Guns and Gays

By: Stephen Marsh
April 17, 2013

gays and gunsIn many ways, the arguments against guns and the arguments against gays are very similar.

In both cases, people who find an “ick” factor in something (be it guns or gay marriage) are against it. Those who fit in the group (either owning a gun or being gay) feel it is a personal matter others should get out of.

In both cases, people post to disputed statistics for the harm caused by the parties they wish to regulate or deny. In both cases, those opposing regulation point to contrary statistics showing how good either guns or gay marriage really are and how they are essential constitutional rights.

In both cases early civil rights issues are invoked (a number of early civil rights figures claimed that Winchester was the surest source of equality; many gay rights supporters claim the mantle of the civil rights movement).

The more I look at them, the more I see a likeness to those who wish to take away the guns others own and those who wish to ban various forms of marriage others wish to participate in.

The lone exception is that I see few gun proponents claiming that gun ownership will lead to a deconstruction of familiar social institutions and norms. Some proponents of gay marriage claim that with gay marriage such a deconstruction is inevitable.

What similarities and what differences do you see?

Tags: , , , , ,

59 Responses to Guns and Gays

  1. Jenn on April 17, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Yeah, sorry… I don’t see it. At all.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  2. Jenn on April 17, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    Guns are things. Gays are human beings. With aspirations. Guns are about destruction (yes, even self-defense, when it is needed, is about destruction- “destruction” is not necessarily a bad thing). Gay marriage is about building. The gun lobby is driven by powerful financial interest. The “gay lobby” is driven by a desire to have what others already have. One campaign thrives on fear, the other on empathy.

    I am pro-gun regulation, but I certainly don’t have an “ick” factor. I grew up around them. We own one. But I think anything with that proven and intentional potential for destruction needs regulation. If someone has a gun who shouldn’t, they can harm me- even kill me, or my kids.

    If someone gets a marriage license who shouldn’t have one, they can… do what to me? Nothing. I keep making my choices, they make theirs, and we all go on with our lives.
    If I think homosexuality is wrong, I may have to put extra effort into making my children avert their eyes, but… that’s about it. No death or carnage. The possibility of my rights being infringed upon by two gays marrying are minimal, unproven, and still only a theory. Whereas the possibility of an individual’s rights being infringed upon by people with guns who shouldn’t have them… well, that possibility has been proven again and again, tragedy after tragedy.

    One fight is about protecting myself from a real danger, the other is about projecting onto society a morality to protect everyone from a perceived danger.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 13

  3. KLC on April 17, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Jenn, vivid illustration of Stephen’s point. Thanks.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  4. Steven B on April 17, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    You only wrote this post so that you could use that terrific graphic!

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  5. Stephen R. Marsh on April 17, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Alas, someone else was kind enough to add the graphic, so I can’t take credit for it.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  6. Steven B on April 17, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    As I see it, the similarity is this. Both opposition to gay rights and opposition to gun control are rooted in fear.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 4

  7. Nancy Ross on April 17, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    I think that my fear of guns is legitimate, because guns are tools for killing. I have a reasonable fear of an untimely death. Gay people do not pose a threat to my safety or life. I think that this is a ridiculous comparison.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 11

  8. Stephen M (Ethesis) on April 17, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Nancy, you have defined guns in one way, many define them differently. When I was young I thought of guns as tools to avoid starvation. I associate wild game with poverty and do not hunt because I can afford to buy food at Costco.

    Others see guns = freedom.

    Similar definition swaps get spread about marriage. Compare deaths from AIDS to deaths from assault rifles (and yes gay marriage =/ aids, but you see the claim, just like the claim that firearms reduce death and crime).

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  9. hawkgrrrl on April 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Hmmm. I think the valid comparison is that gun owners do think of it as a lifestyle that is deeply rooted; their families all shoot, they love guns, they can’t imagine having this right taken away.

    The biggest difference is that gays are seeking to gain the rights that have been denied them because they are different. They can’t stop being gay.

    Personally, I’m not a gun person, so I don’t necessarily understand the vociferous arguments of those fighting to keep guns in their homes and in their lives. But they don’t want a right they have always had to be taken away.

