© Josh Sager – January 2012
The recent rash of mass shootings in the United States is simply part of a long-term trend of gun violence unique to our country. The Sandy Hook school shooting is tragic—it caused the death of 20 children—but the true tragedy is that such a shooting is only the tip of the iceberg of our country’s gun problem.
According to FBI statistics, 46,313 Americans were murdered with firearms during the time period of 2007 to 2011. To put this death-toll into perspective, this translates to an average of 9,263 murders per year, or 25 murders per day. When we look at this average death toll in relation to the Sandy Hook Shooting—a nationally shocking tragedy—we see that a Sandy Hook sized tragedy happens every day, yet nobody covers it.
No other developed country on earth has as lax gun laws or more weapons than the United States. The easy access to weapons and the ineffective methods of tracking weapons to make sure that they don’t fall into the wrong hands facilitate violent and unstable people in the United States getting weapons with which to kill people.
Currently, there are 88 guns for every 100 people living in the United States (not even counting the illegal weapons which our government couldn’t account for). With so many weapons and so few controls on who can own the weapons, there is simply no realistic way to keep these guns from falling into the hands of violent criminals and disturbed people.
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting, many politicians have begun to pivot towards the idea that gun control needs to be strengthened—this effort is being led by Democrats, but even many Republicans have begun to buck their longstanding deference to the NRA and gun lobbyists. This conversation is long overdue, and will hopefully result in some sane gun regulations being enacted.
Despite the terrible death toll due to gun violence in our country and the recent mass-shootings, there is still a wide contingent within our country who oppose any form of gun control. These people use a multitude of arguments in order to attempt to fight any gun regulations. In the following section, I will name and quickly debunk 15 of the most common gun enthusiast arguments.
1. “The 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, thus gun control measures are unconstitutional.”
Those who make this argument are misinformed as to the original intent of the 2nd Amendment and have either been tricked by the modern gun lobby’s marketing or are actively perverting its meaning.
First, here is the text of the 2nd Amendment:
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Gun enthusiasts and gun lobbyists love to cite the 2nd amendment to the constitution as the catch-all defense to their right to carry any weapon that they can get their hands on (ex. assault rifles). In order to do this, these gun owners/sellers have hopelessly perverted the original intent of the 2nd Amendment and have expanded its guarantee of the right to “keep and bear arms” far beyond its original bounds.
From its passage and until the late 20th century, the 2nd Amendment to the constitution was interpreted to protect the rights of states to maintain militias and for militiamen to sustain arsenals. In the early years of our country, there was no standing federal army (the founders were afraid of a national standing army consolidating power) and the states were expected to sustain a state militia in order to contribute to the national defense; this expectation necessitated protections for militias that would facilitate militiamen keeping weapons for their service.
The 2nd amendment was predicated upon the maintenance of state militias—something that has become irrelevant in the face of our federal armed services—and is not something that should have allowed individuals to claim the right to own weapons. State militias had the right to bear arms, but individual, unattached Americans had no such right—this distinction in the difference between the 2ndAmendment being a collective right or an individual right.
Chief Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger—a Republican—said the following about the proposal that the 2nd Amendment is aimed at protecting every American’s right to own guns:
“…one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I’ve ever seen in my life time. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies—the militias—would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires.”
As Justice Burger said in no uncertain terms, before gun lobbyists and activists began campaigning to change the understanding of the 2nd Amendment in the late 20th century, nobody considered it to be an individual right. Unfortunately, a decades-long concerted effort by gun lobbyists and big money conservatives has successfully shifted the meaning of the 2nd Amendment so that it can be used to justify letting anybody own any weapon that they choose.
In 2008, the right wing contingent on the most recent Supreme Court (the same people who said that corporations are people) decided to throw away centuries of juris prudence and extend the 2ndAmendment as an individual protection for gun owners’ right to bear arms. During the case, United States v. Emerson, the Supreme Court decided that the 2nd Amendment is not a collective protection for gun ownership in militias, but rather a protection for individuals to own and operate weapons. This decision flies in the face of centuries of settled law and, like Citizens United v. FEC is just another case where right wing extremist wearing robes have perverted our country’s longstanding understanding of our laws.
Despite the changed definition of the 2nd Amendment, reasonable gun control regulations are not unconstitutional on their face; the 2nd Amendment may now be interpreted as an individual right, but this does not mean that it is unlimited.
Many restriction on who can own firearms (ex. state laws barring felons from owning guns), where guns can be carried (ex. no-gun zones) and which guns are legal (ex. the assault weapons ban) have been held as constitutional. What gun control proponents (people who care more about children being killed then their ability to buy 4 assault rifles in one day) suggest is not a blanket ban on guns, but an expansion of the already constitutional limits that exist. It may not be constitutional for the government to put a blanket ban on weapons, but it is certainly proper for it to enact strong restrictions which keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of people who cannot responsibly operate them.
Even in its perverted form, the 2nd Amendment is not the perfect defense for gun ownership and is not an impediment for gun control regulation. After all, if the 2nd Amendment were absolute, imprisoned criminals would have the constitutionally protected right to carry a missile launcher with them while in the prison; using it to hurt people or damage property would be a crime, but carrying it would be a simple exercise of constitutional rights. In this direction, madness and mass killings wait for our society.
The next time a gun enthusiast proposes that the 2nd Amendment gives them the absolute right to bear any arms that they wish, pose the previous situation to them and ask them to reconcile their interpretation of the Amendment with realistic laws. What you will get as an answer will be a contorted explanation on how criminal conduct negates the 2nd Amendment rights (absolute rights don’t work like that—case in point: the 1st Amendment) and how it is not sane or safe for criminals to have access to weapons while in prison. To be fair, they are half correct that such a gun policy is neither sane nor safe in our prisons, but, then again, neither is their proposed gun control regime on general society.
2. “Guns are a right in our country so that we can rise up against a tyrannical government.”
A favorite among weekend warriors and doomsday “preppers”, this argument is both deluded and illustrative of a dangerous mindset..
Put plainly, if somebody believes that they are going to practice violent “self-defense” against the American government if it tries to infringe on their rights, they are simply deluded. The United States government is the most powerful entity on the planet; they don’t just have guns, but also tanks, jets, satellites, and nuclear weapons. The sheer monopoly of military force held by the government is an insurmountable obstacle to any attempt by individuals to “pursue 2nd Amendment remedies” to tyranny. Any attempt by fringe individuals to utilize their guns to beat back the federal government will fail and will only result in the deaths of those who try to rebel.
In situations like Ruby Ridge, we have seen that even well-armed private militias have no chance against the force of the federal government and any belief to the contrary is just not realistic. The most likely outcome of such an attempted rebellion would be a short-term campaign of domestic terrorism, followed by a massive federal crackdown—the militia would take down some federal forces and some civilians on the way down, but they would inevitably be killed or captured.
The only real way to prevent our government from becoming tyrannical is through the ballot box, not the scope of a rifle. Our founding fathers understood this and, as I previously explained, it is the gun enthusiasts who have perverted the 2nd Amendment to justify their fantasies of rebellion.
Those who support this argument are simply not rational and any attempt to convince them that their guns will not protect them when the black helicopters start landing will likely land on deaf ears. That said, it is important to make sure that people know that guns are not an acceptable vehicle for their dislike of certain policies of their government and that it is completely out of bounds for them to want to take up arms against their duly elected government. In the unlikely event of an autocratic regime somehow taking over our country, this may change but, barring such an extreme event, these people are simply deluded.
3. “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people” or “ Limiting guns will only lead to violent people simply using other methods of killing large numbers of people”
While it is true that guns are simply tools and have no ability to harm anybody on their own, the assertion that they have no part in the perpetration of violence is absurd.
If properly motivated, somebody can kill their enemy with a pair of nail-clippers, but this is irrelevant to the greater regulatory scheme. Just because there are other ways for people to kill one another, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t in the public interest to restrict the most common way people currently kill each other.
Guns give people a quick, easy, cheap, and relatively detached (compared to stabbings/beatings) method of killing people—even large numbers of people. By making killing easy, guns directly contribute to the thought process that must go into a killing and facilitate even higher body counts. Without guns, people would still kill others, but it would be far more difficult to accrue high body counts.
There is a good reason why guns have become the mass murderer’s weapon of choice; they are simply the most efficient way of getting the job done. Weapons other than guns can be used to kill large numbers of people, but none are as easy to obtain or use as guns:
- Bombs may be lethal to large numbers of people, but they take expertise to build and are very risky for an amateur to handle (just look at the number of people who manage to mangle themselves playing with fireworks).
- Knives are lethal in the right hands, but they can only kill one person at a time and have no ability to kill at a distance.
- Cars can been used to kill people but they are far too large and unwieldy to replace guns (you can’t exactly put one in your backpack to sneak into a school).
A tool may simply be a shortcut to a desired result, but it isn’t fair to say that the tool has no part in achieving a result. A man with a hammer and a man with a gun could kill an identical number of people, but the gun certainly makes it more likely that the person will succeed, faster in their killing spree, and more likely to kill their specific targets.
Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. However, people with guns can easily and quickly kill a lot of people, while those who don’t have guns, cannot. In a country flooded with guns, the mass murderer (or simply the person who wishes to kill one person) is able to obtain their weapon easily and without much risk. Gun control laws may not be perfect, but they are a start on a long road towards a safer America
4. “Violence isn’t due to guns; it is due to culture and violence in the media/entertainment industry.”
While it sounds like a logical argument to assert that increased violence in games and culture could lead to increased violence in real life, this relationship has simply not been borne out in reality. Numerous studies, over many years, refute the idea that video games and movies are the cause of violence in society and the assertion that this correlation exists is simply incorrect.
The idea that gun violence is caused by media/video game brainwashing is a convenient solution for society and, most of all, for the gun enthusiast crowd. Society would much rather believe that violence is caused by external factors and that, if only we can remove violent video games, movies, and song lyrics, we can solve our society’s violence problems. If violent media can be blamed for gun violence, then we don’t have to deal with the complex web of psychological and societal issues that lead us to be violent. Those who love guns are particularly willing to fall into this solution, as it absolves them of having to deal with the gun problems within society and lets them blame gun violence on things which they don’t care about.
If you would refer to the below graph, you will see that the United States remains the gun violence outlier when we look at a comparison between video game consumption and gun crime.
Put plainly, our country consumes the very same video games which are distributed across much of the developed world—there isn’t a subset of violent “American” video games and sterilized “foreign” video games—yet it has far higher levels of gun violence than any other country. When we look at the evidence, the assertion that video games correlate with gun violence, simply is not supported by the evidence and is not a valid argument.
If you want further information about the lack of a statistical correlation between gun violence and video games, you can refer to the book “Grand Theft Childhood” by Cheryl Olsen and Lawrence Kutler—two Harvard Medical school professors.
Violent video games are a fact of life across the developed world and the idea that we will change the levels of violence within our society by altering our media consumption will only lead us to focusing on the wrong thing. If we are side-tracked in pursuing videogame and movie violence, we will likely miss the very simple solution to our real-life violence problem: our country is flooded with guns and it is very easy for violent people to gain access to weaponry.
Whenever somebody attempts to utilize this argument, the supporters of gun control should simply reject their argument on its face; direct these people to the studies that have debunked this correlation and refuse to engage in non-factual speculation. An argument not based upon the evidence will inevitably be flawed and it is not worth wasting time arguing over specious correlations.
5. “Instead of attacking guns, what we really need is to register the mentally ill”
Gun activists and groups have attempted to throw the mentally ill under the bus in the hope that blame can be deflected away from their precious guns. In order to do this, these people have asserted that it is the mentally ill who are responsible for violence, not the weapons, and that simply registering the mentally ill will stop gun violence.
Not only is the argument that the mentally ill should be blamed for gun violence wrong, it is highly immoral and illustrative of just how desperate gun enthusiasts are becoming. Many gun enthusiasts have begun suggesting a national registry of the mentally ill so that these people can be watched more carefully and those not on the list can remain free to awn weapons. A registry of the mentally ill violates virtually every privacy statute on the books (ex. HIPPAA) and could easily result in a “blacklist” similar to the ones that ruined people under accusations of communist sympathies.
In addition to being immoral, such a database would likely have terrible unintended consequences. The fear of being labeled as mentally ill and put on a list would lead to fewer people seeking help for mental illnesses and risking placement on the list. Such a situation would lead to more people walking around with untreated, undiagnosed, and undisclosed illnesses; these people would not be on the list and would be able to buy guns. Eventually, the untreated illnesses of these individuals could cause them to break and start utilizing the weapons that they were able to obtain while pretending to be sane.
While it is undeniable that some mentally ill individuals will always become violent and commit crimes, this does not mean that the solution is to victimize all mentally ill people for the sake of gun owners. If we can remove the ability of the seriously mentally ill to easily obtain guns (ex. requiring psychiatric testing before any gun permitting or purchase is allowed), we should do so, but this attempt cannot trample on the rights of the innocent.
It is a terrible irony that the very same gun enthusiasts—many of whom see gun registration to be in infringement on personal liberty and fear an oppressive federal government—wish to impose what they fear onto others. Mandating the registration of the mentally ill while prohibiting the registration of dangerous weapons is simply hypocritical and indicative of a person who is willing to sacrifice the freedom of others to gain a little more personal convenience. Such arguments are not serious and should not be considered a rational alternative to gun control.
If strong gun control legislation is passed, the severely mentally ill will be unable to obtain weapons with which to commit violence. By attacking gun violence from the weapons side, massacres can be prevented and the rights of the mentally ill can be maintained.
Final Note: Just because the registration of the mentally ill is a bad idea, this by no way means that our current mental health system is adequate. The mental health system in our country is woefully underfunded and often does little more than warehouse people who have been neglected to the point where their illness leads them to criminal behavior. We should look at fixing the mental health system in the United States in conjunction with implementing gun control, but we should not place the blame for the gun death epidemic in our country on those who were unfortunate enough to be born with mental problems.
6. “If everybody were armed, we would all be safer”
This argument promotes the micro-equivalent of mutually assured destruction (two armed and rational actors not engaging in conflict because it would destroy both) to justify higher levels of gun ownership, but it fails to work out when applied to reality.
Statistics show that guns do not make people safer, thus this pro-gun argument is demonstrably untrue on its face. Higher levels of gun ownership do not produce a safer society and often lead to a higher numbers of deaths due to gun violence.
According to the Violence Policy Center’s analysis, states with higher per capita gun ownerships have far higher levels of gun homicide—there are 3 to 5 gun deaths per 100,000 in the bottom five gun ownership states, while there are 17 to 20 gun deaths per 100,000 in the top five gun ownership states. These statistics provide a great deal of evidence that gun ownership levels in a state correlate with gun deaths, and prove that the gun lobby’s argument of universal gun ownership is simply a fantasy.
