Some extremely dumb arguments against gun controlBaltimore Post-Examiner

Some extremely bad arguments against gun control

I’m always fascinated by the sheer diversity of arguments against gun control that always roll out after one of our periodic mass shootings. Some of them are strong, and some of them have become so sophisticated that we can only expect researchers and various law enforcement authorities to have an informed perspective on them. Some, on the other hand, are just catastrophically stupid, and it seems clear that they wouldn’t survive public scrutiny for very long if opponents of gun control were willing to reign in some of their more dishonest and extremist allies.

As an example of a good argument against gun control, consider the inalienability doctrine: that gun use and ownership are rights that cannot be abridged because of their moral or religious sanctity. As conservative writer Awr Hawkins puts it, “We don’t have the right to keep and bear arms because the Bill of Rights says so; rather, the Bill of Rights says so because the right to keep and bear arms is intrinsic to our very being: it is a right with which we were endowed by our Creator.”

This isn’t a position that I happen to agree with, and if Hawkins wants to insist that it’s endorsed by the Bible he has a steep hill to climb. But if all he means is that he has a moral code in which gun use is by definition good, and gun control by definition bad — how can you argue with this? It’s a foundational moral claim, and you either agree or disagree.

Gun control can work sometimes

Notably, most gun control opponents don’t actually seem to agree — or at least, they don’t think the inalienability doctrine can stand on its own, particularly in the face of mounting casualties. That’s why, in addition to claims about inalienability, they also claim that gun control laws are ineffective, and that relaxed gun laws contribute to public safety. This is where the stupid arguments typically come in.

Take for example today’s article on this site by Bryan Renbaum, who argues that “the Shooting in Charleston would not have been prevented with extra gun control measures.”

On the merits, this is a pretty extraordinary claim! Suppose for example that we licensed gun possession and rescinded licenses for people with pending felony convictions. This might have made it more difficult for him to find someone willing to sell him a gun or give one to him, and he might have found the effort so onerous that he simply gave up.

Renbaum counters this by supposing that “the determined 21 year-old racist would have found some way to obtain a firearm” — but why should we assume this? People give up on things all the time. It’s entirely possible that Roof’s determination, however formidable, was not actually indomitable. We’ll probably be able to confirm this in the coming months. If the government is able to keep Roof imprisoned in the coming months, this would seem to suggest that his willpower may have limits. In that case, we’ll have to return to the actual debate: do the pros of licensure, which may occasionally be effective, ultimately outweigh the cons?

Concealed carry might not save the day

Or consider the argument that NRA Board member Charles Cotton made about the Rev. Clementa Pickney, pastor of the Charleston church:

…he voted against concealed-carry. Eight of his church members … might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead.

This is both true and hilariously trivial. Obviously, concealed carry might have saved the victims — that is, if we get to first stipulate that some hero 1) owned a gun, 2) wanted to carry it to church that night, 3) was okay with using it in self-defense and 4) was a competent shooter in a gunfight. But we can’t just assume any of this, and certainly not all of it! Concealed carry advocates have to make their case in a world where, sometimes, 1, 2, 3, and 4 don’t all hold.

That’s why Cotton’s argument is both monstrous and monstrously stupid. He misunderstands the debate, and at an extremely remedial level; he thinks that the case for relaxing gun laws is made simply by speculating that it “might” on occasion prove useful, while ignoring any potential adverse consequences. When we notice how flimsy this is, the question presents itself: is Cotton really so profoundly dumb, or his he just looking for an excuse to attack a man who was just horrifically murdered? I’d like to give Charles the benefit of a doubt here, but can’t figure out which conclusion is the generous one.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg — the arguments can even get more embarrassing, particularly when would-be militants start fantasizing about taking on the federal government. Personally, I’m pretty agnostic about the practical efficacy of gun control; the policy questions invariably turn on points of empirical fact that few people have informed opinions on. The waters are muddy, and the asinine, bad-faith and malicious rhetoric that gun control opponents routinely throw into the mix isn’t helping.

