Points Against Gun Control

I’ve tried to create a short list of talking-points related to gun control.  The issue is pretty complicated, so the list wound up being not-so-short:

Basic Human Right

  • Humans have the basic right to defend themselves, their families, and other humans.
  • As long as evil exists, humans will have the need to defend themselves.
  • At a minimum, one would like to have tools for defense equal to those tools in use by those that are doing evil.
  • Taking away the ability of self-defense is taking away a basic human right.
  • Transferring the responsibility of self-protection is an individual choice;  It is not possible to transfer someone else’s rights without violating their rights unless it is the choice of the individual.

Constitutional

  • The second amendment was adopted to prevent the US government from violating the individual right to self-defense by using firearms.
  • The founders believed citizens should be armed equal to the best military.  They had just fought for independence by fighting the best military on earth.  Shot heard around the world:  The government was coming after their guns (cannons actually), resistance by citizens led to start of American revolutionary war.
  • Militia was the group of willing citizens interested in defending their country. (not military)
  • Well regulated means ‘well practiced’ or ‘well equipped’, not ‘regulated by the government’.
  • Any time you hear “I believe in the second amendment but…”, be aware you are listening to someone who does not believe the second amendment means what it really does.  The second amendment is about regular citizens being equipped and ready to defend themselves from all threats including their own tyrannical government.  If you believe this truth, you would not try to limit citizens ability to do that task.
  • About half of the US population believe the second amendment means what it says, and a large portion of that group are willing to shoot somebody in defense of it.

Practicability / Logistics arguments

  • There are 300,000,000 guns in the US right now.  The are ‘only’ 15,000,000 illegal aliens in the US, but everyone except the dumbest right-wing-talk-show hosts and their drones believe it is all but impossible to round them up and deport them.  How would you go about locating (much less doing anything about it) so many objects that can be stored almost anywhere for indefinite amounts of time?
  • 1,500,000 ‘assault rifles’ and multiples times more ‘high capacity magazines’ already owned by Americans right now.
    • Going to turn law-abiding citizens into criminals overnight by changing the law?
    • Given the high number of people who ‘cling to their guns’, are you willing to cause a civil war over this?
    • If grandfathering is an option, then the effect is to drive up prices (artificially hampering supply).  This has the effect of making those items even more desirable and infuriates those that have to pay more.  This is the event that led Republicans to regain control of the House of Representatives after 40 years of control by the Democrats.
  • Laws against classes of guns or bans on guns /gun accessories only affect people who obey the law.  In other words, it serves to disarm good guys only.  Criminals don’t obey laws to begin with.

Statistics

  • does violence = gun deaths or violent crime?
  • gun crime, gun deaths, assaults, assault deaths — what are the numbers being cited?
    • Washington DC has some of the most restrictive gun laws, low gun ownership, and has the highest assault death rate in the USA
    • Utah has some of the most lenient gun laws, very high gun ownership, and has one of the lowest assault death rates in the USA
  • gun injury does not equal gun violence (injury includes accidental injuries)
  • recently gun-advocacy group Brady Campaign (renamed from Handgun Control, Inc.) redefined ‘mass shootings’ which we would think are like the school shootings to include drive-by shootings, even in cases where no persons were hurt
  • Comparing USA to other countries, USA is not ‘more violent’ than other countries, and more guns does not equal more deaths:
    • Mexico has (by far) highest rate of homicides, while having very restrictive gun laws.
    • Rates of rape in Australia, Sweden, and New Zealand are higher than USA.
    • Rates of robbery are higher in Belgium, Spain, Mexico, Chile, Portugal, France, England and Wales than in USA.
    • Rates of assault are higher in Scotland, Sweden, England and Wales, Belgium, Israel, Germany, Finland, Chile, Luxembourg, Ireland, Netherlands, Iceland, Australia  Portugal  and France than the USA.
    • Rates of burglary are higher in Denmark, New Zealand, Austria, Iceland, Sweden, Australia, England and Wales, Chile, Belgium, Switzerland, Slovenia, and Northern Ireland than the USA.
  • Rates of gun deaths are much higher in Brazil and Russia than USA, even though those two countries have less guns than USA, and more restrictive gun laws.
  • Over the last fifty years, with only one single exception (Gabby Giffords), every single mass shooting event with more than four casualties has taken place in a place where guns were supposedly not allowed.

Trends in the US

  • Violent crime is down
  • Gun ownership is up
  • Gun violence is down
  • Gun suicide is up
  • Gun crime and killing is down

Crime Reduction

  •  The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by law enforcement: 14. The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by civilians: 2.5. The reason is simple. The armed civilians are there when it started.

Effectiveness of Guns in Protecting Life and Property

  • The President of the US recently said in a TV interview that one of the main reasons for running for office was so he could have men with guns around him at all times.  No one questions the wisdom of having our president protected by guns at all times, yet gun-control advocates would limit a common citizen’s ability to protect himself or his own family with a gun.  In fact, anti-gun legislators and anti-gun media stars have been caught using guns for their own defense.  The hypocrisy in this area is amazing.
  • During the LA riots, a single person on a roof defended an entire block of stores from looters with a single rifle.