To further drive the statistics that guns don’t make us safer home, we can simply look at the research surrounding household safety and gun ownership. In houses with firearms present, the average homicide rate is 3 times higher than in houses without guns and the suicide rate is between 3 and 5 times higher. Gun accidents due to improper storage or use of firearms claim the lives of hundreds of children a year. In households with firearms, domestic violence is both more prevalent than in houses without weapons, and has a much higher likelihood of resulting in violent deaths. In all possible rubrics—self-defense, accidents and suicide—gun ownership is detrimental to the safety of those who live in a gun-owner’s household; this is not to say that there are not cases of people defending their homes with their guns, but it is undeniable that gun ownership opens people up to numerous other risks.
In addition to the statistical evidence supporting the fact that more guns don’t make us safer, we can simply look at the mechanics of a shooting. Shootings are chaotic and, if everybody has a gun, there is a very real potential for a crossfire—nobody would know who the original shooter was, thus everybody would shoot at everybody else. In this crossfire, bullets would likely hit civilians (imagine a room filled with a crowd and three people shooting at each other) and the casualty count would increase. Once the police arrive, it would be difficult to determine who the original shooter was, and it is also likely that the police may end up shooting the people who didn’t start the gunfight.
In response to the “everybody should be armed” argument, people should simply ask the gun activist whether or not they support Iran getting a nuclear weapon. By the logic that the gun activist applies, everybody is safer when everybody is armed, and this would translate to support for Iranian weapons; in reality, these people almost always say that Iran isn’t a rational actor and that giving them a nuke endangers everybody around them. When they say this, you should simply tell them that not every gun owner is rational and that unrestricted gun ownership is the micro-equivalent to letting every country have nukes.
7. “Gun laws don’t work because they make it so only criminals have guns.”
This argument is probably the best one in the arsenal of the gun enthusiast, but it too, is not really a good reason to obstruct gun control. If laws are irrelevant because criminals will simply ignore them, then there is no purpose for any laws and no potential for a safe society.
Ultimately, simple gun laws will not prevent all gun deaths, but they will gradually reduce gun violence. Gun laws will reduce the amount of guns to be sold and will help prevent them from being sold to criminals and the mentally ill. As guns are harder to obtain legally and illegal guns become harder to come by (when more guns are confiscated by the police or are used in murders and disposed of then are put onto the street), it will become harder for criminals to find access to clean guns.
Restricting guns may not immediately stop hardened criminals from obtaining weapons, but it would help stop insane and violent people from getting them easily. Mentally ill shooters that kill large numbers of random people are often disturbed loners who would have a difficult time obtaining a gun if not for legal channels—this isn’t to say that they wouldn’t eventually find a way, but it would make it more difficult.
We see that gun restrictions do work in the rest of the world, despite the catch 22 surrounding criminals and gun ownership (only law-abiding citizens follow gun laws). In Europe and much of Asia, the per capita murder rates are far lower than the United States and this is, in part, due to the fact that they have fewer guns. Crime still occurs, and murders still happen, but it is harder to do massive harm to large numbers of people when guns are less common.
By restricting guns, forcing gun registration, and punishing illegal guns harshly, the total number of guns on our streets will eventually decrease. As it gets more risky to buy or sell guns, people will have a harder time getting their hands on them and overall gun-homicide deaths will decrease.
It is completely unrealistic to hope that there will one day be no gun crime, but this does not mean that we should sit idle as an average of 25 fellow Americans are gunned down each day. Stronger gun laws may not prevent all shootings, but it is virtually inarguable that such laws would not reduce the number of gun crimes in the long term.
Put plainly, our current gun laws don’t just let law-abiding citizens defend themselves, but also facilitate criminals getting the weapons which are being used to justify weapon ownership—in this, the gun industry is essentially dealing to both sides of the criminal conflict. Until sane gun laws are enacted, this small-scale domestic arms race will simply continue and will fuel and ever expanding body count.
8. “Mass shootings only happen in places where there are no guns allowed.”
Put plainly, this argument is just not supported by the evidence; there are numerous examples of shootings happening in locations with other armed individuals.
In Columbine High School, there was an armed guard. A full tactical team was dispatched and on site during the Virginia Tech Massacre. Adam Lanza’s (the Sandy Hook shooter) mother had numerous guns in her house when she became the first victim of the Sandy Hook shooting spree. In addition to these few examples of situations where mass-shootings happened in areas with guns, we have the perfect refutation of this ideal: the Fort Hood shooting.
During the Fort Hood shooting, a disturbed army psychiatrist, Major Hasan, entered the base and opened fire on other soldiers. There were 43 people injured in this shooting, 13 of whom died, making it one of the most deadly shooting in modern years. As Fort Hood is a military base, nobody can argue that there were no guns present (eventually, the DOD police on site took the shooter down and he was captured), but the fact remains that numerous people were still shot. As he worked on the military base, Hasan clearly knew that there were armed personnel on site, yet he decided to stage his shooting anyway—his desire to kill outweighed his desire to live.
An armed guard in a potential shooting location may cause the shooter to change their plan, but it will likely not deter them from committing the crime. Most mass-shooters either “go down in a blaze of glory” or die of self-inflicted wounds, thus it is evident that they will not be deterred by the thought of somebody shooting back. If they know that they may face armed resistance, they may take out the armed guard first (via surprise attack), or may simply avoid being stopped by the guard before they start shooting (as happened in Columbine).
Logically speaking, if somebody goes to a shooting with overwhelming force and an expectation that they will die, then the potential that they will meet a guard with a pistol simply lacks a significant deterrent effect. Somebody with this level of focus on their lethal goal and lack of concern for their own future will conduct their shooting regardless of the potential risk to themselves and will simply try to kill as many people as possible before they are killed.
In the past, even the most extreme gun-enthusiasts have acknowledged this point and have supported the very gun-free zones which they now deride. The following quote was from Wayne LaPierre—the very same man who made the wildly controversial statement for the NRA after Sandy Hook—during his speech after the Columbine shooting:
“First, we believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools. That means no guns in America’s schools, period … with the rare exception of law enforcement officers or trained security personnel.”
In the quote above, you hear the NRA proclaim its support for gun-free zones while, in modern quotes, you hear them deride the policy as the cause of massacres. Put plainly, those who support the new gun-enthusiast line that shootings only happen in places without guns are not even as attached to reality as previous gun extremists. Massacres happen where the targets of mass-shooters congregate (schools, government buildings, workplaces, etc.) and the potential for people in those locations to be armed is simply not a deterrent to these shooters.
9. “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.”
Those who utilize this argument fail to recognize that reality is not like the choreographed action sequences in movies and that a good guy with a gun is simply not the best solution. In all likelihood, a public shootout between multiple armed parties will result in their deaths, along with the potential for massive collateral.
In contradiction to the idea the only way to stop a shooter is a random citizen taking the law into their own hands, there are two critical alternatives to this paradigm:
First of all, gun control can help stop the bad guy from ever getting a gun, thus rendering the discussion about stopping the shooter moot. If gun laws prevent shooters from gaining access to weapons, there will never be any risk to the public of a shooting and there will be no need to contemplate public shootouts. Ultimately, this solution is the most efficient and reliable method of stopping gun violence.
Secondly, we already have those “good guys with guns” to protect us—these people are called police officers. Unlike random people with guns, police officers have received training and institutional support that allows them to be more efficient and safe in their handling of dangerous situations. In the worst case scenario, a tactical response team (ex. SWAT) can come in and help resolve even the most dangerous situations. Even if a “good guy with a gun” is the solution to a violent situation, then there is no reason why this person should be an untrained vigilante rather than a law enforcement professional.
To drive this point home, I will give you a real life example: Imagine a situation where a psychopath enters a school and starts shooting kids with an assault rifle. In response to this threat, a teacher pulls out his assault rifle (legally bought and licensed) and begins shooting at the school shooter. It is certainly possible that this teacher gets a lucky shot (assuming that the shooter isn’t wearing body armor) and kills the shooter quickly, but a likely result of this situation would be a mass-shootout in the school. Two shooters unloading assault weapons on each other could result in a crossfire of hundreds of bullets and would potentially result in many more deaths than the original shooter would be able to do alone.
To further compound the problems with the suggestion that a shootout is the answer, imagine the potential for harm if there are more than two shooters. In a situation where multiple shooters are attacking each other, there is a high likelihood that people will not know who the original shooter is and who the “good Samaritan” is; such a situation would result in everybody shooting at everybody else and the innocents being caught in between multiple armed parties.
In the very same school shooting situation described above, imagine that multiple teachers have guns and start using them to “defend themselves”. Three or four people shooting at each other (there is no way for them to know whether or not the other teachers were the original shooter or not; perhaps the teacher is a workplace shooter) could unleash massive damage on the school and could kill dozens of people with stray bullets alone.
Unlike in gun-enthusiasts’’ fantasies of vigilantism, the bullets that come out of a good guy’s gun cause the exact same harm as the bullets that come out of the bad guy’s gun. This fact leads the argument that “a good guy with a gun to be the best solution to a bad guy with a gun” to be simply not a viable alternative to other, less dangerous, policies.
10. “There are already over 20,000 gun regulations on the books and they don’t work.”
What the proponents of this argument fail to grasp is that 20,000 gun regulations are absolutely useless if those laws are either too weak, easy to circumvent, or just not enforced.
In reality, there aren’t actually 20,000 gun laws on the books in the United States federal and state codes; the true number is debatable (is a gun law a regulatory law, tax law, insurance law, etc.), but it is less than 1,000. The inflation of the gun law numbers in this talking point is due to its proponents estimating the number of local gun laws and adding that number onto the major state and federal codes. Despite the over-inflation in the number of gun laws estimated by gun-enthusiasts, the fact remains that there are numerous gun laws on the books in the United States—for the purposes of arguing this talking point on its ideals, I will stipulate to the fact that hundreds of gun laws are currently in existence.
Unfortunately, the gun laws on the books in the United States are often inadequate and are rife with enough loopholes to make them ineffective. A law with significant loopholes or work-arounds is functionally ineffective and the simple fact that it is on the books is irrelevant. When talking about laws, it is not the sheer number of laws that matter, but their strength comprehensive nature, and lack of loopholes.
For example: There are gun laws on the books in some states that pertain to mandatory background checks and that ban felons from owning firearms. Despite these laws, the “gun show loophole” allows people in these states to circumvent the gun laws by buying from unregistered sellers. It doesn’t matter if there are a million laws banning firearms sales to felons in states with the gun show loophole, as these felons can circumvent all of them by simply buying their weapons from gun shows.
When confronted by people who promote this argument, my basic response is to propose eliminating all of these gun laws in favor of one gun law that actually works. If a single strong and comprehensive gun law could be passed through the federal legislature, we could massively reduce the number of laws on the books while making gun laws stronger. The supremacy of federal laws over state and local laws would extend the extremely powerful federal gun law over all of the others and render them moot. As of yet, no gun enthusiast that I have talked to has accepted this suggestion, as they understand just how ridiculous their argument is.
Ultimately, those who promote this argument are just illustrating the need for federal action on the gun problem in the United States. A solution based in passing hundreds of state laws is ineffective, as many state political organizations will never pass any sane gun laws. The federal government needs to pass one or two piece of legislation regulating guns, thus consolidating sane gun laws into a federal regulatory regime; these new regulations can be extended across every state uniformly and would be able to close many of the legislative loopholes that currently facilitate the circumvention of gun regulations.
11. “Cities with gun control laws on the books sometimes have high levels of gun violence and this shows that gun control doesn’t work.”
It is certainly true that some of the cities with above-average gun laws suffer from high crime rates, but this has little bearing on the efficacy of local/state gun laws. Guns are often obtained in areas of the country where it is easy to buy large numbers of weapons without background checks (ex. southern states) and then transported to be sold in the areas where guns are restricted (ex. New York).
Because our country’s gun laws vary based upon state politics, there is the potential for a few gun-friendly states to undercut the ability of all other states to control the flow of guns within their borders. States in the south typically have very lax gun laws and often allow individuals to purchase many weapons, quickly and without a background check. Once they obtain these guns through the lax laws of the southern states, individuals are able to transport them up north and sell them in cities with stronger gun laws. In northern cities that have strong gun laws (ex. New York city), guns are difficult to obtain legally (or without background check), thus trafficked guns from the south can be sold at a premium.
It is simple market pressure that causes guns to be bought in the south, where supply is readily available, and sold in northern states, where demand is higher than supply. There is a profit for gun traffickers when they bring guns into cities with strong gun controls, and there is no feasible way of stopping them once they have the weapons in their possession.
By arguing that violence in cities with strong gun control laws illustrates the ineffectiveness of gun control, gun enthusiasts are simply proving that strong gun control laws are necessary on a federal level. For as long as some states are allowed to undercut the ability of other states to enact sane gun control, there is little chance that gun violence will be controlled. Guns will continue to flood the northern cities and the pockets of the gun manufacturers/traffickers will continue to grow fatter.
12. “Countries like Israel and Switzerland have high levels of gun ownership, but low levels of gun crime, so guns aren’t the real problem”
A favorite argument of some gun enthusiasts, the idea that outlier countries disprove the general trend of gun ownership leading to violence is an intentional attempt to confuse the issue. By naming the two examples of developed countries that defy the correlation between violence and gun ownership, gun enthusiasts try to disprove this well-established trend.
Israel and Switzerland are the two model examples of developed countries that have high levels of gun ownership, yet low levels of gun crime. Gun enthusiasts promote this break in the correlation between gun violence and gun ownership as proof that the causation is false, but there is a very simple alternative explanation: Both Israel and Switzerland have mandatory military service programs which lead almost every young adult in these countries to serve as part of their armed forces.
The near-universal military service of citizens in Israel and Switzerland leads large portions of the population to have significant weapons training. This training lasts long after the citizens of these countries leave the service and allows for the relatively-safe ownership of firearms into civilian life. Every citizen goes through a battery of testing in preparation for military service and those who are mentally unfit for service are not given the access to guns that those who have been prepared through the military are.
The examples of Israel and Switzerland do not prove that high levels of gun ownership are always safe, but rather that letting only those who have been heavily vetted by the state own weapons is not dangerous. In both of these countries, there are high levels of gun ownership, but there are also heavy controls on guns that prevent un-vetted people from obtaining them. As opposed to the United States, which has high levels of guns and low levels of gun control, these countries have high levels of both gun control and gun ownership.
