My Reactions to Twitter Trends Regarding the Newton Shooting

Quick note: I wrote these up while watching Twitter updates on the Newton shooting. These points are my immediate, emotional responses to some of the tweets I was reading. Please treat them as such.


1. If we enact harsher gun control, then only the criminals will have guns. They don’t buy them legally, so we’ll only be harming the innocent.

This is a false premise to begin with because most of the recent shootings have occurred as the result of legally bought guns. So harsher laws WOULD have helped stop these recent shootings.

But let’s go ahead and grant that premise, and we’ll see that the logic still doesn’t hold. Advocates of stricter gun laws are not trying to abolish all guns. No intelligent, thinking person believes we can do that. It’s about drastically limiting the number of guns in circulation, which will make it much more difficult to illegally acquire a gun.

It’s like the concept of herd-immunity. Scientists know that it’s practically impossible to totally eradicate all traces of a virus. But it is possible to raise the immunity level of the entire population to such a degree that the odds of contracting said virus are very, very, very low.

And the same principle holds true with gun control. If we are able to drastically limit the number of guns in circulation, it won’t totally halt all gun crime, but we know that’s impossible anyway. It will, however, make finding a gun for criminal purposes very, very, very difficult. And hence, fewer gun crimes.

 2. The second amendment guarantees the right to bear arms.

Sure. So how about this?

You can carry muskets and flintlock weapons around as often as you like. Any weapon manufactured after the turn of the 19th century is fair game for regulation.

 3. Honest people carrying guns will act as a deterrent against crime. Criminals will know that citizens can protect themselves, which will limit crime.

Statistics disprove this ridiculous theory immediately. We have some of the laxest gun laws right now, and we also have a lot of gun crime. Think about the other time in history when we had lax gun laws: The Old West.

Also, anyone versed in history knows that mutually assured destruction eventually has one end: Slim Pickens riding a bomb like a bronco.

 4. I need a gun to protect my family.

Again, statistics disprove this. There are very few times when having a concealed weapon actually saved someone. Statistics tell us that people with concealed weapons are more likely to be a danger to themselves or innocent bystanders in a crisis.

Look, there’s a reason why the Marines and the Army OSUT have such a long and demanding bootcamp. They’re the soldiers who are most likely to be fighting in urban environments, and military operations in urban terrain, or MOUT, are incredibly demanding on a solider. Threat identification and assessment is fantastically difficult to do under stressful situations. A fifteen hour concealed weapons class is woefully inadequate.

Those classes merely provide the illusion of safety, which in my mind, makes a person with a concealed handgun more dangerous than a person without one.

Don’t believe me? Then have a look at the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Urban Operations manual. Fighting in an urban environment is really, really hard. Fifteen hours at a local gun shop ain’t enough.

5. Owning a gun isn’t about protect myself against crime. It’s a second amendment right because the founders knew that a well-armed militia would keep the government in check.

Seriously? Are you that naive? If the government even thought for one second that your personal arsenal posed a threat to the local, state, or national government, they would David Koresh your ass into oblivion. They don’t even need to send in armed troops to take away your AR-15. They’ll send in a drone, reduce your stupid house to ashes, and have a Dr. Pepper while doing it. Grow up.

 6. Guns don’t kill people. The guns are innocent. Cars can be deadly weapons, too. If we ban guns we should also ban cars.

False equivalency. Cars were designed to get us from one place to the other (some more effectively than others). Sure, they can be wielded as weapons, but you could also beat a guy to death with the Sunday edition of the New York Times. But that’s not its purpose.

Guns, on the other hand, have one purpose: killing things.

That’s it. That’s a gun’s job: To Kill. Now, you can argue hunting rights, and I support you. But you don’t need a automatic or even a semi-automatic weapon to hunt Axis. If you can’t hit the damn thing with a bolt-action rifle then you have no business hunting.

You also don’t need to be able to buy armor piercing rounds. Those things have one purpose: To rip through body armor.

I guess you can also argue sport shooting. Again, I’m with you, but you don’t need auto or semi-auto guns for sport shooting. And even if you did, a simple cost benefit/analysis will reveal that the good derived from allowing sport shooting is outweighed by the negatives of allowing such easy access to guns.

 7. It’s not the fault of the guns. We should be having a discussion about mental health and not about gun rights.

Totally agree with the first premise, disagree with the second. Simply addressing gun rights without addressing mental health issues in the United States would be like putting band-aid after band-aid on a cut that won’t stop bleeding.

But the subjects aren’t mutually exclusive. We need to have both conversations. It’s just that I want to get the axe out of the hand of the screaming murderer before I bring in the psych team to get an H&P.

 8. The violence is occurring because we have systematically removed God from our schools.

I’m not making this one up. Mike Huckabee literally just made this claim a few moments ago.

Okay. Fine. We’ll tackle this one. I don’t mind offending people.

For Huckabee’s statement to be true, we all have to believe that the more religious the people are in a particular place, the more peaceful that place must be. So, according to Huckabee’s argument, the fact that we’ve removed the Ten Commandments and disallow organized prayer in school has caused more violence.

Again, statistics prove this unequivocally wrong. If we look at the national peace index and compare it to Gallup’s poll of the most religious states in the Union, a pattern starts to emerge.That’s right. You probably guessed it. The most religious states are also the most violent ones. The less religious states are the most peaceful. So according to the studies, removing all religious aspects should make the schools more peaceful.

Statistics must be the work of the devil.

If you don’t believe me, take a look for yourself:

Peace Index

Gallup’s Poll of Religious States


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