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"Guns are only usable as weapons!"

Discussion in 'Activism' started by RyanM, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. RyanM

    RyanM Senior Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    Just wanted to share a counter-argument that I thought of, to the above statement. Putting it in activism, because hey, we can all use "ammunition" when dealing with the antis. So everyone, post a good counter-argument you've thought of.

    Well, my real feelings are that, yes, that may be true, but some people need killin'. Still, that doesn't really fly with the blissninnies. So, instead, competetive and recreational sports usage.

    Plenty of people shoot recreationally. And several firearms shooting things are Olympic events. It doesn't get much more sport-like than the Olympics.

    So by the logic that guns are weapons only, so are a lot of other sporting equipment. Baseball bat? Usable only for recreational or competitive sports, or as a weapon. Golf club? The same. Hockey sticks? Geeze, hockey sticks are used as weapons all the time during hockey games! So if you ignore the sporting applications of firearms, you must, necessarily, also disregard the nonviolent usage of other potentially lethal sports equipment, which are also used as weapons pretty frequently. Especially since the recreational and competetive use of firearms far outweighs the criminal usage (not even getting into the use for self defense), much like other sporting equipment.

    Otherwise, anyone can call hypocrisy on that.
  2. Hunter0924

    Hunter0924 Active Member

    Jun 8, 2007
    North Carolina
    Gun laws are only followed by the law abiding citizens.
    Passing laws only concerns those who plan to obey them.
  3. Eightball

    Eightball Senior Member

    May 31, 2005
    Louisville, KY
    The argument in the OP seems applicable; if you remove the (IMO idiotic) "sporting purpose" thing from firearms, then yes, they are weapons--and you should apply the same standard to every other sport.

    Obviously, they're more than just sporting, but anyway....it's 1:30 AM and I shouldn't be typing :p
  4. RyanM

    RyanM Senior Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    That reminds me, if the same ridiculous "sporting purpose" laws were applied to other sporting equipment, it'd be pretty terrible. Yes, professional athletes use very expensive, high-quality equipment which conforms to certain standards. However, people who play sports recreationally often use very different equipment. They also usually use significantly lower priced stuff, with fewer features. If the ATF regulated baseball bats the same way they do guns... well, seeing kids playing baseball in the park would be a thing of the past. After all, those small, light youth bats are too easy to conceal, and can be weilded in one hand by an adult, and can be swung much faster than a regular bat (and their ignition temperature is too low!)...
  5. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Senior Member

    Oct 11, 2003
    My own view is that things aren't weapons unless and until they are employed for that purpose. Stay with me for a minute so I can explain?

    A baseball bat used to play baseball or thump tires (I've seen it done) is not a weapon but it does become one if it's used to club people. Although it can be used that way, who would say that the New York Yankees have a stash of weapons in its clubhouse or that the batter up is approaching home plate with his weapon? I understand Ryan's thoughts about kids playing baseball with these things.

    Many years ago I bought a new M1 bayonet on the surplus market. It's never been attached to a rifle and I used it only as an inexpensive hefty knife on camping trips. Although it was designed and produced as a weapon, I never used it for that purpose and never had the intent to do so. If you had seen me then weighed down with a heavy camping pack walking through the woods with the knife on my belt, I doubt that you'd have thought it was a weapon either: not in my hands it wasn't. Sometimes I also had an improvised hiking staff that was a dried tree limb. It wasn't a weapon either.

    Travel around and observe the many automobile dealers. Cars driven from one place to another aren't weapons, but drive one at a police officer standing in the road and you are committing assault with a deadly weapon. Still, nobody would accuse automobile dealers of having arsenals for sale.

    It might be argued that Hummers are civilian versions of a military assault vehicle. That's the same logic used to argue that an AR-15 is the civilian version of an M-16. If one was designed as a weapon, so was the other. But if neither is used to harm people one is no more a weapon than the other.

    The "sporting purposes" approach is nonsensical, especially when it is used by the same people who argue that the Second Amendment protects only guns that could be used by the militia. The logic fails if the argument is that only military firearms are protected but only sporting firearms are legal.