The true purpose of gun control is not to remove weapons for the sake of removing weapons, but to prevent the violent among us from obtaining weapons with which to harm others. If gun control regimes can be enacted that prevent just the violent and unstable in society from getting weapons, then this has virtually the same effect as removing all weapons from society; in both cases, gun crimes drop because people who are dangerous to society are denied weapons.
In order to refute this anti-gun control argument, I argue that Israel and Switzerland have many weapons, but they also have very strong gun control laws. In both cases, every person to legally own a gun has received psychological testing and safe weapons training—two components of a strong gun control regulatory regime—and is forced to register their weapons. These laws are facilitated by the compulsory military service and function as a sorting mechanism to ensure that dangerous people don’t have easy access to weapons.
13. “Since car accidents kill more people every year then guns, why don’t we ban cars?”
Put plainly, guns are tools that have only one real use: to kill things. They exist for the simple purpose of propelling a small projectile at high rates of speeds towards a target, with the direct goal of causing it physical trauma. Unlike many other things which may become lethal as they were not intended, guns have no alternative purpose and must be treated differently.
Cars kill many people during accidents and mechanical failures, but their actual purpose is to facilitate transportation. When used correctly, cars are simply a tool for transporting people or objects from point A to point B faster or cheaper than many other methods of transportation. It is only when cars are used incorrectly that they become dangerous to others.
With our current transportation infrastructure, cars are an integral part of how our society moves and it would be virtually impossible for us to change quickly. The deaths caused by cars are tragic, but they have no bearing on the need to regulate an entirely unrelated tool.
The key difference between guns and cars in this debate is the fact that cars have purposes other than causing harm, while guns have no such redeeming aspects. At the most charitable, guns can be described as existing to allow good people to defend themselves from bad people by threatening them with death. In the context of maintaining social order, guns do serve a purpose to allow the civil authorities to impose force on violent people (giving the police the ability to defend themselves on the job), but the idea that this force should be distrusted to everybody in society is just insane.
If cars were like guns and served no purpose but to facilitate violence, then I would support as strict regulations of them as I propose on guns. Guns have no social benefit and a removal of guns from society would not have the negative effects that a removal of cars would have. In fact, the reduction of gun availability in our society would help alleviate the epidemic of gun violence that we are living in and would save many lives.
While on the subject of cars and guns, I would also point out that, in many cases, cars are far more regulated then guns. Gun enthusiasts may like to draw the comparison between guns and cars in support of their ability to own/operate guns without regulation, but they don’t appear to acknowledge the fact that car operation is far more regulated then gun operation. With guns, many states don’t require background checks, licensing, registration, or state-issue permits, yet they require all of the above for cars.
In order to drive a car, you must be registered, get training, have a license, get insurance, and submit to periodic inspections. If such strict regulations were imposed upon guns, there is little doubt that gun-enthusiasts would begin hyperventilating and gesticulating about an illegal overreach into their personal right to own weapons.
The next time somebody draws comparisons between the regulations on guns and cars, simply suggest that, since both have the potential to be dangerous, the regulations on cars should be translated to analogous restrictions on guns. Before anybody is able to buy a gun, they should be required to get firearms training, become certified through a state licensing process, get insurance for potential damages that their weapons may inflict, and register each and every one of their weapons with the state. Such a suggestion would likely result in a rapid backtracking by the gun-enthusiast as they try to make up reasons why guns don’t deserve to be as regulated as cars.
14. “Gun control was imposed by dictators like Hitler and Stalin, thus it is, by definition, bad and something that puts us on a path towards becoming an autocratic regime.”
This argument is both historically incorrect and a complete red herring.
First of all, the simple fact that a dictator—even one as evil as Hitler—supported something does not mean that the thing in question is evil. While such dictators may be guilty of terrible crimes, they may also have policies which are simply good governance. Using the bad acts of a dictator to attack a good policy that they happened to support is simply disingenuous and not a valid argument in debates over policy.
Policies should be judged independent of the people who support them and a good policy is not automatically bad because a bad person once supported it. For example: Fidel Castro, the Cuban dictator, may have committed vicious crimes against his political enemies, but he also supports universal healthcare and a strong public health system. Using Castro’s support for universal healthcare and public education to attack the programs by association is wrong and is not a real argument against the validity of those programs.
In the case of gun policy, the assertion that Hitler and other notorious dictators always supported gun control is simply not accurate. These dictators may have disarmed those who they considered enemies, but they did not propose gun control as we know it now.
In 1919, Germany banned gun ownership by individuals to accord with the post-WWI treaty of Versailles. Contrary to the anti-gun control talking point, Hitler passed a law which reduced the gun laws in Germany in 1938. This deregulation, not increase in gun controls, is the signature gun control change which gun enthusiasts have latched onto in calling Hitler anti-gun. When compared to current American gun laws, the past German laws were much stronger, thus some see Hitler a pro-gun control, but this does nothing to mitigate the fact that Hitler actually decreased gun regulation.
Hitler banned Jews, gays, and other oppressed minorities from carrying weapons, but this was part of his campaign of dehumanization, not an expression of gun control. According to his government’s perverted view, these people were not human, thus no human laws applied to them.
15. “Guns are part of our national heritage and restricting them is an attack on our cultural identity.”
I only have one thing to say to those who utilize this argument: Tough Shit.
While it may be true that our country has had a long history of gun ownership, hunting, and gun sportsmanship, this heritage is getting people killed today. Even if one concedes that guns have been a large component of our country’s heritage, this is irrelevant in the face of the very real harm that guns are doing today; in order to stop this harm, our culture must be updated. Our weapons technology is so great now that guns have become able to kill dozens of people in seconds—an impossibility during much of our country’s cultural history of guns.
Cultural heritage changes and, in some cases, must be forcibly changed by the government to protect the population from itself (or the extremism of certain parts within itself). Before the civil war, slavery was a part of our cultural heritage that had led to misery among many within our population. The government enforced change over a component of our country’s culture when it abolished slavery and it must do so again in the case of guns (not to conflate slavery with gun ownership; this is simply an example of the law forcing a cultural change to protect an affected group within the population).
No relic of our cultural heritage is worth the cost of nearly ten thousand lives a year and it is far past time that we update our gun laws to sane levels. If apple pie killed as many people as guns do, I would also promote changing that tradition and I have no doubt that most other Americans would agree with me.
16. “Guns act as an equalizer and are necessary for women to defend themselves”
While it is true that guns make size and gender largely irrelevant in a fight, it is also true that gun ownership is not a cure for violence against women. This argument is incorrect for two basic reasons: First, not only does statistical evidence show that gun ownership does not make a women any safer, but it often shows that gun ownership makes women less safe. Second, this argument assumes an exclusivity of weapon availability to women that simply does not exist.
Statistical data about gun fatalities in the United States debunks the myth that gun ownership improves the safety of women. In every measurable rubric, gun ownership actually has a negative impact on the health and safety of women:
- Because of the high murder rates in the United States (a phenomena that gun availability is largely responsible for), both men and women are killed at higher rates than comparable countries.
- Women who live in a household with a firearm are 3.4 times more likely to be murdered then women who live in households without firearms.
- Domestic violence is far more likely to result in death or serious injury when guns are present in a household; abuse is likely to involve guns and it is much more likely to escalate into serious physical harm.
Any anecdotal stories aside (ex. women fending off attackers), the aggregate statistical evidence clearly shows that gun ownership does not make women safer. This argument is simply disproven by the facts and, while it may sound realistic, it is not supported by the real life data that we have available; this data is clear in that it indicates that gun ownership has detrimental effects on the safety of women in a household.
Beyond the statistical evidence, the idea that women require powerful firearms to be safe is just not logical. A lack of controls on guns may allow a woman to buy weapons for self-defense, but it also allows criminals to access said weapons—there is no exclusivity which guarantees that the women will be able to obtain a powerful weapon yet prevents the criminals from buying the very same weapons.
As gun laws are not gender-specific (that would be unconstitutional), whatever weapon that a women could obtain is also obtainable by the person who seeks to harm the women. The example of a single women with an assault rifle holding off a group of attackers that has been presented by some proponents of this argument just falls apart when one realizes that nothing prevents the attackers from coming armed with assault rifles. The lax gun laws which allow easy access to powerful weapons to women also facilitates criminals getting weapons that they would be unable to get under sane regulations.
17. “Background checks do not work because criminals won’t consent to them”
Criminals, by definition, don’t follow the law and tailoring the legal gun application process for the activities of those who don’t follow the law is simply foolish. People who are not allowed to buy guns certainly hate background checks, but this is because such checks limit their ability to buy guns legally.
Background checks serve to prevent those who are not allowed to buy guns—felons, the mentally ill, terrorists, etc.—from legally obtaining firearms. Without checks, there is no way to guarantee that sellers are following the law and not selling guns to people who cannot legally buy them (the sellers have a profit incentive to sell to anybody).
If criminals don’ want to consent to background checks, then they just won’t be able to buy guns legally. By closing the legal avenues that criminals have to buy guns, they will be forced to risk buying illegal weapons—a crime that the police can arrest them for.
I bet that many criminals don’t like metal detectors, theft prevention devices and the police, but this doesn’t mean that society should stop funding these things in order to appease them. Just as with other things that make criminals’ lives harder, background checks for firearm purchases should be embraced rather than rejected.
18. “Limits on magazine size do nothing to prevent gun homicides because shooters will just bring more magazines”
Those who promote this argument are simply letting their fondness for their weapons overshadow their logical viewing of the facts.
Large ammo-feeding containers (ex. drums, clips, belts) exist because they make a weapon much more effective in a combat situation. Such containers allow large numbers of rounds to be shot, uninterrupted, and without the risk of a fumbled magazine switch. The military uses large ammo feeders for these very reasons and any assertion that the size of the magazine is irrelevant to the efficacy of the weapon is simply wrong.
It is true that many small clips can replace a larger feeding mechanism, but it is inarguable that this method of ammo supply is less efficient. Whenever a clip is empty, it must be ejected and a new one inserted before the gun is operable. This insertion usually requires two hands, necessitates a pause in shooting (even if the shooter has another loaded weapon), and has a risk of error; with every exchange, there is a possibility that the gun will jam or the shooter will fail to successfully load the clip.
Shooters are often stopped when they pause shooting in order to reload their weapon. The short pause in fire that occurs during a reload gives
If large ammo feeders are useless, then why are the gun-enthusiasts so incensed that they may no longer be allowed to own them? Gun enthusiasts understand the benefit of large ammo feeders and wish to defend them because they recognize the advantage that such feeders give.
The next time somebody argues that magazine size is irrelevant, then simply point out this logical fallacy in their argument: if the magazine is irrelevant to the weapon, then there is no reason for the gun-enthusiast to object to magazine limits. This argument’s very existence disproves its foundation. The reticence to implement such restrictions demonstrated by those who make this argument proves that their argument is not true.
19. “It is hypocritical for politicians with children who go to schools that have armed guards to push for gun-free schools”
This argument is so absurd that even Fox News has refused to get behind it when NRA representatives have broached it during interviews. To quote Fox host Chris Wallace on this attack: “That’s ridiculous and you know it, sir.”
Wayne LaPierre and the rest of the NRA administration (not the membership, but those who control the group) have attempted to attack the “elitism” of our politicians because many politicians send their kids to schools to armed guards. Here is a link for an NRA ad containing this attack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bKw7ZsQgtc
It is true that many politicians send their children to schools that have armed guards, but there is a very good reason for this: the children of politicians are often the target of threats intended to compel politicians to act. Threats against the children of legislators can disrupt public policy and are a very real threat—it is this very reason why the president’s family are protected by the Secret Service at all times. As the average child is not potential leverage over somebody who is responsible for the operation of the government, there is no hypocrisy when somebody supports different levels of armed protection.
If we want to protect our children from shooters, we can either implement strong gun controls that prevent shooters from getting guns, or we can attempt to get Secret Service level protections for every American child. As is immediately apparent, the first option is possible, while the second is completely unfeasible and only serves to act as a distraction for those who would attempt to stop sane gun laws from being implemented
20. “There are already so many guns out there that any regulations on gun sales are ineffective”
This argument is actually very strong and requires a great deal of thought on the part of the gun control advocate to refute. It is undeniable that there are too many guns already on the street and that seller-centric gun control laws are somewhat limited.
A gun, when well maintained, can last for decades and can remain a deadly threat to the public in the wrong hands. Unfortunately, decades of lax gun laws have caused our society to be flooded by weapons and, even if gun seller restrictions were to implemented, there will still be a supply of guns.
The gun control advocate’s refutation of this argument is fairly simple: Despite the number of guns in our society, this is no reason to make the situation worse than it already is. Eventually, given time and good legislation, the number of guns on the street will decrease and become manageable again, but this will not happen without controls on gun sales.
In the long term, the only way to get a handle on gun violence is to stop the sale of new guns and to let attrition gradually remove them from the market. Guns which are seized by the police should be destroyed and removed from the market permanently.
A gun which has been used in a crime is somewhat dangerous to hold, simply because it can act as an evidentiary link back to a shooting (these guns are called “hot” guns). Oftentimes, criminals will dispose of their guns due to the risk that they pose and will require new weapons. Currently, guns are so plentiful that this process of replacing hot guns is easy and cheap enough that few criminals have a hard time getting new guns. By stopping the flood of guns into our society, it will become harder to replace these guns and criminals will eventually have a hard time obtaining clean weapons. Prices for new weapons will go up and criminals will be forced to hold onto their dirty weapons (risking arrest) and spending significant funds buying a new gun.
The argument that, because there are already too many guns, we should not implement any controls on new guns is fatalistic and will only perpetuate our country’s gun problems. Unless we take the first step that is limiting the number of guns to be flooding society, there is little hope that we will ever succeed in solving our county’s problems.
21. “We cannot rely on the police to protect us because they are underfunded and often unable to get to a crime on time”
One of the arguments that gun enthusiasts keep going back to is that they desire the ability to defend themselves against potential threats—in the case of this argument, they say that the police are unable to defend them.
It is true that the police are not able to stop all violent crime; if there is a person breaking down the door, the police will often take minutes to get there. Those who support this argument claim that order can more effectively be maintained by giving the citizen a gun with which to kill the intruder in less time than it takes for the police to arrive. These people support vigilantism over order and are hopelessly misguided.
Police forces are groups of organized and trained professionals that uphold order in society—it is their job to ensure that society does not devolve into a state where every person needs a gun. If the police lack the resources to maintain order, the proper solution is not to arm everybody, but to increase funding to the police and directing them to improve.
