Questions for Gun-Control Advocates

Source

Compassion & Common Sense

Introduction

In this article I hope to address the issue of the right to keep and bear arms, and do so in a manner that appeals to both common sense and compassion. So often emotion is employed in an attempt to promote gun control, yet I would contend that compassion leads us to the very opposite position - that of the right to employ our own property to defend ourselves, our family, and our property.

It is staggering that the gun-control movement, using emotion and manipulation, has gained so much support when there is no sound argument to defend it, where no genuine statistics exist to support it, and where history so clearly shows it to lead to tragedy.

The questions and points below are prompts to engage clear-thinking and intellectual honesty, in the hope that an honest appeal to common sense and compassion will convince readers of the need to be defenders of the inalienable right to keep and bear arms.


1. If we do not have the right to keep and bear arms, and the just powers of government are delegated from the governed, then how can an army or any agent of government keep and bear arms?

Many today give lip service to the idea that governments gain their authority from the people (popular sovereignty), yet, in practice, few support this fundamental concept. The view that a policeman, member of the military, or any other agent of government, can have more authority than the individual is a good example of this dissonance in thinking. The view also supports the idea that people should not be equal before the law by promoting the belief that some should be allowed to protect themselves more than others.

If we hold to the view that the just powers of government are delegations from the individuals who make up that people, and that all people are equally endowed with rights, then the view referenced in the preceding paragraph must be dismissed as inconsistent with the principles encapsulated in popular sovereignty.

2. How does passing laws to restrict or ban weapons stop criminals from gaining access to them when they can easily obtain them illegally?

Clearly weapon bans will not affect those who don't obey the law and who can obtain weapons outside of the law. One must wonder at the reasoning behind the idea that removing guns from the hands of law-abiding people can in any sense lead to anything good.

3. If you and your neighbors cannot keep and bear arms, then won't the armed criminal be more bold in his criminal activity?

This involves a simple understanding of human nature. It's not rocket science. Crimes involving guns are often much worse in areas where law-abiding people are restricted in their right to keep and bear arms. Criminals target such areas. You do not need a degree in criminal psychology to understand this obvious reality of human nature.

4. Isn't removing weapons from a law-abiding individual, who has committed no crime, a form of property theft?

Yes, an individual has no right to disarm anyone unless they are acting in self-defense (or defense of others). Therefore, it is only under such circumstances and after due process of law, that property can be removed from an individual.

5. Doesn't history show that weapon control leads to governments becoming more bold in abusing their power?

Yes. Don't be ignorant of history. Don't think that somehow we are not susceptible to the same human nature tendencies in leaders today as have manifested themselves throughout history. It can happen today. It can happen here. The video below, entitled "Innocents Betrayed" provides a chilling overview of this reality throughout recent history.

6. Doesn't a well-armed population provide a huge deterrent to invasion? And a huge soft target if not armed?

Yes. This does not need explaining. Taking a country street by street will make any nation think twice about invasion.

7. How do a people throw off their government when it seeks to become their master rather than their servant if the government has all the weapons?

Individuals must have the ability to match their own government in at least bearable arms. Even a government with heavier equipment cannot defeat millions of citizens with assault weapons. History shows that governments, sooner or later, do oppress their people once they have removed their people's ability to resist.

8. Won't far more people be killed/harmed by the inability to defend themselves under gun control, than would be accidentally harmed in an environment where the right to keep and bears arms was secured?

The number of lives saved each day through guns (in actual use, or just as a deterrent) far exceeds the numbers of lives sadly lost in gun accidents. Those who resort to arguing on this point are not being intellectually honest. Two of the videos below, "Disarmed" and John Stossel's report, touch on this issue and upon stats in general.

9. If the responsibility necessary to own weapons can only be permitted by government or government-backed bodies, then where did they gain such superiority over private individuals and organisations to make such decisions if the government gains its just powers from the governed?

This comes back to the idea that somehow government and its agents are possessed of more authority than the people who elect them. This is clearly nonsense. Private individuals and gun groups are not less responsible, less moral, or less capable than government agencies. We are all human beings. No one has the right to set the terms under which a sane person can obtain the weapons and ammunition necessary to defend himself, those he loves, and his property.

