Dear Gun Control Democrats: 6 Ways to Make a Better Argument

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks next to Vice President Joe Biden on commonsense measures to reduce gun violence, in Washington

Dear Gun Control Democrats:

It’s been less than a week since national gun control in America died. No “assault weapons” ban. No “high-capacity” magazine ban. Not even the Manchin-Toomey background check compromise that, according to Senator Mark Kirk, was reached by getting drunk on a 54-foot mega-yacht named Black Tie, which is part-owned by Manchin.

Over the last several days, I’ve watched Democratic politicians, lobbyists and Facebook meme-sharers calling down shame on the senators who voted against every single gun control measure proposed in the Senate. Yes, it’s true that none of the measures would have passed the Republican-controlled House anyway, but to have lost in the Democrat-controlled senate was to truly be trounced. I have seen the Democratic pundits all over the nation looking across their podiums and well-lit television studio desks with stunned expressions. “How could this have happened,” they all ask? Only four months after Newtown?

I write this letter as someone who is politically far left of center. You and I have a lot in common, though you may not want to admit it by the end of this article. I think it’s time we had a talk.

I live in the state of Virginia, a place where it’s not easy to be a leftist. Just last week, our State Board of Health voted to approve TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) regulations that would close most abortion clinics in the state. It was a devastating loss for myself and other organizers, and it will be even more devastating to the women of Virginia, most of whom will not have access to safe, legal abortions for years to come. I mention this not only so that you have context for the sort of political work I’m involved in, but because I want you to know that *I do know*, from very recent experience, what it’s like to feel powerless as you watch a group of people vote for social policy that you think is absolutely insane.

But I’ll be honest with you: I watched the Senate votes live on Wednesday, and when these gun-related bills were defeated, I literally celebrated. Obviously, you and I have a lot in common, but plenty to differ on. And that’s kind of what I want to talk to you about.

I’ve owned guns since childhood, and it’s an issue that I’ve thought and written a lot about. It’s very difficult for me to communicate with the mainstream Democratic establishment about guns. But because I know how painful it sometimes is to listen to Republican and other Right-leaning people talk about things that we on the Left care strongly about, I thought I would try to help you out.

There are are a few things that you can do to improve your game in the gun control debate, and I thought it would only be fair to point out what they are. So here’s my best shot. Here are the things that you MUST keep in mind if you wish to further the dialogue on gun policy in America.

1. Stop Sending Mixed Messages

I wish I had a dollar for every Democratic politician and commentator that has looked into a television camera over the past few months and said, “No one is trying to take your guns away!”

Allow me this humble suggestion: The best way to convince the American public that you’re not interested in taking guns away is to stop talking about taking guns away.

Firstly, when your politicians are asked, “Do you support state legislation to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?” as Obama was in his 1996 Senate campaign, you should never answer “Yes,” as Obama did. Publicly advocating a ban on all handguns is not the way to convince people that you’re not interested in banning guns. Furthermore, when you are campaigning for president, never say the phrase “I continue to support a [federal] ban on concealed carry,” as Obama did in 2004. This gives people the impression that your intention is to prevent the states from setting reasonable guidlelines on who can defend themselves outside of their home.

If you then win the election, do not go on to fully support gun bans in two US cities – Chicago and D.C. – in which law-abiding citizens are disarmed, citing them as models for gun policy while trying to convince the rest of the country that you really aren’t interested in banning their guns. (Guess which two US cities you’re most likely to be killed by a gun in.)

It has become almost cliché for smirking Democrats to attempt to ridicule people like myself by crooning, “Obama wants to take our guns!” in a stereotyped hillbilly drawl – something particularly offensive to some folks here in the south – when in fact, Obama has said exactly that.

Some of you will argue that regardless of the President’s conflicted/dishonest assertions, the legislation that died in Senate earlier this week had nothing to do with taking anything. But let us not forget the “assault weapons” ban, which enacted slow confiscation over a generation. I wouldn’t have to immediately surrender any firearms, but because of the angle of the grip on the shotgun I own, it would be a felony offense to pass it on to a family member (or anyone else) upon my death. It would instead be confiscated by the government and presumably destroyed.

The same would happen to tens of millions of firearms all over the country, including more than 3 million of just one single model, the AR-15. In this case, gun control advocates literally want to pry the most popular rifle in the country from every owner’s cold dead hands. “We’re not taking any guns away from you, just all future generations.” Needless to say, this is not the way to convince people that no one is interested in taking guns away.

This sort of message and legislation has come not just from the president, but on down the chain of command. We have known that the ideal scenario (and presumably ultimate goal) for Dianne Feinstein – sponsor of the assault weapons ban and most outspoken advocate for all of the defeated legislation – has always been a total, door-to-door confiscation of firearms. She told us so in a 60 Minutes interview.

    ”If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them – ‘Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in!’ – I would have done it. I could not do that.”

But it’s not just the Democratic leadership. Cultural icons of the Left have also joined the fray. On Real Time with Bill Maher, the host wanted to know why Democratic leaders are pretending that they believe in the second amendment, when they ought to just come out and say what they mean:

    “Everyone on the left is so afraid to say what should be said, which is the Second Amendment is bullshit. Why doesn’t anyone go at the core of it?”


Every episode of the show is watched by 1 – 1.5 million (almost entirely Democratic) viewers, and the studio audience cheered his comment. Chilling. The followup comment is that the ballot box is our guarantee of liberty. Ask Germany (and countless others) how that worked out for them.

It is important to note that according to the Supreme Court (and most Americans), the views espoused by Obama, Feinstein, Maher, et all are unconstitutional. Is it really so difficult to understand why some folks might think that Democrats are just being politicians by giving lip-service to the second amendment while pushing new legislation? Taken collectively, these and many other open confessions by party members are more than probable cause for suspicion of intent. Constitutional voters don’t have to be ignorant or fearful to sound the alarm about these people. They just have to take them at their word and actions.

You can either tell people that you’re not interested in taking guns and stop thinking of ways to take them, or try to abolish the second amendment (good luck). But you cannot do both.

2. You Have To Understand What You’re Regulating

This is common sense for any sort of regulation, but especially when you’re dealing with something specifically protected in the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, it has not been the case.

New rule: If you don’t know how guns work, you don’t get to craft legislation about them. There is nothing so embarrassing as watching a Democratic politician who has never held a gun in their life attempt to talk about why and how they should be regulated.

This is not a new problem. I included this classic video in my article on the assault weapons ban, which shows how a senator doesn't even understand what's in her own legislation.

Added to the list over the past several months has been die-hard gun control advocate New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg not understanding the difference between automatic and semi-automatic firearms.

    ”Pistols are different. You have to pull the trigger each time. With an assault weapon you basically hold it down and it goes ::machine gun noise::”

This is a man that has built a cornerstone of his career on gun control legislation. He has headed and commissioned panels on guns. He runs a whole group of pro-gun-control mayors. This is an issue he has supposedly been devoted to for a long time.

He doesn’t know how guns operate. He doesn’t understand basic terminology. He doesn’t know what an “assault weapon” is, even though he supposedly was involved in drafting legislation. How is this possible? And how is it possible that we who actually understand the topic are supposed to cede to his judgment on it?

He’s not alone in his utter baffledness about this. Obama recently told donors at a Democratic Congressional Campaign committee meeting that students at Sandy Hook were gunned down by a “fully automatic weapon”. From the White House transcript:

    ”I just came from Denver, where the issue of gun violence is something that has haunted families for way too long, and it is possible for us to create common-sense gun safety measures that respect the traditions of gun ownership in this country and hunters and sportsmen, but also make sure that we don’t have another 20 children in a classroom gunned down by a semiautomatic weapon – by a fully automatic weapon in that case, sadly.”

