“Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People.” The Problem Being?

There’s a reason that Hickok45’s son is sitting in a chair with the camera towering above him for this rant. The man is taller than the tall tales anti-gunners tell to justify their crusade for civilian disarmament. One of the more popular counters thrown back at them: guns don’t kill people, people kill people!

The extravagantly bearded gun guy thinks that’s a dumb argument. No one — well hardly anyone — thinks a gun will kill someone of its own volition. Methinks he’s missing the point.

The expression reminds antis — and The People of the Gun — to focus on the killer, not the means. I don’t like it as much as “when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns,” but low information voters need easily understood slogans. I say GDKP, PKP stays. You?

comments

  1. avatar dph says:

    Does it really matter? Slogans don’t really effect my views one way or the other.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Not really your views we’re trying to affect. It’s the gun muggles that need to be educated and simplicity is the key.

      1. avatar Dev says:

        I hate when POTG use the word “muggle” to describe the anti-freedom crowd. In the Harry potter world that word was used derisively because of a sense of superiority that the wizards felt, including their morality. It’s something the anti-freedom crowd would use to describe us.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          And, therefore, something we should use to describe them. What’s the problem?

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          No no no must not say or do ANYTHING that your freaking ENEMIES might dislike or might make them feel _______. Warm fuzzies and kumbaya only.

        3. avatar SteveInCO says:

          Muggle is not a term used to describe the hard core anti, but rather the person who hasn’t given it much thought, who just defaults to what he’s heard. He’s had no exposure to guns other than in Hollywood produced dreck, so he’s liable to be fearful–out of ignorance–when he sees one unexpectedly.

          A muggle is educable, if you don’t scare him to death first which will make him shut you out. A true anti is not.

  2. avatar surlycmd says:

    He may have a point. This latest atrocity illustrates people do bad shit no matter how many checks are in place. The Pulse shooter passed background checks, psych evals, FBI scrutiny and maintained a security license. He still went on on a mass murder spree. To the Armed Intelligentsia it proves no law or process will catch bad people. The anti-gunners think it proves their point about guns in civilian hands is bad for society.
    Maybe the saying should be “Guns don’t kill people, people save lives by using guns.”

    1. avatar John Smith says:

      Yep.

    2. avatar cenonce says:

      This is why in my own discussions with people I’ve been trying to change the narrative to it being a self-defense issue. To me, it’s not pro-gun v. anti-gun, it’s effective self-defense v. anti self-defense. When you are talking to the moderate crowd that doesn’t care about guns, but is horrified by “another mass shooting,” most of them can figure out that the police can’t be there all the time and the government can’t keep guns out of the hands of criminals anyway. Only the most harden collectivist progressive can’t get behind the idea that a gun is the most effective way to immediately defend yourself from an unlawful and potentially lethal attack. And the reality is they would sacrifice their own life because they “couldn’t kill another human being.” Most moderate people say “fuck that,” when it comes to their own lives, their spouse, and especially… their kids.

      Lately I’ve been asking people what they think that mother who was in the Pulse nightclub with her son would’ve done if she had a gun. Haven’t had anybody yet say she would have shielded her son from that terrorist and NOT used the gun to shoot back.

      1. avatar Mr. Woodcock says:

        Exactly. Agree and have used this same approach.

      2. avatar Kendahl says:

        Self defense itself, with or without firearms, is under attack.

        An American police officer who writes a self defense blog visited Australia on vacation. Knowing that it would not be legal for him to carry a handgun, he limited himself to a 3-inch folding knife and some pepper spray on a key chain. When he described the trip on his blog, an Australian informed him that he was lucky not to have been arrested. The knife was illegal to import and pepper spray is classified as a deadly weapon similar to fully automatic firearms. Had the cop used either in self defense, he would have been in more trouble than his assailant. According to this Australian, it is illegal to carry anything for the purpose of self defense. I have a vague recollection of an earlier comment from Australia that one should never resort to violence, not even to save one’s life.

        In Canada, pepper spray is reserved for bears. It’s illegal to use in self defense against a human assailant.

        Not long ago, a young Danish woman was fined for using pepper spray against an Arab who sexually assaulted her.

