?

I think it's disingenuous on our part to ignore that, overall, "fire arms" were developed to be used as weapons for killing while arguing that, because a select few firearms in comparatively recent years were specifically designed for competition, therefore it's not right to say that "guns were designed for killing."

They were (as an overall class or category of "tools") designed for killing. I have carry permits from six different states. I don't carry a sidearm because it's capable of making holes in a piece of paper. I carry it because it is capable of killing someone. I hope that I never have to use it for that purpose, but that is the reason I carry it. And that's not to say that I want to kill even an attacker, but the fact is that use of a firearm is legally considered to be lethal ("deadly') force in every state. Even if your intent is to "stop the threat," it has to be understood that stopping the threat may result in the death of the assailant. Even the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church accepts this as a valid exception to the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" (which, as has been noted, is today often translated as "You shall not commit murder").
Aguila Blanca is online now  
Old May 3, 2019, 11:46 AM   #47
Aguila Blanca
Staff
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 12,075
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNS
Wait, you are saying that arguing semantics doesn't hold up and then argue semantics?????
Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire ...
Aguila Blanca is online now  
Old May 3, 2019, 12:01 PM   #48
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 3,452
Quote:
Originally Posted by AB
I carry it because it is capable of killing someone.
I doubt that. I could be wrong about you, but I think you carry a sidearm so that you can shoot them if the need to stop them very quickly arises. They may die as a result, or not, but your motive for being prepared to shoot a person is not to cause his death.

The balance of your paragraph indicates that I am correct about your motive.

If you don't carry your sidearm to kill people, why attribute that motive to its designer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AB
I think it's disingenuous on our part to ignore that, overall, "fire arms" were developed to be used as weapons for killing while arguing that, because a select few firearms in comparatively recent years were specifically designed for competition, therefore it's not right to say that "guns were designed for killing."
Who was the 10/22 designed to kill? Wasn't the 50BMG designed as an anti-materiel device? I saw a photograph of what seemed to be an enormous gewehr 98 that was chambered in something like 50BMG. The inscription read that it was an anti-tank weapon, but was punishing to shoot; would it be a good choice if the goal were to just kill people?

I'd guess that giant gewehr killed fewer people than have baseball bats on St. Patrick's day...in Boston. What homicidal inventor gave us the baseball bat?

Last edited by zukiphile; May 3, 2019 at 12:29 PM.
zukiphile is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 12:42 PM   #49
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 19,646
Quote:
I saw a photograph of what seemed to be an enormous gewehr 98 that was chambered in something like 50BMG. The inscription read that it was an anti-tank weapon, but was punishing to shoot; would be a good choice if the goal were to just kill people?
That's the 13mm Mauser, and the goal was to kill WWI tanks. That round was the basis we used to develop our .50BMG cartridge.

All guns, all weapons, are tools. Any and everything you use to do something with is a tool. Sadly, so are some people...

Swords (large or small) are unique among hand weapons, because while they are very good at killing people, they aren't very good at much else, compared to other "tools". Bows, spears, axes, even clubs all kill people but are also useful for hunting, or woodcutting, or construction (a hammer is just a specialized club), guns let us throw a "rock" further and harder than we can do so by hand. That's all.

In Genesis, wasn't the first weapon a rock???
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old May 3, 2019, 12:46 PM   #50
Aguila Blanca
Staff
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 12,075
Quote:
Originally Posted by zukiphile
Who was the 10/22 designed to kill? Wasn't the 50BMG designed as an anti-materiel device? I saw a photograph of what seemed to be an enormous gewehr 98 that was chambered in something like 50BMG. The inscription read that it was an anti-tank weapon, but was punishing to shoot; would it be a good choice if the goal were to just kill people?
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. 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.
Aguila Blanca is online now  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09998 seconds with 8 queries