This is the President of the United States, who has been personally touring the country pretending to understand the issue of how guns function in society. This person has had entire panels and committees at his disposal specifically to educate him on this topic (so we’re told). There is no excuse for ignorance of this magnitude to be centered around conversations involving civil rights specifically enshrined in the constitution. (It is either astounding ignorance or dishonesty. I’m being generous and assuming the former.)

But the award for atomic facepalm goes squarely to Democratic representative Dianne DeGette of Colorado. During one of the many public forums on gun control that took place across the country recently, Dianne explained to the panel and a stunned audience that magazines and ammunition were the same thing, and therefore all the “high-capacity” magazines would soon be used up.

This person is making laws about the very thing she is completely ignorant of. How can people who actually understand the issue be brought to the table and expect to have productive, meaningful conversation when the people sitting across from them are this clueless?

These are a few selected, higher-profile incidents that represent a vast culture of ignorance in the mainstream Democratic left when it comes to even the basics of gun use and policy. I shouldn’t have to say it, but: Until people know what they’re talking about, none of us should care what they have to say.

3. Stop Using Children
Obama_Kids_Guns

It was the dead children of Newtown that were intoned as the push for gun control legislation began. As I have just evidenced, it was the dead children intoned during the drumming up of support. And it was the dead children intoned in Obama’s “concession” speech as every gun control measure in the Senate failed.

And let’s not forget ads like this one:

Little-Red-Ridinghood

Fortunately for America, the FBI says that citizens of all ages are literally more likely to be struck by lightning than to be killed with a rifle of any kind – not just “assault” rifles. In fact, you are more than twice as likely to be killed be hands and feet than rifles of any kind, and about 5 times more likely to be killed by a knife.

What about unintentional firearms deaths? Fortunately for children, the National Safety Council says that they are less likely to be accidentally killed by any firearm than most other causes of death. Children ages 0-19 (which technically includes two years of life that aren’t childhood) are about 8 times more likely to drown or be poisoned, 4 times as likely to be killed by smoke or fire and almost 50 times more likely to be killed in a car accident.

No wonder the Left’s alarmist warnings had no effect on the people of Newtown, who voted for the NRA’s suggestion to put armed guards in schools.

Aside from the fact that a statistically insignificant number of children die from firearms, not a single person who advocated these gun control measures has suggested a way in which any of the proposed legislation could possibly have prevented the massacre in Newtown. (None of it would have.) Which could make someone wonder, “What’s with all the talk about kids?”

Children are no longer just pawns in the gun control story. They are now integral players. Sometimes the stories play out like Obama’s photo-op above. Sometimes they were never supposed to be stories in the first place.

A father in Florida was furious recently when his fourth grade son brought home this colorful page:
rightsforsecurity

The teacher seemed to gotten the idea of this little gem from Democratic Attorney General Eric Holder, who asked for all schools nationwide to advocate an “anti-gun message” every single day. “Every day, every school at every level… We need to do this every day of the week and really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”

Such an anti-gun fever pitch has been reached that very young children are now being suspended and expelled from school for pointing fingers and saying “pow” on the playground, chewing a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun, pretending a chicken nugget was a gun and shooting bubbles from a Hello Kitty bubble gun.

As I’m writing this, news has broken of a middle school student suspended and arrested for wearing an NRA t-shirt to school.

Recently a man’s house was raided after he posted a photo of his 11-year-old son – who had a hunting license – safely handling a .22 rifle. The father was a certified firearms instructor, an NRA range safety officer, and a New Jersey hunter education instructor. His house was raided without a warrant and the state threatened to take his children away.

04/23/13 Edit: I have been asked – reasonably, I think – not to refer what happened as a raid. A whole group of police and Dept. Children and Families officials showed up at Moore’s house, demanded to be let in to see his gun safe, threatened to take his child away, but did not enter without a warrant. Moore was told that by asking for a warrant he was acting suspiciously (specifically counter to a ruling by the Supreme Court – exercising rights is never cause for suspicion), and they threatened to find a way to get one. He told them they were welcome to do so. They ended up leaving.

How far we have come.

In some areas of the country, children are not props in a game of political football, but are giving testimony before their state legislatures about why new gun control measures are a terrible idea, like this 15-year-old who shoots those evil AR-15s every day.

In some areas of the country, children are given proper handling and safety training the way I was as a child, and are capable of safely handling rifles and “assault weapons” to defend their homes and family.

Most Americans know when they’re being emotionally played for political gain, and so do the senators who voted against the barrage of legislation that went down in flames this week. Until you can stop marching children around as your cause celeb for no apparent logical reason, and until you propose legislation that at least has something to do with protecting them, no one is going to listen.

4. Stop Pretending Background Checks Don’t Already Exist.

Yes, it’s true that 90% of Americans like background checks for firearms purchases. Well it’s a good thing we have them!

04/21/13 Edit: Four months after the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School, USA TODAY Poll finds backing for any new gun control legislation has slipped below 50%. The “90% approval for new background check legislation” has turned out to be very false indeed.

If you go to a sporting goods store and buy any firearm, you have to get a background check done. If you buy a gun from almost any table at a gun show, you have to have a background check. If you buy a gun across state lines on the internet, it has to go through a licensed FFL dealer who runs a background check. The same goes for Wal-Mart, flea market dealers, and everywhere else.

The “gun show loophole” you’ve heard so much about simply means that private individuals can sell a gun to each other without asking the federal government for permission. Which is to say that I don’t have to pay $150 (the cost for a check in D.C.) to ask the FBI whether a family member or friend to whom I would like to lend my shotgun for a hunting trip is a convicted felon.

Background checks are a relatively new priority for Obama’s Justice Department, which only prosecuted 44 of the 48,000 felons and fugitives that submitted background checks to purchase a firearm (and were denied because of the functioning system) in 2012. When the NRA pointed out this out to Biden, the Vice President explained that they “simply don’t have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form”.

Then how, pray tell, is adding to that number thousands of private transaction between individuals (who are already inherently law-abiding by filing the paperwork) going to help?

Aside from practicality and enforceability concerns, there are the ever-present privacy concerns. The Democratic left got a rude awakening from allies on this topic when the ACLU came out against universal background checks, citing the record keeping on law-abiding citizens as a “significant” privacy concern:

    “We think that that kind of record-keeping requirement could result in keeping long-term detailed records of purchases and creation of a new government database.”

    “And they come to use databases for all sorts of different purposes. For example, the National Counterterrorism Center recently gave itself the authority to collect all kinds of existing federal databases and performed terrorism related searches regarding those databases. They essentially exempted themselves from a lot of existing Privacy Act protections.”

The Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice noted in a recent internal memo that the effectiveness of universal background checks would “require gun registration”. (It also went on to note that “gun buybacks are ineffective”, that a high-capacity magazine ban wouldn’t have any discernible effect, that “assault weapons are not a major contributor to gun crime”, and that even a complete elimination of all “assault” weapons “would not have a large impact on gun homicides”.)

When your own Department of Justice thinks your ideas are bad ones, it’s time to move on.

But the ACLU and Department of Justice are not alone in their rejection of universal background checks. Recently, the most comprehensive survey ever conducted on the views of 15,000 law enforcement professionals asked about the relationship between recently-dead legislation proposals and violent crime. 79.6% of them said that expanded background checks would do nothing to reduce violent crime. Here are three other questions and their responses:

p1(1)

p1(2)

p1(3)

These figures speak for themselves. When the nation’s police force, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Justice Department aren’t on board, you might want to rethink your strategy.

No wonder only 4% of Americans think that gun control is an important political issue.

5. Treat the NRA As What They Are: Other American Citizens

nracontrol

The story from the media – and certainly from your Democratic leadership – is that the “powerful corporate lobby” of the NRA is so indomitable that they single-handedly bought and scared off politicians from supporting legislation that they actually believed was going to do some good. But aside from the questionable legislation, this narrative still falls short.