    Many people I know own M1 Garands and M1 Carbines that presumably were used as weapons by the military during World War II and later. But they aren't used as weapons by their present owners, who use them in competition and for fun.

    I don't know if "for fun" is or isn't a "sporting purpose," but I do know it isn't a lethal purpose. If "for fun" does not take an object made for use as a weapon out of that class, then surely something should have been done about the PT boats converted for use as charter fishing vessels when I was younger. I don't know if any survive. I do know, though, that there are still a few World War II military fighters and bombers at air shows. Nobody uses them to shoot down other planes, strafe ground troops, or drop bombs. They were weapons but aren't used that way now, although maybe they could be used as weapons again.

    An old man I knew some time ago had a demilitarized World War II captured Nazi pistol on his desk at home as a paperweight. Its barrel had been filled with lead and I don't know what else had been done to it. It was a weapon, wasn't a weapon, but could be a weapon if he hit someone over the head with it.

    Some museums I've visited have displays of medieval lances. They were weapons long ago but haven't been for centuries.

    A mystery novel I read a while back involved a murder committed by a character who dispatched his victim with a frozen leg of lamb, then roasted it as the police looked for clues. Then he served the weapon for dinner with mint jelly and green peas.
  6. Mr. James

    Mr. James Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    NoVa, downwind of the miasmal swamp
    Robert, I stayed with you, and it was a minute well spent. An excellent post, truly.

    Thank you, sir.

    I am more a product of the "it-ain't-about-duck-huntin',-stupid" school, but the OP's original concern is well taken and pithily addressed above.
  7. Guy B. Meredith

    Guy B. Meredith Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Salem, Oregon
    Anyone that uses the statement that guns can only be used as weapons is speaking from ignorance, ignoring the major recreational (not sporting) venues, the huge market of firearms destined for those venues and the fact that a great number of regular firearms users reload ammunition specifically designed for recreational venues.

    As stated above it is legitimate to point out that kitchen knives (meant to cut flesh), baseball bats, golf clubs and all were designed as weapons at one time but have become either recreational or utilitarian tools.

    In these conversations I think of the image of two men in early Scotland challenging each other to see how far they can hit a rock with their war clubs, then how accurately.
  8. 308win

    308win Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    Ohio - The Heart of it All
    The nature of the object should make no difference; whether or not an object is a weapon depends on the wielder's intent and application of the object. If you use your object to initiate an attack on another it is a weapon in that context; if you use your object to defend yourself it is a weapon in that context; if you are declaring your intent to find the SOB and beat the crap out of him with your object it is a weapon in that context. If you are peaceably using your object with no intent of using it to injure another it is not a weapon in that context. If you injure someone with your object with no intent to do so you have an issue of convincing the victim, authorities, jury.
  9. JKimball

    JKimball Active Member

    Aug 5, 2007
    Orem, UT
    I'd say go with your real feelings. I don't like to even pretend that gun rights should be protected because I enjoy their recreational purposes.

    I loved playing with lawn darts when I was a kid, but those have long since been banned.

    We look kind of silly if we try to argue that guns aren't as potentially dangerous as lawn darts.

    Also, just because we can argue a point, doesn't mean we should. I like to try to find points I can agree with them about. I think you need to find some common ground before you can really hope to be understood.

    Anti: "Guns are only usable as weapons!"
    Gunner: "Actually, millions of guns in America are only used for recreational purposes, but you are right, they make very effective weapons and that is exactly why I believe we should have them."
    Anti: "What?!!"
    Gunner: "Do you believe there is evil in the world?"
    Anti: "Yes"
    Gunner: "So do I. I want to be able to defend myself, my family, and even my community from evil. So I believe it is prudent to have a good weapon."
  10. robmkivseries70

    robmkivseries70 Member

    Nov 5, 2005
    "Sporting Purpose" is one of the lies; that, if repeated often enough, will become an accepted condition.
  11. GEM

    GEM Senior Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    The constitutional protection for firearms comes from their use as weapons.

