This morning I posted the following tweet:
I've heard people say that today is not the day to talk about gun control in the US. Okay, but the conversation needs to happen tomorrow.
— Randal Rauser (@RandalRauser) October 2, 2017
Somebody under the moniker “Christian Debate Maps” (henceforth CDM) replied with a defense of guns and we had a brief exchange. I stated that I didn’t believe citizens should have access to semi-automatic and fully automatic weaponry (henceforth (semi) automatic). CDM asked why and I replied it was a simple cost/benefit analysis. The cost was evident spattered in blood on the streets of Las Vegas. And that cost, I claimed, outweighed any benefit to such access.
But of course that was pending CDM’s provision of a list of benefits. So what are the benefits? CDM replied:
The benefit would be the number of lives saved by personal firearm owners. What's your exact moral calculus for the cost/benefit analysis?
— ChristianDebateMaps (@XianDebateMaps) October 2, 2017
Let’s sum up. I said the cost of legal access to (semi) automatic weaponry is mass civilian death. CDM replied that the benefit which allegedly outweighs that cost is the ability of citizens to kill the individual perpetuating that mass civilian death with their own (semi) automatic weaponry.
I think that’s a very bad reason to support citizen access to (semi) automatic weaponry, not least because it secures access to would-be murderers like the Las Vegas shooter as surely as it secures access to the Johnny-Do-Rights who would wield their weapons to take down those would-be murderers.
I can think of a second reason that I’ve heard in defense of access to this weaponry. Some folks believe they need access to (semi) automatic weaponry as backup tools for armed insurrection against the government. But this is even a worse reason than the first.
A third reason? Folks simply like shooting (semi) automatic weapons. I think this reason is about as bad as the second.
So are there good reasons why citizens should have access to (semi) automatic weaponry? If so, what are they?