Supporting gun ownership out of a misplaced sense that vigilantism is the proper way to maintain social order is simply wrong and only leads to terrible miscarriages of justice. As we saw during the Trayvon Martin tragedy, such attempts at vigilantism can result in innocent people (including children) being killed out of fear.
Rather than supporting a wild-west style society, where everybody is armed and there is no real force preserving social order, we should attempt to fix our damaged police forces. To free up resources, we should end the war on drugs and increase the funding for police forces.
The terrible irony of this situation is that the very policies of easy gun access and lower funding for public services (ex. police) favored by the American right are the things that cause police forces to be inadequate. In supporting cutting funding for police officers, the right wing reduces the police’s ability to protect everybody in society; response times are increased and coverage is reduced. When combined with the many, easily accessible, firearms, this reduction in police coverage creates a dangerous situation where police are unable to protect everybody. Powerful guns have flooded our streets and criminals have the ability to meet the police with armor-piercing ammo, body armor and assault rifles. This situation is unsustainable the answer is not to make things worse by weakening gun regulation further.
If people want to live in a society where they need to rely on their own guns to protect themselves, I suggest that they move to a lawless area—perhaps an area in the Sudan or Somalia—and try it for a while before they consign us to follow them. We have a problem with crime now but, if we consign ourselves to even more gun accessibility, thing will only get worse. We progressed from the old wild-west days into a civilized nation, and it is those who support this argument who would drag us back to the day where everybody must be armed and willing to kill to survive.
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I have been sharing your blog in discussions with gun lovers. You hit every point square on. Thank you for your thoughtful writing.
Beealover, the correct word is “thoughtless” writing. This blog was started as just another anti gun tirade. However, the massive opposition that it has attracted and had the opposite effect. The counter points made have turned it into what is probably one of the best pro gun arguments anywhere.
True. Gun Control arguments are very weak at best and you have to manipulate the facts to your own agenda.
Well if you want my thoughts on the matter, as a gun lover, I believe we need a better idiot than a gun control. I do understand that in highly populated cities, owning an AR-15 may be a bit excessive; You must understand that guns are not centered around killing people. In fact, I use an AR-15 to hunt with.
To touch on what I said previous, we do need more that just a background check to purchase a gun. Maybe a educational check, sort of like a test. Perhaps once a year, a gun owner or someone that wants to buy a gun, must fill out a test to check on mental stability, education, and the use of the gun that they are buying, if they are in fact buying a fire-arm.
Never the less, that is just my thoughts.
must have taken a long time
awesome article, now this article is better then michalla’s prostitution article.
Josh, great points but you surprise me; you actually concede a point (indeed one of the strongest points) to the opposing side the 2nd Amendment. “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
The 2nd Amendment is actually “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” So, you cut the amendment to the core you’re saying a well-REGULATED militia shall not be infringed. Regulations, laws, etc.
So, all this jibber-jabber about libtards and gun grabbers and boxcars and “it goes back to Cicero” and what not are just halftime entertainment; the idea that you’re going to have ZERO control over firearms, no regulations, laissez faire is just as much BS as this idea that the Founders wanted a laissez faire unregulated dowhutchalike economy–I mean from a PURIST’S perspective you can’t get anymore *socialist* than Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution.
Besides, if the right to bear arms supersedes LIFE ITSELF, then why wasn’t it in the PREAMBLE? Or better still why wasn’t the FIRST Amendment, “Congress shall make no law restricting the right of the people to keep and bear arms, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Or even BETTER why aren’t guns and ammo provided free of charge, since its Divinely inalienable? Legal counsel certainly (funny, how we never hear about our SOCIALIST legal system).
Bronx 347, the Second Amendment protects “life itself”. Have you actually read the Preamble? If you would bother to check it out, it clearly states “provide for the common defense”. It does not just say “pay your taxes and register for Selective Service”. It also says “secure the blessings of liberty”. You can’t secure liberty unless you are prepared to defend it with deadly force.
Marie there are plenty of other democracies around the globe that manage to secure their freedom and liberty without every man, woman and child packing heat.
Andy those other democracies are not as secure as we are and I certainly would not approve of every child “packing heat.” You really sound like an idiot.
The entire premise of “gun control” is stupid, as is the idea of furthering 80 years of increasing restrictions that are effectively meaningless.
There will be no more “common sense compromises.” Such policies exist in certain states and cities and folks can live there if they wish.
The federal “Assault Weapon” ban is long dead, and pro concealed carry laws have swept the nation over the past few decades.
Some of us choose to be responsible for our own lives and welfare. Keep your hollow feel good laws in your hollow feel good states and cities.
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If lefties hate guns, feel free to move to another gun hating country. Don’t worry about the rest of us freedom lovers, just go away and all will be well!
well, if you are THAT deluded, try getting some professional help ?!
You know whats hilarious? You dislike the regulation of firearms and the ban of assault weapons and high capacity magazines and your name is “George W Freedom Loving American”, even though George W. Bush pushed for higher gun regulation whilst also attempting to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
he means george washington
All pro-gun lobbyists are either deluded, ignorant, insular, selfish, weak or scared. My perspectives come from across the pond. I have several family members living in the States(all bona fide US citizens) and have visited the States numerous times over the past 40 years. America will never be taken seriously unless this problem is solved. Hate mail welcomed, but, will be binned where it belongs. When a piece of paper written in 1787 holds power over a so called advanced country, you know you have a massive problem.
Graham Baughan, your limey perspectives mean nothing to us. If you will recall, King George III was defeated, your empire is long gone and your island will probably have a Muslim prime minister in your lifetime. No more Guiness or bangers and mash for you old chap. You may want to consider making your next visit here permanent. However, I would suggest you lose the attitude. That “piece of paper written in 1787” has made the United States into the strongest nation the world has ever known.
You say that your perspectives come from “across the pond”, but you didn’t actually say where you live. Are you French? Why did “several” of your family members decide they wanted to be “bona fide US citizens”?
I appreciate many of the arguments by the writer, but I would expect that they would have read the Federalist Papers before commenting on the Second Amendment.
In the reading of the various Federalist Papers it is very apparent that the militia is us. The second issue is the issue of tyranny and again the Federalist Papers make that absolutely clear that the right to bear arms is also to prevent tyranny.
The Supreme Court is there to interpret laws against the Constitution. Not reinterpret the Constitution to make the laws that we. What is happened is will have courts making law from the bench which was never the design.
If we don’t like it, then we have to change the constitution.
Guess what, we have a process for that. The problem with that is the gun control activists know they can never get enough votes to ratify a change to the Constitution for the 2nd Amendment.
Do we need better laws to determine who may own a gun yes, do we need to have trained people before they own a gun yes. Do we need laws that truly restrict free access to weapons not unless we change the constitution.
First off, many of these arguments stated above, I haven’t heard. Thus I think he is right in the debunking of most of these methods. I, as a pro-gun person, don’t use any of these arguments. The only ones I use are the fact that the gun industry itself does bring in large amounts of money as there are several gun manufacturers of guns. From an economic point of view it is better to leave the gun regulations as is. In response to the part where it says guns are “cheap” and “easy to use” I disagree. I don’t believe $400+ is a cheap thing. Also in order to be truly be affective with any gun you must practice for a relatively long time. I would also like to state that I would rather not have high capacity mags banned because I use them for plinking and it just makes it more enjoyable. So don’t pin the flaws of the few on the many, don’t treat all gunners like a crazed killer or an government conspiracy theorist. Take people who just enjoy shooting for the fun of it into account.
Mr.Baughan, I would like to say that your In put is not productive because it gives no reasons. Your “Americans aren’t taken seriously” comment should not be based on our gun laws it should be based on the ignorance of those who carry selfie sticks and don’t know how to enjoy life. The hipsters are the ones who ruin America not guns.
THERE IS WAY TO MUCH INFORMATION!!!!!!!
The gun enthusiasts are going to have a terrible time arguing from “first principles” when the next technologically-advanced “personal weapon” which can’t be identified as ” a gun” comes along. And it will!
No they won’t. The firearms we own and enjoy today would be considered advanced and futuristic when compared to those used in the Revolutionary War. You do realize that it actually is legal for a law abiding gun owner in the US to own tanks, flamethrowers, anti-aircraft machine guns and cannons if they were rich enough don’t you? It is also legal for civilians to own operational military aircraft as long as the classified equipment not actually needed for flight has been removed. The only things they can’t own are of course weapons of mass destruction and weapons with any type of classified guidance or propulsion systems.
Actually, that is NOT completely true. Lookup a video called “Firearms Facts: All About the NFA”.
Kriss Ite. Actually, that IS completely true. What country are YOU from?
Just for laughs
Hey, Joe’s back! We missed you buddy.
I am 68 years old. I have since my youth considered the right to keep and bear arms a protection afforded to the citizens of the USA in order to protect themselves from tyrants in government. This claim that we have been lead to believe in the second amendments protection for private citizens is a recent event is false. New York,Chicago, Baltimore, LA, and Paris all have rigid gun control laws All of those cities have high murder rates and are an open highway for violence against innocent individuals.
What are you going to do when someone breaks into your home? If you can get to the phone to call 911, if you are strong enough to hold off your attacker until the police arrive, and if you can wait 15 minutes in the city or 45 minutes in the country for law enforcement to arrive while you struggle with the intruder, then you might make it. According to the left wingers, you should be able to defend yourself that long. My bet is that you can’t. That’s why the police call for homicide and a truck from the morgue to haul away the law abiding citizen.
We had an armed intruder who was a career felon, mentally ill, 6’4″ tall, 247 pound, and armed. He was younger, faster, stronger, and armed. All I had was a 380 ACP. Well, he lost because I didn’t have time to wait for help and took the matter of the safety of myself and my family into my own hands. If we had waited for the police, we would be dead.
While what happened in Paris is terrible, it is actually far less harmful than the average WEEK in the USA in terms of casualties. In the first week of 2016, more Americans have been murdered by guns than died in Paris, and, in the coming months, about 10,000 more will die.
If you actually look at the statistics, a gun in the home is much more dangerous to the owner than likely to be used in self-defense. You may think that it makes you safer, but this is akin to a person thinking that lead cups make them safer than glass cups because they are less-likely to shatter–your logic is flawed and you are putting yourself in danger.
Mr. Sager is referring to the debunked Kellerman Study.
Guns may be a danger in a home of a irresponsible gun owners. Some one who dose not lock the guns up in a safe. I lock my guns up in a safe when they are not in use, I put the ammo in another safe and I even take parts I even take parts off my guns to disable them from being fired and put them in another safe. So like any other anti gun jack Ass know facts before you say anything. And living out in the country where the nearest policy are about 20 minutes away. I don’t think mister criminal who dose not care for human life and dose not give a crap about gun laws and probably can get any weapon he wants from something call the black , is not going to give me chance to call 911 and sit there and wait the police to come. Anti gun people live in la la land
I wonder how JP above will protect himself from an intruder if his gun is locked in a safe and bullets somewhere else. Probably won’t make it past the bedroom door.
“Guns may be a danger in a home of a irresponsible gun owners. Some one who dose not lock the guns up in a safe. I lock my guns up in a safe when they are not in use, I put the ammo in another safe and I even take parts I even take parts off my guns to disable them from being fired and put them in another safe.”
Good for you Dave. You make us real Americans proud.
Well, I am an EXTREMELY pro-self defense & right to keep & bear arms person (I don’t consider myself “pro gun” for reasons explained in a video called “I am NOT Pro-Gun”, & yet, I don’t use these arguments). I also do NOT believe that the entertainment media is solidly linked to violence. Here’s my ultimate argument.
Most of the following will be my paraphrasing based on two videos, called “The REAL Purpose of the 2nd Amendment – The Ultimate Critique of Gun Control” & “The Divine Right of Self Defense – Mike Adams documentary”. Part one will be mostly from “The REAL Purpose of the 2nd Amendment – The Ultimate Critique of Gun Control”, while part 2 is more based on “The Divine Right of Self Defense – Mike Adams documentary”. Part three will be of my own creation. Everything is of my opinion. By no means is this article meant to represent the views of any other individual or group. And BEFORE YOU READ, let me just tell you that I do NOT associate myself with the left-right paradigm like many other people do, & I consider myself agnostic. I am NOT calling for an overthrow of the government, for reasons explained in a video called “So You Want to Topple the U.S. Government?”. Also, PLEASE make comments. If you agree with this article, PLEASE share it to every single gun control advocate you know.
Part one: A lot of people agree that we all have inalienable, or divine rights, which are rights which should not be taken away. Just to name a few, many agree that we all should have the right to access clean water, good food, peacefully assemble, speak without fear, practice religion (as long as others are not affected negatively) (and, at least to some of you, maybe even be helped or taken care of when necessary). But there is a right we often forget; the right to defense of self & others. The strange thing about rights, is that, they are actually boundaries. Freedom of speech, for example, can’t exist unless boundaries are established to prevent those in power from harming or imprisoning those who speak against them. But who’s ultimately responsible for upholding those boundaries? You may believe you have to right the speak. But what happens to those rights when a group of armed men start moving from building to building, home to home injuring, killing &/or kidnapping those who disagree with them.
This exact scenario unfolded over & over again throughout history.
It keeps repeating not really because history has been forgotten, but rather it hasn’t been properly understood. What if the people who are the victims of the exact same scenario had a fighting chance?
You believe that the government should have the monopoly on force. But in reality, the gang of armed men that I described often IS the government.
It was the governments of the world which were responsible for the genocides, ethnic cleansings, & mass murder of civilians. It was the governments who exterminated political & religious dissidents. It was the governments which built the concentration camps & secret prisons. It was the governments who committed the worst crimes against humanity. Governments have been shown to be the most corrupt, most ruthless organizations on the planet. Even all of the worst mass shooters combined can not even come close to the scale of damage overpowered governments have caused.
When the people have no means of defense, the government has no real boundaries. We can not simply hope that their minions (often military & law enforcement who obey) to disobey. That only allows the process to start all over again. You may believe that government may be free of corruption, but in reality, positions of power attracts tyrants, bullies & psychopaths like manure attracts flies. It always has, & always will. Government attracts these types of individuals because of power over others. And for the icing on the cake, they get a paycheck! What more can such a person possibly ask for?
Some people try to sidestep this issue by wanting things such as a stronger United Nations:essentially, a global government to keep the rest of the world in line. But this underscores a deep misconception. That will also attract tyrants, bullies & psychopaths like manure attracts flies. Again, for icing on the cake, they also get a paycheck! Do I really have to repeat that?