10. If we remove a person's weapons from him, or deny him the ability to own them in the first place, are we not imposing a punishment for a crime he *might* commit rather than one he actually has committed?

Yes. Imposing a penalty (removal or restrictions on weapons) is only something that can be applied if a person has either entered into a contract to do so, or has been found guilty AFTER due process of law. Punishing sane, law-abiding people because they MIGHT commit a crime is unacceptable in a free society.

11. If the purpose of the right to keep and bear arms is to defend ourselves from criminals, both inside and outside of government, then how can that right be limited so as to only allow government and criminals access to more effective weapons? In other words, shouldn't individuals have the freedom to defend themselves as effectively as other individuals?

Guns are a great equalizer. They allow the old or infirm to be on an equal standing with their assailants. When someone comes at you with an assault weapon, a handgun loses its effectiveness. When multiple attackers come at you, say during a riot, an assault weapon is effective. Assault weapons will, of course, also be employed by the government should they turn against their own citizens. It is imperative, as a principle, then that an individual be able to match the effectiveness of any weapon or group that comes against him. This is why policemen don't rely on handguns alone. They face the same threat any other member of society faces.

Conclusion

Reason, logic, common sense, and stats, all support the concept and effectiveness of the right to keep and bear arms. But there is another reason: compassion. Love. If we truly care about other people we will not rob them of the means to defend themselves. Too many people, innocents, die because they, or someone there at the time, were unable to defend themselves because of laws that restricted their right to keep and bear arms.

Let's allow people to defend their own lives and those they love. The right to keep and bear arms saves lives. Gun control leads to more murders and more tragedies.

Notes

i. For more information I highly recommend Gun Owners of America's site at http://gunowners.org/fact-sheets.htm and also Guncite for some excellent statistics and other useful information: http://www.guncite.com UK readers might be interested in the following memorandum by Colin Greenwood http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/cmselect/cmhaff/95/95ap25.htm and also this article on the misrepresentation in official UK crime statistics: http://www.theendrun.com/larry-pratt-british-gun-crime-stats-a-sham

ii. I've included a few key videos below, which I would highly recommend be both watched and shared. The messages in these videos needs to be repeated again and again if liberty is to be preserved.

Innocents Betrayed

John Stossel Links Gun Control to Higher Crime Rates

Gun Control - A Victim's Perspective

Disarmed: A History of Gun Control (includes stats)

Why Good People Should Be Armed

International Gun Crime Stats

Comments 33 comments

John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

Gun control does not mean disarmament! It just means proper control of the guns that people own and the people who own them.

You surely don't object to traffic laws, driving tests and all the other paraphernalia involved in keeping the roads relatively safe do you?

Why should you object to regulations to protect you from illegal use of guns?


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 3 years ago from England Author

Gun control is disarmament in principle - because the degree to which it is applied could result in effective total disarmament. In any case, governments have no authority to control (regulate) our property.

The person who should decide what "proper control" is, is the owner of the gun or government? As I said above, or implied, no one has the right to so regulate his neighbour as to his property, so no such power can be justly delegated to government to do it on our behalf.

I don't object to the owner of a road requiring the drivers thereon to abide by the laws, etc., the owner sets. But I do object to government imposing any such system.

I can only think that "illegal use of guns" is using guns to commit criminal acts, which acts are already covered by law regardless of the weapon or form of threat.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

But we have gun control in the UK and it has not lead to anything like disarmament. There are too many vested interests for that to ever happen.

What do you do when the owners of guns fail to exercise proper control?

So you are quite happy to abide by the (government) law when driving on private roads but not on government roads!


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 3 years ago from England Author

Gun control in the UK has led to more violence. It has led to innocents not being able to defend themselves. That is wrong. Immoral. But, before that, it is simply wrong to violate the property rights of others. Gun control sets a precedent of abuse regardless of the timescale and weight of the abuse. It's not a just power of government. Please review the Innocents Betrayed video.

You do the same you do whenever someone fails to control their car, their fists, a knife, a baseball bat - you punish them for any criminal action, and require compensation for any harm unintended. Whether a gun is involved is not the point.