    Gay people are just the opposite (IMO). They have been treated like second class citizens forever and are only now beginning to get the basic rights others have.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 9

  10. jks on April 17, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    I have family that has never owned guns before but feels strongly in the right to bear arms. It is about freedom. If the government takes away the right to have guns it means people can’t protect themselves from the government. It is about what kind of government you want to have.

    I see more of a parallel with free speech. Free speech is a constitutional right, but for the good of society shouldn’t we limit free speech somewhat? Like limiting pornography because of the damage to individuals and society? How to we weigh the right of free speech vs. protecting people? How do we weigh the right to bear arms and the people’s protection from the evils of corrupt governments vs. trying to protect people?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 3

  11. Steven B on April 18, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    Seems like Glen Beck made a statement recently that the advocates for same-sex marriage have already won the public debate by framing it as an issue of freedom.

    Similarly, a radio show host in Minnesota told the Newtown victims’ families to “go to hell” and framed gun ownership as an issue of freedom.

    Who can argue with the idea of freedom?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  12. Douglas on April 18, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    In either case, what I can argue is what my dear-departed mother taught me…that I wave my fist all I want until someone else’s nose begins. Works with gays, guns, just about anything…

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  13. No Argument on April 18, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    Unlike gay marriage, the right to bear arms was thoroughly discussed, debated, and ultimately voted upon to become an amendment to the Constitution. No such right of marriage (hetero or gay) exists in a plain reading of the Constitution. Marriage is defined by the states, regulated by the states, and so forth. All claims of “rights to marry” are extrapolations and sometimes dicta from S.Ct. rulings. Query: If all 50 states repealed their marriage laws tomorrow, would people somehow be able to argue their “constitutional rights” had somehow been violated? As a technical matter, I think all 50 states could repeal their marriage laws tomorrow and life would continue on. Parties could then “contract” any way they saw fit, since, on a state level, marriage is just a civil contract. Ultimately, that could be where all this is headed. If people want marriage (hetero or homo or whatever) to be federally enforceable (and therefore applicable to the states) they ought to rally support and get a Constitutional Amendment passed. That is the one sure way of ascertaining what people believe and desire.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  14. Nick Literski on April 18, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    It’s all just the same! Why, just yesterday, I saw a man rob a convenience store. The bad guy pulled out a GAY and pointed it at the cashier! You can bet that cashier handed over all the money in his register in a big hurry!

    (cough…)

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 6

  15. Nick Literski on April 18, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    I actually shouldn’t joke like that. There are probably places in the American South, and in Utah, where that would actually work.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 3

  16. jmb275 on April 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    I can’t help but feel like the post is being misunderstood. Stephen’s not talking about the similarities between gay rights and gun rights…no one thinks one’s right to happiness is dependent on guns, and clearly people’s marriages won’t kill others.(DUH!) Stephen (I think) is talking about the similarities in tactics used to delegitimize the issues.

    I absolutely see the similarities, as Steven B said, it’s all about fear. The tactics used to promote legislation against these issues are both fear based.

    I’m definitely pro-gun. I have them, I target shoot with them, I love them. They’re among my most prized possessions. Nevertheless, I would gladly surrender to stiffer background checks and other protective measures if it could be shown to help (or even be convincing). My biggest complaint with gun control in this country is that it’s a band-aid and we fight over the wrong issues. Background checks are good (keeps guns out of the wrong hands in the first place). Clip size is largely irrelevant in my opinion. Having teachers have weapons at school is bonkers.

    So what should be pushed? I think gun education, teaching gun owners how to keep their guns safe (it’s just not that hard to put locks on your guns). Making stiff penalties for those whose guns end up in killers’ hands via negligence. Mental health awareness (seriously, remember that guy in Aurora? Remember how his mental health professional DID alert authorities who subsequently did nothing). And sorry, but the video game industry and Hollywood can’t escape the conversation under free speech. These killers HAVE and DO play violent first-person shooter video games. Time for better rating systems and parental involvement.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 3

  17. Jenn on April 18, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    If the post were about “gay marriage opponents and gun control opponents both use fear”… well heck, I’d be all about that.
    But it appears that he’s arguing that gay marriage opponents are similar to gun control PROPONENTS. Very different.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  18. jmb275 on April 18, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Re Jenn-
    The opening line reads:

    In many ways, the arguments against guns and the arguments against gays are very similar.

