In many countries that have outlawed civilian gun ownership, including Italy and Germany, citizens can hunt after undergoing extensive training and background checks. In Germany hunters have to be accompanied by a trained and licensed guide, who helps to report the use of firearms in hunting related sport. In Italy, where I am moving soon, hunters are allowed to own one registered hunting rifle. Pistols and assault rifles are illegal, and the country (like many others with strict gun laws) has far lower violent crime rates to show for it.
People can also learn to hunt with bows, traps, and many other means of killing that require great skills and are more difficult to use against other humans.
Whale populations are harmed by the massive fishing industry, which is a completely separate/tangential issue. The solution would not be to get rid of or change humans, but to change and improve fishing practices. This correlation does not hold water. Similarly, arguing that violence is human nature does not address the fact that we have hundreds of other laws to keep us from doing things that people would like to justify by deeming their actions “human nature”.
Here is some solid research on the fact that having a gun in your household raises the risk of both homicide and suicide in your home. “Results show that regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home.”
1 Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and…aje.oxfordjournals.org
Through this piece, and many other well cited studies, I would say that guns do have a lot to do with overall rates of violence, homicide, and suicide. I agree that melting guns will not stop all violence, rape, or suicide, but there is plenty of proof in places where guns have been made illegal that it would help to drastically lower the number of people killed in the U.S. annually.
Aside: I wanted to thank you, Wade Mason, for taking the time to create a conversation about this piece I wrote. I typed this piece while not sleeping through the night, after 2 people fired 8 shots at one another, directly below my bedroom window. I felt very fortunate to have walls between me and the horror that was going on outside that night.
One piece of your message I wanted to address specifically, and not simply in response, is the following sentence: “It’s fine for you to feel the way you do. Really”. I am curious what motivated you to write that sentence to me. It is clearly a personal one, and one of the few that did not directly address what I wrote. I can imagine that in this context it might mean something like “we are all entitled to our own opinion, and i don’t agree with yours/ours differ”. That is one simplified interpretation. It could also mean that you feel I need/want validation for my feelings. I don’t. Not even a little. Not even when debating sensitive personal topics via online writing platforms, nor in conversation with strangers/coworkers/family. I am happy to debate, and to be wrong, and to learn for everyone, and to be humbled, and to have humility. These are important parts of a full life for me, and I don’t need validation that anyone else is okay with my feelings.