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Inconvenient Truths For the Gun Control Fans in the US

Most people can understand that there are people in the US who don’t and won’t own a firearm and who are afraid of them. However, many of them go overboard and don’t want anyone else to own a firearm, either, basing their ideas on mistaken or false ideas. 

To begin with, with the vast majority of guns that are used in crime being illegal when they were purchased, such as on the black market, gun control laws up to and including gun bans have very little effect on gun crime. It isn’t even difficult to make a gun in a machine shop. 

Most gun control laws in the US, besides being unconstitutional, do nothing at all to curb gun crimes. That is a truth that is proven so many times that there isn’t any doubt about it. The laws are aimed entirely at the law-abiding citizens who don’t commit the crimes. Again, most criminals get their guns on the black market and as such, they are totally unaffected by gun control laws. Such laws only make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves against criminals with guns. This is one reason that easily the majority of law enforcement in the US, including the FBI, is in favor of people legally owning and carrying firearms.

Using a good analogy, street methamphetamines are illegal in the US. It is illegal to possess them, to manufacture them, to sell them, or to use them. There are many methamphetamine control laws in place and the penalties are harsh. Yet, methamphetamine use and abuse are increasing at a huge rate, even though these laws actually are aimed at the people who are committing the crimes. Banning the drugs has not only had no effect, but also the use has skyrocketed since those bans were put in place.

Additionally, the commonly used gun statistics are misstated. You might hear people say that about 33,000 people per year are killed with guns. However, of those, only around 3,000 are actually murders. The majority are suicides, which won’t be affected by gun control laws, and a lot of the rest are deaths due to criminal activity or justifiable homicide, including by police. In a nation of over 375 million, 3,000 deaths, while tragic, is such a tiny percentage that your chance of being killed if you follow the law is next to nothing. The chances are even smaller if you don’t live in one of the half-dozen population centers that have high homicide rates, which ironically also have the strictest and greatest number of gun control laws.

What’s more, according to the CDC, FBI, and other agencies, somewhere between 1.5 and 3 million crimes, including violent crimes like rape, are prevented by people who have or were carrying firearms. This number could even be higher, but many people don’t report incidences when crimes are prevented. In nearly all circumstances, the firearm didn’t have to be discharged to prevent the crime, either.

Additionally, gun control enthusiasts attempt to make gun owners look bad by saying that they don’t care about gun shootings. Not only are gun shootings rare, but there are two points gun control people miss or purposely ignore. 

First, nearly all schools are designated gun-free zones. Total gun bans are already in effect in these places, yet it doesn’t prevent shootings. Second, a school gun shooting counts any discharge on school grounds. This includes any shot when no children are present, for instance, in the summertime. It also includes any shot fired at a school that is closed and even accidental discharges of guns. In other words, school shootings are even rarer than the statistics show, and the statistics show that they are extremely rare.

  • Do you think that there should be more transparency and truth involved with arguments in favor of gun control in the US?

    • Yes
    • No
    • I don’t live in the US, so I can’t say
  • Have you heard any of these misleading gun control talking points?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Are you in favor of stricter gun control laws, other than the ones that are already in place in the US?

    • Yes
    • No
    • I’m not sure
    • I don’t live in the US
  • Can you think of any current or proposed US gun control law that is aimed at criminals rather than law-abiding gun-owning people?

    • Yes
    • No

What do you think?

13 points
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Written by Rex Trulove

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17 Comments

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    • You hit on the important part. The guns, on their own, are only tools that are no more dangerous than a piece of paper or a pencil. For the last 30 years of his life, my father had one particular gun in his collection that was never taken out of the gun case in all that time. Not once, in 30 years, did it kill anyone or anything, not once did it threaten anyone, and not once did it even harm anyone or anything.

      It could have become dangerous if some idiot had broken it out of the case, loaded it, and used it. However, that means that the danger was from the idiot, not from the gun.

      Using a different analogy, far more people are killed every year in the US in vehicle accidents. The cars are merely tools, but if an inattentive driver gets behind the wheel, starts the car, and begins driving the car in a reckless manner, the result can be death or destruction of property. It isn’t the car that causes it, it is the driver of the car that causes it. The car is merely a tool.

