I often agree with Scott Adams. This time, I don’t… quite.
The Fake Gun Control Debate
If you see a gun debate in which both sides claim their preferred laws would save lives, you’re watching a fake debate. A real debate would sound more like this:
Honest Pro-gun argument: “I realize the right to own guns will result in the death of thousands of innocent people. But owning a gun lowers the risk for my family, in my opinion, because of my specific situation, and so I favor gun rights.”
Honest Anti-gun argument: “I realize that some forms of gun control could result in the deaths of people who would otherwise be able to defend themselves, but I’m okay with that because my family’s risk would be lower if there were fewer guns in circulation.”
Well… No. Let’s take the “Honest Pro-gun argument.”
The right to own guns will result in the deaths of thousands? Make that may.
And who are those thousands? Right off the top, historically, nearly two-thirds of them are people who choose to die. My guns have nothing to do with people who want to kill themselves. Comparisons of states with varying degrees of gun control (not mention other countries like Japan) suggest those who want to die, will die. By other means if guns aren’t available.
And my gun isn’t available to them, so what do my rights have to do with it anyway?
Then there are the accidental firearms-related deaths. In 2015 (last CDC WISQARS data available), that was 489. Out of a population of 320+ million. And dropping; in 1999, with a smaller US population, we had 824 accidental firearms-related deaths.
Compared to 3,602 accidental drownings in 2015. Is anyone calling for commonsense pool control?
Guess what; no one has accidentally killed themselves, or anyone else with my gun. So again, what do my rights have to do with it anyway?
In 2016 (the last FBI UCR availbable), that leaves 11,004 murders. Presumabbly, this is what concerns people. It is concerning. And dropping; in 1993, there were 17,075 homicides, out of a much smaller population. Murder is a problem we’re already solving.
Funny things about those murderers: if we assume they were all lawful gun owners, they’d be 0.0085 to 0.0186% of all gun owners; a rather small fragment of a miniscule fraction of the people gun controllers want to regulate. Seems like a tighter focus would be more effective.
Why napalm your backyard to get rid of mosquitos?
But most murderers are prior felons, who can’t lawfully possess firearms. So this is more like napalming your backyard to get your the mosquitos in the swamp outside of town.
Worse yet, some 80-88% of firearms used in murders are stolen (so they aren’t owned by the killers). Now you’re fire-bombing your yard for South American mosquitos.
But the nasty thing we usually aren’t allowed to address is the demographics of the majority of murder victims. Just this once, I’ll be politically correct and not say it. But I will note that Chicago and Los Angeles (among other high crime cities) have programs to identify potential victims… based on their involvement in illegal activities or relationships with those who are so involved. And perpetrator and victim are pretty localized geographically, too.
And that is why the victim disarming gun controllers live for Sandy Hook and Parkland incidents, waiting patiently for those rare, isolated incidents. Suddenly they get to cry over innocent victims and demand those who didn’t do it be punished; because you never know when the innocent might become guilty.
And on to the “Honest Anti-gun argument”:
“I realize that some forms of gun control could result in the deaths of people who would otherwise be able to defend themselves, but I’m okay with that because my family’s risk would be lower if there were fewer guns in circulation.”
Only could, when rights will?
Even the Anti-gun Violence Policy Center admits that there are 338,700 defensive firearms uses per year. Yes, the gun controllers say that (pro-RKBA numbers go as high as 2.5 million per year).
So how many of those 338,700 “could” die if disarmed?
Now here my gun has been involved. I’ve defended myself (nonlethally, thank G-d) on three occasions, and another person once.
My brother was beaten to death in a victim disarmament paradise in California.
“…but I’m okay with that because my family’s risk would be lower if there were fewer guns in circulation.”
What does my gun have to do with your family’s risk? Unless you’re planning to do something to me that would force me to defend myself…
But screw this “what if could.” We have gun control.
Brady Bill ’93
That’s just federal. At the state and local levels, we’ve got more bans, prohibitive licensing, unconstitutional ERPOs, more gun-free zones, age limits, universal background checks, total registration, moronic microstamping requirements, “smart” gun requirements…
We’ve been letting gun controller run their little experiment for eight decades (Not to mention gun control laws going back to Colonial period ensuring blacks were disarmed. Did I mention the anti-immigrant Sullivan Act?). When is it supposed to start working, or when will they accept that it is stupid?
We have gun control, and the victim disarmers insisting doing the same thing over and over, and more of it. Crazy, huh?
And honest gun control debate would start with “Since it doesn’t work, why should we continue it?”
Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could use the money, what with truck repairs and bills.
Ed. note: This commentary appeared first in TZP’s weekly email alert. If you would like to be among the first to see new commentary (as well as to get notice of new polls and recaps of recent posts), please sign up for our alert list. (See sidebar or, if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down). Be sure to respond when you receive your activation email!