After gun control legislation was defeated this week, I opened a friend’s Facebook link to an unrelated article on thinkprogress.org, a popular leftist news and opinion site. The full screen poll that popped up before I could read the article asked: “DOES THE NRA CONTROL CONGRESS?” along with an urgent call to sign up for their mailing list to email-shame politicians.

The problem here is the complete dissociation of the NRA as an entity and its membership base. As someone who participated wholeheartedly in the Occupy movement and in the national campaign to expose ALEC – the group of Right-wing politicians and corporate lobbyists who write laws together – I have no love for the influence of money on politics. But by making this narrative the dominant one, the Democratic left has missed a very, very important fact: the power of the NRA lies not in corporations, but in its membership.

The NRA definitely receives some contributions from the firearms manufacturers whose interests are tied up with their own. Of course they do. That’s how lobbying works: you pay people to take the time to represent your interests well to lawmakers, whether you’re a gunmaker contributing to the NRA or a high school teacher’s union paying The American Federation of Teachers lobbyists.

What you’re missing is that the vast portion of the NRA’s funds come not through corporate donors, but through contributions from average Americans. It was not a coincidence that between December 2012 and January 2013 the NRA grew 10,000 members every day, adding a full quarter-million new contributors to their roster since gun control reappeared in the national discussion last year. That’s just what happens when a populace that cares a lot about something gets mobilized. But the NRA – by which the Democratic party should mean “the American citizens who comprise the NRA because they believe in gun rights” – has consistently been characterized as the heartless, monolithic boogeyman.

I have already mentioned the young man who was just this week suspended and arrested for wearing an NRA t-shirt to school. How is this possible? How can the demonization of 5 million Americans engaged in strictly legal activity literally put a child in jail in 2013?

I hope that one thing this latest loss has taught you is that you cannot advance the discussion on gun policy by treating the NRA as if they were something other than the citizens who intentionally pay for them to do exactly what they do. (Even if members do have to grit their teeth at brash methods sometimes.) Your opponent is not the corporate profits of Ruger or Beretta, it is the beliefs and ideas and the resulting money of other citizens just like yourself. Speaking of which…

6. Don’t Forget About Us!

Gun policy is not really as partisan a debate as mainstream media would suggest. There are plenty of left-leaning citizens and Democratic voters who love our guns. Some of us are in the south, some of us are out in Colorado, and some of us are right in the middle of New York City. Some of us not only like the process of shooting guns, but actually think that it’s important to know how. Some of us hunt to supplement food/income. Some of us believe that the safety of our selves, families, communities and yes, even our nation are our own responsibility as citizens. It’s not such a radical thought.

And don’t forget that we are the swing voices in this debate. After the mass shooting in Aurora, I posted an article on why the “assault weapons” ban should not be renewed. Much to my surprise, it garnered a half million reads. This was not because I’m a great writer. This was because it spoke to other leftist people with gun-interests in a way that an NRA newsletter was not going to. And those people shared it with their leftist friends, and so on.

You cannot pretend that we don’t exist, and you cannot be surprised when we let our representatives know that we do not support gun control legislation.

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124 Responses to “Dear Gun Control Democrats: 6 Ways to Make a Better Argument”

  1. bblackmoor Says:

    This is very good. Thank you. I will be sharing it.

  2. [...] recently ran across this letter from a gun-loving leftist to the gun control Democrats. The author is left-leaning, supports reproductive rights, and participated in the Occupy movement. [...]

  3. Another great article….

  4. Gregg Sheehan Says:

    Thank you once again for a well written article. I too, am a left leaning gun owner, but nowhere near as articulate as you. It is good to have something to share with my other left leaning friends who do not understand the gun politics. Regards, Gregg.

  5. I appreciate the well thought out points, and seeing an articulate arguement that doesn’t rely on name calling or condescension.

  6. Jon buckalew Says:

    I appreciate the way you artilculate the arguments.

  7. Do realize the little boy’s letter was in response to a lawyer’s guest speech and activity – not the teacher’s. The lawyer asked them to write the statement and then see if they could give those rights up.

  8. I brought up many of these points some time ago, on Democratic Underground. The DU response? I was banned from DU. Go figure.

  9. Once again, very well written. Its good to see people that can cross party lines and voice logic over feelings. As a Libertarian former Republican I find myself in the same position often. Thank you again!

  10. Beautifully written and we should stick to the facts and NOT USE CHILDREN and FEAR to try and pass the agendas to get things they want. Ther fact is, people have rights and they shouldn’t be taken away.

  11. Well written article, I share some of your problems as a union supporting Republican. I told my guys some time ago that as Union members we need to be more like the NRA and make sure we have friends on both sides of the isle, they’re slowly coming around.

  12. Huh. Funny how I say the same things and get namecalled by the same leftists who will give you a read based on the color of your politics and not the character of what you say.

  13. I appreciate the article, as a conservative I want to agree on many levels but you claim Obama supported an “all out” ban on the the the manufacturing, sale & possession of guns in 1996 (Which yes he did answer yes, but it was a state wide questions which if you look at the murder rates in Chicago, it would make sense). Also if you look at his voting record, he actually expanded conceal and carry opportunities for responsable gun owners while in the Illinois State Senate. – Also, the link doesn’t work. – http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2008/sep/23/national-rifle-association/fuzzy-stand-in-96-does-not-amount-to-a-plan/

    • Hey Dustin, I appreciate you taking the time to respond respectfully. Here is my response:

      >>if you look at the murder rates in Chicago, it would make
      >>sense
      Only if you think that removing guns from law abiding citizens reduces crime, which all available evidence does not support.

      >>he actually expanded conceal and carry opportunities for
      >>responsable gun owners while in the Illinois State Senate.
      I would be interested in reading up on that. I think you might be referring to the legislation he signed as president (which was part of a whole package of legislation) that allowed concealed carry holders to carry in national parks and to pack their firearms in luggage on Amtrak. I mention this I’m not aware of any legislation that he worked on in the Illinois Senate, but I’d be happy to take a look at it.

      Regarding the link you sent: Answering “yes” to a specifically worded question is not a “fuzzy stand”. Citing gun bans as model legislation is not vague. It is intentional.

    • I would like to know where you came up with any of that. Obama couldn’t have voted to expand CCW in IL because we don’t have CCW in IL. Even in the face of a federal court order we still don’t have it.
      The only thing we have for anyone to have possibly voted for as far as CCW is to allow retired LEO to CCW, but he wasn’t a state senator then. No other CCW bill has been allowed to come to a vote until the recent court order.
      You can’t find Obama’s state voting record on the internet in any kind of official capacity, it’s been that way since he first ran for president. So telling someone to look at his record is disingenuous at best. From memory, he voted for every anti-gun legislation he could and even authored some of his own.
      IL is a lot more than Chicago. Voting to ban everyone’s guns because of one small corner is extremist not understandable.

  14. [...] I was mid-stream in writing a post about why the gun grabbers failed, when this self proclaimed progressive beat me to it. He nailed it, so I’ll let him tell it. [...]

  15. [...] good advice to Democrat leaders: Dear Gun Control Democrats: 6 Ways to Make a Better Argument Dear Gun Control Democrats: 6 Ways to Make a Better Argument | Kontradictions The modern Liberal is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; the [...]

  16. First off, I know i am only breaking down your argument. I am not spending time to add to it but you entered into the conversation willingly so it’s to be expected. You used children as props for a portion of your argument. You seemed more then proud to show how these young children used weapons responsibly, why is it bad for politicians?

