Countering the Right: The Kid’s Argument Against Gun Control Part 2

Continued from Part 1 here

Then a common and pertinent point made by gun advocates and worth addressing.

Now, even of those 3,371, only 37 were killed with a rifle which is barely 1%.  98% were killed with a handgun so creating gun control legislation that targets assault rifles has statistically proven to only weed out less than 1% of the problem, if you are lucky.

This point is relevant and there is no denying the numbers but it doesn’t tell the whole story of lives lost.  If we are going to take a critical look at the most high-powered weapons, we have to look at Mexico and what has gone on there over the past seven years.  As I’ve stated before, the Assault Weapons Ban expired in late 2004 and two years later former President Calderon began sending Mexican Army troops into the areas where the drug cartels had become too heavily armed for regular police.  The idea that the ease with which one can buy a weapon made solely for military purposes in the U.S. has nothing to do with the drug cartels in Mexico being so well armed is ludicrous.  A fair assessment of the effect on lives taken by these weapons would include this fact.

Well produced speech. Awful argument.

If the Afghan-Chicago comparison hadn’t been made, this next part would be the most absurd leap from reality in the speech.

On December 14th of 2012 the same day as the Sandy Hook shooting in Central China a man stabbed 22 children and one adult.  Guns are not needed for mass murder.

Guns may not be “needed for mass murder” but they sure make the deed easier.  I suppose I would need an example to prove that.  Where can I possibly find one?

Wait, I got it.  I’ll use the same one given in the speech.

What is not noted here is the fact there wasn’t a mass murder in China that day.  How do I know this?  Because for an event to be classified as a mass murder, you need a few key things and those things are actual dead bodies, of which there were approximately zero fatalities in the China attack mentioned.  To which the question should be asked, what school would you want your child to have been in that day?  The one where there was a mass murder or the one where there wasn’t?

Then one last claim by the young girl worthy of a closer look.

You must also consider the fact that the majority of gun violence occurs in low income neighborhoods.  Raising the overall cost of owing a gun through higher licensing and registration fees, denies the ability of lower income individuals to protect themselves against the crime focus in the areas they live in. Passing this legislation would be discriminating against these lower income individuals who are actually at a higher risk of being victimized of crimes.

People on the right want to protect low income individuals?  When did this class war begin?

In short, the point made here gives us two options when we also consider the fact most of the violence in low income areas in places like Chicago is due to gang violence and not just random acts.  Option A: make guns easier to get so both sides are armed to the teeth and have the areas delve into mini-war zones akin to the cartel violence in Mexico.  Option B: make guns harder to get everywhere and the price goes up for the gangs to get them thereby reducing the overall level of violence over time.

Maybe we could work on giving them an option C: offering better jobs and a way to a better standard of living so gang life isn’t so appealing.

Nah, that’s crazy talk.  The answer is and apparently always will be: more guns.  (No matter how ridiculous the argument backing it up is.)

Countering the Right: The Kid’s Argument Against Gun Control Part 1

A recently posted video on YouTube has been making the rounds in conservative circles as it shows an eloquent 15-year-old girl giving a speech to Maryland legislators against gun control.  The speech is well delivered and only has one major flaw: most of her points are shoddy arguments, at best, when looked at a little more critically.

To begin, an early piece of her opinion jumps out as a stretch of imagination considering reality.

You are not eliminating guns from society but eliminating our ability to protect our lives, liberty, and pursuits of happiness.

Actually, most people seem to be doing just fine living their lives and pursuing their happiness without guns in their possession.  As has been reported in recent years, the number of gun owners in the U.S. has dropped and seems to be continuing in that direction as “the number of households owning guns has declined from almost 50% in 1973 to just over 32% in 2010.”  Not only is her claim an opinion (as is mine, admittedly) but it’s one that is weakening over time (not statistically the case with mine).

Then comes one of the most irrational claims I have ever heard in defense of gun rights.

Well produced speech. Awful argument.

And it is currently more than twice as likely for you to be killed in Chicago as in the Afghan War.  For the past 11 years and 4 months in the Afghan War 2,166 people have been killed.  Now in only 8 years in Chicago, 4,265 people have been killed and 3,371 of them were from being shot.

Wow, that Afghan place sounds like a magical land of safety for Americans compared to Chicago.  Twice as likely to get killed in Chicago?  Whole numbers are fun but completely illogical when comparing two places, particularly when the populations differ wildly.  Let’s take a look at the numbers.

I’m going to be incredibly generous here and use the highest American troop levels in Afghanistan, right at 100k, and only the given population of the city of Chicago, 2.7 million, and not the larger number of the Chicagoland area, well over 9 million.  By doing this, I’m swinging the numbers in favor of her argument just for the sake of showing how ridiculous the claim still is.

So, assuming 100k Americans were in Afghanistan during the entire period (not true), and 2,166 were killed, you get a death rate of 21.66 per 1k people.  In Chicago during the time given, you get a death rate of 1.58 per 1k.  Therefore, using the most generous numbers possible, you were actually 13.7 times more likely to get killed in Afghanistan than Chicago.  Feel free to run the numbers with more realistic estimates of population if you want but I’m choosing to be nice.

There is also the ridiculous claim that Chicago is a great example of the failure of gun control because it’s restrictive laws have not been very effective.  To which I would counter, what idiot doesn’t know how to drive outside the city limits when they want a gun?  Gun advocates do realize it was a city policy and not a national or even state one, don’t they?

As this article points out, “Statistics show that more than half of the guns seized by Chicago police in the last 12 years came from other states. A University of Chicago study found that more than 1,300 guns confiscated by police since 2008 were purchased at a single store just outside city limits. More than 270 were used in crimes.”  No gun control policy would or will ever work in a major U.S. city alone when it is so easy to purchase so close to the area.  It is just as silly to pass this type of measure at the city level as it is to claim this is an example of how gun control doesn’t work.

A Couple of Not-So-Funny (But Still Funny) Articles on April 1

Two articles from the Atlantic today do a little tickling of the funny bone and only somewhat unintentionally.  The first is about the “paradox of second amendment hardliners” and is summed up in the sub header from the piece:

Conservatives say armed citizens are an essential guard against government tyranny. They also support massive military spending. How is that supposed to work?

I’m not an expert but pretty sure that one isn’t going to work like that.

This is a humorous paradox for gun rights advocates.  I suppose the answer to the gun control debate is to disarm the military so everyone is safer domestically.  When that happens, I’m sure there will be plenty of compromise and warmth between the two sides when it comes to banning military style weapons for civilian sale.

But then again, we do have North Korea to worry about.  Which brings us to the second article of the day.  It appears the fearsome prowess of their military was on display, literally, as their maps show they are going to shoot missiles at American cities.  Just one problem.  Their projections on the map imply the planet they live on is flat.  Someone might want to inform Mr. Kim of his planners’ mistake (assuming, of course, he didn’t draw the lines himself or have his good friend Dennis Rodman do it).  Heads will roll!