Popular fallacies in the debate on Gun Control

I am tired of the debate on gun control being sidelined by poor knowledge and the idiocy of “rugged individualism” in popular culture. I cannot sit back while this debate flails, because I have children and I want them to die of old age. I want America to get over its obsession with the gun.

The gun manufactures have an unprecedented place US law and US culture. They own one of the most effective lobbying groups, and manage to maintain the thin visage of a grassroots organization. They are free from any kind of prosecution, safety regulation, or responsibility for the use of their product. More over, the laws actually prevent the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from doing anything to regulate any gun manufactured legally in the US.

The facts are against them, though, and they are up against a wall. People are finally seeing what an unregulated gun industry has done to the culture. We are mad, and now is the time to make sure that we educate the masses, too. To that end, I am now going to try to pull back the sheep skin from the wolf that profits on death.

First, let me address the biggest, most troublesome myth: that the second amendment is absolute and no regulation can exist, because the point of the second amendment is there to arm the people in their eventual rebellion against the government of the United States.

Did you know that the original text of the Constitution only lists one crime? I has lost of rules about how the branches of government divide up power and work together, but it lists only one restriction on the people. That crime is treason. The only crime in the text of the entire document is written: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

That statement makes it pretty clear that the founders never intended to enable the populous to rebel against the agents of the Federal Government. Any armed conflict would be considered a constitutional crime. There is no provision in the Constitution for “defending” yourself against the Federal Government.

All this ignores how silly it is to try and arm yourself against a force that can launch a missile at you from thousands of miles away, from a submarine that doesn’t even need to surface to level your house. You can’t beat the American military. Only the fact that it is sheer overkill and frankly inhuman kept us from turning the whole of Iraq into a sheet of glass. We could win anything if we cared only about the victory.

Next, let’s address the idea that background checks won’t stop criminals from getting guns. This one falls apart pretty quickly when you simply ask, “where are criminals getting guns, anyway?” According to the National Gun Victims Council, “Nearly 60% of the guns used in crime are traced back to a small number—just 1.2%—of crooked gun dealers.” Criminals get weapons from gun shops. They get them from dealers who “loose” thousands of weapons every year, funneling those guns onto the black market, knowing  that they will end up in the hands of criminals.  The ATF isn’t allowed to do anything about it, being barred from tracking the guns themselves or from keeping a close watch on this small percentage of dealers who create the bulk of this problem. After shady dealers, most guns reach the hands of criminals through family and friends who buy the weapons for them. This is called “Straw Purchasing”, and is a crime unto itself, though one that is rarely prosecuted. Other criminals buy their guns from strangers who are just looking to make a little money off unwanted personal items. These private citizens are generally allowed to sell to anyone with out a background check or any other form of paperwork. These are the purchases that truly universal background checks would solve by making every gun purchase take place through a dealer who would ensure that known criminals and the mentally ill cannot buy guns in this way.

Lastly, for now, let me address the idea of the “extended clip”. No one needs more than 10 rounds for anything other than target shooting, and target shooters may just have to suffer for the safety of the nation. If you need more than 10 rounds to kill a deer, then you need to spend more time at the range working on your aim before you head out to the woods. If you need more than 10 rounds to defend yourself, you shouldn’t be doing it with a gun, or at least not a precision gun; get a shotgun or learn to aim. If your home has been invaded by 5 armed criminals, giving you 2 rounds to scare off or take down each one, then you are already out numbered, even if they came in without firearms of their own. The number of rounds you have loaded isn’t going to stop them without seriously decreasing the value of your home in the process. There is no honest need for more than 10 rounds in a weapon at one time, and this is an easy way to limit the number of people killed in mass shootings and the number of kids killed in drive-by shootings. This is low-hanging fruit in the world of crime prevention, and it is being fought by people who are just too lazy to reload.

These are the kinds of arguments that are derailing the debate on sensible reforms to our gun laws and regulations. We have to do better. No one wants to take away your ability to defend yourself or your home, or to hunt for food, but we cannot allow things to continue as they are. We must start enforcing the laws we have, and we must empower the ATF to do more on our behalf. We have to talk about why you cannot buy a car without an airbag, which saves only the driver, but we cannot require a child-proof lock on a trigger, which could save a hundred children a year. Shouldn’t guns be as secure as cigarette lighters? isn’t it time we demand better form the only civilian industry that engineers human death? That seems like  a lot of responsibility to leave unchecked.

Edited to add: I had to write a Part 2 thanks to the comments here and elsewhere.

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35 Responses

  1. so your saying guns kill people….well i guess a pencil makes me get a bad grade then..

    • I am going to let this troll’s post through, if ony because it makes my point beautifully.

