Everybody knows somebody who stands behind the idea that if we just had less guns in society, then tragic events involving guns would happen at a far less rate. It probably frustrates you as much as it frustrates me that they don’t logically think through the consequences of their decisions. Here are several questions you can ask that will challenge their logic.
(1) Gun Grabber: We should re-institute the assault weapons band. There’s no reason for anyone to have that kind of firepower.
You: Do you know what constitutes an assault weapon, at least so much as in the ban that has expired?
This is somewhat of a trick question. There is no answer to this, so the gun grabber will probably make a guess and rattle off a couple of characteristics and mention the word, “semi-automatic,” at some point. Actually, no classification exits for an assault rifle. It’s an arbitrary list mostly compiled by legislators who know very little about guns. In fact, some guns with safety features, such as barrel shrouds, appear on the list where their counterparts that lack those features do not. So there really isn’t a clear cut definition of what an assault rifle is.
(2) Gun Grabber: There’s no need for semi-automatic weapons.
You: Picture a 6’3″ male intruder, or several, trying to assault a 5’1″ woman alone in her home. Do you think having a rifle or pistol that can quickly fire more than one shot may be the difference between life or death for her?
Semi-automatic means is that you pull the trigger once to shoot one bullet, and the gas system of the weapon automatically chambers the next round. One trigger pull means one shot.
(3) Gun Grabber: If far fewer people had access to guns, then there would be less situations where a gun could be used.
You: Chicago has the most stringent gun laws in the nation, but it has the highest amount of gun violence in the nation. Even if all of the nation adopted those laws, our government does not have control of the southern border, and as a result guns flow freely across in either direction. Neither this administration nor the last has made securing it a priority. Laws cannot stop the availability of guns, regardless of how people in U.S. purchase them now.
(4) Gun Grabber: We should do everything we can to prevent more occurrences such as Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine, the Wisconsin Sikh temple. If that means people can’t have guns with high capacity magazines, then we should just ban them.
You (answer option #1): Should we ban Muslims from serving in the military? That would have prevented the Ft. Hood massacre. Or is that against our American values? After all, Nadal Hassan could have carried his service weapon to a nearby school.
You (answer option #2): Soon technology will enable anyone with access to a 3D printer, a CAD file for a gun, and necessary raw materials to produce a fully functional firearm. How can any authority effectively regulate this? Is it time to rethink our approach to violence prevention?
You (answer option #3): In 2010, we learned that the Obama administration trafficked high capacity rifles to Mexican cartels. Authorities have learned that many innocent Mexicans and one U.S. border patrol agent have died from shots from those guns. The administration has obstructed all attempts to investigate this. Why aren’t you outraged about that? And should we trust the same people who trafficked those guns with new firearm regulations? Don’t you think Americans should have access to high capacity rifles if our government is providing them to drug cartels?
You (answer option #4): Everything? Really? Should we ban the appearance of guns in computer gaming? Should we ban guns from appearing in entertainment on television? Why not, if we’re serious about doing whatever it takes? This isn’t a serious question, and the gun grabber will know exactly what you’re doing. But push the issue anyway. Make him defend the justification for going to such lengths to protect freedom of speech within entertainment at the expense of the right to self defense.
(5) Gun Grabber: We should repeal the Second Amendment.
You: Does every man, woman, and child have a right to self defense, or should we expect that law abiding citizens live in fear of the lawless?
(6) Gun Grabber: Assault weapons are the reason for mass murder.
You: Between 2009 and 2011, the average number of people who drowned per year was 3500. The average number of people who were struct by lightning was 55. 2012 set a record for mass murders: 52. Those 52 deaths are tragic as tragic can be, but doesn’t comparing those numbers lend some perspective? Have you entertained the number of lives saved by guns? See links: Lives Saved by Guns and Armed Citizen. On top of all of this, mass killings are on the decline. Do you think your reaction may be affected by recent media coverage as opposed to a broad understanding of the issues?
(7) Gun Grabber: If the Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sikh temple, Aurora, and Sandy Hook shooters didn’t have access to assault weapons, such tragedies wouldn’t have happened.
You: How are you sure? Terri Nichols and Timothy McVeigh made bombs. James Holmes had assembled the capabilities to make bombs. Nadal Hassan served in the military; hence, no legislation would have restricted his access to guns. Did you know that the assault weapons ban of 1994 was in effect during the 1999 Columbine massacre?
(8) You: What consequences do you think someone should suffer for owning a gun, a semi-automatic gun, or assault rifle?
Gun Grabber: probably, “Jail, high fines, or both.”
You: Gun prosecutions under Obama are down 40%. Do you think he may be trying to use a call for new legislation to cover up for that? Do think that’s fair to responsible gun owners?
(10) Gun Grabber: Guns in the home are too high a risk for accidents with children.
You: In 2004 for children under ten years old, one child drowned for every 11,000 home pools. For gun accidents, that figure is one child for every one million guns. Assuming you don’t value any less the life of a child who drowns versus one who dies from a gun related accident, do you think we should outlaw home pools?
(11) Gun Grabber: What do you propose we do about all the gun violence?
There are of course a lot of answers to this. This one’s one of mine. Feel free to repeat it as frequently as you like.
The root of the problem is not the tool, but the user thereof. A gun can’t pull its own trigger. The root of the problem is a lack of respect for purpose of a gun. Our youths most commonly have their introduction to firearms in movies, video games, or other kids on the street. The D.A.R.E program has succeeded in influencing many youths to turn away from recreational drug use. Why not integrate basic firearm safety into standard junior high school or high school education? This means a children will have their first exposure to firearms at the hands of a responsible adult who will emphasize the purpose and proper use of a gun.