Photo courtesy Elvert Barnes / Flickr





About the author

Carl Beijer

Carl Beijer is a writer who focuses on the Left, linguistics, and international affairs. Contact the author.
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22 Comments

  1. Chris Todd says:

    Two arguments here, I was expecting a longer list but hey, saves me some time debunking this crap…

    1. Let’s take your example of if we licensed gun owners, the guy bought a gun at a gun shop after passing a background check, so he would’ve had the appropriate license anyway. So no, gun control does not work, ever, anywhere it has been attempted.

    2. Your four factors should be reduced to two, if 1 and 2 are true, 3 and 4 are also true. Anybody who carries a gun has already made the decision to use it if the need arises and when was the last time you heard of a concealed carrier missing and hitting a bystander? Cops only count if they were off-duty at the time as they don’t carry concealed while on-duty. I’m reminded of Nick Meli at the Clackamas Mall on December 11th 2012 who stopped a would-be mass shooting without firing a shot, I’m also reminded of the church shooting in 2012 that was stopped by a concealed carrier without firing a shot.

    Face it, gun control DOES NOT WORK.

    Reply
    • Carl Woodward says:

      1. A pending drug charge does not presently disqualify people from buying guns. That is why I explicitly proposed that we “rescinded licenses for people with pending felony convictions.” Your criticism only works if we ignore that crucial part of my proposal. LOL

      2. Your argument that my “four factors should be reduced to two” is dumb for reasons I’ll arrive at momentarily, but let’s suppose it’s legitimate. Even so, concealed carry advocates have to make their case in a world where points 1 and 2 are not always true. Reducing 4 assumptions to 2 does nothing to save Cotton from the underlying problem: he is still relying on assumptions that are not necessarily true.

      So even if we pretend your argument works on its own terms, it still fails to address the problem. That said, it doesn’t even work on its own terms. I am a gun owner who carries it various places for various reasons, that doesn’t mean, if the time came, that I would necessarily be willing to use it in self-defense. And yes, it is entirely possible for concealed carry holders to lose a gunfight.

      Thank you for demonstrating just how ridiculously indefensible those arguments really are.

      Reply
      • Chris Todd says:

        1. I know liberals like the idea of “guilty until proven innocent” but that isn’t the way we work here in reality. What you’re proposing is unconstitutional, and why is the guy out on the street if he has pending felony charges?

        2. Your first point is primarily true because we still allow gun free zones and blue states/cities. Out in flyover country or down south you’d be hard pressed to find somewhere that nobody is carrying a gun outside the cities. The market for guns right now is in concealed carry and just about every single gun manufacturer (that makes handguns at least) has SOMETHING designed to be carried concealed, why? Because the number of people carrying concealed firearms is skyrocketing. Sooner or later the day will come where the majority of people carry a gun wherever they go.

        I don’t believe you in regards to you either being a gun owner or carrying your alleged gun anywhere, but for the sake of argument I’ll pretend you are and do. That being the case, you are an utter fool. The decision to use your gun if the need arises needs to be made BEFORE you actually start carrying a gun, otherwise you’ve already put yourself at a disadvantage in a gun fight and significantly increase your chances of losing that gun fight.

        I only know of one concealed carrier who has lost a gunfight, every other time I hear of someone using a gun to defend themselves the bad guy either runs away or gets shot. A study in 2013 by the CDC also showed that those who use guns for self defense are less likely to be injured than people who use something else.

        Strike two, would you like to try again?

        Reply
        • Carl Woodward says:

          1. My claim is that my gun control proposals, if implemented, would prevent gun violence. I’m glad to see you’ve abandoned your initial criticism of this, because it was dumb. My proposal also happens to be perfectly constitutional, but that is beside the point. I set out to debunk your ridiculous theory that effective gun control is impossible, and I succeeded. The only question now is whether or not we will decide to implement it.

          2. Let’s look at the three times you accidentally concede the argument that you’re trying to criticize.

          Claiming “the day will come where the majority of people carry a gun” is an explicit concession that the majority of people do not carry guns yet, and that only a majority ever will. This proves that we cannot assume points 1 and 2.