      At no point did I claim that “guns kill people”, but that is the idea that Gun Nuts want to fight, rather than allowing a reasonable debate on the regulation of a dangerous tool. Cars don’t kill people. Unlike guns, cars are being designed to cause less death and injury, and yet they are still heavily regulated. Operators are tested and licensed, and the cars are inspected regularly and operators are required to insure themselves against possible failure or misuse.

      No one wants to make cars illegal. No one blames the car in a drunk driving accident. But we recognize that the car makes a drunk far more dangerous. Just as a gun makes any person who has one much more dangerous. We need better regulation, because (again, unlike cars) guns are designed and manufactured to injure and kill. That is their purpose. So, I think it is safe to say that while guns are not self-firing, they make killing easier and more efficient. And we should stop letting people like the commenter treat them like freaking lollipops.

      Access to a gun means depression is more likely to turn into suicide. Access to a gun turns domestic violence into murder. Access to a gun turns childish curiosity into a lifetime of regret and emotional distress. Easy access to poorly stored weapons makes a home less safe for everyone who lives there.

      Do guns kill people? Well, not on their own, but if your intent is to kill people, a gun sure as heck helps you do it. let’s start making them a little harder to get and a little harder to use, and we’ll see fewer people killed.

  2. Im not trolling. I find it useless to make guns harder to get for citizens who dont break the laws. Criminals are criminals for a reason…they dont follow laws! Most states have pot as illegal but yet millions of people still do it. You are just afraid of the object when you should be looking at ways to help people who are not mentally stable. You dont need to have a gun for sucide. I could just go on my roof and fall off and kill myself. By the way, I dont treat them like lollipops at all. I have taken hunter saftey classes and I treat them with respect. You can do all the regulation you want but, it wont stop the problem with gun violence. ESPECIALLY in big cities like Chicago that has one of the biggest crime rates in America and yet..they have gun laws.

    • As I pointed out in the post you clearly didn’t read: making guns harder to get is the only way to keep them out of the hands of criminals. Criminals get guns from people who buy and sell guns in our broken system, and fixing that system is the only hope we have of changing things.
      My suggestions are all about keeping people from getting the objects. I don’t have any fear of the gun without the gun nut or the criminal, which is a very fine distinction. You are what I am afraid of, because you acknowledge a problem, and then you deny that it can be solved.
      People don’t jump off roofs. That’s risky. People don’t want to live in pain. They shoot themselves, because everyone knows that guns kill you. Easy access to a gun is proven to raise the rate of suicide. You are arguing against facts, and you will loose.
      Chicago enacted stricter gun laws a few months ago. And those laws are severely hampered because nothing stops people from going over to Indiana to buy guns and bring them back. Only comprehensive, nation-wide reform can change the culture of gins in the US.

  3. If no one needs more than ten rounds, not even for self defense, why do police and Homeland Security buy 30 round magazines? Are they just too lazy to reload?

    • My point was that IF you need more than 10 rounds, you are not going to defend yourself. If there are more than 5 people, and they are not afraid of your gun (and if you need more than 2 rounds to take them down, they shouldn’t be) then you need to get the hell out of there, because nothing short of a miracle is going to save you. More rounds will not do you any good at that point.

      Obviously, law enforcement and military applications are very different. You are not legally allowed to fire a weapon to suppress or distract an opponent. Legally, you can only fire with the intent to kill. The tactics of LEOs and soldiers are going to be different, and rightly so.

      The larger clips only make a mass shooter or drive-by gangster more dangerous. They don’t do anything for law abiding citizens except for target shooters, and I am fine with them being inconvenienced. We aren’t even talking about the weapon, but an accessory, which federal courts have already ruled are not covered by the Constitution.

  4. “You are not legally allowed to fire a weapon to suppress or distract an opponent. Legally, you can only fire with the intent to kill.” You should consult a lawyer- that is a near reversal of the truth- call it 170 degrees instead of 180.

    • Fair enough: I don’t know your local laws. It is possible that your state has more lax laws than the great state of Texas, where I live. Given that there are 50 states, it is unlikely, though.

      In Texas, it is unlawful to display a firearm in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.

      It is unlawful to discharge a firearm in a public place or on or across a public road.

      It is lawful to use deadly force against an intruder or assailant, but anything that is not intended to be fatal is not covered. Firing a warning shot, or even a shot intended to wound, is illegal.

