Murder Toys

I've been trying to put this idea into words for a while now, without a lot of success. But, in the interest of making the effort, I'll try doing it in writing this time. I don't know if the United States will ever get around to implementing sane gun control laws, but I'm quite confident that those who believe letting citizens have access to pistols and rifles will help prevent any sort of governmental abuse of power are living in a fantasy land. The reason for this is that they wrongly assume that rifles and pistols are weapons. They aren't. Pistols never were, and rifles haven't been since well before World War II. That might sound a bit odd, since clearly these tools are quite capable of deadly force, but bear with me. While I'm definitely not a military expert, the primary uses of these tools in modern times seems to be the following:

Pistols: none at all. They are apparently issued for "self defense", but brandishing a pistol isn't much of a defense against an opponent with a rifle. If your opponent is sitting in an armoured vehicle, a pistol is about as much defense as a toothbrush.

Rifles: keeping civilians or enemy troops without real weapons from interfering in situations where you still want to leave those civilians or enemy troops mostly alive. For example, capturing a specific enemy for questioning or ensuring the enemy are all outside of any fortifications being built.

Basically when soldiers are being used as police or guards, they'll make use of their rifles. When they are actually at war, they'll use real weapons. i.e. Call in the air strikes. If all of the armed citizens in the U.S. decided to revolt en-masse they'd fare about as well against the U.S. army as the Taliban did. Likely worse, since the Taliban did have RPGs and artillery.

So, basically I'm in favour of gun control because while people with guns can't do anything about an oppressive government, they can murder a lot of innocent people. It's basically a lose-lose scenario. I have fairly similar opinions on guns and swords. Both are pretty interesting in a historical context, and I have to admit a certain desire to have some of my own. But that's coupled with the inherent embarassment of knowing that the reason I want one is that I'm treating something intended to kill people as a toy. And anyone who wants to play with a murder toy isn't mature enough to have one.

P.S. Don't get me started on the insanity of "what if there's an intruder who wants to kill me inside my house". Your house is made of wood. Why would someone who wants to kill you bother going inside? They can just set the outside on fire. Anyone who snuck in is pretty much guaranteed to not want to kill anyone. And how did this mystery person get inside anyway? Don't you lock your doors?

P.P.S. I keep mentioning the U.S. so I should probably mention I'm Canadian. Our gun-control laws are pretty strict. But there are a lot of people who kept protesting against the National Gun Registry. So much so that when the Still-the-Reform-Party-To-Me got in power, they scrapped it. It did cost a lot of money to set up, so that was a bit of a waste. (As a programmer, I'm sure it could be re-implemented for a fraction of the original cost, so that's not that big of a deal.) The thing I thought was ironic was that the anti-gun-registry crowd all thought it would lead to confiscation, whereas I was sure it would lead to taxation. A nice, expensive, per-gun annual license might be a nice bonus to the tax base.