Zach Heller

There really isn’t any common ground with you. You don’t have the education or honesty on the topic of firearms to have such a conversation.

“How can we have an honest conversation when that’s where everyone who owns guns takes it right away?”

Maybe if you actually examined the 2nd and 3rd order effects of your so-called “common sense gun laws”, you might find that very often they do take guns away. Not so much from existing gun owners (though CA, NY, CT, WA have tried to do just that) but denying them to those most vulnerable in society. Guns are expensive enough, so is ammunition, and so many of the proposals made by the rather well-meaning-but-uneducated side would serve to greatly increase the cost of gun ownership. Aside from outright taxes (Washington States failure of a “Gun Violence Tax”, recently passed laws in Cali., etc.), mandates on safe storage, “Smart” guns, ammunition and firearms microstamping, registration schemes, etc all serve to increase the costs associated with owning a firearms. I’m not sure if you are aware of this but poor people enjoy the same protections under the Bill of Rights as anyone else, so you are going to have to explain to me (and gun owners in general) why you see fit to disenfranchise them the most from the 2nd Amendment.

“ We do not afford the same rights black or brown people as we do to white. The Philando Castile shooting proved that in a very tragic (still all too common) way. Where were all the 2nd amendment people and the NRA when they saw a legal gun owner murdered by a police officer for doing what he was told to do?”

Actually we do. Look up Colion Noir (a BLACK NRA spokesman) and then do yourself a big favor and actually research the exact circumstances that lead to Castile’s death. The NRA and 2nd Amendment people (love the attempt at labeling here, are there 1st Amendment people too?) actually do speak out when LEA’s overstep themselves (remember when open carry advocacy was all the rage?) but we also know that Castile made some glaring errors in judgement. Context, something you don’t seem to have here.

“ If you are free to bear arms, why aren’t I free to live a life unafraid of being shot? Is your right to bear arms on the same level as my right to live?”

Your irrational fears are not protected by the Constitution and yes, my 2nd Amendment right is exactly equal to your, or anyone’s, right to live. If you use your life in the attempt to attack mine, then I am perfectly justified in using lethal force to protect my life at the expense of yours. In my house or outside of it, my life is worth protecting and yours isn’t if you seek to do harm.

“ The US has under 5% of the world’s population, yet 42% of civilian-own guns. And our homicide rate is out of control compared to other industrialized nations — 6x higher than Canada, 15x higher than Germany. Societies with more guns have more gun deaths. Societies with fewer guns have fewer gun deaths. Which do we want to be?”

Well we do have the 2nd Amendment, not too many other countries do. Also, firearms-related homicides have been on a more than 20 year decline since their 1990’s peak. During that same time we’ve seen sales of firearms to civilians increase to nearly triple the annual volume (from a little over 9 million firearms-related NICS checks in 1999, to over 27 million in 2016). Coupled with the fact that the vast majority of firearms-related homicides occur in Democrat-run urban areas were gun-control laws (among most Left-wing policies) have failed then it seems you don’t really have much factual support for your argument.

“The good guy with a gun theory is ridiculous, another one of the lies peddled by the gun rights lobby. “The solution to gun deaths, more guns,” they say. But we have the data to show that more guns do not make us any safer. Colombia has more guns per capita than the United States. Are they the hallmark of safety?

I admit that there are a number of individual cases in which someone’s life was saved because there was an officer or citizen with a gun who was in the right place at the right time. But those are the exceptions that prove the rule, and don’t match the larger trend.”

It’s not a theory. Even the most conservative estimates of defensive gun use puts the figure at over 100,000 instances per year. Colombia is incredibly corrupt and a great example of the problems of LW socialist policies. Probably not a great example on your part but I’m sure you didn’t spend much time thinking about it in the first place. Also, Colombia has a national ban on the carrying of weapons. Sounds like a better example of how gun-control laws fail.

“The common argument that criminals will always be able to get guns because they don’t follow the laws is only true if we don’t deal with the issue of guns in the first place. We make it so easy to get guns now no matter who you are. If that weren’t the case, it would be a lot harder for criminals to get guns. Again, all we need to do is look outside the US at other Western societies that don’t see nearly as many gun deaths to prove this point. I don’t think that is because they have fewer criminals.”

With more than 400,000,000 firearms in the civilian stockpile and billions of rounds of ammunition to go with them, how do you even imagine there is ever going to be drastic decrease in this number? You talk about other countries but fail to understand the fact that none of them have ever had such a volume of firearms in their populace’s hands. We not only have more criminals but also criminals that are much more willing to use violence to settle internal disputes, name another Western society that has the rampant gang and drug issues that our larger urban centers have.

“The biggest slice is suicides, which account for more than 2/3rds of all gun deaths. Making guns easier to get means more people use them to harm themselves.”

Yes, ignore the fact that suicidal behavior is an enormously complicated issue and that such behavior has varying degrees of intent associated with any given individual. Ignore the fact that while a firearm used in a suicide is lethal about 87% of the time, asphyxiation has about an 84% success rate too.

“Just because you support gun control does not mean you are anti gun-owner. This debate turns into us versus them, with individuals’ way of life on the line. The NRA this week proved that they are in the business of “us versus them” marketing. It’s good for business.

See #1. We are not taking your guns away, just arguing for some common sense regulation.”

Most of the time gun-control advocates are in fact against gun-ownership in general. Pretty much why you keep citing “other countries” that have made civilian gun-ownership so onerous as to limit it to only those of certain social/wealth statuses. As long as you invest the NRA and “2nd Amendment people” with oppugnation then it’s always going to be “us versus them”.

