A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Arguing with the Anti-Gunners

with one comment

That’s that this post is about. Although I do realize arguing things on the Internet is ultimately pointless I do sometimes partake in it. There are two main reasons I argue with anti-gunners online; to keep my kills of debating fresh and because I love watching them break down into personal insults after devastating their arguments. The last one is a guilty pleasure of mine to say the least. But some of these arguments are worth a little analysis so I figured I’d post a couple of the recent threads I participated in on reddit.

The first argument I’ll post up is one I had with a person going by the handle APeacefulWarrior. To save you some brain damage I’ll sum things up. APeacefulWarrior was stating that “idiot gun nuts” are getting what they deserve for listening to the NRA and stockpiling weaponry for a potential gun ban that could never be.

Well I tried pointing out the fact that the NRA never said Obama was going to use the UN to take our guns but instead tried to explain the implications of the Small Arms Treaty. Likewise I posted a link to Obama’s campaign website that stated the Obamessiah was in favor of repealing the Tiahrt Amendment (including a link that actually described what the amendment was) and reinstating the “assault weapons” ban (as well as explained what the ban really was). I also decided to point out the fact that the “gun show loophole” mentioned was responsible for less than 1% of crime guns. Yes I included links to sources of information on all of those subjects.

Like most anti-gunners eventually APeacefulWarrior broke down into personal insults and not once posted any links citing anything he was claiming. Generally in a debate if one side provides citations for their arguments it’s expected the other side will as well. Of course when you have no real facts to back up your arguments that very difficult and it ultimately what causes the anti-gunners to lose.

Another example of anti-gunner argument failures is a long running thread I had with a user going by the handle malevolentjelly. He tried making the argument that stricter gun control laws lowers the number of guns available to criminals and hence lower the crime rate. It’s important to note he is stating there is a correlation between the number of guns available to civilians and the amount of gun crime in a country.

Again I made several posts with citations to backup my claims. Anti-gunners facing facts often like to perform a little trick called moving the goal posts. They claim your information is invalid and irrelevant since it comes from obviously biased sources (while they source studies from people like the Violence Policy Center as neutral but this individual couldn’t even be bothered to do that). For instance take the following:

What research? Everything your cited is coming from biased sources. How about citing the FBI or the UN?

I laughed pretty hard when he said the UN is an unbiased source but alas I decided to oblige him by posting a link to the FBI United Crime Report for 2008 and a link to the number of FBI NICS checks performed. The number of NICS checks performed is the only method I know of to estimate the number of firearms sold in the country. According to the United Crime Report violent crime has been on a downward trend while the number of gun sales have been constantly increasing. This would of course destroy the argument that more available guns increases violent crime rates which was the correlation he was using. What was his response? Well it was golden:

Just wishing for those two datapoints to be connected does not make it so. Correlation does not equate causation. A systemic analysis state to state of crime would probably show no correlation to gun ownership. In fact, it’s probably largely unrelated. I would suppose that it makes more difference in the nature of crimes committed, not the rate.

This is why arguing with anti-gunners is so much fun. Given enough time they will invalidate their own argument. Of course anybody reading this knows I don’t believe correlation proves causality. But if you can show a correlation that doesn’t fit you can defeat an argument based on correlation.

It was at this point the threat devolved into personal attacks and became irrelevant. But my favorite closing argument from him was the following:

I don’t feel like walking you through criminology 101, it’s not worth the effort to cite for someone who links to webpages devoted to armed citizenry. You keep your eyes out for flying saucers and the gubberment. I’ll just keep deadly weapons out of my household and you get to be safer when the redcoats invade.

Yup apparently it’s not worth citing all this information on criminology that he knows to be fact. And all the sources I posted were biased including those FBI links I tossed up upon request for information from the FBI. Good old moving the goal posts.

Arguing with anti-gunners is completely pointless I admit but it does keep me in a good state of mind and sometimes I learn of new arguments they’re trying to make. But I posted these two threads for your analysis so you can watch a typical argument where one side has factual information to provide and the other side has emotional arguments.

Godwin’s Law states, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” I’m going to go ahead and create a law for arguing with anti-gunners. As a debate with an anti-gunners grows longer, the probability of the anti-gunners using personal attacks and invalidating their own argument approaches one.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 30th, 2010 at 9:00 am