But Guns ARE Designed To Kill


But Guns ARE Designed To Kill
But Guns ARE Designed To Kill

Fayetteville, AR –-(Ammoland.com)- One of the favorite assertions of gun control advocates is that guns are not like cars, fire extinguishers, or swimming pools in that guns are designed to kill, while the other objects have acceptable purposes. This bit of doctrine comes up whenever the point is made that rifles are used in killing fewer times than beatings or that the former number is much smaller than the total of drowning deaths.

There are two key flaws with the assertion that guns are designed to kill. The first is to observe that a gun is a tool to propel a bullet down range. Where that bullet goes is up to the user.

This is not mere sophistry. Take a look at this pistol, a Walther GSP Expert .22:

Walther GSP Expert .22:
Walther GSP Expert .22:

Does that look like a tool designed with the purpose of ending another life? It probably does to some people, specifically those whose tactical knowledge comes from Hollywood.

Perhaps the problem here is that what blogger Kim du Toit called the Gun Nut Forest is a vast expanse. Learning the subject takes dedication. But those of us who are willing to do the work come to understand that guns are designed—beyond the basic purpose of sending a bullet down range—to make a variety of tasks easier, be they target shooting, hunting, or even collecting, as is illustrated by the guns that come with elegant engraving and fancy cases.

And yes, some guns are designed to be used in fighting and self defense. Note that I didn’t say to kill, and this is not a mere quibble. The goal of a fight is to win—to survive, primarily, but also achieve the desired goal that made the fight necessary. Sometimes, survival is the goal. In other situations, it’s to gain ground or whatnot. But as the the famous rules of a gun fight inform us, the sooner the fight is over, the less shot you get. And the legal situation for civilians defending their lives is that we can use lethal force only so long as a threat to our lives exists, so for us, the purpose of a fighting gun is to bring that threat to an end.

What this all gets at is the question of whether lethal force is ever justified. A pacifist would say no.

That’s an intellectually consistent position to hold, but it’s practicable only so long as the other people in the same environment refrain from violence. Most of us, however, accept that lethal force is a morally acceptable choice at times , even most gun control advocates.

Thus saying that guns are designed to kill is silly. Saying that lethal force is at times justified, but that we have no need for the tools to employ such force makes the concept purely hypothetical. Now typically, gun control supporters will say that they only want to restrict access to guns, rather than imposing an outright ban, and while I have my doubts, the question I’ll pose to them is how many people do they wish to deny the realistic ability to stop a lethal attack.

Are guns designed to kill? Fundamentally, no, and secondarily only sometimes. But even if we answer yes, that is no reason to impose violations on gun rights.


Greg Camp
Greg Camp

About Greg Camp

Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.

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Ron W.

Firearms are machines to launch projectiles at various velocities for various purposes. Sometimes that includes using them to project force in order to alter the behavior of another human. In regards to using firearms for defense, how the machine is used depends on the behavior exhibited by the threatening person or beast. If the threat stops at the mere sight of a firearm, that’s a good thing. If on the other hand the threatening behavior continues to the point of placing an innocent person’s life in jeopardy, deadly force can be judiciously applied until the threat is stopped. Sometimes that… Read more »


There are times lethal force is not necessary, just the sight of the gun being drawn is enough to stop some problems. However, if you unholster it be prepared to use it for lethal force.

VT Patriot

This argument is so old. It was used many times in history from Lexington to Adolph and we all know how that worked out. The lefties know this and it is the lie they use to “save the children”. Stand strong my friends, we’ve had gun rights since our patriots fought for it. Let’s hope we don’t have to go thru that again.

Jim Macklin

Golf balls and baseballs kill sometimes. Golf clubs and ball bats can actually be used to kill. But except for a few movies and TV shows written by idiots, clubs and bats are terrible defensive weapons.
Guns mean your 15 year old daughter might not be raped and murdered. Guns protect life and bring civilization.
True, guns can be used to murder, but guns are the equalizer that protects.

joe martin

Excellent article. I have always maintained that we (gun owners) do not emphasize enough how much fun shooting can be on the target range or out plinking. Many shooters do not hunt, but send a lot of ammo downrange on a regular basis. Every person I have taken shooting for the first time over the years always had a big ol’ grin on their face after their first couple of shots.

Don L. Bailey

Good comment Joe. Most of us shooters are competitive, but also, most compete against themselves to make their next shot even better, For me, that is where you find the real fun.

Wild Bill

Even though she shot more rounds of ammunition then ten normal shooters, the, way under 21, Annie Oakley never used her firearms to kill anyone. She did, however, on March 10, 1893, use a Marlin Model 1891 to put 25 rounds (way more than ten round magazine) through one jagged hole in 27 seconds at a distance of 36 yards with .22 Short cartridges. On the same day, she produced another jagged one-hole group with the rifle through the center of an Ace of Hearts playing card, shooting off-hand.

Jerry S.

This is a very good common sense answer, thank you.


Excellent article, a position well stated, Greg.
Guns bring enjoyment, from your first hunt with your Dad
to just simply plinking on a Sunday afternoon with your grandson.
And there are those advocating vehemently to deny all of us
any future enjoyment; Why?
Because they simply do like guns, therefore we should not
have them as well.

RM Molon Labe

“The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”

“An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.”

Green Mtn. Boy

Guns are tools,they can be used for both good and bad.