    • Really? You’re trying to counter him with “Well you did too!”? The difference is he wasn’t using the girl or the NRA t shirt kid as a prop but as a counter point. The one thing that infuriates me as a leftist is when our politicians use “Think of the children” to tug on people’s heart strings to do something unconstitutional. It’s no different than the Republicans using “The brown people are coming to get you!!!” Both use fear and emotion to garner support for legislation instead of rational thought.

      What’s funny though is in a lot of cases when they try to do something “for the children” it blows up in their face. TV and music ratings are the best example. No sooner did they put the TV ratings in place shows like South Park came out and brought a level of adult humor with them that would never have been on a regular cable channel until they were able to hide behind “Hey, we put a rating on it.” They went after Comics, video games, all sorts of media and continue to do so even after report after report comes out that media doesn’t play a significant role in the development of children, but just the simple act of watching TV, regardless of content, is detrimental to the cognitive development of children and adults. But I bet you still let your kids watch cartoons.

      Conservatives blame godless heathens, and liberals blame immoral media, it’s the same political crap that avoids the real issue. Parents are stuck at work just to ensure their children are fed and to provide them with a future that they don’t have time in most cases to be good parents and raise their children. Not to mention a generational ideal of selfish behavior and not wanting to sacrifice your time for your own children so you can continue partying like it’s 1999 while your kids vegetate in front of the TV (thus the need for ratings, because you’re not there to monitor and explain what it is they’re seeing). This lack of responsible parenting is why so many fall into the gun control side of the argument because the idea of having to be responsible for their children’s safety scares them, better to have someone else do it for them so they don’t have to worry about it. Or they simply can’t be there and need someone else to take responsibility for them. Either way, this boils down to being a distracting wedge issue which helps divert attention from the bigger issue of wealth inequality.

    • I think there is a big difference between making a genuine contribution to the discussion by showing children safely using firearms and having children being paraded about solely as “future victims” and nothing else.

  17. Very decent read. I’m right of center and it explained several problems I had with the proposed legislation. Just one note, the Department of Justice is not the same as the National Institute of Justice. Eric Holder manages the DOJ and is pushing Obama’s agenda. The National Institute of Justice is a private organization with views independent of the Executive branch.

    And that’s all I know. ;)

    • Sorry, you’re wrong. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development and evaluation agency of the United States Department of Justice. NIJ, along with the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), and other program offices, comprise the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) branch of the Department of Justice.

      • So it was the folks responsible for research and evaluation of policy at DOJ – those who would know best – that suggested none of the gun control proposals would work. Good to clear that up.

  18. CheckThoseFacts Says:

    Some of the quoted material is down very deep to get a source.

    Recently a man’s house was raided after he posted a photo of his 11-year-old son – who had a hunting license – safely handling a .22 rifle. The father was a certified firearms instructor, an NRA range safety officer, and a New Jersey hunter education instructor. His house was raided without a warrant and the state threatened to take his children away.

    This was not accurate at all. The home was never ‘raided’.

    The triple linked source further upstream:

    ““He has a Fourth Amendment right and he’s not going to give up his Fourth Amendment right or his Second Amendment right,” he said. “They didn’t have a warrant – so see you later.”

    Diligence makes all the difference.

    • Thanks so much for clearing this up! If you can link me, I’m going to edit the article to reflect this right away!

      The truth is priority!

  19. This is the first indepth reaction to the gun issues that has any merrit. I am a life time shooting sports enthusiast. To me the real issue is stopping people with mental problems from getting guns.

  20. I appreciate this opportunity to bring some reasonable common sence to the gun debate

  21. [...] Re: Hitler Finds Out Gun Control Failed In The Senate Dear Gun Control Democrats: 6 Ways to Make a Better Argument | Kontradictions [...]

  22. Great post.
    So this is what won’t work. What do you suggest will work to protect good people with guns from bad people with guns?

    • YOU have the primary responsibility for the safety and security of yourself and your family. The government, the laws, the police, the jails, are auxiliary to this cause. What do you suppose it means when it is said that the police do not have a duty to protect any particular individual, but only the public in general, by enforcing the laws? The police are NOT anyone’s personal bodyguards, under the law, in a way that they can be held responsible.

    • I know this is counter intuitive, but, not with gun legislation. The AR-15 platform has been available to civilians since 1963. The wave of mass school shootings (which are statistically still very rare) started in the late 90s to the best of my knowledge. The facts seem to suggest that it has nothing to do with the available weapons. Gun crime apart from mass shootings has also been on the decline for awhile in this country.

      If we want to stop it, I suspect we’d be best off finding the real culprit.

    • The way to address the issue of violence is to actually admit that the tool is irrelevant. It’s not “gun violence” when someone gets shot, any more than it would be “penis violence” when a woman is raped. But the politicians would rather spend their time and our tax dollars passing laws that not only do not address the core issue, but penalize millions of people who have done nothing wrong.

      • I am going to use the penis violence analogy from now on. I do believe some leftists would ban those too though.

      • Matt in FL Says:

        Here’s another similar one: “Banning guns (ownership, carry, use) to stop gun violence is equivalent to banning penises (or sex) to stop rape.”

        Another argument that you hear a lot is the “Can’t yell fire in a crowded theatre” one. Ignoring the fact that you can actually do that, the equivalency is “Gun control is like taping everyone’s mouth shut when they go to see a movie just in case they decided to yell ‘Fire.'”

  23. Kontra — where did Obama cite Chicago as a model to follow? I don’t see that in the (conservative, angry, biased) link you provided. I want to agree with what you’re saying and you’re getting a lot of “hell yeah” from me, but it makes me nervous to spread this around when your cited sources don’t actually say what you’re suggesting they say.

    • Also, I think the Feinstein quote is more likely about confiscation of assault weapons, not all weapons. The interview doesn’t give us enough context.

    • Not hard to find citations, friend. He supported the DC all-out ban as Constitutional, “common sense legislation”. Saying “we have two traditions in this country” does not mean you’re being logically consistent.

  24. Leverett Hadlow Says:

    As a Libertarian former Republican, I thank you for your valuable points of view and efforts on this issue. May you reap the rewards of your efforts in the Leftist positions you support. Why do I, someone who is very likely opposed to much of what your support, say this? Because the available evidence strongly suggests that you are truly a worthy opponent – a straight shooter – so to speak. No pun intended. Really.

  25. What do you suggest will work to protect good people with guns from bad people with guns?
    IS it not self evident? Good people have guns to protect themselves from bad people. Is that difficult to understand?

  26. great writing, i agree!”shall not be infringed”

  27. Larry L. Leiweke Says:

    This has to be one of the best written pieces on this debate . Thank you for your insight and candor.

  28. Reblogged this on The Plumber's Crack and commented:
    Well thought out, absolutely spot on. I’d love to shoot with this guy. My only question is, since I’m so in tune with him, does this make me a left-leaning Democrat?

  29. John Reis Says:

    Excellent article that articulates many of the things I have been thinking. One additional point to would-be gun controllers; Stop using terms such as “common sense provisions”. This is an obvious attempt to cut off debate. After all, if your proposals are common sense, then anyone who opposes them must be irrational and against common sense. Clumsy and obvious.

  30. Here’s how to make a better argument, accept that no amount of legislation will ever prevent criminals obtaining some type of weapons and committing violence upon law abiding citizens. Life as a human being means that you are subject to violence in many forms. Defense must be right. whether that be a firearm, a knife, or even a whistle. But firearms will never go away no matter how many laws you make.

  31. [...] Dear Gun Control Democrats: 6 Ways to Make a Better Argument – An excellent article by a liberal gun owner on how the gun-control debate has been totally mishandled by the gun control lobby. http://kontradictions.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/dear-democratic-gun-control-lobby-how-to-get-better/ [...]

  32. As an NRA member who doesn’t always agree with the far-right rhetoric in the magazines etc. this was a refreshing read. Thank you, and I wish that the NRA had authors such as yourself involved. I’m neither right nor left, but uncomfortably residing in that grey area in the middle (as honestly I think most people are.)

