In his post entitled “Dum-Dum Nation,” Mike Stanfill makes a variety of anti gun statements that are factually inaccurate. The article begins with the text “If America had the same, sane gun-ownership laws as the rest of the civilized world,” then proceeds with the following quoted statements. My response follow those quotes from his post:
Mike Stanfill’s statements and my responses
• You could walk down the street safe from the fear of a drive-by shooting.
• You could go for a drive knowing the odds of being car-jacked was almost infinitely minute.
Passing a law that bans guns won’t take those guns out of the hands of criminals, since a gun ban is just another law for those criminals to ignore. This shouldn’t be surprising, since criminals already ignore the laws against shooting people and armed robbery. As proof of this, we need only to the UK, which banned guns nation-wide after a school shooting, only to see gun related crime double in the following decade. Criminals who wanted guns simply buy them on the black market or manufacture their own illegal guns.
The same thing can be seen in US cities with strict gun control. As an example, Chicago has the most restrictive gun laws in the country, including a handgun ban. Yet that ban doesn’t stop Chicago’s criminals, who still illegally possess guns, and have turned Chicago into the “murder capitol” of the US. Instead of disarming criminals, gun bans just ensure that crime victims are defenseless against the still-armed criminals.
• Your child could enter school with dignity instead of treated as a criminal while being scanned by metal detectors.
• You could work better knowing that some kid, angry at his parents, isn’t entering your child’s school locked-and-loaded with the greater part of his grandfather’s gun collection.
As discussed above, those individuals who want a gun will get one. Banning guns won’t make them disappear, any more than banning illegal drugs has made them vanish.
Note that just about every mass-shooting in the USA has occurred in a “gun free zone,” where law-abiding individuals are disarmed, leaving the law-breaking murders with a monopoly on guns. A person who is bent on killing as many people as they can before committing suicide won’t care about the penalties for illegally carrying a gun, since they don’t plan to live more than a few more hours. The solution to schools shooters is to arm teachers (as a school district in Texas has done) and to arm college-age students (as several states have done or are actively considering). Just as an example, this armed college student saved himself and 9 other people from a pair of criminals who were preparing to rape the women and murder everyone present. As far a juveniles are concerned, this 16 year old boy used a gun to defend himself against a violent home invading criminal who was advancing on him.
Finally, I would note that mass killings can be accomplished using many tools besides guns. As an example, this Japanese criminal used his car an a knife to kill 7 people and injure 11 more, as his victims were disarmed and defenseless. The worst case of mass murder in the US, the 9/11 attacks, involved 19 people armed only with boxcutters on a “gun free” airplane – the result was that thousands of Americans died. In terms of attacks upon children, more than 10 infants were brutally stabbed in Belgium earlier this year by a criminal who took advantage of the fact that none of the nursery workers were armed – thanks to Belgium’s strict gun control laws.
• Your child wouldn’t be among the 3000 that die each year via handguns due to accident, homicide or suicide.
Regarding gun “accidents,” there is no such thing, as it takes extreme recklessness for a person to be unintentionally shot. Responsible gun storage and safety training virtually eliminates this possibility, and law abiding gun owners pride themselves on such safety. It is the individuals who own guns illegally that tend to negligently store their guns where they can be found and misused by minors. I would also note that the 3,000 number provided is grossly inaccurate, and represents the sort of statistic misuse discussed in more here. Briefly stated, such statistics call individuals as old as 19 “children,” and count cases where a violent 18 year old criminal is shot in self defense by their victim.
Regarding suicides, those individuals who wish to take their own lives will do so, whether or not they have a gun. As an example, Japan has very strict gun control laws, yet has a suicide rate that is much higher than the US.
• The only people owning guns would be part of a well-regulated militia.
The Second Amendment guarantees the right of Americans to own guns for self defense and other lawful purposes. That is not just my opinion as an attorney at law, but what our nation’s highest court ruled just a year and a half ago. The “militia” argument against individual gun ownership is factually and legally deficient, and those wishing to learn about the flaws in that argument should read “The Founders’ Second Amendment.”
Three things to remember about guns:
• The bad guys always shoot first.
That is factually untrue. In the many armed self defense cases I’ve written about this year, the armed citizen was able to draw and fire their gun before the criminal could pull the trigger. Here, Mr. Stanfill repeats the myth that armed citizens will be unable to draw their gun before being harmed by their attacker. The fact of the matter is that many crime victims are able to defend themselves against criminals who seemingly have the upper hand, as some recent examples show: This man managed to shoot 2 armed robbers in self defense, despite being choked by the robbers and held at gunpoint in his own home. This homeowner managed to get his gun from a drawer, despite the fact that a criminal held a knife to him. This elderly man managed to grab a self defense gun, despite being shocked with a stun gun and beaten by a 24 year old man. This man managed to draw his concealed carry handgun and shoot an armed robber in self defense, despite the fact that that robber was standing behind him and pointing a shotgun at his back. This jewelry store owner managed to grab his gun from under a desk, despite the fact that two robbers were in his store, one of whom had a gun pointed at him. This pawnshop manager managed to shoot an armed in self defense, saving himself and his teenage employee, despite the fact that a gun was being held to that employee’s throat. I could go on with many more examples, but the point should be clear: Armed self defense works – as the studies show.
