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Dr. Arthur Romano at Penn State Gun Control Debate:Discussion (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

DrVino [not shown] emailed me the other day. He wanted to make sure I was rhetorically armed ready for my confrontation discussion about gun control with Dr. Arthur Romano [above] at Penn State. DrV was especially concerned that the peace provocateur would hit me with ye olde “Look at Britain’s firearms-related homicide rate” anti-gun agitprop. Which he did. Unfortunately, I got to DrV’s email the day after the shoot-out exchange of views with Dr. Romano. So I countered with the fact that the UK has the highest violent crime rate in Europe. In fact, it’s higher than that of the U.S., in several important categories (including rape). DrVino had a different prescription for the Europe-leads-the-way-on-gun-control assault argument against uninfringed America gun rights. Make the jump and check it out . . .

When grabbers start talking about England, Norway and Australia not having guns and being such wonderful violence free utopias, ask them:

Whether those countries at any time had RKBA codified in their legal structure (i.e., 2A-equivalent)?

The answer will, of course, be “NO”  (I’m almost 100% sure, but I don’t know what I don’t know about other countries, so…do your research)

Then point out to them that 2A is a fundamental construct of American civil and political structure. It’s a political check to balance gov’t.

Solutions to our problems must come WITHIN the context of a civil and legal structure that guarantees RKBA, not by infringing or eroding that right.

Then tell them that to infringe on that is to deconstruct and destroy the essence of what makes American civil and political structure unique, exceptional.

If they want to compare violence and death statistics they need to compare apples to apples and find those stats for countries where RKBA is mandated or at least protected. (I don’t think Switzerland is a good example, but I’ll take it).

If they’re an academic – especially a “____ science” faculty – ( _____ = social, political, psychological, or even a hard science), you can really nail them:

They must have in the course of their studies learned statistics and experimental design. So, if they did, their attempts to compare apples to pickles is either 1) a manifestation of ignorance for fundamental tenets of critical analysis (which is incumbent upon them to possess), or 2) deliberate disregard of these fundamentals in order to carry out a cognitive sleight of hand in order to score points for an agenda.

They need to be hammered on this to undermine their facade of “interest of public safety”, their credibility.

Use this as the core reference point for your arguments to devastate their foundational assumptions.

Hammer on that to destroy their credibility and put a shadow of doubt on their motives.

It goes without saying that somewhere in there you want to say that gun owners don’t buy guns to kill but to keep from being killed and that we too want to reduce senseless killings, but we want to achieve that WITHIN the construct of our Bill of Rights.

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  1. Europe ,in many respects,is an entirely different culture and population structure.Some countries are legally still monarchies ,for example.

    Thus,their political system and cultural arrangements are too distinct for point by point comparison.That’s how you disarm that leftist shibboleth.

    • There is much to be said for the collective temperament and disposition of a nation. Much of that is rooted in tradition and history.
      Our (U.S.) tradition and history are built on individualism, resourcefulness and RKBA.
      Speaking of which, I’ll step back from this thread and go make boom with the kids at the range.

      • Well part of that is that the cops actually cook the books pretty bad in Japan to make the crime rate lower (basically if they don’t believe they can convict on a murder they label it a ‘suspicious death’), but the large part of it is that it is not cool to be a criminal. Even the organized crime in Japan regularly teams up with the cops to track down petty burglars and rapists. It is considered shameful and dishonorable to commit petty and wanton crime in Japan, so most people don’t do it. In America we have an entire subculture based around the glorification of selfish and wanton crime, and as a result it breeds criminals.

        • So even if every 1 out of 5 murders in japan, hell i’ll even give them 1 out of 10 murders were actually counted as murders, the rest being suspicious death, that’s still only what 4,4200 approximately(Thats suspicious death and actual murders total). Now this is starting to get interesting. Cause America had approximately 16000 homicides in 2011. So japan which was apporximately 128000000 people(2010) would have apporximately 10000 murders going with the current numbers if it were to have a similar population size as the U.S(310000000 in 2010). I really doubt they were 1 out of 10 in terms of murders, but if they were that would show that Japan really isn’t any any better off in it’s homicide rate comparatively but that it’s relatively low gun crime is a result of it’s gun control policies. But since i doubt they are covering up the murder rate that badly(I hope not) it probably more has to do with the fact they typically don’t needlessly slaughter each other, much like gangbangers and thugs do here in the U.S. and that it’s more a result of culture than gun control., which I believe would account for a majority of our crime numbers(Chicago being the big problem) I don’t know the numbers, but that’s what I can collect from what I see. If you have any insight to the numbers in Japan, I would love to see them.

