“Should we then outlaw knives? No,” Mohammad said. “Guns are good for us. They give us a sense of safety. Fear of guns is amplified by 24/7 media coverage of horrific but out-of-the-ordinary events.”
Mohammad then recounted an incident during which he was approached in Pakistan by a group of men. He felt threatened, so he took out a gun and loaded it and the men turned and walked away, he said.
From Germany, Koedderman said handguns are the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction that exist. High gun ownership means more danger, he said. Yes, the Bill of Rights say that individuals have the right to keep and bear arms, Koedderman said, but when those rules are taken advantage of, they have to change. Registration of all arms and mandatory gun training should be mandatory, he said.
Weinell, an avid hunter, began his argument by saying that he has 10 children and that he wants them to be safe. Outlawing guns, he said, keeps them out of the hands of the people who need them to protect themselves.
“It makes the rest of us sitting targets,” Weinell said.
Weinell argued that many of the most recent shootings have taken place in areas where guns are prohibited. Of the ten or more movie theaters around Aurora, Colo., the one where a violent mass shooting happened last year was the only one that had a sign outside it that read, “Guns are Prohibited,” Weinell said. When people are allowed to arm themselves, over time, violent crime decreases, he said.
Burgin offered up the point that, when the Bill of Rights was written, the gun of choice was the flintlock rifle. There were no scopes, sites or lasers either, she said. In the American West, guns were the law and people killed each other for entertainment. In a perfect world, we would not need gun laws, she said. But unless we somehow find a way to eliminate hatred, we need them.