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By Michael Porter

Anyone who has tried to have a debate with an anti-gunner has surely encounter the quip “Guns are only meant for killing”.  Many of you I’m sure try to say they aren’t. “They’re for shooting a projectile,” or  “They’re for hunting/busting clays”, etc. Insert whatever excuse you’d like.  There is a truth we cannot avoid — guns are for killing. When an anti-gunner tries to end the argument with that phrase I reply, “I buy all my guns for their potential lethality or ability to make me better at potentially killing.” It’s exactly why criminals use them and law enforcement officers carry them. Death is completely effective at stopping an assailant from inflicting the same on you. Death has a stopping guarantee that injury can’t boast of . . .

If a criminal comes into my house in the dead of night, I refuse to be unarmed or wield a bat. If I’m prepping for disaster, I refuse to let my stuff be taken without lead flying. If someone tries to take me away because I’m of the wrong color skin or worship the wrong deity, I will not be unarmed. If the government becomes unwieldy and tramples my rights, I refuse to only have a poster and my voice in protest. It’s a fundamental question that I asked myself when I came of age to purchase my first pistol and get my concealed carry license — what am I willing to kill for, if at all?

Gun owners need to examine this issue, whether it’s in regards to self-defense or a more general notion. If your answer is “not at all,” then by all means don’t carry. If you’re going to own guns at all, lock them up when not in use and shoot targets for the enjoyment of mastering a skill.

Let’s not continue, though, pretending that guns aren’t lethal weapons because that’s the emotional tool that our opponents use.  We have no end of reviews on ammo and how much different brands penetrate, we talk about accuracy, we fight to maintain possession of our magazines regardless of capacity…all of which are aspects of how lethal a particular weapon is in our hands. I won’t shy away from the fact that I buy my guns to kill, but hope I never have to.

I fully believe this s one of the core issues in the right to bear arms. Many will believe that we have no right to kill another (or even an animal). I respect those views despite my extreme disagreement. However I don’t believe yet that our country has given up on our individual liberties, and we still hold them sacrosanct.

Though it may never happen, it has never been a question whether someone can come and attempt to take my “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  One only has to turn on the evening news to see case after case of the reasons to carry and own firearms. History is on our side and we must continue to fight against those who would rob us of the best tool to ensure that we can defend what we hold most dear on equal footing of those would doing the taking.

133 Responses to P320 Entry: Guns Are Tools for Killing

    • Not necessarily “just” for killing but that’s the reason they came about, as a whole. Gun design and improvements are almost invariably military in nature, from flintlocks to detachable magazines, to make for superior weapons in warfare.

  1. Not only are they useful for killing but they can be used to shoot out a car window if your car ends up in lake allowing faster escape and the same goes for escaping a plane or helicopter that makes a water landing.

      • $2.99 from Harbor Freight, search sheet metal spring loaded center punch. Used for marking where to drill, it will instantly shatter a window without any muscle power just by pushing it against the window. Carbide tip will do it too, but you will probably slice up your hand smashing it into the glass.

    • Water is one of the best bullet stops. 3 cubic feet of water will bring a 50cal rifle round to a dead stop. If you are in a car sinking to the bottom of a lake, and you shoot the window out before water fills the cabin, the glass will shatter and the water and the glass will rush back into your face with considerable force. And you will be deafened. If you wait until the cabin as flooded, to save yourself from the decompression forces, then your ammunition may fail from being water logged or the distance between the gun and the window might be too long for the bullet to still break the window by the time it gets too it.
      Using a gun to get out of a sinking car is a very bad idea.
      Here is the much better, simpler version. No tools required.
      After the hits the water, remember: DONT PANIC.
      Remove seat belts.
      Wait for water to fill the cabin enough to equalize the pressure with the water outside, if your windows are or can be opened this will occur before the cabin is completely submerged.
      Once the pressure is equal open the doors normally.
      Much better plan, no tools, no blown out ears.

    • Or you could simply roll down the windows (as your electrics will still work for about another 10 minutes or so), let water fill the cabin, and simply open the door once fully submerged.

      Jut don’t panic, though. That will kill you faster than anything.

  2. What Ralph said I have no intention of ever killing a human so that is never the primary purpose of any gun I own

  3. The problem is most anti’s will not, or cannot, differentiate between killing someone as the perpetrator of violence versus killing someone in self-defense.

    That being said, I do not buy guns to kill anyone who chooses to attack me. I buy guns to incapacitate those who choose to attack me. If the line between incapacitation and death is so slim (and often times surpassed), that’s the risk a criminal takes when they decide to break down a door in the middle of the night.

    • Aren’t we becoming the well trained defendants, regurgitating the lines that will please our defense attorneys? This PC language means that we have bought into the notion that we must only do what is ‘reasonable’ to defend ourselves. Why? Why must we be reasonable in response to an unreasonable attack? Why must we hamstring ourselves in pursuit of our defense? Criminals (including government officials acting criminally) should be terrified of our potential response to their attack. This is why crime rates have been dropping. And that is what will stop our future tyrants from overstepping their authority.

      • You don’t know what you’re talking about.

        It’s not about being politcally correct. It’s not about talking the same talk as liberal drivel. It’s about common sense – the real, unadulterated common sense, not the Media Common Sense™ provided to you by Bloatberg’s 50 millions and his horde of angry fake moms.

        We use guns because they’re the most effective tool for self-defense. The most humane as well. They just happen to be the most lethal. We want to STOP potential aggressors.

        If they die in the process? Too bad for them, they should’ve thought of that when they tried to rob me or break into my house. So long as they’ve been stopped and pushed out of the house, whether it’s in a body bag or not.

        And for fuck’s sake PLEASE stop insinuating you intend to shoot at government officials, no matter how tyrannic they are or how much you hate them. You are -just- painting yourself and the POTG as hillbillies and domestic terrorists, by doing that. State your disagreements with your government on the ballot box.

        • Devil’s Advocate Time: What if your vote is meaningless, and your government does what it likes, when it likes, to whom it likes, without abiding by the will of the people as expressed by the ballot-box? What then?

          Your implication is that the American Revolution, the Russian Revolution, and any historical wars against colonial oppression or unjust tyrannical dictatorships would be wrong because the people resorted to guns instead of relying on repeated and useless voting.

          This country is, at least not yet, not at that point. Given the trend, however, such a time may come.