        • “but that it’s relatively low gun crime”

          I meant to say relatively low murder rate as well as gun crime rate. It would sound confusing now If i put it in there but again we’re trying to compare policies and why Japan has a low murder rate with gun control compared to america with a higher/high murder rate and laxer gun laws.

        • Very well-put; thanks for saving me the time by saying it first. And saying it better, perhaps, than I would have.

      • A good Japan question:

        “If legislation in Japan was changed to exactly what the US has, and guns became just as ubiquitous, do you honestly think that Japan’s homicide rate (of someone other than oneself) would reach our levels?”

        Most people, especially those who love the Japanese and their culture, know that it wouldn’t come close. Therefore, they know that legislation is much smaller than other (cultural) factors. If legislation is a small factor, we don’t know if more/less legislation would increase/decrease homicide. Therefore, Japan does not provide empirical support for disarmament legislation.

        (Of course, some will argue that the presence of guns slowly makes a society more violent. I’d like to keep this comment short though.)

    • It’s simpler than that: “So what if they have lower murder rates than we do, do they have lower murder rates than before they restricted firearms and did the decrease happen shortly after the legislation was enacted?”

      Seems to be the only question that matters to me.

  2. Good insight. Interesting line of thought and questioning. My experience with grabbers though is that even when you take them by the hand and walk them down the road of logic step by step they just tend to get even more irate and emotional when you reach the logical conclusion.

    • That’s OK. The line of questioning and the narcissistic insult reaction from the opponent are for the benefit of the audience.

    • Yes, that’s how you know you have won the argument against a leftist, when they call you a racist/sexist/homophobe etc. and start screaming incoherently. We’ll, there is another type that nods their head through all your points, then calmly says “…but, still” and repeats the talking point with which they started.

  3. A marginally relevant observation I left out is that the country which we fled in 1980 was an oppressive police state where even many cops did not carry and if you were suspect of some undesirable affiliations or activity, suddenly, more “drunks” and “vagrants” would be hanging out in your building’s stairwell, near your door.

    One of my uncles who stayed in behind the rusting iron curtain had been a sniper in the army. He now competes in IDPA. He now owns a 9mm semi, which he keeps in a safe at home – something unheard of in the 80’s unless you were a high ranking party member or a high-ranking police or military officer.

    Additionally, he told me competitors in his club own Mini14s and one guy had an AR built in Germany.

    There are many more instances where gun laws have loosened up tremendously, though one still needs to demonstrate a need.
    The take-home irony here is that while my new homeland is restricting gun rights, the land of my birth is progressively loosening them.

    Isn’t that something?

    • “Demonstrate a need”.

      Imagine if you had to “demonstrate a need” in order to buy a fire extinguisher! Just like guns, it seems it would be self-evident. “Whaddaya mean, ‘need’? It’s to put out FIRES!”

  4. “Then tell them that to infringe on that is to deconstruct and destroy the essence of what makes American civil and political structure unique, exceptional.”

    That is, of course, exactly what the Progs want to do on all fronts (not just 2A).

    Regardless, Dr. V makes some good points, but one basic point could be framed better if you want to rub their noses in their own misuse of statistics.

    The argument is this: If you are going to argue that nations with lower rates of private firearm ownership tend to have fewer murders, you don’t get to cherry pick which nations you put into your analyses (even if the choice seems reasonable by some criteria like similar per capita income). If I had that kind of freedom to cherry pick which nations go into the analyses, I could come of with any relationship I want. You have to enter data for ALL nations for which data are available (and that’s most of them). If you do that, there is a correlation of about -.10 (no significant relationship, but in the direction of more guns fewer murders).