          Claiming that I am a fool for carrying a gun without plans to use it concedes that I indeed have carried a gun without plans to use it, proving that we cannot assume point 3. There are obviously plenty of fools out there, and more to the point, there are plenty of people who may plan use their gun in self-defense but who will hesitate when the time comes. If your strongest objection to my point is that the people who prove my point are fools, you have not actually contested anything.

          Finally, admitting that you do “know of one concealed carrier who has lost a gunfight” — and that people who use guns for self defense are only “less likely” to be injured — are both admissions that we cannot simply assume point 4.

          We have a phrase for this kind of mistake in the sciences: “not even wrong”. You have repeatedly provided objections that, even if we accept them, do not actually contest my position; and in this case, you accidentally affirmed my position multiple times. This is a pretty clear indication that you don’t actually understand the argument at hand, and are simply flailing because you dislike it’s conclusion. It is probably time to consider the possibility that you are either too unintelligent or emotionally invested to contribute anything to this conversation. Regardless, I’m happy to keep crushing these flimsy attacks.

          Reply
          • Chris Todd says:

            1. Your claim is false, as I have demonstrated. No idea where you got the idea that I “abandoned criticism” of your craziness but it would hardly be the first time a liberal pulled something out of left field that makes no sense. As for consitutionallity, I highly recommend referencing the 5th Amendment’s due process clause, assumed innocent until proven guilty and all that.

            2. First, if you can point out to me where I denied that only a minority of people actually carry firearms then you can go on to tell me where I “accidently conceded”.

            Secondly, please re-read the second line of my third paragraph in my previous comment where I said “for the sake of argument I’ll pretend you are and do” this means I am speaking hypothetically, if I were not to entertain your claim of being a gun owner and carrying your gun there would have been nothing left to say. But since you bring it up all the people I know who carry regurally have already decided to use it should the need arise.

            The one concealed carrier I know of who lost the gun fight was killed by an accomplice whom he was unaware was a hostile, he was shot in the back before he could shoot at the one hostile he was aware of, his marksmanship was not the cause of his loss. Again I ask, point out a situation or two where a concealed carrier has missed and hit bystanders, you can’t, because it doesn’t happen. Many experienced police and military personnel have admitted that civilian firearms training has evolved far beyond what is taught by government entities. The drills civilians test themselves with are more advanced than even our special forces, so much so that high-ranking competitive shooters have been contracted by the military and various law enforcement agencies to train their special forces and SWAT teams.

            It’s clear you have a lot of trouble with reading comprehension, I have a friend who teaches 6th grade English if you’d like her contact information. Oh, and strike three, you’re out.

          • Carl Woodward says:

            1. Nope. My claim is that my proposed measures would, if adopted, have deterred Roof. You tried to claim that “he would’ve had the appropriate license anyway”. I debunked your objection, and you made no further effort to defend it. Instead you moved on to a new line of attack, alleging that my proposals are unconstitutional. This of course is completely irrelevant to my claim that the measures would work if implemented, and does nothing to establish your claim that “gun control does not work”.

            2. First point: you obviously did not deny that only a minority of people carry firearms. That is precisely the problem! For your criticism to work, you *need to* deny that only a minority of people carry firearms, and would in fact have to prove that everyone carries firearms. Unless you do that, you cannot simply assume conditions 1 and 2. That is what is so hilarious about this conversation: you do not even know what a successful argument would look like.

            Second point: yes, you introduced a hypothetical. And I demonstrated that it cannot even hypothetically contest my argument.

            Third point: concealed carry holders can lose gun fights. I am not arguing that with you – it is a stupid thing to have to debunk. Congratulations, your position is so self-evidently dumb that I’m fine with leaving it unrebutted. Just curious, what happens if two concealed carry holders get into a gun fight? Is it possible for one of them to lose?

