True Believer: One thing you guys on the Right are wrong about is your desire to possess guns which are made for killing. If you had your way this country would be like the Wild West.
Thinker: And what makes you think the Wild West was so bad?
True Believer: Everyone knows that the Old West was a dangerous place because of gun violence.
Thinker: And you know this because of what… Hollywood movies?
True Believer: I’m sure some movies stretch the truth but they do illustrate the dangers created from so many people carrying guns.
Thinker: And you illustrate one of the main problems in educating the Left. You get too much of your material from movies, sound bytes and comics. Let’s examine the facts. Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and Caldwell from 1878-1885 were considered true Wild West towns on which many movies are based. You probably assume they had a high murder rate.
True Believer: I would imagine so, but I doubt if they kept many records back then.
Thinker: They did in these areas. In his book, Frontier Violence: Another Look, author W. Eugene Hollon uncovered their records and here’s what he found. In these five communities for the years from 1870 to 1885, there were only 45 total homicides. This equates to a rate of approximately 1 murder per 100,000 residents per year. How do you think that compares with our modern cities that have tight gun controls?
True Believer: I’d have to check.
Thinker: I’ll do it for you. Here some stats for 2012:
• Detroit – 47.5 murders per 100,000 residents
• Chicago – 16.4 murders per 100,000 residents
• Baltimore – 29.5 murders per 100,000 residents
• Newark – 34 murders per 100,000 residents
Which sounds the safer place to live? The Wild West with minimal gun control and one death per 100,000 or our liberal cities with strong gun control and over thirty times the murder rate?
True Believer: I’d have to verify your figures before I could answer.
Thinker: You do that. Let us assume the figures are accurate. Wouldn’t that indicate the Wild West with all its guns was a safer place than the liberal cities of today?
True Believer: It would seem to but I really doubt your facts.
Thinker: Yeah, facts really get in the way of cherished beliefs don’t they?
True Believer: Not as much as mass shootings like Aurora, Columbine and Sandy Hook destroy your belief that guns are to be tolerated. They tell us that especially assault weapons need to be banned
Thinker: Those were definitely tragedies but you have to look at the overall numbers if you want to make a wise judgment. Do you know how many murders were committed in 2011 using rifles?
True Believer: Not sure but I do recall that gun related homicides were around 10,000.
Thinker: And of that number 323 murders were committed with a rifle. Guess how many were murdered with hammers and clubs?
True Believer: I’m sure you’ll let me know.
Thinker: Gladly. 496 were killed with hammers and clubs. That said, why do you want to ban assault or any kind of rifle when they are used in murder far less than hammers and clubs? If you want to ban assault rifles then why not ban hammers?
True Believer: Where do you get these numbers?
Thinker: They are from the FBI. This same source tells is that in 2011 1,694 people were killed with knives, scissors and other sharp instruments. Because your kitchen has instruments of murder with a much worse record than assault rifles then shouldn’t we make it against the law to even have a knife to carve a turkey?
True Believer: You are being ridiculous.
Thinker: Now you know how gun supporters feel about you and your twisted logic toward their firearms.
True Believer: What you say doesn’t seem right because there are over 10,000 murders each year from guns, yet you say there were only 323 killed with rifles.
Thinker: That may seem hard for you to believe but it’s true. Very few murders are committed with the so-called assault rifles. The vast majority are done with handguns. The reason rifles get so much attention is they are often used in mass murders. Twenty kids getting killed at Sandy Hook gets more media coverage than a thousand killed with handguns or 30,000 killed in car accidents. When you look at the statistics you have to admit that assault rifles are not much of a problem relatively speaking.
True Believer: Tell that to the parents of the kids at Sandy Hook.
Thinker: Yes, Sandy Hook stirs the emotions of any parent but there are many more children killed in car accidents than with assault rifles or guns of any type. Wouldn’t the parent of a child killed by a drunk driver be just as upset as a parent of a Sandy Hook victim?
True Believer: Maybe but that’s different.
Thinker: Tell that to the parent of a child killed by a drunk driver. A parent who suffers from a child lost to a mindless act suffers intensely whether the incident gets a lot of media attention or not. Wouldn’t you agree?
True Believer: I suppose. Even so, we need stricter controls on assault rifles. It’s like Obama says that it is worth the effort even if it saves one life.
Thinker: Then perhaps we should ban cars. That would save 30,000 lives. By your reasoning we would save hundreds of lives if we just banned hammers.
True Believer: That’s different.
