It’s Time To Stop ‘Thinking’ About Gun Control

Gun Control in the mainstream mediaIt’s time to stop thinking. About what might happen with or without new gun control measures.

The 24 hours news digital sphincter spasm continues to slather us all with lots and lots of thoughtless thinking and careless conjecture. Think what might happen if… I think… Most Americans think… I think I’ll have another beer… What is the NRA thinking… The United Nations thinks… I think Dancing with the Stars is on tonight… Most of our representatives in Washington think… No wait, I think we ought to scratch that last one. Most of our representatives do not think much past the next “So You Think You Can Smile!” audition.

Why are we still thinking about things?

I think there’s no place for guns in schools!

  • We know that Utah allows guns in schools.
  • We know that Utah is still waiting on its first mass school shooting.
  • We know that over 200 colleges and universities already allow lawful concealed carry on campus.
  • We know that none of those institutions have suffered catastrophic attacks like the ones in Newtown, Columbine, or Virginia Tech.
  • We know that all mass shooting incidents in the past 50 years, except one, have happened in areas where guns are not allowed.

I think it’s a bad idea to arm teachers!

  • We know we don’t want to force all teachers to be armed. We simply want those who choose to defend themselves and their students not to lose that fundamental right when they enter school property.
  • We know that Israel has had some percentage of armed teachers since 1974.
  • We know that most Israeli schools have armed security.
  • We know that is has kept their students safer in perhaps one of the most dangerous neighborhoods on planet earth.
  • We know that attacks on Israeli schools have been attempted by trained terrorists, not cowards that almost always end their own life as soon as they are challenged.
  • We know that challenging these cowards immediately almost always stops them immediately.

I think we shouldn’t have to live in a world where people have to have guns.

  • We know that we do in fact live in a world like that.
  • We know that there are sick and evil people out there.
  • We know because we hear about them on the news every single day.
  • We know they continue to do evil things regardless of laws.
  • We know that the very definition of “criminal” is one who breaks laws.
  • We know that burying our heads in the sand and hoping things will be better because they should be will not save one single life.

I think that some sort of gun ban is a good idea.

  • We know the last one didn’t lower crime at all.
  • We know that crime didn’t increase when it expired.
  • We know that there is not one example of gun control policy lowering violent crime.
  • We know that the most recent countries to implement drastic gun control have suffered serious increases in violent crime.
  • We know that women are 2 times more likely to be raped in the UK than in the US.
  • We know that women in Australia are 3 times more likely to be raped than women in the US.
  • We know that total murders in the UK have increased since the gun ban took effect in January 1997.
  • We know that in only 1 year have there been fewer murders in the UK after the handgun ban than before the handgun ban.
  • We know that the UK has a violent crime rate 3.5 times greater than that of the US.
  • We know that folks in the UK are having serious discussion about banning kitchen knives because the guns bans have not reduced crime.
  • We know that banning kitchen knives will make English food even worse.
  • We know that one definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again, but hoping for a different result.

I think magazines ought to be limited to 5 rounds.

  • We know that law enforcement officers, military personnel, and citizen survivors of gunfights have found that hyped-up bad guys don’t necessarily feel compelled to stop doing what they’re doing after 5 shots have been fired towards them.
  • We know bad guys doing bad things don’t travel alone.
  • We know more and more bad guys are wearing body armor to protect themselves against unarmed or lightly armed victims.
  • I know that if my home is invaded in the middle of the night that I will want a 2,530,371 round magazine handy. And a couple of spares.
  • We know that our soldiers have complained that actual Assault Rifles don’t have enough power to reliably stop enemy combatants.
  • We know that limiting magazines to some arbitrary capacity based on perceived need is about the stupidest suggestion ever.

I think we need to address gun violence!

  • We know we need to address violence. Not gun violence. Violence.
  • We know we are not somehow better off or morally superior if we are killed with a knife, bat, or fist as compared to a gun.
  • We know we are equally dead no matter what the cause.
  • We know that the term “gun violence” is a deliberate attempt to misrepresent and mislead from the very real, and hard to solve, issues of societal evil.
  • We know that violence is a difficult thing to solve so people tend to want to take shortcuts in order to consider things “fixed.”

