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Reasoned Discourse

Got in a debate on Facebook with a couple of anti gunners today. It began with this post:

anti 1: According to the Center for Disease Control(CDC)
In the year 2007
Homicide with a firearm: 12,129 (33 a day)
Suicide with a firearm: 17,348 (47.5 a day)
Death by accidental discharge of firearm: 721 (just over 2 a day)

I reply: 

Suicide: Guns are nearly unheard of in Japan, yet Japan’s suicide rate is 23.8, versus the US rate of 11.8.
Homicide: This stat does not separate out lawful from unlawful
homicide. Even so, there are an estimated 250 million firearms in the
US, and even assuming that every firearm related homicide is caused by a
unique actor, only one out of every 25,000 firearms is used to commit a
homicide.
721 accidental firearm deaths means that pools, falling
trees, and plastic buckets all have a higher accidental fatality rate
than do firearms.
Each of the above firearm death statistics have
one thing in common: people who misuse inanimate objects. It isn’t the
firearm, it is the person misusing it.
Anti 1: 
 Since we are talking about
Japan, they have a population of roughly 130 million (or slightly less
than half of ours) but had only 1000 murders in 2010 or less than a
tenth of our murder rate. Why is our gun
murder rate so much higher? Are Americans just 12 times more evil than
the Japanese? Or is that the fact that it so much easier to get a gun
here that the murder rate is so much higher? How about the United
Kingdom? Population 63 million. The number of murders there in 2010?
619. What do the UK and Japan have in common? It is much harder for
people (including the psychopathic ones) to get guns.
 Anti 2:
I guess you guys didn’t see the three different shootings that happened in Seattle today…
Me:

The
way that the statistics are compiled is one reason. In England, a death
does not count as a homicide for statistical purposes until a person is
actually convicted of the crime. Also, in Japan, if you look, our non
gun murder rate is also higher. That is
mostly because of a cultural difference. If you look at Switzerland,
where every person is issued a machine gun with ammo to keep in their
home, they have a murder rate that is almost nonexistent. To me, there
are too many cultural and societal variables to compare one country to
another for determining the effect of gun control on crime. A more
useful comparison is either areas within the same culture with firearm
law differences, or a country’s crime rates before and after firearm
laws.


 Anti 2:
Guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people, with guns.
Me:  
and people without guns kill people, without guns. Is this reasoned discourse, or an exchange of one line cliches?

Since
virtually all gun ownership was banned in England and Wales in 1997,
the murder rate has risen at a rapid rate, and has more than doubled
since gun controls were put in place. Considering the differences in
reporting methods, the rates are not
directly comparable between the UK and the US, but consider this: The US
murder rate has been falling since 1997, and the UK rate climbing, so
that the US rate, which was ten times higher than the UK rate in 1997,
is now only three times higher. This, despite the fact that the ‘assault
weapons ban’ expired in 2004, and that 49 of 50 states now allow
concealed weapons. The loosening of gun restrictions in the US has
actually accompanied a reduction in both violent crime, and homicide,
while increasing gun and knife controls has seen surging crime in the
UK.




Anti 2: You’re right, a person could
kill another person however they’d want but it’s easier with a gun.
People are more inclined to do something if it’s easier.



Me: 
 

there
is a flip side to that: Predators prefer defenseless prey. This is true
with humans, as much as with animals. A firearm is what allows a gay
man to stop a group of 6 homophobes from beating him senseless, a 100
pound woman from being raped by a 250
pound male, or an old woman in a wheelchair from being robbed by an 18
year old thug. but rather than address my facts, you would prefer to
engage in one liners and worn out cliches. No logic to your argument,
just emotional appeals.
Anti 2:
You’re being a dick
in your conversation, consider me out. Have fun with your toy and wipe
the saliva off your chin after you pull the trigger. Have a nice day.
They have nothing but personal attacks and worn out one liners. This is why we win.
 

2 replies on “Reasoned Discourse”

Well done.

I'm always tempted, when questions like that come up, to point out that murder isn't the real problem: Democide is about 10-20 times more common than murder (depending upon whose numbers you accept, whether you count starvation due to economic malfeasance, &c.

One's fellow citizens aren't the biggest threat to one's live and liberty. Governments are.

I knew I didn't have to say a thing – that you would know exactly what to say and the the figures that I don't.

: )

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