    I don’t wanna get into a nitpicking about the post, and I agree that he does at a couple points compare gay marriage opponents to gun control proponents, but even so, the stage is set in the opening sentence, and then he reiterates the thesis:

    The more I look at them, the more I see a likeness to those who wish to take away the guns others own and those who wish to ban various forms of marriage others wish to participate in.

    I guess we each interpret according to our biases.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 3

  19. Jenn on April 18, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    “those who wish to take away guns others own” = gun control proponents (at least, a strawman depiction of gun control proponents)
    “those who wish to ban various forms of marriage” = gay marriage opponents.

    That seems like a reasonable interpretation, no?

    So his thesis is that those who want to restrict gay marriage are similar to those who want to restrict guns. Not sure how I could be misreading that. If it were that those who are against the current gun control legislation (in other words, OPPONENTS of gun control) are similar to opponents of gay marriage, I’d agree all the way- because they are often the same people and they use the same fear tactics.

    But his thesis clearly states that he’s talking about “people who want to take away other’s guns” which in his mind must mean gun control PROPONENTS (though very few gun control proponents want to take away any currently legal gun owner’s guns). Basically, he’s trying to say the generally-conservative gay marriage opponents are similar to their generally liberal gun control proponents brethren. This, I don’t agree with.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  20. jmb275 on April 18, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Yes, I see it is me who cannot read today. Ooops. I read your comment in #17 “gun control proponent” as “gun control opponent.” (too long staring at a computer I guess)

    Having said that, I think I did read the post right, and I guess I do agree with Stephen.

    Going back to your comment #2, you elaborated on the moral rightness or wrongness of the issues, the deadliness of guns, and the unharmful nature of gay marriage. You also assigned intentionality to a lot of people. But conservatives DO feel a threat by gay marriage, just like you feel a threat from guns. Whether justified or not isn’t the point Stephen’s making (but is the point of contention for you it seems).

    Perhaps the reasons for taking away someone’s rights are important (I agree that they are), but that doesn’t change the fact that someone’s rights are being taken away (which some people hold as a moral wrong in and of itself).

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  21. Jenn on April 18, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    I don’t blame you, I had to do a double take and re-read a few times to make sure I was interpreting correctly, and then writing it out, making sure I was writing it correctly, was quite confusing.
    I agree, both sides FEEL a threat- I definitely wouldn’t argue otherwise. I was only arguing that the nature/reality of the threat is very different.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  22. alice on April 18, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Yes, some people feel threatened but what is the threat from full marriage equality?

    If everyone who reads this blog marries an extraterrestrial, someone who’s gay AND a goat how does that affect my marriage? How does it increase the probability that my children will line up at the extraterrestrial dating exchange? What is the threat and am I supposed to capitulate to people who invent fears?

    Meanwhile, the actual possibility that any of us could be wounded, killed or traumatized by something like the Gabby Gifford or the Newtown or the CO theater shootings or any of the others that escapes my immediate attention is real and probably becoming more statistically likely.

    There is no equivalence. NONE.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  23. Stephen R. Marsh on April 18, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    Nick, your #15 ruined:

    “It’s all just the same! Why, just yesterday, I saw a man rob a convenience store. The bad guy pulled out a GAY and pointed it at the cashier! You can bet that cashier handed over all the money in his register in a big hurry!

    (cough…)”

    I prefer to think of it as a joke.

    I was tempted to repeat some of the arguments to make the parallels more meaningful, but they all tend to reduce the IQ of anyone who reads them.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  24. Stephen R. Marsh on April 18, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    jmb275 — two thumbs up. ;)

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  25. Jenn on April 18, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Stephen- so which is it, gun control opponents are like gay marriage proponents? Or proponents=proponents?
    Or maybe they’re all the same because every one is fighting for something they feel passionate about, feel threatened about, and all sides tend to use fear and rhetoric?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  26. Will on April 18, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    I’d much rather bring a gun to a fight, they are easier to conceal and have more of an impact when they come out.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  27. Stephen R. Marsh on April 18, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Those who are seeking to ban gay marriage are very similar to those who want to ban guns in many ways.

    Enough to make me start thinking, not enough for me to have solid conclusions.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  28. Mormon Heretic on April 19, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Here’s what I don’t get about the NRA. Why do they continue to obstruct criminal/terrorist investigations? It seems that they want violence so that they can justify the use of guns! They continue to obstruct the Boston Marathon Bomb investigation.