Once the types of individuals described get in, who would you turn to? You can not get safety by giving more of your power and rights away to someone else. The root of the problem is a total monopoly on force. The solution is to give NO MONOPOLIES PERIOD. We as humans simply are not mature enough to deal with that type of temptation. True power balance MUST be maintained. The right to self defense is that counterbalance. It is the boundary which truly makes other rights possible. We are ultimately the ones responsible for protecting ourselves and each other. However, the right to defense is meaningless without the MEANS of defense (such as a heavily armed population). This is why I believe the right to defense of self and others is a core right of animals, including humans no matter their race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender identity, national origin, color &/or other characteristics.
Part two: people who are rational, sober minded & follow a code of ethics & morals neither seek out nor create violence & de-escalate it at every chance. This should be how all people operate, especially those who are armed. Perhaps the best people we can find are those who despise violence, but are willing to unleash it on violent predators if they have no other way to stop the predator(s). The right to the defense of self & others should not be selectively right for some people, such as law enforcement officers & military personnel while selectively wrong for others, such as average people who do not commit violence. Besides, in my view, law enforcement officers and military personnel are just citizens granted permission and extra (but not unlimited) power by we, the average people. Law enforcement should directly protect our communities while the military provides an external defense, only to be deployed directly in communities if absolutely necessary (in situations such as disasters, invasions, major civil unrest or a crisis in that manner). Private security should protect private property & cover when law enforcement is unavailable. Fugitive recovery/bail enforcement agents (bounty hunters) should hunt down criminals.
A lot of people would agree that it is right to cause pain, injury or even death to a violent psychopath who had already killed multiple people & intends on killing more. But a question that confuses some is rather or not it is right to do it to people, rather they be regular people, or a law enforcement officer or military personnel. While this may sound scary & be controversial, yes, it is the right thing to do rather or not someone is wearing a uniform. Law enforcement officers & military personnel are still human beings. They, like pretty much all human beings, are not perfect, & can still go bad, just as any other person can.
To round part two up, & science people may like this part, as explained in “The Divine Right of Self Defense – Mike Adams documentary”, a lot of plants and animals practice their right to self defense. Cacti, for example, have sharp spines which teach animals to stay away. Similarly, porcupines have spines which do the same. A bird that uses a ranged defense mechanism is the Southern Grey Petrel, which had a stomach which produces wax esters and triglycerides, which can be projectile vomited onto predators. Some Tarantulas what’s called “urticating hairs/bristles”, which can be flicked off into the air at a target using their rear legs. These hairs can irritate, & could even be lethal to small animals. Many species of insects have chemical weapons at their disposal. The Bombardier Beetle, for example, uses thermal chemical reactions to launch a boiling, noxious chemical spray in rapid pulses from special glands in their abdomen. Some ants (specifically, Wood ants) can spray acid. Some Geckos can fire a black or pale sticky fluid from glands in their tail for distances up to about a meter with good aim. The Spitting Cobra can spray venom from forward facing holes in their fangs, spitting up to 1.5 meters. The California ground squirrel has been known to fight predators such as snakes by kicking dirt into their eyes. Elephants have been known to throw various objects.
Some primates, including humans, have been known to throw various objects. And, as a bonus, I’ll mention that Turtles and Tortoises, along with shellfish, have protective shells, which is animal body armor, if you will. Nature’s equivalent to today’s bullet resistant vests.
Why is this important? A lot of politicians say that they want the human species to be disarmed. Though not only is this within itself is a violation of a divine right, but also, it is not possible to fully disarm every last human on the planet. To disarm people, the people doing the disarming must be armed, & thus it becomes more like power re-distribution than disarmament.
Part three: so you think that a democracy (or republic) will always be sterile of corruption? Democracy is as sterile of corruption as religious holy books are of violence. Though this may sound cliche, I have changed this argument around, let’s look at Nazi Germany. The Weimar republic was in a bad situation from the end of World War one to the start of Nazi Germany. Then Adolf Hitler came up, promising the people a lot of good stuff would come when he was in power. And guess what? He goose stepped his own people into a history of bloodshed. He disarmed everyone EXCEPT for the so-called “master race”, which made it easier to kill Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, political enemies, & so on & so fourth. Adolf Hitler came from the right. Josef Stalin came from the left. Yet both were capable of doing the exact same thing. Not to mention how easily votes can be rigged & how easy it is for politicians to lie their way through anyway.
Some make the argument that the weapons possessed by civilians is little to no match to those possessed by the government. However, not only do many of the individuals who use this argument have little to no law enforcement or military experience, & often don’t have much knowledge, or at least don’t think deeply think about history. Just ask people from Vietnam, Nicaragua, Iraq, & Afghanistan just to name a few. Guerrilla forces from these nations, along with various criminal & resistance fighter alike (often from third world countries) resisted often better equipped militaries, & succeeded. Sure, in some cases they did get help from external sources (communist bloc governments supplied communist Vietnam during the Vietnam war while the United States government supplied anti communist Afghanistan), but neither the less they won. Besides, anti armor & anti aircraft weapons can be captured from government armories & military units. Things such as aircraft, armored vehicles & artillery are often meant for SUPPORT & will NOT guarantee victory. I will not deny that technology will be a factor, but it definitely is not the only factor. It is not easy for military or law enforcement units to keep fighting when they gain little to no progress for their hard work. Besides, the target isn’t really the armed forces or law enforcement, but the politicians who caused the wreck in the first place.
I’ll wrap this up with some quotes. Most from good people, one (Mao Zedong) from one of the most evil. And I know that Malcolm X. WAS racist against whites, though eventually he changed his mind.
“Concerning ‘nonviolence’ – it is criminal to teach people not to defend themselves, when they are the victims of constant brutal attacks.” “I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defense; I call it intelligence.” “Non Violence is okay as long as it works.” “If you have a dog, I must have a dog. If you have a rifle, I must have a rifle. If you have a club, I must have a club. This is equality.” – Malcolm X.
“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” – Martin Luther King.
“Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” – Mao Zedong.
“Legitimate use of violence can only be that which is required in self-defense.” – Ron Paul.
You can verify all of these with Brainyquote and Goodreads.
P.S: do you wish to keep your communities safe from crime & violence? Then we must address other issues, such as economics, availability of services, substance use and population density just to name a few. There are places with a lot of guns that are not that violence, such as Kennesaw, Georgia (which requires every household to have a firearm) & Svalbard, Norway, which requires everyone to know how to use a rifle against polar bears. Restricting inanimate objects such as weapons (there are plenty of examples of homemade guns and ammunition) is not enough to address the actual disease rather than the symptoms. If I had my way on weapon control, I may improve the background check system (specifically updating information about people), & make it illegal for a violent felon to own weapons or knowingly transfer weapons to violent felons. I’d only allow registration if an extremely high percentage (like 98+%) own suitable weapons. Though it is already illegal for felons to own weapons, I feel it is slightly overzealous (so people sometimes end up losing their right to keep & bear arms for a “white collar” crime such as, say, a fake insurance card vs a “blue collar” crime such as unjustified homicide). Along with this, I would arm every law abiding able bodied person possible, which should prevent or at least cut down on the chances of power slipping into the wrong hands by distributing it.
No matter what your opinion is, I want you to read this; http://saynotodemocide1.blogspot. com/2015/07/why-we-need-more-gun-control-now. html . Just take out the spaces. And never mind the name.
Sorry about this comment. It was just that my other one didn’t show up. Feel free to delete this one.
In part #8 it says that the police are here to protect us (citizens) . This is COMPLETELY false. The police only “protect” their respective jurisdictional interests, not each individual citizen in that jurisdiction. This whole article should be taken down based on misleading information.
None of this is correct. First, well before the “20th century” states had Constitutions, which had to be in harmony with the US Constitution. My states says “Section 12. Right to bear arms. The right of any person to keep or bear arms in defense of his own home, person, and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question”
The origins of the 2nd Amendment come via the promise that Free American Citizens would be able to defend themselves from the tyranny of government.
The entire article is bogus with lies and twisted truths. Funny.
I liked the clever wording where you constructed and defeated the “Criminals don’t consent to background checks.”
I don’t think is arguing against background checks because criminals won’t like them. It’s that they typically obtain firearms from other sources. They have a family member, friend or “clean” gang member buy the firearm in a straw sale. They steal guns, and buy stolen guns.
I read about 60 comments and not one of the pro-gun enthusiasts spoke about the nearly 10,000 people who are murdered each year by guns, and another 20,000 killed by guns in one way or another (including hundreds of children). One post wants the anti-gun people to take into consideration his fun in plinking Yes, there it is, we need plinking, no thought to the 30,000 dead from guns EACH year.
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The individual who just plinks, hunts, competes, collects or is merely taking precautions to defend themselves or their loved ones is not responsible for all the deaths you mentioned. With the exception of those that were killed in justifiable acts of self defense of course. Sorry, but infringing upon the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens will not hinder the criminals in any way and will only leave the innocent vulnerable. By the way, no one have ever been murdered by a gun. They are murdered by murderers.
While I am personally in favor of common sense gun control (universal instant background checks, improved safety features aka smart-guns, etc.), I think you’ve cherry-picked poor arguments against gun-control and then debated them with yourself; here are some better anti-gun-control arguments you might consider:
1) Measures that would severely curtail legal gun ownership (e.g. European or Australian-style restrictions) are unlikely to have any effect on criminal access to guns. Such measures constitute a considerable portion of gun control efforts (often through circuitous paths such as liability for manufacturers or sellers). However, there are already 300 million guns in the country, they are relatively simple to manufacture in a basement with basic machine tools, they last for easily more than 100 years, and we have large, fairly porous boarders over which guns could travel at least as easily as illegal drugs and unlike drugs (which we seem unable to interdict), guns do not require constant re-supply. So the argument that gun control measures that severely curtail ownership indeed seem likely to disarm only law-abiding citizens and will have little effect on criminal access.
2) Many gun control measures focus on scary looking, but rarely mis-used categories of weapons and such measures would have an insignificant impact on gun crime (but drive a wedge between control advocates and rational gun owners). For example, actual “assault-weapons” are already largely banned, but control advocates rail against semi-automatic military-style weapons (these are not actual assault weapons, they just look like them) despite the fact that long guns of all types are used in an insignificant amount of crime (less than 1% of total gun crime) and that those military-style weapons are generally less lethal than most hunting rifles (they use smaller-caliber bullets designed to wound on the battlefield rather than the larger, more powerful bullets designed to kill much larger animals).
3) Alcohol is a much better analogy than cars when considering gun control. Alcohol kills more people than guns do (88K/yr http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm); and causes vastly more suffering. Alcohol is completely unnecessary; I don’t drink so it wouldn’t bother me a bit if it were banned. A child is just as dead when killed by a drunk driver as a lunatic with a gun. However, we live in a country that is loathe to curtail individual freedoms so we have both guns and alcohol. I’d point out that improved access to mental health care would help both problems and it would be nice if progressives would take the right-wing up on their (surely temporary) willingness to increase funding for mental health and substance abuse services rather than fighting them on “principle”.
4) The argument about the 2nd amendment not conveying an individual right to bear arms or about it not being intended as a foil for excessive government power is incorrect. The individual right has withstood a great deal of judicial scrutiny from Constitutional law scholars including the Supreme Court (several times) and neither you nor I are remotely qualified to challenge that. If you are curious though, most legal debate considers intent and in this case, the extensive written record of the debates that led to the drafting of the Constitution provides ample insight. The Berger comment is one of the very few from Constitutional law scholars that supports gun control, there are vastly more that oppose it (and I can happily produce as many as you’d like if you require). The notion that this is a new interpretation from a right-wing court is also incorrect; guns were very widely available (including by mail order) until the gun control act of 1968. The bottom line is that while it may be desirable to make changes now, the notion that the Constitution does not provide for firearm ownership as an individual right is a losing argument unless preaching to the choir.
There are *many* approaches that progressives can take to reduce the number of tragedies associated with guns in America. It would be far more effective for progressives to adopt positions that are less divisive, less driven by anecdote and emotion, and more plausible. For example, nearly 2/3 of gun deaths are suicides; conservatives (currently and likely temporarily) claim willingness to improve mental health access. Progressives are concerned that taking them up on this is “throwing the mentally ill under the bus”, but this is cutting off our noses to spite our faces; the reality is that the considerable majority of gun deaths *are* mental-health related (suicide) and improved access would do a world of good, not just for gun violence. There are also many common-sense measures that have wide support such as universal instant background checks – made affordable for private sales, or smart-guns that can only be fired by authorized users, or improved access to non-lethal weapons such as Tasers. As progressives, why not focus on these?
You’re incorrect on Ft. Hood. Beginning in March 1993, under the Clinton administration, the army forbids military personnel from carrying their own personal firearms. Military personnel are not permitted to carry firearms for personal protection even if they posses a CHL for the state they are in. Those people were sitting ducks.
…but there were armed and trained MPs on site in seconds, thus there were “good people with guns” available and this was not a “gun free zone.”
Yes, it most certainly was a gun free zone because only the police were legally armed.
Limits on magazines are about as effective as the drug war. Use Marijuana for example. It’s illegal many places but easy to get and people smoke weed quite often. Magazine limits will do no good as they are easy to obtain from anywhere even outside the country. A $400 3D printer and a replacement spring mechanism will enable me to produce usable capacity magazines for just about any firearm.
I must has missed the authors one important point in this long winded post..The 2nd amendment is the only one written that ends with “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” ! Maybe he is still looking for a suitable definition of infringed that will work with his writings and that’s why I must of overlooked seeing it mentioned here ..
Read the full amendment, not just the second half. Also, I address this in the article.
Came back to this article after hearing of Obama’s executive action. What do you guys think about it?
As a progressive supporter of the 2nd amendment, I thought this executive order was a sensible set of measures and a great example of how this issue can be approached thoughtfully and without divisive drama. Increased funding for mental health (2/3 of gun deaths are suicides), law enforcement, and background screening are hard to argue against.
It is a credit to President Obama that he did not use this election year to set forth divisive policies of dubious value. As progressives, we would do well to follow his example. We would achieve far more if we stayed true to progressive principles and advocated for improved education, economics, and health care rather than emulating the reactionary talking heads who focus on divisive social policy to distract the country from the critical issues.
I would also argue that we need universal gun registration, mandatory training and insurance, and safe storage regulations (most kids killed by guns are due to improper storage). This isn’t actually a divisive issue, as even most NRA members support these regulations. The problem is that the NRA is funded by the gun manufacturers and simply wants to promote more sales and less regulation.
I found it very interesting that President Obama just restated what is already Federal Law.
A critical flaw in this post is that you are arguing with yourself. You might find it more challenging (and interesting) to debate the issue with someone who can put forth intelligent opposing arguments. Conservative spend too much time breathing their own exhaust, as progressives, we should do better.