      From a CHL Instructor:
      If a person deems that they can fire a warning shot rather than firing with the intent to stop an aggressor, then one can reasonably conclude that the actor did not feel their life was in sufficient, immediate danger as to require the use of deadly force.
      http://www.southlakechl.com/2012/11/15/is-it-ever-acceptable-for-a-texas-chl-to-fire-a-warning-shot/

      It also appears to be an issue in Florida, which pretty much rules out the 2 most gun-friendly states in the US…
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/19/marissa-alexander-gets-20_n_1530035.html

  5. […] Popular fallacies in the debate on Gun Control […]

  6. Again, you should consult a lawyer. “In Texas, it is unlawful to display a firearm in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.” means you can’t run around intimidating people; it DOES NOT mean you cannot draw your weapon to prevent a mugger from hitting you. If you’re not allowed to display it, how are you going to use it? Fire through your pocket? Or are you saying Texas law requires you to kill somebody every time a gun is drawn?

    “It is lawful to use deadly force against an intruder or assailant, but anything that is not intended to be fatal is not covered. Firing a warning shot, or even a shot intended to wound, is illegal.” Reaaallllyy… If you shoot the mugger in the leg and he survives, you’ve broken the law? Texas law requires you to double-tap him to make sure he’s dead?

    You’re also drawing the wrong conclusions from the cases listed. For example, in the Florida case, her problem was that she “… instead got the gun and went back inside.” At that point SHE was the aggressor. When she took out the gun, he wasn’t standing there threatening her- she went back and confronted him. Had he been chasing her, and she fired a shot to drive him off, it would have been totally different… she CHOSE to go back and confront him again, holding a gun. Not the same situation at all.

    • You can not use your weapon to threaten anyone in line of sight. You can say “I am armed”, but you cannot draw the firearm in an attempt to intimidate. If the weapon is drawn, you must intend to fire it. If the target flees, then you must put it away once you are safe. If you fire it, you must intend to kill. If you admit that you intent was to shoot the leg, you have committed a crime. You are not required to finish someone off if you happen to prove less than fatal, and depending on the circumstances, that might constitute a crime in and of itself.

      I am giving you the law, and even providing references. Continuing to tell me to “consult a lawyer” does not constitute a debate. You have not shown anything I have said to be wrong or even misleading.

      If you are just here to troll and argue, I will stop allowing your posts on my blog. If you want to have a discussion, stop repeating yourself and provide some facts.

  7. You’ve perhaps taken my post about a “warning shot” out of context. If a person feels their life is in danger to the extend they must use deadly force to stop another from harming them, then the actor most do so with the intent of stopping the aggressor. A “warning shot” is clearly not intended to stop an aggressor because it does nothing to physically incapacitate the assailant. Firing in the air or at any direction other than an immediate threat may be a crime as it may pose risk to innocent bystanders or violate other statutes. In other words, following the advice of “fire two shots in the air” Joe Biden is likely to land the actor in jail. It is never acceptable to shoot with the INTENT to kill. The intent of firing must be to stop the aggressor from harming yourself or others.

    I’m also quite amused by a number of the comments above. Firearms have been in existence since roughly the year 1200. We are on the verge of technology to 3-D print most of the components. Crude firearms can be fashioned with little skill. So I submit to you that regulation is just going to cause a rise in illegal importation or underground manufacturing. Regulation only affects those who are willing to be regulated. Prohibition is never going to eliminate the supply as long as there is a demand. The genie is out of the bottle.

    Seeking to regulate a piece of machinery because it CAN be used to cause harm neglects to consider that the same machine can be used to defend against harm. And thinking that the elimination of guns (which is impossible) would diminish violence or crime is highly unlikely. If that worked, we’d fill in swimming pools to prevent drowning, stop selling alcohol to eliminate drunk driving, and so on. Blaming the behavior of a person on an inanimate object just isn’t realistic.

    I know that my words will fall on deaf ears. You have no right to decide what people do or don’t need. And the entire point of the Constitution is to protect certain basic freedoms regardless of their popularity.

    • I appreciate you coming to try and clear up what you see as a misconception. I ask you to please point out where I said anything that disagrees with your point, though. I was saying that any shot not intended to hit and kill the assailant might be seen as illegal use of a firearm. You are backing up that you cannot fire the weapon anywhere but at the person. Are you intending to say that your understanding is that you can shoot to wound? If so, I would love to see a link to the statue, as I could not wade through the whole thing, and could not find a clear reference to the specific law.

      I understand that technology is getting away from us. This has been a problem since at least the start of the last century.

      Zip guns are already illegal, and they are not in wide use. This is, primarily, because people don’t want to use them. Even people who are breaking the law by purchasing or owning a gun aren’t making their own at home. Better background checks and restrictions on accessories might lead to more illegal import, whic, as I mentioned, will also raise the risk and the prices while drastically reducing the actual supply.

      The claim that “Criminals don’t follow laws” is a silly one. We are talking about making sellers, who are not currently breaking laws by selling without background checks, run background checks. This isn’t a huge burden, and it will stop much of the supply of guns to known criminals and the unstable. We are talking about checking up on gun dealers who have a history of “loosing” weapons, which end up being used in violent crimes, and making them account for the losses and face prosecution for their supposed negligence.