I think you’re crazy if you think more guns is the answer to violence!

  • We know that record numbers of Americans are buying guns for protection.
  • We know that there are almost 300 million guns in the United States.
  • We know that violent crime, measured by the FBI as incidents per 100,000 people, has fallen 50% in the past 20 years.
  • We know that murder, measured by the FBI as incidents per 100,000 people, has fallen 54% over the past 20 years.
  • We know that these massive and steady decreases in crime have happened while more and more Americans are buying guns.
  • We know that simply blaming guns is deliberate shirking from the harder problem of addressing the real causes of crime.

I don’t think anyone needs a high-powered Assault Weapon!

  • We know that there is no such thing as an assault weapon.
  • We know that if you ask an “assault weapon ban” proponent what an “assault weapon” is, that they will not be able to tell you.
  • We know, again according to the FBI, that many times more murders are committed with simple beatings than rifles of any kind.
  • We know that banning mythical “assault weapons” will not stop murders by beating.
  • We know that banning mythical “assault weapons” will not save lives. The largest mass murders ever had nothing to do with mythical “assault weapons.” People do bad things with or without mythical “assault weapons.”

I think armed citizens are going to act like vigilantes and cause even more harm!

  • We know that lawfully armed citizens are among the most law-abiding groups of people measurable.
  • We know that the crime rate for concealed carry permit holders is 14 times less than that of the general population.
  • We know that lawfully armed citizens are 5 times less likely to commit a violent crime than the average citizen.

I think I have an irrational fear of guns and want a simple and immediate fix to the problems of violence.

  • We know. We want to continue to reduce violence also.
  • We know there is no simple fix.
  • We know that we don’t fear guns. They’re just tools that protect someone from crime and/or violence between 1 and 2.5 million times per year – just in the US.
  • We know that we kind of like the direction of the crime trend over the past 20 years and want to continue that. We just want to be smart about how we do it.

It’s time to stop thinking about what might happen.

It’s time to know what does happen. 

P.S. I know I’m going to vomit if I hear one more talking head tell me what they think without considering what we already know.


  1. millieT says

    We also know that gun violence increases in countries with the number of guns. Given the overly simplistic assumptions in this blog post and logical fallacies, I’ll explain: simply showing that two items are happening at the same time does not prove causation. Correlation is not causation. When, however, you have an actual body of data where you can compare rates for a variable and control for other factors, you can start making causation arguments. The fact that Utah schools allow for firearms may or may not be causally connected to gun violence. The truth is Utah experiences little violent crime in general. But without a body of data on what other school districts are doing, we can’t logically make causation arguments. The truth is – statistically – countries with more guns have more gun violence. The truth is that causal connection can be made between number of guns and violence. And statistically households with guns are more likely to experience an accidental gun death or suicide than killing a bad guy. People who own guns always think they’re smart until their four year old accidentally shoots and kills their two year old. If you want your children to kill themselves – fine – have guns in your home. Your family. Your life. Your grief. But keep your guns out of my public sphere where its more likely a bad guy will steal your gun and kill my kids with it than you will kill a bad guy and fulfill your fantasy of being a cowboy vigilante.

    • says

      Thanks for your comments Millie – I guess it’s not a huge surprise that I have to respectfully disagree with you on most of your comments.

      I fully understand the difference between causation and correlation (Economics major back in the day) and you are right. Big complex issues are difficult to assign simple causation. But we can’t ignore correlation, especially with large amounts of data over decades.

      However, you cannot ignore (whether correlation or causation) the inverse trends of dramatically falling crime in the US at the same time as rapidly increasing gun ownership. More importantly, in face of that data, you can’t claim that more guns cause more crime. Crime is falling, gun ownership is increasing. There is simply no data at all to support the position the position that more guns lead to more crime. These are not opinions or beliefs, they are simple observations.

