5 comments on “Countering the Right: The Kid’s Argument Against Gun Control Part 2

    • There are approximatly 100,000,000 guns in the US and the lawful use of guns stop between 800,000 and 2,500,000 crimes a year. The benefit of guns far out weigh the negatives.

      • It’s a common argument but the statistic has two glaring problems. The first is that it’s from 1993 (maybe a few years earlier) and the violent crime rate in the United States has dropped tremendously since then, from 747 per 100k people to 429 in 2009 and probably still dropping considering the trend. Here’s a link to a table with those numbers if needed (http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/data/table_01.html). Point being, the 2.5 million number is a huge overestimation based solely on the fact the crime rate has dropped so much over the past two decades.
        The second issue is there is no quantifying how many of these incidents would have had the same end result using a less lethal form of self defense (taser, mace, pepper spray, etc.).
        This to go along with plenty of other criticisms of that original research.

      • Of the two things you take issue with the first being that the crime rate has fallen does not dismiss the fact that armed victims can effectively disrupt crimes which suggests that widespread civilian gun ownership might also deter some criminals from attempting crimes in the first place. Its clear Guns in the hands of prospective victims of violence can deter criminal attempts or disrupt crimes once they are attempted, thereby exerting a violence-reducing effect. No one argues that legally owned and legally used guns increase crime. However there is a great deal of evidence that disarming citizens of their guns does increase the rate of crimes being committed. Since the criminalization of gun ownership in Australia, there has been and increase in every category of both violent and non-violent crime.

        Your second issue is moot. What might have happened if some other less lethal form of self defense was used is irrelevant, the non lethal use of a gun to stop a crime is the point in this case. To object to the successful use of guns to stop a crime in support of some other form of defense is nonsensical.

        I will give you a personal example of why I support gun ownership. My wife and I were driving across the US and we were in Granit City St Louis. I was taking my turn sleeping as she drove and she woke me up. she was lost and scared, it was about 10PM. At an intersection we drove past a large group of men all sitting on couches? About 3 blocks later we came to a dead end and had to turn around. As we approached the intersection the couches were in now across the road blocking us. i told my wife to drive through the but she didnt dare and was scared and she slowed down. As my wife slowed several men approached the car from the front and side. All were menacing and one man was clearly their leader. As he approached my wife’s door my wife was terrified until he bent down to take the door handle at which point he backed away quickly gesturing to the other men to flee which they all did. When my wife looked over at me in surprise she saw that I had my .45 aimed at the man who had approached the car and who now had fled! I am retired 26 year US Army Special forces NCO and have had to use weapons many many times in combat and I know exactly what a weapon is. It is a tool and I believe it saved us from some form of crime that night if it didn’t actually save our life.

      • “the fact that armed victims can effectively disrupt crimes which suggests that widespread civilian gun ownership might also deter some criminals from attempting crimes in the first place.”

        This is another common argument but the numbers prove there is no truth to this. If this were a fact and there was a causal relationship here, what we would see in the statistics is a drop in the crime rate coupled with an increase in total gun ownership per person. The reality is the opposite has occurred. The crime rate has dropped along with the rate of gun ownership (http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/31/politics/gun-ownership-declining) over the same period of time. Not only is there not causation here, there isn’t even correlation in the numbers. This is nothing more than a slogan that is disproved by the facts.

        Australia is commonly used as well but there are plenty of misconceptions there. First, the laws did not “criminalize” gun ownership, they just made it harder to purchase (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Australia#Australian_firearm_laws) and that is proven by the fact the gun ownership rate has fallen from less than %7 at the time of passage of the 1996 gun laws to %5 now (http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/05/the-misuse-of-our-gun-crime-stats/). In fact, similar to the U.S., it has been a case of fewer gun owners simply buying the same amount of guns (http://www.smh.com.au/national/australia-reloads-as-gun-amnesties-fail-to-cut-arms-20130113-2cnnq.html). With relatively little change in the amount of gun ownership in Australia since their stricter gun laws have been implemented, the increase in some (but not all violent crime) is likely due to an increase in reporting of the crimes, as the Australian Institute of Criminology suggests (http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/tandi/341-360/tandi359/view%20paper.html) stating:

        “Based on self-reported victimisation and reporting to police, it would seem increased reporting of assault is somewhat responsible for the rise in recorded assault rates against adult victims. However, victimisation survey data suggest there has been little change in rates of sexual assault, although reporting to police by women seems to have increased. Victimisation survey data also do not illuminate the most significant recorded increase in violent victimisation, against children, as they are collected less frequently and only apply to those aged at least over 15 years. The paper speculates that the rise could be due to better public understanding of child protection issues and increased reporting due to public awareness of what constitutes physical and sexual assault – especially within the family – but this requires further investigation to examine how many recorded violent crimes against children relate to current and/or past events and of the relationship to the offender.”

        In other words, the gun laws had virtually nothing to do with the increase in some areas of crime in Australia (the homicide rate has decreased, by the way) and, again, the statistics in gun ownership reflect that.

        As for my second issue being “moot”, this would be dismissing the argument without valid reasoning. The statistic being addressed is about self-defense and the argument is guns are needed for this defense. But this ignores how much the statistic regarding gun use for self defense would be altered if other means of self defense were used in the same situations. Stun guns, mace, etc. would lead to the same positive outcome in a number of these cases which would deflate the statistic itself, thereby, deflating the argument. Since assault accounts for over 62% of violent crime in the U.S. and only 21% of those involve a gun (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/violent-crime/violent-crime), a more non-lethal form of self defense would likely work in the majority of these cases potentially cutting the already disputable 800k-2.5 million stat in half or more. It’s relevant because it’s about debating the statistic, a stat that is incredibly misleading considering the facts and even more disputable as time and knowledge grow.

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