None of the Pro-Gun Lobby arguments make any sense

NRA Headquarters, Fairfax Virginia USA

NRA Headquarters, Fairfax Virginia USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a while ago that a big part of our Nation was shocked by the murder on little kids in Newtown. I mention a big part of our Nation, because I am convinced that the gun lobby wasn’t shocked about all the innocent lives that were lost, they were shocked because they had to come up with some kind of an answer.

We got that answer. Blame Video Games, blame everyone and everything you want, but don’t blame guns. We’ve seen a lot of discussions on TV and the social media has been busy with it ever since the shooting in Newtown.

And if we learned one thing it is that the gun lobby, the NRA, doesn’t even try to get it right. They just don’t care. Their arguments are so weak, so thin, and are not based on any facts, while those who favor stricter gun laws can back their opinion up with statistics from all over the world.

I gave up on the idea that facts or reason can convince the gun fanatics so I’m not writing this to convince them. They don’t want to be convinced and you can show them a million facts, in the end the freedom to have a gun is more important to them than all the innocent lives lost because of that freedom. Still it might be good to look at some of the arguments the gun lobby comes up with to show how ridiculous they are.

The most used line was without a doubt “guns don’t kill people, people do” and that is of course technically correct. It makes no sense though because it suggests that the person is the problem, and could have done whatever he did, even if he wouldn’t have had a gun. And that is unlikely. Imagine the mass murderer in Newtown was at the school with a knife. I can’t say he would not have been able to kill anyone, but he would never have been able to slaughter 20 kids to death. Kids can run away and a couple adults can beat an insane person even if he has a knife. Never would there have been so many innocent victims if it wasn’t for that gun. The same day the mass shooting in Newtown took place, a man in China entered a school and attacked 24 children with a knife.  A lot of them were wounded. No one died. It’s correct that guns don’t kill people, but having a gun makes killing much easier, makes especially a mass shooting much easier.  The argument that guns don’t kill people may technically be correct, but just makes no sense.

Another statistic that is totally taken out of context is that handguns prevent millions of crimes a year. Again, technically it’s correct. Police officers prevent crimes all the time. It’s their job. They walk around with a gun and I have never heard anyone complain about the fact that they are armed. But a statistic that shows the number of crimes that are prevented by our armed police can of course not be used to make a point why normal citizens should walk around with a gun. The discussion is not if a cop should have a gun or not.

Whenever a citizen might have saved his or her life by using a gun the NRA screams it around, advertises it wherever they can. It happens a couple times a year. That’s it. There are no impressive stats about how many lives are saved by private owned guns and that is why the gun lobby uses the stats from law enforcement to make their case for private owned guns. That is of course a joke.

The next point the gun lobby tries to make is that if everybody had a gun, school shootings wouldn’t happen. The shooter himself would be shot straight away. Another very weak point. How many examples are there that a mass shooting was prevented because the shooter was shot by a brave citizen? They mention it all the time but if you ask for an example they come up with a shooting a century ago. There are though, many examples of schools, Universities, Cinema’s, even Presidents who were attacked while they were surrounded by armed guards and it didn’t help anything. It still ended in a mass shooting. It still ended with a lot of funerals.

If the school in Newtown would have had armed teachers, it would have ended in a shoot-out. Instead of taking care of the kids and trying to protect and save as many kids as possible, the kids would have been in the Middle of a Wild West situation, with the possibility that even more kids would have died. More guns, or armed teachers is not a serious option, not a single stat suggests it would help. And I don’t even address the issue that it might not be good for kids to grow up in a school that looks like a warzone.

Most mass shootings happen with assault rifles. Besides thinking that it’s ‘cool’ to have such a weapon and besides the fact that the gun industry makes a lot of money with it, there is not a single argument why civilians should be able to own guns like that. The gun lobby pretty much refuses to talk about their stance on the private ownership of assault weapons, and changes the subject as soon as they’re confronted with the issue. The only honest answer would be ‘we make a lot of money with it’ but they’re not allowed to say that, so they’re silent.

