Friday, October 31, 2014

The Disarmenter's False Premise: Guns Cause Devastation

Victims of the Rwandan Genocide were mostly killed with Machetes
I was reading an unsigned disarmenter editorial in the   As is common when a disarmenter does not have a real argument, I could not find a way to comment at the site.   The editorial had some telling statements:
Gun laws tend to bring out the fanatic in some people.

These are smart folks who can be perfectly reasonable about other issues. But mention common-sense legislation to curb gun violence, and they start frothing at the mouth.

They'll tell you about their "cold, dead fingers" and how "only the outlaws will have firearms" — and completely ignore the devastation guns are causing in our communities.
The first statement is pure projection.   The desire to disarm others does bring out the fanatic in a lot of people.  The author of the editorial is a prime example.  Then we have the non-argument, as if calling something "common-sense" makes it so.  But the primary fallacy is in the last phrase:
"...the devastation guns are causing in our communities."
This is simply a false assertion, with no proof behind it.   Guns are not causing devastation in our communities.   Guns do not cause things, yet this is the premise that the entire edifice of the disarmenters is built on.   Let me repeat that statement.  Guns. Do. Not. Cause. Things.

This is the same premise that guns are a "public health problem" is based upon.  It is simply false.

I have talked to enough disarmenters to understand much of what they are thinking.   They see that some bad things happen that involve guns.   They say, if there were no guns, those bad things would not happen.   Therefore, if we ban guns, those bad things will not happen. 

Any high school student who studies logic can see the many logical flaws in that train of thought.  "Bad things" happen with or without guns.   Banning guns does not actually get rid of guns.  Banning guns also reduces the good that comes from having guns.

There have been many legislative attempts to regulate firearms, from the severe restrictions in the UK, to many lesser attempts in the United States and other countries.

None of them have actually reduced "bad things" from happening.   They have not even reduced "bad things with guns" from happening.

As increasing firearms controls were put in place in the U.K., overall homicides and gun crime increased, in spite of the controls.   Let me quote Colin Greenwood, the Chief Inspector of the West Yorkshire Constabulary, in the first real study of Firearms Control, written in 1972.  The quote is from the year 2000:
The ban on handguns has been a total irrelevance and underlying crime trends have continued unchanged now that only outlaws have guns.
In the United States, the success of the concealed carry movement has resulted in millions more people carrying guns on a daily basis.  Yet crime rates have dropped in the same period.   John Lott has done the primary research and written that more guns lead to less crime.    That result is in dispute, though the studies seems to favor Mr. Lott.   What is no longer in dispute is that more guns do not lead to more crime, yet that is the exact premise the entire disarmenter edifice rests upon.

To believe that premise, you have to believe a number of unlikely things.  First, you have to believe that people will do bad things with guns that they would not do if they did not have guns.    Essentially, you have to believe that "the trigger pulls the finger."    This belief seems to be a mechanism to remove responsibility from human agency.

Second, you have to believe that no one uses guns to stop bad things from happening, because if that is true, then banning guns stops both good and bad things, and more bad things may happen with a gun ban than without one.

Third, you have to believe that a legislative ban will be effective in keeping people who are willing to do bad things from having access to guns.

Yet clearly, all of the above premises are false in the vast majority of cases.

It is easy to understand why disarmenters want to focus on disarming people.  As they often do not have firearms themselves, they see no cost to themselves.   It is easy to suggest that other people pay the cost of legislation.   Concentrating on firearms relieves them of the responsibility for their own actions.   The desire to avoid responsibility is a strong human motivation.   As with many "simple solutions" to complex problems, disarming people is a false solution.

  Definition of a disarmenter
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Wireless.Phil said...

Bodies at different angle.

Published: August 17, 2008


Timothy Barnes: New (Ad)Ventures in Rwanda

Wireless.Phil said...

Sources: Suspected cop killer Eric Frein captured
6abc-9 minutes ago

Suspected Pennsylvania cop killer EricFrein captured: report

New York Daily News-7 minutes ago
His run is over. Suspected Pennsylvania cop killer EricFrein has been captured, according to a local report. The 31-year-old accused in the ...