No, government forces me to abide by its rules under an enforced monopoly. Private roads allow choice for both the owner and the user, and will fail if they do not provide a good service because they rely upon providing for the customer rather than relying upon a guaranteed income via taxes (theft). --- again, I would submit, the principle is simply that government can't exercise powers that the individual does not possess and has not delegated to government.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

If you think gun control in the UK has led to more violence then I do think you ought to change your sources of information.


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 3 years ago from England Author

I'll stick with the honest and accurate sources, thank you.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

If you really do think that gun control has led to more violence then I really do think you should look for some honest and accurate sources.

"551 homicides (includes murder, manslaughter and infanticide) were reported in 2011/12, a considerable drop on the previous year's total of 638. Homicides are now down to around half of the figure for 2001/2.

Attempted murders also fell, but by a smaller proportion, dropping by 7.6% in comparison to a fall of 13.6% in homicides."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jul/1...


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 3 years ago from England Author

I've added some sources to the article - but please do your own research - to dispel some of the dishonest stats and propaganda being promulgated by the gun-control adherents.


Erika 3 years ago

How dare you say we have gun control in the UK yet it hasn't lead to anything like disarmament.

UK law abiding citizens have lost nearly all types of firearms that were once available to them. Handguns are largely prohibited, only in exceptional and restricted circumstances can you now own one. Semi-automatic rifles are banned, semi-automatic shotguns are restricted and only available under FAC conditions. Automatic weapons have been banned for many years, you need an FAC and "good reason" to own slugs for your shotgun.

These are examples just off the top of my head, and within the last two months the Scottish Government has, and will no doubt largely ignore a consultation on licencing low powered airguns, legislation which if brought into law will also outlaw plinking.

Nor does it end there, the GCN and campaigners are constantly trying to justify a ban on all imitation firearms, include deactivated, blank firing and BB guns. The Green Party in a recent communication with me even confirmed they plan to control toy guns, speculating that they will only allow clear plastic toy guns.

I am a UK citizen and I campaign for the rights of firearms owners and shooters, the notion that we don't have anything like disarmament is preposterous and offensive.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

Until recently I lived in a part of England where the majority of men owned shotguns (complete with "slugs") Nearby was a rifle range which was regularly used.

Can you tell me why anybody should want to own a semi automatic shotgun?


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 3 years ago from England Author

The UK police have access to heavy weapons. They face potentially the same threat as a citizen. Why should the latter be exposed to danger and the former less so? We're all people with the same rights, be we in the police or not.

In cases of multiple attackers, having something more than a handgun is necessary. During riots in the US there have been cases where men have protected their lives and their property by keeping large groups at bay with semi-automatic long guns.

And, more to the point, regardless of what our opinion might be, we don't - in a free society - not let other people have the things they want because we don't see a reason why they need it...!


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

"And, more to the point, regardless of what our opinion might be, we don't - in a free society - not let other people have the things they want because we don't see a reason why they need it...!"

OK then, I want to get coked up and have sex with twelve year old girls! That apparently is OK by you - got any daughters?

The police generally face a greater threat of violence than the ordinary citizen, to say that they face the same threat is to avoid the obvious.


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 3 years ago from England Author

No, they face the same potential threat. Police respond to crimes and threats usually because they are first experienced by the citizen.

I think it's obvious, John, that my statement about allowing people to do what they want in a free society does not include allowing them to violate the person, liberty or property of another. I really don't understand your comparison. If someone was "coked up" and tried to do something nasty to women or girls, and those girls were unable to defend themselves because of laws restricting their ability to use property (weapons), then let me tell you who I would jointly hold responsible for any harm done to them: the legislators and those who support such evil laws.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

Hm, let me see. Two police officers lured to a house and then murdered, not ordinary citizens but police officers.

Aren't guns the ultimate inhibitors of liberty?


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 3 years ago from England Author

I believe guns to be the ultimate defence in defending all our other rights. Doesn't history teach as much?


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

And yet all major acts of aggression and infringements of freedom have had guns at the centre of them!


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 3 years ago from England Author

Of course, which is why they are needed to defend our rights, both as a deterrent and in practice.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

That makes no sense at all.


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 3 years ago from England Author

I'm having a hard time understanding any of your arguments. Let me elaborate on the last point: If aggression and infringements on freedom are made more effective through the "bad people" having guns, then it stands to reason that the effectiveness of those crimes will be diminished, both in practice and by way of deterrent, if the "good people" have access to arms.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

But it's not just the "bad" people with guns, unless you count the armed forces and the police in with the bad people.


