Gun enthusiasts are unified around a lot of things (like their odd hatred of people who confuse clip and magazine). One of those things is making terrible arguments for how guns don’t play a role in societal gun violence. With that in mind, I’m starting a new feature where I debunk these pro-gun arguments and myths… one at a time.
Today, I take on a recent favorite of the pro-gun community. It looks like this:
But what about [insert name of city, state, or country]. They have lax gun laws and some of the lowest gun violence rates in the world.
There are a couple of iterations of this argument. Lately, the focus has been on Switzerland and looks a little something like the picture on the left.
It sure sounds convincing. Can’t we all agree that arming young cyclists will make us safer?
How to respond? Well, if you are responding specifically to the Switzerland version of this, just show them this Salon article that discusses how “Switzerland’s high rate of gun ownership is tied to the fact that it does not have a standing army so virtually every male citizen is conscripted into the militia where they receive comprehensive weapons training… and keep their government issued weapons (without ammunition) at home.”
Nine times out of ten, the argument is dishonest from the start. The city, state, or country doesn’t really have such lax laws or doesn’t really have such a low gun violence rate. However, on the off chance they are correct about the law/gun violence rate and they just happened to have found an anomaly, you can show them this chart that illustrates how states with more guns have more gun deaths.
If they say, “well I wasn’t talking about states. I was talking about countries,” you can just show them this statement from the Harvard Injury Control Research Center that finds that ” across developed countries, where guns are more available, there are more homicides. These results often hold even when the United States is excluded.”
And that will, of course, be the end of the discussion because EVERYONE listens to research and has a healthy respect for logic.
By Ryan C. Martin
PS. I tried to find some gun safety literature showing that you shouldn’t ride a bike with a loaded gun. Regrettably, all I found was this YouTube video on the best gun for cycling. It seems we have a long way to go….