What you say to opponents of gun laws
By Gene Griessman, Ph.D.
Statement: We need military-style weapons to avoid tyranny.
What you say; The Netherlands, the UK, Sweden, Canada, and Australia, to name just a few democracies, ban assault weapons, and they are not tyrannies.
Statement: The Second Amendment guarantees that Americans can own any weapon they want.
What you say: All Americans? What about the criminally insane? What about convicted felons? Juveniles?
Any weapon? How about a rocket launcher? A nuclear warhead ?
Statement: The Second Amendment guarantees all Americans the right to own weapons and take them anywhere.
What you say: That’s what slaveholders once said about slaves. The language of the Second is precise. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Read it carefully. It’s a “well-regulated” militia. In 2008 the US Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own a firearm is unconnected to membership in a militia. But if you actually read the text of the Amendment, it is clear that the right is for a well- regulated militia, not people walking around willy- nilly with AK-47s.
Statement: The NRA says violent video games are a big cause of gun violence.
What you say: Japan has zillions of violent video games yet there is virtually no gun violence in Japan. Why? Because guns are hard to get in Japan.
Statement: Obama’s proposals would not have prevented the tragedy of Sandy Hook.
What you say: Nonsense. The perpertrator’s mother would not have been able to legally purchase the weapon or the ammunition clip if the new rules had been in effect.
Statement: Connecticut has strict gun laws, and that did not prevent the gun violence.
What you say; Until gun laws are federalized, guns from states with weak laws will be imported into states with strict laws.
Statement: The way to reduce gun violence is to make more guns available to good guys.
What you say: The nations with the fewest guns have the least gun violence. Period. If you want to reduce gun violence, make guns hard to get.
What you say: There are already too many guns in the US for new laws to make a difference.
Power Phrase: Sounds like what people said about slavery in 1860. One in twelve Americans was a slave. Too entrenched to abolish.
Just because you can’t eliminate all gun violence doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take steps to eliminate some gun violence.
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