Gun grabber

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This article deals with the term "gun grabber" and its implications. For details on individual gun grabbers or organizations, see the gun grabbers category for more information.
An all-too-typical example of gun-grabbers' fearmongering propaganda; this from the Brady Campaign immediately following the state of Florida's decision to enact CCW legislation. The predicted bloodbaths failed to occur.
"Gun-grabber" is a common slang term in the firearms rights community which is used to describe (usually in a derogatory sense) individuals or organizations who are in favour of, or actively working towards, so-called "gun control" laws and/or other governmental or social policies which infringe upon the rights of gun owners.

While comprehensively covering such a wide topic in a single web page is clearly a fool's errand, this article will attempt to broadly cover the subject by touching on the major aspects of it and providing the reader with an overview of the gun-grabber mentality. General arguments and counterarguments will also be presented, to provide assistance in the event of an encounter with a gun grabber.


[edit] GOR policy

A moment should be taken at this point to clarify (as if it were needed) the official position taken by Gun Owners' Resource Ltd. and its staff, administrators and management, regarding our neutrality towards this particular subject:

We don't have any neutrality.

Both as an organization and as individuals, all partners in Gun Owners' Resource are solidly and uncompromisingly on the side of upholding the individual RIGHTS -- which are NOT PRIVILEGES to be granted or withdrawn by any agency of any state -- of law-abiding gun owners.

In other words, we just plain don't like gun-grabbers.

But that's okay ... because they don't much like us, either.

[edit] Reasoning

The policies endorsed by gun grabbers are often put forward under the pretense of a wide array of seemingly laudable motives, which often include -- but are by no means limited to -- some of the following:

  • Reducing so-called "gun crime" rates.
  • Prevention of firearm-related accidents.
  • Protecting women from abusive partners.
  • "Saving the children."
  • "If it saves one life, it's worth it."

The problem -- for the gun grabbers, at least -- is that their methods do not accomplish the goals which they claim to be aiming for. In fact, they often have the opposite effect.

[edit] Types

see also: Raging Against Self Defense, The Seven Varieties of Gun Control Advocate
Remember: only soldiers and cops need guns.
Gun grabbers, as a general rule, fall into one of two categories of mindsets: the hardcore, social engineering types who's true goal is more "people control" than gun control, and those who are just ignorant on the subject and only know what they hear in the media.

The first group is malevolent and there simply isn't much that can be constructively done with them. No amount of reason, persuasion, or mountains of facts are going to change their minds. They are, for whatever reason, simply determined to impose their will and views on society as a whole and (to be blunt about the matter) they simply don't care what anyone else has to say. Their minds are closed and, barring some life-altering traumatic experience, will likely stay that way.

The second group is not malevolent, merely misinformed. They are, for the most part, just as reasonable and intelligent as the next person; which means that their minds can be, and usually are, changed if their questions are answered in a clear and honest manner, with solid facts to back those answers up.

It is the second group upon which gun owners should focus their educational efforts. The first reason is simply because they can be convinced. If provided with solid facts and a reasonable argument, they will come to the in evadable conclusion that gun control is not only an abysmal failure, but also contrary to the wellbeing of a healthy society. Secondly, they vastly outnumber the malevolent hardcore types.

[edit] Hoplophobia

A moment should be taken, before proceeding further, to point out that this article is not intended to deal with the topic of clinical hoplophobia. While the term "hoplophobe" has, perhaps inevitably, come to be commonly used as a synonym for "gun-grabber," it is important to remember that beyond its politicized usage, hoplophobia is a very real, sometimes even debilitating, clinical condition and should not be derided as otherwise.

If you are dealing with someone who is genuinely hoplophobic, arguing with or otherwise browbeating them over the issue is not only counterproductive, it borders on downright cruelty. The best thing that you can do for such a person is to encourage them, gently but firmly, to seek appropriate treatment from a qualified mental health professional who can help them resolve their condition. Clinical hoplophobes are not malevolent persons, they are suffering from a legitimate mental illness and should be treated with the appropriate compassion.

This does not, however, mean that they should be allowed to influence public policy on the subject of their phobia...

[edit] Methodology

Leftquot.png The most outrageous lies that can be invented will find believers if a man only tells them with all his might. Rightquot.png
Mark Twain

In this section, we will outline some of the more popular arguments, ranging from the seemingly rational to the blatantly ad hominem, regularly employed by gun grabbers. Each subsection will also include an appropriate counterargument with accompanying facts, so you can set the record straight when needed.

[edit] If it saves one life

"If it saves even one life, it's worth it."
This, with little doubt, is the most well-worn of all the gun grabbers' arguments. Whenever they find themselves on the losing end of an argument, they'll pull this one out... well, like a gun. The purpose of this sideways ad hominem argument is twofold: they seek to make themselves seem to be defenders of the sanctity of human life and, by implication, paint anyone who disagrees with them as having no regard for the lives of innocents.

The facts
The problem with their logic is that, while they're so busy talking about how many they are trying to save, they never take the time to tell anyone just how many they're willing to kill. Yes, you read that right. Study after study, social experiment after social experiment, in places around the globe have all shown that, when restrictive laws are brought in to disarm a law-abiding populace, crime -- and violent crime in particular -- skyrockets. This inevitably results in more deaths and injuries than would occur in a well armed, but also well protected, populace.