  1. Rex,
    Your number of US murders of 3000 is horribly wrong.
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/195331/number-of-murders-in-the-us-by-state/

    There were 3200 murders in 2017 in 2 US states alone.

    Look i understand the reality of gun control. You’ve presented the extremist view, and have countered view with the extremist view.

    There are those in the middle who believe both sides are full of hot air. I do not believe in taking guns away from people. I do believe however in making sure that EVERYONE is safe.

    1 school shooting is too many.

    One Church Shooting is too many.
    While background checks and followups are frustrating, in fact, they are what is best for all of us.

    The reality of the 2nd amendment is that it was written 240+ years ago. Guns were required for citizens because in the infancy (10 years after the revolutionary war, and 4 years after it was completed) the constitution was supporting the right of a gun owner. Single shot, as much as 3 shots in a minute.

    Using a bump stock the person in Vegas shot more than 100 shots a minute. So the law is not as presented.

    Facts really do matter.

    The extreme liberals are wrong.
    But the extreme conservatives are wrong as well.

    Time to take the middle ground approach.

    • To break it down a little, in 2017 (the 2018 numbers aren’t yet compiled) the CDC reported that there were 39,773 firearm deaths in the US.

      Of those, 23,854 were suicides. (Suicide was the #10 leading cause of death in the US in 2017)

      Of the other 15,919 firearm deaths, most were gang-related, drug-related, deaths during the commission of another crime (include 986 where police officers shot and killed the assailant, according to the FBI), and accidental.

      The CDC lists 5,747 assault/homicide deaths in the US in 2017, unrelated to the gang, drug, criminal activity stats. This includes all homicide methods; use of a firearm, suffocation, poisoning, stabbing, drowning, fire, intentional vehicular homicide, etc. Of these homicide methods, the majority were killed with firearms. Still, the total number of people who are murdered is far lower than gun control supporters say that it is.

      Also, rifles are rarely used in crime. Most shootings are with handguns, not rifles.

      (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_06-508.pdf)

      I also don’t complain about background checks for the purchase of firearms. This is mandatory in every state already. This is common sense and it should be a way of helping to prevent convicted felons from purchasing a firearm from the local gun store. I wouldn’t have an issue with making the law stricter and to include a mandatory sentence for any felon who even attempts to purchase a firearm, if the felon in any way used firearms in the commission of that felony for which they were convicted.
      I have also never used a bump-stock and have no use for one. Additionally, I’ve never had a need to use a suppressor (it is not a silencer).

      At one time, a long time ago, I owned a semi-automatic .22 that I used for squirrel hunting. In the intervening ~40 years, most of the rifles I’ve owned have been lever action, with usually an 8-shell magazine. I personally don’t need more since it is doubtful that I’ll have more than two shots to bring down a buck. I might need more than two to stop a rampaging black bear, however. Still, the chances of chambering and firing all 8 shells at a bear is quite unlikely. The point is that lever-action rifles are not single-shots. I’ve also had bolt-action rifles, which are also not single-shots. Each casing must be ejected and another shell must be chambered before the rifle can be fired again, but this isn’t done manually. It is usually done either from a magazine or a clip.

      The point is that if I’m pressed, I could probably fire all 8 shells in under a minute. (Hitting anything that I’m aiming at would be a different matter if I was cranking them off as fast as I could.)

      @WittyFeeds also makes a great point. There are already oodles of gun laws, nearly all of them aimed at lawful gun owners. Many of them aren’t enforced and it is commonplace for criminals to plea-bargain away charges of unlawful use of a firearm and accepting lesser charges.

      In no way am I saying that common sense shouldn’t be applied. However, I firmly believe that guns aren’t the issue. Guns are just a tool and left alone, a gun won’t kill anyone or anything. Gun bans or making ownership illegal doesn’t prevent criminals from having and using guns.

      Incidentally, Chicago actually had 8 fewer firearm homicides in 2017 than in 2016, according to the CDC. That is good news, though the total number is still high.