          • Chris Todd says:

            1. You did no such debunking, simply saying “my idea would work” doesn’t debunk my claim of “no it won’t because he passed the background check anyway”. Your idea of licensing gun owners does nothing to change the fact that Roof passed the appropriate background check. It doesn’t matter if the background check is done a week, a month, three months or six months prior to the actual purchase and he got a laminated piece of plastic to prove it, or if he just passed the background check at the point of sale, he still passed the background check. Getting a laminated piece of plastic first, which under your proposal is the only change you’ve suggested making, would not have deterred him because there was nothing in his background that would have prevented him from getting it.

            2. Again I have a friend that teaches 6th grade English if you’d like her email… Do you even remember what your first 2 points were? 1. Owning a gun and 2. Carried it to church that day. Concerning point 3, if you’re unwilling to use a gun in self defense, why are you carrying one? On point 4, if you’re not proficient with it, why are you carrying it?

            Since we have both established that not everybody, or even most people, carry a gun, points 1 and 2 are valid, as I stated in my original comment. At no point in this conversation did I ever deny that points 1 and 2 were a factor, in fact I put heavy emphasis on them being a factor right off the bat.

            3. Again, you simply saying “that doesn’t contest my argument” doesn’t make it so.

            4. At no point did I deny that concealed carriers can lose gun fights, I simply pointed out that such a thing is rare and that we have a REALLY good track record on winning gun fights and having minimal collateral damage.

            You haven’t answered any of my questions nor provided any evidence to support any of your claims. All you’ve done is repeat “I’m right, you’re wrong” over and over without articulating anything. You make all kinds of jabs at my arguments but they ammount to nothing but noise as you haven’t disproven anything ive said. You claim that im making arguments that im not making, you probably believe the NRA has taken an official stance against smart guns being sold dont you? Arguing with you is like playing chess with a pigeon, doesn’t matter how good I am at chess, the pigeon is just going to knock over the pieces, poop on the board and strut around like it’s victorious.

          • Carl Woodward says:

            1. I proposed a second measure in addition to licensing. You are once again ignoring that measure. For elaboration on how it destroys your argument, feel free to consult my original response.

            2. Already addressed all of these complaints at length. They are ridiculous, not merely because I said so, but for reasons provided at length.

            For example, you said I would be “an utter fool” if I carried around a gun I did not intend to use. I pointed out that even if we accept this point, there are indeed plenty of fools out there. For that reason, we still cannot take condition 3 for granted. That is why calling me a fool does not contest my argument. Not simply because I said so, but by virtue of the fact that my position categorically allows for the possibility of fools.

            The rest of your post is dumb internet bluster that I stopped reading halfway through. hth

          • Chris Todd says:

            1. It doesn’t seem it can be said enough times, you’re proposing violating the 5th amendment which cannot and will not stand, thus the proposal is dead in the water.

            2. No, you did not provide any reasons, at least not any reasons that hold any water, unless you can provide an example of a concealed carrier losing a gunfight due to either poor marksmanship or hesitation all you’re doing is speculating. Thus far there have been no recorded instances that I am aware of that a concealed carrier hit something they did not intend to hit, or presented their firearm and then as a result of hesitation lost the gunfight. If you are aware of such a situation, please link me.

            3. That’s Internet troll speak for “I got nothing but refuse to admit such”, I accept your unconditional surrender on the points in question.

          • Carl Woodward says:

            1. Do you seriously have no idea what “if implemented” means?

            Look guy, think of it this way: whenever any kind of gun control measure is proposed, it’s invariably met with two kinds of objections. The first is that gun control is for one reason or another unconstitutional. The second is, as you put it, that “gun control does not work, ever, anywhere.” This is a policy argument that supposedly holds independently of the first argument, which is why it supposedly also applies all over the world. It is a claim about what is possible, not about what is legal.

            I have zero interest in having that first conversation with you, mostly because you are too stupid to have it, also because I’m 100% fine with amending the constitution if that’s what it takes. If it makes you feel better to imagine that the courts would swoop in and save the day on this one, go ahead and do it, because you clearly aren’t great at absorbing bad news. My sole interest is in debunking the second objection, which is stupid enough in and of itself. I have made that clear from the beginning.

