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Why Gun Control Fails..

Posted 02-19-2013 at 15:16 by TheJ
Updated 12-11-2014 at 08:05 by TheJ

The core reason gun control always fails to reduce violent crime/murder in an open society is because effectively the absence of firearms can only negatively impact the ability to defend yet has practically no effect on the ability to attack.

Why is that?

Well, in a nutshell, firearms are far and away much more valuable for defense than they are for offense. That may seem counterintuitive to some but let us take modern police for example. As a matter of policy, do they carry guns to "attack" criminals? No. While the observation/presence of a gun to those not comfortable with them may seem inherently offensive, the truth is police carry guns merely as defensive tools used only to stop threats to themselves or others. They carry these defensive tools for several reasons that basically all come down to convenience. Guns don't require special physical strength. So even those who are smaller, more frail or have physical limitations can operate them effectively. Firearms are portable so one can have them available for use very quickly, practically all the time. Additionally, they enable a defender to engage threats effectively at distance. There really arenít any other defensive tools that have all this convenience/effectiveness in one package. Most other defensive tools would put one in greater danger either because of the proximity to an attacker, they lack portability, they may require significant physical strength or they simply are not effective at stopping a determined attacker. Unsurprisingly, the reasons firearms are practically ideal for police to carry as defensive tools are the very same reasons they are often ideal for other law-abiding citizens. Note effectiveness is about stopping a threat not causing death. Despite common beliefs most firearms are not especially great at causing instant death compared to many other tools. However, considering their size they can be effective at stopping threats. Stopping the threat is what is important for a defender.

Then it's important to recognize that movies and sensationalized media notwithstanding, it is an empirical fact that firearms are only one of an infinite number of tools with which criminals may commit attacks murder/violent crime. However, that is NOT only in the abstract sense but it is especially so because of the specific dynamic between an attacker and a defender. This specific dynamic means that practically anything is, has been & will be used to attack/murder (often with far greater efficiency than firearms). So even if it were possible to eliminate firearms from the equation in the US all together (of course it is not) it would still not logically follow that it would have any significant effect on reducing the rate of murder or violent crime. In fact, a lot of evidence points at the opposite effect.

Firearms are popular with criminals because some see them as a symbol of status, their obvious defensive advantages and for various other reasons. Yet firearms are often not even the most effective tool for murder. That may initially seem counterintuitive for many. Especially those who have been subjected to years of messaging that suggests the opposite... but the vast majority of people who are shot by others, do not die. If one really wants to murder somebody or a group of somebodies there are many many other ways that are at least (if not more) as effective at accomplishing that goal than trying to make small inexact holes in them with a firearm.

As I mentioned, a firearm as a tool is convenient because it is portable and allows one to engage at more distance than many other tools. Yet this biggest advantage "convenience," is actually never especially high on the priority list of an attacker. This is because, as the attacker, they always have the inherent advantage of getting to pick/control all of the other variables in the equation of their attack (time, target, place, manner, desired outcome, etc.). That more than anything is why there are always an infinite number of tools available to an attacker. If one tool doesn't fit their needs they simply change the tool or number of tools. Or they change some combination of all the variables (all of which are in their control) to achieve their goal.

Practically speaking then the access of a would-be attacker, free to move about society unsupervised, to an infinite number of tools means legal firearm access simply cannot actually cause or prevent violent crime. So the decision to commit an attack/murder can practically never depend on legal access to firearms and the same applies for the decision to commit suicide. People make a conscious choice to commit violent crime just like they make a conscious choice to commit suicide. Once that choice is made, there is no reason to make an assumption the decision would then change based merely on the availability of one particular tool such as a firearm. The evidence to support this is quickly ascertained by simply looking at places with practically no private guns like Japan yet they have twice the suicide rate of the United States. Moreover, why places with very strict gun control like Russia (9 guns per 100 people) have twice the homicide rate of the US (100 guns per 100 people).

This is also all supported by (among mountains of evidence) simply observing a few empirical/historical facts:
* The worst foreign terrorist attack and mass killing in US history, no guns were used at all. (9/11)
* The worst domestic terrorist attack and mass killing in US history, no guns used what so ever.(OK City)
* The worst school mass killing in US history, no guns were used shoot anyone. (Bathe MI) Even though it happened in a time when not only were there no backgrounds checks for any firearms what so ever but practically anyone could buy and own fully automatic firearms with no special procedures at all.
* Many of the most famous murder trials in US history (Like OJ Simpson, Manson murders) no gun used. (Although I bet the victims at some point in their final moments wished they had been armed.)
* Murder (mass and otherwise) has existed for eons prior to firearms and it exists even where there are no firearms allowed what so ever.
* For the entire history of firearms, even with ALL the places in the world that have strict gun control and/or outright bans, gun control measures have never been shown to reduce overall violent crime/murder. (Should there not be at least a few examples of where it has worked?)

Conversely, there is practically NO tool that is more effective for defense than a firearm. That is because of the specific benefits offered by firearms (convenience/ability to engage at distance) ARE especially critical for a defender. By definition, a defender does NOT get to pick/control all the variables (tools, time, place, manner, etc.) they will face in an attack they will need to defend. They are always at this inherent disadvantage so (unlike an attacker) the disadvantaged position of a defender means the convenience offered by defensive tools like firearms, is paramount to them.

It logically follows that practically any law that degrades, prohibits or restricts access to the most convenient & effective tools for defense (which are completely unnecessary for attack) can really ONLY have a significant negative impact on the ability to defend and practically no impact on the ability to attack or commit violent crime.

That is why gun control always fails at the typically stated goal of reducing violent crime/murder.
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