Effectiveness of Existing Gun Laws

  • Actual assault weapons (fully automatic machine guns) are for the most part illegal to own due to a federal gun law from 1934.  Since 1986 no new weapons of this type have been for sale to civilians in the US.
  • Fully automatic machine guns are still used in crimes, despite being illegal to own for almost 80 years. (Smuggled in, or made by criminals themselves)
  • Criminals, by their nature, do not follow laws.  Gun laws mostly affect the people who should own guns and don’t affect people we don’t want to own guns.
  • Assault rifle / high-capacity magazine gun ban of 1994 to 2004
    • did nothing to reduce crime or violence.  It’s effect on crime was not measurable, but did cause prices on ‘banned’ items to rise sharply during the ban.
    • none of the features that made the guns illegal made the guns any more lethal or function any differently than regular semi-automatic rifles

Overstatement of Problem

Mass shootings are incredibly rare.  The following issues are many times more deadly than mass shootings, but get less attention because they aren’t so horrific:  killed by lightning, drowning to death, dying from poisoning.  If minimizing the number of senseless deaths is the goal, mass shootings wouldn’t even be in the top 100 things to look at.

Guns used for Crime vs Guns used to Prevent Crime

  • Guns are used 2,500,000 times per year for defense purposes, or down to the most conservative estimate of 800,000 times per year.
  • Assaults with guns are 10,000 per year
  • Brady center says guns are used 108,000 times per year for illegal purposes.
  • Ratio of good:bad is in the range of 250:1 to 7:1, either way, there are many more instances of guns being used to prevent crime than being used for crime.
  • It makes sense to maximize the number of good guys with guns to make this ratio better, but most gun legislation tends to restrict the good guys and help the bad guys.

Intelligence of Legislators

  • The main advocates of ‘gun-control’ laws are inept in the area of weapons knowledge.  (If they were knowledgeable, they would understand how useless their activities are)
  • Consider things that look evil like barrel shrouds and flash hiders (which don’t make a weapon any more lethal or dangerous) to be important.
  • In short, these people are ignorant and stupid on this subject, and likely incapable of understanding technical aspects of most machinery, yet they are the ones creating the laws in the area.
  • They focus is on looks, because they are seeming incapable of focusing on function.  (functionally, what they define as an assault weapon is no different than a hunting rifle)

Assault Rifles

  • Applying the name ‘assault rifle’ to the AR-15s and AK-47s commonly for sale in the US is a laughable, yet it is common.  Proper assault rifles are full auto while these guns we are describing are semi-auto.  (meaning they load a new round after firing, but require the trigger to be pulled each time a new round is to be fired)
  • The ammunition they fire is not ‘high-powered’, they are generally much less powerful than typical hunting rifles.
  • Besides cosmetics there is no difference in the functionality with other semi-automatic  hunting rifles.
  • The proper term for these guns is ‘evil/scary looking rifles’.
  • note:  semi-automatics are the most common type of guns in the world.
  • The crimes or violence committed with an ‘assault rifle’ are very small (2%) in comparison to other guns.  (a handgun is usually used)  Lots of energy is being placed on a weapon class that is used only a small fraction of the time.
  • Press anyone who uses the term to define what they are talking about.  The term assault rifle is very difficult (or impossible) to define.
  • If someone says “these types of guns are designed to slaughter the maximum number of people possible as quickly as possible”, point out that every single police department in America uses them, because cops have a daily routine of slaughtering large numbers of people.

Why does anyone need an assault rifle?

  • The most effective tools for use in self-defense is an ‘assault rifle’ or small semi-automatic rifle.   (easy to operate, easy to shoot accurately)
  • Why would one want protect themselves with a tool that is less effective than the tool the person trying to kill them is using?
  • Even if we could guarantee that criminals couldn’t get their hands on assault rifles (which is not possible), I would still want one because it maximizes the advantage.  In a fight for your life, you want all the advantage you can get.

High Capacity Magazines

  • The term ‘high-capacity’ is somewhat meaningless given the variation in ammunition (for example, it often takes more hits from a handgun to kill something than a hit from a rifle)  — why not use the capacity that the firearm was designed to operate with?
  • As long as a gun has the ability to be reloaded, it doesn’t matter too much (a few seconds of time is all) how many rounds a magazine carries, since it can be changed out over and over, supplying as many rounds as needed.
  • Limiting the number of rounds a magazine can carry mainly serves to make good people with guns less safe.  For the same reasons you want an ‘assault rifle’ for defense  you also want as many bullets as possible, much more than the bad guy shooting at you.