        Even documented cases of self defense by private citizens are being treated as urban myths. In a letter to the editor of my local newspaper, a writer claimed that firearms are never used in self defense. Apparently he had forgotten the news reports of several such incidents by business owners, their customers and homeowners in just the past two years. In every case, the county attorney ruled the shooting justified. On Friday, Farago described a dialogue between one Liston Matthews and the author of another letter to an editor. At one point, the letter writer claims that so-called DGUs are really just (presumably unjustified) attempts to intimidate others. The implication is clear: It’s wrong to fight back against criminal attack.

        On the rare occasions I get into a debate on the subject of self defense, I don’t mention it directly. Instead, I begin with, “People have the right to go about their lives in peace and safety.” My opponent always agrees with this statement. Then comes the zinger: “The welfare of a crime victim takes precedence over the welfare of his assailant. The type and amount of force to be used against the assailant depends only on how much is necessary to fight him off. A victim has no obligation to put himself at risk in order to minimize injury to his assailant. To believe otherwise is to sacrifice the victim in order to protect his assailant.” This approach gets away from firearms and self defense and gets down to the basic argument about whose life comes first.

    3. avatar Tom says:

      The anti-2nd Amendment crowd conflates passing laws with law enforcement.

    4. avatar DaveL says:

      The anti-gunners think it proves their point about guns in civilian hands is bad for society.

      The thing is, the problem doesn’t go away just because the people with guns are wearing badges on their chests that say “government”. It only gets concentrated.

  3. avatar Robert says:

    The thing is it is a valid point to make tha guns themselves don’t kill people. A lot of the gun ban crowd sees guns as fetish objects in the old sense of the word. They think that the the act of touching one changes the person. That once a gun is in their possession they are now more violent, more bloodthirsty than they would be without it. They see them as objects with a will that aim to corrupt the souls of people and make them kill.

    1. avatar TJ Larson says:

      And yet, in their minds, somehow the police, private security, and military are immune. Must be that mystical training they have…

      Yet hundreds of DGUs happen everyday that stop crime.

  4. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    Those who try to tell me that “guns” kill people… I ask them how many people their cars have run over while tooling down the road without a driver. Probably don’t get many converts, but I do get some strange looks.

    Don’t argue with these programmed phrases directly. Reframe the question and the situation so it may bypass the brainwashing enough to spark some original thinking. Maybe… hopefully.

    1. avatar jjimmyjonga says:

      in fact, cars do kill people. A jeep killed Chekov last week in LA.

      1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

        The Jeep seemed to Klingon him.

        1. avatar Vendetta says:

          That is a delightful play on words. Reppin our state well.

        2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

          We have that bizarre Dresden gallows humour.

      2. avatar MamaLiberty says:

        Guns – and most other complex tools can malfunction too. Not the same thing, by any means. 🙂

  5. avatar John Smith says:

    Yes. It stays. Because without guns, or legal guns, murder and violent crime can be terribly high (Honduras) and with guns, murder and violent crime can be very low (Switzerland). So, it’s not the presence of guns that is causing the murder rate.

    But, I agree with the need to stop showing a picture of a gun and saying stupid things like, “I’m watching it, and it hasn’t killed anybody yet…” Much better to show a picture of a gun, or you with your gun, and say, “I own guns, but I’ve never robbed, shot, murdered…” as in, “…so my guns don’t make me a criminal.”

    But I also despise comments like, “Woah, look at that girl shoot! You’d better buy her a nice anniversary gift!” or “I tossed my daughter’s date a shotgun shell. Told him they move MUCH faster after curfew…” I don’t joke about things like shooting someone for forgetting an anniversary or being late for curfew. We demean ourselves when we do that, and then insist that our guns protect- while we joke about BEING the aggressor.

    1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

      Amen, John!! I’ve been very uncomfortable about such “jokes” as long as I’ve been shooting. I always tell whoever says that sort of thing how demeaning and stupid it is.

    2. avatar Roebling says:

      Teddy Kennedy’s car has killed more people than any of my guns.

    3. avatar Cliff H says:

      It was funny in Justified, however, when Raylan tossed a cartridge at the bad guy and told him, “Next one’s comin’ faster.”

