(courtesy realmericanliberal.blogspot.com)

In a letter to the editor in new Hampshire’s fosters.com, Anthony McManus compares motor vehicle deaths and those associated with guns. “The difference is greater than just numbers. Millions of people, on a daily basis, drive thousands of miles in cars, trucks, buses, vans, motorcycles. Except in a very small number of cases deaths are caused by “accidents”— drivers falling asleep, poor road conditions, driver inattention, weather conditions, vehicle malfunction and, unfortunately, drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs. When a death occurs it is almost always unintended. Gun deaths, on the other hand . . .

are almost always a deliberate act — homicide against targeted (and usually known) individuals, or suicide.

That is mostly correct. The vast majority of firearms-related fatalities, about two-thirds, are suicides. Legislating whether a magazine holds 15 or 30 rounds will make absolutely no difference to their frequency. Whether a gun is a single shot or semi-automatic will also make no difference.

Suicides who use guns are not trying to seek help. They are trying to die. Numerous substitution methods are available, as the Japanese, Belgians, Hungarians, and Koreans – who have virtually no guns and suicide rates about twice that of the United States- demonstrate this fact, all too sadly.

I do not believe that Americans will be any less capable of finding substitute methods than the populations in those other countries.  Everyone has a simple means to find easy, painless, alternate methods of suicide on the Internet.

With that bit of honesty committed, Anthony McManus then puts forward this whopper of a false talking point. Like many good lies, it has a smidgen of truth in it, and a number of false assumptions.

Although the number of fatalities are sizeable and regrettable, motor vehicles are not designed to kill people. Guns are. There may be a legitimate use for rifles and shotguns in hunting but there is no other purpose for handguns, automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and assault rifles except to threaten and/or shoot other human beings.

First, the bit of truth. Handguns, automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and “assault rifles” are very useful for threatening and/or shooting human beings. It is a major use. The false assumption: threatening and shooting human beings is always evil. Threatening and shooting human beings is often required and necessary.

A father who uses an AK 47 clone to threaten and shoot home invaders is using the rifle in an appropriate and useful fashion. The store owner who uses a handgun to prevent armed robbery, uses the handgun in an appropriate and useful way. The Doctor who uses a handgun to stop a mass killing by shooting the assailant, is using the handgun in a way approved of in moral and legal codes.

That said, the assumption that these are the only design uses for handguns, semi-automatic and automatic firearms is simply false.

Firearms are designed to send projectiles down range at substantial velocities, propelled by the action of burning gunpowder. It is why they are called  “firearms” instead of squirt guns. But a great many handguns, semi-automatic, and automatic firearms are designed and used for purposes other than threatening or shooting people, such as hunting, pest control, recreation and collecting.

The antis’ ultimate argument and perennial bogey man: “assault rifles.” Setting aside the mischaracterization of military-style semi-automatic long guns as “assault rifles,” modern sporting rifles (one trigger press per shot) fit into the previous non-lethal, non-intimidation categories.

Millions of semi-automatic rifles are made and sold every year. In 2013, 285 homicides were committed with rifles of any sort. The number of those that were semi-automatic is some fraction of the 285. To put that in context, there are about 120 million rifles in the United States. Semi-automatic rifles (as opposed to bolt-action rifles) have been the favorite action type for at least two decades. I would not be surprised to learn that semi-automatic rifles are between one and two-thirds of the American stock of rifles.

Bottom line: one person is murdered by a person using a rifle for about every 400,000 rifles, in a given year. The antis may argue that one life lost is too many, but they singularly fail to mention the [uncounted but significant] number of Americans who save their life or the lives of other innocent Americans by using a semi-automatic rifle for defense.

While we’re at it, the U.S. is home to millions of semi-automatic shotguns. Some 308 people were murdered with shotguns of any sort in 2013. That’s about half as many as are murdered with personal weapons (hands and feet): 687.

Most threatening and killing done with firearms is done with handguns. But even in the case of handguns, many are designed for target shooting and hunting, and far more of them are used for those purposes than for threatening and shooting people. Many of them are used for defensive purposes against animals.  Some 5,782 people were murdered with handguns in 2013.  There are about 120 million handguns in the United States.