      We are talking about reducing the flow of bullets from guns into the air. This will make many criminals less deadly. I know that a trained shooter, on the range, can change clips with little impediment, but try doing that during a drive-by shooting, when 2 seconds means a distance of over a mile. That saves lives.

      Try to put that argument up against School Zone speed limits: Many people will still go 25 or even 30 miles an hour, but few will race through at 40. That 10 miles per hour still reduces the chance of pedestrian death, in the event of a collision, by 40%, from around 85% to less than 45%, while people following the law, traveling at 20 MPH, risk only a 5% chance of killing someone. The law still makes everyone safer, even when it is not followed by 100% of the people.

      Not everyone follows the law, and yet the majority do, and even those who don’t will only risk so much. Only the insane don’t care at all about the law. Even criminals look at the risk versus the potential gain, and everyone has a maximum risk. If we make the crimes more risky, most criminals WILL scale back their activities.

      Reduction in civilian firearms ownership does reduce crime. You can give a few examples where crime is low and ownership is high, but there is no place where ownership is heavily restricted that has a worse problem with violent crime, and even mass shootings, than the US. I welcome any proof you care to provide to the contrary.

      • You stated “I was saying that any shot not intended to hit and kill the assailant might be seen as illegal use of a firearm.” I was pointing out that intending to KILL to assailant would be prosecuted as murder. Intending to kill is not acceptable under the law. Intending to stop some one from harming you may lead to their death, but the distinction is in the intent. If you break into a home and are shot, their intention was not to kill you, but rather to stop you from harming them.

        Dealers who sell firearms as a for-profit business must conduct a background check. So, I assume you are talking about person-to-person transfer of the ownership of a gun. So, how do you enforce person A from selling to person B without a background check? And if person B commits a crime with the gun purchased without a background check, no one knows of the transaction until after it is too late. So perhaps you could prosecute person A after the fact but then again, we appear to be willing to create new laws but not enforce them through prosecution. In 2012, approximately 200,000 people lied on the ATF form 4473 to obtain a firearm. Of those 150,000 KNOWN to have falsified the document to obtain a firearm (a felony offense) only 44 were prosecuted and only 12 convicted. So if a criminals odds of being prosecuted for illegally obtaining or transferring a firearm as 12 in 200,000 – a criminal weighing the odds might consider the risk just the cost of doing business.

        The rates of violent crime in the US peaked around 1990 to 1991 at the height of the crack epidemic. The crime rates have declined year after year since then and are now at rates we saw in the 1960’s. The rates of civilian firearm ownership have skyrocketed. The number of guns in civilian hands has increased. Yet the rates of violent crime have declined. And while correlation does not equate to causation, clearly higher volumes of firearms have not resulted in increased violent crime rates. Firearms can and are used both as a deterrent and defensively. Surely they can be misused of course.

        What would I like to see? I’d like to see the NICS background check open to the public. I could voluntarily check your background before selling you a firearm. We would not have to identify the item sold, nor even whether or not the transaction was completed. I would enter your identifying information and get a simple “proceed” or “denied” response. This would enable me to voluntarily verify a buyer is legally eligible. I certainly don’t want to sell anything to an ineligible party and this simple, unobtrusive, inexpensive, and voluntary measure would set my mind at ease and do as much or more good than any of the easily circumvented measures brought forward to date.

        • You are right that we need to do more to enforce current law. That starts by getting the GOP to stop holding up the appointment of a new AFT Director, and changing the laws which limit there ability to do the job of investigating and building cases.

          Congress has intentionally hampered the ability of law enforcement to prosecute these crimes, and communities don’t put pressure on local law enforcement. That needs to change, and the NRA ought to be out in front on that. They are, if by “out in front” you mean “being an obstruction”.

          I do think we should have Universal Background checks. If you do not run a background check, then you should be prosecuted. If your weapon is stolen, it should be reported and investigated. We also need background checks at ALL gun shows, everywhere.

          I am still waiting to see a reasonable discussion about what the universal background check would look like. I don’t see a problem with having a registry of what weapons a person owns, though it might be reasonable to make that information available only to LEOs, so that in a situation like Sandyhook, they could look at what weapons Nancy Lanza owned, and thus that her son had access to. That isn’t a bigger restriction on personal freedom than registration of a car or of ownership of certain types of animal, which are already law.

          Your crime stats are very, very selective. Homicides are down, nothing else, and assaults are up. This can be attributed, in part, to hospitals just getting better at treating gun shot victims. My most recent post refutes most of your other likely concerns. Feel free to read it before asking me to repeat myself further.