        • Karina and John, You both are missing the point as pertains to the use of firearms against a tyrannical government.

          The ballot box is about the rule of the majority. The Bill Of Rights (and the rest of the Constitution) is about protecting your Individual rights against the rule of the majority. If the majority has a vote and decides that you have no gun rights anymore, the majority is unconstitutional and wrong. You have that right, in spite of whatever the majority may decide, because it is an INDIVIDUAL right. And you might have to defend that right (or some other right) with the force of arms, maybe even against the decision of the ballot box.

          A tyrannical government does not necessarily mean that the government is doing things that the majority of people do not support. If the majority of the people decides they want their government to infringe on your Individual rights, then that government has become tyrannical.

      • No, don’t’ be silly. If I were to shoot an attacker, my only goal would be to stop them. If the drawing of my gun causes them to stop and turn away, then mission accomplished with no shots fired. If they continue to attack then I will fire, and from what I understand about adrenaline dumps I will likely fire several times whether I intend to or not. If the shots stop him then that is the intended effect. If an ambulance arrives in time to take him to a hospital where his life is saved I will not be filled with regret over a poor performance on my part. My goal was never to end his life, by attacking me with enough force to justify using a gun he removed the question of his living or dying from my mind.

        My only goal in a situation where I would be forced to draw a gun is to remain alive, anything else that happens is completely incidental.

        If you go on a road trip, is the goal to burn a few tanks of gasoline or was the goal to travel to a different location? If I eat too much fast food was the goal to get fat or was the goal to have a familiar but tasty meal?

        If I am ever forced to shoot someone in self defense I will certainly wish for the attacker to survive the confrontation. His death will never be the primary goal of my actions, even if it is nearly impossible to avoid. The blame for this falls on the attacker for initiating violence that was so likely to end my own life.

  4. A gun is no different than a knife or sword, they all can kill. It’s just that one of them is more efficient than the others.

  5. Ummm…some guns are for target shooting. When you use the term “gun” it encompasses everything that goes bang. Peller, BB, airsoft, airgun, and obviously everything bigger & deadly.

  6. Sorry. Don’t agree here. Mine shoot all the time at paper and paper only. Yes, compared to other objects, they could be more ‘effective’ if employed for killing but only humans, stupidity and time are lethal. Nothing else ‘kills’.

      • I was talking in the context of killing humans which is what the article is all about. And if you are swimming among sharks and get killed in the process, that would classify under human stupidity.

    • But you could. The author did not say that he intends to kill every time he fires the weapon. He said that the weapons he chooses to carry for protection have him convinced of their lethal effectiveness.

      • I could, but that is not the reason I bought it.

        Same as if I buy a fast car because I like drving fast on the Autobahn doesn’t make it a race car or a “get away from the 5-0 car”.

        If I buy a gun for competition shooting/plinking//whatever, i have then bought it for that purpose. I could use it to kill, but that is not the purpose of it, same as if I use a chainsaw to kill someone, it would work well for that purpose but I didn’t buy it for that.

  7. Potential lethality is certainly a consideration when I make a firearms purchase.

    That said, I think the common self defense meme is that I will shoot until the threat is no longer a threat. Maybe that means they have assumed room temperature or maybe that means they get to live after some intensive surgery. I don’t care either way. My intent is not to kill and my ideal scenario involves me never having to rely on a firearm. If I do have to utilize a firearm in a defensive situation, I hope that just the presence of being armed is enough to deter an attacker.

    I see no logical disconnect between the potential lethality of a firearm and the fact that it is not something I bought with the intention to kill. A hunting rifle might be a different story.

    A gun is a tool. This particular tool was designed as a weapon. A weapon can be used offensively or defensively. Being designed to purposefully be lethal is not the same as being MEANT for killing. Saying they were meant for killing implies their only useful purpose is for murder. That is the crux of the Anti’s argument and we do not have to agree on that point when debating them. In fact, we shouldn’t agree on that point at all considering how few guns are used in crimes compared to how many are out there.

    • One of the problems in the gun-control complex is that the antis can not see the difference between Murder and all the other kinds of Killings. There is a huge difference!

      There are several kinds of Killings. Murder is one kind. Self-defense is another kind. There is also Accidental Killing, War, Execution of criminals, Suicide, and maybe one or two others that I can’t think of right now. Murder is the only type of Killing that is viewed by society as an evil or criminal kind of Killing. Suicide is also not approved of by society, and society tries to prevent suicides when it can, but it is not punished as if it is a criminal act.

      When talking with an anti about gun control, their insistence on viewing every killing as an unjustifiable murder, can be an ideological wall which is unbreakable. In other words, if an anti will not admit that some killings are good and justifiable, then we simply can not convince them that guns have any useful purpose.

  8. Deterrence kills the need to kill.

    If the would be assailant believes you to be armed, you may not have to kill anyone.

    Fear is a strong emotion and can do wondrous things.

    However, you cannot deter the crazy for they tend to not fear anything.

  9. Agree to disagree? My 10/22 isnt for killing. Its for shooting groups. Just because it can kill doesnt mean I bought it for its “killing power” there mall ninja.

    • If shooting groups is the purpose, perhaps a bolt or break action would be more your speed. “Automatics” are weapons of war.

    • But why deny the history of the gun? I think that is what the author was getting at. He also mentioned your specific use in the article. I guess you and most of the other target shooters only read the title and not the article.

      • I don’t think it denies the history of the gun to point out that a super accurate .22 rifle of the sort used in the biathlon, where the sights are geared towards, and only towards, hitting the targets specific to the event.

        Does it deny the history of the sword to point out that a fencing foil is not much use as a weapon? At least not the type with the rounded tip.

        The gun has developed to a point where at least some specimens are produced with no intent to be used on another living creature. In fact I would say that some are produced on the assumption that they WON’T be used that way.

        Anyway, I disagree with the premise. My pistol, at least, exists for the purpose of stopping someone who is threatening my life. Whether that person lives or dies after is purely incidental.

      • I knew many would ignore it… it’s the first paragraph (It’s my article). A poster further brought up Biathlon rifles. Biathlon is a war game. They are training to shoot with an elevated heart rate and move quickly from one target to the next while still hitting accurately. This is is shooting to be more effective in a situation where your live will depend on it. Even informal “plinking” seems purely fun, but don’t you want to get better and hit more interesting objects? That’s practice for hitting irregular targets a situation you might encounter trying to defend your life.

