Josh Sugarmann (courtesy huffintonpost.com)

“While pro-gun advocates reflexively deny the relationship between gun availability and increased risk for injury and death, the fact remains: If a handgun had not been in that pickup truck, a mother and her child would be home tonight, not recovering from the trauma of an all-too-predictable tragedy.” – Josh Sugarmann in Why Does the Gun Lobby Encourage Small Children to Handle Guns? [via huffingtonpost.com]

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46 Responses to Blue Force Gear Quote of the Day: Josh Sugarmann’s ‘What You Don’t Have Can’t Hurt You’ Argument for Gun Control

    • It’s like he doesn’t even live in a country that founded itself on the right to slough-off the next batch of fn a-holes that attempted to preempt their means. It took a lot of killing in two different wars (Revolution and 1812) to initially prove the point and we can fn go again anytime he wants (but we don’t swear we’ll wait that long).

    • Considering how the antis deny that defensive gun uses ever happen (or if they do, they claim they’re “extremely rare”), this guy will never, ever admit that having a gun could be helpful in any circumstance.

  1. What over simplistic and patently stupid thinking. Life is risk. One can be hurt or die just getting out of bed. Just imagine getting up, tripping on something and hitting one’s head on a nightstand or dresser.

    But gun grabber have a religion, I understand that. This is the gospel according to The Brady Campaign. Obviously we can’t legislate stupid out of human beings. Otherwise Josh would be serving lattes at Starbucks if we could.

  2. BB pistols and rifles at 6 through 8 years old, then pellet rifles through 11 Y/O. Meanwhile, my dad would take me out and shoot his .308 bolt action rifle from when I was 9. Then, on my 11th birthday, I got a .22lr Ruger semi-auto rifle that I kept in my room and could take out anytime I wanted without my parents permission or supervision.

    I was also at 11, driving a tractor hauling a trailor with bins of apples 5 miles down the road to the cider factory, along with building sheds, fixing fences and maintaing roads on our property.

    I was taught about the responsible use of dangerous tools safely that could injure or kill myself and others as I grew up. A rifle was only one such tool.

    But for a progressive/statist, that is heresy, for if a child is taught to act responsibly, to become a mature responible adult, they are out of a job.

    • Sorry, no… With the scarcity of 22lr the kids will not be allowed to take their gun out whenever they want to any more 🙂

    • ThomasR You are so right. The problem with the liberal left progressives, They are to dumb to teach their children responsibility. Like you I learned to work at an early age and felt accomplishment by doing my share of work. Cars, motorcycles,knives,hammers and so kill millions. I believe the biggest killer of all is drugs and alcohol. And now add Marijuana and mental illness along with radical terrorist and the stupid politicians that protect the crazy people. What a wonderful world?

  3. Ah yes, the old “relationship between [a thing] availability and increased risk for injury and death [due to that thing]” canard. For example, I could just as easily say, “You can’t deny the relationship between living in alligator-infested Florida and increased risk for alligator bites,” and I’d be making the same circular logical fallacy.

    Is he making this error due to ignorance or malice? You decide, but given his history, I’m going to say that he makes this mistake on purpose, with intent to mislead people. This, in my book, is evil (and a sin). I make this distinction because in the past he has said this:

    “Assault weapons—just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms—are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”

    He has to FUD as hard as possible because The Truth About Guns is not on his side.

  4. I love liberal fortune tellers. They never forecast events like “if only she had a gun she wouldn’t have been raped “

  5. If she hadn’t owned a pickup, she would be here today. Ban pickups!

    If she didn’t have children, she would be here today. Ban Children!

    If she had a made a left on 4th street instead of a right, she would be here today. Ban left turns!

    If she hadn’t taken so long to eat breakfast, she would have remembered the gun was in the back seat and she would be here today. Ban large breakfasts!

    I can be facetious and stupid too Mr. Sugarmann…..

  6. Here is part of the 4th paragraph of his article:

    “As my organization, the Violence Policy Center, documented in our recent study, “Start Them Young” – How the Firearms Industry and Gun Lobby are Targeting Your Children, the firearms industry is facing a slow-motion demographic collapse. With household gun ownership on the decline, the gun industry has set its sights on America’s children.”

    Demographic collapse? Household gun ownership on the decline? I wonder, based on news reports that gun sales are at all-time record highs, who is buying all the guns!

  7. the fact remains: If they had not been in that pickup truck, a mother and her child would be home tonight, not recovering from the trauma of an all-too-predictable tragedy.”
    Same logic applies.

  8. Yeah, if we never progressed passed the Stone Age I am sure alot gun deaths could have been prevented.

    • That’s true. Until someone invented those nasty ol’ guns, there’d never been a homicide in the history of the universe. Not a single war either!