• You can outrun a club or a knife but you can never outrun a bullet.
Violent criminals tend to be young males who are near the peak of their physical strength, and they tend to prey upon people who are physically weaker. The result is that victims of criminals who don’t have guns aren’t necessarily any better off, since the criminal can chase down and overpower their victim. This young woman, who was very athletic and into martial arts, was attacked in a US national park by a criminal who didn’t have a gun. Despite her physical strength and unarmed self defense training, she was subdued, beaten, kidnapped, and murdered by criminal. This elderly woman was attacked in her own home by a young criminal who didn’t have a gun. She couldn’t escape from him, and the result was that she was brutally beaten and left for dead. This young woman was also attacked in her own home by a criminal who didn’t have a gun, and she apparently tried her best to fight him off. Yet he managed to sexually assault and then kill her, after breaking every bone in her face. As a final example, this disabled woman was attacked by a group of young criminals who didn’t have a gun. The criminals first stabbed her dog to death, then slashed her with a knife.
• You’re more likely to kill yourself or someone you know with a gun than to kill an unknown assailant.
Once again, Mr. Stanfill has quoted an untrue but often repeated anti gun myth. The long since discredited myth that gun ownership is more dangerous than beneficial was started by a Mr. Kellermann, in his flawed study “Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearms-Related Deaths in the Home.” There were numerous errors in the study, including the fact that it only counted deaths, which are not a measure of self defense, any more than the number of suspected criminals shot dead by the police is a measure of police effectiveness. Most self defense gun uses don’t result in a shot even being fired, and the accurate statistic is that gun protect 65 lives for every 2 lives lost. Gun ownership is overwhelmingly safe and beneficial, both to the individual and to society. Those who wish to read more about this myth, and the facts about gun ownership, are encouraged to read Dr. Suter’s paper “Guns in the Medical Literature – A Failure of Peer Review.” Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. Published March 1994.
My additional remarks
There is a common theme running through Mr. Stanfill’s statements – the blaming of guns for crime committed by humans. The fact is that guns do not cause crime, any more than cars cause drunk driving. When a crime victim is shot, it is because of the intentional actions of the criminal. Placing the blame with an inanimate object is pointless and intellectually lazy. Crime, in the form of shootings, stabbings, rape, arson, and other heinous acts would continue even if guns vanished tomorrow. The only difference would be that law abiding citizens would be overpowered by the physically stronger and/or more numerous criminals who attack them.
I would also like to note the fact that armed citizens use guns for self defense about 2.5 million times each year. I have written about a tiny tiny fraction of such cases on this page. In those real-life examples, crime victims have defended themselves against rapists, kidnappers, murderers, robbers, and just about every other type of violent criminal imaginable. Had those crime victims been unarmed, it is exceedingly likely that they would have suffered greatly at the hands of their attackers.
Since this article is now well over 1,700 words long, I will conclude by just providing links to article which discuss how guns in the hands of crime victims also help keep innocent people out of jail, help save future crime victims, and save society money.
Dear Mr Stanfill
May I recommend some reading material for your education.
#1, More Guns Less Crime, John R Lott, Jr. Statistical evidence of the benefit of gun ownership.
#2,Handgun Safety Certificate Study Guide, California department of justice. A basic safe handling and use of handguns, same rules apply for all firearms, free download.
#3 In The Gravest Extreme, Massad F Ayoob. A short and well written book on the whys and hows of guns, gun ownership and use of guns in personal defense. The book was published in 1980 so it might be a little outdated on a few points, but the message is still valid and clear.
I think this will be a good introduction to the mindset and skills that any gun owner should have. #1 is not necessary for safe and responsible gun ownership, but after reading your article I believe that you need to find a factual foundation to your opinion before attempting to learn about guns them self.
If you have any questions, or would like more book recommendations, feel free to ask.
Santa Ana, CA.
Very good arguments. What anti-gun people don't seem to understand is that the 2nd amendment was intended to be the final check and balance against a future tyranny that is always looming in the horizon.
Look at the history of the Roman Republic and you will see that after 500 years as a republic it became subject to tyrants and dictators. If the Roman people had guns, they might have been able to protect their republic. A revolt of 80% of the people will always defeat a tyranny regardless of its military strength… even a nuclear powered tyranny. The founding fathers of this country based the political system on the Roman Republic and were well aware of how that Republic fell to dictatorships. They considered tyrannies inevitable, based on their study of history, and only something that can be kept in check by a well armed populace.
In the end… citizens criminally killing other citizens is a tragedy but it does not weaken the overall structure of democracy to the point of failure. A tyrant that takes power and can not be stopped is death to democracy and to all the people. Look at most historical dictatorships and you will see efforts to keep weapons out of the hands of the people.
The people who fear gun violence should rally behind tough death penalty laws for cases of murder in the first degree. I find that the anti-gun people can not stomach such tough measures that would actually do something. They prefer to blame inanimate objects. People who are not willing to defend themselves do not deserve to be free nor safe from violence.
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