        • @xwing

          Biathalon (and Modern Pentathalon) have military origins, but it is NOT true that the ***only*** purpose of the guns (or swords) used in either is to kill. In fact the purpose of the guns used in either is to be able to win the event. One *can* kill with them, but that doesn’t make them “only meant for killing” any more than the fact that the shot put event is also based on military use and that you can use the shot to kill means that the shot is “only meant for killing.” Or the javelin, or the hammer used in the hammer throw.

          Heck, hammers were weapons before they were tools too. That doesn’t mean that all hammer are “only meant to kill.” That something *can* be a weapon, doesn’t mean it *always* is, which is the argument that you were agreeing with in your post.

          If your Mark III makes you a better shot, that’s fine, but it doesn’t mean that the Mark III is “only meant to kill”.

        • @Scot

          Please tell me where I said “only meant for killing”? You are using their verbiage, not mine. Part of my point was that the primary purpose is killing and I can point to how every other excuse is a secondary or tertiary purpose that serves the primary. Yes, I love those secondary purposes a lot too. Clays are fun. I love my CZ452 a lot, but I won’t hold an allusion that when I’m going for small groups at a distance for any other reason than it makes me a better shooter. The breath control will help me in a situation that matters. It’s a reason “antis” laugh at “paper punching” claims because if that was all it was, by all means regulate guns out of existence for the common man. I don’t need to punch paper or see it as a right. I do however believe it’s my right to defend my life in whatever means I deem necessary.

        • @xwing

          You implicitly said “meant only for killing” when, in your very first paragraph, you said that you agreed with an anti-gunner who uses that phrase. You’ve accepted their premise.

          The primary purpose for most guns is not killing. You confuse the ability to kill with a purpose to kill. Inanimate objects of themselves do not have purposes. They are designed by someone who has a purpose in the design (and for things like the Mark III I very much doubt that the designer had ‘killing’ in mind). However, the ultimate purpose of any tool is the purpose in the mind of the user at any time.

          You could equally as well choose a hammer on the basis of it’s lethality. That you, personally, only choose firearms based on their lethality (which makes me wonder why you have a Mark III, or any handgun at all) does not mean that for people who are not you the main/primary purpose for their firearms is to kill.

          Are you seriously claiming that you only want to become a better shooter because you’ll be better able to kill? That you aren’t interested in improving your skills ‘just because’.

  10. The law does not allow you to kill people in self defense. You are permitted to use lethal force to defend innocent life, there is a difference. If you use lethal force in self defense you attacker may or may not survive and that is the chance he takes. If you use lethal force to kill someone, you are a murderer. If we shoot, we shoot to stop an aggressor not kill him.

    • Eh, you are playing with semantics. It’s not murder to defend yourself. Pretending that because you may or may not kill someone when you pull the trigger means that you aren’t responsible for their death is crap. Don’t carry a gun if you aren’t willing to take a life.

      • Technically speaking, you are absolutely correct. The killing of another human being is, generically, “homicide.” The unlawful killing of another is “murder.” The killing of another in self-defense is a “justifiable homicide.”

        • Other “justifiable homicides” include Defense of Others, War, and Execution of capital criminals. Mercy Killings (also called assisted suicide) are/were “justifiable” in some countries or in some times in history.

    • Speak for yourself. If someone breaks into my home with the intention of killing and raping my family, I will not shoot to stop the attack! I will shoot to kill the intruder! Two reasons for this. 1. Later, when and if he gets out of prison, he will probably continue his ways, and attack and possible kill some other innocent victims. 2. He may come back and kill me or my family!
      This type of person needs to be “offed” permanently!

        • You are making up a scenario that doesn’t exist! When I said I would shoot to kill I meant I would probably put several bullets in the perp, all at once, in one or two seconds. I said nothing about murder after the initial shooting.

          Haven’t you ever heard of a good guy shooting a bad guy, maybe only once, to stop the attack, and then the bad guy gets off a couple of rounds, and kills the good guy?

          Maybe that’s how you want it to go down in your house, not in mine!

        • Gunr, if you “shoot to kill,” have you failed if the threat is stopped but the attacker survives?

          We shoot to stop the threat.

      • And people wonder why we’re being depainted as vigilantes – some of us, like Sir Gunr (or Ma’am, prove me wrong if I am) really DO think like vigilantes!

        Your primary duty is to protect yourself and your loved ones. Not to kill criminals.

        Stop thinking like a vigilante. Don’t be a damn idiot. All a judge might see is “murderer”, and you very well should know that self-defense cases can be easily turned into homicide cases if the court doesn’t agree with you.

        Once again. You are here to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you’re being robbed, burgled, or otherwise life-threatened, you must say, think and breathe, “I was in fear for my life”, not “I want to kill the son of a bitch”. Your hatred of society’s rejects isn’t worth spending years in jail.

        • Being a vigilante is a whole different thing! How can you call a person who defends their family a vigilante!
          Shooting someone who is intent on raping your wife is not premeditated!
          How many times on this blog have I read where a poster says to “shoot twice”, once in the chest, and once in the head! Surly the purpose of this is put the bad guy out of action permanently.

      • Gunr, whether the intruder should live or die is not for you to decide. Stopping the attack is one thing. Deliberately taking the intruder’s life is another.

        • “Not for me to decide”
          Well then tell me who IS going to decide. When there is an intruder standing in my bedroom with a shotgun telling my wife to get on her knees and………………., do you really think I got time to call the district attorney, or the local police station!

      • “I will not shoot to stop the attack!” <= Yes you will, otherwise you're also going to jail for murder.
        "I will shoot to kill the intruder!" <= See above
        "…he will probably continue his ways…" <= Assumptions. Also, it's not your problem.
        "…and attack and possible kill some other innocent victims…" <= Assumptions. Neither your problem nor your role, as sad as it might be. Ideally, your other innocent victims should also be armed.
        "He may come back and kill me or my family!" <= Assumptions. If he is sufficiently stupid and does knowingly come back to a house where an ARMED HOMEOWNER LIVES, stop him again.
        "This type of person needs to be “offed” permanently!" <= That is not up to you to decide. Vigilantes think like that, not people genuinely concerned for their family.