If gun grabbers were really serious about a net lowering of human mortality rates, they would be lobbying for mandatory firearms ownership, safety training, and open carry laws. They aren't (see Prophecies of doom, below).

[edit] No guns, no crime

"If there weren't any guns, there wouldn't be any gun crime."
On the surface of it, this argument seems to make perfect sense. After all, how can there be any gun crime if there are no guns with which to commit those crimes? It is therefore perfectly logical to ban all firearms altogether, right?

The facts
The fundamental flaw in this argument is that, in order for it to actually work, firearms would have to "un-invent" themselves; they would have to simply cease to exist... everywhere[1].

Britain and Australia have both enacted bans on virtually all but the simplest of firearms. Jamaica has banned civilian firearm ownership altogether. In Britain, from 1997 (when the handgun ban was implemented) to 2006, crimes involving handguns more than doubled and injuries from handguns rose from 314 in 1997 to 1,024 in 2006 - an increase of more than 225%. Australia has seen a similar increase in gun crime rates, and violent crime of all varieties in Jamaica skyrocketed after handguns were heavily restricted and a special Gun Court established in the 1970s[2].

It should also be pointed out that, in addition to prohibitive gun laws, Britain, Australia and Jamaica have another thing in common: all three of them are islands.

[edit] Accident reduction

Deaths by Cause (2005)[3]
Cause # of Deaths Odds
Motor Vehicle 45,343 84
Falls 19,656 194
Poisoning 23,618 161
Drowning 3,582 1,064
Ingestion of food
or other object
4,053 940
mechanical forces
2,845 1,340
Smoke or fire 3,197 1,192
Exposure 2,179 1,749
Suicide 32,637 117
Execution 54 70,577
Firearms 789 4,830
This is a favoured dodge of not only gun-grabbers, but social engineers in general: invoke a non-problem and then use the proposed solution as a justification for your actions. The facts are that accidental deaths from firearms are among the lowest of any measured category.

The United States has the highest civilian gun ownership rate in the world (≈9 guns for every 10 humans), according to the Geneva Graduate Institute of International Studies' Small Arms Survey[4]. The table on the right outlines the number of deaths by several causes in the US for the year 2005. Headings are for cause of death, raw number of such deaths in 2005, and the (1 in x) lifetime odds of dying in such a manner.

Based on this data, it can be determined (through simple mathematics) that a person is (approximately):

  • 58 times more likely to die from car accidents,
  • 25 times more likely to die from falls,
  • 30 times more likely to die from poisoning,
  • 5 times more likely to die from drowning,
  • 5 times more likely to die from "ingestion of food or other object,"
  • 4 times more likely to die from "inanimate mechanical forces,"
  • 4 times more likely to die from smoke or fire,
  • 3 times more likely to die from exposure, and
  • 41 times more likely to kill themselves

... than they are likely to die from an accidental discharge from a firearm.

On the other hand, you are almost 15 times more likely to die in a firearm accident than you are to be executed...

[edit] Protecting women

[edit] Lying to Canadians

Two tables:
Canadian Domestic Homicide Data, up to 2007
Number and rates of spousal homicide[5]
Total Sex of victim Rate of occurrence:
Click to view chart

Deaths by cause:
Click to view chart
Female Male
1995 93 71 22
1996 82 63 19
1997 78 63 15
1998 70 57 13
1999 71 60 11
2000 69 52 17
2001 89 71 18
2002 84 68 16
2003 78 64 14
2004 75 63 12
2005 74 62 12
2006 78 56 22
2007 65 51 14
Known causes of death[6]
Method used Total Sex of victim
Female victims Male victims
number percent number percent number percent
Total 744 100 595 100 149 100
Shooting 182 24 165 28 17 11
Stabbing 286 38 180 30 106 71
Strangulation 140 19 131 22 9 6
Beating 106 14 97 16 9 6
Other 30 4 22 4 8 5
Leftquot.png Close to 88% of women who are killed in a situation of domestic assault are killed by the use of a shotgun or rifle.[7] Rightquot.png
Popular gun control claim in Canada

According to Statistics Canada, the domestic homicide facts are as shown in the two tables on the right:

It seriously begs the question of just where that "88%" figure comes from, doesn't it?

How can 88% of women be killed with long guns when 71% are murdered by manual means (stabbing, beating, strangulation)? Must be some kind of new math.

[edit] Do it for the children

[edit] Prophecies of doom

[edit] References

  1. As Dave Kopel, Paul Gallant, and Joanne Eisen of the Independence Institute pointed out in their article, "A World Without Guns," a gun-free utopia has existed before and isn't what it's cracked up to be.
  2. Kopel, David B. The Samurai, the Mountie, and the Cowboy--Should America Adopt the Gun Controls of Other Democracies? (1992), Prometheus Books, New York, pp.257-277, ISBN 0-87975-756-6
  3. National Safety Council The odds of dying from...
  4. Geneva Graduate Institute of International Studies (2007-09). "Small Arms Survey 2007". Cambridge. ISBN 9780521880398.
  5. Table 5.2: Number and rates of spousal homicide, 1978 to 2007; Statistics Canada website.
  6. Table 5.4: Known causes of death among spousal relationships by sex, 1998 to 2007; Statistics Canada website.
  7. "Sept. 15 is National Day in Support of the Long Gun Registry Long Gun Registry Saves Lives" Exchange. September 14 , 2010
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