    From http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/04/17/how-the-gun-lobby-has-already-blocked-bostons-bombing-investigators/

    a crucial piece of evidence called a taggant that could be used to trace the gunpowder used in the bombs to a buyer at a point of sale is not available to investigators.

    “If you had a good taggant this would be a good thing for this kind of crime. It could help identify the point of manufacturer, and chain of custody,” Bob Morhard, an explosives consultant and chief executive officer of Zukovich, Morhard & Wade, LLC., in Pennsylvania, who has traced explosives and detonators in use in the United States and Saudi Arabia, told MSNBC.com. “The problem is nobody wants to know what the material is.”

    Explosives manufacturers are required to place tracing elements known as identification taggants only in plastic explosives but not in gunpowder, thanks to lobbying efforts by the NRA and large gun manufacturing groups.

    The same NRA, however, has twice deployed its lobbyists to block the mandated use of identification taggants by gunpowder manufacturers.

    The first time came more than thirty years ago, after a wave of bombings in the 1970s mainly by the radical left Weather Underground and Puerto Rican nationalist groups.

    But the NRA successfully lobbied to have black and smokeless gunpowders exempted from the explosives required to include taggant markers. Members of Congress—including then-New York Rep. Charles Schumer– tried and failed again after the 1993 New York City truck bombing of the World Trade Center. The Clinton administration renewed the call for legislation requiring identifying taggants right after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, whose 18th anniversary is Friday.

    I guess the rationale is that is we keep America full of bad guys with guns and bombs, then there is more reason to have good guys with guns….

    Why don’t we just call the NRA as complicit in terrorism and ban them as a terrorist organization? They make America less safe so they can keep guns.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 5

  29. anon on April 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    The bad guys will always find a way to have their guns and their bombs. If we continue to infringe on the rights of the good guys, then evil will prevail. It is very well documented that the areas of the country with the highest levels of gun violence are those with the most restrictions on good citizens owning guns. Private ownership of guns does NOT make America less safe.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 4

  30. Mormon Heretic on April 19, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Anon, are you classifying the NRA as the “bad guys”? They’re the ones making America less safe. The NRA are the bad guys using laws to keep us unsafe. They’re certainly not helping keep America safe.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  31. Jenn on April 19, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    This is when I remind myself: “don’t feed the trolls”

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  32. allquieton on April 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    MH-you’re saying you honestly believe the nra intentionally works toward more violence in america? I think many citizens support the nra b/c the government is trampling their rights. Most people don’t want the government to increasingly regulate and control everything. Including ammunition. More safe = less free.

    And jenn-who are you calling a troll? Anon? Why?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  33. Jenn on April 19, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Generally, if anyone anonymously jumps into a conversation with an extreme opinion that does not interact directly with the thread of conversation, I flag it as “not worth response”. That’s not a person interested in reasonable discourse.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  34. Jenn on April 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    I absolutely believe the NRA is complicit. The list of their proven lies is too long- you can get a starter list at politifact- http://www.politifact.com/personalities/national-rifle-association/. They squashed the background check bill this week by spreading falsehoods about it, by turning it into a strawman.
    They’ve rendered the ATF impotent for over a decade, then yell that it isn’t doing its job. They smear their opponents with slimey, false ads (note: Obama’s girls DON’T have armed guards at their school, it’s a quaker, pacifist school, not to mention attacking kids in a political ads is super classy). They spread fear to gain power.

    I honestly think most of what’s wrong with politics can be summed up in a study of the NRA. Where they get their money, and where the money goes, very clear shows where their interests lie: in getting as many guns into as many hands possible. And they use my least-favorite method of argument for everything they do: EVERYTHING is a strawman. If you exaggerate your opponent’s position into something more objectionable than what the opponent actually believes, it’s much easier to win the fight.

    It wasn’t always this way. I grew up in an NRA household, reading NRA newsletters. I think the NRA of 1990 would be disgusted with the NRA of today.

    I don’t think NRA MEMBERS are necessarily bad, nor are gun owners in general. But the NRA leadership is, in my opinion, evil. That was proven again this week when they convinced senators in their pockets to go against the background check bill the vast majority of americans support- a bill that even the Citizen’s Committee for the Right to Bear Arms said would in many ways protect gun-owners and further the cause of the second-amendment. And they did it by spreading lies about what the bill would do- a bill that they once would have supported, a decade or two back.

