Should civilians be prohibited from owning firearms?

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Should civilians be prohibited from owning firearms?[edit | edit source]

Arguments for[edit | edit source]

  • Argument for Argument for Countries like Australia and Japan have seen their crime rates drop significantly after enacting such a law.
    • Objection Objection In Australia, though crime involving a firearm dropped drastically, most crime did not. Murder and armed robbery rates in Australia increased slightly after its extensive buy-back program in 1997. Japan has never enacted comparable legislation.
  • Argument for Argument for Firearms enable people to more easily become murderers, kidnappers, and pose other threats.
    • Objection Objection As do many other useful tools. This is not a reason to prohibit civilian ownership of firearms in and of itself.

Arguments against[edit | edit source]

  • Argument against Argument against Firearms enable people to defend their home and family from murderers, kidnappers and other threats.
  • Argument against Argument against Firearms enable civilians to defend themselves from their own government, if it ever turns into a police state.
    • Objection Objection Non-violent resistance can be as effective as violent resistance, and less lethal.
      • Objection Objection Non-violent resistance is preferable if it works, but the use of force is the basis of authority.
    • Objection Objection Household weapons are no real defense against an organized police state backed by the army.
      • Objection Objection The point is not waging a war of attrition against the entire military, but having the means to hold our government accountable, deter them from abusing their power, and being able to defend ourselves in the event the state is either unwilling or unable to do so at any given point in time. Politicians and plutocrats have a vested interest in reinforcing the perceived authority of the state and cultivating the belief that they cannot be forcibly deposed without citizens first having to defeat the entire US military, and so it's a perennial talking point on the news, talk shows, and in debates such as this one. The conversation is always steered toward having to defeat the military, and it goes downhill from there. Biden's recent comments bear this out to the letter: "If you wanted or if you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons." This is a strawman, and entirely beside the point. This isn't to suggest that anyone should resort to violence, but that firearms are an effective deterrent against various abuses. While most people are capable of destroying a bee's nest to get honeycomb, it is rarely worth it to do so casually or on a whim. Unless you believe that those in power will always act in benevolence, it is unwise to give up this deterrent. Why is it that they're "household weapons" in the context of utility, and "military-grade assault weapons" in the context of gun control FUD?
  • Argument against Argument against Allowing the state a monopoly on the use of force gives politicians and their financiers carte blanch to impose their will on citizens. Violating the freedom of assembly, illegal search and seizure, the quartering of soldiers in private homes, forced labor, wrongful eviction, (to name just a few) all become risk-free propositions for the state and the exclusive subset of people to whom they issue firearms. There is no just or democratic reason to prohibit citizens of good conduct and character from owning firearms or make them difficult to obtain with the objective of discouraging ownership.

See also[edit | edit source]