Mail Call: Unconventional Arguments Against Gun Control

I promised to continue the conversation about unconventional arguments against gun control that we started here the other day, and readers certainly have done their part by continuing to share their thoughts and ideas with me via email. As I’ve said before, I think it’s a good idea for those of us who want to ensure the strongest Second Amendment possible that we not just be preaching to the choir, and that’s going to involve approaching people where they are, not where we want them to be.

Doug wrote in with the suggestion that, instead of simply talking about the Constitution, we talk about the practical benefits of the right to keep and bear arms.

“The best, and least used, argument are the 2.5 million lives saved by having a gun present for defensive purposes. The media don’t report on it but we know it. It has to come out from somewhere and should be referred to often. There should counters in and around cities that show “X” number of lives saved today because someone had the will and foresight to prepare themselves for preserving life. Maybe with a 800 number to call in your incident.
The anti-crime version of this would be the number of criminals shot, posted on a big sign. “X” criminal dirtbags have been stopped today because we value the 2nd Amendment and know better.”
I’m not sure where those counters would be located, or how easy it would be to verify, but I do like the idea of a McDonald’s style sign with “millions and millions of lives saved” instead of “billions and billions of burgers sold”. Doug’s absolutely right that the national media doesn’t like to report on armed citizen stories, which is why I encourage everyone to share the armed citizen stories that we post here at Bearing Arms on your own social media. We can’t expect the media to treat self-defense stories fairly, but we can try to circumvent the near-blackout with our own social networks.

Greg, who’s a firearms instructor in Oregon, says his go-to unconventional argument is to focus on the financials.

A firearm and ammunition costs several hundred dollars. It should be the only cost people must incur to exercise their protected right to self defense; and is a major expenditure for people on fixed and restrictive incomes.

In some states and municipalities, administrative fees and taxes can double the cost of gun ownership, and the fees are even higher if a person wishes to “bear” the gun outside the home. This results in infringement or prohibition of the protected right to keep and bear arms, because people cannot afford the added cost.

So who are these people, that are effectively being denied gun ownership. They are the poorest and most vulnerable among us. These are the people who live in our crime-ridden cities. They are good people, who are providing for and protecting their families as best they can. Yet government, which is suppose to be looking out for their best interests, does just the opposite.

I like this argument for a couple of reasons. First, it’s absolutely true. Taxes and fees on gun ownership, like the ones Elizabeth Warren wants to put in place nationwide, would have a disparate impact on lower-income Americans, who are also more likely to live in high crime neighborhoods and have an acute need to keep and bear arms for self-defense. I also like the argument because it points out that, while supporters of these policies may mean well, they’ll actually cause far more harm than help.

David, on the other hand, says he likes to make a comparison to another hot-button cultural issue.

I view gun ownership like the left views abortion, a matter of choice. I believe that it’s an individual choice as to whether you want to own a firearm or not. However those that advocate for gun control, are taking away not only my right to own a firearm, but, someone else’s choice to NOT own a firearm.

“My body, my choice” is a rallying cry for many on the Left, but a lot of those same folks draw the line at allowing women and men the choice to protect themselves with a firearm. This argument may be persuasive, or at least get some people thinking, but it could also turn into a debate about abortion pretty quickly as well.

Thanks to everyone who sent in their suggestions! I appreciate the feedback, and we’ll be doing this again very soon with your takes on the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement. You can send your thoughts to [email protected], and we’ll be posting your replies on Friday.