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 3 years ago from England Author

Armies and police forces can be used for good or ill and are, of course, made up of imperfect people like you and me...only by keeping arms accessible to all law-abiding people can infringement of liberties be protected and minimized.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

Only by keeping arms can liberties be infringed.


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 3 years ago from England Author

Your statements contains no logic to me.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

OK, who is going to be more effective at stopping one hundred people marching along a road, ten men armed with sticks or ten men armed with guns?


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 3 years ago from England Author

Guns.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

Precisely.

And you claimed not to seethe logic!


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 3 years ago from England Author

lol. You don't seem to be seeing the whole picture.

You can never stop the 10 men from having guns, so the only way to counter it is for all people to have access to arms.

Even if all guns suddenly disappeared with the wave of a magic wand, and we suddenly all forgot about anything invented after the advent of gunpowder, the right to keep and bear arms is still valid: it would just be a case of men enacting tyranny on others by the sword and bow - and so ensuring that all have access to weapons is again the only means to curtail such actions among potential criminals and tyrants.


John Holden profile image

John Holden 3 years ago

Why can't you stop the ten men from having guns?


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 2 years ago from England Author

(because you will never have a society where all people will obey a gun law)

I've updated the text slightly and also added in a couple of extra resources.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

@Anglo, a well written argument, but your mixing apples and oranges; gun control/regulation and denying the right to bear arms have nothing in common. To address each of your points.

1. You do have the right to bear arms, the 2nd Amendment rightfully guarantees that and gun "control" advocates (vice gun "banning" advocates) believe and support the 2nd Amendment, I know I do. So, point 1 is mute.

2. Somewhere between 65 and 75% of all weapons acquired by criminals, according to them, are obtained by legal means, with about 95% of those without background checks (the other 5% are from gun stores). Consequently, I suspect your term "easily obtained" is a bit overstated and by simply instituting background checks on ALL purchases, you would put a serious crimp on the supply of weapons to the bad guys.

3. See answer to Point 1

4. It is a against the law to do so, so Point 4 is mute

5. No, history shows that banning guns may lead to such an outcome (although I can't think of an example), but not sensible gun control.

6. No, named me one instance when it has.

7. At one point in American history, that was possible. It is a day-dream in today's real world on any large scale. On a small scale, where the "insurgents" were posing much of a danger, I suppose they could get away with it for awhile. You see, the best weapon we have against a pushing federal, state, or local government is the ballot box; something most nations don't enjoy.

8. No, actually statistics show less people would be killed via violent crime (although more people would be victims of robbery). The largest drop in death would be from suicides by gun, and no, a significant number of them won't be replaced by death from some other means.

9. Read the Constitution, there is more to it than the 2nd Amendment.

10. See my answer to Point 1

11. See my answer to Point 1 and, the original purpose of the 2nd Amendment wasn't personal self-defense, it was State self-defense from the Federal government. Scalia tack the "personal" self-defense interpretation (activist jurist that he is) after scouring ancient English law to find a precedent. Do I disagree with that extra interpretation? Nope, I think it is a good addition, but, "it was not" the original intent.


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 2 years ago from England Author

1. How can you support a right and then in the next breath support controls that infringe upon that right? Rights are absolutes or they are no rights at all. Perhaps your definition of a right is different from mine and probably from the Framers?

2. I live in the UK and criminals can gain guns easily, just like illegal drugs. It's called a black market. No amount of laws will stop it. In the US, where guns are to some extent legal (depending on the state), then of course more guns will be obtained through legal channels. If gun sellers wish to find out a bit more about the purchaser then they are quite at liberty to do so and refuse sale to the person. Government checks, however, violate the right to contract about our own affairs and also provide a means to set up a database where those listed may be targeted later by government. Not a good idea. I'd also be interested to know where those stats come from.

4. Not sure how gun control isn't violating my property rights.

5. Watch the video on Innocents Betrayed. Gun bans start with gun control. Look around you and what governments do when the people are less able to resist. Observe human nature and how it plays out in history and what is happening today. I'm not sure what I can say here. You honestly cannot see what is going on?