        I'm fairly sure that being in jail, if your case was ruled as a homicide, would make for a very poor method of protecting your family

        • Well now Karina, this is starting to get interesting, and by the way, thank you for “knighting” me. I kind of like that new title, “Sir gunr”
          Yes there are a few “assumptions” All you have to do to get my point is to look at the nations prison records. How many criminal are released, only to go out and continue their crime wave. Also, if I was a criminal and had spent say 10 years in jail, I might have an intense hatred for the one sending me there. The fact that my victim would probably have some armament in his bedroom, as before, would not detour me. There are other ways and places to satisfy my desire to “get even”

  11. We may have some confusion here. Most guns ARE weapons. Weapons are lethal, but they are not tools for killing. Slaughterhouses have tools for killing, but most of carry lethal weapons. …but we shouldn’t sugar coat that.

    • If it’s used against a person, it’s a weapon. If it’s used against a deer or a piece of paper, it’s not a weapon.

      A steak knife is a weapon if it’s sued to stab someone, not when it cuts steak.

      • I’m pretty sure the deer would think of it as a weapon, as it is showing its lethality in the act of killing said deer.

  12. My guns are for safety and protection. The reason criminal own gun is to kill
    I also own a bow and nasty arrow. They can kill but I use them to keep sharp as I age. The gun is so I can age. If the gun grabbers get rid of their protection may understand their cause. I always end with. Do you know how many people die due to lack of protection?

  13. I actually had this discussion with my wife. She likened them to bows and arrows. They AREN’T just used for killing, though clearly they can be. And clearly many are efficient at it.

    The anti’s game is overplaying the horrors of killing. There’s nothing wrong with killing someone else inherently. I mean you don’t want to. But if it’s done in the right circumstances I would applaud you for it, not vilify you. So don’t play their game. Bring the conversation back where it belongs. Clearly there are circumstances where you’d be justified in killing. And not just legally. Ethically as well. Otherwise we wouldn’t arm cops. Cops are (surprise) people. Just like you and I, and there’s nothing wrong with you and I wanting to be prepared for horrible circumstances.

    Even if they won’t or can’t admit it.

    • Killing is wrong, inherently.

      It’s the circumstances that determine whether or not it was the right thing to do. If it was, it’s probably because it was the last or the only resort you had to protect your or your loved one’s life.

      It’s called “mitigating circumstances”.

      No-one wants war, but one has to be prepared for it. Same goes for personal defense. You don’t ever want to kill anyone, ever. But it’s a possibility, that’s why we are prepared for it. Be very careful not to fall in the fallacy of -wanting- to kill anyone, for any reason whatsoever, even if you would be in a situation that would justify you having to kill this anyone.

      Because you don’t want to. Taking a life is enough of a burden emotionally and mentally. The last thing that you want is it to be turned into a homicide case because in the spur of the moment, you absolutely and definitely wanted to kill him. “I was in fear for my life”, NOT “I want to kill the son of a bitch”.

      • “Killing is wrong, inherently.”

        With that statement, I hope you are prepared to starve to death, because all of the sustenance you intake was killed.

        “It’s the circumstances that determine whether or not it was the right thing to do. If it was, it’s probably because it was the last or the only resort you had to protect your or your loved one’s life.

        It’s called “mitigating circumstances”.”

        This directly contradicts your opening sentence.

        “No-one wants war, but one has to be prepared for it. Same goes for personal defense. You don’t ever want to kill anyone, ever. But it’s a possibility, that’s why we are prepared for it. Be very careful not to fall in the fallacy of -wanting- to kill anyone, for any reason whatsoever, even if you would be in a situation that would justify you having to kill this anyone.”

        I’m not so sure about this. You have to want to live more than the assailant wants to kill/maim you, a loved one, or another fellow human being. If you don’t “want” to do it, then you hesitate, are disarmed, and die. I liken this to hopers and wishers. The difference between murder and self defense is the difference between “I hope they don’t attack” to “I wish they would try”.

        “Because you don’t want to. Taking a life is enough of a burden emotionally and mentally. The last thing that you want is it to be turned into a homicide case because in the spur of the moment, you absolutely and definitely wanted to kill him. “I was in fear for my life”, NOT “I want to kill the son of a bitch”.”

        So if your child is murdered by someone, and you ran into them before they can be apprehended. When you spot them, you know that once they leave your sight, they are gone forever. Would you take their life, or risk them escaping and doing this to another human being?

        I forget which culture I read about, but they had a solid principle of guilt in this scenario. If you have the chance to stop/kill a violent criminal, but do not, you are responsible for the crimes they commit thereafter. Call it vigilantism or whatever scarlet word you choose, justice is rarely achieved in a courtroom, and sometimes is best served fresh.

        Judge away.

        • You seem to have hit the nail on the head Rambeast. I hope you can convince Karina to see why we may put a death wish on someone.

        • Should have probably clarified with “Killing another human being”, but since you guys love to argue drivel semantics, I will no longer post here or on this website at all. Glad to see the comments section on TTAG is still so full of it. Same old echo-chambering and chest-thumping…

        • Now now Karina, calm down. Were all on the same side here. We each just have a different way of expressing ourselves, and we each have different opinions. I haven’t seen any posts that are threatening, or vulgar, so lighten up a bit and learn from the different points of view.
          Sir Gunr

    • “There’s nothing wrong with killing someone else inherently.” Thank you for your input Mr. Gacy.

      • It appears that he’s saying that context plays a part: war, self-defense, etc., and that the actual act is the same.

  14. Don’t “shoot to kill”, or ever use that as an arguement, even in self defense. As any mil/ex-mil person can tell you, ALWAYS “shoot to stop the threat”. You aren’t shooting to kill the intruder, you are stopping the threat against you and your family. Saying you shot to kill in any self defense situation puts you on the fast track to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

  15. Nope, must disagree, unless we are talking about firearms designed and intended for hunting game animals, which must needs be killed before they can be skinned, dressed, mounted, or eaten. Otherwise, they tend to flop messily about a great deal during those processes.

    A murderer uses a firearm solely intending to kill a human being; A person defending their life, the life of a third party, or the interests of their countrymen when those countrymen are facing a legitimate threat from the outside, uses a firearm to effect a positive change in the threatening behavior, proximate or anticipated, of the recipient of a projectile from that firearm, and only for that reason. If the recipient dies from injuries suffered in the exchange, that is an unfortunate, and not always desirable, result of the necessity of having had to use a firearm in the first place, that need being brought about by the threatening behavior of the recipient and their ability to pose a significant threat warranting deadly force.

