A Nice Little Hit-Peice of Half-Truths

Man this piece is just begging for a fisking. Also note I found a great rebuttal piece in the comments, go read that one first, as I’ll be referring to some of their points and sources here.

1. More guns mean fewer deaths.

False. There is a strong correlation between high levels of gun ownership and high firearm homicide rates. The American Journal of Public Health reports that despite not finding a causation, they did find that “states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.”

Well first up we have a big issue. They correctly state the pro-gun point, but then completely blow the metrics. You see they only focus on “Gun Death”, rather than death. Again my reason for owning guns and wanting others to own guns is NOT so I can avoid getting shot, it’s so I can avoid being harmed in ANY WAY. Still the numbers they cite are messy, but there’s another big problem: It includes suicides. So yeah, if you want to kill yourself, and you have a gun lying around, I’m sure you’ll weigh that option, and statistically speaking (tho it doesn’t add up the same from males to females) you have a 50/50 chance of picking the gun over some other method. Still talking suicide in a gun control article seems to claim that if people don’t have guns, they simply will run out of ideas. If that was true we wouldn’t be right in the middle of suicide rates of nations. Seems those other nationals seem to find ways to punch their tickets without the aid of a gun.

A vague relationship like the one pictured can be relevant if your methods are good, but add bad methods really draws a lot of doubt.

2. Nobody supports gun control.

False. Seventy-eight percent of Americans are in favor of stronger firearms controls, including more thorough background checks and psychological screening of potential customers. Unfortunately, gun lobbyists have monumental funds at their disposal for preventing gun regulations from being passed, or from even getting on the agenda.

Well good, now that Michael Bloomberg is dumping his wad into his various PACs we’ll soon see all this support! Lobby money does help a cause a LOT, but lobby dollars don’t vote, and one lobby with fist-fulls of cash simply doesn’t help a representative who’s phone is ringing off the hook from their constituents. Just ask the two state Senators from Colorado who were recalled this year.

Again when an anti-gun person says a huge majority supports XYZ law, I simply push my chips into the middle and call Bravo Sierra.

3. The Second Amendment prevents us from having strict gun control.

False. The 2008 Supreme Court ruling District of Columbia v. Heller determined that gun ownership bans were unconstitutional, but it also found that the state and federal governments have a lot of flexibility in how they regulate firearm ownership. This means that issues like banning guns in public places, for example, can be part of gun control laws without conflicting with the Second Amendment.

Speculation. Heller and McDonald covered the right to KEEP arms. The court cases on BEARING arms are coming up the pike as I type. What Heller and McDonald said was that it was unconstitutional for the government to mandate that guns be rendered inoperable, and that firearms “in common use” cannot be banned. Most anti-gun people want to ban magazines of a certain size, and guns with certain cosmetic features. This is indeed illegal. I would say banning guns in public places will also be considered part of the right to bear arms, but we’ll have to wait on that.

. There is no link between stricter gun control and less violence.

False. Economist Richard Florida disproved this theory by finding a strong link between harsh regulations and fewer deaths. Florida said, “[The map] highlights states which have one of three gun control restrictions in place — assault weapons bans, trigger locks or safe storage requirements. Firearm deaths are significantly lower in states with stricter gun control legislation. Though the sample sizes are small, we find substantial negative correlations between firearm deaths and states that ban assault weapons (-.45), require trigger locks (-.42) and mandate safe storage requirements for guns (-.48).”

Here’s another metric twist. They talk about “Less Violence”, yet again include suicide, and only talk “Gun Death”. The study cited isn’t very clear, and their interpretation of it is overly generous. Sorry, that’s not much of an argument.

5. If more people have guns, there will be fewer mass shootings.

False. Gun ownership in the U.S. may be on the rise, but most of the deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. have occurred since 2007. That includes the Virgina Tech incident, which resulted in the deaths of 32 bystanders plus the perpetrator; the Aurora shooting, where 12 people were killed and 70 more were injured; and the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, which ended with 26 adults and children killed.