Blood in the Streets / Return to the Wild West

  • This was also a very common phrase when CHL (concealed handgun license) laws were gaining traction.
  • We have had 15 years of evidence that shows crime is decreased as CHLs increase.
  • Gun owners are generally the most responsible members of society, and the fear of all hell breaking loose just because people were carrying guns is unfounded.

Guns are the Great Equalizers of Force

  • I can’t think of anything that a small woman can do to protect herself from a more-powerful man who wishes to do her harm than arm herself with a gun and the skill of using it.
  • Two people with guns are roughly equally matched, regardless of physical strength.
  • An unarmed aggressor will likely lose any altercation with an armed victim who is not caught off guard.

Slippery Slope

  • New gun legislation will almost certainly not produce the desired result of less violence.
  • The lack of results will lead to more desire for increased gun legislation.
  • This process repeats until gun laws are impossibly restrictive, and the desired result will still not have been achieved, but law abiding citizens are unable to defend themselves with guns of any type.

Other Factors

  • Culture of violence
    • violent video games (only a very small percentage of gamers go on to be killers, just like a small percentage of gun nuts go on be killers)
    • violence in movies  (remember that advertisers pay $millions for 30 second TV ads during the superbowl…. what people see absolutely influences their behavior)
    • glorification of killing (music culture, gang culture)
  • Mental Illness
    • are there better ways of dealing with and addressing sick people?

Solutions

  • Ban gun-free zones that aren’t properly fortified and protected (most schools for example).  Gun-free zones are killing grounds.  People intent on doing lots of killing will pick areas where they will meet the least resistance.  Gun-free zones almost guarantee that no good guys will be there with guns to help if something does go wrong.  (1)
  • Encourage every responsible person to carry a gun as often as they can.  Responsible people with guns have the ability to stop mass shootings and many other crimes very quickly.  (2)
  • Teachers and others who work at schools should be allowed to arm themselves if they wish.  Anywhere high-risk areas exist, there should be real-world solutions to deal with threats that might occur.  (3)
  • Gun owners should take primary responsibility to ensure their rights do not get taken away by the government or the majority of voters.  This requires we take the lead in the solution.
  • Direct additional tax on guns and ammo to be used for specific anti-gun-violence action.
  • Harsh, very harsh, penalties for crimes committed with guns.

Absurd Comparisons

These aren’t good for winning an argument about gun rights, but they are interesting

  • Vehicles are designed to safely transport people from point a to point b, but more people die of vehicles each year than from guns.  A tool designed for safety is killing more people than a tool designed for killing?
  • People are outraged that a tool exists for the sole purpose of killing people.  What about the medical procedure called an abortion?   3000 defenseless humans are being killed daily from this tool.  Is there an equivalent outrage against it?

Links

These are the most well-thought-out and fair sources I’ve run across:

notes:

(1) Gun-Free zones do work when they are secured properly.  This would included hardened (can’t shoot through) perimeters, metal detectors, controlled entry, and armed staff to defend unarmed people inside.

(2) The term ‘responsible person’ is important, and would include traits such as law-abiding, mentally stable, trained in the use of guns, and keeping guns secured at all times.

(3) When seconds matter, there is no substitute for closeness.  Stopping threats like mass shooters requires someone to be in very near the occurrence and responding quickly.  In the time it takes police to typically respond, the whole this is over, and the shooter has done the maximum damage possible.

 

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9 Responses to Points Against Gun Control

  1. Brian says:

    “Choose Your Own Crime Stats” – Amidst the Noise – http://youtu.be/Ooa98FHuaU0

  2. Brian says:

    The Newtown CT shooter broke 41 laws the day of his shooting spree. Does anyone think more laws is a good solution?

  3. David Guthrie says:

    Incredible synopsis Brian! You obviously put a lot of work and intelligence into this;
    I would like to link or re-post, with your permission.

  4. Brian says:

    Another good article here. This one is written by a change heart, and includes many points that will resonate with a liberal.

    Why this liberal no longer believes in gun control… (and why the “Assault weapon ban” is an ideologically-driven distraction) : http://liberaltaria.com/?p=7

  5. Brian says:

    Recorded a week after the CT shooting:

    formerly anti-gun and formerly anti-second amendment
    surprised that the second amendment has nothing to do with hunting
    second amendment is about freedom
    freedom needs protecting; how do you protect freedom?
    last group of people in this country that were forbid from owing guns were black people
    what would happen if you gave a slave a gun?
    founders wanted the people to have the power to rise up against any oppressive government, just like they did with theirs
    an armed society is what keeps the society free – because the government is less inclined to enslave people if they know they can rise up against it
    every dictator in modern history has begun with a gun ban in their country under the auspices of protection and safety, but disarmed the citizenry
    you can ban guns, but you can’t ban evil
    The best you can do is to tell your children, “I will do everything in my power to protect you from evil… even if it means blowing its head off when it walks through the door”

    You Can’t Ban Evil
    http://youtu.be/vn7bkncf1_E

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