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Let’s Have a Real Discussion About Gun-Control

February 22, 2019

I hate the standard talkshow shouting-match about guns.

This is fake news pretending to inform us. This noise fills airtime. We see shows like this because it sells soap.. as long as the guests and the host yell loud enough.

The discussion about guns in America is too important to leave to the talking heads. For the average person like me, it is hard to seperate real information about guns from the Hollywood stories I have floating around in my head. When you look at how you feel about guns and crime, are you responding to what you know, or to what you saw on the little screen during some cop drama?

I looked for honest answers about guns and violence, and I learned some things I didn’t know. These are the questions I asked myself. This is what convinced me that guns save lives.

It seem we have a lot of violence in the news. Is the United States a violent country?

I think we’ve confused entertainment and reality. We can watch hours of cop-shows and violent dramas on TV every day. That isn’t real life. Also, if there is a murder anywhere in the USA, then it might show up on the news. If there are several victims, then the story might be on the TV for days. That doesn’t mean there was a murder in your city or anywhere near you.

I found something very different when I looked at the best facts we have. On average, one person in your family will be a victim of violent crime sometime in your lifetime. (About one person in 3.8 people will be a victim.) That means violent crime of any kind is fairly rare. Homicide rates are going down over time, not up. Murder rates with a gun are doing down too, even though gun ownership is increasing. That isn’t the impression you get from the news reports.

Aren’t guns just killing machines? Don’t people use guns to kill every day?

Our imagination is right about a few things. Just as we imagined, some criminals do use guns to threaten their victims, and sometimes to kill them. These armed criminals get their guns illegally, the same way they get the drugs they sell. In contrast, honest gun owners use their guns in self-defense to stop the attacks from violent criminals. For honest gun owners, firearms are tools of self-rescue that keep them safe until the police arrive.. and that actually happens a lot.

I don’t hear about those examples of armed self-defense. How do I know they really happen?

You’re right that you don’t read about self-defense in the news very often. There are a couple reasons. The biggest reason is that criminals react to an armed citizens about the same way that criminals act when they see an armed policeman.

On average, a policeman may be in enough danger to touch his gun once a day. He might draw his gun once in a while. The policeman will probably never have to press the trigger during his entire career. Most criminals run away when they see an armed cop.

Criminals react the same way to an armed homeowner. Almost all the time, the criminal runs away so the armed homeowner doesn’t have to fire his gun. The homeowner reports the breakin, but most police don’t even record that the homeowner used his gun in self-defense. If it makes the news at all, the event is reported as a home invasion/robbery in the local paper.

There is an exception to that rule. The police will keep track of the event if the defender had to fire his gun. Still, many states don’t keep track of how many times guns were used in self-defense. It is easier to find the news stories where the good guy was forced to shoot the bad guy, even though there are many more examples when no shots were fired because the bad guy ran away.

If violent crime and self-defense are so rare, doesn’t that mean we’d be safer if we all turned in our guns?

I understand your frustration. I hate it when good people are hurt. Unfortunately, there are a lot of lies in the gun-control debate. It isn’t true that most criminals get their guns from gun shows. It isn’t true that the US is awash with “assault weapons” and all we need to do is to gather them up and we’d be safe forever.

It is true that a few new criminals buy their guns legally. These criminals usually can’t buy their guns at a gun store once they have a criminal record. That is why about 99 out of a hundred criminals get their guns illegally. That makes sense once you think about it. Criminals don’t obey the law and they don’t obey our gun-laws either. That is why gun-prohibition laws only disarm the honest people, but not the criminals. It would be nice if criminals obeyed our laws, but they don’t.

From the data we have, we see that law abiding US citizens use their legally owned firearms to defend themselves and their families about every thirty one seconds. Honest gun owners in the United States use a firearm to stop a sexual assault about every 2.7 minutes. Lots of these honest defenders would become victims if we disarmed them the way you suggest. That would turn more of us into victims rather than make us safer. That is a big problem.