    Now, you can control for other variables (like GDP, per capita income, etc.) using statistical tools, but the basic result will remain: There’s little or no relationship internationally between rate of private firearm ownership and murder rate. Accordingly, the tacit hypothesis of the grabbers that countries with stricter gun control tend to have lower murder rates is simply false.

    A similar analysis across States in the US gives the same answer.

  5. Britain has the right to keep and bear arms in their Bill of Rights. However, its a RKBA “within the law”, so if the law says “no semi autos or pistols”, then you have the right to keep and bear bolt actions, double barreled guns, and nothing else.

    • Britain does not have a bill of rights, in that sense. And if it did, The Prevention of Crime Act 1953 (banning the carrying of an offensive weapon without lawful authority or reasonable excuse) put paid to that.

      • Britain also lacks judicial review; British courts don’t have the ability to overturn legislation passed by Parliament that violates people’s rights:

        RF, if you want to do research into British gun control, you have to look much further back into British history. The Firearms Act 1920 set up a system similar to Illinois’ FOID system or the Mass LTC policy. I think the British invented concealed carry permits in the Gun License Act 1870.

      • All that leads to is people carrying some spare change, a broadsheet newspaper and a bottle of water.

        For anyone not familiar with Football Firms, those are the three ingredients of the most effective variant of the Millwall Brick.

    • RF is of course correct in his statement above. Our Bill of Rights was added as amendments to The Constitution of the United States of America as an enumeration of specific rights of the people that the government had NO AUTHORITY to legislate away. Without doing a thorough research on the subject I suspect it is the only statement of its kind in any official founding document of any country on Earth.

      If you have information to the contrary I’m sure we would all be interested in knowing where this paradise exists

      • The British Bill of Rights was designed to protect people from the King in 1689, and Britain technically has no written, single constitution. Its just centuries of legislation, court decisions, and royal policy.

        The people are protected from the monarch, not Parliament.

        • Under British law parliament exercises the authority of the monarch. The relationship may be purely symbolic, but it remains that all laws passed require royal assent before they become law. Protection from the monarch and protection from parliament are one and the same thing. The real issue is that the British parliament refuses to recognize the RKBA laid out in the English Bill of Rights.

  6. If you want to rub their noses in their own misuse of statistics and inference, simply point out that analyses of all nations for which data are available (which is the vast majority of them) show that the correlation between rate of private firearm ownership and rate of murder is about -.10 (no significant relationship, but in the direction of more guns fewer murders). Even if one controls for other key variables (like per capita income) there is no relationship. So, the grabber’s tacit hypothesis that fewer weapons in private hands is associated with a lower murder rate is simply false. Same applies to correlations between private ownership rate and murder rate across US States. So, any academic that tries to play the UK (or any cherry-picked set of countries) card is either incompetent with respect to stats and scientific interest, or intellectually dishonest.

    Stupid or crooked: have to cop to at least one.

  7. What needs to be brought up, specifically with the UK example, is that “gun deaths” have barely changed before and after the Firearms Act amendments in 1997.

    Up to 1997 (I can only find data for 95-97), approximately 26 people were killed each year. After the bans, the number is hovering around 24, however, 43(!) were killed in 2006.

    Couple this with the RISE in violent crime, and you have a complete rebuttal of the mainline example that is used by the political elites and media.

    Unfortunately, sources of pre-1997 homicide figures in the UK are exceedingly difficult to find online, but I can link to one that at least proves my point on its face:

    (See “Death and Injury” -> “Gun Homicides”)

  8. I just would fear that bringing up RKBA as a constraint for comparison criteria may just shift an anti to “that’s the root of the problem.”

    Again, I tend to run in liberal circles (nice visual! But seriously) and the nearly unanimous din is that the “well regulated militia” line is a qualifier (yes even though we know through scotus decisions it is not) and that even though the Heller decision said otherwise , it was “wrong”.

    Most antis believe – not necessarily that 2A should be stricken down – but that we’re all reading it wrong. So couching a counter in “well we have RKBA” will likely just shift the argument to that line of rhetoric, that in their opinion, we don’t, and that pro gunners just don’t have the reading comprehension skills necessary to realize that they meant the National Guard, of course.