  33. What part of “… shall not be infringed” did you not get?

  34. Alexander Says:

    Though I am sure that you and I would disagree on a great many things in this world, I always try to make a point to thank someone when he or she presents a reasoned, well thought out explanation into something he or she believes in their life.

    You have done that.

    And I wanted to thank you for your time and efforts…

  35. As some one that grew up in Illinois hunting and having every Senator and Congressman that was Republican at our house before every election, I am ashamed to say that i am from there. Now much older and living in rural Missouri and have taught my children (2 girls, 1 boy ) gun safety and hunting, and have worked with both Republicans and Democrats i really do not know what i am politically. I just do not trust any of them. They seem to have their own agenda. I do like what you wrote and agree with it but also think that it’s not over yet! Really looking forward to what you come up with next. Thank You.

  36. I do own guns, my children do own guns, and my grandchildren will own guns even if they are mine passed down. I just can not stop thinking in the back of my mind that the reason they want to take away all guns it will make it easier to enforce Marshal Law with all the other stuff they are trying to push down our throats !

  37. I love the level of detail to which you have gone to enumerate your specific oppositions, and agree on all counts. To contribute, I like to allude to all the statistics you provide, in order to summarize that the guns aren’t the problem, the people are; not just unstable people, not just criminals, but all of us.

    Culturally, we’ve reached a point where we would prefer to craft emotional law on the hottest topics on TV, despite them only being as band-aids to…well…bullet wounds. Any opportunity to loft oneself over the “others” based on the intellectual superiority of one’s own party ID (identification or Freudian id, your choice) is happily taken, with little regard to the use or relevance of the solution on offer, as you described. We grouse about violent video games, while their sales soar, and NFL and MMA fans complain about the softening of their sports, and the biggest selling action movies employ decreasingly believably large explosions and body counts, and reality TV celebrates the morally devoid, apathetically ignorant, legally questionable, and least likely get-rich-quick schemes ever presented. We eat it all up, and they make more, because they know that that’s what we want.

    Further, because of our array of band-aids, we ignore those factors that drive certain members of our merry band of Americans into the acts of criminality, whether from insanity, desperation, or honest malicious intent. Sure, some can’t be helped. But why should we focus on this, when, for example, poor and illegal driving behaviors kill so many more people, and waste so much more time and money, every year, with little public outcry beyond texting bans and police-sponsored DUI commercials? Why chase after expensive hobby rifles when so many are in increasingly untenable poverty? Why grab headlines with gross lack of knowledge about guns when the economy has gone from standing on a tower of dominos to standing on a hastily-built, yet taller, house of cards?

    The fact is, we can blame politicians for their uselessness, but they didn’t get their jobs based on merit the way most of us do. We had to put them there. Whether we did so on purpose or were unable to convince enough neighbors to vote a different way, we have gotten the government we deserve. Meanwhile, reality TV carries on, and not just on every network and formerly-educational channel on TV. The opinion polls suggest that people just care about their own lives and being allowed to carry on with some measure of control over themselves, but everyone (who has voted, anyway) seems to have chosen people to whom to give all their control, inch by inch. We’re all in this together. The writers of the Constitution didn’t write a document that would solve our problems, only one that would provide a framework within which to solve problems. The Constitution isn’t the problem or the solution, but ignoring it would throw out the window our future chances of creating solutions peacefully.

    It’s up to us, every one, every day, being the change we want to see in the world.

  38. I’ve shared this with lots. I hope they share it with more in turn. Keep up the great articles!

  39. Very nice! You might enjoy my short, free e-book, “The Progressive’s Guide to Becoming Pro Gun”
    http://en.nagaika.org/the-progressives-guide-to-becoming-pro-gun-free-book-ebook/

  40. Often I can empathize with the Democrat position on matters such as abortion and social programs, but I promise you, not one Democrat will get my vote due to their usual position on gun control matters.

  41. Steve Flores Says:

    … Very well written, spot on – yet does not attack anyone

  42. I appreciate your honesty and your ability to back up your arguments, even though your backing of the “Occupy movement” seriously discredits you in my eyes. The whole idea behind your first point about sending mixed messages is that our government flat-out lies to us (and the Mass Media is culpable). They tell us one thing in a TV ad or in a sound bite on the news, then they turn right around and do the exact opposite. We’ve seen this more often with Democrats and it has really gotten out of hand in the last few years with Barack Obama in the White House. Certainly politicians have lied for years, and it’s not just a Democrat issue, but it’s pretty clear that the lies and rhetoric have really increased since Obama took office.

  43. Reblogged this on In Defense Of Liberty and commented:
    I like reading this blog as a counter to my traditionally libertarian readings, and this article is well written and intelligent, which means (as usual) it will fall on deaf ears…

  44. Thanks for the article. I can not stand anti-gun people generally because they don’t have a clue about guns and refuse to learn and they just won’t admit that they want to ban guns (even though when they think you’re not looking they start talking bans).

    I have said that their arguments would be better if they learned about guns and were honest in their intentions. Nothing is more insulting then being talked down too by someone who is ignorant about guns and dishonest about what they want to do with them.

    Perhaps the ones against guns and ownership of them will read and accept what you write.

  45. [...] read. It's all stuff we've been repeating but it's very well written and uses logic over emotion. Dear Gun Control Democrats: 6 Ways to Make a Better Argument | Kontradictions __________________ 1993 Civic CX Build [...]

  46. Dylan Drake Says:

    As a formerly left-leaning conservative, this article has said EXACTLY what I have been thinking and arguing for months now. Thank you for taking the time to write it, and I’m pretty sure you just got another regular reader.

  47. wetzel402 Says:

    Excellent read and that is coming from a conservative. Gun rights are one thing we both agree on.

    I know many here may not agree or like this but a little food for thought; the far left wing is becoming less and less Democrat and more and more Socialist. Obama being a Democrat, in my opinion, is no different than letting Ron Paul (a Libertarian) run as a Republican. Those that are not so far left may want to come back a little closer to the center.

  48. This is a great article. I only question a few things due to the lack of a source of information. Otherwise, great read.

  49. “[T]he government may not descend to the evil of preventive law. The government cannot treat men as guilty until they have proven themselves to be, for the moment, innocent. No law can require the individual to prove that he won’t violate another’s rights, in the absence of evidence that he is going to. But this is precisely what gun control laws do. Gun control laws use force against the individual in the absence of any specific evidence that he is about to commit a crime. They say to the rational, responsible gun owner: you may not have or carry a gun because others have used them irrationally or irresponsibly. Thus, preventive law sacrifices the rational and responsible to the irrational and irresponsible. This is unjust and intolerable. The government may coercively intervene only when there is an objective threat that someone is going to use force. … Statistics about how often gun-related crimes occur in the population is no evidence against you. That’s collectivist thinking. The choices made by others are irrelevant to the choices that you will make. … The government may respond only to specific threats, objectively evident. It has no right to initiate force against the innocent. And a gun owner is innocent until specific evidence arises that he is threatening to initiate force. Laws prohibiting or regulating guns across the board represent the evil of preventive law and should be abolished.” — columnist Harry Binswanger

  50. Reblogged this on Not Infringed and commented:
    Here is a great blog post by a liberal gun owner from Virginia. It’s very well and respectfully written. Definitely something you need to read.

  51. Guy L. Laraway Jr. Says:

    Articulate. Polite. Well thought out and presented. And my spouse says I am a Republican. I’m not, I’m Libertarian. But still, Thank you for this. Well done.

  52. Thomas Flournoy Says:

    “specifically counter to a ruling by the Supreme Court – exercising rights is never cause for suspicion”

    Any idea what case this is from? Could be a good reply the next time a police officer says I’m acting suspicious for not consenting to a search.

