Freedom of speech is very important and I think that people should be open minded. Freedom of speech goes toward listening and allowing the conversation of ideas that don't reflect your own. On Independence Day I think it is important to acknowledge that we have freedom of speech - in written, spoken form, etc. In exercising mine I'm going to offer a counter viewpoint on guns and question some common pro-gun arguments. 1. Guns are a constitutional right: Well the second amendment says the right to bear arms... well regulated militia. The question becomes as to how to define arms. What is the definition of "arms" Could have the framers guessed fully and semi-automatic weapons? At the times arms meant long rifles and muskets that were singleshot muzzle loads. I wonder if the founding fathers would have seen the necessity in having AR-15s and AK-47s? Also what is the purpose to having the right to bear arms... to protect the people against a tyranical government? In this case should the amendment pretain to whatever weapons the government has. Should people have nuclear bombs and fighter jets? 2. Guns are needed. A. Guns are needed to hunt: Hunting is a hobby not a necessity... in our culture today we can find food at the grocery store. Hunting is recreation which is a contradition to the word "need." B. Guns are needed for protection: Actually if someone wants to hurt us, we are likely going to be hurt whether we have a gun or not. Since we are not the aggressor we do not have the knowledge of the attack and guns make attacks very quick. 99.9999 percent of the population will go through life without ever having to use a gun for protection or needing to. C. Guns are a right: But really why? Why does one human being have a right to own an item that is purely designed to take the life of another? D. Guns are a hobby: True. Can't argue this... which is why I have guns, but still I could find other hobbies. 3. Criminals get guns illegally. Most guns used by criminals are from lawful purchases. Whether they are stolen from people who bought them legally or are gotten through the straw-purchase. Firearms companies do not manufacture guns for criminals, but law obiding citizens. The fact is that any gun used in a crime was ORIGINALLY purchased in legal fashion. Also more demand for guns by people like us at Glocktalk, help criminals have easier access to them. 4. If not guns, the bad guys will kill with other weapons. True, but what other weapon can give a 150 pound man an advantage over a 300 pound man. What other weapon can give 1 man an advantage over 30 men? Guns do not make people able to kill, they make it EASY and ACCESSABLE to kill. 5. If everyone had guns the badguys wouldn't dare commit crimes or murder. Well most gun deaths are self-inflected. Suicide is the most common form of gun death in America. And in most shootings the perpetrator is suicidal, so fear of death (or other guns) is not a factor. For a law-abiding citizen that logic would make sense, but criminals don't always use logic. 6. A gun is a tool. True, but what other tool has a sole purpose in taking the life of a human being? Yes a car can kill, a chainsaw can kill, and a hammer can kill. A car has the purpose of transportation. A chainsaw has the purpose of sawing through lumber. A hammer has the purpose of driving in nails. A gun has the purpose of killing or the threat of killing. 7. If guns were made illegal, only the criminals would have guns. True, but only a very very small percentage of them would, as 99-percent of guns used in crime are originally purchased legally. Most criminals would not have guns because guns would not be in circulation. It's common sense. Just a few thoughts. By the way I'm probably going to go shoot my new Colt series 70 1911 with some friends next weekend. Happy Independence Day!