            2. Sorry, “at least any reasons that hold any water” gives the game away for you. You have repeatedly claimed that I have not given any reasons, but this comment shows us what you really meant: I did give reasons, and you just disagree with them. Sorry pal, but if you disagree with my arguments you have to address them, not just declare them non-arguments. That is precisely what you were accusing me of doing: arguing by declaration.

            Yes, as I already said, you are welcome to embarrass yourself by claiming victory on the “CCers can’t lose gunfights” line if you like. I’m not going to argue anything that stupid. But that doesn’t somehow hand you a victory on every other point at issue here, and you pretending otherwise is a testament to how weak your overall position actually is.

            3. LOL keep swinging champ. That kind of comment is internet troll speak for “I am tired of getting clobbered and am looking for a dumb excuse to declare victory so that I can run away.” You might as well just come out and say it. 🙂

          • Chris Todd says:

            1. You’re the one who is too stupid to have the conversation, you can’t even grasp the simplest notion of “unconstitutional laws cannot and will not stand”. Thank you for admitting that your proposal is unconstitutional (took you long enough). Liberals are always happy to change the Constitution to suit their desires at the time, I wonder how well that would poll? “Do you support amending the Constitution to remove the right to due process?” Or “Do you support the justice system treating those accused of crimes as innocent until proven guilty or guilty until proven innocent?” Most sane people would not back your idea and even if they did do you even know what it takes to amend the Constitution? It’s not a matter of popular vote (as if you had the popular vote to begin with).

            2. This is what you said in your first comment: “2. Your argument that my “four factors should be reduced to two” is dumb for reasons I’ll arrive at momentarily, but let’s suppose it’s legitimate. Even so, concealed carry advocates have to make their case in a world where points 1 and 2 are not always true. Reducing 4 assumptions to 2 does nothing to save Cotton from the underlying problem: he is still relying on assumptions that are not necessarily true. So even if we pretend your argument works on its own terms, it still fails to address the problem. That said, it doesn’t even work on its own terms. I am a gun owner who carries it various places for various reasons, that doesn’t mean, if the time came, that I would necessarily be willing to use it in self-defense. And yes, it is entirely possible for concealed carry holders to lose a gunfight.”
            Please point out to me where I disagreed with anything you said in that quote other than my refusal to believe you own a gun and carry it (a notion that I entertained anyway). Your reasons almost make my argument for me, which is why they hold no water for you and you are mistaken when you say I “disagree” with them, quite the opposite actually.
            I’m not sure if you just misread the whole thing or if you’re just so stupid you can’t comprehend what was said, as simple as it was.
            And now you’re saying I’m making arguments that I’m not making again. I said, THREE TIMES, that concealed carriers can lose gunfights, I just added that it doesn’t happen often, a statement you have yet to call into question.
            3. I’ve debated some clueless people before but you take the cake. First you try to disagree with me by agreeing with me, then you avoid any and all questions that are directed at you, then you try to say I’m “swinging” when you can’t even come up with an argument, coherent or otherwise, to challenge what I said. If I was the editor at the BPE I’d be taking this embarrassing page down.

          • Carl Woodward says:

            1. You’ve won a hilariously Pyrrhic victory if I’ve forced you to admit that gun control can in principle work, and is only prevented by alleged unconstitutionality. Your original position was a quite absolute “gun control does not work, ever, anywhere”, which you are now desperately running away from in the face of my superior intelligence and bulletproof argumentation.

            Obviously my proposal is 100% Constitutional, and obviously it’s awesome to amend the Constitution to advance the Leftist agenda. Can’t imagine caring what you think the polls would do.

            2. “Please point out to me where I disagreed with anything you said in that quote”

            I’ll come clean: that quote was exclusively aimed at any possible implications your comment had for my argument – whether you explicitly stated them or not. If I mistakenly assumed that what you wrote was anything more than an irrelevant tangent, that was indeed a misreading on my part and I totally apologize.

            Having clarified that, we can take “your reasons almost make my argument for me” at face value. Evidently I “almost” made your argument for you – but not quite! – and if I construe anything else you’ve said to be relevant to my article, I am definitely mistaken.