      What I do see in your response is that mystical “gun crime” label. I have to assume when I hear stats about “gun crime” that being a victim of a gun crime is not OK, but being a victim of a non-gun crime is somehow not counted. In a perfect world, let’s make all guns disappear. So maybe “gun crime” murders fall by 10. But “knife crime” murders increase by 20. What have we accomplished? Someone can claim that “gun crime” is down while ignoring that now 20 people are dead instead of 10. Huh?

      That’s a silly analogy, but it actually happens over and over and over. In every single place where guns have been banned to reduce murders and violent crimes, both murders and violent crimes have gone UP. And while my example assumes that maybe gun murders will go down, that has not actually happened either. In every place that has banned guns, both “gun” murders and violent crimes and “other” murders and violent crimes ALL go up.

      In the last part your comments, I have to assume you are referring to either the Cleveland or Kellerman studies that “show” guns in homes are more dangerous to owners than criminals right? If so, you have unfortunately become victim to a lie that won’t stop. Both of these studies have been thoroughly debunked over and over and over. You assertions that its more likely a bad guy will steal my gun and hurt someone has no empirical basis whatsoever. None.

      We simply can’t ignore mega trends that we have been observing for decades. Places that have tried gun bans have skyrocketing murder and violent crime rates. Double and triple forcible rape rates in the UK and Australia? Ours in the US are plummeting downward. 50% reductions in murder and violent crime over the past 20 years while violent crime increases across the pond every year? How can you ignore that?

      Thanks again for your comments!

    • millieT-ardUare. says

      Statistically – Countries with more guns have more gun violence? Like to see these statistics. US, Serbia (#2), Yemen (#3), and Switzerland (#4), (highest civilian gun-percapita) all show lower “gun violence” than Mexico, El Salvador, and Colombia who by the way have FULL gun bans for civilians. Choose your own stats, you can’t pick and choose the information to make yourself look good, we’re smarter than that. You can’t say that guns kill more family/friends than criminals because a crime thats stopped before it happens with a firearm ISN’T a crime, and thus not documented. You sir are the root of stupidity for believing that guns lead to more violence. Since when have you heard of a shoot-out at a gun show? Never. And this isn’t YOUR public Mr, this is the US where we HAVE A RIGHT – God given, to keep and bear arms as protected by the Constitution. If you want gun-free than GTFO of the US.

    • Jim says

      I would like to agree with you about stating that a high correlation in its own is not proof. And yes, there very well could be other factors to take into consideration. As example, if there is a very high correlation between amount of food ingested and reported hunger, this does not prove that ingestion of food will reduce hunger, but someone would be purposely ignoring the likely predominant factor if they dont at least consider that ingestion of food is actually reducing hunger. So when you are looking at a mountain of information that shows very high correlation, it must at least be considered. As for the argument that increased rates of firearms in the home increase the rate of accidental shootings, well no argument here (this is also ignoring that you are forming a proof there with your argument which is actually simply a high correlation). But yes, this is like saying that you have a higher risk of burning dinner if you cook dinner. Another example is saying that you are more likely to be in an automobile accident if you travel by automobile. The next point of higher risk of suicide. I have not seen the data on this, but I would not be surprised if this were also true. But the other side of that same point is that (coming from someone who has worked with many people who have reported suicide ideation) people who are seriously contemplating suicide have thought of multiple ways of committing suicide. So removing any one of these methods just means that many would simple go with plan b (at least in many cases. There are always exceptions and sometimes suicide is a impulsive action). But if you are trying to utilize this as an excuse for legislation, you would also have to work on legislation that anyone on prescription drugs would need to get single does when needed from the pharmacy for fear of overdose.

    • pwallace says

      You sure like big words like causation. And I sense by your tone that you assume you are smarter than us yokels that own them bad guns you are scared of.

  2. William Starnes says

    It seems to me that the real problem is not the guns but that people are committing murder with guns. Perhaps we should just outlaw murder. Wouldn’t that solve the problem?

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