I hate to beat a dead horse, so it’s lucky for me this horse isn’t dead — not yet, anyway. Have you ever noticed that there is always one side in our public debates that refuses to use reason to argue their case? Oh, they claim to be the ‘reasonable’ side of the debate, but they never use reason. Instead, they play on emotions and present false narratives. Now they are even exploiting children to push their agenda. Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why they have to do this? If they hold the moral high ground, then why do they have to use emotion, twist the facts, present false pictures and images and even flat-out lie to get people to agree with them? Or, maybe you think I am on the side that does this. Maybe you think that places like Japan, England and Australia have ‘proven’ that gun control works. OK, I’ll play along and assume that you, the reader, think that I am the one who is in the wrong, but now you have to actually be the ‘reasonable’ person and give me a chance to make my case. So, if you will allow me to put on my philosopher’s hat and my sociologist’s hat (because I actually hold a degree in both fields), I will do just that: I will demonstrate that I am not on the dishonest side of the ‘gun control’ debate.
The philosopher in me will start things off by reminding me that logic dictates I present my opposition’s case in its strongest form. So, I’ll start with this video about how Japan has proven that gun control works:
Here is another video explaining a study that claims to demonstrate that gun control reduces gun violence:
And another video that claims gun control saves lives:
Now, if you bothered to watch these videos, you might be feeling pretty confident. I mean, if I just accepted what these videos said on face value, I’d certainly think the gun control agenda holds the moral high ground on the issue of gun control. But I still have my philosopher’s hat on, remember? So I know how you have just been manipulated.
Let’s come back to Japan in a bit. We’ll start with the second video instead. The first thing I want to point out is that the two guys in this video villain gun owners. They say that gun owners love their guns more than they care about other people. This is both an emotional fallacy, as well as straw man: they are presenting an intentionally weak or false understanding of the other side of an issue. I have not done this. I just gave you three very strong videos arguing for gun control. So, right off the bat, I have demonstrated that I am using reason whereas the second video is using emotional manipulation and fallacious argument.
The next thing I want you to notice is that they do not cite the study or studies they claim to be referencing, nor do they present any of the raw material from these studies. All they do is point you to a magazine. This study should have a name and author, but this information is not given. This means their entire argument is based on unsupported assertions. This is yet another form of fallacious argumentation, and it is fallacious because they do not construct a formal argument, but rather, they continuously appeal to something they do not identify. Now let’s look at the supposed details in their claims.
If you will notice, the second video starts out by admitting that the study they are using found a correlation between gun control and a decrease in gun crime. They even point out that a correlation does not mean causation, but then continue their discussion in a manner that gives the viewer the impression that the study has determined that gun control is actually linked to a reduction in gun crime/violence. In other words, after admitting there was no causal link found, they discuss the study in a way that gives the false impression that a causal link has been found. Let me explain what this means:
THEY ARE LYING!
They may not be lying directly, but they are intentionally painting a false picture for the purpose of fooling you into accepting their story, and in common parlance, that is called a lie.
OK, here is where I have to put on my sociologist hat. If the study does not demonstrate — not suggest — but demonstrate that there is a direct, identifiable connection between gun control and a decline in gun violence, then it cannot make any claim that gun control works!!! Let me say that again: If the study does not demonstrate there is a direct connection between gun control and the decline of gun violence, the study cannot claim that gun control works! The narrator in this video knows this, and he is very tricky in how he presents his narration. He stresses ‘correlation’ between gun control and gun violence, but he acts as though there is a causation. This is because he is hoping you do not know the difference because, if you do, and you are motivated by facts and reason, you will stop listening at this point.
I’ve been a part of such studies. You have to have a lot more information than what this video gives us. The narrator says there was a ‘big’ study across a ‘big’ group of people. That does not matter. In order to properly evaluate this study, we need to know what — specifically — they looked at as well as how they calculated their numbers. We also need to know what control factors they considered. Finally, we need their correlation number. This is a statistical figure that will tell you if there is a causal connection or not. That is the most important piece of information here: is there a correlation or a causation? So, what is the difference between a correlation and a causation?