  8. States and localities that have implemented laws requiring the reporting of lost or stolen firearms saw no decline in straw purchases. The purchaser makes a purchase, sells it to an ineligible recipient, and calls to report it stolen. It took criminals a day to figure out how to circumvent that rule.

    Have you been to a gun show? Where dealers set up tables to sell their products and conduct all the same background checks they do as if it was at their retail store or other place of business? By saying that we need background checks at all gun shows everywhere, you are asking for what already exists. There is nothing about a gun show that makes it different the rules of a transfer any different than any other sale. If you mean person A walks into a gun show bringing in a gun they own and sells to person B, the same thing could happen at the grocery store parking lot. What is so unique about the gun show that causes people to think the rules there differ from the rules elsewhere?

    A registry is completely unacceptable. No one should ever go along with that. How many tens of millions of people were exterminated in the 20th century alone after their governments registered their guns? Registration is the precursor to confiscation. There is absolutely no benefit to a registry in terms of reducing, preventing, or solving crime. The sole purpose of registration is subsequent confiscation. Canada abandoned their registration program. They spent millions on the program and gained no benefit. While I know that the US government also loves a good opportunity for wasteful spending, the thought of registration should cause everyone to shudder.

    • “If you do not run a background check, then you should be prosecuted. If your weapon is stolen, it should be reported and investigated. ” that means that there will be a history of straw purchasers. We will know who is constantly “loosing” weapons.

      Only six states (CA, CO, IL, NY, OR, RI) currently mandate background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows. Three more states (CT, MD, PA) require background checks on all handgun sales made at gun shows. Seven other states (HI, IA, MA, MI, NJ, NC, NE) require purchasers to obtain a permit and undergo a background check before buying a handgun. in Florida, each county is allowed to set their own rules, which seems pretty useless. The other 33 states have taken no action whatsoever to close the Gun Show Loophole. All such actions in Texas are voluntary, and may or may not be done each time or according to the laws regulating gun stores. Even licensed dealers at a Gun Show can say that certain sales are form their “Personal collection” and go around the need for a background check. I know this to be true, because my family members have been to dozens of gun shows and talk about how there are no rules being enforced.

      All sales and transfers of firearms should be subject to background checks. Every person who wants to transfer the ownership of a firearm should have to go to a dealer or law enforcement office and get a clear background check. Everything else should be treated as theft or a straw purchase.

      A registry is not unacceptable. No one was killed when a government took guns. Governments are always better armed than the populace, and the US government could kill you from the Gulf of Mexico if they wanted you dead. No legal weapon will defeat the US military. It is literally the largest budget for anything in the history of the world. You are saying things as though they are fact, when there is no proof that “registration will lead to confiscation” or that “there is no benefit to registration”. I listed actual benefits, and you didn’t even address those in your dismissal.

      As I said to the last person to come here and rant, bring facts or don’t come back.

      • Federal law requires an ATF form 4473 and background check for the sale of a firearm and a background check through NICS. This law has been in place since 1994. Note there are no exceptions for a different set of rules for a gun show:
        http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/brady-law.html

        A private transfer between parties can happen anywhere. Calling it the “gunshow loophole” is somewhere between a misnomer and intentionally misleading. If you want transfer paperwork on every single transfer between any two people, say that. You make it sound as though the gun show is some sort of nefarious event where the criminal underworld go to trade wares.

        People killed in the past century after gun registration and confiscation programs:

        In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

        In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

        Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

        China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

        Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

        Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

        Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million ‘educated’ people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

        Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: at least 56 million.

        Am I saying that this WOULD happen in the US? Certainly not. Are you absolutely certain that it can’t? I’m sure none of those 56 million people knew what was in store for them.

        • I never used the phrase “gun show loophole” until you did. I said we needed background checks “everywhere”. That was what I said and meant. Gun shows are certainly a big part of the problem, but I understand and have clearly stated that I think ALL purchases should require a background check. Saying I said otherwise is dishonest.

          The rest of your claim is just a Cut-and-Paste of a well traveled bit of fiction. The Germans had extremely tight gun laws after the First World War. Hitler relaxed them. They had far less gun restriction than we do under the Third Reich.
          http://www.salon.com/2013/01/11/stop_talking_about_hitler/

          You are falling victim to the well documented logical fallacy of “Post hoc, ergo, propter hoc” or “after this, therefore because of this.”
          Dictators restrict the rights of people. They also often kill people. The thing that is the problem is the totalitarian state, not the gun restriction. Sure, Stalin restricted guns. So did Lenin before him. The gun control isn’t the dangerous part, because (again) the populace wouldn’t have been able to stand up against the government military. Germany proved this when they invaded Poland, which they hadn’t disarmed, but which they still had out-gunned. The German Jews wouldn’t have done better against the Panzer tanks than did the Polish and their Soviet allies.