  6. avatar doesky2 says:

    The thing is that most vehement anti-gunners deserve to be talked down to, and condescended to, and shown little respect. The reason is that most vehement anti-gunners lie about their ultimate goal and that is the compete confiscation of guns. People who lie deserve to be talked down to.

    The first 5 minutes of any discussion with an anti-gunner is to drill down into the nut of their real goals. If their real goal is confiscation, then derision and venom towards them is totally warranted.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      “If their real goal is confiscation, then derision and venom towards them is totally warranted”

      If not, then they should be shown that any other “common sense” gun control is already law, or will accomplish nothing without still further laws, designed to maintain the gun control industry for decades without any effect.

    2. avatar John Smith says:

      The “we just want to make it harder to buy…” is nonsense. I’m not talking ‘slippery slope’ where things escalate over time. I agree that, if they’re honest with themselves- and us- confiscation is ALREADY the goal.

  7. avatar Conan The Libertarian says:

    His point just shows the futility of trying to have a rational conversation with a leftist. They FEEL that guns are evil and turn people into evil beings despite all the data saying the opposite. If you can’t change their feels with facts, then catchy slogans don’t mean a thing either.

  8. avatar Jim S says:

    Wait, I thought it was this guy’s shirt: http://i.imgur.com/u6DGu.jpg

    (yes this is sarcasm)

  9. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    “… I don’t have an answer, I know I just don’t like it.”

    Soooo, this is just a b*tching session then?

    You don’t know what you want, you just know what you don’t want, and don’t know how to get it… You and my ex-wife would get along swimmingly.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      “… I don’t have an answer, I know I just don’t like it.”

      Sounds a lot like gun-grabbers, doesn’t it? “I don’t have an answer, I know I just don’t like guns.”

  10. avatar Mk10108 says:

    I don’t need to respect anyone who wants to separate me from my armaments. The better question is what conversation or catchy phrase do you have for criminal?

    Anti gunners want you, like them living in their fear. I live with fear but choose to prepare for it. And should death come by the hand of a criminal, the only conversation will be my pile of brass around my body.

  11. avatar Hoofdpijn says:

    A couple of years ago I took a friend who was visiting from Europe to the gun range. It was her first time firing a gun and she had a fun time, didn’t seem to have any preconceived notions about shooting one way or the other. Of course she had me take some pictures of her shooting so she could post them for the folks back home to see.

    The first response to her post was something along the lines of “Hey that looks fun! Who were you imagining you were shooting?”. It was just a casual joking comment from a friend and not made with any “gun” agenda at all.

    I think that says a lot about how people have been taught to think about firearms.

  12. avatar Bob Watson says:

    Big John’s asserts, we must listen to and be respectful of anti-gunner’s lies so they will listen to and be respectful of us.
    How exactly would that work with people like Clinton, Pelosi, Feinstein, Sugarman, Schumer, DeLeon, Jolly, Newsome, Obama, the Hysterical Mother or Shannon’s Sugar Daddy?

    Just asking…

  13. avatar younggun21 says:

    I hate to be a killjoy, but we are getting attacked at the same level. Is the comment patronizing? Of course it is but we are in a full on culture war and the other side is castigating our side as “willingly selling guns to terrorists” so what is one to do? Getting a small catch phrase like this out into the public is effective because it is true, and it shifts the blame to the person rather than the tool which is our focus. The person should be the thing that is being singled out for blame rather than the tool.

    We know that people know guns aren’t killing people on their own, but the phrase is intended to display to people on the fence that we should not be focusing on the gun because it requires another variable to be effective. Scientifically, X cannot be the sole cause of outcome Y if X requires another variable to cause Y. That means that X and Z together cause Y which means focusing on only one of the variables is going to be radically ineffective. Especially when outcome Y (deaths) are still achieved without X (guns) through other measures, all of which involve Z(people committing intentionally malicious acts).

  14. avatar Chadwick P. says:

    Guns don’t kill people, followers of the death cult kill people… Really people, is it any surprise when someone embraces teachings that tell him to kill gays, that he might actually do it? At least Christians use their words on the homosexual battlefield if you will. Islam says its doing them a service by killing them, and they do just that.