    So while it may be a point to try, I think RFs original approach shouldn’t be abandoned. I know several people who have been mugged several times in the UK.

    Australia is different. I’m not sure how to argue back on that one but I admit I have to do more research myself… But since the topic du jour is “mass killings”, what’s always thrown at me is, “A gun ban worked perfectly in Australia! 18 mass killings before the ban , not one since!”

    I wish we could say , “Well, RKBA!” – but unfortunately that’s like invoking the wrath of Santa Claus to quiet down a misbehaving kid who doesn’t believe he exists .

    • +1000 It is pretty pointless to argue using conventions that certain groups don’t believe in. Telling progressives, “no your wrong because the constitution says…” is a pointless argument with them because they don’t believe in the constitution and the rule of law. They believe in mob rule via democracy, and if they are in the minority, then “we know better than them so we’ll shove it down their throats anyway” via executive action. Its similar to a christian saying “because god says” to an atheist. No offense intended to christians or athiests, its just the best example I have.

    • “and that pro gunners just don’t have the reading comprehension skills necessary to realize that they meant the National Guard, of course.”

      There was no National Guard at the time that the 2A was written into the Bill of Rights, so the lie is immediately exposed.

    • Just tell them to prove the militia came before the armed individual and the individual’s pre-existing rights!

      Especially as collectives are formed only if the individual first exists and CHOOSES to join a collective!

      Of course you demand they prove english composition of the complex sentence has been wrong all this time and they should be awarded GENIUS status and rewarded for pointing out how all those professors and english laws/rules have been wrong since the begining of the written english language!

      This is further used to anger them when you post a REAL english professors name and contact information and challenge them to ask the question about COMPLEX SENTENCE STRUCTURE!

      Then tell them to prove the BOR is not a control on the powers of the government.

      Also ask them if they are smarter than the US Supreme court which 8 of 9 justicies agreed it was and always has been an individual right seperate from militia service in the Heller ruling.

      Then the 30 plus references in the 1774-1789 congressional writings and federalist papers showing well regulated meant well trained!

      Or a copy of the original draft of what became the 2A, which the draft was clearly written as a collective right, was then changed to what exists today, which irritates anti gun nuts every single time assaying actions do indeed speak louder than words cause if our founding fathers wanted a collective right, why didnt they keep the original draft?

      Since they arent God, they cant refute any of the above, and they always shutup upon posting said information!

  9. I’m sorry but I just can’t accept calling people with degrees in sociology
    or politics scientists. Yes they receive at least an introduction to
    statistics and scientific methodology; but if they were capable of
    understanding them, there wouldn’t be anywhere near as much
    flawed research and stupid errors appearing in academic journals.
    (Seriously pick up any sociology journal and start picking out
    poorly designed studies and simple math errors.)

    • A scientist is someone who applies the scientific method. Of course, they may not do it well. And I grant you, there do seem to be more poor or dishonest scientists in some fields than in others.

      • *cough* climatology *cough* But seriously to say that sociologists and political
        “scientists” follow the scientific method involves a rather loose interpretation
        of “follow”. However, the real issue is not an inability to perform even basic
        research but that by virtue of degrees and places in academia they are
        granted an air of authority and credibility that the MSM and antis are all
        too willing to prop up (as long as it supports their agenda, of course).

        • Thanks for bringing up “climate science”, although I think that in that field of study there is a great deal of agenda-driven just plain LYING, as well as bad science.

    • ” I just can’t accept calling people with degrees in sociology or politics scientists” either, but these curricula do include coursework in statistics…

  10. I believe also that, looking at the last 100 years of gun control in the UK, that the gun-death numbers havnt changed (I.e. they were low to start with)

  11. How about this, In the Rwandan genocides hundreds of thousands of people were killed mainly with machetes. Guns were used some, but as far as I know, most of the murders were done with machetes. The reason that Europe has low crime is cultural. The reason that Rwanda had genocides was cultural. Stop blaming the tools. Blame bad people.