    They’re either very stupid (and unable to read and understand the bill), or evil. And the senate is more afraid of the NRA that owns them than they are of their public.

    Whew, can you tell I feel strongly about the NRA?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  35. allquieton on April 19, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Jenn-

    Anon made a reasonable comment, which was not extreme. You have no reason to think anon is not interested in reasonable discourse.

    Basically, you disagreed with what another person posted and your response was to start namecalling and jumping to conclusions.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  36. Jenn on April 19, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Sorry, I may have jumped to a hasty conclusion. Admittedly, I had not made the connection between Anon’s post and the preceding comment that wraps his comment into the overall thread.
    Still, anytime an “anonymous” comes into a conversation late in the game with a post that barely has nothing to do with the OP, my troll senses start tingling.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  37. An observer on April 19, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    It seems to me that MH was the one who jumped into the conversation with a tirade against the NRA and that the following remark was just a rather calm rebuttal in comparison. MH doesn’t get called a troll because he’s well known here, but nevertheless he still hijacked the conversation to get on his personal soapbox.

    Personally, I am so grateful we live in such a safe country, with such upstanding and righteous political leaders, that we don’t need to have any clear and present concern over our civil, constitutional, and personal rights to life and liberty.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  38. Mormon Heretic on April 19, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    Steve, if I derailed the discussion, my apologies, but since we’re talking about gun control/gay control, then I didn’t think it was too far off topic to get into a real case subject of gun control and the NRA. If I’m off topic, I’ll bow to your wishes and refrain from bringing in a current event to the conversation. But I’d like to answer AllQuietOn’s questions before bowing out. Or if you feel it is ok to pursue this line of though, please let me know.

    MH-you’re saying you honestly believe the nra intentionally works toward more violence in america?

    I don’t think they’d admit that, and I don’t think they overtly try to increase violence. However, because of their lobbying efforts, they contribute to increased violence in America. These Chechens are benefitting from NRA lobbying efforts. Timothy McVeigh benefitted from NRA lobbying efforts. The Weather Underground beneffitted from NRA lobbying efforts. So I do think that the NRA (perhaps one could say UNintentionally) contributes to an increase in violence. They certainly don’t seem to reduce violence with their lobbying efforts. If you can point to a decrease in violence through their lobbying efforts, I’d love to see what you’ve got.

    I think many citizens support the nra b/c the government is trampling their rights. Most people don’t want the government to increasingly regulate and control everything. Including ammunition. More safe = less free.

    I really get tired of this argument. In theory, I do support the right to bear arms, but the NRA takes this position to an extreme. Why do we have traffic lights? TO REGULATE TRAFFIC. If the NRA had it’s way, they would say that traffic lights inhibit a person’s ability to cross an intersection any time they feel like. Red lights slow people down, and make you late for work. The NRA would say that more government regulation makes us less free.

    This is taking the argument too far. Of course some regulation is needed in a safe society. Most people realize that traffic lights, a form of regulation, save lives. Yet the NRA would have us get rid of all rights, because it makes us LESS FREE. The government controls our movement. Taken to the extreme of the NRA, they would support anarchy. We shouldn’t regulate anything.

    This is just silly. Smart regulation is what we need. Felons shouldn’t own guns. Felons shouldn’t be able to buy guns at gun shows where background checks aren’t done. It’s like a traffic signal. It saves lives to have traffic signals, and it make sense.

    Preventing tagging in black powder or background checks is a common sense approach. Prohibiting these common sense proposals leads to more violence in America. But for the NRA, more violence is worth it because they can run a red light any time they want. It just makes no sense. The NRA is an extremist organization, and is complicit in many unneeded deaths.

    Does anyone really think there are guns in heaven? IF we want a zion society, we have to use common sense when it comes to regulation.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  39. Stephen M (Ethesis) on April 20, 2013 at 6:37 AM

    MH — no problems with me on your comments.

    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/us.htm for AIDS deaths every year. I would think gay marriage would reduce that number.