  53. [...] try concentrating on the real criminals instead of another bureaucratic boondoggle for duck hunters … [...]

  54. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

  55. Doc 03911 Says:

    Well written. One item that I find annoying that wasn’t included are the demands from politicians that victims needn’t worry about defending themselves, rather victims just accept what ever crime is being acted upon them.

  56. Guy Fawkes Says:

    I really appreciate the calm and primarily unbiased approach you took to presenting facts (with links) to support your voice. I frequently work to present the facts to others as well and it is a tough road at times where facts are overlooked when emotional debate is fueled by both sides when calm is really what is needed. Thank you.

  57. Where did you get the statistic that only 44 of 48,000 denied background checks were prosecuted? That’s a powerful statistic.

  58. Bob Smith Says:

    Nicely written article with several cogent points.

    Those who would attempt to destroy the Second Amendment guarantees of the right of citizens to be armed should recognize that attempts to directly undermine and circumvent it while lying about their true intent and actions will be seen for what it is.

    Those who ostensibly desire crime control should focus on that, instead of going after tools, implements and other devices that are criminally misused by a small but violent percentage of our citizenry.

    And the courts should absolutely continue to strictly uphold the existing right of the people to both own arms and to carry (bear) them, as well as ensure that the guarantee against government fiddling with that right is dealt with for what it is.

    Gun-grabbing liberty destroyers: are you interested in CRIME control, or is it truly simply people’s right to be armed against crime that you’re so against? Choose one, but stand behind it forthrightly and honorably.

  59. Kontra,
    Would love to get you scheduled on Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk radio show this Sunday. He really enjoyed your article. Please contact me if you are interested! (sarah@guntalk.com)

  60. Kalashnikat in Colorado Springs Says:

    Kontra, your logic on firearms and self defense is inescapable, and I fully agree with you…
    ….let’s continue the logical exercise with a more fundamental, and I’d say more important, question than the right of armed self defense…

    At what point does a human life begin?
    I’m an engineer by training….I look at cause and effect in a mechanistic way most of the time, rather than emotion.
    …. I’m not a biologist or theologian or philosopher, but I would say life begins at the moment of conception and implantation in the womb, ….because if no other deliberate destructive act or physical accident takes place, that little mass of cells will most likely make a normal progression to eventually become a fully functional human being.
    What say you, (to use Bill O’Reilly’s irritating phrase)?

    I’m not arguing against using condoms or spermicides, or other contraceptives that prevent the event of fertilization or implantation in the womb, but I am saying that, once conceived and receiving nourishment, a new human being is in progress, and terminating that progress is essentially taking a life…killing…murder, if premeditated; manslaughter if not.
    What say you to that argument?

    At what point in time does a human being acquire the right to live?
    Can you arbitrarily set that date at any other point in the progression with any logical basis? Some amazingly tiny and amazingly premature babies have lived and grown up to make a significant contribution to society…what gives anyone the right to take a spoon or a pair of scissors or a wire saw to that baby just because it can’t say “no”, or physically resist? Do you base that time on when the child can breathe on it’s own? (I’ve known adults with respiratory issues like polio paralysis, that this argument would say, they have no right to live if they can’t breathe on their own). Or when the child can be said to have thoughts, or feel pain? There are adults who have become de-cerebrated and comatose, or had nerve damage to such a degree they can feel no pain…does that mean they should also be killed with impunity, as a very, very late form of abortion?

    If the right of armed self defense includes the right to defend others around you from imminent threats of death or severe bodily injury, and many courts have found that it does, why is no one allowed to defend the life of a baby while still in the womb? Out of sight, out of mind? If that logic holds, all you need do is dump your enemy into an oubliette and forget about them. You didn’t “kill them”, you just hid them away, and they died on their own.

    Some argue that a woman has a right to choose…and I fully agree, …she can choose not to have unprotected sex, she can choose to say “No, not without a condom” or “No, I forgot my pill” as readily as she can say “No, not with you, ever, under any circumstances, …get lost.”…and the man who ignores that is subject to arrest, trial and incarceration for a long long time for rape or sexual assault…

    …but once conceived, the choice becomes: accept the eventuality of the child, (whether to keep or give up for adoption),…. or take a human life…

    …and what gives anyone the right to take a human life? The real and imminent threat of death or severe bodily injury, perhaps….
    If the pregnancy carried the likelihood of death or severe bodily injury to the mother in childbirth, even with Caesarian section, then a logical argument for taking that life could exist.

    Now, that’s my logical argument…I’d like to see yours on this topic…

    • wetzel402 Says:

      Well stated. My opinions are the same on the topic.

    • You say you are looking at it in a mechanistic way because of your engineering background. I would suggest that you have a little bit of emotional attachment to the argument as well. I guess it could be considered natural to view human live as sacrosanct when you are a human yourself. Do you have the same feeling toward other species?

      We all feel strongly about the lives of those near us, not so much about the ones dying far away. In reality we give our governments permission to end other human lives for the sake of expediency, when someone annoys us perhaps, by not playing by “our” rules. In effect we regard human life as cheap. (Unless it is our own.)

      Rather than questioning or dictating to women on their choices about their reproduction when really they are the ones in the best position to determine whether a foetus in their body should be terminated or go to term, it would be better to question our governments about the “collateral damage” caused by drones over foreign lands.

      If you want a mechanistic way of looking at it then perhaps we could say that since a foetus prior to whatever number of weeks is not viable then it doesn’t really have life independent of its mother. The mother is the maker, sustainer and total arbiter of what is still part of her. As an engineer you can destroy your invention at the drawing stage or model stage or prototype stage. You are the creator – you do what you wish. Allow the same argument for conception.

      If you are looking for theological argument then you couldn’t go further than the Bible which mandates abortion in Numbers 5 – in the case of a child conceived from adultery. Of course I wouldn’t go solely by that in this modern age. Words written by men to suit men 2-4000 years ago don’t exactly take the women’s perspective into consideration.

      If you want theological evidence that foetal life is cheap then look to Exodus 21:22-25

      Of course if we took the bible at face value we wouldn’t have a great prison population, as we’d be terminating people by stoning for the slightest of crimes.

  61. The only thing I might add to this post, which is EXCELLENT, is the audacity of using shooting victims or, worse, victims’ parents as “experts” during the hearings, debate process, and PR appearances/speeches. I do NOT mean to diminish their very legitimate pain and loss, but getting shot does not make you an expert on firearms legislation, ballistics, guns, or “gun violence” any more than surviving a car crash makes me an expert on traffic laws or vehicle safety engineering. The motive is so transparent and it is so painful to watch these people get paraded in front of the media and used by the anti-gun crowd to push an agenda that it causes a highly negative and visceral reaction even in those who agree with the agenda itself. Look, I’m VERY sorry you lost your son or got shot by a madman and I can think of few things more horrible, but THAT DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN EXPERT on the topics on which you are testifying in front of the freakin’ United States Congress on and lecturing the American people on thanks to your new friends on the anti-gun side and in the mainstream media.

  62. Magnus Livingston Says:

    And how does any of this apply to those of us who live in urban areas??? You arm a real city like New York, where we have to deal with each others shit every day and tempers can flare, and all of your arguments are out the window. You guys keep your toys but leave us alone to ban the killing machines in our own cities.

    • Kalashnikat in Colorado Springs Says:

      Magnus, please read your history.

      http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_strange_birth_of_ny_gun_laws_QJmHRpczvWipydklC80HYM

      Prior to the corrupt Tammany Hall and other politicians passing gun control in New York, the city WAS armed, and the decent folks understood that they’d better not let petty quarrels become gun fights… it was understood that gentlemen and ladies carried revolvers in pocket or purse, and were capable and willing to defend themselves. Who was it, Heinlein I think, who said:
      An armed society is a polite society…

      Sullivan of Tammany fame didn’t want the general population to be able to defend themselves against the gangs because the gangs were on tap to help keep Tammany Hall in power. Gun controls disarmed the law abiding unless they had Tammany connections, and the rest were subject to the whims of the pol and there gang enforcers…sounds kinda like where the Dems got their current ideas from.