      • Well…The third person in the entire world murdered the fourth person (or was it the fourth murdering the third, I can never keep that straight) with a rock. Attempting to prevent that primary homicide must be why God did not give Adam the secret of gunpowder, metallurgy and machining.

        • Sons of Adam. Abel, the younger brother, was killed either with a stone or with the sharpened jawbone of an ass, depending on sect.

  9. “What you don’t have can’t hurt help you.” There, fixed it for them. So “they deny accidental gun deaths”-guy denies D G Us. Well, at least we’re balancing all the outcomes here. Oh, wait…

    Why encourage kids to learn about guns? Guns are part of the world, potent tools, and powerful symbols. Kids should learn about the world or they’ll end up like “no D G Us”-guy.

    Also, this learning is good training for a world where we live by our tools, tools which can harm delicate human bodies, if ill-used. In this sense a gun is like a chainsaw, or a car, or a pool stick, without the distraction.

    Finally, shooting guns is fun. Introduce kids to fun things. They might like it.

  10. “Why Does the Gun Lobby Encourage Small Children to Handle Guns?”

    Little Josh is a cold, calculating and well paid propagandist. The inane drivel he spouts is his work product. Generating hysteria is his goal.

  11. And if so & so didn’t have a car, they wouldn’t have been mangled or killed in the crash.
    Life is full of risks. Every day we decide which risks are worth taking. In the grand scheme of things, driving your car is much riskier than carrying a gun.

  12. People like Mr. Sugarmann know that they are idiotic but they also know that most of the general public who they contact through their sophomoric articles are idiots themselves.

  13. A very wise man once said, it is better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and confirm it.
    Josh sugarmann confirmed it.

  14. I take issue with two of the words in his key sentence: “predictable” and “tragedy.” First, how is someone leaving a loaded gun in a back seat with a four year old “predictable?” How “predictable” is the four year old working the mechanism, shooting it, and actually hitting someone? Neither are “predictable” although both are “stupid” as in: never should have been possible in the first place.

    Now “tragedy” is a word that connotes a calamity, disaster or fatal event. The event wasn’t fatal although it could easily have been. Was it a “calamity” when a careless gun owner got taught a severe lesson in gun safety? I think a lot of gun owners who would have secured their arms around toddlers, kept them completely out of reach, kept safeties on, etc. might disagree. The event was actually more of a calamity for law-abiding, careful gun owners because one idiot makes the rest of us look bad. For the participants, it was more of a hard lesson so the sentence should be revised to read “Idiot learns hard lesson.”

  15. The problem with this guy’s article is that he takes two entirely unrelated things and tries to pretend that they are related.

    The first thing is the tragic accident that occurred when a toddler gained access to a loaded firearm. Everyone in the world agrees that this should never have been allowed to happen.

    The second thing is parents educating their children about firearms, i.e. teaching them what a firearm is and teaching them how to shoot a firearm -under supervision-.

    He wants to create the impression that allowing the second one will somehow increase the first. It will not, they are totally unrelated.

  16. “What you don’t have can’t hurt you.”

    He’s really not that far off the truth here. Just a little difference in the wording and he could’ve been had something. Unfortunately, sometimes a little difference can make a big difference.

    Had he written “What you don’t have can hurt you”, the missing quality being common sense, personal responsibility, or rudimentary firearms safety training, then yes, he would’ve been on to something.

    Alternately, had he written “What you don’t have can’t protect you”, meaning a household firearm or personal self-defense firearm, then he’d have offered something meaningful here. So close, but so far.

  17. If governments were not armed, they could not kill their own people.

    At least 170 million people — and perhaps as many as 360 million — have been murdered by their own governments in the 20th century

  18. Sugarmann’s statement is an example of lying by making a technically true statement that is so misleading and one sided as to convey a false impression of the truth. It is true that when killer doesn’t have a gun he cannot kill anyone with a gun. It’s also true that when a citizen who is attacked by a killer with a gun does not have a gun himself he cannot defend himself effectively.

    Just as many times, perhaps more times, it is true to say that if there had not been a gun in the citizen’s pickup truck that citizen and/or his family would not be alive today.

  19. The accidental shooting by the four year old happened on Tuesday. Mr. Sugarmann’s article was publish that Friday. In the three days between the shooting and the article, how many people were hurt in accidental shootings compared to car accidents? I’m guessing Mr. Sugarmann knows the difference between the two are monumental……BUT he’s not concerned with reducing all accidents, only those with the evil guns.

  20. “What You Don’t Have Can’t Hurt You” — Josh Sugarmann

    Patently and demonstrably false: not having a fire extinguisher could hurt you. And NOT having a firearm hurt the Petit family when two violent criminals decided to rape the mother and one of her daughters and then kill the mother and both daughters.

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