Thursday, March 29, 2007

Rebuttal to Poorly-Written Opinion Piece

Guns do not save or secure lives sneers Darren Sieber, frowning at the camera through his lip ring and glasses. I've seen more articulate attacks against handguns, but something about this adolescent parroting of anti-gun spin made me want to write a rebuttal. Darren is not the target of this post, although it is addressed to him. It is intended more for any brain-numbed student who is tempted to nod in agreement with Darren, except that the pent-up saliva might dribble out of their slacking jaws.

Claim: "Texas gun laws are no less lax than that of other states."

This is completely false, and an examination of other state laws will make it clear, especially in New England states such as Massachusetts. Other states have only recently enacted "Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground/Make My Day" laws which repeal a requirement for homeowners to retreat before using deadly force.

Claim: "1,000 people die every day due to guns."

What that statistic fails to account for is the estimated 1,369 uses of guns to prevent crimes. This is a extremely liberal reduction from the 2.5 million defensive uses of firearms estimated by criminologists.

Notably, your own website's statistics show that America ranks BELOW nations such as Europe and Asia, of which most nations have harsher gun restrictions or even outright bans than America. (Side note: your website obviously carries with it a bias, which is not wrong, but it should be pointed out in the interest of fair disclosure. In a minute, I will cite the National Rifle Association, which is pro-gun, and which should be as valid as the anti-gun websites used in the opinion piece.)

Further note that countries such as Switzerland and Japan have extremely lax firearm laws, and also a very low rate of homicide, showing that guns cannot directly be linked to gun ownership.

Read more here:

Claim: "Sure, we can continue to blame guns for homicides, suicides, war deaths and freak accidents for as long as we like."

The inarticulate mockery of the claim "guns don't kill people; people kill people" was entirely ineffective; the point remains, inert objects such as firearms possess no inherent ethic for right or wrong. Thus, guns cannot be blamed for deaths any more than automobiles, knives, carbon monoxide or cliffs.

Claim: "[G]uns are wrong. They are deadly, unethical creations that do not save or secure any number of lives that could build a reliable statistic."

This too is incorrect. Perhaps before taking one side of an issue, you should investigate the other side. Researchers have shown that firearms are used defensively between 700,000 and 2.5 million times a year. (The estimate given several paragraphs up was based on a reduction to 500,000 defensive uses.)

I checked the statistics regarding gender and gun use from the anti-gun website, and found no citation for them. Pending further clarification, these cannot be either confirmed or denied. Regardless, if a woman carries a gun, it reduces her likelihood of being murdered by about 3 to 4 times compared to the reduction of men carrying firearms. Obviously, this is because physically, women tend to be less muscular than men.

Claim: "Of gun-related homicides, 90 percent occur amongst men."

This makes sense, given that around 88% of the prisoner population is male. Also, males are more likely to carry a gun to defend or protect their house or family. However, this number is irrelevant to whether or not to ban or more tightly restrict guns.

Claim: "It's much easier to end an argument, unhappy life, child's crying, spousal cheating or a robbery with a simple click."

If all guns were to vaporize tomorrow, you are only removing one means to an end. In effect, you are trying to stop someone from arriving at a location by blocking off a main street. You are still leaving dozens of side streets open. Guns are not the most effective method of murder; they are difficult to obtain, can be easy to trace (ballistics, etc.) and also create a large noise. Poisons, asphyxiation and other such methods of murder could be considered easier. A determined killer will not be halted because one weapon option has been removed.

Note also that ending a child's crying is in no way comparable to ending a robbery; the comparison is repugnant.

Claim: "America [is] the leader of gun fatalities."

Note this untruth was already disproven above, according to your own statistics. Note that American gun ownership is at an all time high; right-to-carry states are increasing their shall-issue status. And American crime overall is at the lowest rate in decades.

Finally, all readers are welcome to visit the following website to read daily uses by civilians of firearms to save a life or prevent a crime:

Some follow-up points I wrote on Free Republic after submitting this to the paper's comments section.

- We are constitutionally guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms.

- Cars kill more people than guns do, but we don't ban them, and we will put a kid behind the wheel a decade before we will permit them to own a firearm.

- Every day, millions of guns DON'T kill people. They are safely tucked away in closets, glove compartments and drawers, an added measure of security just like an unused fire extinguisher; ready if you need it, but not usually needed.

**Addendum**: Freeper Blood of Tyrants sustained a correction to my post; Japan actually has very stringent gun laws.

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At June 11, 2007 at 8:13:00 AM PDT, Blogger Paul said...

OK. I see at the end of your article a correction for the following statement: "Further note that countries such as Switzerland and Japan have extremely lax firearm laws."

Indeed, Japan has VERY stringent laws on private firearms ownership (outright ban I believe)

As for removing firearms from society, you're absolutely correct in stating that it would merely close one avenue. Down here the private ownership of firearms is VERY restricted, with all kinds of hoops to jump through. Earlier this year the police did a publicity stunt to show that they're "on top of the violence problem" - but merely highlighted that inanimate objects are NOT the problem. I wrote a brief article with several pictures entitled "When Guns Are Outlawed" which can be viewed at:

As the Bible clearly states, evil comes from within, not from external influences.

Good article.


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