The idea that “there is no other purpose for handguns, automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and assault rifles except to threaten and/or shoot other human beings.” is simply false. Disarmists who make this claim do so to deprive Americans of their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Any arms.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.     Link to Gun Watch

50 Responses to NH Gun Control Advocate: Cars Good, Guns Bad

  1. All of my firearms work, whether for 3-gun, hunting, or self defense. None of my personal firearms have taken a human life. None of my 20, 30, or 100 round mags have been used to shoot up a school or in a drive-by shooting. Any anti-gunner who declares that the only purpose of my “military grade” gun collection is to end human life via gun violence is demonstrably wrong.

  2. I must be using my guns wrong. .I only use mine to shoot at cans and put smiles on my face. . Who knew. . Thanks for correcting me!

    • “about two-thirds, are suicides. Legislating whether a magazine holds 15 or 30 rounds will make absolutely no difference”

      Not so sure that capacity isn’t an issue. Numerous political whistleblowers, and anti-vaccine doctors for that matter, have been known to shoot themselves multiple times in the back of the head, and then even throw themselves into a river..

  3. So what Tony McAnus is really saying is that if firearms were as widely adopted and used as cars and we sent our children to firearms ed classes fatalities would go down while firearms on the road would go up.
    I can get on board with that.

  4. Just one more twist in their unending propaganda that is fueled by bits of truth surrounded by lies, mis-directions, emotions and false statistics that are not backed up with facts. They will keep on with these until they get what they want, which is the disarmament of the American Public. We must keep on countering with logic and facts to deflect their influence. Not sure that will help win over the emotionally based groups but hopefully we will prevail. Don’t think this onslaught will stop ever. If guns were outlawed tomorrow these same groups would go after knives, bows and arrows and anything else they can think of that appears evil and has the potential to kill. The only people they affect are those that need guns and other devices for protection. The criminals and killers will never be affected by these laws and will find a way to get what they need regardless.

  5. I’m personally getting a little tired of this “guns were designed to kill people” bit they keep trotting out.

    For the sake of argument, let’s grant that is objectively true. It is STILL a major league Non sequitur regarding any statement that follows, because it does not matter what they were “designed to do.”

    What SHOULD matter in the “conversation” is how are guns actually used. The fact remains that only a tiny percentage of the guns that are owned by civilians are used for either homicide or suicide, and only a tiny percentage of civilians commit homicide or suicide.

    What guns were designed for centuries ago has no bearing on the modern discussion (especially if they are pointing to deaths as the big “oh no” that has to be fixed).

    But, to play their game just a bit…the statement is false as a broad generalization anyway. Many guns were designed for hunting, shooting sports and plinking and not “killing people” at all. Some were even simply designed to be works of art.

    The statement is idiotic…like just about everything out of a control seeking Statist hiding behind “Public Safety.”

    • I try to go the other way and it has been fairly effective. I say that we, as Americans, have the right to self defense. Therefore we should have easy accesses to the most effective tools for self defense. Effective self defense tools should kill efficiently. They can’t grasp the fact that I am prepared to kill someone if my family or my life is in jeopardy. I find this to be a key difference. My responsibility to live is primarily for my family. Their responsibility to be a victim is for some vague “greater good” social construct.

    • “Non sequitur regarding any statement that follows, because it does not matter what they were “designed to do.””

      Cars certainly were not designed to kill, quite the opposite actually.

      Yet they kill countless thousands who make ‘a poor choice’ (I’d call it a felony level reckless endangerment) when they choose to drink and drive and kill other people.

      • Exactly. Cars are designed *not* to kill.

        Yet, even with all their modern safety features, they still manage to be the fatal instrument in more deaths than guns…which exist in roughly equal numbers and are actually *intended* to have potential lethality.

        Tell me again which item is more dangerous?

    • If handguns are “designed” only to kill people, then they’re pretty much an abject failure at accomplishing their sole objective.

      Ballpark, there are almost 250 million handguns in the US (if there are 120MM long guns, out of a total of about 365MM firearms). Those almost 250 million handguns are used to fire billions, if not tens of billions of rounds of ammunition each year.

      So, of those billions, or tens of billions, of rounds fired through the nation’s almost 250 million handguns each year, fewer than 6,000 successfully cause the death of a human.

      That would make handguns the biggest failure of any instrument in the history of mankind.

  6. With the exception of hunting arms, I’d posit that the death of the target is a byproduct of the function rather than the intended purpose. So, no, not all guns are ‘designed to kill’.