6. That's like trying to prove known gun ownership deters crimes. Stats - and common sense - clearly shows it does but it's impossible to say x household/country was not home-invaded/invaded because it was armed...

7. At one point the ballot box was useful ... are you honestly saying that if every household in the US was well armed - including heavy bearable weapons - that it would be brushed aside by even the US military? I think that's unlikely. The Government would be hopelessly outgunned.

8. You've obviously been reading some different stats to me. Suicides and deaths by gun which are accidental pale into insignificance compared to the number of lives saved by use of a gun in self-defence, and this doesn't even factor into it the millions of crimes that never happen because of the deterrent effect of guns.

9. I've read it a number of times, and studied it. Not sure what your point is here. Clearly there is more to it than the 2nd Amendemnt, although without it all the rest is not much worth as government can ignore or twist it without any effective last resistance from the creators and guardians of the Constitution, the people.

10. And see my answer to point 4.

11. Yes, it certainly was and is an Amendment to resist the federal government (or other states) so that that state may remain a free state. But the right to keep and bear arms is not some US/Constitutional thing alone. It is found in the English Bill of Rights and is a recognised right of freemen to be able to bear arms. The 2nd Amendment recognises that the right to keep and bear arms is necessary to maintain a free state, but it also recognises that there is a *right* to keep and bear arms.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

1. Are you saying the criminally insane have an absolute right to bear arms? If you say no, then that is gun control isn't it. In any case, no right is absolute when infringes on other rights ... it is the old "you can't yell fire in a crowded theater" case the Supreme Court settled a long time ago.

2. Who ever said you can "stop" criminals from getting guns, everybody knows you can't ... but why make it easy for them like it is in America? Most of the stats were from interviews with criminals in jail.

3. In the same way that requiring a driver's license to operate your privately owned vehicle on public roads is a control on using your car.

6. Actually, I once was a statistician in another life and using that training I wrote a series of hubs on whether gun control would help reduce death by guns. The answer was pretty clear, yes it would.

It was also pretty clear that the rate of legal gun ownership didn't impact overall violent crime, although, as mentioned earlier, it did have slightly statistically significant, although opposite impacts on homicides and robberies.

7. If the Nation were so armed, it would be an extremely dangerous and deadly place; I wouldn't be living here but somewhere else more sane.

8. Sorry, the largest number of deaths "by far" from guns are from suicides. By doing stratified analysis between states with different rates of legal ownership and controls, you can ferret out the deterrent effects, you suggest; they simply aren't statistically significant, sorry.

9. While I support the idea of the 2nd Amendment; England, Canada, et al, seem to be doing fine without it.


AngloSaxon profile image

AngloSaxon 2 years ago from England Author

You can't lose a right. If I lock you up, do you still have the right to liberty? Of course you do, you just can't exercise it. When is it right to block someone's exercise of their rights? Only in self-defence (protecting your absolute rights) and as punishment (an extension of self-defence). This doesn't mean the right isn't inherent and inalienable. When we seek to do this in the absence of criminality we are, through government, committing a crime ourselves - namely theft of another's property. This point alone stops the gun-control argument dead in its tracks.

I do not believe government-issued licenses - whether for cars or marriages or jobs or guns - are lawful. No person has the right as an individual to effectively stop someone from entering into a job of their own choosing or driving a vehicle of their choice on public land or of carrying a weapon of their choice, etc. therefore it follows that it cannot be delegated to government if it does not exist within the people to begin with.

I'm sorry, but your conclusions regarding the stats totally contradict the stats I have read and, perhaps more significantly, go against the tendencies of human nature.

If you trace back gun violence in the US I think you'll find that when the most people were armed (the so-called Wild West era) there was less violence/crime than at any time thereafter (when gun control started to creep in).

The last stats I read suggested that about 2.45 million crimes per year don't happen because of the deterrent effect. Hardly insignificant.

But the point remains that confiscation of property is wrong in the absence of crime, or suspected crime, and so gun control cannot be logically argued past that point. (not to mention all the other principles I've mentioned, which, in my view, you have not convinced me to be invalid).

I stand by the statement that stats, logic, reason, principle and common sense and compassion all lead to one conclusion: gun control is wrong and leads to tragedy.

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