About a third or more of us have guns in our homes. Civilians shoot about 27 million firearms cartridges each day. We would know it if law-abiding gun owners were the problem, but they’re not. In fact, licensed concealed carry holders are among the most law abiding and non-violent groups we can find on the entire plant. Disarming the good guys doesn’t stop the bad guys.

That sounds like bad news and that criminals are unstoppable. Can’t we do something to reduce violent crime?

You’re right that criminals are much more violent than we are and that they don’t obey our laws. The great news is that violent criminals are rare. Each year, most of our armed murders are committed by about two thousand members of drug gangs. The police know these criminals. We’ve seen murder rates drop when the police focus their efforts on these very bad guys.

Most of the rest of the violent attacks in the US are by people who use illegal drugs. That is a problem we can and we should address. We’ve seen both homicide rates and overall crime rates drop when the police focus on drug gangs.. if the community provides addiction treatment first. I think the long term solution is to end drug prohibition, but that is another discussion.

Like I said, there are some bad arguments in the gun debate, and some downright lies. If you own a gun, or if you don’t own a gun, I want you make good choices. I think guns save lives.
~_~_

I gave you a thousand words and a lot of thought for free. Please leave a comment and share. RM

 

 

 

14 Comments leave one →
  1. MaddMedic permalink
    February 22, 2019 1:16 pm

    Reblogged this on Freedom Is Just Another Word….

    Like

  2. Fred permalink
    February 23, 2019 9:28 am

    Very nice article! I grew up with a BB gun in my hand. Target shooting since I was 4. Going to gun safety classes every and I mean every year by my Dad. Countless hours of fun plinking with my buddies.

    Passing on the training to my family. Respect for the firearm like respect for not driving drunk. Your arguments are right on. Look at the much maligned NRA and tell me how many criminals in their 6 million ranks. Nearly zero I’d guess. Maybe a bit more for the next 100,000,000 owners.

    One side of the political spectrum is always trying to make laws that do nothing to reduce gun violence or mass shootings only make criminals of folks like me.

    I went to a major University in the early 1980’s, I was on one of their shooting sports teams. Had my firearm and ammo in my dorm room the whole time I was there. Everyone knew, walked in and out of the dorm all the time, no one ever bothered it nor cared. How times have changed!

    We are not doing enough for mental health, we are not doing enough recognition training like the recent employer incident. Many times in my career I had undercover law enforcement at serious disciplinary hearings.

    Wisdom is lost in our culture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 23, 2019 10:59 am

      Thank you for your comment, Fred. Wisdom is not lost. Keep bringing it for us to see and hear.

      Like

  3. KUETSA permalink
    February 23, 2019 10:23 pm

    A few thoughts to share, God knows I have some thoughts on the subject.

    “GUNS KILL”
    NO . . . GUNS PROTECT! That is why the rich, the powerful, the famous, are all surrounded by them. In a dangerous world where that protection is available to ONLY the rich, the powerful, and the famous, here in America we are ALL equally guaranteed the right to such EFFECTIVE PROTECTION!

    “If violent crime and self-defense are so rare, doesn’t that mean we’d be safer if we all turned in our guns?”
    . . . well then criminals wouldn’t need guns, three big guys could kick in any door with impunity and do what they wanted to the people inside, in areas where guns are not available to people, 30 guys run through with machetes and slice everyone in the village to death. If 35% – 40% of households own firearms, and the three big guys don’t know WHICH homes are armed – THEY GOTTA THINK TWICE ABOUT KICKING A DOOR!
    SO COLLECTIVELY – HOMES THAT ARE “GUN FREE ZONES” ARE PROTECTED BY HOMES THAT EXERCISE THEIR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS! (And nobody is willing to post a sign on their lawn: PROUD GUN FREE HOME) Are we to be so naive to believe that without a gun a criminal is now harmless. A woman in a dark lonely parking garage . . . or in her bedroom in the middle of the night, a criminal brutally grabs her by the throat and . . . oh, wait, it’s OK, he doesn’t have a gun. People who have no clue about dangerous situations, or firearms, and have no want or ability to defend themselves, are pushing to disarm and make vulnerable every law abiding American citizen. They are the LOVED USEFUL IDIOTS enabling very sinister people in power to set up a totalitarian police state ruling over a helpless citizenry. (And guess what – the CRIMINALS keep their guns)

    The problem is that our great Second Amendment Right is valued only by American Citizens that choose to exercise it. Those that live in the delusion that “the police will come to save me” feel a world with no guns, or where only the police had guns, would be safer. What they really want is for “all the bad things to go away”. Forget about the millions upon millions upon millions of “citizens” that were murdered by the police state of their own government in the last century.

