One of my concerns about gun debates throughout the nation is the participants’ lack of information, understanding, and perspective in such discussions. Understandably, most people don’t have a lot of time to read, study, and consume content regarding the state of firearms in our nation.
I had the chance to have a brief discussion with a gentleman this past weekend who tends to see things from the other side of the spectrum compared to my views. We had a good, cordial conversation.
I’ve noticed that discussions about firearms tend to fall into specific categories. First, there is a philosophical category. Then there is an emotional/gut-feel approach. And finally, there is a statistical/mathematical category of debate.
The philosophical category has to do with violence and pacifism. Opinions can differ wildly based on how one views the world. I’ve heard everything from Pollyannish beliefs that violence is so unlikely, carrying a gun is absurd. And then I’ve heard from the more high-alert perspective that there is an attacker around every corner, and you would be foolish not always to carry a gun.
The thing about the philosophical discussion is that it can quickly change based on your life experience. Our rosy worldview is prone to pivot the moment after we’ve been violently attacked. The one thing I have learned over the past couple of years from all the debates surrounding Covid is that it really doesn’t matter that the mortality rate is around 1% nationwide. If you’ve had a loved one die as a direct result of that virus, the lethality rate of that virus might as well be 100%. So, we really can’t form worldviews based on a statistic. Data is a matter of perspective.
Gut feel/emotional dialogues about guns are also interesting. People “feel” strongly that having a lot of guns on the streets, and reducing restrictions and control, just makes them ‘feel’ unsafe. This is certainly an understandable “feeling.”
The question becomes should we make our laws and then limit the rights and freedoms of our citizens based on such “feelings?” And even though we may have strong feelings, what else are we ignoring? There is a reason we have a right to keep and bear arms. Throughout history, governments have become tyrannical over time and subjugated their people. Criminals tend to prey on those who can’t defend themselves. And other nations would feel much more confident invading this one with boots on the ground if they knew citizens were not armed. Do we ignore those concerns and remove all the guns to “feel” better even though we are actually decreasing the likelihood of remaining safe?
The final discussion category is statistics. We have a lot of information, but we don’t use it. We know a lot about the impact of firearms on society. But we tend to ignore any information that doesn’t fit our political narrative. The only honest dialogue that makes sense is the one that considers the whole picture. We need to look at all factors that influence both good and bad outcomes regarding firearms.
It is irresponsible to look at an increase in homicides and say it’s because there are too many guns. That perspective is woefully narrow and incomplete. If we’re going to make the number of homicides the main subject, we must look at many things. Crime in general, the legal system, prosecutors and their decisions, government policies, and societal influences are just a few issues affecting the homicide rate. We must also look at the other side of the coin. How many homicides were prevented because of the presence of a firearm? Unfortunately, that part of the discussion never takes place.
However, we have a new firearms survey to review when wrapping our arms around this issue. So this week, we are sharing a couple of recently published reports that help tell a larger story of what’s happening with firearms in America. We hope to share this kind of information with you to keep you informed and help you gain a complete view of the state of our nation concerning guns and the Second Amendment.
Please check out the link below and make the effort incumbent upon responsible gun owners to be not only well-armed but well-informed.
And as always, stay sharp and stay safe.
Jim Anthony – IRGO Founder