    The sporting uses are derivatives or transforms of practice for their use as weapons.

    Talking about how they are primarily not weapons but sporting implements or tools leads to them being banned.

    Check out the UK and Australia. The Australians specifically made the sports argument as they are a country of sportsmen and thought by appealing to 'sport', it would carry the day. Didn't work. The Aussies who advocated the now banned firearms were not seen as sportsmen by most but as 'nutters'.

    Except perhaps for archery, fencing, javelin throwing or something else obscure and obsolete, most of the sports implements used as blunt force weapons were not primarily design as weapons. Guns are - even sporting and target guns are derivatives of the primary weapons purpose.

    It's really that simple. You don't have the Constitutional right to bowl. It's a bad and dangerous argument.
  12. Travis Lee

    Travis Lee Member

    Nov 7, 2005
    New Mexico
    I think it is sophmoric and disingenuous to try arguing from the position that your guns are "not weapons".

    If you claim that the ONLY reason you have a M-1 Garand is to "feel its history" or some such blather that you think will soothe some gun-grabber, you just open yourself for the argument of why "they" should not destroy its internal mechanism and leave you with a useless relic.
    If we accept the enemy's ruse of "sporting use" to justify our guns, we'll be manouvered out of it just like the Brits and Australians.

    I have firearms (and edged weapons) BECAUSE they are weapons. I won't mince words or dodge argument, or prevericate on their nature.

    My firearms were not invented or manufactured to hold flowers, hang in a picture frame, or plow a field. I have WEAPONS which were made specifically for combat, and some of them almost certainly were used to kill people.

    SO WHAT?

    They may be used that way again.... If I didn't want them FOR THAT VERY PURPOSE I would have bought plastic replicas.

    Some people need killin'.

    I'm not buying into the liberal ethic that "every life is sacred" (except mine)

    If your pistol is not a weapon, why you carrying it around all day in a holster, Bunky?

  13. RyanM

    RyanM Senior Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    Well, as I stated in the second paragraph of my post, yes, I do personally believe that most guns are designed as weapons first and foremost, and that frankly, their use as such is entirely justifiable under some circumstances, like lawful self-defense. However, stating this typically gains you absolutely no headway when debating with the blissninnies.

    The "sporting purpose" angle, so long as you stress that guns should not be regulated any more than any other potentially deadly sporting implement, is useful in converting antis into recreational target shooters. From there, you can go on to introducing them to the concept of self defense rather than reliance on the government to protect them.

    That's the main purpose of the "both a weapon and a recreational/competetive sporting implement" argument.

    For instance, Robert Hairless, great example. In a recent "debate" I brought up the 1918 "trench knife," and asked if that should be regulated the same way as guns, since it's obviously designed and intended as a weapon, first and foremost. No, it's still usable as a tool, even if that's not what it's made for. So how are guns different?

    Changing someone's mind is not something that can be done in the space of a single conversation. You have to make your points slowly and gradually, carefully chipping away at the wall of ignorance these people surround themselves with. Break it down too fast, and they run away and make a new one. It's like boiling a frog in a pot.
  14. JKimball

    JKimball Active Member

    Aug 5, 2007
    Orem, UT

    They do ban potentially deadly sporting implements.

    I can see the logic of the argument you suggested, but I really don't think it gets us where we want to be.

    I think we need to stop thinking of them as blissninnies or frogs in pots that we want to boil. Let's think of them as our future shooting buddies and treat them with honesty and respect and that will do a lot more to stop the wall building you referred to. When we try to make someone look foolish as we debate with them they are going to put up a wall. Especially if we can in any way be perceived as being sneaky in our argument.
  15. jlbraun

    jlbraun Senior Member

    Dec 29, 2005
    Americans shoot nine billion rounds of ammunition a year.

    There are only 15,000 deaths a year from firearms.

    Demonstratively, the primary purpose of firearms cannot be to kill people.
  16. JKimball

    JKimball Active Member

    Aug 5, 2007
    Orem, UT

    Here's another good one for you.

