I said how can any Buddhist ARGUE FOR....I never asked for you, or anyone else, to "turn in their meditation pillow"! I understand hyperbole and all, but let's be careful about arguing to what is actually being said and not create a strawman which is easier to tear down, OK?
Pardon the hyperbole, sir. It was unnecessary and a distraction from my point.
On your end, your original first sentence seemed more a rhetorical device than an honest question, Sambojjhanga. If it wasn't intended to cast aspersions on those Buddhists who argue in favour of gun ownership, then I apologize. However, think over the fact that this question of yours linked guns inextricably with the violation of the first precept, a foundational element of the path, and asked how "any Buddhist" could argue for the ownership of such a thing.
Regardless the intent of your question, I did answer it to the best of my ability. There was no attempt at a strawman, because such would be unnecessary.
To clarify my argument: the intent of the manufacturer and designers does not necessitate a specific kind of intent in the owner or operator.
If this were not the case, then no person could commit vehicular homicide, since GM, Ford, Toyota, etc. have not produced civilians vehicles with the intent that they be used for murder. Yet, people intentionally kill others with cars. The intentions of the manufacturer and designer are clearly seen to be independent from the intentions of these particular end users.
Ergo, while the gun may be produced with the specific intent that it be used for death, the end user is not necessitated to use it for death. Since they are not necessitated to use it for death, they are not necessitated to violate the first precept, and may be allowed to own a it.
There is nothing in a gun that mandates its owner to kill; not even a mouse need fear a gun toting person who lacks ill-will or intent to harm. Regardless what the manufacturer or inventor may have intended, as an owner I would not be obliged to share in that intent nor to act it out.
I disagree. A gun is still dangerous despite the owner's intentions. First of all, there are the all-too-prevalent accidents. We all know the countless stories of "great gun owners" who either shot themselves, or someone else, with the infamous "empty gun". You can certainly kill an animal or a human without holding any ill-will. All it takes is delusion. Also, guns can be stolen, lost, etc. Again, many people have been killed with other people's guns.
Note that I included the 'intent to harm' in my paragraph above and did not limit the violent gun owner's motivation to ill-will.
Also, many people have killed themselves and others through misadventure with cars, knives, alcohol, and climbing on the railing of their balcony. People have leaned ladders against unstable walls, caught the boom of their service truck on overhead power lines, and left household cleaners out where children have consumed them.
There are a myrid ways to die from improper or careless use of day to day items.
At best I'd concede that a stolen gun is a risk; but it is a risk that can be well guarded against in the majority of cases, much like an accidental discharge or a four car pile-up, so long as proper rules are mandated, and penalties doled out when those rules are broken.
'Accident' is also a poor argument against ownership, so far as I can see.
But perhaps it is hard to see how anything short of firearm bans can solve the homicide problems in the states, unless you consider places where there are many firearm present yet the gun crime is very low. Like Canada. In Canada only %3 of all violent crime is committed with a firearm, whereas the US sees %66 of homicides being committed with a firearm. When this low rate is considered in conjunction with the high rate of gun ownership in Canada, I'd incline to credit that much lower rate to our stringent gun control laws.
There are a number of reasons why Canada is different. First, as you state, Canada does have much more stringent gun laws than the US. Canada is also a much less violent society and finally, Canada has MUCH less population density.
We do have better gun laws. This was part of my point: good laws can neuter a potentially terrifying menace to society, in most cases. The US is lacking such good laws, although I sure wish it wasn't.
As to violence and population density, I'd argue that they do not correlate in all cases. Consider that Prince George, Canada, is a city of 71,000 people (density of 226.1 persons per km2), yet has been the most violent city in Canada for several years running. Whereas, Toronto is much larger and more densely populated (density of 4,149 persons per km2), yet ranks as one of the safest.
Lastly, I am not convinced that Canada is an inherently less violent society. I'd have to do some more googling and thinking before I'd affirm or deny your argument.
But as society as a whole, there is no way an overall gun ban would work, but it's very hard to justify, other than selfish narcisism, the reason anyone (outside of military and LE) would need a high capacity magazine. Your father can talk to you about the accuracy of groupings in controlled shots vs. double or triple taps, I'm quite sure. Unless you're planning on defending your house against an invasion (and many in the so-called liberty/prep movement believe this IS what will happen...right before Jesus Raptures them), you DO NOT need a 30 round mag to protect your home.
I agree about the high capacity mags. There is no reason for them that I can see.
However, the number of rounds in a magazine that might be considered appropriate is rather hard to pin down. Would five be too many, or too few? Once you leave the realm of Buddhist ethic, you are faced with the argument from hunters that a single loading firearm is nearly useless for them to exercise their hobby.
I think those Americans that actively desire a safer society need to study the controls implemented in other countries and give greater thought on how to entice those on the other side to accept at least some
reform. Certainly a compromise can be implemented that leaves those on both sides of the issue appropriately disgruntled.