    If a person (who is not a lawful combatant in a just war, of course) seeks out and obtains a firearm on the basis of its lethality against human beings being a reliable and desirable outcome of its use, that person is a murderer. They had best not purchase firearms, but should invest in a stock of Zyklon-B.

  16. I actually agree with him. We need to call a spade a spade. These are weapons (for the most part yes there are target rifles) We have the right to bear ARMS, WEAPONS not tools or sporting equipment. We keep those arms for the most part to deter crime, by presenting them with lethal force, deter tyranny by presenting leathal force and hunting, again because they are great at killing. We can’t shy away from that. We may not EVER use them in that manner, but it is overall what they are made for.

    • So my 10-22 is a weapon? Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

      And my collector WW2 rifles that were weapons still are? Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

      • Can you or can you not use a 10/22 to effectively hunt birds and small game? Is it or is it not a useful tool for removing dangerous pests like rats and venomous snakes? Does this kill the creature as a result?

        You can? It is? It does? Weapon.

        Do your WW II rifles still function? Weapons.

  17. Couldn’t disagree more. There are many gun owners who have never killed anything and have zero intention of killing anything. This article fails from the get go using language of anti’s in an attempt to be cute or clever and fails at both. Because the author wrote a blog and placed in on the internet does not make an opinion a “truth.”

    Starting to sound familiar in tactics?

    A gun is a tool, nothing more nothing less. Like so many other tools it can be used in a most lethal fashion. Using the authors logic, if anti’s decided to go after and outlaw hammers, that would appropriate seeing obviously hammers are made for killing seeing it is the number one tool utilized in homicides.

    • “…hammers are the number one tool utilized in homicides.”

      You might want to check your stats again. That ain’t right by a long shot. Way more people are killed with knives or handguns than hammers.

      You may be thinking of the stat that more people are killed with blunt objects (bats, hammers, etc) than with rifles, but that’s a far cry from “hammers are the number one homicide implement”.

  18. Yes, guns CAN be tools for killing, and sometimes that might be just the kind of tool you need. The next time someone tells you your firearm is a tool for killing, simply answer, “Yes. And what’s your point?”

  19. Guns may have evolved to have different uses but they were invented for just one purpose. Don’t kid yourself. We know the anti’s live in a fantasy land. Don’t you live in an adjoining fantasy.

    • The original purpose of guns was certainly to kill. It isn’t currently a design purpose for all guns, nor is it an intended purpose for those that buy them.

      If you accept the hoplophobes idea that the only purpose of a gun is to kill, you’ve effectively made their argument for them that almost no one needs a gun.

    • Guns may have evolved to have different uses but they were invented for just one purpose.

      Putting food on the table, defending the home against murderers and killing the enemy during time of war are three purposes, and there were probably more.

      • All of those purposes involve killing, whether animals or humans. Not all design purposes include killing.

  20. The vast majority of times a firearm is fired it is at a target, either paper or steel. When a firearm IS used to kill it is used 20,000 times more often to kill an animal than another human.

  21. My response to this popular notion among the antis…”So what?” Just because an object was designed for an intended purpose doesn’t mean it can’t safely be harnessed for another. Most of my guns were built from the ground up for military purposes and were issued as such. I don’t doubt that some of them were fired in anger in the past, but their service days have been over for decades and the only thing they’ll “kill” while I own them are paper plates, soda cans, and broken computers.

    Besides, every rational human being knows that inanimate objects don’t magically will people to act a certain way by their presence alone. That’s why the antis project this argument that a gun in the room can turn Joe and Jane American into violent murderers on us. They are so grounded in adolescent emotional instability that they secretly know (but will never admit) that, had they access to a gun at any time (or outside severely restrictive government controls), they would be the ones capping people in the knees over losing an argument or getting cut off on the highway. They know they can’t control themselves, but want to feel like a normal human being, so they try to disarm everybody in an effort to rationalize their emotional disorder.

  22. We can parse the language all we want: incapacitate; stop; end the threat; cause the attacker to reconsider; etc…
    The reality will still always be that defensive weapons are designed to be lethal, we practice lethal shooting techniques and if we are ever forced to use such a weapon, we will try to make lethal shots.

    Lethality, though not necessarily death, IS the point of such weapons.
    Pretending that it isn’t is why we hear nonsense about warning shots and leg shots from the antis.

    No thanks. Every firearm I own is deadly.
    If forced to use it, it’s only capable of deadly force.
    I hope to never be in that situation.

    • The mortality rate from handgun wounds is around 20%, according to Keck. If your thesis is correct, does it mean that the other 80% of the handguns are defective?

      Head shots are more lethal, yet we are taught to shoot center mass. Are we being trained incorrectly? Should we all learn the Mozambique drill?

      Marshall and Sanow tried to measure “one shot stops,” not one shot kills. Were they stupid?

      Sure, guns are lethal. So are a lot of things. A medical mistake is more likely to kill you than a gunshot.

      The purpose of a defensive handgun is defense, whether you actually shoot or not.

  23. I like to point out that steak knives are undeniably designed to slice through flesh.

    As it turns out, the morality of their use hinges rather dramatically on the identity of that flesh and the circumstances under which it is cut.

    • And just how do you do that without maybe getting killed yourself? Do you shoot once, in a non vital area, then wait and see if the perp drops his weapon?

      • I’d love to be such a brilliant marksman that I could hit nothing but “non-vital” areas. Unfortunately, there aren’t many. Shoot a guy in the leg, sever the femoral artery and he’s dead in no time.

        We shoot to stop the threat. Center mass does the trick and it’s easier than taking a head shot.

        If I’m attacked, I’ll defend. If the threat stops, it’s fine with me if the BG lives. I’m not the Masked Avenger.

  24. I disagree with the article. The argument is that guns are ONLY made for killing (humans), in an attempt to defend the arguer’s knife and car and swimming pool ownership as being different and better than gun ownership. Anyone with any sense can look at an olympic style .22 rifle and conclude that it is not very useful for killing humans and it probably costs $5000 because there were other factors considered when designing it. Yes, I bought a 9mm carry piece because it’s deadlier than .380. I also bought a 12″ bread knife because scissors aren’t very good at cutting bread. And I have many guns that are useful for sport and not much else. The intent behind the design of the first gun ever made is of no concern to me. Boomerangs and yo-yos were also designed to kill, they just turned out to be not very good at it.

