While I’m not exactly sick of the gun control debate itself (because I do believe we have a serious issue with crime in this country and that something needs to be done about it), I don’t necessarily feel that harsher gun laws are going to solve the problem. But my view on gun control is not the focus of this post.
What I am sick of is hearing overblown nonsense from both camps disguised as facts or statistics to better support their argument. All it succeeds in doing is muddying waters that are already difficult to navigate. So let’s put some of this shit to rest, shall we?
“Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe and one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world.” Switzerland is also a neutral country with no standing military. So, while it’s true that a large percentage of the population possesses firearms, those weapons are government issued. All able-bodied men between 20-30 are expected to serve a specific amount of time in a government-run militia and undergo military training, which includes weapons training. Their guns are kept in the home by government order in the event there is an invasion and their services are needed.
As for crime, Switzerland does have a very low rate. They also have a much smaller population compared to America, but even when adjusting the numbers to account for the difference, they’re still a pretty peaceful country as far as domestic crimes go. And that’s when socio-economics come in to play.
As far as household income, employment rate, health, and education, Switzerland exceeds the global averages. Since crime rates tend to be higher in economically disadvantaged areas, it goes without saying that a country whose citizens have financial stability, are in good health, and are well educated is a country that is less vulnerable to both violent and non-violent crime.
“We need to get rid of semi-automatic weapons.” Well, then, I guess we’re going back to muskets because the term semi-automatic applies to pretty much all modern firearms. This statement is typically made by people who have little to no knowledge of weapons, otherwise they’d know that what ‘semi-automatic’ really means is that the gun is self-loading, thus eliminating the need to manually fill the chamber with a bullet after each round is fired. It does not mean that when the trigger is pulled a single time, the gun will both reload and continue to fire until the ammo has been exhausted. These are fully-automatic weapons, and while there are semi-automatics capable of firing short bursts of three bullets at a time, they are nowhere near a military-grade AK47.
“If we want to keep our kids safe, we need to start arming our teachers.” Are you fucking crazy? No. There isn’t a chance in hell I’d send my children to a school where the teaching staff is armed. If we’ve got a problem with school shootings, why would putting guns in the school solve the problem?
“The 2nd Amendment specifically says ‘a well-regulated militia’, so clearly we need better gun regulation.” In a legal context, ‘well-regulated’ does not refer to gun control laws but rather to ensuring that those in possession of a firearm are properly trained to use them. This means that in order to be licensed to own a gun, you must prove that you know how to load, reload, aim, and fire, and that you are aware of all the precautions you must take when it comes to safety. While there are exceptions to every rule, every gun owner I’ve met personally is a good shot who properly stores and secures their weapon.
“They’re trying to get rid of 2nd Amendment!” This one would almost make me laugh – if it didn’t also make me so sad that such a large number of people are unaware of how our government works.
Since the Constitution was written, there have been over 11,000 proposed Amendments. Of those, we’ve passed just over 20, 17 of which are contained in what we lovingly refer to as the Bill of Rights. So, while maintaining the belief that doing away with or adding a constitutional amendment is as simple as picking up a pen is helpful to your argument, it doesn’t make your argument correct. It’s a far more complicated than many people realize and, given the stance on gun control that a lot of states and members of Congress have taken, it’s highly unlikely it would ever happen.
“If there’s a gun in the house, the people in that house are at a much higher risk of using it to commit suicide or of being shot.” Yes. And if there’s a cake in the house, that cake has a 100% chance of being eaten. Come on now, people.When someone commits suicide, they’re not doing it because they stumbled across a handgun on a rainy Sunday afternoon. If the gun wasn’t there, they aren’t going to say, “Oh, well, nevermind then!” They’ll just use something else. And do accidents with guns happen? Sure they do. Would it be more practical for people to protect their homestead with a sword or ninja stars? Not really. Would there still be accidents of the sword and ninja star variety? You bet your sweet ass.
This is an asinine statistic that was probably prefaced with the media’s favorite bullshit opening line: “A new study shows…”
“More people were killed by baseball bats than handguns, but we’re not making baseball bats illegal.” Sorry, champ – if you believe that, you’re borderline delusional. There were more people killed by bats than by automatic rifles, yes – but handguns? Please. Use your head.
I’m sure I’ve opened myself up to all sorts of criticism, and that’s ducky. Criticism doesn’t bother me. What DOES bother me are people who are seemingly unable to engage in civil discourse. So, if you care to leave a comment voicing your dissent, by all means – I encourage it! But don’t be a dick about it – to me, or to any other people who choose to comment.