Remember, Nobody Wants to Take your Guns

Remember, Nobody Wants to Take your Guns
Remember, Nobody Wants to Take your Guns

Fayetteville, AR – -(Ammoland.com)- Emily Dickinson is admired by many in my field as a poet who could find meaning in the most minute of observations. One of her poems that I’ve been quoting to people since my days in high school gets at the question of significance and celebrity:

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us — don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Too many these days want to be a loud somebody, as reality television and pop music illustrate—or advocates of gun control.

And this poem comes to mind when the latter group repeats the claim that nobody wants to take our guns. They praise Australia and England; they call for bans on AR-15s; they tell us that no one needs semiautomatic firearms, but then insist that they’re not trying to take our firearms away. And they expect us to believe them.

But the truth emerges from time to time. I have a collection of bookmarks of gun control advocates—politicians and writers—who are honest enough to draw the obvious conclusion about the goals of the movement in public. A new example has appeared on Vox by Dylan Matthews, titled, “What no politician wants to admit about gun control.” The argument he makes is that anything less than sweeping confiscation won’t significantly reduce gun violence, but since we’re not going to do that, he’ll just have to wring his hands.

The writing wanders through the articles of faith of gun control advocates, engaging in a Gish Gallop in the hopes that readers will be overwhelmed. If Matthews would slow down for a moment, he would find out that the assertions he keeps making are not helpful to his cause, though—presuming he’s willing to be honest about the evidence.

He spends a long stretch of writing on Australia and surprisingly admits that murdering of groups continued—just with knives or fires—and that the 1997 laws can’t be shown to have had an effect on the homicide rate. He waffles a bit here with the usual attempt at a diversion by claiming that gun homicides declined, as if murder is acceptable as long as icky guns aren’t used. I’ll bolster his admission by pointing out that the homicide rate in Australia began a decline in the 1980s and leveled out in the 2000s, despite a spike that occurred shortly after the new gun controls were enacted. And while suicides committed with firearms have gone down, the overall rate was also decreasing from a peak in the 1960s, though there has been a rise in the number of people killing themselves over the last decade.

Some of the Guns Confiscated and Destroyed in Australia
Some of the Guns Confiscated and Destroyed in Australia

But as I said, Matthews gets around to the reality that when Australia punished the nation’s law-abiding gun owners for the Port Arthur massacre, trends that were already in progress continued without being affected by the new laws. He wants to find some proof that gun control does any good at all, and in that yearning, he brings up the example of Missouri’s repeal of a permit-to-purchase requirement for handguns in 2007. Did the homicide rate in that state increase in 2008? Yes. And then it went back down. And back up. Over the last twenty years, Missouri’s rate has bounced around between 5.0 and 8.8 per hundred thousand with no clear trend. Focusing on the change from one year to the next is exactly what cherry-picking means.

In a need to place blame, Matthews goes after the NRA. Of course he does. According to him, the NRA blocks bans on AR-15s by paying off politicians. If he wants to discuss campaign finance reform, let’s do it, but it’s no good complaining that one group is successful in the system as it is. And while he claims that a ban on “assault weapons” would be constitutional, remember the finding in the Heller ruling that guns in common use are protected. The AR-15 is certainly common, in part thanks to the attempts to ban it. Even The New York Times has to acknowledge that attempts to impose new restrictions drives sales.

By the end of all this, Matthews has to face the truth: “Large-scale confiscation is not going to happen.” His tactic here is to say that by advocating for confiscation, we can achieve smaller measures that in his view would do some good, yet as I’ve discussed above, he lacks convincing evidence for that claim. And while he admires Europe, he doesn’t seem to have spent much time considering the data. In England, for example, the homicide rate has been basically constant since the 1770s, even though the gun laws there didn’t get onerous until the middle of the twentieth century.

Calls for measures short of confiscation are the equivalent of a thief telling me that no, he doesn’t want to steal my car. He just wants the tires today, the radio tomorrow, a couple of doors the day after, and so forth. I’m sure I’ll be told that Matthews is just a writer, not a legislator, so his advocacy for confiscation doesn’t count. He’s just a nobody, in other words. Except that nobodies are by no means silent, and when enough of them work each other into a lather, the bog gets noisy, and laws get passed. And the less good those laws do, the better, since that allows the next round of demands to begin in short order.

It’s up to those of us who care about gun rights to make sure that Matthews and his ilk are called out for what they rarely admit to wanting—a desire to take our guns away—and to stop them from experiencing fulfillment.


About Greg CampGreg Camp

Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.

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Against Tin Foil HatsConstance UnderfootSmittyNottinghillHardy Spires Recent comment authors
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Against Tin Foil Hats
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Against Tin Foil Hats

A lot of pro-gun opinion STILL preaches a fear of a total ban on private guns. Even AFTER the Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller ruling.

Constance Underfoot
Guest
Constance Underfoot

Crimes with firearms decreased 37% in Australia since the ban on guns. When someone throws out a stat like that, it sounds impressive in the vacuum of no context. Crimes with firearms in the US decreased 45% during that same time. In that context, it would infer that crime was going down for other reasons and that the lack of firearms in Australia made crime more likely.