            In other words, you’ve utterly failed. Or alternatively, I’ve owned you so hard that all you have left is to hide behind empty complaints about being misread.

            3. I get how humiliating this has been for you and why you would want BPE to take this page down. I’m sure the editors share your concern and will get right on that.

          • Chris Todd says:

            1. Any and all gun control measures that have been implemented throughout the world have proven to be miserable failures, from Australia to the UK to the US and anywhere else. You seem convinced that had Roof been denied buying a gun at the shop, that he would have simply thrown his hands in the air and given up, nevermind he try another avenue to get a gun or resort to another method such as fire, which coincidently is a popular tool of mass murder in the UK. If the idea of gun control is to prevent people from being killed then yes, by every measure it has failed everywhere it has been attempted, unless of course you’re okay with people dying by methods other than a gunshot. Where you got the idea that im “running away” from anything i’ve said is a mystery to all but you and your severely delusional mental state.

            2. The only implications I made against your four conditions were that the latter two are not necessary, only the first two are for the reasons we both stated but you somewhere along the lines got the crazy idea that I denied them, the conversation basically went like this:
            Me: only 1 and 2 are factors.
            You: not everybody carries a gun, so conditions 1 and 2 need to be considered.
            Me: I know, that’s why I said 1 and 2 are relevant.
            You: you are too unintelligent to have this conversation.
            Me: I just agreed with you on a point that you yourself stated, but now you’re telling me I’m wrong?
            You: how does it feel to be completely owned?

            Hence why BPE might want to take this article down, it calls their credibility into question, personally I’d like it to stay up.

          • Carl Woodward says:

            1. Nah, I’m not convinced that he’d give up. I’m convinced that he’d be *more likely* to give up. See, that’s how laws work. They don’t somehow make criminal behavior impossible; they just make it more difficult and less rewarding. That is (obviously) the standard we hold laws to.

            So congratulations, you finally offered an actual policy argument against my proposal, and it was an utter failure, and it was actually one I explicitly addressed in my article. Better run back to your dumb speculation about the Constitution!

            2. Already apologized for assuming that you were actually contesting my argument, as opposed to quibbling over irrelevant incidents of formulation etcetera. Even that quibbling is ridiculous for reasons already given, but it’s also by your own admission completely beside the point.

            3. ATTENTION BPE: Dim-witted comment nerd says your credibility’s at stake! All hands on deck!

          • Chris Todd says:

            If you’re convinced he might be “more likely” to give up, then you need help. Gangbangers can’t buy guns at gun stores so they must be “more likely” to quit gangs aren’t they? The 9/11 highjackers must have been much less likely to actually do what they did due to the fairly complex nature of flying a plane right?

            And you want us to judge laws based on what? So you must be in favor of the death penalty right? Since it’s supposed to deter people from committing major crimes and all.

            How old are you? I feel like I’m arguing with a 10 year old.

          • Carl Woodward says:

            No, the point of keeping “gangbangers” (lol) from buying guns at stores is to keep them from buying guns, not to get them to quit gangs. And in that case yes, they are almost certainly less likely purchase a gun than they would be were it conveniently available in stores.

            Similarly, yes, the 9/11 hijackers definitely were less likely to do what they did because of the complex nature of flying a plane. It’s pretty obvious to anyone who understands anything about international terrorism that a major reason we don’t have more attacks is that many are logistically difficult to pull off. If it were easier to hijack a plane it stands to reason that we would probably have more 9/11s. All of this is perfectly obvious.

            That entire line of criticism rests on the idea that people have infinite motivation and capacity to achieve their goals, and that people never decide to do something easier or take the path of least resistance. This directly contradicts basic and completely uncontroversial findings of psychology, economics, and political science.

            How should we judge laws? Obviously by the same standards that we judge the Constitution: reasonableness, justness, efficacy, and so on. You cannot defend the Constitution without invoking precisely the criteria that we can use to defend any particular law. Judicially, the solution’s pretty simple: you use precisely the system we have in place, including the completely legal and just process of amending the Constitution. Constitutions aren’t bad in principle, it’s just the one we have right now that’s garbage.

