During political debates/discussions on Twitter and Facebook I have a tendency to befriend those who are on the opposite political spectrum. Especially those who are capable of having a conversation without devolving into name calling and can actually articulate their point of view with intellect and dignity. Recently I have made two new friends who I respect and enjoy discussing issues with. Recently one such new friend on Facebook that I made during a discussion on my cousins page posted a video from “Now This Op-Ed” video on where they discuss what they believe are the dumbest arguments against gun laws.
I watched the video and responded basically saying that we have a constitutional right to defend ourselves with the use of firearms if we so choose. I pointed out the recent shootings in Florida and at the YouTube headquarters were mostly due to law enforcement and the FBI not enforcing existing laws or acting on multiple tips. In the case of the church shooter here in Texas a few months back it was the failure of the Air Force to properly update the NICS database that allowed him to purchase a firearm. My argument is simply that we need to enforce the laws we currently have and our agencies who exist only to protect us need to do a better job.
I then received a quite lengthy response that went over the standard arguments when it comes to gun control discussions.
- Congress made it illegal for CDC/NIH to study gun violence
- Gun vs Vehicle debate from the right is ridiculous and not a valid argument
- The Second Amendment is “antiquated” and was written when muskets were the latest gun technology
- 20 Veterans die per day by suicide using guns
- You are morally corrupt if you don’t support “common sense gun control laws” (aka – a gun ban)
To their credit they did included several links to support their argument, but as you can see in the image here – the first three links they gave were “Page Not Found” errors. The remaining links I did my due diligence and read through the articles as to then respond to the points that were made. I did so with an open mind and hoping to find some data that supported their argument and would shed some light on another side of the discussion that I was unaware of.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
Below is my unedited response to their Facebook Post. I’m leaving it unedited because there were some snarky comments that we both made and in full disclosure/honesty here – I wanted that to be included. I admit. I’m not perfect and will at times engage in snark as well in my responses. Call me human, I suppose. But I do want to point out that even though we may have strong views and make them with a touch of condescension to each other – I believe I am right in saying on behalf of the person involved here that it is done so in jest, with no malicious intent behind it and not an attempt to belittle or offend the other. You should know the person involved in this conversation is quite literally a scholar on American history and has been politically active their entire lives since high school, so I respect their opinion greatly and am very glad to have met them and am afforded the opportunity to have these types of discussions.
Lastly, I want to clarify a few points before you read my response.
First of all, the local and Federal law enforcement agencies are tasked with an unimaginably difficult task when it comes to enforcing gun laws and protecting citizens. My comments are in no way an attack on them or a indication of my lack of respect or support for them. I assure you it is quite the opposite. I have great respect for those who literally put on a gun everyday to go to work and put their lives on the line for people they don’t even know. I have friends and former classmates who are officers, detectives and Texas State Troopers and am grateful to them all for their dedication and the work they do.
Second, the veteran suicide rate mentioned below is appalling. It is a reflection of our failure to provide them with the resources and programs needed for those fortunate enough to return home from combat after defending our nation. Many of these men and women volunteered at the age of 18 and wrote a blank check payable to the United States for up to and including their lives in order to defend our citizens, our Constitution and our way of life. They are hero’s who deserve the best care we as a nation have to offer and they are not receiving it. That is a shame that we as a nation need to address immediately.
With that said – I submit to you my original, unedited response below. I have not received a response to it yet and it has been just over 24hrs since I posted it, but it was their birthday yesterday so I am certain they will respond in due time once the festivities have subsided.
In good faith I tried to read the articles you linked starting at the top on down. The WSJ, Politico and NYT links (the first three) are all “No Page Found” – so can’t address those.
However, you claim that it is illegal for the CDC/NIH to research gun violence is not true.
The CDCs ability to study gun violence was limited in 1996 by an amendment that simply stated it cannot collect data to advocate for gun control. That was it. President Obama signed an order in 2013 directing the CDC to resume research but they only have done so in a limited fashion. President Trump’s new HHS Secretary Alez Azar is advocating for the research to continue and move forward as well – so the premise that it is illegal for the CDC or NIH to study gun violence is, again – not true.
To your point about SUV’s/vehicles – I used that point because vehicles are an active threat the moment you begin driving. That hunk of steel is moving forward at a velocity most often greater than 40mph, which can be lethal to a pedestrian if you do not control it. My firearm secured to my hip in its concealed carry holster is not an active threat to anyone. I would have to draw and aim my weapon for it to be an active threat. So there in lies the validity of the argument as far as I am concerned. My opinion though, feel free to disagree.
The Second Amendment guarantees me the right to defend myself with the use of a firearm if I choose too. It’s that simple. There is no exceptional status here at play.
I love how passive aggressive your writing is when you say “Justice Stevens is among a minority of informed Americans who want to repeal the 2nd amendment”.
It would seem based on your argument preceding that sentence that you are not educated in firearms nor the history of them, and obviously Justice Stevens is not either if that is his stance regarding it being written in the time of muskets being the most advanced weaponry in existence.
The argument that it was written when Muskets that took +6 seconds to reload and were the most advanced weapons at the time is not true.
The Belton Flintlock could fire up to 20 rounds in a matter of seconds. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belton_flintlock) George Washington originally commissioned 100 of these rifles, though the government never purchased them.
The Girandoni air rifle was designed in 1779 and was used on it’s use of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It had a 20 round gravity fed magazine and the weapon could fire accurately up to 125yds at a high rate of fire (approx. 30 seconds to fire 20 rounds). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girandoni_air_rifle).
There is also the Puckle Gun that was made about 60yrs before the Revolutionary War that was essentially a gatlin style gun. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puckle_gun)
The founding fathers who wrote the Second Amendment were well aware of advances being made in firearms in their own time and had no misconceptions that firearm technology would continue to advance. Yet, they put no limitation on the definition of firearm – for that very reason. So the people could have the most recent and modern technologically advanced firearms available so as to never be at a disadvantage.
The argument you give regarding a gun in your home not making you more safe is, from what I read of your links, mostly opinion mixed with some facts. Truth is it is relative to the owner and for them to decide. I certainly feel better knowing I am no longer at a disadvantage should someone with a firearm break into my home. The trouble I have with the articles you linked is that I haven’t found the data sets they used in their research. As I am sure you are aware the “definition” as to what constitutes a “mass shooting” is not clearly defined and those seeking to prove a point often skew the data. The FBI standard to define a mass shooting is +4 deaths. Yet CNN and other news sources have touted evidence in the past that the data they used was +6 in order to show that the gun ban in the 90’s had a positive impact and decreased the number of gun massacres – which is based on skewed data to support their claim. (you can see the graphic in this Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/its-time-to-bring…/… )
In regards to the death rate of the US vets, you said it yourself – they are suicides. So is that a condemnation of firearms or the lack of support, care and available resources that those men and women have earned by serving our country that we are failing to provide? The children statistic I could not find anything on, so would like to see your information on that if you can link it, please.
Lastly, read what I wrote on my website last week – especially the part at the bottom where the FBI statistics come into play regarding murders by firearms and incidents deferred or prevented by law abiding citizens who used their firearms. You’ll see that incidents deterred or prevented outnumber those killed by 5 to 1 margin.
We have rational gun safety laws in existence today. Again, I say we need to enforce them and ensure the agencies responsible for enforcing them do their jobs and have the ability to do their jobs.