Let Me Sum Up
In general, I think the argument that we should “stay calm and stick to the facts” when arguing about gun control is bullshit. For one thing, arguing while calm is no fun at all. This isn’t Downton Abbey. This is America, where I have the right to weep and wail gnash my teeth when arguing, whether it be about guns or abortion or Tony Romo. (Who is AWESOME, and if you don’t think so, you’re an IDIOT!)
But especially about guns. Because guns are used by the people who kill people to kill people. Kill them very efficiently, I might add. So efficiently, the guns themselves are terrifying. Which is why when I have an argument with someone about guns, I feel as though I should be able to take an unloaded revolver, place the muzzle against his temple and methodically pull the trigger during our argument. Because the fear the person would feel from even an unloaded weapon is part of my argument.
In Robberson’s piece, he asks that folks stop making the argument that the national efforts at gun control equate to the first steps of despotic rule. Using easily available facts and his own vast experience overseas, Robberson systematically destroys this argument. It’s a very good piece, because he knows the subject well.
My problem with it is that it’s no fun to be that right when you act all calm and stately about it. You can’t just say, as he does, “[D]on’t make up your own history to deceive people into supporting your cause. And don’t resort to red-faced, vein-bulging histrionics and threats such as it’ll be '1776 all over again' if the government takes steps to limit the spread of kid-killing machines.”
BO-RING. You need to stomp on the grave, man. “So you idiots think the government is coming to get you? News flash: No one cares about you, this is a perverted way for dumb people to make themselves feel important, and even if you’re right, what are you going to do with your AR-15 against the U.S. military, Rambo?” That’s much more fun.
Hashimoto says he’s eager to engage in this stately debate and offers that assault-weapon bans won’t stop killings. He quotes a columnist whose money quote is:
Now, let me show you how this is done. First, you make your counter-argument, sprinkled with some facts (or at least link to facts).
Hash, no one is saying assault weapons are used in most killings. (Straw man, tipped.) The concern, the thing that has galvanized the country, are mass shootings, defined and illustrated here. You’ll see there have been 62 such U.S. shootings since 1982 — 25 of them since 2006, and seven of them in 2012 alone. Thus, the ban.
Also, you’ll note that assault weapons account for about a quarter of deaths in those cases. If you throw in semi-automatic handguns (which I’d like to ban, because they’re designed solely to kill humans, appropriate only for military and police), that covers the weapons used in nearly 75 percent of mass killings.
(Then, you pile on.)
Oh, but you tweeted this morning a column from the Wall Street Journal wherein a former prosecutor says D.C.’s very strict gun laws weren’t effective because murders went up when they were enacted.
(Now, you get smartass-y.)
Jeez, did you even read the piece, Hashimoto? First, just take a swim through Lake Duh and read up on D.C. crime history. The columnist doesn’t mention any of the other factors that were driving murder rates up at the same time throughout the country, including crack, which was the driving force behind murders in D.C at that time.
Also, what accounted for the drop in crime in the 1990s and early 2000s when the restrictive gun laws were still in place? And what accounts for the record lows since its repeal in 2007? Could it be that owning assault rifles and carrying handguns in public is still illegal there?
(Last, get red-faced and vein-bulging.)
And why is that author suggesting his experience as a prosecutor there gives him insight when he was only a prosecutor for two years — after the restrictive laws were overturned?! It’s because this is about winning an argument with as many disparate facts as a gun absolutist can assemble but ignoring that guns bring with them only death, often for the innocent and abused, and that sort of person would rather cite random facts or defend himself against ghosts than address the blood on his hands.
[Puts muzzle to imaginary person’s temple. Click. Click. Click. Click.]
Different amounts, but the gist is the same in reporting my 2012 fiscal statement.
I actually love Mike Hashimoto, and he’s one of the few folks who doesn’t take an attack on his ideas personally. I hope. He has very big arms.