    • Because quarrels don’t happen in rural areas. Right. When someone carries a gun, they have a different mind set and its one about responsibility. You know you can’t get angry like that. It changes the way you think and makes you more polite and less prone to fly off the handle. Of course, you think having a gun is a power trip that makes good people go on killing sprees. We call that ignorance.

  63. Great article. As a fellow firearms-owning, left-leaning person it strikes a chord with me. I do, however, suggest a 7th way – stop using bogus statistics and pretending that they are real. Every time I hear about 90% of Americans of 40% of gun sales, I know that I am not in a ‘conversation’.

  64. WOW! How refreshing to read an article based on facts, rather than emotion. I doubt I would agree with you on politics, but we share the same opinions on gun control. I respect honesty, and would be much more willing to hear your left leaning views, when presented the same way.

  65. Very good understanding and well written. I am a left leaning gun owner like yourself. I don’t share all your views, but I do like your position and understanding of the problem.

  66. [...] vclk_options = {sid:79420,media_id:6,media_type:8,version:"1.3"}; Dear Gun Control Democrats: 6 Ways to Make a Better Argument | Kontradictions This is a great blog post by a Pro-2A Democrat. Reply With [...]

  67. Thank you, this is awesome. I guess you’re alright for a lefty.

  68. I enjoyed your Very Thoughtful Article On Gun Control. I Doubt we’d Agree On Many Social Issues Of The day But I Very Much Appreciate The Focus And Tone Of this essay. I’m Recommending My Very Right Leaning Friends Give It A Read.

  69. There is hope for this Country yet. Refreshing to read someone on the left actually “gets it”! Thanks for a great read. I hope your message gets through to the other leftists in the Country so we can start solving real problems and end the endless distractions created by the ruling class.

  70. vwheeler99 Says:

    I would like to know where you got the money information on the NRA – where the contributions come from and in what amounts.

  71. [...] read this today at Dear Gun Control Democrats: 6 Ways to Make a Better Argument | Kontradictions Does this help you? The “gun show loophole” you’ve heard so much about simply [...]

  72. Thank you. Your right we do have more in common than one would think.

  73. Dear Kontra:

    I’m a newspaper editor. I wonder if you’d be interested in adapting some of what you say here into a guest op-ed column for my newspaper. There is a dearth of pro-2nd Amendment commentary in the media, making it very difficult to provide balanced commentary to our readers.
    Thanks.

  74. Good piece. To add to the points you made about the Feinstein AWB:
    “Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms
    Act, to include:
    o Background check of owner and any transferee;
    o Type and serial number of the firearm;
    o Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
    o Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that
    possession would not violate State or local law; and
    o Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration”

    That AWB Amendment would have done much more than phase these weapons out over a generation. The $200 cost of a tax stamp, per rifle, could in many cases be a prohibitive cost. Registering an “assault weapon” under the NFA, I’m assuming would entail the same costs as items such as assault rifles, SBR, sawed-off shotguns, and silencers. So you’re looking at a $200 tax stamp per qualifying weapon.

    That doesn’t even touch the fact that you now have a federal registry of all the evil guns. Anyone who fails to register their grandfathered weapon would immediately by in violation of the law.

  75. “He who would sacrifice his freedom for a little more security, deserves neither freedom or security.” Benjamin Franklin

  76. This was an awesome read. Thank you for this.

  77. Cliff Hutchison Says:

    The “Moms Demand Action” poster (with the two little girls on it) doesn’t merely use children for the emotional appeal, it is flat wrong about what it says.

    “One child is holding something that is banned in America…” is referring to the Little Red Riding Hood book, right?

    But the book is specifically banned in schools, not generally “banned in America” (read the poster’s fine print), and the gun is already banned in schools, not generally “banned in America” (read the Crime Control Act of 1990 – Gun Control section). So it is simply untrue that “one child is holding something that is banned” when both of them are banned specifically in the schools.

    This is not some minor point, it is the main point of the poster (claiming that a book is banned when the gun is not) and it is a flat lie.

  78. Ok, so it looks like you’re screening the responses, but at least I can ask you privately: What is your solution, then? How do you propose, specifically, with bullet points, to prevent the next Sandy Hook, or Aurora or Littleton shooting? Or is that not important to you because more people are killed with knives?

    • It’s not so much screening as it is a software quirk. (Check Minimum Wage Historian’s comment.)

      Sandy Hook and Aurora were both perpetrated by people with serious mental health issues, just like the Virginia Tech shooting and many others. It seems to me that making more accessible and supportive mental health care would be an obvious and far more effective starting point.

    • Geodkyt Says:

      Cops 1. Statistically, these are freak events, and the reaction from the gun control side is akin to reacting to Jonestown, Heavens Gate, and Waco by requiring governmental approval for any religion, with government registration of individual practitioners.

      2. NONE of the gun control knee jerk reactions (including Munchin’-Tuna) would have done ANYTHING to prevent any of these incidents.

      3. ALL of these incidents involved crazy people who were well known by local officials to be more than a half a bubble off. All but one would have been prevented by institutionalizing people who were patently in need of such prior to the incident.

      4. With very few exceptions, mass shooting incidents occur in areas where the general population is de jure or de facto disarmed. (Note that Columbine occurred after the Gun Free School Zones Act; GFSZA wasn’t passed in response to Columbine. Given that in most areas where private citizens could lawfully carry concealed arms, you simply didn’t have these gun massacres in schools.) Given the fact that mass shooting attempts tend to be stopped with about 2 victims when armed private citizens CAN respond immediately (the numbers are higher in legally designated Helpless Victim Zones because by the time the cops GET there, the majority of the shooting is already over; absent 100% surveillance coverage and teleporters, that won’t change), and that these killers almost universally surrender, suicide, or die the instant they face lethal resistance from cops or citizens, and given that, statistically, citizens with CCWs are LESS likely to commit crimes (especially violent ones) than cops are, the conclusion is logically inescapable: these gun control measures are not just INEFFECTIVE, they are irrationally COUNTERPRODUCTIVE.

      How about we try what we know historically works, instead of doubling down on the last few decades of magical thinking?

  79. Onetime Says:

    Thank you for this, this is the state of the debate in a nutshell IMHO.

    I shudder at the myopia of the anti-2A rhetoric. Why is it not patently obvious that this is a civil rights issue, not a Left vs Right issue?

    The ACLU should be as frimly entrenched against “gun control” as they are against infringments of privacy and free speech.

  80. Wow. I’m a conservative, gun owner, NRA member, and almost have tears in my eyes knowing there is someone on the other side of the political spectrum that is so calm and reasoned about firearm policy. If only our politicians could be half this honest and respectful.

    Well done, very well done. Thank you. You should know I found this by way of the link being contained in an e-mail newsletter from a gun store. They thought highly of your article as well.

  81. Midwest Moderate Parent Says:

    Thank you for writing this. I’m a moderate Independent who voted for Obama the first time (because I was looking for change), and voted against him the second time for various reasons. What amazes me is how such an intelligent man is forced to resort to emotional messaging and ploys as his main tactic for increased gun control. There is a reason for that, which is that these measures do nothing but take rights away from law abiding citizens. Those laws won’t minimize crime (as you mentioned with Chicago and DC), and a majority of Americans sees that. It’s thinks like this that are pushing me further and further to the right. Let’s move on, focus on prosecuting criminals to the fullest extent of the laws we have today, and stop doing things that will further divide our country.