You misunderstand the purpose of this article series. When I do these debunking articles, I am listing common arguments used by conservatives and constructing model arguments that debunk them. They are not dialogue but rather a skeleton for other people to build their arguments off of.
Perhaps I have misunderstood, what exactly is your objective? My point about lack of opposing substance is that the article appears designed only to persuade those who already agree with you. I saw little that would be useful in a discussion with someone who has opposing views; the invective and ridicule is particularly useless in that it shuts down discussion immediately. Like so many emotional “arguments” used by conservatives, they lead nowhere but leave each side feeling smug and self-satisfied.
For the record, most NRA members do *not* support universal gun registration or mandatory insurance or “registering” the mentally ill. They *do* support universal background checks and safety training and improved access to mental health treatment.
Folks who care more about reducing needless suffering than about feeling “right” would do well to focus less on divisiveness and more on finding common-ground issues that would build trust and yield results.
Why are we even talking about this. People need to get over the fact that people have guns. A lot of people have guns and you may not even know it because they don’t show everyone. Although there are tons of reasons why we should get rid of guns, but they are excuses. There are reasons to keep them out of the wrong hands, but there is almost no way we can do that. As the second amendment says, we have a right to bare arms. If we can’t get guns the way we do now, bad people will just get them off the black market. If you want to discuss further with me, please email me at: email@example.com
David, you must realize that Mr. Sager is from New England and was only 23 years old when he wrote this in 2012.
Why are we even talking about this. People need to get over the fact that people have guns. A lot of people have guns and you may not even know it because they don’t show everyone. Although there are tons of reasons why we should get rid of guns, but they are excuses. There are reasons to keep them out of the wrong hands, but there is almost no way we can do that. As the second amendment says, we have a right to bare arms. If we can’t get guns the way we do now, bad people will just get them off the black market. If you want to discuss further with me, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I couldn’t read past the first 2 lines in the beginning… When the brain dead author opens his rhetoric up with Sandy Hook being the saddest day with 20 kids being killed… I want to punch this Looney Libtard in his vagina!! Sandy Hook never happened. It is proven to be a staged production! Just another classy move for the ole’ agenda push by the Anti American Terroris Thug in the W.H today. Libtards and Socialists and Doofus Democrats are like a plague of hell! I wish for all of them (Obozo aka Barry Soetoro first) to chew glass and swallow and as they shit it out spray acid on their assholes!!!!
Take your meds.
I must be obtuse: what is the significance of him being from New England? As for his age, I did not realize it, but I’m delighted to see a young person engaging in citizenship and serious political discussion.
New England (particularly Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts) is very left leaning. That is common knowledge. Like you, I also think that young people should be more involved in citizenship and serious political discussion as long as they do it intelligently. It is always better to have life experience with comes with age. I also agree with your comments that you posted on January 6th that this article is seriously flawed, lacks opposing substance and that it contains little that would be useful in a discussion. Did you forget that you had typed that? What exactly is YOUR objective?
Hi Joe, New England is a pretty big place; I have some very conservative friends from central Mass and New York City and some left-leaning friends from Georgia; they are all bright people of good will; we agree on some things and disagree on others.
As for my objective, other than just enjoying occasional political banter, I’ve been trying to refocus discussions on finding common ground that can lead to productive outcomes. The internet and social media *should* be a wonderful tool for citizenship and for sharing diverse ideas, but currently, it seems more frequently used for insular discussions and bashing those with different views (often in ways people would never do in person).
So where I disagree with Joshua, my objective is to engage him and others in civil discourse and seek common ground for the common good.
As for my comments of Jan 6, they were a follow on to an earlier (and longer) comment of Dec 18th where I had presented some pro 2nd amendment perspectives that I thought Joshua might find more challenging and that might elicit discussion (so far it hasn’t).
SUPPORTS GUN BANS
Josh Sager wrote a well reasoned piece in relation to gun control, and I wholeheartedly agree that by banning all guns, including those used by police officers, farmers, hunters and pest control officers, it will be next to impossible for the mentally ill, common criminals and terrorists to get hold of guns. Likewise, by banning cars and aeroplanes it will be next to impossible for the mentally ill, common criminals and terrorists to get hold of these vehicles and use them to commit mass murder by driving into crowds or flying them into buildings.
SUPPORTS GUN BANS
Josh Sager wrote a well reasoned piece in relation to gun control, and I wholeheartedly agree that by banning all guns, including those used by police officers, farmers, hunters, target shooters, gun collectors and pest control officers, it will be next to impossible for the mentally ill, common criminals and terrorists to get hold of guns. Likewise, by banning cars and airplanes it will be next to impossible for the mentally ill, common criminals and terrorists to get hold of these vehicles and use them to commit mass murder by driving into crowds or flying them into buildings.
Mr Sager is right that the Second Amendment does not protect the right of private individuals to own any guns and only protects the right of states to arm militias like those used by the Confederacy to defend the institution of slavery and succeed from the United States. Thus the states can ban private gun ownership if they so wish or selectively disarm people they consider deviants like Jews, Muslims, blacks or homosexuals on the grounds that they are members of deviant cultures or are overrepresented in violent crimes like murder and pedophilia.
Mr Sager is also right that guns cause violence and gun crime has nothing to do with culture or media depictions of violence. So if we ban guns violent crime will be greatly reduced. Thus there is no need to ban or restrict the glorification of criminal gun violence or sensational reporting of gun crimes like shooting sprees in the news media, even though deranged pro-gun conspiracy theorists assert that the media promotes gun massacres in order to facilitate gun restrictions while choosing not to promote massacres committed with machetes or cars as they don’t want to ban either.
Mr Sager is right that the only purpose of guns is to cause physical or psychological harm by being used to threaten death and maim or kill people, so they have no redeeming aspects. The idea that these evil devices should be used to by individuals or the state to maintain social order by controlling violent people is immoral and akin to supporting torture and the death penalty. Anyone with a gun, including police officers, must be surrounded by good citizens who scream “guns kill children” until they surrender their gun for destruction.
The very idea that tens of millions of competent adult citizens of good character armed with military type firearms like the M4 Carbine offer any form of deterrent to violent crime, terrorism or tyranny is manifestly ludicrous. They could not defend themselves against a cool breeze much less a government gone bad. Likewise, statistics show that people with guns are more likely to be murdered than people without guns, thus everyone must be disarmed for their own safety including police officers, security guards and soldiers.
Allowing anyone to arm themselves with deadly weapons like handguns is immoral and a form of lawless vigilantism that tacitly validates the extrajudicial execution of alleged offenders (a form of murder). Thus everyone must be deprived of these evil devices, including the Secret Service agents who protect President Obama and guard his children at school. If ordinary citizens cannot own a gun or be protected by armed guards, then nobody should be allowed to own a gun or be protected by armed guards including President Obama and his children.
We need to surround the armed guards at schools and scream “guns kill children” until they surrender their guns for destruction. All schools must be turned into a gun free zone like the one at Sandy Hook was when 20 young children were shot dead, including the one that President Obama’s children attend. I read that the school at Sandy Hook now has an armed guard, so we must surround this guard and shout “guns kill children” until he surrenders his gun for destruction. We must protect these children from guns at any cost.
I should point out that I am not a common criminal like a sadistic rapist, a racist or a terrorist, as all I want is to help people by disarming them. Vulnerable minorities like Jews are especially in need of protection, who must be disarmed for their own safety. It is fortunate that few Jews and few of their non-Jewish friends owned guns in Europe during the Nazi Holocaust as this would only have made matters worse. The best way to help vulnerable minorities is to disarm them and their friends and teach them non-violent defense techniques.
Likewise, we must never start a war or participate in one as doing so is immoral and results in many deaths. Had Hitler been allowed to conquer Europe and Russia without any resistance few if any people would have been maimed and killed. War often leads to (and provides cover for) crimes against humanity like the Holocaust and the destruction of cities like Dresden (firebombed) and Hiroshima (flattened with a nuclear bomb). Thus we must not fight any more wars even when attacked as this is the only civilized course of action.
Mockery is clearly above your intellectual level.
As a 24 year veteran, I can say you missed the mark on your comment about the traitor who shot up Fort Hood. All military bases in the US are defacto “Gun Free” zones. And on those rare occasions when Soldiers do draw weapons they do NOT get ammo until on the range and highly regulated then. Only MPs are armed on bases in the US. Concealed carry by those licensed in whichever state the base might be located in are prohibited from carrying their weapons on base. As a veteran I would appreciate it if you’d make a public correction of your mistake in this particular case.
You misread what I said it that section. The argument is that Fort Hood is a gun free zone and, as even you admit, there were armed MPS on site immediately. Their guns did nothing to dissuade a suicidal shooter and they were unable to kill him before he harmed others.
I’d you want another example, just look at how Chris Kyle was killed.
“Bases”? Air Force? Air Force mass shootings, provide stats please. Lets get back to FORT Hood. Where people actually stand ops guard WITH loaded weapons. Because we are talking ABOUT MASS shootings at a Fort and a GUARD, and FORT HOOD is NOT a Gun free zone. If you want to make the claim that the military leaves its forts and bases around unarmed, then by all means. But those of us who are familiar with defense, LE and security, know there is plenty of tactical equipment and firearms on post and armed SP’s are plentiful.,and that unless your part of some logistics, or AFN radio, those that pull security ARE armed. Perhaps you are part of the more peaceful part of the AF, like Trans or TMO or people who chose a meaningful career that required more than 2 weeks of TS? Oh, lets talk about how even more amusing it is that as a vet, you had to do your quals to even show you were competent enough to shoot a firearm -so some 18 year old civilian can go down and buy and shoot whatever he wants and doesn’t have to qualify -but the military, we love our vets! Oh boy let me tell ya! ‘murica loves its vets so much we make sure you have training………because we don’t want dumb fucks shooting their foot off or getting someone else killed. Because the government either has high expectations from its troops, or doesn’t trust the military as much as it trust the untrained, undocumented, un-qualified public with 320 million firearms who are lacking in education, petty, and selfish enough to submit to quals testing because they feel its a gun grab. Let me tell ya, being pro gun throwing 320 million guns into a depressed overly medicated society of 330 million people and saying to yourself “look! its the individual, not the gun…I mean seriously? Do the math!, Count the bodies!. It should be SO blatantly obvious: Firearms in untrained non-certified, and stupid hands (90% of the population who only think their intelligent) have produced a gun culture which spits out 400 mass shootings a year. But, whatever, I care about the kids and innocents that were mowed down by a blaze of bullets (that dont kill people) And those bullets were enabled by a firearm (which doesn’t kill people) which trigger (doesn’t kill people) was pulled by a finger (which doesn’t kill people) held by a hand (which doesn’t kill people) which was aimed by an eye (doesnt kill people) . So lets get technical…..lets blame the person…..but what part? because fingers and brains and bones don’t kill people then ask yourself what a person is……..So tell us something not so undermining of your fellow american please…..
I think Bob’s point was that making Fort Hood a gun-free zone where only the police had guns did not prevent the shooter from illegally acquiring/bringing a weapon and shooting multiple victims. He ultimately attempted suicide-by-cop and then killed himself. The perspective of the 2nd amendment defender is that if the other soldiers had been armed and able to return fire rather try to barricade themselves in a conference room (one of those killed was shot through the door of that room as he was barricading it to protect his fellow soldiers), much of the tragedy could have been averted. There’s also something to be said for people not having to live in fear and feel defenseless without big brother…this sense of individual empowerment may have more political relevance than the actual military capabilities of individuals owning firearms.
The 2nd amendment opponent suggests that if guns were not accessible, the criminal could not have committed the crime or would have had to use potentially less lethal weapons (cars, fire, knives, etc.); however regardless of whether it is desirable politically, is it even feasible to ban guns outright in a highly heterogeneous nation with large and fairly porous borders (unlike say Australia). Illegal drugs are widely available despite being perishable, requiring constant resupply, and requiring large areas to produce; this doesn’t lend much credence to a ban on criminal access to guns.
To some progressives (such as myself), a more productive path would be to find common ground between those seeking to reduce gun violence and those seeking to preserve 2nd amendment liberties by, for example, focusing on improved mental health care, background checks, technology solutions, etc. It wouldn’t stop all violence (nothing will), but it would surely make a big dent in it without needlessly dividing the country. Similar arguments can be made on other divisive issues (e.g. for folks opposed to abortion, wouldn’t it be more effective and less divisive to focus on improved family planning and availability of birth control? That would surely do more to reduce abortions (and do more good generally) than loud, angry protests and attempts to force social/religious views on others…not too different from the gun control debate really.
Your egregious misrepresentation of the 2nd Amendment is appalling.Read the words and try to understand what the entire Constitution is about; a balance of power. The 2nd Amendment simply states that since the government has to be armed, the people must also be armed. Your argument that the army and police make the “people” obsolete in the 2nd Amendment and that the government is our armed representation is diametrically opposed to the meaning of the 2nd Amendment and the entire Constitution. The 2nd Amendment is to protect American citizens FROM the military and police.
Every year, the police murder more American citizens than the last year. In 2014, it was over 1100. Roughly half of these victims were mentally ill and needed medical care; not riddled with bullets or beat to death. The police are sworn to uphold the Constitution, but they don’t. In this vacuum, it is the duty of the people to uphold it, but they don’t either. Why? Because of people like you, who want to redefine the freedoms in the Constitution as being freedoms FOR the government, rather than freedoms FROM the government. Not a single sentence of the Constitution limits the freedom of the people; it actually limits the power of the government.
People aren’t fighting back against a government that has declared war against the citizens, because the right tells us the 2nd Amendment is about handguns and crime, or black powder flintlock collections for Civil War reenactors, or hunting. People aren’t defending their civil rights, because the left tells us that the 2nd Amendment is obsolete, or it says something totally different than what it says, or that people might have a right to a deer rifle or a .38 to protect against a mugger or rapist, but there is no excuse for a citizen to have a law-enforcement or military-grade weapon. Hello! That is EXACTLY what the 2nd Amendment is about: The ability to fight against the military and police when (and they have already started) they declare war on the people.
Spend a few hours on YouTube, watching police kicking down the wrong door in the middle of the night, shooting family pets for sport, brutally beating unarmed and submissive citizens, manufacturing bogus charges and falsely arresting people. These thugs are supposed to defend the rights of the people, yet they defecate on the Constitution and wipe their ass with the Flag. You want to disarm the people over a handful of nuts who go on shootings? Drugs are banned, so I guess they’re impossible to get for someone who really wants them…
Grow the hell up and live in reality! Gun laws and bans only limit access to guns for the people we NEED armed. Does it look like the government is throttling down its armament? There is no difference between a military unit and a police station, anymore. They are prepared for war and their sights are on you, me, your family, and mine. We’re living in a time where everything is declared as “war”, to erode our rights. “War” on drugs. “War” on crime. “War” on terror. These aren’t foreign wars; these wars are being fought here and now. The Patriot Act and other legislation and Supreme Court decisions have already severely eroded our rights. The few rights we have left, the people are so terrified to use, whenever an agent of the government encounters someone who does invoke them, they’re immediately singled out and targeted as a troublemaker.