Well, a correlation just means that two things seem to happen together more often than not. It sounds impressive, but not so much once you understand it. For example: there is a correlation between people who are involved in highway accidents also being in motor vehicles. Does this mean that cars causes highway accidents? Or better yet, there is a strong correlation between people who are injured in home accidents also being in their own homes. Does this mean we can conclude that being at home causes home accidents? Now, I used absurd examples, but I did this to make a point. Correlation is not always as important as people try to make it out to be — especially when we are not presented with the complete picture.
What we really want is a clear connection of cause. This is called causation. It means that A causes B. This is much more difficult to prove. There are many variables that have to be considered, as we will soon see. But the point here is the study used in this second video does not claim causation, so it is meaningless in determining whether or not gun control laws actually reduce gun violence. Here, this video will help by giving you information that the video I have been addressing kept from you:
Now let’s look at the third video. Once again, notice how the ‘professor’ starts out with a subtle swipe at the issue of gun control. He even apologizes for it. This is ad hominem — a fallacy. It just starts his entire argument out on a weak, irrational foot. But hey, at least he gave us more information about the studies he is using. So, let’s just tackle this third video directly, using another video put together by an Australian. Notice as you watch how this video gives you study names, authors and documentation directly from the studies in question. Also note how this video tackles factors that none of the three videos above bothered to mention. Just one warning before you watch: this Ozzy uses strong language!
As you can see, we have to know a great deal about a study before we can determine if it’s claims are valid. Even if the study claims to show a causal link between gun control and a reduction in gun crime, if that study does not provide the details of how it was conducted and the data was analyzed, we still don’t have a reason to trust the results. This link is a good explanation of the problem. It addresses a recent study that compares gun violence in the U.S. to other industrialized nations by showing the problems with the model the study used to make its comparisons (note: this is a great demonstration of why many gun control ‘studies’ amount to little more than propaganda):
[Please note how this article starts out by addressing many of the exact same things we just discussed.]
OK, now I still have my sociologist hat on, so I’m going to share some other information that the gun control lobby doesn’t want to share with you. First, when we control for gang violence in the United States, our gun violence rate goes from near the top to about 4th from the bottom:
Here is another point that is usually never addressed. Crime rates have been falling all across the ‘industrialized’ world (i.e. the nations gun control advocates usually look at). These declines started before most of the gun bans mentioned in the three videos I posted went into effect, and the downward trend has continued throughout the implementation of gun control laws. What is driving his decline? Well, we cannot be sure, but if the gun control lobby wants to look at correlations, here is a strong one that needs to be given serious consideration:
Also, just because you take guns away, that does not mean you will stop mass killings. People will just use knives, cars and trucks, bombs, poison gas and even airplanes:
More than 130 people in Kunming, China, were injured when about ten men and women wielding knives began stabbing others at random
Here’s another hotly disputed ‘correlation’ that is vigorously defended by the entertainment industry and media:
Now, I am fully aware that many people will vehemently oppose the notion that violent video games lead to violence in the real world. As a sociologist (and former Marine), I have a problem with these objections. If there is no causal link, then why does the military spend so much money using them to train (and desensitize) our soldiers?
Then there is this factor to consider:
Here is another unpopular ‘correlation’ that is hidden from the public:
The facts are (as in this is real ‘correlation’) that there seems to be some sort of connection between mass shooters and Leftist political ideology. This one if VERY difficult to pin down, mostly because there is a concerted and united effort to paint people on the political Right as being the source of ‘domestic violence/terrorism.’ However, anyone with a memory will know that the media usually starts out ‘assuming’ the latest mass shooter is a Republican or a ‘Right-wing extremist,’ then, after it is discovered this is not true, the media goes silent about the political leanings of the shooter. Two very well known cases are the theater shooting in Colorado and the Las Vegas shooting — both of which started out with speculation of right-wing political connections only to later discover they were Left-leaning or sympathetic to ISIS. The Ft. Hood shooting is another example. You will have to dig for this one — hard — because the facts on this are scrubbed. In fact, you will find tons of articles that claim the opposite: that gun violence, domestic violence/terrorism are connected to the Right, not the Left. Read carefully. See how they define that violence, and how they ignore any information that does not support their narrative. This is one area where the gun lobby propaganda has been very effective at hiding the truth.