  25. Differentiating between deadly firearms and less deadly ones (there are no non deadly firearms) is really kind of silly.
    And the likely result is what places like Australia have, where the public can only own “sporting” guns.
    SCOTUS clearly laid out that our natural, civil & constitutional right to bear arms is primarily for defense against violent confrontation. Fudds, hunters and sport shooters are ancillary beneficiaries of that right, not vice versa.

  26. I pretty sure the gun was invented for the purpose of killing. All other uses is just runoff from the main purpose: a tool designed to kill efficiently. I could use a gun as a hammer and a hammer as a weapon, but neither of said usage is the intended purpose of the tools. So regardless of what reason YOU use a gun, it IS a tool designed for killing.

    • A captive bolt pistol has no purpose except killing (cattle and other domestic animals). An actual gun has many uses, from killing game animals to punching holes in targets.

  27. Read The Gun and it’s Development” by Greener. The firearm was developed for war. They stunk so bad due to logistics, powder being dangerous to transport, in addition to accuracy and precision issues until the 1800s that Longbows were used. In fact, each subject was required by law to own one and have sufficient arrows meeting manufacturing requiements (yes, standardized). Geez, in 1792 there was a test to determine superiority between firearms and longbow – longbow was much superior.

    Interesting read.

  28. It is a gross, and inaccurate generalization to say that all guns are designed to kill. Kirsten’s lovely Anshutz target rifle is not designed to kill, it is designed put very small holes in a target at a specific range–repeatably. It could of course kill small game, but that is not what it was designed for. Military arms, on the other hand, are not designed to wound, they are designed to kill. They would not be an efficient tool if they did not, and would have no place in the military or the police.
    But that begs the question. A weapon has no will. The will is that of the wielder, whether to warn, to wound, to stop or to kill. And that ultimately is the key question: what is the will of the wielder?

    • A. Besides paper and small game, that Anschütz target rifle can also kill a human being. In fact, .22lr has been used by military forces around the world, including U.S. Navy SEALs, the IDF and Israeli Mossad.

      B. Military ammunition IS designed to wound, not kill. Hence the prohibition of non FMJ ammo.

      C. When you point the muzzle of any firearm at a living thing and press the trigger, you better be well aware that death is a very likely outcome, your intention notwithstanding.
      Moreover, any time a live round exits the muzzle of your firearm, YOU are responsible for what that projectile does. You can ‘intend’ all day to merely wound the attacker, but that wound might kill them faster than a direct hit to the torso.

      So no.

      • You completely miss the point. Yes, a 22 LR can kill humans, but Kirten’s target rifle was not designed for that. Military ammo is not the issue; military arms are very powerful and designed to kill; that the ammo used is designed to reduce catastrophic injuries is a separate issue. A Springfield 30-06 with modern hunting bullet will kill a large animal or a human with one shot. Again, it not the intent of the weapon or its “design purpose”, it is the intent of the shooter that matters. An accidental (hunting accident, e.g.) is not treated the same as an intentional targeted shooting, whether or not the victim dies.

        • Military arms are not all very powerful. For example AR-15s are not powerful by rifle standards.

  29. The problem is the ‘**only** for killing’ meme. Yes, today’s guns are, like archery equipment, descended from tools that were specifically designed for killing. But once you accept the ‘**only** for killing’ meme, you’ve effectively admitted that over 99% of the guns in the US aren’t used for their primary purpose. (And I tend to doubt that some of the high-end target guns I’ve seen were actually designed for killing.)

    Guns can kill, but they can be used for many other things as well, so the ‘**only** for killing’ meme is false. By accepting that meme, you’ve effectively accepted the idea that the antis hold that self-defense doesn’t occur unless one kills the attacker (which is one of the ways that they try to claim that guns aren’t used for defense very often).

  30. I don’t punch paper, unless I installed new optics, and everything I pull the trigger on, has fur or feathers. Yeah, my guns are for killin’.

  31. To add to the chorus of disagreement:
    I have multiple guns built specifically for competition. They might be based on designs originally intended for hunting and/or combat, but I don’t carry the pistols for self defense (and would have to have four pistols become lost or inoperable before I would). They are tools for quickly making holes in paper, or ringing steel plates.

    I don’t think this guy’s getting a free Sig.

  32. If they were “designed to kill” shouldn’t they be better at it? Like poisonous, maybe? There are roughly 100,000 firearm injuries a year with only 30,000 resulting in death. That’s lethal less than 1/3 of the time. They project force at a distance, it is the operator that kills. Now a guillotine, that’s designed to kill.

    Or the other tack, assuming guns are designed to kill, why are cars, which are not, so much better at it?

    • People use their cars a lot more often and in a lot more crowded places then guns. If you went into a public street and fired a gun uninterrupted for 30 minutes (the average American’s daily one way commute to work) you would kill a lot of people.

      As much as the Anti’s like to make it, it’s not really a 1 to 1 comparison.

  33. Dude, you just talked about Fight Club.

    Everybody -knows- this.
    (Most) Everybody -thinks- this.

    We just don’t say it out loud.

  34. While firearms may be designed to kill or aide in killing, my affinity for them primarily stems from the engineering aspect, that and putting variable amounts of mass into increasingly tiny clusters at different ranges. The ONLY firearms I strap on with the intent to commit harm on others are my M4 and M9.

    However, I must also point to the fact that some weapons are designed to WOUND when used in certain circumstances. For example, the development of what we know as the M16 firing M193 ammunition. The .223 Remington was intended for use on varmint-sized animals, not man-sized. But indeed our practice in the military tells us it is better to wound an opponent so that two of his buddies must carry him off the field, thus reducing the fighting opposition by three instead of removing one permanently.

  35. I’m pretty sure Lynyrd Skynyrd covered this about 30 years ago.

    Anyway, lots of guns are for strictly collecting purposes and will never be fired. Other guns are designed for shooting clays or targets. They can be used to kill as surely as a candlestick can, but they’re designed for something else. Many guns (or parts) are bought just to tinker with. Lots of people shoot targets strictly for the sake of shooting targets. Others shoot for specific kinds of competition that have nothing to do with killing (bullseye, high-power rifle, etc.).

