I’d like to take the time to sum up the arguments against gun control, as it is currently being pushed by the Federal and several local and state governments:
- Gun control doesn’t protect people from violent crime, it increases it. Every region where gun control is high, there is a higher instance of gun violence and crime in general. In regions where there are less restrictive gun laws, you’ll see lower instances of crime and gun violence. Of course, crime has more factors than just the ownership of guns, so the arguments for and against gun control based on crime statistics are fallacious in that regard. A regions cultural make-up and racial diversity plays a huge factor as well.
- Gun control is one of the first things that the greatest tyrants in history have done. Indeed, Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, and so many others have reached for the guns of individuals when they have taken power. This is because even if you have an army with the most advanced technology, it is no match for the sheer numbers of citizenry with standard rifles. However, one must understand that when employing this reason, you are saying that you are willing to shoot police officers who are “just following orders.”
- Gun ownership is a subset of private property rights. This is largely true and I think it is probably the best way for a libertarian to argue against gun control. Forget the complexity of safety, law enforcement, and tyranny. If you simply point out that it is a fundamental or natural right of the individual to not only own property, but to defend it as he or she sees fit, then you have an effective argument against gun control. If your life is in danger and a gun can save your life, then a government taking that away from you is one that has no interest in your life, liberty, or property.
- Gun control would push guns into the underground black market, which allow the criminal element to primarily own guns, next to the police. I am personally pro-black market as I believe that there should be no restrictions on what people buy, use, and sell, provided they do it without the intent of harming others either financially or physically. The black market is, in essence, a true free market and it is unfortunate that more Americans don’t take advantage of this, besides just organized crime. Besides that, the War on Guns will end up being more disastrous than the War on Drugs as drugs are for personal use where as guns are for external use.
- Guns don’t kill people, people do. This is another effective argument as it highlights what most Utopian visions of society fail to see. People are not all good. All of us have evil impulses to destructive things, mostly to ourselves, but sometimes to others as well. Banning guns won’t stop evil anymore than banning umbrellas will stop the rain.
- The government doesn’t like competition. Indeed, citizens who solve their own problems and deal with their problems on their own is what the Statists fear the most. If individuals can do things without the help of a parasitic government, the parasite withers away. When individuals own guns, they provide their own security and demonstrate the uselessness of a large-scale police force and the need for a massive national security state, which has been very profitable for a few at the expense of many in the past several decades.
The fact is, most pro-gun control arguments are focused on emotion rather than reason and logic. Even when they employ reason and logic, they distort it into irrational fallacies which do not prove their point and sometimes prove the opposite is analyzed correctly.
I am not saying that everyone should own a gun. I think everyone should make a logical decision based on the economics of their situation, the severity of the criminal element in their neighborhood, and any other factors. In most cases, you probably should own one and carry it with you.
The gun control debate will not be resolved easily as the current President seems Hell-bent on ignoring the will of the people. There is also a highly regional and cultural difference in the use of guns in our country where New Yorkers don’t quite understand why Texans insist on keeping their guns. Consider it just one more reason why the United States will probably cease to exist as a country in a few decades.