Thursday, January 27, 2011

Conversations with the willfully ignorant.

Since I have been banned from commenting on most anti-gun group pages on Facebook, but I still stay subscribed to see their updates, occasionally comments cross my news feed that I feel compelled to respond to.

One such recent post by a supporter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership caused me to choose to respond with a personal message, which he replied to and we started discussing the issue. Here is the message thread in its entirety:

Orygunner January 26 at 6:31am

Hi Neil,
You wrote:
"The all powerful NRA has culpability in their blinder vision of completely ignoring the cost in lives and dollars that gun violence produces in America."

So what's your proposal to reduce firearm-related violent crime? Gun control has never been effective at reducing violent crime rates anywhere else it's been tried (countries with low firearm-related crime rates and strict gun control ALREADY had low rates BEFORE the gun control and didn't see any decrease because of them).

Do you have the courage to look for something that would actually work to reduce "gun violence," or just support ineffective gun control because you can't think of anything else to do?


Neil Mauriello January 26 at 7:40am Report
The main reason for why we have ineffective gun control laws is that the NRA, through its lobbying efforts, have our elected leaders either bought through their contributions or simply too afraid to take them on. My wish is to make the registration process much stricter with more intense background checks and a longer waiting period combined with harsher penalties for "straw buyers" and dishonest gun dealers. In addition I would like to see an expansion of the ATF with enough money to pursue the bad characters. I support the 2nd Amendment, but feel that there must be reasonable restraints to the production and sale of assault type weaponry whose sole purpose is to kill people. I anxiously await any input that you may have on how YOU might help in this public safety issue.

Orygunner January 26 at 9:42am
So, Neil, the gun control laws you suggest have already been tried multiple times in different cities, states, and countries.

Where is your evidence that any of that has ever actually decreased violent firearm related crime rates?

Just because you believe it works or wish it works doesn't mean it's actually going to work, especially when it's already been tried many times and failed to have any effect. What makes you think it will work here? What effect do you think it will really have?

I have a great suggestion that actually works, follow the example of THIS group:

Note that they don't suggest useless gun control laws, they actually get provable results.


Neil Mauriello January 26 at 1:29pm Report
What I am saying is that the present gun control laws are not stringent enough and we have a weakened ATF unable to get the job done correctly. Ceasefirechicago is a noteworthy organization and can be a very effective partner to stronger enforcement. Hopefully they are providing some intelligence, to law enforcement, as to where and how the bad guys are acquiring their guns. I notice that you do not wish to comment on my call for increased enforcement, growth of the ATF and the pursuit of rogue gun dealers and "straw" buyers. How come, is it simply that you wish to turn a blind eye to the killing and maiming as a result of guns? Please do not respond that cars kill more people.

Orygunner January 26 at 1:50pm
ATF has a horrible record of doing things fairly, has absurdly inaccurate record keeping, and a long history of abuses towards law-abiding gun owners. They're basically armed tax collectors, and ought to be disbanded.

But let's entertain your idea that present laws are not stringent enough. Every gun control law you can suggest has already been tried somewhere in the world. Surely among all those countries, such as England, Australia, or any other country that has "stronger" gun control and less gun-related crime than the US, there must have been a significant or consistent DECREASE in firearm-related crime as a result of their stricter gun control laws?

Gun control laws have been tried. Strict enforcement has been tried. With no proven effect anywhere that I can find. If you're supporting stricter gun control and enforcement of those laws, surely you must have some examples where these things have worked?

If you don't have any examples, what is your reason for wanting stronger laws?

I'm not turning a blind eye towards killing and maiming as a result of CRIMINALS. I've studied this issue fairly, honestly, and with an open mind for years, and recognize that gun control is about as effective in reducing violent crime as doing nothing at all. it's not a part of a bigger picture or a worthwhile addition to other methods of reducing crime, it's completely worthless and the negative side effects of restricting people's right of self defense is terrible on a personal level.

As a side note, I don't suggest that MORE guns = LESS crime, either, because simply enough, there is no direct correlation (or causation) between guns, gun control, and firearm-related crime, period.


Neil Mauriello January 26 at 3:04pm Report
Initially I really thought that you might be a serious person and interested in controlling the proliferation of guns in our society, but to find out that you are nothing more than a gun enthusiast with all of the same old arguments is disconcerting and I will no longer reply to your utter nonsense. Goodbye!
Orygunner January 27 at 5:37am
So in other words, you have no evidence to back up what you want to do. You don't have a single example of where your gun control WOULD prevent criminals from getting guns, and you say that *I* am stating utter nonsense.

I shake my head in disbelief at you sir. You must truly live your life lead around by your fear and emotion instead of logic and reason. You have shown yourself to be typical of gun control supporters: when asked for any facts, you shut off communication because you can't back up what you say with any truth.

Here's the truth: CRIMINALS, not guns, are the cause of violent crime. Gun control has never been proven to reduce firearm-related crime. I don't want "proliferation of guns," I want people to be able to exercise their rights without government imposing useless, worthless, ineffective gun control that has no effect except to restrict GOOD, law-abiding people from being able to responsibly and safely own and use firearms for good, legitimate purposes.

All your gun control effects is good people willing to obey the law. Criminals will continue to get their guns even if you completely banned them.

I'm sure all this truth is just bouncing off your tough emotional exterior, but I'm finished with you anyway. I rest confident in the fact that gun control is LOSING in this country, gun control laws are being relaxed and rescinded all over, there are more peaceably armed citizens in public carrying firearms than ever before, and YOU are fighting a losing battle with no facts to back you up. :)

Have a great life, stay safe!


(PS, I'll let you get in the last word if you want, then you can block me like so much of your ilk usually does to avoid the truth)

This is fairly typical of how most of these conversations go, with a few exceptions. Some of the people I start discussions with appreciate my politeness and how frank I am about the issue, and even though I don't change their mind about guns themselves, They are interested enough in what I have to share that they do seem to realize that guns aren't the scourge of society they originally thought, that they are used for at least some good.

Others, like Neil here, get increasingly agitated and eventually shut down all conversation when they no longer want to be bothered with being asked to logically prove or explain their position. Guns are evil, guns are bad, guns kill, guns are the cause of "gun violence" and gun control is the best and only solution there can possibly be, period. Some get downright insultive, saying that I'm a gunloon, a gun nut, a right wing-nut (that one always amuses me since I'm Libertarian), a bully, stupid, ignorant, and closed-minded.

But I'll keep trying. The few that choose to listen make it all worth it.


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