It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who believes gun control works, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane.
I debated writing this because SZW! is about my writing journey, not my alter ego’s opinions–ideally, I would like to keep politics out of it completely. Unfortunately, my various writerly social network feeds were filled with so much hyperbole and histrionics over the last week that I fear my resolve has broken down completely.
First, some context: I was raised around guns. I have close friends and relatives in law enforcement. I served in the military. I have a CCW permit and regularly carry a sidearm for personal protection. I am professionally trained in firearm safety and handling. Also, and perhaps not incidentally, one of the principal reasons I left Canada was to escape their useless victim disarmament laws.
So, when superstitious people who think guns are evil (said in the best British Arch-Villain accent I can muster) start bandying about revoking the rights I moved here to enjoy, dedicated several years of my life to protect, and exercise on a daily basis–yeah, it gets my dander up. But the thing that riles me the most when talking with gun control proponents is their utter lack of education on the topic. To paraphrase a noted biologist’s opinion of evolution-deniers, it is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who believes gun control works, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).
Can you demonstrate one time or place, throughout all history, where the average person was made safer by restricting access to handheld weapons? –Joe Huffman
I’ve seen a lot of posts over the last few days weeping and wailing about the need for “common sense regulations” on nebulously defined things like “assault rifles” (despite the fact that only 3% of homicides are committed with rifles, of any type–twice as many murderers use nothing but their bare hands) and “ammunition stockpiles.” When I ask for clarification on what those terms mean, precisely, and what regulations, specifically, would make a difference, all I hear is crickets chirping. I’ve asked for real numbers proving the efficacy of gun control from people claiming to have voluminous statistics at their fingertips. Again, crickets. They never deliver. They say we should treat guns like cars–after all you need a license to drive, right?–without actually understanding how regulated guns already are, and what it would be like if we regulated cars the way we regulate guns. They call for more and more “gun free zones,” all the while ignoring the irony that, without exception, every mass shooting since 1950 has taken place where civilians are forbidden to carry firearms.
People cry that it’s “time to have that conversation about gun control,” and I couldn’t agree more. We should have that conversation–because apparently the majority of people who support gun control have no bloody clue what exactly they’re supporting. Or even if it works. It just sounds good. Like super-dosing Vitamin C, or Homeopathy, or, I don’t know, Pyramid Power.
Fortunately, a good many people have posted answers to these questions. They may not be the answers you were hoping for, but that’s always the risk of educating yourself. (And no, “educating yourself” doesn’t mean regurgitating the latest polemic from Slate or Mother Jones.) To get started, you might want to begin by doing the math on guns. If you really like numbers and pretty charts, here are a whole lot more. Not a numbers geek? You might want to skip straight to a short and sweet little post disarming the myths promoted by the gun control lobby, a brilliant essay on why the gun is civilization, and a much longer (but absolutely required reading) opinion on gun control. Did I mention that last link was required reading? Here, I’ll link to it again, just in case you missed it the first time. Oh, and you’ll want to read this little gem on the riddle of the gun, too. Seriously.
And in conclusion, here’s an excellent video outlining crime statistics that the gun control lobby would rather you didn’t hear:
That’s just a start. I have more.
Violent crime is a problem. And mass murder is horrific. But blindly attacking lawful gun ownership is not the solution.