            Regarding the death penalty, of course I’m in favor of it. I get that you think you’re arguing with the sort of cartoonish hippie liberal that AM talk radio has warned you about, which is why you also pretend to be skeptical that I own guns for example. But it turns out that you’re just a dumb bigot with stupid political stereotypes who makes all kinds of insane assumptions about people who disagree with you.

          • Chris Todd says:

            Well if a gangbanger can’t buy a gun how is he going to be effective in the gang? If he can’t get “strapped” he’s useless, may as well quit. Except gangbangers have no issue getting guns, despite not being able to buy them from a store. So your laws preventing them from buying guns clearly don’t work, if they did Chicago and New York would be the safest place in the country.

            Yet 9/11 happened, so again your wishful thinking fails.

            Path of least resistance you say? Funny you should mention that because it is now coming to light that Roof was originally planning to attack a local college but changed his target due to the armed security there. Mass murderers in the UK and Australia usually don’t use guns, they use fire instead, the world is chock-full of people who were not deterred just because their original plan was foiled.

            Here is the thing with judging laws by their “reasonableness”, not everybody agrees on what is reasonable. To me for example, a reasonable law is one that makes property owners legally liable for any criminal activity that results in the injury or death of their guests (employees, customers, friends over for dinner, etc) unless they allow people to carry guns to protect themselves. There are quite a few people who would not agree that this is reasonable for one reason or another, despite the indisputable fact that every mass shooting since 1950 has happened in a gun free zone with only 2 exceptions. I know liberals think they know better than everybody else and are above reproach when discussing how to improve society, but over here in the real world we don’t just scrap all of our civil rights because a handful of extremists don’t like them.

            Well there is no question you are cartoonish, “which you are now desperately running away from in the face of my superior intelligence and bulletproof argumentation.” That little quote of yours reminded me of a kid I went to high school with who nobody liked and was always being figuratively smacked down by teachers in front of the whole class.

          • Carl Woodward says:

            I have never seen anyone lean so hard on the same idiotic fallacy. Some people in gangs get guns from black markets or private vendors. Some terrorist attacks happen, EG 9/11. Some guys like Roof get deterred from one target, and then pick another. Some criminals in the UK and Australia were not deterred when their original plan was foiled. All of these things sometimes happen. And yet! It does not somehow follow, because all of these things happened, that they were inevitable. Or that they were even likely to happen. Or that deterrence from one would ultimatley lead to another. That is profoundly, catastrophically stupid reasoning.

            No, you do not have to be armed to be in a gang. Most gangs of any significance are associated with some black market business or another, which means that there are all kinds of roles people play: drug mules, informants, accountants, and so on. Enforcers, body guards, and so on only make up a fraction of your typical gang. If you had even the most basic understanding of what gangs are and how they operate, you would know this.

            It really is precious the way you explain that people have different ideas about what is reasonable – as if this is some unanticipated insight, or contests anything I’ve said. You can mediate opposing ideas of the reasonable with “democracy”. It is precisely because I *don’t* think I’m better than everyone else that I think we should all have an equal say in the laws and Constitution we live under.

            By the way, I’m not stupid enough to be a liberal – I’m a Marxist. You liberals and conservatives are way too right-wing for me 🙂

          • Chris Todd says:

            thank you for admitting that any law designed to physically prevent someone from doing something, in this case – getting a gun – is doomed to fail and will ultimately be ineffective. But that’s the point isn’t it? People like you willfully admit that your proposals won’t stop every tragedy, so you make these proposals knowing there will be a next one so when that next one comes you can make more proposals and take another piece.
            Anywho, I’m bored with this, enjoy the vacuum.

          • Carl Woodward says:

            haha you’re amazingly dumb

          • Chris Todd says:

            Oh, I almost forgot, turns out Roof didn’t have any pending felony charges, they were misdemeanor drug charges so there goes your idea.
            Anyway yeah, vacuum, enjoy.

          • Carl Woodward says:

            hmm how could we possibly modify the proposal accordingly, this is a real stumper

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