Op-ed's anti-gun "gotcha" not the win they think

AP Photo/Wilson Ring

When it comes to the debate on guns and gun control, we’re going to see a lot of people think they have figured out counters to any argument. This exists on both sides of the aisle, to be fair.

However, sometimes, you see something in an op-ed that’s just beyond idiotic.

That’s exactly what I encountered in the Milwaukee Independent today. This is a classic example of an attempt at a “gotcha” moment, but let me show you how this all plays out:

Nina Shapiro reported at Forbes in an article titled The Leading Cause Of Death In Children And Youths Is Now Guns:

“Access to firearms by children, by unlicensed owners, and absence of safety measures when it comes to both intentional and unintentional gun-related injuries and deaths, are among the reasons that the incidence of this horrific, truly avoidable tragedy is on the rise.”

The latest con from the GOP is that they are all about “the children.”

  • They are worried that trans people will show up in the “wrong” bathroom and scare or threaten “the children.”
  • They are hysterical that teaching American history will cause White children to “feel bad.”
  • They are locking up women and threatening them with life in prison because they had a miscarriage that Republicans suspect might have been a self-induced abortion.
  • They are happily jumping on the 2022 GOP version of the Tsar’s antisemitic blood libel, claiming their political opponents are “groomers” targeting children.
  • They are enthusiastically embracing the Qanon slogan: “Save the children!”

Until you mention children killed by guns.

Then, Republicans retreat into a bizarre cone of silence or simply turn and run away from the conversation altogether. Or, worse, they continue grooming their own young people to become school shooters, as you can see below.

Now, here’s the big problem with it.

You see, no one denies that children are, in fact, killed by firearms. It’s a horrible tragedy, to be sure. However, many more lives are saved with firearms than are claimed by them via homicide. Like 10 times the number is the lowball estimate.

Further, absolutely no one “turns and runs away” from such a discussion. Most will point out such facts.

They’ll also argue that children’s lives won’t be saved by gun control. After all, the vast majority of children’s lives claimed by someone with a gun aren’t the result of an accident or even an irresponsible parent, but the willful act of someone with a firearm illegally.

But I don’t think the author really wants to play this game. After all, even if every child killed by a firearm could be saved with new gun control laws–something literally no one can guarantee–the truth remains that abortions happen far more often than kids being shot. After all, the CDC reported nearly 630,000 abortions were performed in 2019 alone.

That’s well above the 10,186 reported by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Now, I know what the anti-gunners will say. They’ll claim that abortion just removes clumps of cells, not actual babies.

Yet they do that while pretending that our rejection of their claim that gun control will save kids’ lives is some moral failing while pro-life folks see their rejection of those being babies as the same thing.

I’m not going to get into the abortion issue because that’s not what we do here. However, if you’re going to pretend you’ve found some “gotcha” moment, you’d better have something better than this nonsense, because you’re damn sure trying to punch well above your weight class.

In truth, I soon quit reading what he had to say because it’s the same mentally-deficient thinking we see all too often from anti-gun zealots who think they’ve got something to say important only for them to turn out impotent.