Other common arguments against gun control
I promised earlier to take on some common anti-gun-control arguments that I had seen over and over in Facebook. A vacation, several illnesses in the family, and playing catch-up after the holidays have delayed that effort, but here – briefly! – are five common Facebookish arguments against the very idea of gun control, and what goes through my mind every time I read one.
1. You can't ban guns because the Second Amendment says so.
The First Amendment is pretty clear that no law will be made that regulates speech. Nevertheless, we have laws against slander, libel, and incitement. The Constitution's language is very idealistic, but the Supreme Court leans more towards pragmatism.
Even Antonin Scalia has acknowledged that the Second Amendment might have to give way, just a little bit, to public safety.
2. First they came for the assault rifles…
Some people oppose any form of gun control because they fear that the final result will be a total ban on all guns. It's a slippery slope.
“This is a type of reasoning that carries weight only if there are demonstrable logical connections and causations for good legislation to go bad,” says Gil Shapiro in the Arizona Daily Star. it's ludicrous to avoid constructive, even life-saving, policies just because you fear what will happen with it in the future.
3. Determined people will still get guns on the black market
This is a “perfection is the enemy of good” argument.
Banning certain types of gun will doubtless move trade underground. It will also, however, move storing and transporting guns underground as well. That will provide more opportunity for discovery and interdiction. Right now, and in most cases, we have to wait until someone shoots someone else with an assault rifle before we can assume that person is up to no good.
It is difficult for me to imagine that banning some guns and heavily regulating others would not significantly cut into gun violence and gun fatalities – and just because we don't keep every bad guy from using a gun doesn't mean we won't prevent many bad guys from using a gun.
4. People will just find another way to kill people
Guns have a lot of advantages. The are relatively cheap, easy to conceal, mostly safe to store, and extremely fast and efficient at killing at either close range or from a distance.
No other weapon fits this profile; no other weapon really comes close. This is why guns are an overwhelming weapon of choice in places where they can be easily obtained.
5. Are we going to ban cars, too?
A total ban on cars is unlikely, but then so is a total ban on guns. The irony in this argument is that cars are already heavily regulated during their construction, sale, transfer, and use – in many of the same ways we ought to regulate guns. For more on how car-like regulation of guns would work, see Dr. Gunter's excellent post: We Should Compare Guns to Cars.