The right to bear arms?

_45558131_bullets_afp466 Why did an apparently perfectly normal 17-year-old in Germany go onto kill 15 people?  It seems he used one of his father’s guns ….So should people be allowed to keep guns at home? Is it a basic right to own a gun or should it be banned? I’m Michael a producer on the Europe Today team and this is what we’re talking about on today’s programme. Would banning private gun ownership make the world a safer place?

28 Responses to “The right to bear arms?”

  1. 1 Maccus Germanis
    March 12, 2009 at 13:26

    Actually, random air drops of child-locked shotguns have a better chance of making the world a safer place. Spreading this potentially evil power widely over the populace does create a detante. Gun bans do only effectively concentrate power in gov’ts and criminal entities, catching otherwise law abiding citizens unarmed and in crossfire.

    We’ve had a recent shooting in South Alabama, in which I was shocked that no one shot back, sooner. Police despite their training haven’t quite figured out how to be everywhere at once. It is a safer world in which each individual takes responsibility for their own safety. -at least being able to provide deterence until police arrive-

  2. 2 Steve
    March 12, 2009 at 13:35

    From what I read, at the school 8 of the 9 students he killed were female, and all three of the teachers were female, so I think he may have had a problem with women.

  3. 3 Roy, Washington DC
    March 12, 2009 at 13:56

    Criminals are going to have guns anyway, regardless of whether or not private ownership of them is legal. Allowing private ownership of guns has two main effects: First, it allows people to have a healthy respect for guns without viewing them as something only an outlaw would have. Second, it levels the playing field (to a certain extent) between criminals and law-abiding citizens, in that a criminal’s deadly force could be met with similar force.

    Guns are not inherently bad. It is people who misuse them that give them a bad name.

  4. March 12, 2009 at 14:18

    With terrorists always able to just start slaughtering people at shopping malls and other large gathering places, and illegal immagrents being human traffickers and drug smuggling, plus violent gang members and just crazy people out there so often able to just start attacking innocent by standers….the point really is that there has never been a time in our history where carrying a concealed weapon, a means of protecting yourself is more needed than today.

    If governments and police forces cannot dominate these evil doers to the point where they actually know these threats are out there, but just will not do anything about cracking down on dangerous people before they hurt the innocent……..Why then, it becomes the burden of the citizen to take quick action to limit damage and stop the slaughter.

    I have a concealed carry permit, but am guilty of not carrying it as a check and balance against the bad guys.

    We have some 150 million guns in the hands of our private citizens in America.
    very seldom are these guns used in a criminal situation. Most people killed with guns in America are drug dealers and crooks in altercations with other crooks.

    Or more justly an armed citizen killing a burgler or robber, rapist, domestic abuser who rates being put out of their misery.

    troop on the Oregon coast

  5. March 12, 2009 at 14:27

    This phenomenon in the west is a result of out industrialization. With this whole global recession we are seeing the results of this move. Kids that grew up in an agricultural environment with both parents “stay at home” parents. They from a very early age were assigned chores they had to do to keep the family stable. Children were assets to the family unit. This environment allowed the development of self worth and understanding of cause and effect”. With the move into the industrial age, parents left the home to work. Children were raised by other children via the school environment. They have become a liability to the family unit. And as these children age, the search for the answers “who am I” and “why am I here”. With such attention put on fame, many seek it by any means. Some of them choose and heinous acts that get them their 15 min.

  6. March 12, 2009 at 16:51

    Lots of people seem to be watching Rambo movies these days!

  7. 7 Rick Feete
    March 12, 2009 at 17:56

    Four liters of petrol as fire bombs could have killed many more. Should petrol be outlawed?
    Rick Feete
    Virginia USA

  8. 8 Puck 101
    March 12, 2009 at 18:19

    Let me start by saying I don’t own a gun, of any kind . However, every time something like this happens, the hue and cry is deafening… ” Make Guns Illegal” is the cry… And the old debate is sure to follow… They just had a post on this site speaking of leagalizing drugs.. . They said , we can’t win the war against it….. Well, does anyone who advocates taking the guns away from law-abiding citizens think that criminals can’t go downtown, 5 minutes away and pick up Uzis and every kind of weapon imaginable ? Even greanade launchers are available.
    We don’t want to die .. We don’t want criminals to invade our privacy and our homes. But we let politicians and lobbyists and crooked CEOs and Banks kill us slowly without so much as a whimper… That is , until our kids start to starve.. There is more than one way to die… None is pleasant , unless it’s a natural death. So, if you want to keep a gun for protection, so be it….. But keep it handy for the next politician you see raising your taxes, or giving it away in some Tarp plan. Sometimes I think a bullet is quicker than starving to death….. And what is worse than us starving, is watching a little chlld starve….

