Gun Lore versus Contemporary Reality


In the ongoing debate about the virtues and risks to legislate some sensible federal gun control measures both sides have established certain talking points to boost their position.  The middle ground where both sides can come together seems to be sparse.

There does seem to be some reciprocity between both sides that would allow a universal background check to be established, eliminating the loophole where private sellers at gun shows and on-line will have to abide by the current law applied to licensed dealers.   This is something that could prevent those most likely to hurt themselves and others from owning lethal weapons.

But little else has significantly changed.  The norm seems to be a more hostile exchange of views that often find bumper sticker slogans that fire little verbal grenades at one another.

And then there are the strong advocates of gun ownership.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words and when accompanied by emotional language it can find a willing audience who often forego any deeper context.  I’d like to display a few of these I found and offer a view that points out a flaw or two that seems to consistently get overlooked by those who brandish them.

You’ll notice that several of these memes make a parallel between restricting some guns, i.e., military assault style weapons, and the more hyperbolic claim of removing all guns.  During his first four years in office President Obama made no attempt whatsoever to implement any kind of gun control measures.  Yet the prevailing notion that he would in his second term has now become a reality, thanks in large measure to eight mass shootings in 2012 alone with the most egregious of these coming two weeks before Christmas at Sandy Hill elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

This late action from the President however was not from some nefarious plot to usurp power from the American people but because the clamoring by the gun control advocates went off the charts following the Newtown massacre, forcing the President to take some decisive action to curb what has become a mass killing epidemic in this country.

Family and intimate partner assaults involving firearms are 12 times more likely to result in death than those that do not involve firearms.  In 2008, 54% of women who were killed by intimate partners were killed with a firearm, usually a handgun.   SOURCE 

Where women are used in these images to drive home the need to arm themselves, one might ask if their real motivation described in the image is based on some genuine adherence to 2nd amendment rights.  No doubt some women feel this way.  But might it not be more logical to assume that because many women suffer the most in our culture of violence, they of all people would be those most in need of some equalizer against an over powering male attacker?

Crimes against women are often from domestic disputes between spouses or ex-husbands and ex-boyfriends returning to exact some kind of vengeance from women who have spurned them.  Spurned them in many cases because of the violence they endured from their relationship with men.  Vulnerable too are the children in these families.  Our Justice department reports that by “the age of 17, at least 27% of children nationwide have witnessed domestic violence in their own families.” But there is no validation for women or men to possess a small arsenal of assault weapons that a military unit or police force would be envious of.

So with that bit of commentary under your belts, let’s take a look at what the pro-gun advocates use to make their point.  I will then attach my own comments that will call its credibility in to account.

prohibition simply doesn’t work

Yes but now we have a problem with mixing alcohol and deadly weapons.

inanimate olbject

So we needn’t worry that the only inanimate object in this picture designed strictly for killing will kill more people easier and quicker when used for its designed purpose than those other objects NOT designed for killing?

 so making guns  illegal

Only a child would believe that this argument is about making all guns illegal and would not understand that dangerous drugs may kill only their users, not 20 school children sitting in their classrooms

now turn in your guns

Maybe this simply reflects the “dramatic rise in the number of attacks and violent plots originating from individuals and groups who self-identify with the far-right of American politics.  In the 1990s the average number of attacks per year was 70.1.  The average number of attacks per year in the first 11 years of the twenty-first century was 307.5, a rise of more than 400%.” 

and then I told them

If mental health care were a legitimate concern for the NRA leadership then why have they allowed the gun show loop hole where private gun owners sell about 40% of the firearms are sold at events that don’t require background checks?  Most of their members are okay with such background checks yet some within the NRA administration oppose such efforts.  Domestic terrorism is a legitimate threat in this country that law enforcement officials need to prepare themselves for.

armed society is polite society

More than 31,000 people a year in the United States die from gunshot wounds.  Because victims are disproportionately young, gun violence is one of the leading causes of premature mortality in the U.S. In addition to these deaths, in 2010, there were an estimated 337,960 non-fatal violent crimes committed with guns, and 73,505 persons treated in hospital emergency departments for non-fatal gunshot wounds.

