Burying Gun Control Fallacies

The Brady Campaign, Violence Policy Center, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns must really be worried at the moment. As their fallacies are stomped into the ground their funding shrivels into nothingness. Forbes has a good writeup that details the fact that none of the doom and gloom scenarios perpetuated by gun control organizations have come to fruition even though the rate of gun ownership has been skyrocketing:

As much as gun control advocates might wish otherwise, their attacks are running out of ammo. With private firearm ownership at an all-time high and violent crime rates plunging, none of the scary scenarios they advanced have materialized.

With an opening like that you know the anti-gunners are going to be horribly upset with the story. The author goes through a few common myths parroted by anti-gunners and demonstrates their falsehood:

Caroline Brewer of the anti-gun Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has reported that “The research we’ve seen indicates fewer and fewer people owning more and more guns.” Yet one can only wonder where they are getting that information. In reality, public support for personal gun ownership is growing. According to Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group that represents about 7,000 firearms manufacturers and related companies, in 1959 some 70% of the American public favored handgun bans, whereas today that number has flipped. This support is reflected in the marketplace. Sanetti observes that the $4.1 billion gun industry “has had nineteen months of growth in an otherwise anemic economy.”

Recognizing these positive trends, most states now issue permits allowing qualified law-abiding people to legally carry handguns outside their homes. Unprecedented numbers are becoming licensed to do so, now totaling an estimated 10 million Americans, contributing, in turn, to a dramatic growth in gun sales.

The anti-gunner bullshit about gun ownership rates going down has been one of my favorites to laugh at. Their argument that fewer people are simply buying more guns is shown to be entirely false by the sheer fact that carry permit rates are going up. When one gets a carry permit it’s pretty reasonable to assume that person also has a gun. In many cases people getting carry permits previously held no interest in guns and obtained their first firearm when they desired to get a permit.

As pointed out in a recent paper titled “Tough Targets” released by the Cato Institute, “The ostensible purpose of gun control legislation is to reduce firearm deaths and injuries. But authors Clayton E. Cramer and David Burnett believe these restrictions put law-abiding citizens at a distinct disadvantage to criminals who acquire guns from underground markets since it is simply not possible for police officers to get to every scene where intervention is urgently needed. They also document large numbers of crimes…murders, assaults, robberies…that are thwarted each year by ordinary persons with guns.

The paper, Tough Targets, can be found here. It’s a good read and very well researched. Basically it’s the exact opposite of the drivel put out by the likes of the Brady Campaign and Violence Policy Center. Instead of making baseless assumptions or using statistical voodoo, Cramer and Burnett comb through self-defense stories and present the raw numbers.

Whereas gun control proponents often argue that having a gun put people at risk because a criminal will take it away and use it against them, it seems the reality is more often to be the reverse situation. The Cato data contains only 11 stories out of 4,699 where a criminal took a gun away from a defender, but 277 where the intended victim disarmed the bad guy, although the authors acknowledge that these event reports may be printed more frequently due to newsworthiness.

Arguing that a criminal is simply going to take your gun is one of the dumbest arguments that the anti-gunners have brought up. If taking a gun from somebody is so easy who really cares if a criminal takes yours since you can just take it right back. Hell you can stand there for an hour taking the gun back from the criminal every time he takes it from you and eventually he’ll get bored and move on. On a serious note Tough Targets does a marvelous job of proving how false the anti-gunner’s claim really is.

This is why gun rights activists win, we do actual research and show real numbers whereas the anti-gunners do hand waving an pull random numbers out of the air. If you make claims and fail to ever back them up people will eventually stop listening to you.

Then there is the argument that more private gun ownership will lead to more accidents because the average citizen isn’t sufficiently trained to use a weapon defensively. While gun accidents do occur, the Cato study indicates that they are the most overstated risks. There were 535 accidental firearms deaths in 2006 within a population of almost 300 million people. Although every lost life is tragic, the proportion is not particularly startling.

Another false claim is shot down in flames.

On the other hand, Newsweek has reported that law-abiding American citizens using guns in self-defense during 2003 shot and killed two and one-half times as many criminals as police did, and with fewer than one-fifth as many incidents as police where an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal (2% versus 11%).

I can only imagine that this short article has caused numerous gun control fanatics to breakdown into tears. It’s basically a bullet point summary of why anti-gunner claims are wrong. The above mentioned statistic makes a lot of sense when one realizes that police officer can’t magically materialize upon call. When you’re being attacked the police may take hours to arrive (or may not arrive at all) and during that time you’re on your own. If you have a means of self-defense on your person you greatly increase your chances of survival and can resolve the situation even if the police fail to respond.

Finally, on the subject of public safety, just how well have gun bans worked in other countries? Take the number of home break-ins while residents are present as an indication. In Canada and Britain, both with tough gun-control laws, nearly half of all burglaries occur when residents are present. But in the U.S. where many households are armed, only about 13% happen when someone is home.

Robbing a home in the United States while the person is home is a bad idea and criminals know it. This is a side-effect of a well-armed nation.

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