    Compare to assault rifle deaths per year.

    http://www.politisite.com/2013/01/07/facts-about-gun-deaths-tens-of-thousands-of-assault-rifle-deaths-per-year/#.UXKLqvq9Kc0

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  40. Stephen M (Ethesis) on April 20, 2013 at 7:09 AM
  41. Jenn on April 20, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    So, since something else kills more, we shouldn’t try at all to fix it? It’s not a zero-sum game, trying to solve gun violence does not mean we can’t also be trying to solve AIDS or other problems.
    I’m pretty sure the parents who lost their kids at Newtown will assure you, one gun death is one too many.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  42. allquieton on April 20, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    MH–

    “I really get tired of this argument. In theory, I do support the right to bear arms, but the NRA takes this position to an extreme. Why do we have traffic lights? TO REGULATE TRAFFIC.”

    But everyone is in favor of traffic lights. It is common sense.

    Most people are not in favor of more gun control. And there are good reasons why. It’s not that they’re stupid.

    You keep saying the NRA is extreme but they are not. That’s why they have so many supporters. Extreme would be people (on this site) who say felons should be able to own guns and that there should be NO gun regulation–like it says in the 2nd A.

    I don’t know much about the gunpowder tagging. But offhand, I am skeptical it would prevent violence. It’s easy to load your own ammo, plus there are HUGE private stockpiles of non-tagged ammo. Wouldn’t criminals just resort to this? Or would the government then confiscate all nontagged ammo? You see the problem? Also it would probably raise the cost of ammunition for millions of noncriminal gun owners. Also, and worst of all, it would create more government bureaucracy.

    Honestly, have you considered any of these points?

    “Does anyone really think there are guns in heaven?”

    Also, no muggers, rapists, serial killers in heaven I would think.

    I will give you one small example of overbearing gun regulation. I already own several guns. Yet when I bought a new one, I had to pay extra gov. fees, pay for a background check, and wait 30 days. Meanwhile I read in the paper just about every week of some murder committed by criminals who illegally obtained their guns. So what is all this regulation accomplishing besides making it difficult for upstanding citizens to live their lives and protect themselves? Can you see where gun folks are coming from?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  43. Stephen M (Ethesis) on April 20, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Jenn, “even one is too many.”

    Easy enough to say. But using that as a blanket justification is just silly.

    Though who knows. I am attending my first national Compassionate Friends conference this year.

    Who knows what may think of banning when I get back.

    Mostly, though, I think you are making my point that people on both sides seem to be reacting from emotion more than sense or logic.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  44. MH on April 20, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Most people are not in favor of more gun control.

    On this point I would say the country is evenly divided, and I think that “most” people support common sense proposals to close the gun show loophole. Additionally, I think few people would feel their rights were infringed if tagging was added to black powder. The purpose would be to solve UNLAWFUL activities. Law abiding citizens shouldn’t feel this is an undue burden.

    I am skeptical it would prevent violence. In the short term, you’re probably right. The purpose of tagging won’t curb gun violence, especially in the short term. The purpose is to more quickly identify the “bad guys.” Why is it that the NRA doesn’t want to identify bad guys? Is it because they are more interested in protecting criminals than the law abiding public?

    It’s easy to load your own ammo, plus there are HUGE private stockpiles of non-tagged ammo. Wouldn’t criminals just resort to this?

    You’re probably right. But gun powder doesn’t last forever does it? I think that if tagging had been done in the 1970s, there probably wouldn’t be very much non-tagged gunpowder now, and it may have been a little easier to catch the Chechens in Boston. But the NRA seems more concerned about the Chechens than the maimed amputees in Boston.

    Or would the government then confiscate all nontagged ammo? No, the government didn’t confiscate 3 wheel ATV’s, they just let current stockpiles run out. It would be stupid to confiscate. Anyone who claims that is just a conspiracy theorist, of which the NRA seems abundantly full of them.

    You see the problem?

    No, I don’t.

    Also it would probably raise the cost of ammunition for millions of noncriminal gun owners.

    Damn. You mean they might have to pay higher costs like we pay for corn subsidies, gasoline taxes, and the like? Wow, I feel so sorry for higher prices. We never see higher prices on anything where I live. I still buy Coke for 5 cents.

    Also, and worst of all, it would create more government bureaucracy.

    Here we go again. I am not persuaded in the least. I guess we should get rid of all traffic laws because they restrict personal freedom of movement.

