All of today’s arguments against gun control

I’ve seen a lot of stupid arguments against gun control on Twitter and Facebook today. Just for fun, I’ve decided to collect them all together, with my responses, in one place. This is my handy-dandy “All of the arguments” synopsis of Gun Control from today’s event.

“If the guy had killed all those kids by driving a bus off a cliff, would you then argue for mandatory car pooling???”

No, but I would look at increasing the regulations and rules that determine who is allowed to drive school buses.

“In China this kind of thing happens all the time, but with knives and not guns!”

At least 18 children were killed by one person. Do you think he was a ninja? Do you think he was Jason Bourne? Crazy people with less powerful weapons can do less damage before they are stopped.

“This kind of thing never happened when I was a kid, but guns were around back then! What changed?”

Actually, gun-related deaths have been decreasing over time, just as gun ownership has been decreasing over time. The fact that you don’t remember high-profile events like this isn’t a counter-argument against actual statistics.

“If the teachers all had guns, they could have protected the kids better!”

Yes, when you have unexpected shots coming from an unknown source and lots and lots of children around, the best advice is for everyone to start shooting at anything they think looks suspicious. That makes sense.

You can’t blame the gun because the gun isn’t making a choice! It’s just a tool!

Nobody is talking about “blaming” the gun. The issue is preventing harm. You don’t start handing out nuclear weapons to people just because the nuclear weapons “don’t choose to hurt people”.

“Remember that one time in Tennessee when a shooter in a school was stopped because a teacher had a gun?”

One or two examples aren’t proof that something is good policy overall. As they say in commercials: “These results may not be typical.” Overwhelming statistics show that there are more innocent people killed by guns than there are “bad guys” killed by guns.

“It has nothing to do with gun laws. Americans are just violent people!”

There is no evidence of this. The fact that America has more gun violence isn’t evidence that Americans have a more violent disposition.

“People will always be able to get guns somehow! Gun laws can’t stop gun crimes!”

Just because a regulation doesn’t solve a problem completely, doesn’t mean it’s pointless. If a regulation is put in place that just makes it harder for criminals to get guns, and even if that prevents a percentage of gun-related murders, that’s still fewer total gun-related murders. That’s a success.

“Normal, freedom-loving people shouldn’t be inconvenienced because of the crazy acts of a few criminals.”

You don’t really believe this, right? Because you are fine with TSA scanning people at airports. You may even be fine with forcing everyone to get a photo ID to vote. Isn’t that inconveniencing lots of innocent people for the crimes of a few?

“Why should I be punished for other people’s criminal acts?”

Which gun regulation, specifically, is a punishment for you? Are you being punished if you have to wait (for example) 6 months to get a hunting rifle? Why is that punishment? If you know hunting season is coming up, just plan ahead. There are a lot of regulations that we could have in place, that we don’t currently have in place, that don’t fall anywhere near “punishing” people who legitimately want a gun.

“If you make all guns illegal, only criminals will have guns!”

Nobody is talking about making all guns illegal. But making it more difficult to get guns will deter some people from getting guns. Making people wait longer to get a gun means that some crimes of passion won’t happen, because the emotions will have cooled off. Mandatory background checks will mean some criminals will have a harder time getting a gun. Of course there are those who will “do it anyway” and “find a way no matter what”, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t that gray area, in between, of people who will be deterred by tighter restrictions. And even if only some people are deterred, that means fewer gun deaths. That is a success.


Connecticut School Shooting