Guns Don’t Kill Americans, Stale Bad Arguments Do

They do, in a sealed container. But it’s strictly verboten to open it unless officially sanctioned, i.e. in case war breaks out. And Switzerland being Switzerland, this works.

ETA: oops, not up to date, they stopped that in 2007. Carry on.


Argument I heard recently
The US has a gun violence problem because of wealth disparity. Other countries have less wealth disparity and less issues with guns. Mexico has greater wealth disparity and more problems with guns.

Aside from being bogus, this one bothered me. There is a stench of classism and more than a whiff of racism- really just saying the US has a gun violence issue because of the poor people, many of whom are BIPOC. There was, implied by this since-banned user, the corollary that we can’t mitigate gun violence without fixing our wealth disparity.


Yeah, that GINI index argument was pretty crappy. The index difference between the UK or Italy and the US was about 10%, while the difference in firearm fatalities was greater than 50 times higher in the US. The only metric that corresponds to that massive difference in firearm fatalities is, you guessed it, firearm availability.


I think it’s worth noting that the NRA is no longer the driving force of gun culture as stated in the top post, however it has been replaced. The new driver is the No Compromise movement which lives on Facebook, driven by charismatic leaders (all selling stuff, of course). A good overview of this is the No Compromise podcast:

The name, if you aren’t worried yet, derives from their belief that ALL forms of gun control are intolerable. This new movement literally believes we should all get tanks and nukes and stealth bombers. Seriously. Like everything else in US politics, the gun movement is a lot more extreme now and more under the radar than when the relatively tame old NRA was tromping around providing talking points.


Which means they are probably leaning more heavily into the white supremacist bullshit that was barely subtext with the NRA.

“We need guns to protect ourselves from those people”


Claim: People arguing for gun regulation know nothing about guns and how they work, and so are motivated by irrational fear and aren’t qualified to have an opinion about them.

This is intended to have the effect of burying the discussion in a heap of technological bafflegab that goes something like this:

“Describe the function of each part shown in the diagram, and submit draft legislation for each to address the issue of gun violence. Then we’ll talk regulation.”

There have been enough discussions on the BBS to make it clear that many people here own guns and/or have a good working knowledge of them. Heck, even I know not to call a rifle a gun, but let’s not nitpick.

As for the rest of the commenters, even those who couldn’t tell a trigger sear from a magazine follower spring know that guns fire little pieces of metal (“bullets”) that can kill and maim, which is why we are talking about them here.

Fiddling around with narrow definitions of specific firearms or features is accepting the other side’s definition of the problem and their fatalistic argument that nothing will work because if we ban [a] people will just do [b].

The gunstrokers have repeatedly stated their position: no regulations about gun ownership or use. I doubt if many believe the parts about tanks and cruise missiles. It sounds like an attempt to shift the discussion rightwards in the hope that negotiation will start from there.

It’s never a good strategy to go into a negotiation starting from the other guy’s initial position, so here’s my counterproposal:

  1. Handguns. Ban them. Semiautos, revolvers, single shot, ban them all. There is no reason for civilians to have handguns that is compelling enough to outweigh the harm they do.

    1(a). “Aha,” you say, “Gotcha already. Define a handgun.” Good point. I’ll rephrase. Ban all firearms that may be folded or telescoped to a length less than 24 inches (US customary units for obvious reasons).

  2. Semiautomatics. (This term has been so frequently discussed in mainstream media that I won’t bother with a definition.) Ban them. Ban them all.

  3. Removable magazines. Ban them. This will stop Mr. Clever Gun Tinkerer looking at Section 2 above and building a .30-30 lever action carbine with a 100-round drum magazine (“The gun that won the mall parking lot”).

  4. Ban firearms that can hold more than two or three rounds, manually fed.

  5. Require licensing of owners and registration and insuring of all firearms.

  6. Second Amendment? Here we go.Throw it out. It didn’t come chiseled on stone tablets from God. It’s a document created by men for the conditions existing in the late 18th century, and misinterpreted by commercial interests in the latter half of the 20th century.

What are we left with? Conventional rifles and shotguns that have met the needs of hunters and farmers for generations. It’s hard to make the argument that a shotgun is inadequate for home defence. Defence on the street? Sorry, you don’t get to carry your guns on the street. We are all safer if that’s not allowed.

