Editorial: Gun Grab Fear Driven by Firearms Industry


Donal Fagan constantly reminds the TTAG team to look for the truth beyond the official version of a story. Specifically, beneath the main text. And so we scan the comments section under posts like a sooth-sayer examining used tea leaves—except that our analysis isn’t based on pseudo-science and intellectual / emotional exploitation. (As far as I know.) Here’s an example of a coherent middle ground response to a wide-ranging editorial on gun control; a piece that reads like a teenager borrowing his Daddy’s Porsche (i.e. going nowhere fast). Writing for North Carolina’s  thedailyadvance.com, commentator carydude (perhaps only one “r” away from holstering his pro-registration rhetoric) points the fickle finger of fate at the gun industry profits, from whence cometh gun grab hysteria. Allegedly. Reckon there’s any truth to that?

I’d love to know where the fear of Obama taking people’s guns came from. He never said anything in the campaign about taking away people’s arms, only statements about supporting a locality’s right of governing restrictions should they choose to do so.

Those types of restrictions go back to the days of the Old West when towns banned firearms in the city limits for public safety. And those people hoping that Supreme Court’s ruling goes against the City of Chicago are most likely the same people who scream for state’s rights at other times so aren’t they contradicting themselves if they are one and the same?

Personally, I have never seen the need in a regular citizen owning an assault rifle and have no problem with any government, big or small, banning them as their very name indicates they’re not for defense, but offense.

As for handguns, I’d like to see them all banned but am also realistic enough to know that will never happen so I won’t fight their existence or one’s ability to own one. I do find it odd however that it seems like one has to go through more to get a driver’s license than a gun permit though I know that’s not the case.

The only changes I’d make (and yes, if this is already part of the laws in NC, I plead ignorance as I’m not a gun owner), would be to make you register every firearm you own and maintain that registration yearly, just like you are required to do for a car. Is that too big a price to pay for your freedom? Not really.

Back to the original question of where did the fear about losing your guns come from. I’d bet a dime to a dollar the gun industry came up with it as a marketing tool b/c there is no greater motivator than fear.

comments

  1. avatar Donal Fagan says:

    If you read the second editorial review of More Guns, Less Crime on Amazon, you find much the same argument that the arms industry itself stokes the fear of a gun grab. The reviewer quotes a book with a competing viewpoint.

    Making a Killing focuses on gun manufacturers and argues that in the past two decades, in an attempt to increase their sales and profits, these companies have deliberately increased the lethality of firearms. The case is made with quotations drawn from the industry itself.

    The problem for the industry has been that, given reasonable care, guns don’t wear out. With fewer young people growing up into the markets for traditional hunting and sport shooting, convincing people that they need more guns has required innovation and fear-nurturing advertising.

    Instead of innovating in the direction of safer firearms (e.g., guns with childproof locks and load indicators), the industry chose the opposite direction. Manufacturers made guns to hold more rounds, increased the power of the rounds and the speed with which the bullets could be shot, and at the same time made guns smaller and more concealable.

    Maybe we can get Brad Kozak to reimagine the Aaron Eckhardt character in a new flick, Thank You For Shooting. I think the arguments as to why the arms industry has to do something to increase their market makes a lot of sense. But to my mind, increasing the lethality, or effectiveness, of guns, is also a natural evolution of weaponry. As I’ve noted elsewhere, I think the increase in caliber was driven by body armor. At the same time, self-locking guns wouldn’t be such a bad idea for a variety of reasons.

  2. avatar Robert Fure says:

    I lost a big reply when I tried to wipe some dust off my keyboard and hit F5. So in the interest of time, I’m going to be a lot more concise this go around:

    1. Obama was very anti-gun in Illinois. Supported banning all semi-automatics. Supported rezoning plans that would have pushed gun retailers out of the city. Supported handgun ban. Supported Assault Weapons Ban. Add that to Democratic majority in Congress and people have reason to be suspicious.

    2. You can’t compare guns to cars because cars aren’t mentioned in the Constitution. Guns are specifically protected.

    3. Banning assault weapons, or supporting such a ban, generally indicates ignorance of what an ‘assault weapon’ is. An assault weapon is entirely cosmetic. If you look at the AR-15 family, it looks evil, but shoots a .223 (5.56) bullet out to about 400 yards, a bullet that fails to penetrate anymore than 1″ of concrete. It’s stopped by a cinder block. Compare it to a Remington 700, a hunting rifle, chambered in .308 (7.62) that can shoot more than 800 yards and punch a bullet through a brick wall without realizing it passed through. (Hyperbole). Why is the assault rifle banned? Its a far less potent weapon.

    4. Criminals are criminals and will use illegal guns, and do. Bans don’t work – plus assault rifles are used in under 1% of all gun crimes.

    5. A lot of handguns DO have load indicators. My Beretta does and you can even tell by touch instead of sight.

    6. There are ton of childproof locks and most handguns come with them. This doesn’t stop criminals and the number of children killed by firearms accidentally pails in comparison to those killed by steps, buckets of water, bees, and small pieces of plastic.

    7. The increase in caliber in rifles helps the hunter more humanely kill game. The increase in caliber for pistols was almost always influenced by military and police needs, especially in the 20th century. These guns are then just sold to the civilian market because they now exist and companies have to make money.

    8. Why register guns? They’re legal and protected by the Constitution. Gun registration doesn’t help find criminals who use illegal, unregistered, or stolen guns. All a list of people who own guns will get you is a list to use when you want to take guns away from them.

    9. Auto-locking or Shooter-ID guns are terrible ideas. That’s why they don’t exist. You’re introducing another variable to the gun that can fail and get the shooter killed when his gun doesn’t work. You introduce the need for batteries and electronics that can fail. You drive up the cost. You add a feature no gun-owner wants. I don’t dictate what food a vegan restaurant serves because I don’t eat there. If you don’t buy guns, don’t dictate their features. Also, what if my gun is forcibly set so only I can use it? What happens when I’m not around but some villain has just broken into my home with rape and murder on his mind? The gun is useless to whoever is home and now they’re screwed.

    1. avatar Donal Fagan says:

      I was making a suggestion, not dictating. Does your argument require rhetorical tricks, or will it stand on it’s own merits?

      I suggest there might be an advantage in a self-locking gun that couldn’t be used against me or mine by whoever happened to pick it up. If you disagree, fine. Don’t dictate that no gun owner wants that because you don’t.

      1. avatar Robert Fure says:

        My point is that if people really wanted them, gun makers would have made them already. That’s how capitalism works. Demand creates supply. Most gun owners don’t want them. The biggest call by far for them is from anti-gun people who want to make them mandatory.

        I apologizing if it came across that I was attacking the suggest as if it were yours exclusively. When I was saying “you” I was using it to address those who call for the locks, not you specifically.

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