Sunday, January 27, 2013

Guidance to a Misinformed Reader

A reader, John, took the trouble to post the following comments, so I will take the trouble to post a reply. Johns comments are numbered and lettered. My reply will be below Johns comments and not numbered or lettered.

John said...

1. Gun control does not mean gun bans. No one is coming to take your gun so please keep your paranoid fantasies out of this.

One counterexample disproves this argument. I have several. Canada, May, 2010. The RCMP confiscated firearms that were formerly legal.

California gun ban 1997.

Australia, 1996. Owners of Semi-automatic rifles and shotguns are required to turn them in.

UK, 1996 total handgun ban.

New York Gun ban, 1991.

2. The guvamint isn't out to get you. You are most likely so insignificant to them you aren't even on any radar.

In a way, John has a point. The purpose of all these anti-rights laws are to make firearms ownership more difficult and rare, until the American gun culture is small and politically irrelevant. It is a form of cultural genocide. To do this, you do not have to prosecute most gun owners, not even a sizable minority. You only need to make examples of a few to get the rest to fall in line, or to gradually delegitimize the ownership of guns until grandchildren gladly turn in grandfather's shotgun. That is what was done in the UK. Of course, that does not help the people that are made examples of, such as Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge, or the Reese family in New Mexico.

3. The second amendment is NOT absolute, see 2008 DC vs Heller. Just like the first amendment, it has restrictions.

Correct. You do not have the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater, when there is no fire. Nor do you have the right to fire a gun in a crowded theater when there is no justification to do so. No one is claiming the right to unjustifiably fire in a crowded theater. No one is claiming a right to have nuclear weapons without tight government controls. The anti-rights people are trying to impose onerous restrictions on the most Constitutional of arms, those of most use to a militia, semi-automatic rifles. As those firearms are also the least used in crime, it is hard to see any utility in their arguments.

4. If you are against gun control, you are against background checks and for selling guns to criminals. Those are forms of gun control already in place.

I am against background checks. It is already illegal to sell guns to criminals. Background checks have proved to be a failed paradigm and should be repealed. They have proved to be ineffective. There is no point in putting burdensome restrictions on the 99 percent of the population that is no threat in order to ineffectively attempt to prevent the 1 percent that is dangerous from acquiring a gun. They are simply a cover to gradually implement registration which is equivalent to confiscation. If the resources spent on background checks on the many were spent on prosecuting the few who should legitimately be barred from possession of guns, it would be much more effective. This has been shown to be true in several cases. See project Exile.

5. If the constitution is sacred and can never be changed, do you think women should not have been given the right to vote? Or African Americans equal rights? That was amended in the constitution.

As John notes, there is a method to amend the Constitution. The anti-rights forces know that they cannot repeal the Second Amendment through this legitimate process, so they resort to trying to redefine words to eliminate the Second Amendment through fraud. John is welcome to work at repealing the Second Amendment. There is a known process. It has been successfully used several times. What that has to do with this debate is unknown, but John seems to think it relevant.

6. Just because a form of control isn't perfect does not mean it is completely useless.

True. By the same token, just because a form of control might do some good does not mean that it will not do great harm.

7. PLEASE, and i mean PLEASE stop comparing guns to other things that cause fatalities (cars, ladders, medical malpractices).

a. Because cars have many many regulations and because of this we have limited the amount of car fatalities over the years. Same with ladders, same with medical malpractice. All of those things have a history of regulation, laws passed to help prevent deaths.

Cars and ladders are not specifically constitutionally protected. Nor are there powerful political forces pushing to outlaw them. Guns are more highly regulated than cars and ladders in many ways, and have become considerably safer by private industry standards without government safety regulation. The fatal firearm accident rate today has been reduced by 94 percent since 1905.

b. Guns have only one function, to kill or damage. By removing/restricting them you don't lose a lot. Remove cars and see how you do. Remove doctors and see how you do.

Completely false. The major function of guns is to deter the use of force. They do this very well. Many studies show between 2.5 million and 400,000 uses of private firearms a year to prevent crime, the vast majority of which occur without firing a shot, in the United States. Most police officers go an entire career without firing a shot but most find their guns very useful. If the only function of guns was to kill or damage, then the 300 million plus guns in the United States are doing a terrible job. Killing is sometimes required and necessary, and when it is, one desires the best instrument for the job. Guns also serve as a deterrent to runaway governments. The mere presence of hundreds of millions of guns gives pause to would be dictators. Hundreds of millions of people were killed by their own governments in the twentieth century by democide. Guns are very commonly used for less exciting purposes, such as subsistence hunting, pest control, and many varieties of sport.

John may not own guns, therefore it is easy for him to believe that you do not lose much by removing or restricting guns, but tens of millions of Americans disagree with him. It is very easy to give up something that you consider of no value. I respect John's use of the First Amendment, and will defend to the death his ability to make what I consider dangerous arguments. Why is he not willing to disagree about my choice to have and own guns, but be willing to defend it? Ideas are far more dangerous than rifles.

And finally, why is it that ANY other source of fatalities are subject to be made safer but for some reason, guns are completely exempt from this logic. No one cares about the 10+k homocides each year, or the 30K total gun fatalities.

The above statement is simply false. There have been tremendous improvements in gun safety over the last 100 years. The homicide rate has fallen in half in the last 20 years. Suicides are simply not a “gun problem” because so many other methods can be substituted. It always puzzles me than many people believe that it is alright for someone to commit suicide with a doctor, but not with a gun.

Homicides in this country are not a gun problem. They are a cultural problem. Gun control is simply a convenient scapegoat for those who do not wish to face the cultural problems.

European Murder Rates Compared to the United States

Canadian Confiscation Link

California gun ban link

Australia Confiscation Link

UK handgun ban Link

New York 1991 Gun Ban Link

Background Checks Ineffective

Registration is Confiscation Link

Dean Weingarten

1 comment:

Mr. Anon said...

Mr. Weingarten,

I only recently came across your very informative and valuable website. Thanks for taking the time and trouble to put it out. You do a great service to the cause of protecting our liberties.

I especially liked your article comparing crime-rates in America to those in Europe. You did a good job wading through the available data to try to arrive at the white non-hispanic murder rate. I would suggest still another way of looking at the demographic breakdown in murder rates: by looking just at the murder rates in individual states.

Those states which have demographics similar to that of western and central european nations also have similar murder rates.