    Honestly, have you considered any of these points?

    Yes, and I don’t think the NRA has a leg to stand on.

    I will give you one small example of overbearing gun regulation. I already own several guns. Yet when I bought a new one, I had to pay extra gov. fees, pay for a background check, and wait 30 days.

    Wow, that is so unlike real life. I had to buy a new van last year, despite the fact that I already owned a van that someone else wrecked. You know what, I had to pay sales tax, property tax, and the insurance company ran a background check on me (despite the fact that it was the other guy’s fault for wrecking my van.) I had to wait a few weeks before the insurance company would pay me for my wrecked car, and then I still had to pay taxes on top of that. OH THE REGULATION!!!! I WEEP CROCODILE TEARS.

    Meanwhile I read in the paper just about every week of some murder committed by criminals who illegally obtained their guns. So what is all this regulation accomplishing besides making it difficult for upstanding citizens to live their lives and protect themselves?

    I have legally obtained all my vehicles. I have to renew my license every so often, and I have to pay more money to insure my driving, despite the fact that I’ve never caused an accident. Sometimes, the ONERUS legislation causes me to get speeding tickets. My insurance rates go up when a drunk driver kills someone else, or a thief steals a car. Law abiding citizens have to pay higher insurance because of crooks an drunks! OH THE HUMANITY OF GUN REGULATION. IT IS SO UNFAIR!!!

    Can you see where gun folks are coming from?

    No, I don’t see where gun folks are coming from. They sound like conspiracy theorists that don’t seem to understand real life.

    Can you see where I’m coming from?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 3

  45. Jenn on April 20, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    “Who knows what I may think of banning when I get back.”
    To be clear, I (and many gun control advocates) don’t want to BAN- just regulate with common sense laws. Like universal background checks. Those who currently can legally get guns can still get guns. But to me it is astounding that any person can buy a gun on ammolist- no background-check, no need to even show your face to anyone. It’s like we want to make it as easy as possible for criminals- or those who don’t view themselves as criminals, like abusive spouses or the mentally ill. MANY gun deaths are not by what we think of “criminals” who a law won’t stop. They’re by people who lose better judgement just long enough, and have a gun accessible to them.
    I don’t think regulation will solve all gun crime. I’m not naive. But I think plenty of people -who aren’t necssarily the type to risk the black market- are getting guns they shouldn’t have. And if we can save lives by minorly inconveniencing a few lawful citizens while NOT infringing on their actual rights to defend themselves- I’m all for it.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  46. LDS Anarchist on April 20, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    #42 allquieton,

    “Extreme would be people (on this site) who say felons should be able to own guns and that there should be NO gun regulation–like it says in the 2nd A.”

    You must be referring to me, to some comment I made on this site. But you said, “people,” so there must be another kindred spirit here. Who is this mysterious other person, I wonder?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  47. A kindred spirit on April 21, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    LDSA –
    You have at least one kindred spirit here. The government is systematically and perniciously eroding our Constitution. We will pay a heavy price.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  48. allquieton on April 22, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    LDSA–

    I wasn’t sure if it was just you. I could have phrased it more accurately.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  49. allquieton on April 22, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    A bit dramatic MH.

    I don’t think you get it. There is no social benefit to more gun control. None. Any gun control legislation that has been proposed lately wouldn’t reduce crime/violence, but would encourage it. It’s common sense, but also there are many studies demonstrating this.

    Much of the gun control already passed is in the same boat.

    You seem to think tagging will eventually help prevent violence. But it won’t. Mass shooters don’t care if you tag their ammo. Other criminals will just begin stealing ammo or making their own, or strangling people.

    I don’t think you realize how much ammo is out there. Most of it just sits. No one is using it up. Plus criminals could take apart tagged ammo, mix up the powder, and reload it.

    Tagging is a completely useless idea. Opposing it does not equate to an evil love of violence. But for some strange reason, you can’t seem to see another possibility.

    If you want to pass new regulations, you ought to, at a bare minimum, be able to convincingly show that it will help, somehow. So, go ahead.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  50. MH on April 22, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Well, we will have to agree to disagree I guess. I did a post on Freakonomics a while back. The post was actually on abortion and crime, but there was a reference in there that said that the reasons for the crime drop between the 1980s and 1990s were (in order) (1) harsher sentences, (2) decrease in crack cocaine use and associated violence, (3)GUN CONTROL, (4)better economy, and (5) more police officers. If you have a Netflix account, I encourage you to review the statistics Levitt cites.

