Why There Isn’t More Honest Gun Advocacy

It is no secret that I believe that the United States should have a very different firearms policy. I’m not going to litigate that today.

What I am going to do is to criticize gun rights advocates for what I believe is a fundamental dishonesty in their approach.

Whenever a terrible gun-related tragedy happens, I know in advance what gun rights advocates will say–a combination of “we would be safer with more guns” and “guns don’t kill, people do, and this is a mental health issue” followed by an invocation of hearts and prayers.

The more racist might throw in some “why don’t liberals talk about Chicago, which has gun control but where so many people are still killed,” but still stop short of saying, “gun violence is actually a racial issue” ignoring the fact that even gun murders perpetrated by white attackers with white targets is many times higher in the US than any of its peers.

I would have a lot more respect for them (though I would still strongly disagree) if they said what they actually think: “Yes, it is tragic that once again so many innocent children have been killed. But this is an acceptable price for the freedom to own guns. In 2020, fewer than 20,000 Americans were murdered by gunfire. Only 446 of those deaths occurred during mass shootings. I do not believe that these numbers justify additional gun regulation or enforcement which might increase the amount of hassle I go through, or prevent me from buying the guns I want to own.”

But perhaps the monstrous selfishness of that honest statement is why they will not be honest with you.

Information sources:

  • https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/firearms-death-rate-by-raceethnicity
  • https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/02/03/what-the-data-says-about-gun-deaths-in-the-u-s/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mass_shootings_in_the_United_States_in_2020

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