What Calls For Common Sense Tell Us About Gun Politics


Common Sense by Thomas Paine
Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Fayetteville, AR –-(Ammoland.com)- What do gun control advocates claim to want? Common sense gun laws.

This fits into the marketing advice given by Frank O’Brien of the marketing firm, O’Brien Garrett, and others to avoid facts and focus on feelings and memes. The supporters of stricter, excuse me, stronger, or so the focus groups tell us to say, gun laws assert that their demands are sensible and hope that we won’t ask them to show their work.

But what exactly is common sense?

When first used in the 1300s, it referred to the feeling that we are all supposed to have for each other, something that today we’d call empathy. Over time, the phrase came to mean a recognition of propositions that any rational person must accept as self-evident.

And therein lies the problem. It’s easy to assert that something is self-evident. Our own Declaration of Independence tells us that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness qualify as things that cannot be denied without falling into absurdities, though with analysis, that claim is hard to sustain. My existence is self-evident to me, if I say, “I don’t exist,” I have to wonder who just spoke, and if something isn’t equal to itself, language and even reality itself is incomprehensible. But Jefferson’s list, copied from John Locke needs defending.

As do claims that gun control saves lives. Insisting that it does is an article of faith for supporters, but the evidence is not on their side.

Obama Biden Common Sense
What gun control advocates are trying to get away with is to avoid doing the work of showing that their demands will achieve their stated goals, but calling something common sense doesn’t make it so

There is no correlation between gun ownership and gun homicide rates, nor is there any between how many are murdered by gunfire and the “strength” of the gun laws. Similarly, the suicide rate of a nation shows no effect from the regulations related to what weapons the people living there are allowed to own. To take a favorite country for those who think that our rights should be curtailed, yes, England’s homicide rate is lower than ours, but the Land of Hope and Glory has had essentially the same rate since before we declared independence, while their gun laws didn’t become silly until the middle of the twentieth century.

Perhaps gun control advocates have gained some of the common sense, using the original meaning here, in that they speak more often about mass shootings these days. No decent person can see people being slaughtered without feeling the pain of the victims and their friends and family, and those who seek to curtail gun rights see an opening here to exploit. But the kind of shootings that have filled the headlines recently are rare, and the overall trend in homicides is downward.

What gun control advocates are trying to get away with is to avoid doing the work of showing that their demands will achieve their stated goals, but calling something common sense doesn’t make it so. To be sensible, a proposal has to be defended with facts and logic. Saying that we all should or do feel a certain way does not answer the question of what we ought to do about the situation.

Greg Camp
Greg Camp

About Greg 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.

  • 8 thoughts on “What Calls For Common Sense Tell Us About Gun Politics

    1. We as Gun owning individuals need to become COMMON-SENSE VOTERS!!! Do your homework before you vote. Don’t be afraid to wright too and call the candidates that are running for office.
      You need to be in touch with your already elected officials and state your opinions. Tell them that voters control their destiny, and that gun owners unlike politicians will stand up for their Constitutional Rights and are willing to defend them till the end against domestic enemy’s as well as foreign ones.

    2. When someone raises the common sense gun control argument, it’s entirely reasonable to request a definition. Otherwise, the sensible gun control advocate is asking you to endorse a blank check – something that runs contrary to common sense. I’m willing to discuss this with people that have realistic ideas, but when they say we “need to ban assault rifles” I want to pat them on the head and tell them they’re cute – but I’ve learned they usually hate that.

    3. When we’re dealing with “feel good” legislation, it only means they can’t explain if it works, only that it feels good to them. Sort of like Stormy Daniels. If she feels good to you, shouldn’t you have the opportunity ‘feel good’? Riding a motorcycle with no helmet and the wind in your face feels good, why do we have helmet laws? This is their simple answer to everything that THEY feel. Ban all guns will make them feel good with no relationship to the damage they cause. Until they wake up at 3:00 AM with a stranger in their bedroom. Then, they decide that they should have a gun. Not you, just them.

    4. No, England’s homicide rate is NOT “lower than ours.” That anti-gun propaganda lie is based on actual numbers of crime in each country, but that is not an “apples-to-apples” comparison.

      The US population (325 million) is more that 10 times as large as England’s population (30 million)., yet England’s homicide numbers are far more than just one-tenth that of the US. On a strictly “per capita” basis [which IS a true and accurate comparison], England’s citizens are in three times the danger (the statistical likelihood) of being a murder victim than American citizens.

      1. There are a bit more people in the UK than you wrote. 65.572.409 as of 1. juli 2016. And that number is growing fast because of people keep coming in from the Middle East and Africa. We se the same pattern all over Europe. For every child a European couple have these “refugees” are having 4-6 kids. And along with the increasing numbers of people coming from these places the numbers for gun related violence, the use of knifes and unprovoked attack’ s have sky rocketed. Most of Europe have very strict gun control. But as you already know it’s not a gun problem. It’s a people problem. In the UK they have seen a huge increase in violence with knives over the last years. Sweden are now the rape capital of Europe, actually only one country in Africa can compete with them now. And they used to be considered the most safe country in the world. Here where I live just outside of Copenhagen we had 3 shootings within 3 miles yesterday. And close to 100% of all knife/gun related violence here is done by people from Africa and the Middle East. It’s the same all over Europe. The European dictatorship also known as “EU” have just a month ago made a law banning magazines for handguns with a capacity of more than 20 rounds. Ya right. Like that’s gonna keep crazy people from harming someone.
        I recommend everyone I know to read this article here:
        It’s long but it bach up what you wrote.

        I myself are pro guns. My son and I both do sport shooting with rifles and handguns.
        My own gun a shadow 2 are in a gun safe at the range. If I want to go to another range for shooting or a competition the club has to fill out 3 set of papers for me to do so. I have only been shooting for one year now and I need to be a member and shoot regularly for 2 years to get a license for storage in my home. In order to prevent me from doing crazy stuff with a gun. The stupid part is that I would be able to get a gun within 30 min on the criminal marked if I wanted.

        Okay I just realized that the short note I was gonna get down on this topic just went batshit crazy.
        Sorry for that folks. It happens when I get inspired.

        Love to you all from the crazy Viking in Denmark.
        Keep your guns and be safe.


        1. Sorry for the confusion, Kenneth… perhaps I was not sufficiently clear. Yes, the UK does indeed have 65 million people. But my comparison was for England only. Although, the overall numbers of PER CAPITA crime in the UK is also considerably higher than in the US… so the distinction is actually moot anyway.

          1. Ok got it.
            I totally agree on the crime statistics.
            The situation is beyond fuck’d up.


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