    If you want to pass new regulations, you ought to, at a bare minimum, be able to convincingly show that it will help, somehow. So, go ahead.

    Ok AllQuieton, I did. Now you convince me that putting guns in every home, school, and Marathon will stop the bad guys (and I would love to hear your statistics.) If you look at the video, there were 5 police officers standing right there when the bomb went off at the finish line, armed with guns. A lot of good that did, huh?

    I will also tell you that guns are the most effective tool for suicide. Strangulation, drugs, hanging, cutting wrists are are less effective. So if someone tries one of these less effective methods, then fine by me. People like guns because they are more effective than any other method. If a bad guy strangles, then I still prefer that method (because the individual has a better chance to fight them off) than standing outside of arm’s reach and shooting someone else. Next time you go hunting, I want you to strangle the deer and tell me if that is a better way to kill a deer. People pick guns for a reason.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  51. allquieton on April 24, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Yeah I’ve actually read Freakonomics a couple times. But you have it wrong. Here is the breakdown the authors came up with:

    harsher sentences 30%
    crack cocaine 15%
    Combined effects of gun control, economy, and more police <10%
    abortion 45-50% (this was the main point)

    So they argue that gun control contributed perhaps 3%, maybe not even that, to the drop in crime. But I even doubt that. I will have to look at their methodology.

    So you should be campaigning for harsher sentencing according to your logic, not gun control. Right?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  52. allquieton on April 24, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    “Now you convince me that putting guns in every home, school, and Marathon will stop the bad guys (and I would love to hear your statistics.) If you look at the video, there were 5 police officers standing right there when the bomb went off at the finish line, armed with guns. A lot of good that did, huh?”

    First I never argued there should be guns in every home. You’re putting words in my mouth.

    Secondly, I never argued that guns stop all crime. Or that it stops bombers.

    Look at my actual arguments–what I actually wrote. You are not even arguing against what I said.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  53. allquieton on April 24, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Also I noticed you dropped the whole tagging thing. Did you change your mind? Or are you still in favor of tagging gunpowder?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  54. mh on April 24, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Harsher sentences does help, but with sequestration, it makes it difficult to build more jails.

    The freakonomics guys were guessing that abortion might help account for drop in crime, but there is no way to prove that. The study did find gun control helpful. Where’s your study that finds gun control harmful?

    No, I didn’t change my mind on tagging. No sense beating a dead horse is there?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  55. allquieton on April 25, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Here are the freakonomics authors explaining that gun control doesn’t work and has practically 0 effect on gun violence:

    http://www.wnyc.org/articles/freakonomics-podcast/2013/feb/13/how-think-about-guns/

    The whole podcast is pretty interesting.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  56. allquieton on April 27, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    “Where’s your study that finds gun control harmful?”

    Restricting the rights of free citizens is always harmful.

    You want to pass laws that infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed rights of free citizens. So it’s you who ought to prove something. Not me.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  57. The Statistics of Gun Control | Mormon Heretic on April 28, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    [...] week, Stephen Marsh at Wheat and Tares posted about how arguments about Guns and Gays are similar.  Steve specifically said “people post disputed statistics for the harm caused by the [...]

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  58. [...] week, Stephen Marsh at Wheat and Tares posted about how arguments about Guns and Gays are similar.  Steve specifically said “people post disputed statistics for the harm caused by the [...]

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  59. astrallds on May 1, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    As an Aussie I find the Americans fascination with guns bizarre. To me you can have freedom with out guns. Gun control does work. Australia introduced Harsh gun control laws in 1996. The crime and gun violence trend in Australia in the early 1990′s was following a similar path to America. After the Port Arthur massacre Harsh gun control laws where introduced. There was doom and gloom from our national gun association, They proposed a lot of the same arguments that have been outlined by American Pro gun advocates.

    The result of our harsh gun control laws A 60% DECREASE IN GUN RELATED CRIME.

    Can some one who is pro gun outline to me how what has worked in Australia wouldn’t work in America

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

Leave a Reply

Subscribe without commenting

Archives

%d bloggers like this: