H/T ListVerse.

Ten of the best arguments I have heard.

This list serves as a rebuttal of the Listverse list “10 Arguments for Gun Control” by Morris M. This list is not intended to incite controversy, but to foster an even-sided debate. The issue of gun control is global, but since it is most controversial in the United States of America, that nation is referred to most in the following entries.

The US Constitution’s Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

10 There Is Murder In The UK

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Almost all handguns are banned from civilian possession, ownership, purchase, or sale in the United Kingdom as a result of the Second Firearms Act of 1997. This was in response to the Dunblane Massacre, in which 43-year-old Thomas Hamilton walked into an elementary school and shot dead 16 children, aged six or younger, and one teacher before killing himself. He used four handguns.

Now that modern handguns are no longer legal to have in the UK, let us take a look at some murder rates. The rate for intentional homicide in the UK in 1996—the year of the Dunblane Massacre—was 1.12 per 100,000. It was 1.24 in 1997, when the Firearms Act went into effect, and 1.43 in 1998. The rate rose to a peak of 2.1 in 2002 and has fallen since to 1.23 as of 2010. These numbers have, however, been called into question due to possible under-reporting of violent crimes in the UK.

It cannot be denied that the rate of homicides via guns has fallen dramatically since Dunblane, but the rate of murders has gone up. To say these higher numbers are the result of fewer people able to arm themselves for defense is drastically jumping to a conclusion, but the fact does remain that more people are killing each other in the UK today than when guns were legal to have. Even the police are almost all armed with tasers instead, so handguns are very hard to come by. All the numbers are higher in the US, of course, where there are more people, and there have been no more school shootings in the UK since Dunblane.

But in 2005, there were 765 intentional murders in the UK and most of these were committed with knives. Blunt objects follow, then strangulation, fire, and poison. Banning guns has halted rampage shootings, but it does not address the issue of people killing each other. In the US, the number of intentional homicides in 2004 was 10,654—a number that would have been much lower without access to guns, but still terribly high. Opponents of gun control are always quick to question how many victims of knives, clubs, and strangulation would be alive if they had had a gun.

9 Literary Infallibility

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Thomas Jefferson once wrote “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” Gun enthusiasts often couple this with a quote from Ben Franklin, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

Unfortunately, Franklin never said that. It was probably written by someone on the Internet, who then tacked his name onto it. But Jefferson’s premise of not limiting the freedom of the press can extend to any freedom. Right now, American legislators are up in arms, if you’ll pardon the pun, over the question of whether to limit some firearms’ ammunition capacities. Proponents cite the only obvious use for an assault rifle—killing people—and defend ammunition limitations as a compromise that will save lives. Opponents maintain that a single life lost due to some maniac with a gun is just as excessive as 30.

The issue of fully automatic firearms has been a hotbed for a long time. In some states, they are legal for civilians, provided that an extra fee is paid. In North Carolina, a fully automatic M2HB .50 Browning heavy machine gun is perfectly legal to use as a home defense weapon or for hunting. This is because that state considers any limitation of guns to be unconstitutional. California does not agree. In that state, no semiautomatic firearm may contain more than 10 rounds at any time. Assault rifles are completely banned. There are some federal limits: no caliber is permissible larger than .50 unless a special and expensive license is obtained and cannons are legal to own but not to fire with real ammunition.

The debates will go on for a very long time, and most of them center on the Constitution’s wording of the Second Amendment. How should we define “a well-regulated militia”? Proponents of gun control claim this should entail proper training. Opponents claim that almost all gun owners train themselves in their free time. They further claim that, should any affront be made to the Second Amendment, those who want to control guns will no longer have any line to cross. They will interpret as they see fit any word or phrase of any Amendment in order to limit more and more rights until, in this case, all guns are banned from civilian use.

8 The Civilian Need For Assault Rifles

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An assault rifle is any weapon which fires high-powered rifle rounds rather than pistol rounds, semi or fully automatically. The weapon reloads each round on its own—all you have to do is pull the trigger again and again. It is true that these weapons were invented for the purpose of warfare, not hunting, though they can be used for either. Proponents of even limited gun control maintain that, if nothing else is done, assault rifles should have magazines of no more than 10 rounds at a time. The argument typically brought out in defense of this position claims that in any self-defense scenario, assault rifles are overkill.

Gun control opponents, however, have long argued that the Second Amendment was put in place not just for ordinary home defense against burglars but specifically to guarantee that the nation could never be overcome by any military power foreign or domestic. If the five branches of the US military were beaten by, say, a nuclear holocaust, the only national defense left would be the civilians themselves. Any subsequent military invasion—probably armed with AK-47 variants—would find it very easy to overrun civilians armed only with lever, bolt, and pump action weapons.

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