The Supreme Court claims we have a right to use up to deadly force to defend ourselves or someone else against an illegal arrest, as a false arrest is an illegal assault. That “right” is about as available as a free cruise for attending a time share sales pitch. Sure, we have assurances and even paperwork that we’ll get it, but it never actually seems to materialize. Police beat, rape, murder, cripple, maim, torture, intimidate, kidnap, disfigure, and terrorize citizens every day and walk away scott free; with a wink and a nod from prosecutors, judges, and other police, to do it again tomorrow. One “rogue” cop starts kicking, punching, or beating with a baton, a submissive, unarmed, handcuffed citizen and the supposed law enforcement officers who witness this violent crime occurring right in front of them – rather than drawing their weapons and ordering the attacker to frieze and arresting him – they join in with the violent criminal activity. Where does their enthusiasm go, when it’s one of “them” who is the criminal?
They’ll eagerly kick down your door, shoot your dog, beat you half to death, drag your spouse into the yard and break their arm handcuffing them, endanger your children, seize your property, damage your home, scream obscenities and unreasonable orders at you, then drag you off to jail; while on an adrenaline high and patting each other on the back. All over a no-knock warrant, served in the dead of night, for an alleged non-violent, victimless crime, of which they have no first-hand knowledge, which may or may not have a factual basis or even be at the right address. Yet, they’ll not only stand by and watch one of their buddies illegally stomp your face into the pavement, but they’ll tazer you while he does it. And these are the people you want to be your proxy arms-bearers, according to your deluded understanding of the 2nd Amendment?
THIS is why we have the 2nd Amendment. Rather than telling people they don’t have or need the right, you should be rallying people to not only seize the right, but use it the way it was intended. No; a handful of fringe activists can’t overthrow the US military, but when both the left and right side of the aisle stand for big government and brainwash the masses into misunderstanding what the Constitution says and means, then only fringe outcasts will take a stand against tyrany. The ACLU tells us how to interact with police so we don’t sacrifice our rights, but freely admit it might get us falsely arrested or injured at the hands of those sworn to “serve and protect”. We are spiraling toward Nazi Germany and the liars on the left who claim to believe in freedom and the liars on the right who claim to believe in small government both want us to capitulate and kneel before our government overlords, without questioning when we can please have our supposed “rights”, we’ve heard so much about.
The “Land of the Free” has more people per capita incarcerated than any other country in the world and the highest rate per capita of murders by police of any country in the world. Articles like this are mouthpieces of a totalitarian government, that wants us all to willingly put our heads in the noose and hope for the best. When the police come for you, blow your rape whistle at them and see how much good it does.
It’s ludicrous to think that anyone with a firearm, MP or police officer, who is not present at the time a shooting begins can do anything to stop it. A cop with a gun who is sitting at a desk or in a car cannot stop anything. So saying that guns were present yet didn’t help is a bogus argument. If one or more victims of the Ft. Hood shooting had been armed I can guarantee the results would have not been the same.
Also, Chris Kyle and his friend were shot from behind at point blank range. Just because there is a gun in your house doesn’t mean someone cannot sneak up on you and kill you in your sleep. Had Kyle’s killer attacked from the front Kyle would have protected himself. Had there been more people present Kyle’s killer would have been stopped before it had turned into a mass shooting.
On the subject of self defense , I am interested in the opinions of the people
who support strict gun control laws or making it illegal for a private citizen to own any type of firearm . Not trying to be sarcastic or argumentive I would really like to know how they would intend to defend their loved ones in their own home against a violent predator with a weapon when minutes or even seconds count when any experienced law enforcement officer will tell you 90% of the time their responsibility is to document and investigate the crimes that OCCURRED and hopefully arrest and convict the person or persons responsible. Unfortunately only for a parole board to eventually release them to do it again. This really baffles me. What would you do or try to do ?
If you actually look at the statistics, you will see that such self-defense situations are basically non-existent compared to accidental shootings and situations where the intruder takes the gun and kills the homeowner. In reality, owning a gun actually increases your risk of dying by a significant margin.
And you were kind enough to post the information you are quoting where? lol
How could this be possible?
I consider myself a moderate on the gun control debate. I do support background checks when purchasing weapons but as long as they’re reasonable and don’t make it too hard for law abiding citizens to purchase guns. That’s all we should have however. As long as you pass a background check, you should be allowed to own an assault weapon, since you just proved by the background check you’re mentally capable of doing so. That being said, these arguments are some of the worst pro-gun control arguments i’ve heard. Read carefully as I debunk all of the points you made in your article.
1. The second amendment clearly allows an individual right to bear arms. I can not think of a plainer way to say it then “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” When it says the right of the people, it is referring to the same right of the people referred to in the 1st, 4th, and 14th amendments. If it was referring to the right of states to raise militias, it would say “the right of the states to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” It doesn’t matter that the Heller ruling reversed generations of precedent. Brown v. The Board of education reversed generations of precedent where the supreme court ruled that it was ok to discriminate against african-americans under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. Does that mean the 14th amendment permits discrimination and Brown was a flawed ruling? No, it doesn’t. Even some of the strongest proponents of gun-control, such as Barack Obama acknowledged that the second amendment guarantees an individual right. This also doesn’t mean we need to let prisoners own guns. Prisoners don’t get basic constitutional rights that we do because they’re in prison. They lose the basic right to liberty that the constitution guarantees by being in prison, so we don’t need to let them own guns in prison. I would also like to point out that you say that the supreme court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC was wrong, but you give no proof to back it up. Can you find a specific clause in the constitution which says corporations aren’t people? This just shows your extreme bleeding-heart liberal bias.
2. People who argue guns are necessary to prevent tyranny don’t necessarily mean to have a revolution against the government. If unarmed people are revolting against the government, the government can simply send the military in to force the citizens to do it’s bidding. If the population is armed, that would not be a feasible option because the people could fight back. Besides, while it is true that the US government is quite strong, if even a third of the US population had guns and wanted to revolt, that’s 106,300,000 people. A militia that size would pose a threat to a government even as powerful as the US. It is true that the people only have guns and not things like shooter planes, but if they have guns, they could storm federal facilities and gain control of things like shooter planes and naval vessels, and then an actual revolution would be possible. Without guns, there is not any feasible way to start a revolution, even with that many people. The ballot box isn’t always enough, Hitler was first elected to the position democratically and look what happened.
3. There are plenty of easy ways of committing mass killings without guns that would be easy for criminals to use. An example are gasoline bombs. All you need to do is go to a gas station and fill a container with gasoline and you have your bomb. It takes about 5 minutes to make and is no more dangerous than filling a car with gasoline. Now thanks to the internet and youtube, it’s quite easy to learn how to make a gasoline bomb. All you would have to do then is go to a crowded place, light a fuse on the bomb, and get a safe enough distance away and then the bomb could easily kill over 30 people. It would be just as deadly as a mass shooting. Bombs have been used or attempted to be used in mass killings in addition to guns before. Three prime example of this are the Boston marathon bombing, the San Bernardino attack, and the Columbine high school massacre.
4. When people talk about violent movies and games being the cause of violence in society, they mean that is where people get the idea of doing killings. Guns certainly don’t give people the idea to do killings. They may be what people use to do killings but it’s not what gives them the idea to do the killings. I’m not saying violent movies and video games are the cause though. Quite frankly, I think they aren’t. Just because I play Super Mario Bros does not mean i’ll get good a jumping, same goes for shooter games and shooting. In reality, there are so many ways people can get the idea to do killings, that trying to prevent them from getting the idea of it is not possible.
5. I have to agree with you on this one. It is true that registering mentally ill people would be a pretty bad solution to the problem. Not all people responsible for violent crimes are mentally ill, some are just radical jihadists such as the one in the paris terror attack. Though that still doesn’t mean that Gun Control is the only solution to the problem. Certain proposed alternatives for something may be bad but that doesn’t mean there are no alternatives.
6. If law abiding citizens had guns, it would make them safer. If no one exempt criminals had guns, they could safely shoot someone without worrying that that person may have a gun. They wouldn’t even need a gun to kill someone, if they had a knife or if they are simply bigger then the person they’re attacking, they could kill someone. If law abiding citizens did have guns, they could defend themselves against someone that tries to kill them. There is also the fact that an a person may be deterred from attacking someone if they think the person is armed, so no confrontation may occur at all. Those types of things are hard to measure. Why do you think robbers don’t break in while people are home? It’s not always true that places with lower gun ownership have less deaths due to gun violence. Washington DC has the nation’s highest gun related deaths and also the nation’s lowest gun ownership per capita rates. Whereas Wyoming has the nation’s highest gun ownership per Capita rate, and it’s homicide rates per 100,000 people is lower than most other states. Take a look at this wikipedia statistic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States_by_state Besides, people who want to commit suicide would find thousands of ways to kill themselves besides guns, they could hang themselves, poison themselves, etc. Guns make no difference in those cases. Death of children due to gun accidents is easily avoidable. Simply put the gun on a shelf where you can reach it but they can’t. Once they’re tall enough to reach it, they will be mature enough to know not to play with it. There is also the fact that someone is less likely to rob a house if they think there is a gun present. If there was no danger of that, it would be much easier and safer for people to rob homes, and break in rates would increase. While it may be true that a gun adds some risk too a home, it certainly decreases the risk of you or your family being killed by a robber so the two must be balanced. It’s not true that in mass shootings, no one knows who the original assailant is. They can recognize the assailant because they saw him start the attack. By that logic, it’s dangerous to send more than one police officer to a crime because they might forget who they’re attacking and who was the original assailant. Besides, people have enough sense to get away if people are trying to shoot at the shooter. It’s not like they’d just milling around as if nothing’s happening. It would certainly not kill as many people as the shooter would have had there been no one to stop him. You claim gun-rights activists would not support Iran getting nuclear weapons. Well obviously they wouldn’t, Iran is an enemy, and you don’t want your enemies armed. Just because I have a gun doesn’t mean I want other people who might attack me to have a gun. If Iran did get nuclear weapons, I’m sure many gun-control activists would support Israel having nuclear weapons to defend itself against Iran.
7. The fact that criminals ignore laws does not make them irrelevant. For one, they can be arrested for doing it to make sure they don’t do it again, and also it keeps law abiding citizens from committing the crime. The reason it’s different here is that if law abiding citizens have guns, they can defend themselves against people without guns. If guns are banned, only law abiding citizens will lose their guns, therefore making them easier targets. That is not the case with drunk driving for example, of someone is drunk driving, it does not make someone any safer to also be driving drunk. If guns are banned, it will still be quite easy for people to get them. People could smuggle guns in from Mexico. It would be easy because as it is, we have lots of people that come across the border illegally, and it would be quite easy for them to bring guns. People could then set up Black markets and sell guns like they do with marijuana. Criminals will buy it cause they don’t care if it’s legal, but law abiding citizens won’t. It will be even easier for criminals to get guns in those cases then now because even if they can get the gun, they have to go through background checks. Even if the overall amount of guns decreases, gun deaths will increase tremendously because there is no resistance to criminals with guns.
8. It seems clear that there’s a tendency for mass shootings to happen on gun free zones. The sandy hook shooting was the second deadliest mass shootings in US history and occurred at a gun free zone. Other examples include the columbine high school massacre, the Umpqua campus shooting, and the Virginia tech shooting, which both occurred at gun free zones. Other mass shootings which happened at places with no security guards include the Charleston shooting and the Aurora shooting. The fact that you bring up Fort Hood just shows how little research you put into this article. US military soldiers are not permitted to carry loaded weapons for self-defense on military bases. They are essentially gun-free zones in that respect. Only with special permission from a commander can they carry guns. Hasn’t anyone noticed that mass-shootings never occur in places like airports which have strong security. How do you know armed security guards have no effect? There is no way to measure if it does, because if someone was planning on doing a shooting but was deterred by the presence of security guards and ultimately didn’t do it, how would you know? If the security guards manage to stop the shooter before he kills anyone, it would hardly receive any media coverage aside from local news. I remember near me there was a campus shooter that attempted to commit a mass shooting but was stopped before he killed anyone, and it was hardly covered by the media. It’s only the successful mass shootings that receive intense media coverage.
9. Ok first of all, you assume it being illegal to own a gun is enough to ensure criminals won’t get guns. That is not the case at all. It will only stop law-abiding citizens from owning guns. People will smuggle guns in from Mexico as is done with drugs and will sell them at Black Markets. Criminals will buy them because they don’t care if it’s illegal, only law abiding citizens will care. So laws are clearly not enough to keep bad people from obtaining guns. Second of all, while we do have police officers, they are often more than 5 minutes away and in that time lots of deaths can occur. The whole Sandy Hook shooting took place in less than 5 minutes. The situation you give has various flaws in it. For one, it wouldn’t actually be that hard for the teacher/security guard to hit the shooter. Even if it’s not a fatal shot, it would stop him for a few seconds and that would give the teacher a chance to shoot the shooter in a place that would kill the shooter. The shooting would not result in many people being killed in crossfire. You act like it’s extremely likely that one shooter will hit lots of other civilians by chance but won’t hit their target. In reality, it’s far more likely that they would hit the person they intend to hit by chance after firing a few bullets, since they’re aiming at that person, then it would be to hit a random civilian. This is also assuming that people are just milling around like nothing is happening and that certainly won’t be the case. Even a 6-year-old will have enough sense to get as far away from the shooters as possible and hide behind something. People also have memories, they can remember who the original shooter was, even if there are multiple shooters. Assuming your logic is correct, which it’s not, there is yet another problem. If you send a police officer to a shootout scene, the situation you described above with people being killed in crossfire is just as likely to happen if a Police officer and bad person were shooting at eachother, than if a good person and a bad person were shooting at each other. It’s just as dangerous to send multiple police to a shootout scene because they could forget who is a police officer and who is a shooter. It could be a police officer who is shooting people as has happened on numerous occasions where it turned out a police officer was really a bad person. Or maybe the shooter dressed as a police officer. Therefore, your arguments are not against armed civilians responding, but any sort of law enforcement responding at all. Therefore, in your view, the best solution is to just let the shooter shoot until he/she gets tired of doing it.