    To me it seems like the author has a narrow interest in firearms and is just trying to elevate that above any other interests.

    • Those interests serve being a better shooter, or knowing more about your firearm, etc… all aspects that make one better at using their gun in defense. Even clay shooting is training for hitting moving targets. Sure it might be to put meat on the table, but it’s an objection we must confront. I will grant you collecting is different, but collecting is the worst excuse as to why we should own guns. I will support a person’s right to collect whatever they want, but it certainly is secondary in purpose as to why the 2nd was written.

  36. Were nuclear weapons in the 50s-90s designed for killing….or were they proliferated in an effort to prevent it?

    Intended vs. actual use are not the same in this respect.

  37. If there is gun DNA, it is mostly Chinese. When they figured out the special powder (huo yao) that burned fast, could be confined so that it exploded. In a hollow log, it could blow stuff out, not just up, thus propelling an object to extreme speeds. But being what they were, large, they were good at knocking down walls. If someone by chance got in front of that projectile, it killed them.
    So you could respond to anti’s statement that “guns are meant to kill”, that really they were invented to knock down castle walls. Sure that DNA has mutated and evolved, but hey.
    The confused look on their faces will give you some amusement.

  38. I am of a similar mind on this matter. It is the elephant in the room that most pro-gun arguments I’ve seen have avoided like the plague. It needs to be confronted and dealt with, because every time we avoid it, the anti’s are convinced they have won the debate. Mainly because it is their only real point of contention.

    The fact of the matter is, firearms are designed for the purpose of killing other living things. Be that as a weapon of war, for hunting, or for self defense against predators (be they on 2 legs or 4), it is their functional purpose. That doesn’t mean you have to use it in that manner, but doing so changes nothing about the design. You might use a claw hammer to do nothing but tap in thumb tacks, but this does not alter the fact that it’s designed purpose is driving nails.

    The point of disconnect between us and the anti’s is that killing does not inherently equal murder. There is a clear difference between putting 5 or 6 rounds CoM on a violent attacker and walking up to the wounded offended and firing a coup de grace into his skull. My intention in the first is to kill the attacker. Anything less will cause me to hesitate, perhaps miss, and greatly increase the risk of my being injured or killed. If through some fluke of chance or force of will the attacker fails to die, I will break off my attempt to kill him at the point he ceases his aggression, because it is in that moment that continuing to do so becomes murder. As a moral human being, I make a conscious decision to never cross that line. So, while my initial goal is to kill the intruder, I will settle for incapacitation in order to not become a monster.

    The anti’s are apparently incapable of making this distinction. ANY weapon, gun or otherwise, built for the purpose of killing, can only ever be used for murder in their minds. Hunting crossbow? Medieval murder device. Sword-cane? Sneaky murder gadget. GLOCK 19? Murder death-ray with a predilection for small children. Since murder is never the answer, and anything made for killing is made for murder, all weapons are by default evil.

    Unless and until we acknowledge the elephant and make clear in no uncertain terms that the is a distinction, that sometimes killing is necessary and is not automatically murder, we are not going to make any headway with these people.

    • This was my article. I agree with you. I didn’t get into that, but that is definitely my stance. Murder is not the same as killing. All murders are killing, but not all killings are murders. I am completely fine with some being against killing all together, but most of the time they are in no way consistent with that stance. They’ll be fine with people being killed in some far off land because it benefits us, or a cop killing someone in commission of a crime but the ordainary person in front of them?!?! Heck no! That’s crazy talk. I want to live another day to be there for my family and I don’t want your sensibilities of non-violence to determine whether I get tomorrow or not.

      Jeeze, “violence” is a whole different subject I could go on about too. It’s perhaps an even better way to frame this that violence is necessary sometimes. Not all violence predicates a moral break down.

  39. Respectfully disagree. A gun is a tool, nothing more. It is designed to contain a chemical reaction that will propel a projectile out the barrel, nothing more. What I choose to do with that bullet is my choice.

  40. I read that we should not try to change the mind of the anti-gunner but take the wind out of their position / argument (or at least don’t recognize it). “Guns are only for Killing”. “And you point is?”.

    Now we know there are gun owners that will not or should not use a gun for self defense and that is OK and that actually helps us. Before you jump…consider that every new gun owner (as in new shooter) probably should not carry or stage their home until they have many rounds in practice, and practice in personal defense shooting technique regardless of the firearm of preference. But, we still have the anti-gunner to deal with.

    Ask them which gun in particular, by its ownership, causes the owner to kill someone. These guns should definitely be banned we all agree. Should they not be able to name such a gun we casually note that “so no gun that I buy will cause me to shoot someone”. If things are going well, take them to …”Gun Violence”

    Are you really against gun violence? “Yes” Why do you hate our men and women in the armed forces so much? “No, they are OK”. Why is it that you hate police? “No, they are OK”. Walk down this point through private security, school resource officers, border patrol and Federal and State forestry services.

    If they haven’t had a melt down yet If it can be simply said, the end game is the police need guns to stop criminals from hurting them or folks in society; the police cannot be everywhere and what is my approved action if I or my family or you (being the anti-gunner) are getting stabbed, raped, shot, beat. “Only the police in society should have guns” Cool, so you will write your poster children and ask them to release their protective services then…

    Theres more but that’s the idea.

  41. When I bring up the point that cars are involved in more deaths per year than firearms, someone always says “But a guns intended purpose is to kill!”. Now, didn’t they kinda blow a hole in their argument there? Killing/injuring people is not a car’s intended purpose, but it sure as hell happens all the time. Then again, cars aren’t inherently evil death-machines with a mind of their own, unlike firearms of course. Derp.

    The original intention of firearms was to kill things. However, owning a rifle doesn’t mean you have to use it for killing people, that’s just retarded. The original purpose of a bow was to kill things too, but they are used in a similar manner as personal firearms, in recreation.

    I think calling them ‘tools’ is kinda goofy though. My carry piece is a weapon, for self defense. My tools are in the garage.

    • Really? That’s where your “survival tools” are? See a survival tool is a tool that can be kept anywhere, and is not something you use to use to fix your car or home. A tool is an object/means that is useful in achieving an end, if the purpose is keeping you alive, that doesn’t make it any less of a tool.