[NOTE: please notice that, unlike many on the Right, I intentionally avoided connecting these shooters to Democrats. I used the term Left-leaning political ideology, because it is a more accurate description of the facts.]
Finally, if you watched the video made by our Australian friend with the colorful language, then you’ll already know that, when guns were taken up by the government, suicide rates in Australia actually went up: people just hung themselves instead of using a gun.
This brings us back to my video about Japan. If you watch that video all the way through, you will see that they emphasis Japan’s strict gun control laws first, but then go on to explain a whole host of factors that gun control advocates never mention — not the least of which is culture! You see, the culture of a society has much more to do with gun violence than the gun laws.
None of this should surprise us. Guns used to be allowed in American high schools all the time. Yes, even in the students’ lockers! And we did not have mass shootings. This was because America was a different place back then, just as Japan is different from America today. That different America was not that long ago, either. I went to high school from 1980-84 and we had weapons hanging in the rear windows of nearly every male senior’s pick-up truck in the school parking lot, but none of us would have ever thought of using one of them to shoot up the school. Instead of doing something like that, we learned how to cope with the difficulties of life.
This takes us to England and the gun control lobby’s dismissal of people who claim that gun control does not stop people from killing each other. The gun control advocates have always rejected the idea that taking guns away will not solve the problem. In the past, they usually pointed to England to support their argument. Well, the gun control lobby has been proven wrong yet again. Not only has London overtaken New York city in murder rates, but they are doing it with knives — just like my side of this debate has said will happen:
Now, if the gun control lobby holds the moral high ground, then why would they need to keep everything we’ve just discussed from the debate? Why do they try to frame the debate in ways that demonize people who support private gun ownership? Why do they use terms like ‘assault weapon’ when they know that assault weapons have been banned for decades (an assault weapon actually has a military definition — of sorts — and it requires full automatic fire, as in machine gun)? Why does the gun control lobby feel compelled to hide or ignore evidence suggesting that guns actually are not the problem? Why do they feel compelled to mislead people in reporting on studies, ignore human nature and manipulate public emotion by exploiting children? Why do they resort to all these fallacious and, therefore, irrational things to win their argument? And, after we have just seen that the gun control lobby is not standing on solid ground, how do they justify their claim to be the ‘reasonable’ side in this argument? The truth is, there does not appear to be anything ‘reasonable‘ in the gun lobby’s position at all. Could it be that the gun control lobby actually has an agenda other than preventing needless deaths?
Consider this: The gun control lobby never actually says they want to reduce murder or death rates. Listen carefully and you will hear them tell you that all they want to do is reduce gun crime. Why? Why focus only on ‘gun violence?’ Are the lives of those people killed by knives, bombs, planes, poison gas or being run over by vehicles less valuable to them? Are they the ones who really do not care about people? Because, from a neutral point of view, a reasonable person could easily be excused if that is the conclusion they drew from all this: that the gun control lobby does not care about the lives of those killed by any means other than guns. So why the focus on guns to the exclusion of everything else — including reason and common decency?
Well, I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions as to why the gun control lobby is so focused on disarming the People, but I will leave you with a hint:
Ask yourself why the gun control lobby never addresses the real reason for the 2nd Amendment: why do they always try to change the debate to something other than the Peoples’ right to retain the ability to resist a tyrannical government? And keep in mind that the gun control lobby is on the side of those who think government is the answer to everything, and should be in charge of everything.