The Never-ending Debate on Gun Control

Even though I've been trying to avoid political debates lately, sometimes they just happen. While browsing my newsfeed on Medium, I came across an interesting post by Dave Pell titled: The Power of the Gun. Right then, I should have known this is a post to avoid – not because I disagree with Dave, but because some gun-nut is bound to troll me. Yes, I just had to comment...

It may not happen quickly, but turn off a facet and the water will drain or evaporate eventually. The longer we wait, the longer we’ll have to wait.
— Aaron

When I posted my comment I thought it would be left at that. I had no intention of getting into a heated debate, does anyone?

How well did that work with drugs, that disappear when they’re used?
— Jay

I immediately thought, great another gun-lover – trolling. Open fire!

Stay married to death, promote it, carry it, argue in defense of it — annoy those who value peace. The world is as it is, because the ignorance of a people made it so.
— Aaron

I really intended this comment to be a big "buzz off simpleton". That wasn't very nice of me, guilty as charged, but why did Jay have to be so snarky? Obviously, we hold different values; why not leave it at that? It wasn't like he was the author of this post; he's just some random reader.

I value peace as well. What I reject is the idea that peace can only be won by submission, be it to thugs, foreign armies, or our own government.

I am not married to death. I have no desire to be the instrument of the death of another. However, if the actions of another will lead to my own death, then I reserve the right to defend myself with all necessary force — including lethal force. If it’s a case of him or me, it’s going to be me.

That’s my right as a human being, and anyone who tries to take that right away from me declares himself to be my enemy.
— Jay

Well hey now, this guy is fancy too! He doesn't like being labeled ignorant. Fair enough, I suppose I was a little harsh on this troll. I just want everyone to get along after all. Better put out this fire before it gets to crazy.

But first, he needs to rethink his logic. He apparently values his life a lot – well your bullets ain't going to save you from old age or heart disease my friend! And while you're so focused on your own rights – consider that other people want to make positive change in the world. This guy appears to have a serious case of individualism.

The Grim Reaper is not stopped by a bullet. There is a clock that ticks in all of us, death is inevitable. Unless we find a cure.

There is a choice to be made, die part of the problem or part of the solution. Each has the power to choose. While defending personal rights and declaring enemies, there are those working to build a better world.

However, scoring points in a comment section, is decidedly counterproductive to peace. It is not my wish to take away “rights” from anyone, not even verbally.

Respect those with opposing views and I’ll dial down the contempt I hold for yours.
— Aaron

I thought I'd let him know he was a little self-centered. One, because his views by definition are solely focused on his interests – he wanted to take on "our own government" after all. Two, he's intent on scoring points in the comment section. Leave it be already! I don't agree with you – get over it.

The problem, Aaron, is that taking away people’s guns — which is what it’s all about, make no mistake — is taking away rights from law-abiding citizens. Period, full stop, end of discussion.

However, I will note that it is the views, not the person, I hold in contempt. Views are wrong. People are incorrect. The latter can be fixed.

Working to build a better world is fine and noble, but when you do it by advocating that people have fundamental civil rights taken away from them without any cause they are personally responsible for, then you’re not working to build a better world, but a more authoritarian one.
— Jay

Does this guy ever know when to quit? Guess not. Law abiding citizens? I'm sure taking on "our own government" with force is perfectly legal. Oh and I see he's trying to be diplomatic, attack the idea not the person... cool. There's that word again, "civil rights". Yeah, since you want to go up against your own government. You've already premeditated this what if conflict. Responsible? A revolutionary responsible? 

Weapons take away people’s lives. Lethal force is an act of a god, decreeing when one should die at the twitch of a finger. Guns just happen to be a convenient way to do so.

When we speak of rights, there is the right to live. The right to due process, to trial by jury. Are these really rights or just our own invention? Perhaps both of our views are correct, incorrect and irrelevant simultaneously. That is the quandary of philosophy–the question that seems to have no answer.
— Aaron

Thought I'd point out that his notion of rights is more fallible than he believes. Both of our absolutes are absolutely contradicted by everyone. One's right is another's wrong. 

Children are held to higher standards than adults and the average adult has stricter regulations than a nation. Nations bomb, children get sent to the principle’s office simply for name calling.

If we gave children guns and bombs, where would this world be? We are in fact, just children who have been here the longest–with no parental discipline to put us back in line. We do as we please, with no one to give the final word.
— Aaron

This is still part of the last comment, I broke it up since it was such a long reply. I wanted him to apply his logic for children. Hopefully, we both agree that children should never possess guns or bombs. Then I wanted to tie that to the idea that we are old children (mommy and daddy just aren't here to spank us anymore). We've gotten big and bad; suddenly no one can tell us anything. We do as we please. That means we get as violent as we like. Somehow this is a "right", but with our own children we know this is a definite wrong. Hopefully, anyways. Continuing my comment I said:

That’s why many believe in a god, a power greater than themselves to enforce a law above their own. But, everyone seems to hear different voices permitting different things.

That is our issue. We have not common ground to resolve disputes, or enforce order. Children have teachers, people have governments and nations have each other to clash with.

What rights? Who decides those? We all have different views on rights. So who is really right?
— Aaron

I took a big gamble here, I assumed that most gun-toting advocates are also Bible-thumping conservatives. I left out the conservatives, because I've gotten burned there before. And there's always that chance this guy is some random religion or even non-religious.

You’re correct about there being rights, like the right to live and to trial by jury. But there’s another right that counts here, too: the right to self-defense. We have an absolute right to defend ourselves from deadly force wrongfully applied, if necessary by using deadly force ourselves. If you think I’m going to let a carjacker shoot and kill me just so he can have his trial by jury, you’re very badly mistaken.
— Jay

Okay, he's acknowledging I'm right about some things. So I'm not one of those totally "incorrect" people. But, there he goes on that what if train, again defending it with "rights".

Indeed, until comparatively recently, self-defense was not regarded simply as a right, but as a duty. Failing to defend yourself was seen as a repudiation of the gift that God gave a person. I do not believe this; I am an atheist. Still, I commend Jeffrey Snyder’s essay A Nation of Cowards to your attention.
— Jay

Yep, he's an atheist. Burned on the god card. And now he's referencing someone else, implying I'm under-read. Also implying I'm a coward. Is that too much assumption? He continues:

So no, someone who attacks me with deadly force is only going to have his trial by jury if he survives the encounter. The thing to remember, though, is that he chose to initiate the unlawful use of force, and if I shoot and kill him in defending myself legally, then he’s surrendered that right voluntarily.
— Jay

Legally? LOL After saying you keep guns to defend yourself from "our own government" you're justifying your self-motivated what if story as legal? This guy doesn't know where to get off. Well, I've had just about enough of Jay. I'm not bothering to respond. Though I thought of putting: 

— Aaron

Same old stuff. We're just going to go on and on, until one of us realizes how stupid this debate is! Our egos are definitely playing a role in wanting the last word. 

There you have it. A good read spoiled.