  7. When someone wants to kill themselves, regardless of the method, get out of the way. Only the person trying to check-out knows the value of life to that person. We, the general public, are incapable of making a value judgement about someone who is not us. If a person wants out, and uses a gun, then the gun has fulfilled its intended purpose, the person checking-out is a satisfied customer and we can all go on with our daily concerns.

  8. Accidents caused by willfully speeding, running red lights, texting while driving, or driving while impaired are also deliberate acts of homicide. Just because our legal system doesn’t call it that doesn’t make it less true.

    • cars get us to the mall and other happy places. we must have them. 40,000 auto deaths a year is just collateral damage, acceptable losses when trying to grab all the gusto we can.

      • To me, risk perception is the one interesting angle in the guns vs cars debate. It amazes me how many people know friends and family that have been hurt or killed in automotive accidents, yet have no fear of driving. These same people don’t know anybody who has been injured or killed by gunfire, most don’t even own a gun, but they are terrified of being shot. It is a testament to media hype and social group brainwashing.

        • A co worker showed up one morning in shock, his next door neighbor and sometimes drinking buddy had been arrested the night before. He had picked up a woman up in a club, taken her home, tied her to the bed, and cut her to pieces.

          Because of his profound shock, the subject came up later that day during an appointment with a client. She related her story of a friend of her teenage boy who was arrested for knifing his girlfriend to death. Then I shared my story, of the lead assistant district attorney I had often had friction with as a police officer. He went into private practice, and was later arrested for 8 – 10 Jack the Ripper type homicides.

          I was struck then with how strange that the three of us had all known, more or less intimately, murders. Of the most brutal kind. I’m struck now with the fact that none of them involved a firearm.

        • actually, it is a testament to why the founders originally wanted to withhold voting from the masses.

        • This entire post bears repeating:

          “To me, risk perception is the one interesting angle in the guns vs cars debate. It amazes me how many people know friends and family that have been hurt or killed in automotive accidents, yet have no fear of driving. These same people don’t know anybody who has been injured or killed by gunfire, most don’t even own a gun, but they are terrified of being shot. It is a testament to media hype and social group brainwashing.”

          That’s an excellent observation and insight into the irrational nature of many, many people.

    • It would be interesting to actually collect the data on the number of times cars are used to kill.

      – Suicide using the exhaust, driving head-first into other traffic or obstacles, or parking on railroad tracks (this occurs in SoCal), or driving to a site to commit suicide- cliff, bridge etc.

      – Homicide. Yes, people do deliberately drive their cars into people while they are just pedestrians, on bicycles, motorcycles and in other cars.

      – Homicide as an accessory tool. As the means to get to/from their crime– can’t do a drive by shooting without being able to drive by, or dispose of a body without a vehicle to get you their. Kind of tough to transport the corpse on public transportation; murder during a robbery how do you get away? Usually a car.

  9. Dear Mr Anthony McManus,

    No.

    You do not get to tell me what I may or may not own. If you don’t want to own one of these then don’t buy one.

  10. I suppose that it would do no good to point out that there are 15 men’s and women’s summer Olympic Shooting events, and 11 men’s and women’s winter Olympic Shooting events. (A couple are for air rifle.)

  11. “but there is no other purpose for handguns, automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and assault rifles except to threaten and/or shoot other human beings”

    BS. I only use “all of the above” in 3 gun and/or target shooting. The only reason he can say things like that is that he’s an uninformed, condescending idiot. AKA liberal douche.

    Your opinion doesn’t determine my intent.

    This is why we can’t be friends.

  12. So is McManus in favor of taking the handguns and “patrol rifles” away from the cops? I mean, I’m sure if you asked him, he would not be likely to say that the cops are in the business of “killing people”.

  13. So if that texting driver didn’t INTEND to rearend you and mess up your back for life and/or kill you or your loved ones, it doesn’t still hurt? I know people that would beg to differ. The driver training in this country is a flipping joke.
    Not everyone can play a violin. Most won’t try, but even if they did, it takes more skill and focus than some people have. So why on earth would ANYONE think that EVERYONE can drive a car? They CAN’T. Many lack the skill and focus to do so safely. This is on top of people not being properly trained, and not being held accountable for the damage they do. Killing or injuring someone or even just damaging their property through negligence should have criminal penalties, and any unsafe driving should result in the suspension of your license.
    Note that speed is almost completely unrelated to the safety of your driving, and the income mill from speeders needs to be shut down.

  14. I don’t think we should be shying away from the “guns are designed to kill” thing. It’s just like how martial arts are also designed to kill, but they have plenty of ancillary benefits (fitness, focus, self-improvement, etc). On top of how killing isn’t the bad effect anyway, murder is.

