Tag Archives: control

Anti-Gun Control Argument Translator

After engaging with gun rights folks online for the past week, in light of the horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th, I have come to the conclusion that the most commonly heard arguments against tighter gun control laws basically boil down to a singular sentiment:

“I Don’t Want To Give Up My AR-15.”

That’s what it comes down to:  “My rights to my shooting hobby and owning a military-style semi-automatic rifle outweigh other Americans’ rights to having a decent expectation of safety in public spaces such as schools, movie theaters, and churches.”  No matter how many shootings happen, or how deadly they become.  No matter if it’s children or high schoolers getting slaughtered.  Too bad.  I want my lethal toys.

Well, to this blatant selfishness on the part of gun advocates, I say “too bad.”  Too fucking bad.  AR-15’s and similar rifles have no place in a civilized society, other than in the hands of the military and police.  I don’t care what you think the 2nd Amendment entitles you to, because you’re wrong.  There is no sound argument against having sensible restrictions on these killing machines.  And rational Americans who place more value in the lives of our children than semi-automatic rifles will keep fighting until changes are made.

 

A Simple Question For Gun Rights Advocates

Since the horrific shooting at a Florida high school last week, I have been engaged in many online debates concerning gun control.  One of the most typical responses against the concept of increased gun restrictions are that gun control won’t work, and usually involve comparisons to the failed War On Drugs.  Gun rights advocates say that criminals and “bad guys” will still be able to get their hands on guns, and the only thing gun control will accomplish is disarming the “good guys.”

So, I have a question to ask.  Why don’t we see more fully automatic machine guns (“assault rifles”) at very many of these mass shooting scenes?  In fact, why are these types of weapons, which were banned for civilians in 1986, and which have been heavily regulated federally since 1934, so seldom actually used in crimes in general?

I have yet to receive an answer.  I guess I’ll keep asking…

 

Here’s Why The “Slippery Slope” Anti-Gun Control Argument Doesn’t Work

If you have engaged in the often highly heated discussion on gun control in the United States, chances are that you have heard the “slippery slope” argument, which is used by pro-gun (or anti-gun control) people. Basically, this argument means that there really can be no “in-between” gun regulations or limits imposed without violating the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. I disagree with this argument, and believe that we can and should have tougher gun restrictions without violating the Constitutional right to bear arms.

If you can imagine standing on a ledge, and that ledge represents the absolute right to bear arms, and below you there is the other extreme, which is having no right to bear any arms. The slippery-slope argument postulates that as soon as you start moving from the top level, or right to bear arms, to the lower level via gun restrictions or increased regulation, you will begin sliding down the slope and end up at the lower level, in which all guns are banned.

This argument doesn’t work for a few reasons. One reason is that there are current examples of other Constitutional rights being limited without an overall, absolute threat to the right in question. For example, the right of free speech. There are limits to this right. A person cannot expect to yell “fire!” in a crowded movie theater, for instance, without repercussions. Inciting a riot is also something that can get a person into a lot of trouble. Yet, we still have this fundamental right to free speech in America. In most circumstances, a person can say pretty much whatever they want without fear of being put in jail or worse.

Another reason the slippery slope argument doesn’t work is that, frankly, if it were true, it would already be happening. There are already regulations and limits pertaining to what kinds of weapons a person can own. A person doesn’t have the right to make nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction, for instance. Why not? It’s an “arm” to bear, isn’t it? The logic behind it is that such weapons are likely to cause great harm to other people than those that are being protected by them. While fully automatic AK-47’s and Uzi’s are in fact legal in some states, you need to jump through a lot of hoops and pay the appropriate fees to own one. So there are already examples of us having tougher regulations with certain specific kinds of assault rifles, without the overall right to bear arms being violated.

Instead of thinking of it as a slippery slope between the untouched right to bear arms and the other extreme of all guns being banned, it is better to think of it as a staircase. Meaning, you can go down a few levels without sliding all the way to the lower extreme. With the concept of a staircase, we can impose certain regulations and restrict certain specific weapons without endangering the overall right to own guns and defend your life and property.

So, the next time you are in a gun control argument and you hear someone say it’s a “slippery slope,” tell ’em “Not true! We can build a staircase!”

Photo credit – www.freedigitalphotos.net – vectorolie