  12. “All Men under the Age of sixty Years shall have Bows and Arrows for shooting. Men-Children between Seven Years and Seventeen shall have a Bow and 2 Shafts. Men about Seventeen Years of Age shall keep a Bow and 4 Arrows – Penalty 6s.8d.” – Henry VIII – Act for Maintenance of Archery

  13. Best argument I ‘ve heard is the one John Lott makes. Guns can be used for good and bad. Lots of good uses. Gun control only impacts good folks and good uses. All the comparisons btw countries, times etc get too far in the weeds for average folks.

  14. The issue is far more fundamental than that. It really boils down to “do you have the right to defend your own life?” I know of no human agency whatsoever that has the right to arbitrarily deny you that right.

  15. Norway isn’t a gun free utopia, so dont compare Norway to the UK.

    Norway has about 500 000 gun owners ( the population is 5 million)

    I expected research from TTAG, dont stoop to their level.

    • You are absolutely right, Norway does not absolutely abolish gun ownership. But along with other European countries, it is held up as some sort of example to aspire to.

      Robert shared an email I sent him that contained assumptions and shorthand written in a telegraphic style.

  16. if they love it so much they can go live there…. of course its our second amendment which allows us to pull Europe out from under the shadow of occupation every few decades…… but by all means move over there and enjoy until your liberal actions get you yoked to tyranny all over again…….

    unfortunately there is no pill for stupid either they learn or get removed from the gene pool

  17. Yours is actually better, Robert. The Anti’s assumption is that Europe has less gun deaths, therefore Europe is better, so by demosntrating that they trade fewer gun deaths for higher other deaths and successful incidences of other crimes, you show that Europe-style gun laws don’t make things better.

    Saying “well, we have a Second Amendment” just makes them say “well, we have the Amendment system for a reason, why not undo the Second Amendment?”

    • Fewer gun deaths. Not less.

      Example: while you may have less hair than you did 20 years ago, you have fewer (individual) hairs.

  18. Read “The Samurai, the Mountie, and the Cowboy” by David Kopel (who should be the voice of the NRA rather than LaPierre – much better at articulating 2nd Amendment issues). It’s an oldie but it’s historical perspectives are still relevant. I don’t think he’s ever really updated it but I could be wrong.

  19. The liberals who wish for America to emulate Europe should all be asked why they hate America so much. Millions came here to escape Europe, our cultures are distinct and they shall remain that way.

    As much as I value my European heritage, I could never suffer the degree of Statism that citizens of the EU suffer. The world needs alternatives or it becomes a very ugly place. Conservatives maintain the peace in that regard.

  20. If California adopted Europe’s gun laws, California gun owners would have a lot more freedom. I suspect that is also the case for many other liberal states.

    Check out the German SIG website, Their versions of the AR-15 are available with magazines of all sizes, and, of course, the 226 et al are available with their standard 15 round magazines plus larger ones.

    Most of the continent allows citizens to own silencers and hunt with them, both of which are definitely illegal in California.

    Even England has AR-15s!

    There is a lot more paperwork to own a gun in Europe, to be sure, but they have more paperwork for everything.

    • Correct, our Euro governments use red tape, registration and media pressure to keep weapons out of the hands of lawful gun owners.
      Let me tell you a story from my native Austria: In 1996 our government decided that legal ownership of pump-action-shotguns was no longer possible (there was a nasty murder-suicide involving a shotgun and election were coming)
      The owner of the guns could apply for a special permit to own their propery which they were promptly granted. About 4.000 applied. A few thousand turned their gun in.
      The rest of the pump-guns, about 40.000 simply vanished into thin air.
      Those who registered their pump-guns nowerday found out that they can no longer pass them on to someone after their passing despite government proclamation otherwise (but alas these promises were made by politicians now long gone from office).
      Bottom line, registration makes your property a temporary property.

  21. If it was me I’d ask if they have any idea what the murder rate among whites is in this country, because it’s right in line with those in Europe. Then I’d accuse the gun grabber of being racist for insisting that black people be more like white Europeans.

    • It’s more annoying than that. If you remove a couple or three cities from our statistics, the rest of the US average is at or below the utopian low gun murder rates of the Disneyland that Europe (apparently) is. Zoom in a bit on those trouble cities, and you’ll see their problem is actually a handful of neighborhoods/blocks, with the rest of the city enjoying the same low rates as the rest of the US. So, to sum it up, we’re all being told we must hand over our rights as a sacrificial offering to “prove” we “care” that a score or so neighborhoods in the US have gone bat-sh&&-crazy.

