Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ten Things to Avoid When Arguing Against Guns

When conversing with anti-gun espousers, be they opinionated zealots or merely just shocked parents that feel a reactionary need to “do something,” there are a couple of themes that come up in conversation which show that they don’t know what they’re talking about.  This lack of knowledge can defeat one's argument as get things derailed.  Hence, if you’re arguing for the curtailing of our rights and you want to sound like you know what the hell you’re talking about, you may want to avoid these following errors:
  • Mentioning “automatic weapons” – Those weapons, which fire multiple times with a single pull of the trigger, are already highly regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.  For all intense and purposes, they are already outlawed and banned for sale to the general public.  What you likely mean are semi-automatic weapons; guns which expend one shot with each pull of the trigger.
  • Suggesting a ban of semi-automatic weapons – Note that pump action, revolver, and some lever action guns can be fired by proficient marksmen at a speed to rival semi-automatic fire.  Now what?
  • Mentioning “the ability to order online without any kind of background check” – This rumor, rampant on left-leaning sites, is completely untrue.  Firearms cannot be shipped, except to an actively licensed FFL holder, who will then conduct the proper background (NICS) check prior to handing off the firearm for possession.  Anything else is already highly illegal
  • Failure to understand clips vs. magazines – A clip feeds a magazine.  To someone familiar with firearms, saying “clip” when you mean “magazine” is an instant red flag that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
  • Wanting to ban “high capacity” magazines – If you want to have the argument, you need to define “high capacity,” – exactly how many rounds, does it apply to all calibers, does it apply only to magazines or all feeder systems, etc.?  Note that there are pitfalls for each of these, depending on your definition.  Be prepared
  • Making the argument that, if turned down for a firearm purchase “all someone has to do is get a friend or relative to buy it for them” – That’s called a straw purchase, and is already highly illegal.  It is punishable by a $250,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison.  While someone could still do it if they wanted to, any person could commit any kind of other felony as well.
  • Suggesting banning of “military-style assault weapons” – There is no such thing as a “military-style assault weapon.”  It is a generic term that could mean anything.  Throwing the “assault weapons” catchphrase out there without any kind of specific definition is like suggesting a ban on “powerful vehicles.”  Do you mean cars and trucks alike?  Vehicles that have specific hardware, capabilities, or horsepower?  Vehicles with specific paint schemes?  You see where this is headed.  Hence, when a specific ban is requested, the espouser should be prepared to discuss specific things like features, calibers, components, and the like.
  • Suggesting a ban on future sale of specific firearms – Three things: 1) There are already 300 million guns in circulation in the US.  No matter what you want to ban, the cow is already outside the barn door.  Shutting it now does little good.  2) The drug trade in the US, an illegal enterprise, is over $300 billion.  The government can’t stop that (not even close), how could it stop guns? 3) The newly banned guns will only be made more attractive to exactly the type of element that society does not what to have them (e.g. criminals and the insane).  
  • Suggesting the 2nd Amendment applies only to muskets, militia, etc. and does not mean citizens can have guns – There is a wealth of information that goes back to the intent of the Founding Fathers on this one.  You may want to read up on it.  Regardless, District of Columbia vs. Heller put all of that conjecture to rest.  Until another Supreme Court case repeals that decision, private citizens maintain the right to arm themselves.  That’s our law, like it or not.
  • Suggesting confiscation of anything – This is the ultimate in folly.  There are north of 300 million guns in the hands of about 50 million US citizens.  Regardless of the law that gets written, a percentage of gun owners will not comply with any order to turn over their weapons.  If that number is 1% (which I’d argue is very low), that represents 500,000 armed folks that are not going down without a fight.  500,000.  Minimum.  Any idea what that would look like? 

By avoiding these landmines you'll look a lot more like you know what you're talking about and will have a better chance of influencing your rival.  Good luck out there!

1 comment:

  1. 1. Just because the media and Left misuse terms like "clips", "assault weapons" and a"utomatic weapons", that does not change the argument. Sematics are not a defense. If some loonie Left Winger says "clips" when they mean "magazine", the logic is still the same.

    2. Unfortunately, your argument number 2 with respect to "assault rifles" only helps the argument for such a ban. In the hands of "proficient marksmen" other weapons can fire high volumes of fire. In the hands of a deranged moron, a semi-automatic "assault weapon" matches them. If the little punks in Connteticut or Columbine were limited to firearms with much more limited capacity their ability to be lethal would have been much more limited.

    3. The argument that there are "pitfalls" to banning almost any definition of "high capacity magazines" is a stretch. In any ban, which I support by the way will almost certainly be determined by round capacity. This is by far the most lethal parameter of the magazine, and the reason for why magazines exits: to put as much ordinance on target with the fewest reloads as physically possible. A 30-40 round magazine is designed to create sustained fire on a target. For civilians, there is almost no justification for such sustained fire, and any individual that has a legitimate justifiction should be able to acquire such a magazine with permit.

    4. I totally disagree with your reasoning about "banning" future weapon sales because it simply does not fit reality. In almost every single incidence of these public mass murder, the criminal purchased the weapons and ammunition in the "planning period" before the event, or attempted to purchase them.

    5. Extending this point the fact that hundreds of millions of guns of all forms exist makes the problem that much more difficult. Hell, there are around 75 million AK-47s floating around the globe. But, that does not completely end discussion on limiting the production and sale of future firearms of certain kinds.

    6. One aspect of gun crimes is that an illegal firearm is a relatively easy crime to apprehend and prosecute. Illegal firearms are routinely found in warrant searches and traffic stops. It is also a relatively easy crime to prosecute. The evidence is right there. People with illegal firearms are generally people with ciminal intent.

    7. At the same time, any proposed gun control measures needs to be effective. Unfortunately, liberals are very poor at advancing such policy because they have little real understanding of guns, as YDP has pointed out. To them, guns are a cultural issue and only "rednecks" have guns.

    8. Further, I have almost no interest in being lectured by liberals from Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC and New York about "gun control". These morons do not know how to control the rampant violence in their own localities and clearly cannot advance a feasible policy when they cannot mind their own business well. Thousands upon thousands of violent deaths annually, by guns and other weapons, attest to this fact.


Please feel free to include any thoughts you may have. Know, however, that kiddos might be reading this, so please keep the adult language to yourself. I know, for me to ask that language is clean is a stretch...