  9. 9 Felix, Berlin
    March 12, 2009 at 19:01

    The probability to get shot on the street increases proportionally with the number of persons carrying a gun!
    Not everyone who shot another person had the intention to do so when leaving the house with a gun in his bag. The sheer presence of guns can cause escalation and end with dead people. This teenager from Baden-Würtemberg would not have got the idea to do what he did if not for the availabiltiy of the gun. The presence of a handgun in his fathers bedroom did not only make this possible but helped putting the very idea of the act in his mind.

    Nobody should be allowed to own a gun if not necessary for professional reasons.

  10. 10 Tom D Ford
    March 12, 2009 at 19:07

    I think that every child should receive very serious training with guns starting at an early age and refreshed every year, so that like a US Marine, everyone is a rifleman.

    That will do a number of things.

    Nobody will be afraid of guns.

    Nobody will be able to do crazy things without realizing that someone likely has a concealed carry permitted gun nearby.

    Every citizen will have the ability to protect themselves from nefarious people, whether they be common criminals, or bad governments.

    People will recognize when someone has an abnormal fascination with guns and have the opportunity to help prevent things from getting out of hand.

    Dictators and other bad actors will be reluctant to try and rule through fear and intimidation of citizens.

    Genocides like Darfur, the Nazi Holocaust, Pol Pot, Stalin, Idi Amin, sex slavery, and others will be far less likely to happen when the people are trained and armed against such happenings.

  11. 11 Tom D Ford
    March 12, 2009 at 19:14

    And along with training every child in the proper use of guns, I would train every child in Compassion, Sympathy, and Empathy, so that they grow up at least somewhat balanced as human beings and have a fairly full range of behaviors available to them in facing and dealing with the other people whom they will meet throughout their lives.

    Learn The Golden Rule and also learn tools to use, if necessary, against people who reject The Golden Rule.

  12. 12 Yasmine
    March 12, 2009 at 22:23

    it’s an unfortunate thing to hear and see the devistating things that are happening at a such young age. I was really saddened when I heard the news. I don’t think that banning ownership of guns would make any difference at all because he/she can go out and bye now without a question.

  13. 13 Maccus Germanis
    March 13, 2009 at 13:14


    The fact that you would say, The sheer presence of guns can cause escalation and end with dead people. does prove my point. I’m guessing that you’d have sense enough not to brandish a weapon, while in Kennesaw, Ga. Your statement on the “probability of getting shot,” going up with the number of guns does ignore the mollifying effect that an armed populace has upon itself. Germany has rather strict gun laws, does it not?

  14. 14 Dennis Junior
    March 13, 2009 at 14:20

    Thanks, Michael a producer on the Europe Today team for the introduction of story!!!

    Would banning private gun ownership make the world a safer place? Yes, it would make the world a safer place, but, most people will never accept it as policy…..

    ~Dennis Junior~

  15. March 13, 2009 at 14:40

    @tom ford,

    Agree totally,


  16. 16 Tony Parkes
    March 13, 2009 at 14:50

    Guns are dangerous and I do not see any reason for citizens of any country to have them as personal posessions, they are for law enforcement and fighting wars.

    If guns were not available to the general public and for example you feel thar you are threatened or at risk of violence, then you would be able to go through the correct channels to either hire security guards to protect you or report this to the police. the treat you face could be anything but not gun related.

    Once we take guns out of the suituation, the risks are lower as we then deal with weapons which may also kill, but not on mass as we have just seen in Germany.

    For those of you that are into Hunting and killing animals because you can and like to for fun, then you go the to police like any hardware store, you hire a weapon for however long you like and return it. Should any crime be linked back to that marked weapon, I hope that you will have a very very good lawyer.

  17. March 13, 2009 at 15:04

    @ Felix Berlin,

    Totally disagree with your view. More guns ….less crime….more manners.

    Ask the Brits, after they outlawed guns, their cops had to start carrying guns because the bad guys felt bolder and safer, more crime came their way not less.

    Now that the Brits have no freedom….many want that freedom back. One of the surest ways to judge whether people are free or not is to look at their ability to be armed.

    Sheep are easier to slaughter than armed people who won’t be pushed around.

    The Jews in Germany figured that out……today the people of Israel say never again will we disarm ourselves, and cast our fate to the ones with high moral high ground who know what is best for a society.

    Ask all genocided ghosts, was being disarmed really a good idea for all of them?