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      I am going to break with the PC thinking and state that guns have crap to do with all the slaughter of man by man.
      People were killing each other off way before guns were invented.
      Actually I would venture that the harmless free speech is potentially more dangerous than the guns as the we are obermenschen ideology above the untermenschen is indoctrinated into the subject’s brain long before the violence starts.
      Good examples are Islam, Mein Kampf, Communist Manifesto, Jus Bellicae, Blood and Soil, Roman Earth, Manifest Destiny, and ad infinitum.

      1. avatar younggun21 says:

        This is what I say. When arguing someone that claims that guns make it easier to kill people I ask: “What point in time would you like to take us back to that was more peaceful? In what time and place prior to firearms would you like us to return to where there was no war and no violence?”

        1. avatar Mk10108 says:

          It’s not liberals taking us back to a point in history, it’s where they want us to go. It would be nice if man reached the level of never harming another. They conveniently forget how bad folks brains are wired and until we morph into something else, a handgun equalizes disparity in how our chromosomes divide.

  15. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    ‘God made man and woman; Colonel Colt made them equal’.”
    Might have been Ann Coulter.

    1. avatar Mk10108 says:

      If there were two people more responsible of changing the course of a country, both Peter and Ann should get the Presidental Medal of Freedom.

  16. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I have no problem with John Hickok questioning whether an argument/slogan is effective.

    As for his beef with the slogan, “Guns don’t kill people …”, I am not sure that I agree with him. Let’s be honest: gun-grabbers are utterly and totally fixated on guns rather than the bigger picture. Hopefully, saying “Guns don’t kill people …” will bump a gun-grabber back toward reality.

    Anyhow, I don’t doubt for a moment that other arguments/slogans might be more effective. Along those lines, we need more emotional arguments/slogans that will hit home and jolt people back toward reality. Once we get them off their previous emotional “X”, then we might want to throw in something more factually based. Remember, gun-grabbers are clinging to a position based on emotion: facts are irrelevant in that situation.

  17. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    I don’t feel the anti-gunners do understand. Their psycho babble implicitly makes the claim that the trigger pulls the finger.

    The thing that bugs me most is when our side starts using the phrases the anti-gunners push: saying x number of people were killed BY guns. The real number of people killed by guns is statistically zero, every year. Always use the word with instead of by. Anyone with a brain in their head knows that the Islamic terrorist that killed those gay people in Orlando would have killed more people with gasoline, Styrofoam, and matches than he did with that Sig. By using WITH instead of BY we emphasize that there are other tools that criminals and terrorists will use when they can’t get guns.

    Sorry for the rant, but Senator Johnny Isakson set me off when he used the phrase “Common sense gun legislation.” With “friends” like that, we are in big trouble!

  18. avatar Kurt says:

    Guns don’t kill home invaders, home owners with guns kill home invaders.

    Guns don’t kill rapists, women with guns kill rapists.

    Guns don’t kill tyrants, citizens with guns kill tyrants

    etc., etc.,

  19. avatar Piglet says:

    I talk to two people about firearms related stuff and the three of us agree. I have no interest in discussions with others pro or anti.

  20. avatar Ralph says:

    Guns don’t kill people. Terrorists and thugs kill people.

  21. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I advocate for pushing much more emotional arguments/slogans. What does everyone think of my question to gun-grabbers, “Why are you [gun-grabber] pro-rape? Why do you [gun-grabber] want women to be unarmed and unable to stop rapists from physically and emotionally violating women?”

    That question is so, shall we say “provocative”, that I have had admins remove it from the comments section of articles on mainstream media outlets. The fact that admins on liberal media venues want to remove the question strongly suggests that I am on the right track. What say you?

    1. avatar Kevin in CO says:

      I’d rephrase it. “Why are you…?” is a personal attack, and tends to make people lock up. “Do you believe that you should be able to defend yourself against crime?” “What if the mugger is twice your size?” “I understand you are a pacifist and will not harm another person, even in self defense. I respect your consistency. But what about your daughter? Would SHE rather be raped than defend herself? Do you have the right to speak for her?”