10. It’s illegal to sell guns without a permit to do so. Even though it’s illegal, there will still be criminals who sell them at black markets without a permit. That’s in no way a weak law because no matter what laws you make regulating gun sales, guns will still be sold illegally by criminals. The difference is in those cases, only criminals will buy them, so banning them for selling will simply make law abiding citizens not buy them. Let’s also look at other countries with extremely strict gun laws which have had notable examples of gun violence, France and Mexico. France has incredibly strict gun laws and they had a mass shooting terrorist attack with 137 deaths. That’s more than the Virginia tech shooting(33) the sandy hook shooting(26) the San Bernardino shooting(14) the Charleston shooting(9) the Oregon shooting(10) the columbine shooting(15) and the Fort hood shooting(13) combined. Mexico also has extremely strict gun laws. They have only one shop in the entire country where you can buy guns, yet they still have more gun related deaths than the United States. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate The Mexican drug cartels have lots of guns that they obtained illegally. Most of which are smuggled in from foreign nations.
11. You claim that if guns are banned in certain areas, they will simply be bought in areas without gun control. And that is exactly why gun laws don’t work. Even if they’re banned at a federal level, they will be smuggled in from Mexico, just like drugs. We have had millions of undocumented immigrants cross the border into the US. It would therefore be quite easy for people to come here and sell guns illegally or for someone to go to Mexico, get a gun, and come back. Even if guns are banned in one place, there will always be another place to get them. Besides, federal gun laws are not always possible because of the 10th amendment.
12. This argument provides an explanation for Israel’s low firearm death rate, but not Switzerland’s. In Switzerland, only males are required to serve in the military. Therefore only slightly less than half the swiss population serves in the military. If your logic is true, then the firearm death rate in Switzerland should be half that of the United States. ti’s much less than half however. This suggests that there is a way to have a safe society with high levels of firearms where not everyone serves in the military.
13. It’s true, comparing banning cars to banning guns is a pretty bad comparison. A much better comparison would be comparing banning cars to banning alcohol. Alcohol has no alternative uses other than getting people drunk and Thousands of people die per year due to drunk driving. Alcohol does not have any of the positive uses in society that other common things that cause death i.e. cars(transportation), knives(food preparation), or axes(chopping wood) have, therefore removing it from society would have no negative effects like removing cars or knives would. Not only that, but assuming you’re over the age of 21, there is literally no background check required to purchase alcohol. So why don’t we ban it? It would save plenty of lives if we did. The answer: we tried it once, and look what happened. People still imported it illegally and so many people were doing it that they made it legal again. It’s likely something similar would happen with guns. People would import them illegally and lots of people would still have them. Not only that but only criminals would have them, so gun homicides would go up since law-abiding citizens have no way to defend themselves.
On a side note, I would like to point out that when used by law-abiding citizens, guns do have positive purposes in society. Even though their main function is to kill people, they can be used by law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and their home. So like other things on the list such as shotguns and TNT, there positive uses must be balanced with the ways they’re used for murder.
14. No one argues that gun control is bad simply because Hitler supported it. They argue that it’s bad because Hitler used it as means of rising to power. There are historical accounts of Hitler using gun control to gain power. I read an article recently written by a woman who was a young girl in Austria at the time of the holocaust. She said that when Germany and Austria first united, people welcomed the Germans and support for hitler was strong. Then as support for Hitler gradually diminished, Hitler imposed gun legislation in Austria which required everyone to be licenced in order to own a gun. That way, once Hitler had a firm grasp on the country, he could disarm the people with guns and since they had to be licenced, Hitler already had a record of who owned guns in the country. By doing this, he removed the threat of armed revolt in the country. As I stated earlier, i’m fine with background checks, but not having to licence to own a firearm because then the government could easily take your guns if a tyrannical government comes to power. You then go on to state that Hitler banned jews, homosexuals ,and other minorities who in his view were inferior from owning guns. OF COURSE he did that. This was so german soldiers could round them up easily without worrying about armed resistance from them. Had this not happened, they couldn’t be rounded up as easily since they could fight back because they were armed. The idea that this was a campaign of dehumanization is complete bullshit. That’s like saying Hitler banned guns in Austria for the public safety which obviously wasn’t the truth.
15. This is perhaps the only one on the list which I agree with you completely on. It’s true, this argument is pretty stupid. Though there are other good reasons for people to own guns than simply their culture.
16. If no one in society had guns, potential woman assailants would not need to have a gun in order to attack a woman. Men are generally stronger than women, and since it is often men who attack woman, sheer size and strength would be enough of for the man to overpower and kill the woman. At least if both parties are armed, it gives them an equal chance of defending each other, rather than giving the man an enormous advantage which would be the case if neither were armed. Your statistic about domestic violence does nothing to change this fact. While guns could make death in domestic violence cases more likely, so would having knives present, so should women not have knives in their house.
17. As I said earlier, I am fine with requiring background checks as long as they don’t make it too hard for law-abiding citizens to own guns, so I do agree with you on this argument. In a way however, this can be used as an argument against further gun-control. If we ban guns outright, people will simply smuggle them in from Mexico and sell them at black markets. Then not only will criminals be able to get guns, there will be no background check so more criminals will be able to get guns.
18. Assuming a shooter practices reloading weapons beforehand, it only takes about 3 seconds to reload the weapon with very little chance of error. It requires a very negligible pause which hardly makes a difference and doesn’t affect the amount of people killed.
You then ask the why anyone would need large ammo feeders if they’re useless. The answer: I don’t know why but as I explained above, there is no reason to ban them. You can’t simply ban something by saying that no one needs it. Doing so violates the 14th amendment which says the government can’t “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without the due process of law.” By banning magazine sales, you depriving people of property without the due process of law, since you have no other reason then you opinion that they don’t need it.
19. When people argue this, they don’t mean it’s hypocritical for politicians to have secret service level protection for their children, but not for every children in America. That, by the way, is a very narrow way of interpreting this argument. People who argue this mean that since politicians hire armed guards to guard to guard their families, they recognise that armed guards do make people safer. If that is the case, why don’t they hire armed guards to guard public schools rather than insist that banning guns is the only way to keep children safe. They wouldn’t need secret service level protection, only about 2-3 guards at a school would be enough to prevent most mass shootings. If they think banning guns is the best solution, why don’t they hire unarmed guards to guard themselves and just try to ban guns?
20. If we did ban guns in the US, what would happen is guns would simply go into the hands of criminals because law-abiding citizens would not purchase guns because they’re illegal. Criminals would purchase them from other criminals because they don’t care if they’re illegal. Then, even if the total amount of guns in the US goes down, the proportion of criminals who own guns to non-criminals would skyrocket. In that case, so would gun homicides because law-abiding citizens would have no way to defend themselves without guns. Also, the idea that the government could get every or most guns in this country is ridiculous because there’s simply too many. There are roughly 310 million civilian guns in the US. Even if the government gets 2 guns a day, if you do the math, that would take 424,657 years(longer than the human race has existed) to get every gun in America. This is also assuming no other guns are brought here which won’t be the case. Criminals will simply smuggle guns here from Mexico as is done with drugs. Millions of people already come here across the border undocumented. Those people could easily bring guns with them. Trying to round up all guns won’t work and will simply be a waste of government time and money.
21. This is your weakest argument on this list. You fail to even address the main issue here which is that in certain situations, the police are too far away to get to you in time to defend you. Funding the police would be a good idea but wouldn’t be adequate in this case. For example: If someone is breaking into my house, the police generally are more than 5 minutes away. In the time it takes for them to arrive, the burglar could have killed my whole family. In order for them to be useful in that situation, they would have to get there the second I call them which would literally require that they travel at the speed of sound. You should (hopefully) know that that’s impossible no matter how much we fund the police. Another example: if i’m walking down the street, and two gangsters corner me, i’m not gonna be able to call the police and wait for them to come. The only way I could fend them off is with a gun. Again, it won’t matter how much we fund the police, there’s nothing they could do in such a situation. That’s not called vigilantism, it’s called self-defense. We would still have a police force to enforce plenty of crimes. If for example: you come home to discover someone has already robbed your house, you would call the police and have them deal with it, because in that case there is no immediate threat to your life. It is true that by funding the police force more, we can certainly reduce violent crime, but not get rid of it entirely. Therefore, people would want to keep guns as a last resort incase their life is in immediate danger.
So in short, gun control may seem like an ideal solution, but other solutions work much better.
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1) All of the mass shooters in America have either an extreme progressive view or are acting as a jihadist for Islam. If we really want to make America safe, we should ban modern progressivism and Islam. But of course that violates the 1st amendment so we shouldn’t do that.
2) If our only defense against tyranny is voting, then what happens when Pol Pot runs as a Republican, Hitler as a Libertarian, and Mao Zedong as a Democrat? The answer is one of those nut jobs will run this country. I feel safer already.
3) Saying that looser gun laws in some states cause the mass shootings in other states looks an awful lot like shifting the blame from overly strict gun laws to overly loose gun laws. Why don’t these mass shootings occur in these places with looser gun control?
4) Owning a gun puts you in danger of getting shot. Therefore, we should ban guns. Owning a home increases the risk of dying in a house fire. Therefore, we should ban houses and toasters. All rights can be used to victimize people. Free speech can drive people to suicide. Should we set up speech regulation to prevent people from saying mean things?
I was going to read this all but then I got bored went out side and used my scary looking guns to put rounds down range at targets and not people cause I a legal law abiding gun owner and my AR-15 in which I have 3 in my house, my AK-47, my tactical 12 gauge also in which I have 3 of, and all mot other military and military look fire will never act on there own, I could put a 50 round drum, that I do have, in side my AK or AR and rack it have 1 round in the chamber and it on fire and it will never kill any one cause I do not kill people who do no deserve it, and I am well trained in weapons. what we need is education school classes focused around fire arms and firearm safety, we need to enforce the laws we already have not detain a criminal with an illegal fire arm and push him back on the street, but hold him accountable to the full extent of the law, we have a nation built of freedom and no not all law abiding gun owners will respect the law and they deserve harsh punishments but we live in a nation a freedoms and I as a veteran of the US armed service put years of my life and my life its self on the line in order to protect those freedom, not so I could come home to a bunch of people who know nothing about guns and have never served a day in there lives to tell me that I have to surrender my freedom, my freedom is more important than you safety and I guaranty even with more the half the worlds privately owned fire arms in the world being in the US and over a 100 million legal gun owners you are quite safe and the USA isnt as bad as you want to try and scare use into thinking
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Unfortunately violence has been part of human culture from the beginning, and will be until the end of time. All the laws can be made but it won’t end violence. Tim mc vaugh fertilizer and diesel fuel. Let’s outlaw diesel fuel and tell cows they can’t craps any more
Hey Guns are illegal in Belgium….Don’t those terrorist that just killed a bunch of people in the airport know that!!!Maybe they need more signs…that will stop them. And yes they fired guns before they blew themselves up.
People, take a few minutes to research the exceedingly high levels of complete bullshit this article sets forth. This work is so heavily biased it makes me sick. Don’t blindly follow the masses, sometimes the “m” is silent.
its impossible to reason with rednecks no matter how much crime how much shootings or how much kids die playing with daddy gun, anti gun laws need to be implemented wheater white trash like it or not
Most gun owners are not rednecks and anti gun laws have never prevented crime. It’s impossible to reason with people who are clearly uneducated You needed to use a capital I and an apostrophe in “its”, you should have typed how many shootings and how many kids instead of “how much”, you should have used the word daddy’s instead of just “daddy” and I believe you meant to use the word whether since “wheater” is not a word. You also forgot the period.
Yes, I just noticed that I forgot to put a period after the word uneducated. A simple and honest mistake.
You seem to know little on the subject you are preaching bout. Here are just a few little bits that show how little you know on this subject. 1. Assault rifles are not legal to own. 2. An AR-15 is NOT an assault rifle as stated by the actual definition of assault rifle. 3. there is no such thing as a “clip” it is called a magazine. 4. “vigilantism” you imply you are against as it is not proper law and order, so would you let your family be killed while waiting for the proper authorities to arrive if you had the ability to stop the situation yourself? If your answer is yes then you are a coward and an idiot, if it is no then you are not actually against “vigilantism” and are what you preach against. 4. You show pictures of hunting rifles as ok for hunting but an ar -15 as no practical use. Are you aware that an AR-15 shoots the same exact ammo that is used in every other .223 hunting rifle ever made and that the ammo was designed for hunting? Did you know that there are many hunting rifles that are MUCH more powerful then the rifles you wrongly call ‘assault rifles”? Did you know that people use weapons like the AR-15 for target shooting, tactical training and hunting also, all legal and responsible activities. 5. You mention the advantage of high compacity magazines but do not back this up with any facts and it appears that your argument here is based on scenes from action movies, where the good guy kills the bad guy when he runs out of ammo or while he is reloading. You opinion is not scientific fact, bring the data on how limiting the sale of larger magazines had a positive impact on anything except the sales of larger magazines during the time they were banned. The data I have seen shows no change before, during or after the ban on large magazines. Have you done the research on how many large magazines have been used is mass killings involving firearms? I thought not. 🙂 6. Have you seen the statistics on crime decrease in towns requiring citizens to be armed? Look into Kennesaw, Georgia and how this unenforced law reduced crime in a drastic way.
Anyway have a great day but I suggest sticking to something you know a little more about. You may be passionate about your dislike of guns but you also seem to know very little about them so your passion is misguided and irrelevant.
Y’all mo’ fuckers need to stop arguing. The comment section is literally getting bigger than the article.
I would like to point out in your last paragraph in you first argument (below) there is an error in fact; “…how criminal conduct negates the 2nd Amendment rights (absolute rights don’t work like that…” When you become a convicted felon, which are convicted criminals, you can lose certain rights, even those guaranteed to you by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. A convicted felon is a individual convicted of a crime and punished with a fine of $1,000 or more and/or more than a year in prison. As a felon you become a “prohibited person” under law 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). As a felon you DO lose your right to possess a firearm, if you are found with a firearm it is considered a Class C felony.
“The next time a gun enthusiast proposes that the 2nd Amendment gives them the absolute right to bear any arms that they wish, pose the previous situation to them and ask them to reconcile their interpretation of the Amendment with realistic laws. What you will get as an answer will be a contorted explanation on how criminal conduct negates the 2nd Amendment rights (absolute rights don’t work like that—case in point: the 1st Amendment) and how it is not sane or safe for criminals to have access to weapons while in prison. To be fair, they are half correct that such a gun policy is neither sane nor safe in our prisons, but, then again, neither is their proposed gun control regime on general society.”