    I think the optimal response is simply that if a thing designed to kill still doesn’t kill as many people as a thing not designed to kill – that is, an ostensibly inherently dangerous thing kills less people on purpose than an ostensibly benign thing does on accident – then you don’t have a problem with the thing designed to kill.

    • I’ve participated in two different martial arts, and neither, according to the instructors, was designed to kill. One was designed to disable without needing to kill, the other to disarm and if necessary disable without needing to kill.

  15. “The difference is greater than just numbers. Millions of people, on a daily basis, drive thousands of miles in cars, trucks, buses, vans, motorcycles. Except in a very small number of cases deaths are caused by “accidents”— drivers falling asleep, poor road conditions, driver inattention, weather conditions, vehicle malfunction and, unfortunately, drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs. When a death occurs it is almost always unintended.”

    Horse shit. Massive steaming piles of horse shit. I have never heard of a single person ever accidentally texting while driving, accidentally drank and drove, and based on my daily observations I am certain than most people who run red lights do so knowing it will be red. These people INTENTIONALLY put others at risk daily with premeditation and do it in a multi-ton piece of high velocity metal. That sounds negligent homicide to me at the very least.

  16. “Gun deaths are a deliberate act.”

    Yes, like when an armed citizen shoots a criminal attacking someone. It’s very deliberate to kill the criminal before the criminal kills somebody else. And they want to take that away? Why are they on the side of criminals?

  17. Yup, the must common use of firearms is defensive and the must common outcome is everyone, even the criminal, walk away unharmed.

  18. I didn’t read the comments so somebody may have already said all this. I love how the antis spew conflicting arguments. Here are two quotes from this article:

    “Although the number of fatalities are sizeable and regrettable, motor vehicles are not…”
    Later, when characterizing a common argument of antis, you said: “The antis may argue that one life lost is too many.” I’ve seen that argument in print from antis in various forms hundreds of times. So my question for antis is which is it? Are a large number of fatalities OK or is one too many? That tells you that fatalities are not their concern at all. They could care less about whether people die or not. Re-read that last sentence. They don’t care at all. Deaths are a useful tool for their arguments (as long as they can keep them straight and not introduce too many conflicting arguments). The concern is control. To an anti, more deaths is a useful thing to help their argument to gain more control.

    Another element of control is when antis say: “but there is no other purpose for handguns, automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and assault rifles except to threaten and/or shoot other human beings.” Besides being patently false, let’s look at one they are least likely to concede. I use guns for target and sport shooting. Why is it OK to outlaw my hobby but not outlaw boxing, golf, or tennis?

    In the end, the purpose argument is moot because of this thing called the 2nd amendment but it’s interesting to note the conflicts in their own arguments.

  19. I’ve no doubt that in 1789 horse-and-carriage-related deaths were almost entirely accidental, while most gun deaths were intentional. The more things change…..

    As for guns being created to kill, that is manifestly false. Guns (and fighter-jets and tanks) are created to convince a person or nation contemplating attack that they’re making a serious mistake. There are always those who simply don’t get the message, so that guns are designed not to be a bluff, but rather a comprehensible counter-threat.

    Our national government has publicly endorsed my argument many times, stating that our Navy and our nuclear arsenal are not created to kill, but rather to make killing unnecessary.

  20. So, just so I have this straight…

    Cars, which are NOT designed to kill people, kill more people each year BY ACCIDENT than guns do ON PURPOSE…even though guns are “only designed for killing”.

    I’m thinking maybe guns aren’t the problem…

  21. I think Anthony McManus is an idiot. The 2nd might have prevented the following. Some of the disarmed people murdered by the governments of the world, Christians Rome, Jews Nazi Germany, Aztecs Spanish, Maori of NZ and Aboriginals Australia, Scottish William Wallace, the Irish, Welsh by English and the Native America by the US government. THIS is why we need guns to protect ourselves from those who would subject us to their whim and if this is not enough just google dictators.
    There are over 400 gun laws on the books and they have done nothing to stop the violence. Because of the winey few we are chastised for wanting to protect ourselves. We NEED guns to protect ourselves from criminals in and out of the government. I deserve the right to protect myself and if you don’t like it tough $hit. No double standards put DC politicians on Obamacare and SS.Thanks for your support and vote. Pass the word. mrpresident2016.com

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