  22. avatar Anonymous says:

    What is GDKP? PKP?

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      It’s the slogan in acronym form: Guns don’t etc…

  23. avatar Ernie Pike says:

    How about this;
    “Self defense is a civil right”.
    Or we take a page from the LBGTABCD moment,
    “I’m here. I’m armed. Get use to it”

  24. avatar formerwaterwalker says:

    Man I don’t worry about any of this. Joke,don’t joke,worry about losers “feelings” or get in “discussions” about “common-sense” gun laws. Wanna’ be my enemy? So be it…been there-done that.

  25. avatar Lowell says:

    Condescending and patronizing is actually just fine. Democrat creator of Dilbert Scott Adams surprising put the situation we are in more succinctly that I have ever before seen someone phrase it:

    http://blog_dilbert_com/post/146307088451/why-gun-control-cant-be-solved-in-the-usa
    “”So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. Psychologically, those are different risk profiles. And you can’t reconcile those interests, except on the margins. For example, both sides might agree that rocket launchers are a step too far. But Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as “Put down your gun so I can shoot you.”

    He’s dead right. Adams doesn’t want to believe it because it’s completely damming to his side, but that’s exactly what’s happening. Every weekend in Chiraq we see a few dozen shooting victims – and they are almost all black males shot by other black males. Theses black males grew up in single mother homes where every child has a different father and the provider is the government – in other words the only reason these people even exist is because of Democrats and their social welfare state. Every mass shooter all the way back to Columbine had lefty leanings and were on drugs. We just found out that that the Orlando shooter was a registered Democrat, who is part of an ethnic group and religion imported by the Democrats so that they can create another left-leaning voting-bloc to crowd out whites. And then there’s the Big Daddy of them all, it’s going to be those lily-white suburban Democrats that initiate gun confiscation which will require shooting whoever comes to do the confiscating.

    Once you face that reality, there’s no going back. The Democrats are a military enemy who mean us bodily harm. So why are we caring about seeming reasonable to them? Why are we worried about whether they like us or whether we win an argument that we are guaranteed to never win even though we win it every damn day? Why do we put up with them when the only solution to this mess is staring us right in the face?

  26. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

    [I better pre-tag this as sarcasm]

    “OK, guns do kill people. But some people simply need killing.”

  27. I disagree with him. The other side is stupid.

  28. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    Condescending and patronizing seems like an appropriate (and rather mild) response to stupidity, willful ignorance, and treasonous ideology.

    Once upon a time, people used to think before they spoke. And if your job requires you to take an oath to uphold the United States Constitution and you start talking about treason and ways to circumvent or abolish parts of the Constitution without logic, foresight, or a grasp of the topic you are speaking about, you deserve to be called out for being an idiot.

  29. My favorite argument to make is reminding people that the right to keep arms is to empower the people against tyranny. When they say our government is not tyrannical I say “You know why?”

  30. avatar PeterK says:

    Most people’s minds are made up. None of these “arguments” means a whole lot. It’s fun to annoy people with, but it’s not like it’s a good argument. It’s not a bad one either, though, so I don’t mind if it stays or goes. As long as my rights stick around. And even come back some.

    1. Yeah, you can’t talk to a Liberal like a normal human being.
      All the common sense and well articulated argument you could make has no effect to an ideologue.
      With that, the best counter argument to “why do you need _______ guns?” is: “because FUCK YOU! That’s why”.

  31. avatar Wild Bill says:

    It’s a response to the illogical argument that banning gun, one or all, will prevent killing. It’s also a response to basic dishonesty of the anti gun movement. They say it’s just this gun or that, that must have one more restriction, but the anti gun crowd’s real end goal is the elimination of all guns. A good example is magazine capacity limitations, 30 rounds is too many, but 10 is OK? What that says is shooting 30 people is really bad, shooting ten, not so much and carrying three weapons with ten rounds to shoot 30 people would be OK. These argument totally ignore the criminal that commits the crime and focuses on a tool. Incremental gun control is like a snake slowly squeezing the life out it’s next meal.

  32. avatar preston says:

    his father he is not

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