By Sgt. Patrick Hayes
We all know someone, friends, coworkers, even relatives who either believe the gun control lies or actively spout them. These are usually baseless exaggerations designed to instill fear with the intent of forcing a type of government control over a natural and constitutional right. As Robert Farago and others have said, it is not about guns, it’s about control. If you choose to engage a gun control activist in a debate, understand that you will rarely get a sensible, logical engagement. This is because they won’t listen to you. They don’t care about facts or the truth. They want control and you are not going to change that . . .
The ones we can talk to are average citizens who have been brainwashed to believe the hype. They are usually folks who grew up in typical gun control areas of the country. They have never been around guns and are usually afraid of them. But they are open to new ideas and facts are still relevant to them.
What follows are some gun control myths and the ways to counter them.
MYTH: More/stricter gun laws will stop violent crime.
TRUTH: We already have thousands of gun laws on the books as well as laws against violent crime. Simple truth: criminals do not obey the law. There is no law that can be passed that will change that. Areas that have the strictest gun control laws in the country have some of the highest violent gun crime rates. This is a fact.
MYTH: Thousands (or any other huge number) of children are killed in gun accidents each year.
TRUTH: There are usually fewer than 200 accidental gun deaths involving children under 18 years of age in any given year. This isn’t even close to the top of the list of causes. Motor vehicle accidents, drownings, falls and other such common incidents kill far more children than gun accidents do. A common tactic gun controllers use is to highlight a number without putting it in any context. Ask them to cite a legitimate source. Ask them to list the top five causes of child death in the United States. Accidental gun deaths won’t be in there.
MYTH: Assault rifles are being used to kill thousands of people. They’re more deadly than other guns. Magazines holding more than X number of rounds make these guns more dangerous.
TRUTH: These are the common “attack the gun gear” arguments. The idea is to pass small laws that eliminate guns and ammunition gradually over time. By demonizing an object, they hope to instill fear and use that fear to push more gun control laws on the public. That is why the media loves mass shooter incidents. “See…we told you! Assault rifles are killing our children! ” He had 10 30-round magazines!
The truth is rifles are rarely used in homicides, about 3%. The truth is mass shootings are rare, just as they have been throughout our history. It’s tragic, but it’s hardly a problem that warrants laws that affect 300 million law-abiding gun owners. The Clinton assault weapons ban did nothing to reduce crime. This tactic has been the most successful attack on gun rights to date. Most of the pro-gun control state governments have passed laws banning certain firearms and magazines.
If this topic comes up, try to put the issue in perspective. Explain the difference between a rifle and a handgun. Point out that a rifle that looks “deadly” is no more deadly than any other rifle. Explain the fact that gun control advocates in the 1980s tried unsuccessfully to ban handguns and this is their next attempt to ban guns…all guns.
MYTH: Guns are used more often in crime than self defense. Guns are the cause of violent crime. Guns make a home more dangerous. Guns cause suicides.
TRUTH: These are the “guns are evil” arguments. These are designed to make citizens fear them, and many do. This is almost always due to a misunderstanding of what firearms are, how many there are, and what they are used for.
In 2012 there were 14,287 homicides in the United States. ( FBI-UCR ) . About 9000 of these were committed with a firearm. There was an estimated 2,000,000 defensive gun uses in the same year. The problem we have is there is no central database of defensive gun uses. In any case, firearms are used far more often for defensive purposes than offensive.
There are some 300 million privately-owned firearms in the United States. Firearms cause (all causes) about 37,000 deaths each year. The largest number are suicides (19,000+), followed by homicides (14,000+) and accidents (500+).
Gun control activists love big numbers so they like to add those together and shove that number at anyone they see.
To get some perspective, let’s look at some other causes of death. Motor vehicles (38,000+) or non-transport accidents (88,000+). Guns are no more dangerous – and often far less so – than other causes of death. While it’s true that an available gun will most commonly be used in a suicide, where no gun is available suicides are still happening. There is no connection between firearms and suicide rates.
MYTH: If we get rid of all guns, people will stop killing each other. Places that ban guns have no homicides.
TRUTH: These are the “Utopia” arguments. Lets get rid of guns and somehow everyone will stop being violent and live happily ever after. This is usually found with progressive liberals who tend to be out of touch with reality.
The truth is, technology prevails. We can’t dis-invent things. There is no way to make guns or anything else just disappear.
The gun control argument here fails to take history into account. People are violent. People kill people. That isn’t going to change until human nature changes. Millions of humans were killed before the invention of gunpowder.
We have seen that where guns are banned, homicides still occur, just with other weapons. Look at England and Australia. China is actually about to institute “knife control“.
If you are confronted with this argument by a progressive liberal…just walk away….there is no hope.
MYTH: The founders didn’t intend for individuals to have guns; the 2nd Amendment means the National Guard; there is no individual right to carry a gun; we need to repeal the Second Amendment, its out of date, etc.
TRUTH: These are the “we hate that you have a right” arguments. Gun control activists can’t abide the Second Amendment. They close their eyes at night and wish it would just go away. After years of debate, the Heller and McDonald cases finally declared that citizens do indeed have a right to keep and bear arms.
One of the big arguments you will hear is that the founders used flintlock rifles so that’s what they intended to protect. This is insane on its face. First, they were protecting a right, a concept or a specific piece of hardware. Second, they also didn’t have the internet, video, audio or any other common communication media. Does that mean the First Amendment only protects the printed word?
This is a weak argument that is easily countered. Point out that to any sensible person you talk to, the Second Amendment was designed to protect the rest of the amendments. Take away one, you lose them all.
MYTH: Loose gun laws, fewer gun laws, open carry, concealed carry…any carry will only cause more killings, blood will flow in the streets, etc.
TRUTH: This is the “OMG, we’re all gonna die!” argument. Another fear tactic, this one is baseless and anyone who believes is probably not too smart.
The easiest way to defeat this one is to demand proof. Tell them to show you where any of that is happening. Point out that most of the blood is flowing in gun control utopias like Chicago. The fact is carry permit holders are among the law abiding folks in the country.
Again, you probably won’t convert a hard core gun control activist, but might might sway a few from their propaganda. Just keep it simple, smile, stay calm and use facts. Gun control fools hate facts.