  42. Lets agree to disagree. Who here has bought a Ruger Mark 3 with the intent to use it for killing? Not many I would bet. All guns can be used for killing, but for many that is not why they were built. Target, trap, competition, plinking, all are reasons many of us buy guns. Some guns like a GLOCK 19 are more often bought for their potential lethality. It is nice to have a gun that can be effective and serve many purposes. Lets leave it at that.

    • I have… but you are playing exactly into the other side by saying “intent to kill”. My Mark III makes me a better shooter. If I can shoot better I’m more effective at hitting my target and potentially killing them. I understand the “I shoot to stop them” argument, but we are just dancing around the issue. A gun will never kill a person 100% of the time so every bit of lethality (increased capacity, ease of shooting, etc…) makes it more likely I come out of the situation alive myself. As someone above said, the line is thin between killing and stopping a person.

      This is my article BTW.

  43. The primary function of a gun is to direct a projectile at high speed towards a target with consistent accuracy.

    Like spears, bows and arrows, and stones, projectiles have a variety of uses including recreation, hunting, and self-defense.

    Yes, modern rifles are also used largely to stop threats foreign and domestic. These threats are whomever or whatever we designate as a theat — whether it’s paper or flesh.

    Firearms are functional tools used everyday for the preservation of life — which sometimes means lives must be taken to save others. And yes, there are those that only want cause pain to others and will use any means they can to inflict evil upon others.

    So yes, they are used for killing, but that is like saying cars are used for turning left. That’s just one facet of it’s multi-functionality.

  44. When someone brings up the “only designed to kill” argument, I show them pictures of a Barrett M82, CZ Czechmate, 10/22 with a tactical stock and high capacity clipazine and then a Brown Bess musket. Then I ask which one of those guns were designed to kill. (Hint, it’s the one that was used to control an empire where the sun never sets.) Usually people seem to understand that the intention behind the design doesn’t matter as much as capability and then my facetious lets ban fast cars argument puts a little doubt in there mind.

  45. Of course guns are tools for killing. They are a tool one has a right to possess to exercise one’s right to self-defense. And citizens very much have the right to possess weapons of war for offensive purposes. Most all the basic guns people possess are weapons of war. And war isn’t just something that happens between countries. If someone is trying to harm you and/or your family, that person has declared a state of war on you.

  46. Guns (among other things) are meant to incapacitate (as quickly as possible). Death may or may not be a likely or favorable result. Quick incapacitation is the name of the game for defense, as well as offense.

  47. When an anti says that guns are only meant for killing, they are mostly correct. I know, they are also used for hunting, varmint control, target shooting, etc. What they are trying to say and trying to change the argument into is that guns which are meant for killing should be banned, because killing is bad. We should argue this point with them:
    Some types of killing are bad, and some are good or at least Justifiable homicides. Self defense, Defense of Others, War, and maybe capital punishment and mercy killings (also called assisted suicide ) are good and justifiable homicides. Guns are a very effective tool for these good types of killings, and the more lethal they are, the more effective they are for these good purposes. In fact, guns are used more often for good, than for bad purposes. It just does not make sense to take guns away from law-abiding people, or to create laws that limit the effectiveness (lethality) of the guns. Even more so, when one considers all the sporting/recreational uses of guns too.

    If they just can’t understand what you are trying to say, ask them if they would ban fire because of all the bad things it can be used for. “Of course not. Fire has so many good uses.” “Yes, but thousands of people are killed or burned by fire, and a lot of property is destroyed by fire.” “You can’t ban fire. Even if you could, you wouldn’t want to. It heats our homes, it cooks our food, it powers our automobiles and factories. Fire has too many good uses. Much more good than bad.” “You just described the situation with guns. We shouldn’t ban guns for the same reason.”

    We shouldn’t use the following quote when talking with the anti, but this is the point we are trying to make:
    “False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that it has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are of such a nature. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man”. – Cesare Beccaria (Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria-Bonesana) From his treatise “On Crimes and Punishments” (1764)

  48. Yeah, “No,” they are not meant for killing.

    I just posted something about that on another article. Might as well re-post that here….

    You need to stop calling other people’s statements “excuses,” that’s a lame, weak, and pathetic way to try to invalidate a persons points.

  49. So, what I posted in a newer thread (the one including vehicles):

    “No, guns are not designed to end lives. You want to know what they are designed for? Well: They are designed to propel little, and sometimes big, pieces of metal.

    Whether they are used for defense, to kill someone, or for sport – the PURPOSE – is all UP TO YOU. So in that way, it IS no different from a vehicle, because it is your duty to handle it responsibly and according to the law, and it is also up to you if you decide to misuse it.

    Yes, using guns means you are using “Deadly Force,” but it does not mean that the person will die, or needs to die. “Deadly Force” means that something has the POTENTIAL to kill, not that it will. The law doesn’t say anywhere “if you shoot someone, well you better shoot them to death, derrrrrrr” No, it says that under certain conditions you may use deadly force, whether that ends in death or not, as long as there is a threat. If, let’s say, someone attacks me in public with a knife, I shoot them, they drop the knife, surrender, and live – guess what: A gun was used according to it’s purpose – which I defined as “self-defense,” not killing – and no one died.

    And before you try to say anything about that all being BS:
    FL s. ‘776.06 Deadly force.—
    (1) The term “deadly force” means force that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm and includes, but is not limited to:
    (a) The firing of a firearm in the direction of the person to be arrested, even though no intent exists to kill or inflict great bodily harm; and…..’ ”

  50. The overwhelming evidence is that guns are used to deter violence.

    Most violent killing in the world has not been accomplished with guns, yet guns have been used more often than not to stop it.

    The gun on the hip of a cop, or he one you know is likely under the counter of a liquor store, or say in the average Virginia home, prevents violence without ever being used 99.99% of the time

  51. As a martial arts hobbyist, I can get behind this 100%.

    Guns, just like martial arts, were developed for killing things. They don’t have to be used for killing things. They can be just a hobby that results in nothing being killed. But even if they were to kill something, that’s not always a bad thing.

    It is necessary, I believe, to reverse this automatic “killing = bad” association.

    Killing is bad when it’s a gangbanger shooting a law-abiding citizen for drug money.

    Killing is good when it’s a law-abiding citizen shooting a gangbanger for trying to take his wallet so he can buy drugs.

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