Here Are Three Facts You Can Use in Your Next Conversation with a Dweeb Opposing Gun Control Legislation
America’s greatest embarrassment took center stage again this week when six people, including three children, had their bodies blown apart by a gunman armed with an AR-15 at an elementary school in Tennessee.
Politicians, media heads, previous victims of gun violence, and nearly every other American public figure did the usual, taking to their preferred social media platform to lament the loss of life and inevitable inaction by federal officials.
Some Republican politicians, like Rep. Tim Burchett (TN) and Sen. Mike Rounds (SD), took a more blunt route, offering their condolences while simultaneously admitting they “won’t do a thing to fix it” and have “gone about as far as we’re going to go with gun control.” Their reasoning is always the same, that “bans don’t work” and do nothing to address the “real cause,” which they almost always say is mental health.
But we all know they’re wrong. Even they know they are.
If bans don’t work, why does their party want to ban abortion? Or Critical Race Theory? Or gender-affirming care for trans youth? If mental health is the cause, why don’t other countries with similar mental health issues see similar violence?
The truth is that today’s Republican party is beholden to the donations that pour in from the National Rifle Association and the passion their base has for guns.
If Republicans weren’t so into shooting things, the 57% of Americans who want stricter gun laws would get their way, and the fact that firearms are now the leading cause of death for children and teenagers would matter (they also wouldn’t wear those stupid AR-15 pins).
But we know the political game in D.C., and, sadly, whatever gets a politician elected will usually win the day, no matter the moral cost.
That same sadness doesn’t have to be felt, however, after your next discussion with a right-wing loser who’s never thought about serving but cosplays in the military gear he bought on Amazon anyways.
So, here are three indisputable facts you can use to shut down the next dweeb you meet who opposes gun control legislation:
Fact 1: Gun Bans Work
This one’s easy: the red line on the chart above represents the 1994 federal Assault Weapons Ban’s expiration in 2004.
Is the dweeb demanding more than a chart?
Here’s a list of studies showing the federal ban worked, including one that found it led to gun massacres falling by 37% and gun massacre deaths falling by 43% compared to the decade before. After the ban expired, gun massacres jumped by 183%, while gun massacre deaths increased by 239%.
At the state level, look to California, home to some of the nation’s strictest gun laws and, unsurprisingly, one of its lowest firearm mortality rates at 8.5 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2020, well below the national rate of 13.7 per 100,000. Californians are also around 25% less likely to die in a mass shooting than residents in other states thanks to the state’s gun laws.
Fact 2: Reducing Gun Ownership Reduces Gun Deaths
Here’s another easy one thanks to a chart and basic common sense: countries with fewer guns have fewer gun-related deaths.
And here’s another chart showing how much of an outlier the U.S. is when it comes to school shootings:
World Population Review
Is the dweeb demanding examples now?
Take Canada, Australia, and Scotland, three countries that responded to notorious mass shootings in the ‘80s and ‘90s with legislation strengthening gun laws and banning certain firearms and large-capacity magazines. All three saw mass shootings go down.
Fact 3: The Second Amendment Was Never Meant to Be Interpreted the Way It Is Today
It wasn’t until 2008 that the Supreme Court decided to give the gun lobby what it always wanted by ruling that the Second Amendment guarantees a right to own guns outside of the context of serving in a militia. Before that, the Court had consistently declined to rule the amendment afforded such protection, including four times between 1876 and 1939.
Does the dweeb not want to take my word for it?
Here’s former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger (pictured above) in The Associated Press in 1991:
“The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires. In referring to ‘a well regulated militia,’ the Framers clearly intended to secure the right to bear arms essentially for military purposes.”
And here’s Justice Burger on PBS in 1990:
“[The Second Amendment] has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word, fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”
Even the notion of a “militia” is misinterpreted by the inbred right-wingers who peddle the idea today, since the Framers’ definition didn’t include private armies.
To end, I’ll leave you by paraphrasing a thought I came across on Twitter (from someone whose account I can no longer find to give credit):
If Republican politicians' response to school shootings is beefing up security and adding armed guards (which didn’t work during the 2018 Parkland shooting anyways), then, at the very least, they’re accepting the first victims of a shooting as human sacrifices to the gun industry. Since guards and/or police can’t do anything to address a shooting until after it starts, those first victims must simply be the price Republicans are willing to pay to keep the NRA dollars pouring in. How can we view it any other way?
So, Republican parents, ask yourselves: Are you willing to sacrifice your kid to the NRA?
Read this post on Medium here.