    Fine to have lofty ideas about arms who should have them, and all, but first understand the nature of man.


  18. 18 Emile Barre
    March 14, 2009 at 13:10

    What does the term “perfectly normal” mean exactly? We are all individuals no one is the same as another. “Normalcy” is a myth. This individual has his own history like anybody else. No one can understand any individual without knowing that history in its entirity. The media has to be very careful in arrogating to itself an omniscience it has not merited because it has not done the work on providing all that information. No one would discuss ,for example, Palestine without knowing the massive history of that place, similarly no one shoud discuss individuals in terms of some arbitrary concept without the slightest knowledge of the total picture for each one. Compared to that matter, gun ownership is a tiny issue. People should be allowed to bear arms if that is the law of the country concerned and the will of the people who live there. The US is obviously the most well-known example.

  19. 19 Bruce Sickles, Falls City, Oregon
    March 14, 2009 at 16:29

    For once I agree with troop. If we allow purselves to be disarmed we are invinting invasion

  20. 20 Benedict Wachira
    March 15, 2009 at 17:46

    In my opinion, it all goes back to the companies that manufacture these weapons.
    There should be strict international laws governing the production and the sale of guns.
    For instance, we can have that, only a government can buy guns from these manufactures. This, if implemented, would reduce the risk of these weapons falling onto the wrong hands.
    We have seen these manufacturers benefiting big time and making huge profits from the wars in Africa, and the rise of insecurity all over the world and hence it is up to UN and other international bodies to tame these ultinationals.

  21. 21 Jennifer
    March 16, 2009 at 12:51

    Why did an apparently perfectly normal 17-year-old in Germany go onto kill 15 people? Because we are too busy focusing on climate change…..

    I am aghast that people think that making guns illegal will do anything to change this situation. All it will do is increase the propensity for people who have guns to use them for bad purposes .

    This photo is appropriate.

    Banning people from having access to guns would only create the illusion of safety. It would take away the rights of people to protect themselves from bad people and it would also leave people who hunt for food without the ability to do so.

    I just joined the NRA and am learning to shoot. I’ll be able to protect myself if I ever have to and so will my mom. That right hasn’t been taken away….yet.

  22. March 17, 2009 at 13:34

    In my opinion i blame the parents of him and his teachers for not looking his pychological nature and goverment should take some more action before issuing weapon to an person
    To my knowledge if the boy is alive he should not be punished because he is not even 18 he should be given counselling and punishment should be given to his parents for their carelessness………

  23. 23 Mark
    March 17, 2009 at 19:26

    I support private gun ownership because I don’t think the state should have a monopoly on violence. Similarly, I believe if one nation has nuclear weapons, all nations should have them. Many Westerners believe, for example, that the Iranians should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. I think they should. It would level the playing field and go a long way to ensuring that those nations that have nuclear weapons and attempt to manipulate entire regions with this unspoken yet very apparent threat would treat the rest of the globe with a bit of respect. Remember why the Bush administration didn’t invade nuclear Korea and opted instead to beat whatever remained of civilisation in a demoralised, crippled and under-armed Iraq? If everyone was allowed to carry a gun, people would think twice before attacking them.

  24. 24 Shankari Manickam
    March 18, 2009 at 02:55

    I just blame his parents for having gun. Moreover they should have taken enough pressure to observe his activities.

  25. March 18, 2009 at 04:17

    Stringent laws should be made regarding gun ownership. Students need not own guns. Government has to make sure that students access to arms is be banned. Life of a person is more important in the world.

    Proper social education need to given in the higher secondary level. These incidents should not be repeated in the future.

  26. 26 Maheswari
    March 18, 2009 at 07:38

    Stringent laws should be made regarding gun ownership. Students need not own guns. Government has to make sure that students access to arms is to be banned. Life of a person is more important in th world.

    Proper social education need to be given in the higher secondary level. These incidents should not be repeated in the future.

  27. 27 Jim Newman
    March 18, 2009 at 18:25

    Hello again
    I think the right to bear arms is implicit with the right to kill. If you have the right to kill some will soon find a good reason to kill. Guns like money do not make a person good or evil.

  28. 28 Matt
    July 16, 2009 at 05:45

    our second ammendment right is what protects our other rights. if only our government is allowed to have them, we are left powerless. and are you gonna mug someone you know doesn’t have a weapon faster than one who very well might? and do you think outlawing guns will keep them out of the hands of criminals WHO ARE BREAKING THE LAW ANYWAY? I got a bridge to sell you then. i will kill to protect my rights. as did my forefathers.

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