The right to defend oneself with the most effective weapon available is a basic human right. Against an individual or small group, the most effective weapon is a firearm, therefore individuals have the right to own, possess, carry, and use firearms for self-defense or any other legitimate purpose. As with all rights and freedoms, this right carries with it certain responsibilities, among them, the responsibility to learn to use the firearm safely and effectively, the responsibility to safely store any firearms so that they are not likely to be stolen or played with by children, as well as the responsibility to teach your children gun safety and the terrible consequences of misuse. This is by no means a complete list of the responsibilities of a gun owner, but these are the basic requirements.
Also, few rights are unlimited, and this right is no exception. Certain classes of people lose this right. Again, this is not a complete list, but habitually violent individuals, insane or mentally incompetent ones, or those with temporary mental issues, as well as those who are unable or unwilling to adhere to their responsibilities are not ones who should possess or carry a gun.
In the 20th century, governments around the world killed an estimated Protected content people, most of them their own citizens. Firearms in the hands of the people are the last resort against this kind of threat. This thread is dedicated to the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto, who for nearly 5 months held off everything that the Nazis could throw at them. Starving, with few weapons and little ammunition, they showed the world what can be done if you have the will and the means.
It takes good people with guns to stop bad people with guns.
Free people own guns. Slaves don't.
Agree or disagree? Please don't flame. This is meant to be a civilized discussion on the inalienable right of self-defense and what some consider to be the best means of doing so.
edit: I also dedicate this thread to the Greek people of WWII, and their pivotal role in winning the war. After the Greeks defeated Mussolini in his attempt to invade and conquer their country, Hitler could not tolerate the thought that a country with a small army had defeated an Axis power. Massive numbers of German troops and armament were used to conquer the country. Ordinary men, women, and children fought them bitterly and continued to fight even after defeat. Germans lost so many men that they began a program of extermination - Protected content killed for every dead German soldier. Entire villages were wiped from the earth. The Greeks tied up so much manpower and materiel that Operation Barbarossa had to be postponed, and when it finally started, German forces were lacking a large portion of the strength they would have had, making it possible for the Soviets to eventually defeat them.