Based on production data from firearm manufacturers, there are roughly 300 million firearms owned by civilians in the United States as of 2010.  I would hate to see what an IMPOLITE armed society looks like.

hands off my safety

I’m in agreement with the security notion behind this for reasons I stated above about violence against women.  But the argument for sensible gun control doesn’t want to take your guns away to feel secure in your home.  Just the small arsenal some feel they need to defend against the overblown fear of tyranny.  And in homes where kids are at, is Mom always taking the precautions she needs to ensure their curious kids don’t get their hands on them?  For example, take a look at the next image and my comments regarding this.

15 million plus women

That’s what Nancy Lanza of Newtown Connecticut thought too as she stockpiled assault style weapons for what she thought was the coming “economic crash” and taught her son with mental health issues how to use them.  Twenty 1st graders and their teachers in Newtown paid the price for this “choice”.


 if gun control worked

Thanks for making the case that we need a more all-encompassing federal strategy.  Chicago is an island within a sea of easily available guns.  The correlation between gun violence and poverty is why there is such a high rate in the nation’s 3rd largest city.

We need further civil discourse on this issue.  Guns are only one component of the problem.  Defending arguments that don’t meet today’s realities will only ensure another mass shooting.

12 responses to “Gun Lore versus Contemporary Reality

  1. Has no one considered that this is a cynical marketing campaign by the NRA? The key thing for any organization is to maintain viability. The NRA used to be a pedestrian sort of organization without much political clout or notice. Now it has that by an interesting cycle. The NRA makes one of it’s little “speaking tours” around the country warning that the “guvmint’s gonna take your guns” and gun and ammo sales soar. Then the gun and ammo manufacturers give generously to the NRA. Everybody gets what they want. The NRA gets power and notice (there is no such thing as bad publicity), the gun and ammo manufacturers get hughe sales bumps, and the gun nuts get to fondle their guns while their other rights are stripped away by the likes of the “Patriot Act.”

    • Stephen,

      I’m becoming convinced that the excesses we read about with the gun advocate community is really occurring with the fringe elements of the NRA and some their zealot supporters. I think most rational people who either own a gun for self protection or think it’s okay to do so would most likely distance themselves from the extremes being currently espoused by the NRA’s Wayne Lapierre and David Keene

  2. I was seriously disappointed with Bill Maher last week. Did you see it? There he was taking what seemed to be a fairly strong regulation stance, then BOOM! “I own a gun, i need it, I’m afraid!” Fail Mr Maher… fail.

  3. Sorry hit the post button too quick……my grandfather use to say if you think you will be a victim you already are…….it’s paranoia and I refuse to participate….

    • Thats absurd. Again – refer to my above comment. Tell the mom up the street that because she “thought” she might be a victim, her arming herself already made her – as she was wasting a convicted rapist sparing herself and her two daughters from an evening in hell. You people are not living in the real world.

      • RTR, what the hell are you complaining about. Clearly you haven’t thoroughly read my article. If you had you would see it is not opposed to gun ownership as a means for some to feel secure in their home. I explicitly pointed out that women were far more vulnerable than men and justifiably should have a gun to serve as a equalizer when an abusive male goes after them. Are you simply another typical over-the-top gun advocate that opposes any and all sensible solutions to reduce the gun violence in this country?

  4. Most of the gun advocates tout random figures they pulled out of their butts, use extensive fear mongering, and come up with “uses” that don’t match anything resembling reality. Having actually shot the M16, I can’t think of a single non-military use that something else wouldn’t do better than it.

  5. That self defense meme was strange. Does she really need a weapon like that in her home? I can see a handgun or a shot gun, but that looks super powered. And the “an armed society is a polite society” made me want to throw up a little. Ugh.

  6. It seems like closing the background-check loophole is a rational compromise.

    There’s a gun in my home, and I know where it’s kept, but in a panic situation, I doubt I’d have the presence of mind to use it properly. I think the most likely outcome would be me fumbling with it, and then getting shot because I’m holding a gun. And a situation in which I can get to the gun and aim it without being seen is also a situation in which I could grab my phone and get out of the house, which seems to me like a better plan.

    • In today’s crazy world intruders who have guns are likely to assume you have a gun too and will shoot first before they run. Somebody’s gonna get hurt or killed that didn’t need to.

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