      • You failed to mention that these counties, cities and neighborhoods are the hardest places to LEGALLY acquire a firearm in the country.

        It doesn’t really matter though. The root of the problem is that a certain percentage of the population are afraid of freedom and the freedom to own a firearm and use it in your own self defense is a little more freedom than they can handle. And if they can’t handle it, you shouldn’t be allowed to either.

  22. Would it be possible to have this article sticky’d or indexed?

    When I’m trolling gun controllers, it would be nice to have a resource I can just copy and paste from.

    Also, there should be example arguments so that people can get the oral response down.

    Sorry…I’m getting lazy in my old age. Responding with the same thoughts over and over again is tiresome.

  23. How to counter europe’s anti-gun agitprop? Actually travel there and realize that no one there has anything to offer except for obsequiousness to their ancestors, descendants of which moved to America and wrote the 2nd amendment.

    It’s an entire continent of useless tour guides. Seriously, does anyone take Europe seriously. If they do, they’re doing it wrong.

  24. I like how the gun control kooks cite the reduction in suicides by gun use…but later admit that suicides involving other methods have risen. I would be curious to know what the actual murder rate in Europe is with bats, hammers, fists, etc.

    Funny, but a lot of truth

    I would also be curious to know if Europe has the same gang issues we have here, especially like in Chicago.

    • England has huge gang issues. You know Sasha Baron Cohen? Ali G? They just parody it. Disgusting. Let your citizens bear arms… instead of getting shanked by thugs.

  25. You could also point out that for all the firearms laws in Europe there have still been mass shootings in France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Finland, Norway, Belgium and the UK.

    • Yes we do and the are as uncommon as in the rural USA,
      Last week a poacher and all-around-asshat shot three policemen an one medic.
      Here in Austria (pop. 8.000.000) we get about 30 to 40 homicides per year, of these less than 5 % are comitted with a legal owned gun (non semi rifles and single or double shotguns are legal without the need of a permit), slightly more than 5% with an illegal gun, the majority is killed by knives, blunt instruments or even bare hands.
      A person that is stabbed to death is just as dead as one shot by a .50 BMG but it is typical for the Antis to restict themseves to gundeaths.

  26. I just don’t get it. If people are upset about their neighbors having firearms they should move to another country. Almost every other country is RKBA free. Our nation was founded on this right and we enjoy those rights – they are not something new. If they don’t like it, move, because if they stay – expect a fight, and remember those who oppose RKBA are gun free – we are not. If they want to not have a gun – great. I am fine with that. If they want me to not have guns (including “assault” style guns) then I am not OK with that. I will not abandon my rights for which our fathers before us fought and died due to their their ignorance.

  27. There is no comparison country to the U.S. Not with our land mass, and not with respect to our population. There are no other apples out there, not without making general assumptions regarding the per/100,000 statistics. That’s American exceptionalism. For most of the world, tyranny is automatically accepted as a normal way of life, like it has been for centuries. It may be a kinder, gentler tyranny than in their recent past, but it’s still a tyranny.

    The world(and Obama) doesn’t want to join us, the world(and Obama) wants the U.S. to join them! The world doesn’t want our nonsensical notions of an individuals right to own a gun to protect themselves, to gain any traction in their soft tyrannies. America is the thorn in the side of every Leftist pinko on the planet, especially the EUnuch’s at the U.N. who would love have access to our 16 trillion dollar treasury. What are we doing listening to socialist soft tyrannies with 30 billion dollar GDP’s? There’s a good reason why their GDP is a fraction of Americas. It’s because they’re all soft….anyone…..anyone… begins with a “T”….anyone? Does it ever occur to these people that maybe the reason America leads the world in GDP, is because its citizens have the right to keep and bear arms? Maybe we should be promoting an U.N. treaty that guarantees all the worlds citizens the right to keep and bear arms. That alone could kick-start a new era of freedom and liberty around the globe. Good Lord man, come to your senses, the U.N. would never be a party to such unregulated freedom and liberty twaddle.