Hardy Spires
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Hardy Spires

They don’t want to take our guns, they just want us to not have ammo for them. That was the case under Obozo. If you could find any ammo it was so expensive that you couldn’t afford to buy much of it.

Ku
Guest
Ku

“And while he claims that a ban on “assault weapons” would be constitutional, remember the finding in the Heller ruling that guns in common use are protected.” Two points: The second amendment being a right to an allowance of whatever low capacity sporting arm a politician is comfortable “allowing” – IS POINTLESS! That’s the way it works everywhere there is NO SECOND AMENDMENT! Beyond guns in COMMON USE – the second amendment is a right to a CAPABILITY enabled by citizen ownership of EFFECTIVE ARMS that enable a BALANCE OF POWER, . . . that enables American citizens to be… Read more »

Kamas716
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Kamas716

David Burkhead, AKA The Writer In Black, keeps a list of POLITICIANS that want to take our guns. That’s not just some writer trying to influence people, that’s politicians ACTIVELY saying so and bringing forth legislation to do so.

Nobody wants to take your guns?

if the link doesn’t come through, it’s thewriterinblack dot com /2017/05/17/nobody-wants-to-take-your-guns-2

mbh
Guest
mbh

I have not heard anyone say in the last few day to ban bombs like the ones exploding in Texas! Oh, wait, isn’t there already a ban on them?. One Senator wants to record the transfer of all gun sales. So what happens to your guns when you die, does that mean the state decides what happens to them?

Jason
Guest
Jason

If they want my guns they will have to pry them from my cold dead fingers!

2WarAbnVet
Guest
2WarAbnVet

When viewing the latest 5-year FBI statistics for firearms-related homicides you’ll find that of the average is 8,786. Most of these homicides are gang or narcotics-related, and take place in Democrat controlled cities where guns are severely controlled. Looking back some 25-years to 1993; the number of firearms relates homicides for that year was 18,253. During the intervening years, gun ownership in this country has skyrocketed, as has the number of citizens with concealed carry licenses. This gives rise to the validity of the old adage, “More guns, less crime!” One must wonder, despite all evidence, why is it now… Read more »

VT Patriot
Guest
VT Patriot

The ‘epidemic’ of gun violence phrase sells the idea that guns by themselves are the problem. One kid with a runny nose can be called an epidemic. Everyone, run for the hills…

MNS
Guest
MNS

With all the noise that is being made about gun control, we MUST be vigilant in protecting our 2nd amendment rights before they are slowly being taken away.

Smitty
Guest
Smitty

MNS, or not slowly. It can happen almost all at once Here, in Oregon, anyone who can gather enough registered voter signatures can have their ballot “initiative” placed on an upcoming ballot. Here’s a link to the most recent one regarding guns, their ownership, ammo and reloading, and well everything that goes bang … http://oregonvotes.org/irr/2018/042text.pdf … Now that’s some scary ink on paper. Go ahead and read it, but be warned … it is upsetting. It makes me wonder, should this go into effect what will be next? … ‘Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife’ MNS, you are correct in… Read more »

Jack
Guest
Jack

They will not come and take them. They will just make it illegal to own or have guns your possession, shoot, move, sell, or pass on. Then if (when) you do by some circumstance get caught they can do a proper search and you get to go off to a cot and a hot.

Macofjack
Guest
Macofjack

The very statement is BS!

Jimmy
Guest
Jimmy

They want all the guns, and unless you agree with them, they want your free speech as well. The democrats are lying when their lips are moving.

Bob
Guest
Bob

“Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas”.
Joseph Stalin

Tionico
Guest
Tionico

Democrats are lying when they are breathing.

There, fix it for ya.

Yup, ,ost of ’em, just standing there is a deceit.

Marc Disabled Vet
Guest
Marc Disabled Vet

They May Not Want To !
But They May Get Orders To !
Would Americans fire on their Own People ?
From Either Side ?
That May Yet To be Seen My Friends .
Will We have a Second Revolution In The Making ?

Tionico
Guest
Tionico

Back in seventy five, we DID. On that April morning everyone in the colonies woke up and got out of bed British. My sundown, thousands were no more. They were Americans. WHY? HOW did that happen? SOME of those British levelled their own guns at some others of those British and demanded “lay down your arms and disperse”. Shots rang out, eight AMericans were dead, and the rest took up their own arms and began firing back. Never forget.. our war for independence BEGAN in a failed attempt to “come and take them” That morning’s “powder raid” was the fourth… Read more »

Green Mtn. Boy
Guest
Green Mtn. Boy

“Remember, Nobody Wants to Take your Guns”

Bravo Sierra !

Nottinghill
Guest
Nottinghill

GMB: Bravo Sierra ! That means Bolshevik Socialists right? ; ) Same groups, same people (and propagandists) and the same tactics. Just a different progressive cover… oops sorry, I mean Marxist cover here or there. Conservatives ask only for answers, liberty and freedom. The Marxists only ask for any and everything that belongs to someone else and that the someone elses must pay the shipping/handling also. Before and after they take your weapons. It starts sort of like this; CIVIL DISTURBANCE AND CRIMINAL TACTICS OF PROTEST EXTREMISTS: https://info.publicintelligence.net/ProtestExtremists.pdf Ends sort of like this; U.S. Military Multi-Service Defense Support of Civil… Read more »