Issues of registration, background checks, red flags, exceptions for special requirements, etc to be worked out by the legislators.

A radical dream? No, I’ve just described laws not very different from those in most civilized countries. Will it fly in America? Of course not, silly, because Americans. I’m perfectly aware of that.


Billionaires with private armies


You say “warlords” and we say “job creators.” Potato, potahto. /s


Claim: The right to keep and bear arms is explicitly named as a right retained by the people. Federal firearms regulations are an infringement of that right.

This tortured pseudo-“originalist” argument (see Scalia re: DC vs. Heller, 2008) ignores the inconvenient bit about the well-regulated Militia that was necessary to ensure the security of the free State defined by the main document which this clause amends. To be clear, the well-regulated militia to which the Framers referred was a regularly drilled and trained (by military professionals) state- or local-level defense force of citizen soldiers who would be called up to defend the federal state (this in contrast to random yahoos with nothing more than enough cash to buy themselves a masculinity totem).

It also assumes that the Constitution and its amendments is a document written in stone by authors with deity-like prescience who were sure they were taking into account all eventualities in one short clause. The Constitution is, in reality, a living document that is regularly adapted and altered to address changes in technology, demographics, obvious dangers (e.g. allowing mentally deranged individuals access to firearms), assumptions regarding who is considered a person in full, etc. It was drafted by 18th-century intellectuals, products of a very non-absolutist/non-dogmatic Enlightenment philosophical tradition who built in mechanisms for changing and altering and limiting even its cherished core rights in response to what they understood was an ever-changing world. The Framers also did not limit the ability to make such changes to the several states.


Claim: the Second Amendment acts as a check/“solution” against the potential overbearing authoritarianism of the federal government.

This nonsensical and baseless interpretation – beloved of Libertarian anti-statists, white supremacist and fascist “militias”, and pandering GOP politicians – assumes that the Framers lacked so much confidence in their main document and the free State it defined that they inserted the Second Amendment as a sort of “suicide clause”. In fact, the Second Amendment specifies that its basis is to help protect that free State, AKA the United States of America, from its authoritarian enemies.


Amendment. It’s right there in the name, ffs.


Moreover, when America had a real-world, out-and-out tyrant running the government and his own party refused to hold him accountable for his crimes, 2A”patriots” lined up behind him, supporting tyranny, instead of fighting against it.

It always stank of hypocrisy, but now that position has been exposed as an excuse for treason.


And were only able to act at all because the national guard was prevented from acting by the traitor in chief.

Otherwise they’d have been put down in 10 minutes- tops.


The well regulated militia of the National Guard could easily have put down the lynch mob of 2nd Amendment enthusiast right wing traitors.


Never underestimate the Gravy Seals Citizen’s Militia

Semper pie!


Watch out for their rivals: Meal Team 6



Claim: the real issue in this shooting is [mental health | white supremacy | misogyny | bullying | economic anxiety | police brutality | etc. ]. We must address it first so these tragedies don’t occur.

A distraction/derailing tactic. The existence of (or speculation about) a contributing factor does not change the fact that the number of casualties in an incident are higher than they’d otherwise be because of the relatively easy availability of access to firearms in the U.S. Also, we’re capable as a nation of addressing more than one problem at the same time if we have the will to do so.


But but … If this shooter had been unable to access an assault weapon, he would have used a handgun! If he couldn’t get a handgun he would have used a knife! /S

Argh. Yeah, the guy is a terrorist. But if there are no military grade weapons, there is a lot less death.

Also- we don’t have to focus on just one issue at a time. The US is one of the richest countries in the world even without the richest residents paying taxes.


Or a nunchuk, or a throwing star… or a crossbow or any other weapon that is isn’t a firearm.

One of us (maybe you – anyone can play) will eventually get around to writing an entry that de-bunks that particular BS claim by the gun-strokers.


Re, the “mental health,” claim. In case anyone is not already aware, people suffering from mental health issues are far more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators.
But for anyone who wants to make the “mental health” argument, the next logical question is: okay, so you are saying that it’s probably a bad idea to give mentally unwell people guns, right?
So, you’re saying people should be screened for mental health before purchasing a gun? And then screened, what, annually, as long as they continue to own those guns?
Who does the screening and what standard do they use?
Would you pass?
Would this guy have passed?
If so, maybe mental health isn’t the issue. Maybe we just need a lot fewer guns around.