Pro-Gun myths that are not actually myths.

I saw this article posted by a friend on Facebook today, and I thought it was so wrong that I could do a whole post disproving it.  Here’s the site, if you’d like to read it firsthand, and I will go through each myth one at a time.  Each bolded sentence is presented as false in the article.

http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/pro-gun-myths-fact-check

“Myth” 1: They’re coming for your guns.

This point is just meaningless.  The author seems to think that gun owners are only concerned with government theft of all guns, when restrictions such as those from Senator Feinstein are clearly real and threatening to second amendment rights.  Regardless, I don’t actually see anything “pro” gun here.

“Myth” 2: Guns don’t kill people—people kill people.

First, the idea that states with more gun owners have more gun related deaths doesn’t say anything negative.  A state with higher crime would mean a higher rate of sometimes lethal self-defense.  For this myth to be true, the gun related deaths would have to take place in an otherwise crimeless environment, which they just as easily don’t (the study doesn’t say).  Furthermore, the fact that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is only pointing out that an object is only dangerous in the wrong hands.

“Myth” 3: An armed society is a polite society.

Of the three bullet points, the first shows a vague connection that’s based on unverifiable reports, and doesn’t even relate to physical safety.  The second point covers a survey among Texans convicted of serious crimes.  Maybe the legal route of gun purchasing was easier for them, but they’re obviously willing to break the law if they’ve already been convicted.  The mentality “I want to harm this person” doesn’t change with legal purchasing restriction.  The final point goes back to their second myth – Stand Your Ground laws indicate a need for self-defense, and increased homicides do not result from these laws.

“Myth” 4: More good guys with guns can stop rampaging bad guys.

The last three mass shootings I can think of, and many more if they are researched properly, took place in areas where gun carrying was not permitted.  The students of Columbine, for example, obviously couldn’t carry guns, and are a poor example for this idea.  In fact, many incidences of mass shootings could have been stopped if a bystander was allowed to be armed.  As to ER shootings, if the guns are taken from security guards, then that has no relation to concealed carrying for civilians; several samples of civilians not stopping mass shootings while being armed anyway would be what the author needs to prove his point, and that information isn’t there.

“Myth” 5: Keeping a gun at home makes you safer.

Fact Check: “Owning a gun has been related to higher risk of accidental gun death.”  Really?  Is that supposed to be surprising?  Yes, to die from a gun accident, one must first have a gun.

The suicide information is irrelevant to any gun-control debate I can think of, and the murder statistics continue to overlook the fact that those in question are murderers.  Restriction on gun access would hardly make murder more difficult.

I have a meeting right now, but I’ll get to the latter five points when I get back.

Back from everything, here’s the last half.

 

“Myth” 6: Carrying a gun for self-defense makes you safer.

The first point, as far as I can tell, gives no evidence for not carrying a gun.  The second study cited by the author gives pretty questionable evidence that people have been illegally threatened by gun owners who might not have legally owned the guns in the first place.  If anything, this is evidence that restriction laws accomplish little, and that we should carry guns.  Apparently, I am at risk to be threatened with violence.  If guns really are used more frequently for illegal violence, I should be prepared.  The final study cited in section 6 gives what I think is initially the most convincing evidence for gun control, but still holds up poorly to logical analysis.  Victims of assault are more likely to be shot if they carry guns.  Sure, that makes some sense; if a man is assaulting me, and sees me reach for a gun, he will have to shoot me or be shot himself.  This study ignores that we don’t know how many assaulters would have shot the victim anyway, but let’s say it’s completely correct.  The intelligent use of firearms should be employed when they are necessary at all, and trying to, say, reach for a gun while an attacker already has his sights on you will lead to nothing good.  Still, the victims are being assaulted, and by attackers who are willing to kill if necessary.  If the choice is to be armed or not to be armed, I would rather be armed and able to use my weapon if I can.  Everyone should still remember their own limitations, and if they can efficiently use that weapon before making their attacker more violent and nervous.

“Myth” 7: Guns make women safer.

Their first proof is only that women are more likely to be killed by their significant other than by strangers, which is certainly chilling but makes no case for gun control nor does it address a supposed myth supporting gun ownership.  The second study gives a correlation between gun ownership and already abusive, violent, disgusting criminals.  I feel like I’ve said this a bunch of times already, but a lawbreaker will obviously break the law, and restricting legal access to guns will make his law-breaking only slightly more difficult.  The third study shows that, while women may be murdered by guns more frequently in high gun owning states, they are still murdered at the same rate.

Myth 8:  “Vicious, violent video games” deserve more blame than guns.

Myth 8 is actually fine with me (as in I believe it is actually a myth), and I should note that no reason given which advocates gun control.

Myth 9: More and more Americans are becoming gun owners.

Like myth 8, myth 9 is fine with me and contains no reason to ban gun ownership.

Myth 10:  We don’t need more gun laws—we just need to enforce the ones we have.

In the final myth, I think the author contradicts himself.  I agree that America doesn’t need to enforce the silly gun laws that already exist, but because every gun law is unconstitutional and ultimately wrong.  But the contradiction is seen when the author shows that the laws are ineffective.  He doesn’t seem to realize that every law attempting to limit gun ownership will fail, by their nature.  Advocating stricter laws after demonstrating the inability of current laws to function is absurd.  Gun ownership has stayed strong despite attempts to weaken it, and more gun laws will continue to be ineffective.