There are more things the gun lobby says that are based on a theory, not on reality. They say for example that if you don’t have a gun to protect yourself, you will automatically be a victim of those who do have a gun, even if they’re not allowed to have one. Technically correct. But in countries where you are not allowed to own a gun you can be arrested for having one, for walking on the street with a gun. You’re at risk all the time if you own a gun, you can be thrown in jail for years, just for having one. And as it turns out, in all those countries, criminals don’t walk around with a gun because that itself is already a crime. Not that they care about the law, but the reality, the statistics, show that as soon as guns are banned, even criminals will be very careful carrying one with them. The theory that you won’t be able to defend yourself is only a theory, because the reality is that as soon as they risk being thrown in jail, just for having a gun, criminals are much more likely to leave their gun at home or not own one at all.

Another point of course is that if you’re sleeping and an unexpected visitor threatens you with a gun, you most likely won’t have the time to get your gun to defend yourself anyway. It’s a theory, but there are not that many examples of those who saved themselves from a burglar thanks to their gun. There are though, a lot of examples of innocent people who lost their lives because access to guns in the USA is as easy as access to milk.

Every point the gun lobby tries to make can be destroyed with Statistics, with reason and with logic. But they will keep on repeating them anyway because as I already mentioned, their intention is not to figure out what would be right, their intention is to make a point for their cause, even though there is no point.

The murder rate in the USA is so much higher than in any other civilized country. The UK banned most guns after a school shooting in 1996. That school shooting is still the last one that happened in the UK. The population of the USA is five times higher than that of the UK. The murder rate by guns is 450 times higher in the USA. The same Statistics can be mentioned about pretty much all other first world countries. And confronted with these Statistics, the nervous gun lobby desperately tries to say that you can’t compare one country to another one. They don’t want to deal with the fact that in the USA the risk to be murdered by a gun is ninety times higher than it is in the UK because that’s not something that can be explained by cultural differences. It’s something that can only be explained by our ridiculous gun culture.

If the shooter in Newtown, a guy who had no connections to criminals, who would most likely never have been able to get a gun via via, wouldn’t have been able to use his mom’s guns, all those little kids would probably still have been alive. And so would his mom. The shooter in the cinema in Colorado was not someone with ties to the criminal world. If guns would have been banned, he would most likely never have had access to one. He went to the cinema with four guns and ammunition enough for a small war. In the last two big shootings (and I forget to mention all the ‘smaller’ but just as deadly shootings) the shooter was a young adult with mental health problems. Not a notorious criminal. Notorious criminals know better than go to a school to kill kids. These were confused people who, if access to guns would have been more difficult, would never have done the horrible things they did.

Guns didn’t protect Reagan when they tried to shoot him. They didn’t prevent many other mass shootings. And they don’t prevent that burglar from coming into your home if he wants to. But the easy access to guns does bring you in danger at a school, at a cinema, in a mall.

Somewhere in America a confused kid is already planning the next mass shooting. His parents probably own a gun. A gun that may kill them.

The gun lobby will never admit the facts. Confronted with reason, statistics and facts, they will repeat some of the arguments I wrote about. They are so thin but it’s all they’ve got. None of them make sense, none of them are backed by Statistics. It is a waste of time to try to talk sense into them, they make a living thanks to the gun culture and they prefer to see little kids killed over losing their jobs. It’s a waste of time to try to convince them. If twenty dead kids didn’t convince them, nothing will.

But those parents, those good citizens who own a gun because they actually believe it is good for their safety. Those parents who’s kid is planning the next mass shooting with their gun, they might be open for reason. If only we can convince them that they’re not safer thanks to that gun, but that they’re in danger because of it. Maybe they will get rid of their guns, and maybe their mentally ill son, will therefore not be able to kill twenty kids, but find help for his problems instead.


2 Responses to None of the Pro-Gun Lobby arguments make any sense

  1. sarijj says:

    Thank you for writing such a well thought out argument. I wrote about this issue on my blog a few weeks ago. Thought I was talking to myself. Nice to know there are others who agree with me.

    • Coco says:

      There are millions of us who agree with you both. Including millions of gun owners like my husband. We are finally galvanized. Newtown changed everything for us.

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