          Gun control doesn’t lead to dictatorships: dictatorships lead to gun control. Guns have been heavily restricted in Australia for 13 years. They have registration and licensing requirements, and the government has had massive buy back programs. Ownership is down about 5%, which isn’t really much at all, the use of firearms in homicides, though, is down 10%. That seems significant to me. All of this with no sign of totalitarian take-over.

          I am saying that there is absolutely no reason to believe that any form of Gun Control, up to and including the repeal of the 2nd Amendment and complete prohibition, would make the US suddenly less a republic or change the way in which 90% of Americans live their daily lives. It would be an overreaction, and it would hurt those few people (by percentage) who actually rely on hunting for food, and I am against it, but I do not think it would be any hindrance to the continued practice of American democracy. There is no proof to the contrary.

  9. Another term I despise: “buy back” To buy something BACK implies it was theirs in the first place. And when you are forced to sell under threat of imprisonment, that’s really giving people a choice. “Sell us your stuff at some arbitrary price or we’ll put you behind bars.” That doesn’t sound like liberty to me.

    It should come as no surprise that confiscating firearms would reduce the use of firearms in homicides. Did it reduce homicides in total? If you are replacing shooting deaths with stabbing, I submit to you those people are equally dead.

    You can do whatever you’d like. Have a gun. Don’t have a gun. Protect yourself and family as you see fit. Everyone gets to make that choice for themselves.

    • That is not how any gun buy program works in the US or in Australia. You are making up facts, again, and I will revoke your permission to comment if you keep doing that.

      If the guns are made illegal, the government does not have to buy them. They just order you to turn them in. The Buy Back programs are about incentivizing people to give up guns, without threat of any sort. Why are you so desperate for things to be upset about?

      Confiscating firearms reduced the number of gun related homicides by 10%. People opposed to gun restriction only ever seem to cite deaths, and so it doesn’t surprise me at all that you want to know how many people looked for a knife or a brick. That’s always the go-to argument: people will just find another way. I addressed this in my newer post, which I must assume you still haven’t read, but I didn’t address this point in particular. I cannot say what effect gun control had on the overall rate of homicide. There was not a direct correlation between the decrease in gun homicides (10%) and the overall decrease (20%). Clearly, the majority gun users did not simply find another way to kill. Just as clearly, something else changed that had a significant impact. In total, though, people are statistically less dead in Australia after gun reform.

      You are wrong about “everyone” getting to make a choice. You can’t do as you like, even in defense of your own property. Let me give you an example from Southlake, Tx: http://library.municode.com/HTML/12906/ancillary/Zoning/Section%2039%20-%20Screening.pdf

      You cannot use barbed wire unless your property is agricultural. You cannot build a fence that obstructs the vision of drivers.

      Additionally, you cannot just buy or sell a sawed-off shotgun anywhere in the US, by federal law, upheld by the Supreme Court.

      You cannot use a nuclear device in your home.

      Even the US is under international restrictions on the use of chemical and biological weapons.

      We have to live relatively near one another, and I am glad that there are laws that protect my rights from your wants. I can tell that you want guns, but I have a right to safety, and thus there are laws to restrict your ownership and use of those guns. And they are constitutional and they are appropriate. They are also proving inadequate. We need better laws and much better enforcement. You are wrong in your assertion that my views don’t matter.

      Finally, let me just bring this back full circle: You came here claiming that I quoted you “out of context”. Please explain how. Please explain how it is not a problem that even a licensed dealer can get around the requirement for background checks by claiming to sell from a “personal collection”. Please answer how the people of Germany, though not disarmed by their government, could have stood against them where Poland and Russia could not.

      You keep bringing up more misleading “facts”, occasionally outright falsehoods. You ask me to refute them, and I have in every case. You have refused to engage in a reasonable defense of much of our arguments, to the point of simply ignoring when your points have been disproved. You are a troll who is just trying to frustrate me into giving up. This is a tactic that has worked in the Gun Control debate for 20 years.

      Not any more. You are wrong. I have shown it with facts and even math. If you cannot actually address your side factually and with evidence, then I am not going to allow any more of your posts to be displayed. I will not bother to refute one more outright lie from you, as I have done after almost every comment you have made here.

  10. The Australian gun buyback programs arbitrarily made broad categories of firearms that were legal one day illegal the next. Turning them in was compulsory. Small compensation was offered because it was illegal to demand people turn in property without compensation. So, if we suddenly decided your make and model of car was banned and I required you to turn it in but offered you $100 for it regardless of its worth, that would be comparable to the buy-back programs Australia implemented. And I’m sure law abiding people who didn’t want to go to jail complied. And those who didn’t ?

