Let's get some good ole barnson.org discussion going! Let's discuss gun control. I know Matt & Ben have strong, differing views on this, so we should be able to get some good discourse going....
My views are that I agree that in a perfect world. they're be no reason for guns, guns are primarily used to kill people, and we should get rid of guns. If you want to hunt, use a bow and arrow or muzzle-loader and give the prey a chance.
However, we don't live in a perfect world. We live in an amazing country where w'eve achieved an amazing level of safety and prosperity (on average, there are third-world conditions in many places in the US, but they don't vote, so they don't matter, right?). So people tend to forget about the bad people out there, both in our neighborhoods and in Washington DC. But the difference between our great society here in the US and regression into a Mad Max situation is slimmer than most realize. And when civilization breaks down, guns become necessary for protection, simply because they've been let out of Pandora's box. The other guys *will* have them, so we need them too. You can't unlearn technology, and the making of guns is easy now (you can do it by 3D printer!).
Or government is trending towards taking more and more power and worrying less and less about us little people, so I *do* believe we should own guns to hedge against a power grab one day. And anyone who thinks an armed populace can't withstand the US military isn't paying attention to Afghanistan.
As long as they can't prevent criminals from owning gins (which they can't) and as long as we have cronies in the government (we do), we need gins to protect ourselves from those who would use them against us. Matt has provided stats that show that places where guns are encouraged, crime falls, and where guns are banned, crime rises. Living in a fantasy world doesn't make you safer.