The first thing that we must agree on in this up coming conversation is that owning a gun is a right which has been granted to us by the constitution and has been a long standing tradition. If you do not agree with that, please read below. If you do agree please go to the section labeled Argument Scope.
It has been a long standing tradition to own, use, and keep guns with you in America. If you have reasons for changing that tradition, they must be valid, unbiased, and have a clear understanding of why the tradition was created in the first place.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
The right to bear arms is in the same realm as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Some people believe that the right to bear arms does not exist outside of a "militia". There are a few problems with this idea.
The first problem I see is that the US constitution says the federal government has the right to regulate the "Militia", that does not mean fund it. So if the federal government does not fund this state"Militia", who buys the guns? It is the people who buy the guns, own the guns, and use the guns.
Another reason why the right to bear arms exist is because of the "shall not be infringed" clause. It is obvious to me, that not being able to by any type of gun that I want (up to and including military machine guns, anti tank guns, and sniper rifles) is an infringement. I would like to point out the steps it takes for me to get a CCW. I will spend over two hundred dollars taking state mandated courses and paying license fees to the sate. I will also under go a federal back ground check (Invasion of privacy). Should the government know if you own guns? I personally do not mind them knowing, but I do mind them not letting me have effective (ie military quality) weapons in which to defend myself from criminals, invaders, and they government itself.
Finally, it goes against many of the founders other writings and thoughts to suggest that owning guns is not a right, necessary, or essential part of American heritage.
"Never trust a government that doesn't trust its own citizens with guns." - Benjamin Franklin
"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore by the constant companion of your walks." - Thomas Jefferson
"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." -George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426.
"The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." -Thomas Jefferson.
Love your country, but never trust its government.
-- Robert A. Heinlein.
"To disarm the people (is) the best and most effectual way to enslave them..." -George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380.
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined...The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.: -Patrick Henry.
More quotes here....
Bearing arms is a right, but is also a right that you can abstain from. The up coming talks will discuss the personal trade offs of gun ownership, the societal trade offs, and the resulting public policy of gun ownership. This discussion will require effort on both sides to research data, remove the cloud of biases, and be honest. I am willing to put forth the effort to research gun ownership and the effects, and I ask that you will be able to do the same and join me in this discussion.