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Do guns kill or do people kill people? Show more Show less
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“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is a well-known slogan used by the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun activists to make the case for their deregulation agenda. So which is it? Do guns kill people or do people kill people?

People kill people Show more Show less

Guns are not dangerous unless put in the hands of dangerous people. It is the person who pulls the trigger.
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Guns are inanimate objects

A gun is an inanimate object. It does not turn from a tool into a weapon without a person. It does not have the potential to kill unless picked up by a human being. It can not do harm until a finger pushes the trigger.

The Argument

People kill people because guns are inanimate objects. There needs to be a person, with the intention to do harm, to pick up a gun for it to actually be harmful and dangerous. Guns themselves have no power. They have no moral compass, they have no will, and they have no agenda. But people do. It is the person who controls a gun who is responsible for what it does. It is the person who fires a gun at another person and takes their life who is accountable for the death. For instance, this logic is easy to apply to drunk driving car crashes. If a drunk driver crashes into and fatally kills an innocent driver, people specifically say, “They were killed by a drunk driver,” not just that they were killed by a car.[1] It is a person who becomes responsible for the death, and it is the person who has done the killing. The logic and language we use to describe drunk driving car crashes apply to guns and mass shootings. A gun becomes a dangerous weapon upon use by a dangerous person. Guns certainly make killing easier, but it is the person who pulls the trigger.

Counter arguments

The argument that guns are inanimate objects and therefore do not kill people does not apply in all situations. There are countless of inanimate objects that are responsible for death. There are plenty of things that are not living than have the capacity to kill. For instance, the environment is an easy example to use. Harsh weather conditions such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes can kill people. Air pollution and natural fires can be many’s people's demises. For instance, Hurricane Sandy of 2012 was the direct cause of 147 deaths.[2] Such an event has no moral compass nor mental state, but it had the capacity to kill nonetheless. Inanimate objects, things, and events without moral compasses nor freewill can murder and kill people too. Guns can kill people, and they do.

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Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/gun-control-debate_b_2389047
  2. https://www.cnn.com/2013/07/13/world/americas/hurricane-sandy-fast-facts/index.html

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 13 Oct 2020 at 01:20 UTC

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