    There a three kinds of lies. Lies, damned lies, and statistics. ~ Mark Twain

  28. “Whether those countries at any time had RKBA codified in their legal structure (i.e., 2A-equivalent)?”
    Under the Bill of Rights of 1689, the British do, “in accordance with their station” and a lot of other weasel words

    • Weasel words do not a right protecteth. Look at all the trouble we’ve had—and continue to have—with the prefatory militia clause of our Second Amendment. Which, by the way, does not exist in the Rhode Island Constitution (Section 22), ratified in 1842. FWIW.

  29. I don’t even bother explaining why firearms ownership is important. I put the ball in their court and ask them why they don’t care about the tens of thousands of people killed every year by non-firearm-related methods. Why doesn’t our shitheel of a POTUS go on national television every summer and lament the easily-preventable drowning deaths of children? It’s not glamorous enough (when was the last time stabbing victims’ families were ferried around the nation on Air Force One?), and nobody can point fingers at a boogeyman and act like heroes after plastering our cities with their ‘No Boogeymen Allowed’ signs. They simply don’t care. If they did, they would spend the same amount of money trying to fill in pools and forcing hardware stores to sell cable locks with every medicine cabinet.

  30. “Take out the black underclass from the statistics, and American murder rates fall to European levels.” (Peter Baldwin; “The Narcissism of Minor Differences.” Oxford University Press, 2009.)

  31. How come there are so many “tools made for killing” (weapons) in the USA, but the death rates committed with those (even including suicides) is so much lower than the death rates that are committed with tools not made for killing, such as pills (made to prolong living) and swimming pools.

    If “things that are made to kill” (in USA 300 millions of them) produce so much less death that “tools absolutely not made for killing” then, in this context, weapons are essentially a non-problem.

  32. The only problem with this line of argumentation is that with certain anti’s you’ll be immediately detoured by their radically different interpretation of the 2A (i.e. it doesn’t actually apply to civilians and doesn’t really mean what is says).

    They would have to agree that an American civilian has a basic right to individual ownership before they would agree that it is Apples to Pickles.

    • They are permitted no “interpretation” of delineated rights. They may wish, but it cannot make it so. The question to ask them is, “why would the framers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights frame an amendment about collective rights in a document that delineates INDIVIDUAL rights?

      The only answer is, “they wouldn’t”.

      • I totally agree, but they find it compelling that there was a circuit split on this issue until a highly partisan (their view) split Supreme Court settled the issue of individual vs. collective.

        It’s sad that’s an impassable sticking point with some people before you can even get to the meat of the question at hand.

        Might have something to do with partisan issues short-circuiting basic reasoning as evidenced in this recent study:

        • Thanks. I’m interested to read this later tonight. Or whenever.

          I think there’s a LOT more short-circuiting basic reasoning, from flouride (proved in Nazi Germany to lower IQs by up to 20 points – search for it), to the electromagnetic “soup” we’re living in (which is so much more than the ordinary person believes it to be), to the actual “flicker rate” of TVs and monitors.

          The latter has been exhaustively documented since the 1950’s. I dare you to search for the data. About 25 minutes of continuous viewing puts the viewer into a stupor, a dream-like state not much different from sleep. The human brain is hyper-saturated with electromagnetic frequencies. It would boggle the mind of many people to discover just how much ELF slop is inundating their brains. Never forget: we are electrical systems, from the brain to the heart to the human nervous system.

          And last, but not least, the “educational” system….

  33. I would point out that In the US most homicides are committed by prior criminals (I think like 90% if I remember) So when comparing the US against England bring up gang member statistics. From What I found England has an estimated 30,000-37,000 gang members while the US has 800,000-1,100,000 gang members. Assuming in England that there homicides are also mostly committed by criminals, Based on the gang membership rate between the US and England, England should have 1/5 as many homicides as the US instead of only a 1/4. In other words despite there be all those huge restrictions on firearms, England’s criminals are killing more than US criminals. If we got our are gang problem under control and brought down to a similar rate as England our homicide rate would drop below England’s without out needing to make a single new gun law.

  34. OK Robert are we going to see any video of this debate or not?
    Note only do I think it would be instructive, I think it would be entertaining as well.


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