    The job of our fellow citizens that work in law enforcement is to respond to, and be a deterrent to, criminal activity, and investigate crimes to attempt to apprehend the perpetrators, and to perform civil duties. They are NOT to be a militarized force with such an advantage over law abiding citizens that they have the power to militarily defeat the entire citizenry to beat them down in enduring whatever tyranny is dictated by the ruling political party.

    The police AND that political party WORK FOR US – they do not get a monopoly of power to enable them killing an entire disarmed citizenry, if they choose. A government that works FOR us – can NOT be permitted to see its law abiding citizens as a threat.

    That is what is not understood by Americans that are ignorant about firearm and ballistic capabilities – and what they do not understand about the Second Amendment. It is not a right to a gun – it is a right to a CAPABILITY. The capability of Americans to DEFEND THEIR FREEDOMS! And all guns do not ENABLE THE CAPABILITY!

    Outlawing semi-automatic AR15 type rifles and standard full capacity magazines is not a “reasonable compromise” – IT IS THE ENDGAME!
    It is the difference between a citizenry effectively armed to possess the CAPABILITY of defending it’s freedoms – And a citizenry restricted by law to low capacity sporting arms that NO LONGER possess the capability of defending it’s freedoms.

    GUN CONTROL IS ABOUT “TAKING THE CAPABILITY” – PUBLIC SAFETY IS THE DECEPTION TO ACHIEVE IT! The Second Amendment is a “balance of power” that protects a free citizenry – the goal of “gun control” is to shift the balance FIRMLY to government superiority.

    To be a deterrent to tyranny – a government must FEAR THE CAPABILITY of an effectively armed citizenry!

    Like

  4. February 28, 2019 6:42 pm

    Good article, Rob! I do have one quibble, about that “other discussion”: “I think the long term solution is to end drug prohibition, but that is another discussion.” Then we have drug users waving guns around and showing very poor perception accuracy of threats and very poor responsibility, Oh, and by the way: If you want to see an otherwise reasonable person turn into an angry pushy threatening S.O.B., let him smoke marijuana and drink beer.

    Like

  5. Jacob Smith permalink
    February 28, 2019 9:45 pm

    I’ve used my pistol for defense several times yet never had to fire it. Just having it prevented two attempted home invasions and one road rage incident.
    From my cold dead hands …

    Like

  6. Denise M. permalink
    March 1, 2019 12:22 am

    One fact that is continually omitted from pro-gun discussions is the deliberate dumbing down of the criminal justice system. This is critical in understanding what’s really going on. Nine nations going back to the early 1900’s have been disarmed in much the same way the leftists are trying to do here for the last 25 years plus. Put liberal judges in place of law and order judges, get rid of conservative federal prosecutors, don’t prosecute so-called “light crime”, don’t prosecute to the fullest, violent crimes using guns. Blame the tool not the user of the tool. Play word games “gun violence”…really? then we’d best say knife violence, ball bat violence, broken bottle violence, lead pipe violence, etc.
    It’s all about telling a lie so often it “becomes truth” …look up this quote originally by Goebbels, Hitler’s right hand man. It’s strictly about disarming this nation. Dictator wannabes are leery about attacking armed prey…

    Like

  7. SC Molnar permalink
    March 1, 2019 3:42 pm

    The way I feel about anti gunners is that they all should be arrested and charged with treason and all state and federal gun laws should be null and void because they’re all unconstitutional under the constitution of the United States and almost all state constitutions

    Like

Trackbacks

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