Thinker: Actually, banning bicycles should make a lot of sense to the gun-banning mindset. In 2010 there were 618 deaths from cyclists who crashed into cars and over 50,000 injuries reported on top of the many thousands not reported. Should we really be teaching our kids to ride such a dangerous instrument?
In 2010 there were 3615 deaths from motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die in a crash than a passenger in a car.
There are all kinds of things more logical to ban than semi-automatic weapons, but banning weapons appeals to those who are governed by emotion.
True Believer: You’re twisting things.
Thinker: And how are true facts twisting things for you?
True Believer: (He looks uncomfortable and changes the subject) Piers Morgan during his debate with wild man Alex Jones noted that England has strict gun control and has only has 35 deaths a year from guns. It looks like it works for them.
Thinker: Of course, if you could eliminate most of the guns then gun deaths would go down. Instead, killers would just kill with something else. Would you rather live in the United States or North Korea?
True Believer: The U. S. of course. Why do you ask that?
Thinker: North Korea probably has the strictest gun control in the world. There are few, if any, reports of any civilian killing anyone with a gun. Is that the ideal for you?
True Believer: Of course not.
Thinker: And what is it that makes life so much more desirable here?
True Believer: A lot of things.
Thinker: And those many things that are better spring from one thing and that is freedom. Sure, we could eliminate almost all crime if we took away freedom. Freedom does create some risks but wouldn’t you say that increased quality of life is worth some extra risk?
True Believer: To a degree.
Thinker: Driving a car is much more dangerous than gun violence, but are you going to stop driving because there is a risk?
True Believer: Of course not.
Thinker: Then why do you want to ban assault weapons when the risk from them is hundreds of times less than from automobiles?
True Believer: It’s different. We have to have cars.
Thinker: No we don’t. You could take a bus or ride a bicycle to most places you want to go.
True Believer: But that would be very inconvenient.
Thinker: And gun owners think it would be very inconvenient to have to give up their guns or not be able to defend themselves.“`
True Believer: I will conceded that we do not want to take away all freedoms and become like North Korea but, as Piers Morgan pointed out, England has a better balance than we do and there are only a handful of gun deaths there.
Thinker: People have very limited access to guns there but it does no stop people from murdering each other. They usually have close to a 1000 murders a year there. That is lower than the United States, but in other areas they do not fare so well. For instance the United States has 466 violent crimes per 100,000 but the UK has four times that amount reaching over 2000 crimes. Do you think that maybe there is so much crime because criminals know that citizens will not have guns?
True Believer: That’s what you gun people like to think.
Thinker: Something your side doesn’t consider is the difference in culture of various countries and locations. For instance Venezuela has followed in England’s footsteps and placed many restrictions on their people and banned all guns and ammunition. Do you have any idea what their murder rate is?
True Believer: No idea.
Thinker: It is 45.1 per 100,000 which is almost ten times the rate of the United States. It doesn’t sound like gun control is working out for those folks, does it?
True Believer: I’ll have to check out the facts there.
Thinker: I hope you do. Mexico also has strong gun control measures but has over four times our murder On the other hand, Switzerland has very liberal gun laws – many people are seen carrying guns in public places. Guess what their murder rate is.
True Believer: I suppose you’re going to tell me it is low.
Thinker: You are right sir. It is .7 per 100,000 almost half of the UK and about 25% the rate of Scotland. Even in the United States we have a wide variety of murder rates. Hawaii, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island all have lower murder rates than England and Wales and my home state of Idaho, which has a strong gun culture, has fewer murders than Scotland. Do you know where the highest rate of murders and violet crime take place in the U.S.?
True Believer: I suppose you are going to tell me it is a place with strong gun control measures.
Thinker: You are correct. Detroit has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country yet has the highest murder and violet crime rate of any major city. The murder rate is almost ten times the national average. How do you explain that?
True Believer: I understand criminals often steal guns. If we had more universal gun controls then the crime rate would go down.
Thinker: Then how do you explain that violent crime that has no guns involved in Detroit is still several times the national average?
True Believer: I’m not sure.
Thinker: Do you think that maybe criminals feel they are safe in assaulting or robbing others who are not allowed to have guns?
True Believer: I’m sure that’s not it.
Thinker: Then what is?
True Believer: I’ll think about it.
Thinker: Do that and then you’ll see that gun control does little or nothing to keep the peace – that is unless we use tyrannical methods as does North Korea and Cuba. I don’t think we want that kind of peace; do you?
True Believer: No answer.
Copyright 2013 by J J Dewey
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