Gun Control Wins Debate...When Advocates Argue With Voices In Their Heads

Gun Control Wins Debate...When Advocates Argue With Voices In Their Heads
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Far too many people like to “debate” with the voices in their heads.

No, I don’t mean they’re insane. What I mean is that they create a strawman version of their opponent, and they debate against them. They come up with arguments that only win against someone who doesn’t really understand the issue at hand. Yet they pride themselves on their dunk; like they’ve just done something.

Kind of like this guy in a fairly long letter to the editor.

I have news for “gun rights” advocates. Guns do not have rights. People have rights — among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Gun violence endangers them.


First, no one has claimed guns have “rights.” People, however, have a right to keep and bear arms. That means they have a right to have guns.

Second, let’s also understand that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” comes from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. That phrase has no force of law.

Instead, the Constitution breaks things down as to how life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shall be protected. But we’ll get to that in a moment.

The Second Amendment is being threatened — not by advocates of gun safety, but by gun violence. People are sick and tired of having friends and family members shot. We should be able to live without having to worry about whether the person behind us in line at the supermarket, entering a restaurant, or pulling up next to us in a car, intends to shoot us.

Statistically, you don’t.

First, understand that random acts of violence are, statistically speaking, incredibly rare. Your odds of even getting punched randomly are slim to none, and assaults are far, far more common than homicides. Frankly, the odds of you being shot out of the blue are slim to none.

Now, if you’re a gang member, your odds of being the victim of gun violence skyrockets. After all, that’s who make up the majority of gun violence victims in pretty much every city in the nation.

Gun rights advocates share this hope, I suppose, but their only suggestion is to arm everybody. This would only lead to an arms race among neighbors, as it has among nations. These people imagine that an innocent shopper, armed with a semi-automatic weapon, is going to be able to defend himself after he has already been ambushed and shot.

“If guns are outlawed,” they argue, “only outlaws will have guns.” Where do they think the outlaws got their guns? Every gun coming off a factory assembly line was legal at that point. It became illegal later in the chain of possession. Many guns have been obtained legally by law-abiding people who have taken the National Rifle Association firearms safety course, obtained the necessary permits and FIDs, and later shot someone.

Oh? Show your work.

You’re making a claim that “many” of us are law-abiding gun owners who have done everything right, then up out of the blue, end up shooting someone. You make a claim like that, you need to back it the hell up.

And not just a handful of examples, either. You need to show “many” who took the NRA courses and ended up murdering people.

I won’t hold my breath, though, because you can’t. Those numbers simply don’t exist.

Yes, some people who buy guns aren’t necessarily law-abiding, they just haven’t gotten caught at anything yet. I’ll acknowledge that. But how are you going to differentiate between them and the law-abiding citizen who has done nothing wrong? Massachusetts, where this individual lives, has tons of laws on the books supposedly to prevent that from happening already, and yet he’s claiming it still happens, so what then?

See, this is the problem. In his head, this is the slam dunk of arguments, but he hasn’t actually debated anyone who understands the issues, who understands the flip side of it.

He fails to understand that most violent crime comes from gangs who are using stolen guns obtained on the black market. These are guns imported from wherever they need to be imported from, much like drugs are imported. And you better believe a blanket ban on guns will lead to guns coming in along with the drugs.

Oh, but our writer has issued a challenge.

I do not like firearms. In my opinion, they were an evil invention. However, the Second Amendment gives people the right to have them. The gun crowd wants to preserve that right. It should be up to them to figure out how to eliminate the misuse of these weapons.

First, you can’t eliminate the misuse of anything. Prohibition didn’t eliminate the misuse of alcohol, banning drugs hasn’t eliminated the misuse of that either. Some people will misuse a television set, for crying out loud.

That said, I don’t think he really wants our ideas. After all, every time we offer up solutions to the problem, we’re told we aren’t taking the issue seriously.

But let’s pretend he is.

Well, for one, you make it easier for law-abiding citizens to obtain and carry firearms, preferably without getting permission from the government to do so. More guns in law-abiding hands mean more headaches for the criminals. That’s step one.

Step two is to provide a carrot and stick approach to the gangs. You offer them help if they leave that life behind, stuff like job training, but also warn them that if they don’t, law enforcement will descend upon them like the fiery hand of God. Make it as easy as possible to get out of that kind of life and build a better one or they can take the alternative of a long prison sentence.

That’s been shown to work, and since gangs are where most violent crime takes place, it should.

So yeah, that’s how I’d address it. Somehow, though, I don’t think our writer really will like my suggestions. He’s too busy patting himself on the back for taking down a strawman to listen.