We’ve all had discussions with supposed supporters of gun rights where they say, “I support the Second Amendment but…” and they start spouting off a bunch of inane reasons why they don’t actually support the right to keep and bear arms. Saying you support gun rights but want restrictions on gun ownership is the same as saying, “I’m not gay but I like fucking other men in the ass” (before somebody wrongly claims I hate homosexuals please note that this is an attack against hypocrites). What really gets me in these debates is how quick I’m getting at countering their arguments. This isn’t because I’m some kind of genius, I’m not, it’s because these people all use the same damned arguments. Is there some book of anti-gunner arguments floating around? If so the author really needs to release a second edition to include some new arguments because I’m getting sick of the current cookie cutter arguments. For your conveniences I’m going to write some of the most common arguments I’ve encountered throughout my life along with counterarguments.
We need to perform background checks on gun buyers otherwise felons will be able to get guns!
Most anti-gunners hold the beliefs they do because they hold hope that controlling guns will reduce violent crime. Due to this primary belief they demand that felons not be allowed to purchases guns but they also fail to realize that most felony level crimes aren’t violent. A person convicted of tax evasion isn’t likely a violent individuals and therefore no logical argument exists for prohibiting them from possessing firearms.
Where does it stop? Should people be able to own nuclear weapons!
This argument is a classic case of reductio ad absurdum. On the surface it appears to be a valid argument but in actuality it’s like comparing apples to oranges in a debate entirely about apples. Here’s the thing, firearms are discriminatory weapons while nuclear devices are nondiscriminatory weapons. That is to say I can direct the fire from a gun to hit only my attacker while a nuclear weapon will kill everybody in a large radius. This argument would be no less absurd if the debate was about knives which are also discriminatory weapons.
What I’ve said goes double when the debate is about self-defense as there is almost no way to use a nuclear weapon in self-defense because detonating one will negatively harm (through radioactive fallout if nothing else) individuals other than your attacker.
Restricting guns will mean less are available for criminals!
Right… just like prohibiting the production and sale of marijuana has made the weed so hard to get. There is thing little thing called the black market and it exists when something people want it made illegal. Just like marijuana, guns can be purchased illegally and often are. Firearm black markets are even more interesting to note as home manufacturing technology improves and people are easier able to build firearms in their basement without outside assistance.
While less gun will be available in total I would argue if near 100% of the market demand can be filled then the ban is meaningless. If nearly 100% of people who want marijuana can get marijuana then the laws are pointless and have accomplished nothing, the same can be applied to firearms if made illegal.
Guns kill people!
So do cars, swimming pools, chainsaws, alcoholic drinks, medicinal drus, grizzly bears, white sharks, and bubonic plague. The world is a dangerous place and there are almost countless different ways to die. Thankfully guns have no mind of their own and if left without a human user are entirely harmless.
If we don’t control guns black people will get them!*
Stop being a racist piece of shit.
I’m OK with my bolt-action hunting rifles but you have to admit AR-15s were designed to kill people!
Wrong dipshit, I don’t have to admit to anything. These are the people I hate the most because they think their firearm is OK because they like it but those “evil black rifles” (again stop being racist) look mean and therefore should be banned.
Here’s a bitch of a history lesson, all guns are designed to kill people and that’s why we call them weapons. Modern semi-automatic rifles are simply an evolution of a mature design. Before the M-1 Garand the United States military used the M1903 Springfield bolt-action rifle. A couple of other famous bolt-action rifles designed for the purpose of killing people are the Mosin-Nagant and the Mauser Model 1871.
Finally a 7.62x51mm is just as deadly coming out of a Remington 700 as it is coming out of a M-14 or AR-10.
Big clips are only useful for killing lots of people! We need to limit clip capacity!
You know these people are idiots because they keep referring to magazines as clips but alas that really isn’t the important part of their argument. When somebody says this I ask them the following question: What do you believe should be the maximum magazine capacity for civilian ownership and what is your justification?
The second part of the question, demanding justification, is where you shoot down this argument. I’ve not met a single person who can explain to me why an 11-round magazine is somehow more deadly than a 10-round magazine. Most people who believe there should be a limit on magazine capacity select the number 10 because humans really like the number 10 (seriously that’s the only justification when you boil it down). If you can’t justify your argument using scientific data then your argument holds no water in my opinion.
Criminals use handguns so we should ban handguns!
Criminals also use cars, should we ban those as well? If our society decides what is legal and illegal to possess based on what criminals use we’ll soon find everything illegal to own. After all criminals usually wear shirts so we’ll end up banning shirts and then we’re going to have to look at each other’s fat disgusting bodies.
You don’t need a gun that powerful!
What the fuck does need have to do with anything? Do you need as powerful a car as you own or would you be served in getting between home and work with a Geo Metro? Do you need as powerful computer as you own or could you check your e-mail and post pictures of cats on Facebook with a far less powerful computer? Do you ever end up throwing away food because it has expired before you had a chance to eat it? If so you obviously didn’t need that much food.
Need has as much to do with our ability to own products as Karl Marx had to do with physical labor. If this argument is being used by a hunter be sure to remind him or her that he or she doesn’t need to hunt because he or she can just buy meat at the grocery store.
*OK I don’t come across this argument with any frequency, I just felt like writing it.