  82. […] second author, at Kontradictions, wrote an open letter to Democrats that’s superb. It’s long but well researched, well said, and well worth the time. The author provides six […]

  83. Thank you so much for an amazing article, everything you have mentioned I agree with and have been trying to explain to my friends and family for a long time, and especially since the recent tragedies why more gun control legislation is wrong and will do nothing to stop crime.

  84. […] Second, a blogger named Kontra writes a letter, “Dear Gun Control Democrats: 6 Ways to Make a Better Argument“. […]

  85. there’s one and only ONE reason, why banning guns is not good.
    Criminals will not give up their guns. Anyone who thinks they will, is a complete retard. So, if criminals don’t give their weapons, what’s the point in disarming regular citizens, unless there’s some other intention with that? Anyone lobbying disarming of people, is insane, and not to be considered as a friend.

  86. Susan Frost Says:

    You forgot to mention in your barrage on Democrats lack of knowledge that an equal number I am sure exist over on Republican turf advocating things of which they know nothing of either which ensensed me. Great article however, despite the tendency to put of a few barrirers over this small detail.

  87. Pistols, assault weapons and other guns that kill have no business being in people’s hands.
    Society is out of control when it comes to weapons.
    How many more children have to die before people realize that guns kill?
    The NRA, the GOP and gun lovers use an outdated amendment for their rights as gun owners.
    In fact, the Second Amendment was written in the 1700s to protect colonists from other colonists, Indians and to form a militia in case the British invaded their farms or land.
    That is what gun owners use today as proof of their right to bear arms.
    Their arguments are silly and have no base.
    They claim guns save lives, but guns kill and kill.
    They claim you will be safe if you have a gun.
    BS.
    If someone pulls a gun on you, it won’t matter if you have one yourself.
    If guns are banned, yes, criminals will still have guns.
    However, the number of guns will thin out over time as they will not be available.
    Gun laws and background checks are not making us safer.
    What will the new laws about clips do?
    Nothing.
    The only answer is to ban guns that kill.
    The NRA has no answer to the problems in society concerning gun use.
    They never will.
    More and more people are fed up with it all.
    People have a right to be free from gun violence and that right far outweighs any right to bear arms.
    Mark my words.
    It is only a matter of time before guns that kill are banned.

    George Vreeland Hill

    • Reltney McFee Says:

      “However, the number of guns will thin out over time as they will not be available.”
      Mr. Hill: How’s that working out in Mexico?
      “The NRA has no answer to the problems in society concerning gun use.
      They never will.”
      I suppose that means that there has NOT been a 50 % decrease in firearm deaths (1993-2013), right? (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/gun-deaths-u-dropped-nearly-50-percent-over-211424998.html) or see (http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/07/gun-homicide-rate-down-49-since-1993-peak-public-unaware/)

      And, with regard to your argument:
      “The NRA, the GOP and gun lovers use an outdated amendment for their rights as gun owners.
      In fact, the Second Amendment was written in the 1700s to protect colonists from other colonists, Indians and to form a militia in case the British invaded their farms or land.
      That is what gun owners use today as proof of their right to bear arms.
      Their arguments are silly and have no base.”

      ….let us contemplate where this logic will lead us. How about, with regard to the house-to-house search that followed the Boston Marathon bombings, “The ACCLU and liberals are using an outdated amendment for their “rights” to be free from un-warranted searches. In fact, the Fourth Amendment was written in the 1700s to protect colonists from british troops, rogue government or over zealous prosecutors in case they simply arrived at your door, armed and in force, and demanded to be allowed to rifle through your property and effects, in search of God-knows- what. That is what civil libertarians use today as proof of their right to be secure against un-warranted searches. Their arguments are silly and have no base”

      So, Mr Hill, where will your social engineering take you next? Good luck with that.

    • “Pistols, assault weapons and other guns that kill have no business being in people’s hands.”

      I have to give you credit. At least you aren’t pretending that you just want to go after certain guns, you are straight out saying they should all go. I have to ask, what is an “assault weapon”?

      “Society is out of control when it comes to weapons.”

      Yet violent crime in general and gun murder in particular are at or near all time lows. More guns in circulation than ever before, concealed carry made legal in the vast majority of the country and during the same period, gun crime plummeted.

      “How many more children have to die before people realize that guns kill?”

      When you have to resort to the “what about the children” argument, you’ve all but conceded that you don’t have a rational point.

      “They claim guns save lives, but guns kill and kill.”

      Well yes, they kill. Sometimes they kill innocent people and sometimes they kill criminals. The vast vast majority of the time, they kill no one. But it is not debatable that they sometimes save lives, it happens every day. Often without harm or even a shot being fired.

      “They claim you will be safe if you have a gun.”

      I don’t even like the NRA, but that’s not what they say. Guns are tools. In terms of self defense, they represent a possible means of protecting yourself in the very unlikely event that you feel your life is threatened. They aren’t a force field, no one that carries thinks they are invincible.

      “If someone pulls a gun on you, it won’t matter if you have one yourself.”

      You are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts. I can link you to many stories of people who successfully defended themselves after having a gun pointed at them. Documented on regular old news sites.

      “If guns are banned, yes, criminals will still have guns.
      However, the number of guns will thin out over time as they will not be available.”

      Do you honestly think an all out ban is possible in any way (politically, logistically, legally)?

      “Gun laws and background checks are not making us safer.
      What will the new laws about clips do? Nothing.”

      Hey, we agree on something!

      “People have a right to be free from gun violence and that right far outweighs any right to bear arms.”

      My right to protect myself and my loved ones is a right, one that I will not give up so irrational people can feel safer.

      “It is only a matter of time before guns that kill are banned.”

      Would you like to put a time scale on that bet? Because the trend in most of the country is loosening gun laws, not making them stricter. Even in the face of one of the most horrible mass killings ever, outside of two states, the gun control movement has failed miserably to enact any meaningful legislation. That’s because the passion on this issue is weighed heavily against them. There was a gun control rally recently in California that drew a grand total of three people. This isn’t uncommon.

    • Gregg Sheehan Says:

      “Society is out of control when it comes to weapons”

      Did you miss the bit where it was discussed that weapons deaths are far outweighed by motor vehicle deaths. Why aren’t you prioritizing getting rid of private ownership of cars?

      When it comes to defending yourself against violence what are you going to do? Surely you realize that a weaker person needs some sort of edge against a stronger more violent type? In my country citizens are not allowed to carry firearms to protect themselves. Even the cops don’t carry them. However with other social issues rampant, there are more and more people turning to crime to solve their woes. Police here are thinking of arming themselves. Why shouldn’t normal citizens be afforded the same ability?

      You are suggesting that if you ban private citizens from having firearms then firearms will dry up? Perhaps bad people will dry up as well. Perhaps governments will become free of corruption. Perhaps, but not likely…

    • Colsrob Says:

      “In fact, the Second Amendment was written in the 1700s …”

      You are correct. To that, I have a question for you: What “rights” that you like were not written in the 1700’s?

      Are you okay with an assault on the 1st? 4th? Any other antiquated “right” that is supposed to be protected by the Constitution?

      Yes, that’s right. We are not GIVEN the right to bear arms, we are born with that right. The Constitution and BoR just outline the protections to the rights that we have naturally.

      If you truly believe the garbage that you wrote, you are a sad, sad person. You do not deserve ANY of the natural rights afforded you and protected by the Constitution. Yet, I would fight for YOUR rights. Even though you could give a damn about mine. I am no hypocrite.

  88. Post my G_____n comment you pussy! You talk about the 2nd Amendment and miss its fundamental purpose entirely. “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” Thomas Jefferson.

  89. Calm down dude. You’re sounding a little unbalanced there. The software for this blog makes it so first time posters have to be approved by the moderator and sometimes they can’t get to it immediately.

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