First up to state that there is even a rate to mass shootings is pretty disengenuous. Have a look at this graph by Reason Magazine, really each event is an outlier in itself, further the deaths caused by so-called “Mass Shootings” are just a drop in the bucket. If we ONLY had deaths by Mass Shootings we’d be the safest nation in the world. Also they seem to ignore that the vast majority of these shootings guns were banned or heavily restricted! Look at the Fed-Ex shooting in Georgia. The vast majority of the people killed, injured, or effected by this shooting OWNED A GUN, only guns were banned in that facility so none of them had it with them at the time. The argument he’s making is that guns aren’t a magic talisman. Have a .22 pistol locked up in your gun safe does NOT make you safer. Duhh!

6. Carrying a gun makes you safe.

False. In a study published by the American Journal of Public Health, the researchers found that individuals in possession of a gun are more likely to get shot than individuals who don’t possess guns. The study concluded, “[A]lthough successful defensive gun uses occur each year, the probability of success may be low for civilian gun users in urban areas. Such users should reconsider their possession of guns or, at least, understand that regular possession necessitates careful safety countermeasures.”

Citation is the Branas study. It was a terrible study. #1 the sample size was miniscule, #2. While the study did openly show that many of the sampled people were not LAWFUL citizens, it didn’t use that information in calculating it’s conclusion. To say that a lawful citizen such as myself who has a carry permit and does his best to obey the law is more at risk of being killed because drug dealers and gang enforcers in the city of Philadelphia also carry guns and often meet an untimely end. Also this is yet another anti-gun study that does it’s dirty work by conflating lawful citizens with career criminals engaged in shady business.

7. Israel and Switzerland have high gun ownership, yet low gun violence. And the U.S. should model themselves after these countries.

False. Gun advocates point to Israel and Switzerland as proof that fewer mass shootings are the result of allowing guns and encouraging armed civilians to intercept shooters.

Except there have been a number of terrorist shootings in Israel that have been stopped by citizens carrying guns. Of course due to Israel’s mandatory service policy most of the defenders were indeed active or ex-military, it doesn’t change that they were NOT acting as members of the military or police when they engaged the threat. Israel has since made the rules more strict, but the terrorists have also moved to using more bombs and military actions rather than what we consider spree shooters.

I will agree that Switzerland is really nothing like the United States at all in terms of how the people keep and bear arms. Still it’s not like they can say “guns cause crime” or “More guns mean more death” in that nation.

There is no doubt that the gun debate is being spotlighted in the public arena right now. But with all these data and hard-hitting facts at our disposal, we have to wonder why the government is still sitting on its hands instead of supporting change.

Maybe because your article is a crappy propaganda piece.

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6 Responses to A Nice Little Hit-Peice of Half-Truths

  1. Pingback: Quote of the Day | The Arizona Rifleman

  2. McThag says:

    You can’t use Switzerland or Israel as an example of good gun ownership.

    They allow the open carry of long arms.

    Open carry of long arms is WRONG. 100% WRONG. Should never be allowed.

    Or am I reading the frothing rage about Open Carry Texas wrong?

    • Weerd Beard says:


      Still to be fair all the Swiss and Israeli Rifle OC the guns are unloaded, and you never see the people posing for photos with a firing grip on the rifle.

      Overall I’m pro-OC, and honestly I haven’t felt the need to blog about the whole debacle….and really to call it a “debacle” is silly.

      That being said, Tam does have a point about “open carrying AT people”

      And even that it’s the like 5 guys out of HUNDREDS who are rallying, out of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, looking to get the stupid Texas ban on OC.

    • Geodkyt says:

      Yes, you are reading the “frothing rage” wrong.

      The rage is at a group that was continuing to use failed and counterproductive tactics, and as a result repeatedly providing ammunition to our political opponants to get rights further curtailed.

      • McThag says:

        Weer’d got the joke.

        And “see they hate it too” is more ammo than any OC demonstration could ever generate.

        Just like in 93-94 when the hunters didn’t see the need for semi-autos or handguns smaller than breadboxes.

  3. TS says:

    Small point of correction. In number 1, his answer to “deaths” was to cite “gun homicides” which doesn’t include suicide by gun as “gun deaths” do. However these people seem easily confused, and may have included suicide in a figure that shouldn’t include it. He probably even got the gun meme wrong, as I doubt a gun advocate was trying to link gun ownership to heart disease (being the #1 cause of death). It was probably “murder”, not “death”.

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