      • The problem is the reality of a 240 year old law that ultimately has nothing to do with what is available today.

        In 1788 you couldn’t own a canon. The founders didn’t even think that anyone would ever own a military weapon.

        We need to modify the 2nd amendment to correctly deal with the modern world.

        1. PS background checks are cursory in most states.
        2. I am talking about a full background evaluation – they cost around 200 dollars and does a deep dive on your Social Media and personal life. A lot people wouldn’t be allowed to have guns based on that.

        Your example is perfect. A 22 that fired multiple rounds to kill squirrels. A 22 doesn’t send a slug that hits something in UTAH from where you live. (kidding) You had a purpose and now you don’t have the weapon anymore.

        I don’t want to remove the 2nd amendment, I want to jigger it to correctly move it into the modern world.

        All men (strike that by law now) all people are endowed –

        we have updated the constitution time and time again to reflect errors.

        • Here is the problem. The second amendment (and all the others, for that matter) don’t grant anyone the right to do anything. The second doesn’t say that people are granted the right to defend themselves. What it actually says is that the right was already there and that the government doesn’t have the power to infringe upon that right.

          Even the perfunctory statement is clear. “Militia” referred to the common people…the citizens. The term “well-regulated” meant “in working order”. This isn’t a guess, this is what scholars have concluded for many decades now.

          At the time of the framing of the second amendment, some private individuals did own canons, though they were expensive and most people couldn’t afford one. That isn’t at all the point. The second amendment simply prohibits the government from doing anything to prevent a person from protecting their right to life, which was already there. This gives the people the right to decide what is and isn’t allowed. The purpose of the constitution was to limit the power of the government, nothing more. It doesn’t say what people CAN do, it says what the government CAN’T do.

          In no way does this need to be updated. Doing so only allows the government more control, which was expressly what was being prevented. It could be argued that it could be changed to reflect the meaning of the perfunctory statement, but that would only be a point of clarity. The amendments are still valid and self-explanatory. However, there IS a means of changing the second amendment. That would fall upon the people, ultimately, to decide. If 2/3 of the states (and the people in those states, presumably) chose to repeal and/or change the amendment or any other amendment, it will be repealed and/or changed. This is a failsafe that was specifically put in place to allow the people to decide. It puts the power in the hands of the people, rather than the government.

          For this reason, some towns and counties do have the right to establish local gun laws and ordinances that may be harsher or more lenient than in other towns and counties. The governments can’t legally decide that, but the people can vote for those changes.

          Again, that is the entire purpose, to begin with. The government is supposed to be in place to serve the people. The people aren’t supposed to be here to serve the government. We are citizens, not subjects.

          It might one day happen that the second is repealed or changed. Right now, there are far too many people who realize that one of the first major steps undertaken by a government that wants to control the people is to disarm them.

  2. I’ve said this before; and I’ll say it again. Stricter gun control laws are not going to take guns out of the hands of criminals. They will take the guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens who use their guns for protection. Exactly what you said, Rex.

    • That is so true and it doesn’t take much rational thought to figure it out, yet there have been unconstitutional gun-grabs by several states in the last couple of years alone. Among them have been Oregon and Florida.

    • You nailed that on the head. People need to be more responsible and that isn’t just regarding guns. ALL actions have consequences. They can be positive or negative, but they are still consequences. If a person takes another person’s life without cause, they are responsible for the negative consequences that can and should occur.

      That doesn’t change whether the life was taken by a club, someone’s negligence, a knife, a bomb, a firearm, or any of hundreds of other things.

        • There is also the point that it is exceptionally difficult to explain anything to anyone who already has their minds made up and who aren’t willing to change their minds, regardless of the truth that is presented.

        • All I can do is to keep presenting the truth. It isn’t up to me whether someone wants to accept it or think rationally about it. Some people who have heard little except the misleading or false information might look deeper into the truths that are presented. It is also why I continue to write articles about such topics. It actually isn’t aimed at the people who refuse to accept the truth. Believe it or not, I’ve actually been called an extremist because I’ve presented truths. That has happened more than once. It merely strengthens my resolve.

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