    I just did a quick google search and learned that the average man will produce as many as 12 trillion sperm cells in his lifetime. In America he will on average have less than 3 children.

    Demonstratively, the primary purpose of sperm cannot be to reproduce.
  17. Prof. A. Wickwire

    Prof. A. Wickwire Member

    Mar 12, 2006
    Averill Park, NY
    I have used the following in the past.

    Them: "Guns kill people!"

    Me: "Have you ever even fired a gun?"

    Then: "Yes I have!"

    Me: "Oh, how many people did you kill?"

    Them: "What?!?"

    Tends to hurt their closed minds.


    Prof. A. Wickwire
  18. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Senior Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Tejas Norte
    Guns are like swords, axes, knives, etc. -- they are weapons which are primarily used for sporting and other peaceful purposes.

    There are millions of swords in the world. Most of them are fencing blades (with the little button on the tip for electronic scoring) and decorations (with unsharpened blades) but even those can be deadly. A few every year are used in crimes or for self defense.

    The main difference between the sword and the gun is that guns are more accessible. I mean that in the disabilities/ADA/windows accessibility sense. More people can use them because they accomodate physical problems better. That's why I own and practice with a gun instead of a sword. With enough practice I may be able to get good with a sword and be able to defend myself from an attacker so long as I'm healthy, but I will always be more vulnerable with a sword than with a gun because the sword requires a lot of physical ability which I'll lose if injured or sick.... or old. A weapon which is only accessible to the young and fit leaves everyone else at a disadvantage. Firearms are accessible to everyone. An old lady and a fit young man are far more equal when facing each other with guns than with most other weapons. They are clearly more equal with guns than with swords or knives or even bare hands.

    It's silly to try and talk around the fact that firearms are weapons. They are weapons. They were designed to allow a wide range of people to apply lethal force. Weak people, old people, ugly people, black people, deformed people, healthy people... people in general. All people.

    Any argument which tries to deny that guns are weapons is destined to fail and leave you looking dishonest.
  19. Zoogster

    Zoogster Senior Member

    Oct 27, 2006
    I agree with Ed, they are weapons and one of the most recognizable and effective weapons. Attempting to make them out to not be weapons will make whatever other point you are trying to make seem dishonest.
    Yes they can be used as sporting equipment and for recreation. So can swords, javelins, spears, flails, and thousands of similar items whose primary use is as a weapon.

    Axes, makeshift tools, ice picks, tire irons, bats, canes etc are usualy not primarly a weapon, they are designed for cutting wood, playing baseball, changing tires, help walking, chopping ice etc . Some are intentionaly designed from the start as weapons. Most however are primarily designed for another purpose and simply make effective and lethal weapons.

    Using guns in reinactments, mock battles, hunting, target practice etc does not make them not weapons. The purpose even in those events is usualy as a weapon, to practice to use as a weapon, or in displaying the use of weapons.
    The role of a firearm is primarily as a weapon, that you can find other uses for them does not change the fact that use as a weapon is the reason they were invented, improved, and are protected under the constitution.
  20. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

    Oct 10, 2006
    North Idaho
    Rambling Thoughts

    Chess is a game with so many permutations that only in the last decade -- after years and years of trying -- was anyone able to design a computer capable of competing successfully with a human master player.

    I once had a book of chess openings; said book was an inch thick (more, actually). It started off with standard "centerline" moves and their counters, then went to common gambits and their counters, then on to more unusual and obscure openings and their responses and their variations and responses.

    An inch+ thick.

    And the essence of the book was, if he does this, then you do that, and if he does this other thing, then you do that other thing.

    Hundreds of pages. Exhaustive treatments of certain opening patterns and supporting reasoning behind each.

    So, here we sit, with a game set up on the board, and a common gambit is played: "Guns are only usable as weapons!"

    And we consider the possible responses and counters and the rationale behind each.

