I'm reposting some comments I left in two different places:
You begin by saying "It's really hard for me to understand where my American Christian friends are coming from when they oppose any sort of greater restrictions on guns."
When, however, I respond to you on your own terms, suddenly you "don't have time."
To me, that's symptomatic of somebody who's not asking a serious question. To say you stopped reading is a way of saying you stopped listening.
Do you want to know the other side of the argument or not?
And, yes, I think Australia's gun ban/confiscation was a mistake. From an ethical standpoint, the right of self-defense is a fundamental human right. At best, the police are a supplement, no
Steve Hays To piggyback on one of Lydia's points, by definition, if you confiscate enough guns, you may have fewer shootings. But that’s a deceptive comparison. That doesn’t mean you less violent crime.
Gun bans and gun confiscation can lead to a spike in crime. There’s a loss of deterrence. In addition, citizens can no longer defend themselves or their property. That gives crooks a green light.
It’s not enough to compare a drop in gun violence with a drop in gun ownership. You need to compare that with overall crime stats .
Steve Hays "Steve, please provide for me the evidence that suggests that there will be more violent crimes. I'm not convinced that introducing more guns (in law-abiding hands) in Australia is going to help us reduce our rates of violent crimes."
i) In one of the links, C’zar Bernstein cites evidence regarding the deterrent effect of private gun ownership. But you couldn't be bothered to read the links.
ii) I don't accept you shifting the burden of proof as if the onus lies exclusively on me. You have your own burden of proof to discharge. It's not all on my shoulders.
iii) Likewise, although you are, of course, at liberty to frame the issue according to your own priorities, you can't impose that on me. In addition to stats, there are ethical issues:
iv) I believe in the right of self-defense. Therefore, even if (ex hypothesi) private gun ownership didn't reduce violent crime overall, there's more at issue than the sum total. There's the right of individuals to protect themselves and their dependents.
Other people may choose not to take advantage of that option. But that ought to be an option.
Take a woman who's endangered by the stalker ex-boyfriend. Or a woman who lives in a seedy part of town because that's all she can afford at the moment. It's a high crime area, so she carries a gun for self-protection.
Now, whether or not the availability of guns lowers violent crime generally is, I'd say, irrelevant to her right to protect herself. She's a person, not a statistic. The fact that it prevents some crimes which would otherwise occur is sufficient justification on moral grounds alone. Innocent people have a standing right to protect themselves. That's an individual right. It's not counterbalanced by the right not to be protected in some utilitarian calculus.
In addition, guns are always available to the criminal class. It's not as if disarming private, law-abiding citizens disarms robbers, muggers, rapists, house-burglars.
Anti-gun laws are irrelevant to the criminal class because they break the law, including laws against gun-ownership. Indeed, there's a lucrative black market in gun-running. That's an entrepreneurial opportunity for enterprising crooks. Disarming her doesn't make her safer from would-be assailants. Not to mention that it doesn't take a gun to assault a woman.
v) Likewise, there's the principle of limited gov't. Beyond a certain point–and we reach that point very fast–the more you empower gov't, the more you disempower the governed. As a rule, I think the least gov't is the best gov't. The power that can be used for good can be used for evil. A gov't that has a monopoly on violence is a gov't with a police state apparatus. That's a recipe for a totalitarian state.
BTW, this isn't hypothetical. The vice is tightening on Christians Down Under:
Psychiatric treatment is not a panacea. You can’t fix a broken mind the way you can fix a broken clock.
Certainly some people benefit from psychiatric treatment. In some cases, psychotropic drugs keep mentally ill/unstable people sane and functional.
However, psychotropic drugs can backfire. People can do crazy things on psychotropic drugs. Do it because of the meeds.
Moreover, the psychological/psychiatric community is full of secular quackery.
Furthermore, we don’t want to make it easy for the state to involuntarily commit someone. Not only is that, in itself, easily subject to abuse, but there’s the additional potential abuse that occurs given involuntary commitment.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the insanity plea is a classic way of shifting blame away from the perpetrator. So we need to take those claims with a grain of salt. For instance, it wouldn’t surprise me if Dylann Roof’s lawyer mounts an insanity defense, based on Roof’s use of psychotropic drugs. Point is, people needn’t be crazy to commit atrocities–they need only be evil.