“The gun lobby is so entrenched in our government that we are not even allowed to spend money to study the issue of guns. This a public health issue, and the government must be involved. We all expect the government to help keep us safe. The government talks about its role in helping deal with major risks to our lives — things like terrorism, obesity, cancers, and motor vehicles. Why not guns?”

So is the anti-gun lobby (like you think it didn’t exist?). Oh, and the CDC is perfectly allowed to research the issue of guns. It simply can’t advocate for gun-control laws and call it “research”.

Nobody in their right mind actually thinks the government has the duty to keep individuals safe, the SCOTUS actually ruled against that imbecilic notion when it comes to law enforcement agencies.

“ People who use guns for a living undergo extensive training on how to use them safely and effectively. Why don’t we require that same level of training for regular citizens? It seems we are already admitting that these things are dangerous and operating them requires specific know-how. But then we freely sell guns to people without it. Why?”

No they don’t. How can you say this without even the slightest clue what actual firearms training is undertaken by these people? The average police officer only has to qualify with their dept. issued firearm once or twice a year and the standards for such qualification are very low. Why should regular citizens be forced to undertake some sort of training to exercise an individual right? What training do you seek in order to exercise the 1st Amendment? Do I need to be certified by the government before seeking protection against unreasonable searches? Coastal elite stupidity on full display with this one.

“ I admit that it is impossible for me to guess how the writers of the 2nd amendment would respond to today’s gun culture. But gun rights activists must also admit that it is impossible for them to do the same. Nobody can put themselves into the writers’ minds and say with any certainty whether they would be in favor of the current lack of any gun control in this country. But one thing is certain, things today are different than they were when the amendment was written. Advances in gun technology has made killing far easier. And for that reason, we should look for new interpretations of the language.”

Well that’s mainly because you are horribly uneducated on this issue. The concept of semi-automatic firearms predates the 2nd Amendment so if you imagine Ben Franklin being horrified at the sight of an AR-15 then you probably might want to visit your local library and do some research. Dear old Ben would probably be more concerned with the 1st Amendment after seeing how people use handheld, wireless devices that can access global information networks to send each other dick pics. Also, look up Caetano v. Massachusetts concerning the advances in weapons technology and interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. It was an 8–0 decision by the way.

“ There are legitimate reasons to own a gun. It’s not reasonable to expect everyone to view the choice of whether or not to buy a gun the same way. We choose based on our situation in life, where we live, what we have to protect, what we’re passionate about. But if the reason you own a gun is for self-protection, is it not reasonable to admit that if we made it harder for people who should not have guns to get them, then the need to own one yourself would go down? You might still choose to own one, which is fine. But you’d be safer either way because of the law.”

Lots of legitimate reasons, most of which go far beyond the ability of the average gun-control advocate to understand. You especially it seems. You see, you actually cannot make it harder for those adjudicated as unfit to own a firearm without making it at least as much more difficult for everyone else. Since we’ve already discussed that nothing you’ve advocated for can actually keep firearms out of the hands that would seek to do harm with them, I really don’t think you have any idea how anyone would actually be physically protected by some law that has no possibility of enforcement.

“ I will never be able to convince you with my words. No mass shooting or atrocity will be able to convince you, as we have seen. But we’ve tried it one way for a long time. We have let the gun lobby write the rules and we know where it has gotten us.”

Well your words aren’t worth a whole hell of a lot, you are grossly ignorant about firearms on pretty much every level; technically, legally, historically. I don’t see why I should be convinced on anything by someone who knows so little, I don’t think I’d let my 3 year old niece convince me on the usefulness of multi-variable calculus either. The gun-lobby writes the rules because they are better educated than you are, I know you think most gun-owners are country bumpkins in lifted 4x4 trucks but the truth is we are just smarter and more honest about the world we live in.

“ Why don’t we just put it to an honest test? What if we just decide ass a series of gun reforms on a temporary basis, say five years.”

Yeah, how many taxes have been passed on a “temporary basis” that seem to stick around for decades? Also, did you even seriously think about some of these reforms and their suitability to “temporary basis” administration? You certainly didn’t think very hard there.

“Close loopholes in the background check system”

There is no loophole in the NICS system, it functions exactly as intended and even Federal lawyers admit it was never intended to cover more than FFL sales.

“Get rid of concealed carry laws”

Not happening. Aside from the fact that SCOTUS would probably strike down such a mandate at the Federal level in the post-Heller era, numerous states have amended their own constitutions to make such a law practically unfeasible.

“Outlaw automatic and semi-automatic weapons and high capacity magazines”

Also not happening, read up on the US v Miller decision if you are confused as to why such an idea is idiotic.

“Offer a financial incentive to turn in legally owned guns”

Do you understand how financial incentives work? My AR-15’s are probably only worth about $3,000 combined on the private market, the Federal government wouldn’t even come close to offering that much and if it came as a gun-control measure my asking price would be closer to $10,000 for the pair. Also, if this measure turned out to be a flop in 5 years under your “temporary basis”, how do I get my rifles back?

“Don’t allow people charged with domestic abuse to own guns”

Ever hear of the Lautenberg Amendment? It’s another one of those Federal gun laws you seem to be ignorant of.

“Create a government-funded gun safety commission to study and review these reforms and their impacts”

Who sits on this commission? Guarantee you won’t accept anyone that is actually an expert on firearms. Probably a bunch of heavily pro-gun-control public heath “researchers”.

“ If we do that and things don’t get better, if gun deaths don’t go down, then the laws are automatically repealed and we’ll go right back to the way things are today. How is that?”

Well none of those reforms are needed as gun deaths have been going down already. Maybe you should look up the FBI UCR data and see it for yourself. Otherwise you’ll just continue to be the same ignorant, poorly educated gun-control advocate that repeats the same tired talking points and the rest of us will keep beating you in the courts and legislatures for the next two or three decades.

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