    Ownership of short barreled shotguns are legal in most states. There is a $200 tax stamp.
    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/national-firearms-act-short-barreled-rifles-shotguns.html

    You are glad that your rights protect you from my wants? I really have no idea what you mean by that. Your safety is not affected in any way whether I had one gun, ten, or a hundred.

    I have been background checked and background checked again. I have identification that I’ve been background checked. And every two years I am background checked again. How exactly is one more background check going to make a difference?

    Block me or remove me or whatever you’d like to do. Clearly you are convinced of your position and nothing I’m going to say is going to change your mind. That’s fine. Have a nice day.

    • I am convinced, and you have said nothing that changes that. That is not due to any failure on my part. I asked you many questions you have refused to address. Those are the things you would need to persuade me on, and you have failed to do so.

      I was unaware that the Australian buy back included guns which had been made illegal. Again, I don’t believe there was any need for them to compensate, but it was good that they figured out how to do it.

      As for my car: If my car were deemed a public safety hazard, the car company would be held responsible. By law, gun manufacturers cannot be held responsible for the havoc their products cause. Additionally, I have never purchased a car because it was especially dangerous to other people. Anyone who purchases a product specifically because of how dangerous it is to others seems to me to be someone who needs to be checked on regularly.

      There should be a background check on every gun purchase. There is no other way to screen out people who have committed crimes more recently than their last purchase, or those who have been found mentally unstable. We need checks on every purchase of every gun from every sale. No sane argument against that has ever been offered where I could read or hear it.

  11. I don’t know if he said this or not but there was a survery of from cops and 85% of the cops surveyed said banning assualt weapons would do nothing to little to help gun violence. Just saying

    • The thing about the turn that the conversation has taken is that I never said anything about a weapons ban. I never used the phrase “assault weapon”, because it is a useless term that has no industry or legal standard. That being said, I am in favor of banning large magazines, and I would love some discussion about rate-of-fire restrictions and other topics that are meaningful to the discussion of how we slow down criminals and make the streets safer.

      That being said, let me shred your comment for you:
      “85% of the cops surveyed ” Where and by whom? You could pull statics from anywhere, and you could just be making that up. I did some research for you, and found that there is at least one survey that gives those results. That one survey is being quoted by every NRA supporting, “gun rights” advocating website on the internet, but that doesn’t make it more legitimate as an indicator of what should be done.

      http://ddq74coujkv1i.cloudfront.net/p1_gunsurveysummary_2013.pdf

      It was conducted by a website, and not a news organization or a group that is recognized for quality survey results. There is no mention of how the police officers being surveyed were contacted, which could heavily skew the results. The only information given is that they were all already members of the organization the website represents, which shows that they are all likely to be getting the same opinions and are likely to share similar beliefs.

      in short, the only survey I turned up that gives those numbers is a useless survey with no practical use in the debate, except as an appeal to emotion. It asks a specific subset of people “What effect do
      you think” would be caused by something, without them having to show that they have any evidence or numbers to back up their opinions. 44% of this same group of “professionals” also states that they would refuse to enforce laws that were duly enacted, so I am taking the survey all that seriously, as these “officers” would largely be unemployed once the law passed, anyway.

      if we are appealing to emotion, then the way that this select group of police officers “feel” isn’t as important as the fact that a CNN/ORC survey says that 62% of all Americans believe in banning “assault weapons”, 95 percent favor background checks on all gun purchasers, and only 13% of Americans opposed restrictions on the ownership of firearms of all types. That is the voice of the people and the thing that matters when the voting happens.
      http://newyork.newsday.com/news/nation/assault-weapons-ban-62-in-cnn-orc-survey-favor-restrictions-1.4358364

      More over, a survey conducted by the Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs in the United States shows that only 74% believe that armed citizens “can be of assistance to the professional law enforcement community
      in promoting justice and reducing violent criminal activity”, which seems to me to say that around 36% think that armed citizens are either useless or a nuisance, though it appears that they only asked if the LOEs thought that armed citizens could be helpful, and not what their actual opinion was.
      http://www.nacoponline.org/23rd.pdf

      In fact, another survey broke things down by rank, finding “that 76 percent of street officers and 59 percent of managerial officers agreed that all trained, responsible adults should be able to obtain handgun carry permits.”
      That’s only 76% of street cops in favor of handguns, which makes it hard to believe that 80% approve of semiautomatic rifles.
      http://www.terry.uga.edu/~mustard/police.pdf

      In short, your survey is bunk, and you failed to even cite it well enough for me to consider you a reasonable opinion on the issue any longer.

  12. PoliceOne.com…look it up and be amaze. go to topics and hit gun legislation and look for it.

    • None of which validates the poll you are referring to, not invalidates the better polls that I linked to in my reply.