    Remember, this is a GAME to those who attack us. Remember, THEY have nothing, really, to lose. They have no stake that they're aware of. It is only we who have something to lose -- a real stake -- in the game. It really doesn't matter if our opponents are risking their freedom and liberty, because -- from their side of the board -- they simply don't perceive that risk. It really doesn't matter WHY they don't see it, what matters is that they don't, and therefore they're willing to treat as a game something that matters dearly to us, something with far-reaching consequences.

    I will stipulate that there are those among the opposition who know exactly what's at stake and who know what they risk and what's to be gained. For them, this is not a game. For all that, they will nonetheless stage it as a game -- much in the way a litigator refuses to concern himself with the rightness or wrongness of his client's position, seeking only to contrive matters so that he wins.

    It is important to understand that truth, merit, right, wrong, logic, reason, and so on, have very plastic meanings when the opponents of civil rights take the podium. All that matters is winning the game. Remember, if they lose, nobody's going to show up at 3:00am to confiscate their stuff. At least not in their world.

    So, when structuring an argument against the advocates of civil tyranny, you have a handicap: your argument must not only conform to the rules of truth, merit, logic, and reason, your argument must also refute their position and constrain further lines of development.

    Depending on how committed your adversary is, you might illustrate that his position is anything from silly, to harmful, to ignorant, to stupid. I would note that "proving stupid" would not be appropriate for winning friends and influencing people. It might be appropriate to simply neutralize.

    One possible response to the "only usable as weapons" gambit is the "why does that matter" counter-gambit.
    They're only for use as weapons.
    Why does that matter?
    Well, weapons kill people!
    All weapons?
    (Hmm, blocked line of attack, switch attack lines) . . . Well, they have no legitimate use outside of killing. I mean, knives can be used in the kitchen, but you can't use a gun in the kitchen.
    You also can't use a bulldozer in the kitchen, nor a jack hammer for that matter. What do kitchens have to do with defining legitimate use?
    (Hmm, blocked again, switch lines of attack) . . . Well, guns make killing easy and you can kill someone at a distance.
    I see. So killing someone is okay as long as it's difficult and close-up?
    (Dang, blocked again) . . . Well, it's been proven that people are more violent around guns. (This is false, but remember, false doesn't matter.)
    Why would you use an argument that has been completely debunked by Harvard? (False argument fails.)
    (Crap, this isn't going well) . . . Well, guns are frightening and just having them around can lead to emotional trauma, and children shouldn't have to be exposed to dangerous things.
    (Finally, an opening . . .) So, you're advocating the destruction of our culture by seeing to it that children grow up unable to cope with the violence and barbarism that more primitive, aggressive cultures will bring to bear. Kind of like Rome.​
    You can place yourself at a disadvantage by becoming wedded to one kind of argument. Remember, it's a game. White moves first and generally establishes the mode and overall line of play. If you only know Queen's Gambit Declined and you've never learned the Reti transposition, you can find yourself floundering, even though you know you're right.

    Being right isn't useful. It's only worth moral points, and those don't count in this game, unless they're moral points derived from emotions and feelings.

    You're accustomed to honest discussion, which places you out of your element in these games. Find someone who's willing to play "the black pieces" and practice those moves, then you play "black" for a while. Role playing can be very educational.

    Sometimes you can open with a counter gambit that completely ignores their opening. That's risky, but played well it can kick butt.
    Guns can only be used as weapons.
    You're right. The Nazis should never have been allowed to have them.
    I'm not talking about that.
    Oh. You're more worried about the guns owned by the police?
    No, the police are trained and can be trusted.
    Ah. So we don't need the Fourth Amendment any more?​
    And so on.

    The book of openings and their resolutions is at least an inch thick.

    There's no one-size-fits-all argument.

    Expand your openings portfolio.

    Yes, learn the basic truths. Then learn debate. With a little skill, you can actually start to enjoy these encounters.

    Oh, and don't forget the end game. You can't count on your opponent's resigning when it gets bad. Sometimes he'll play to the bitter end.

    Be prepared for that.

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