Facts to a gun control advocate are like garlic to a vampire.
The fastest way I refute the central premise of gun control mythology today in a debate of the issue with someone who has little to no math background: I point out that in Wyoming, we can buy a gun, buy the ammo, conceal it on our person and walk out of the store onto the street. We can do that with no waiting periods, no CCW license, no nothing. Literally cash-n-carry. Done deal.
If the anti-gunners’ premise were true, then we should be awash with crime and death. I find this most effective with people who are ignorant of Wyoming’s gun laws (or Vermont’s, or a dozen other places). Tell them what the laws are in these places, and you destroy the gun banners’ credibility.
Once you break the gun-banners’ appeal to emotion, and you get someone to see that their emotions are leading their rational thinking astray, then you pivot and point out that the gun-banners are deliberately using appeals to emotion and illogic to sucker people into giving up their rights.
This gets many people mad. Now you’ve accomplished two things: First, you opened their minds – you’ve removed the emotional block against them hearing your argument (and when people are reacting emotionally, they will not hear math and stats). Second, you’ve informed a person that they’re being deliberately manipulated – that the gun-banners thought these people are stupid and easily mislead. People don’t like that.
It is only at this point, if they still have the time to listen to me, that I start going into statistics about what happens to crime rates, and what happened in the past with crime rates when CCW was largely banned in the US, etc, etc.
You must defeat the emotional manipulation first. Once you’ve done that, now you have a fertile field in which to start planting statistically relevant studies. Do not overlook or pooh-pooh efforts to defeat the emotional appeals of the gun-banners. These efforts are every bit as necessary as statistically valid studies of what actually are contributing factors to crime/homicide/suicide/etc.
– Dyspeptic Gunsmith in a comment yesterday