      Once again, you are proving that the majority of the people on the “Gun Rights” side of this debate are of inferior education, if not intellect. I might feel differently about gun control if it wasn’t for the fact that most of the people arguing against it seem like idiots. Your attempts at debate here only make me more fearful that you are the kind of person who considers themselves a responsible gun owner.

  13. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  14. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  15. I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  16. Thomas are you still here? This looks like a fun debate.

    • I am still here, in that this is my blog and I still write posts, though less frequently than I ought to.

      This was not a fun debate, in that it was less a “debate” and more a “disprove ignorant things said by people who don’t know how to do research”. You are welcome to comment, but unless you are directly addressing some of the points I’ve raised or answering the questions I have posed, then please understand that I don’t have any more to say than what I’ve written in 2 posts and a ton of comments.

  17. Thomas
    I feel compelled to respond to this piece, since you used the word fallacy in your title I will approach it from that direction.

    Your first point is an argument from fallacy – the second amendment has never been interpreted to mean that “no regulation can exist”. Guns have been regulated in the USA for nearly 100 years.

    Your next argument is begging the question – the only evidence you present suggesting a revolution would be impossible is your own statement that it would be impossible. In fact in the late 1700s a poorly armed militia defeated a vastly superior force to create this country. In the last 18 months we’ve seen poorly armed rebels create democracies in Middle Eastern countries with relative ease.

    You make a large assumption that the commander of a nuclear submarine would fire missiles into his own country. Misleading vividness can be an effective fallacy until one considers the likelihood.

    Your point regarding extended magazines is a false causality – you are assuming that extended magazines are the cause of our unusually high gun death rate in the United States. I challenge you to present evidence showing the number of people who die by rounds 11 through infinity in magazines used in the United States. You could start here http://www.fbi.gov.

    Your last argument is a false analogy – most guns have many more safety features than most lighters, but I think you already knew that.

    I look forward to your response.

    Jeff

    • *sigh*

      1: I never claimed that the 2nd amendment meant that there could be no regulation on guns. Others have:
      http://www.godseesyou.com/2nd_well_regulated_militia.html
      http://constitution.org/2ll/schol/2amd_grammar.htm
      These are the types of arguments I was addressing, and they are actually made by people in editorial pages, blogs, and psudo-academic papers.

      2: Your second point is so bad that even Cracked debunks it:
      http://www.cracked.com/article_20306_5-myths-about-revolutionary-war-everyone-believes_p2.html
      The Revolution was won because the people in England already didn’t care about the colonies so far from home and against forces that were either unskilled or past their prime. As for the Arab Spring, it was not won with guns, but with overwhelming public support for change. Weapons did not have a substantial role in the revolutions of the Arab countries.

      3: We have taken out foreign nations on the other side of the globe, which seems to prove the might of the US military, but please look up the history of rebellion against the US. Let me give you some search terms:
      Whiskey Rebellion
      Dorr Rebellion
      The Utah War
      Oklahoma City Bombing

      4: Google “Kent State Shootings” and “Ruby Ridge”. Our military is trained to protect the United States. Not individual citizens. Not even large groups. If a group smaller than 50% threatens others, then the US government has the responsibility to address the threat as directly as required, and they have shown that they will do so. If you think it would take a nuclear strike to end an uprising, then you clearly don’t understand the capabilities of our “conventional” weapons.

      5: The shooting in Tucson that killed 6 and injured 12 others, including Rep. Gabby Giffords, was stopped when the shooter had to reload. Of course there are no statistics that tell us how many people were killed with the 11th round, but you fail to address the absolute logic that the slower rounds are fired, the more opportunity people have to flee or even restrain the shooter. Fewer rounds in the clip clearly leads to some delay in the shooting. Fewer rounds clearly means more chances to jam the weapon or drop the clip. Fewer rounds in the clip means fewer deaths, and I don’t need specific numbers to make that case logically. We have real world evidence and simple understanding of the facts.

      6: Lighters are childproof. Guns are clearly not. All “safety” features on firearms are optional, and even when installed or provided, the owner must choose to use them. Cigarette lighters come with a safety that defaults to “on” and must be disabled at each use, or requires the owner to break off the safety device. Clearly, the difference is that cigarette lighter manufactures fear misuse of their product and liability; gun manufactures are immune to any liability for any use of their product.

      I get tired of explaining things to people who, in all reality, don’t so much “fail to understand” as “refuse to understand”. I doubt I’ll be replying to any further comments on this post.

  18. Can I simply say what a comfort to uncover an individual who really knows what they’re talking about on the internet.
    You certainly understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More and more people have to look at the facts and understand this side of the issue.
    I can’t believe you aren’t more popular since you certainly possess a gift.

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