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Creating a libertarian nation

No country is “completely” libertarian in that all social, economic, and foreign policies adhere to a libertarian philosophy, but if individual sections of certain nations are observed, a nation can be assembled in which all sectors adhere to principles of freedom.  All of the countries listed include areas of increasing state involvement as well. The Singaporean government, for example, oppresses individual freedom with gusto, but the nation as a whole is not to be observed.  An argument could be made that certain facets of a nation are inseparable from one another (with which I don’t agree), but the objective of this post is not how one country can be free in every way, but only that each aspect of a country can be based on individual freedom and minimal government interference.

Foreign Policy of Switzerland – Swiss military policy is so favored in the Libertarian Party that it’s listed on the official party website.  The successful neutrality of Switzerland through virtually all modern conflict is a go-to example of what to promote for many Libertarians.  Switzerland has managed to stay free of outside influence, even from the Nazis, without imposing its will on other nations.  The Swiss steer clear of military alliances, but a perfectly Libertarian country could still intervene in the case of a clear threat to an ally.  Particularly in the United States, citizens who admire the Swiss policy of armed neutrality generally appreciate the military strength if needed, which helps deter invaders, as well as the lack of intervention that could be formed by a single executive leader.  I’ve heard Ron Paul accused of being isolationist, because he does not support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or barely any other overseas involvement.  A consequence of this accusation is the implication that the United States, or any powerful country, can only be either isolationist or interventionist.

This is just not true.  Dr. Paul, and other like-minded individuals, advocates peaceful diplomatic relations with all nations, if possible, and defensive wars when absolutely necessary.  The Swiss constitution maintains in its very first section that the country should preserve liberty, democracy, and independence, and urges the promotion of human rights abroad.  While morality should not be decided by the state, Swiss humanitarian aid can be allowed as a strategy if it significantly increases diplomatic peace for Switzerland.

The Free Market Economy of Germany –   German commitment to preventing state involvement in the market started after World War 2.  The Nazis, like any fascists, were in complete control of the economy, and although they frequently aided corporations with money and free labor, being pro-business is not the same as being pro-market.  Germans in the post-war period wanted to avoid any possible repeat of the regime that had just been deposed, and the benefits of their free market are obvious today.  I don’t even need to post current statistics, (Google it if you want) because anyone with even a basic following of world events can vouch for me.   Germany leads Europe economically, and pulls more than its own weight in the EU, to the point where citizens of poorer (and more socialist) countries will vocally complain that they are ‘owned’ by Germans.

However, support for Germany can only go so far.  The term for their specific economy is ‘social market economy’, which is really a contradiction, and the social part is larger than I’d like.  The state has been taking a bigger and bigger role, especially since Unification.  I like the German work ethic, but the state needs to be kept out of the economy completely.  There should be thought similar to…

The Singaporean Attitude towards Welfare – First I’d like to repeat myself that I’m surgically removing a specific piece of Singapore, and not supporting all or even most of the current government.  Nationally, Singapore suppresses a ton of rights that should never be repressed, but they treat welfare how anyone should.

Strict libertarians would want absolutely no state-provide welfare, but so little is present in Singapore that I’m willing to allow it.  Throughout the country, welfare is looked down upon, and the process is intentionally slow.  The government is stingy because there is a nationwide fear that too much social aid will “undercut the work ethic while burdening taxpayers.”  This attitude is basic and essential to a society based on individual freedom and responsibility.  Even for those who claim welfare is necessary to a humane society, the outlook that welfare is a last result and only for very urgent situations can be accepted.  For our hypothetical country of libertarianism, Singapore provides an outline of one important aspect despite the numerable instances where Singapore intrudes on liberty.

The United State before Prohibition, the War on Drugs, and any Gun Control – the United States before 1934 had, as far as I can tell, no laws of gun control.  In the earlier twentieth century, no laws prohibiting the sale of drugs or alcohol existed either, save a law prohibiting the import of opium from China.  The instinctive reaction of most people whom I’ve spoken with is that drugs, guns, and in some cases alcohol should be banned because they are bad.  Using drugs is unhealthy, so why not ban it?  Guns kill people, so why not ban them too?  These questions, while they have altruistic origins, are overly simplistic.  Gun ownership can be justified by fulfilling the need of self-defense from criminals and tyranny, but no products ever need to be justified to be owned.  The consumer has the right to purchase whatever he or she desires, and commits no crime by owning items or substances that are potentially dangerous.  An unnecessary correlation of drugs, some weapons, and crime exists in the minds of mainly because they’re illegal.  Hard drugs, for example, are often sold by criminals to criminals, but this situation only arises because of the fact that the substances are illegal.  No reason exists that hard drugs need to be sold by dangerous people, and with the lifting of drug prohibition, the sale can be completely safe.

Remember that no one should be made to own anything.  Our hypothetical country would never force its citizens to own any weapons, or own or use any drugs or alcohol.  Drug users would be just as forbidden to harm innocent people as anyone, and violent crimes would still be violent crimes.  The population, though, would always have the option of owning anything they want to own.

 

For now, these are all the basic political areas I can think of, and I hope I’ve provided enough information for each individual country.  No country that I can find is perfectly Libertarian, but if parts of different countries are combined, we can see what a truly free country would look like.

Here are the websites I used as sources; in the order I used them:

http://www.lp.org/issues/foreign-policy

http://www.germanculture.com.ua/library/facts/bl_economy.htm

http://www.economist.com/node/15524092

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Here we go

My hope in starting this blog is to promote a political perspective which I feel is often dismissed.  I hope to provide rational support of personal liberty while avoiding any emotionally charged writing and petty argument.  If you believe I’m incorrect or incomplete, please feel free to comment, and I’ll try to respond asap – intelligent discourse is how we generate new ideas and move towards truth.

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