Monday, January 13, 2014

My Thoughts on Gun Control

     The debate over the public's right to own firearms is nothing new. It seems that every time some chucklehead loses his mind and gets a little trigger happy that people the world over begin, or at least revisit, heated arguments about how to mitigate the abuse of firearms. Some people feel that if guns were wiped from existence then mass murders wouldn't occur (but obviously, history tells us a different story). Others feel that there should be greater or more restrictions on who owns a gun and what guns can be owned by the public. And then, there are some people who just don't give a shit about talking about it because if someone is intent on killing someone, then there's nothing third parties can do about it. In any case, in this post I will briefly explain my position on the issue and address a few popular counter arguments, and I'll do my best not to cite the Constitution here and use that as a scapegoat. 

     Currently, I am in favor of the public's right to own certain firearms for recreational and sporting purposes, and for self and home defense. I say 'certain firearms' because I personally feel that there is no reason to privately own a fully automatic firearm. Of course, in the off chance a home invader, being the criminal and law breaker that he is, decides to ignore the law and get his hands on an illegal automatic rifle and decides to target your home, how will you defend yourself if he has superior fire power? Well, I don't have a good answer for that and the point is made, but I still think legally owning a fully automatic weapon is lacking justification.

     So there ya go, I support gun rights. I do feel not everyone should own a gun because I am aware that there are some unstable mofos out there. With that said, not only should a background check be administered, but also a character test be performed on potential gun-buyers (I don't have the details worked out for that one yet, so feel free to poke holes in that argument and why it wouldn't work). Ok, that's the gist of my position, let's explore some arguments against the public's rights to own firearms, in no particular order.

"You are more likely to get injured by your own gun than you are of getting robbed."
  • My response: You are also more likely to get hit by lightning than winning the lottery. However, that doesn't mean you have to be struck by lightning before you can win the lottery. You are also more likely to be in a traffic accident in your own car than in your neighbor's. I may be wrong on the statistics here, but that doesn't matter. The point is that the above argument is a strawman argument and doesn't appeal to the issue at hand.

"NASCAR is a recreational sport. However, those who own race cars aren't allowed to drive around town at 200 mph. Gun owners and hunters shouldn't be allowed to walk around with their sporting equipment."
  • My response: A NASCAR driver driving around at 200 mph is using his equipment, carrying a gun is not using a gun. This is another argument meant to distract from the issue at hand and appeals to nothing. And besides, there are different types of firearms and I see nothing wrong with someone who has a concealed carry permit and carries a hand gun. But I will allow that it would seem a little inappropriate for someone to walk around town with a Mossberg 500.

"Country X instituted such and such gun laws and reduced the amount of guns owned by the public by Y amount, which resulted in a Z% drop in gun-related crimes."
  • My response: When someone starts throwing numbers and shit at you, challenge them on their source and make sure it's not outdated information. More often than not it will be one or both of those. But let's run with it and assume the information checks out. Obviously, the less guns there are in a country, the less gun crimes are going to be committed by its citizens, at least there will be a drop in reported gun-related crimes. Remember that not all crimes are reported; people get away with shit all the time. And obviously if you take my bed away from me, I will sleep on it less. But that doesn't mean I won't sleep. Additionally, it's mildly frustrating for me when someone starts spewing stats about a country other than America, because other countries have a more structured social and cultural order about them. In other words, they think a lot more alike and the populace will respond more as a whole than we do in 'murica. The next step is to ask the person to define "gun-related crime". Does that mean someone was killed out of cold-blood? Does it include people who defended themselves more aggressively than they should have? Or was a gun simply present and not used in any way during the crime? For instance, for a crime to become alcohol-related, alcohol simply has to be present at the crime scene, regardless of anyone's BAC. And just to make your point, flip the argument and show them that 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.

"13 Children are killed by handguns everyday."
  • My response: Define "child". According to most polls, a child is defined as anyone 19 years of age or younger. Ok, got it. That number also includes "children" who participate in gang and drug activity. Deaths related to gang activity didn't start when guns came into the mix, and gangs have existed since the dawn of time. Before guns, gangs targeted people with sticks, clubs, rocks, spears, anything that could hurt someone. But let's not get off topic here. Next argument.
"Too many criminals purchase guns legally and use them to commit crimes. Background checks and mandatory waiting periods help to deter criminals."
  • My response: 

I'll stop it here. I'm open to discussion so if you agree or disagree with me, feel free to comment. If you will argue against my points, please be respectful and avoid jumping straight to ad hominem. Laters!

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