John Lott dominates a gun control debate in West Texas

Well, ok, it's not really news -- anyone volunteering to go up against Lott on guns has to expect to lose.  But since this particular news report chooses to print the arguments of the opposition rather than Lott's answers despite admitting Lott won the debate in the eyes of the audience, I'll mention it in order to debunk the arguments.
Bringing an opposing viewpoint to the lecture was Skeptic magazine founder and psychologist Michael Shermer, who believes more gun control is needed.
In other words, he has no expertise on guns or gun policy.  He may have expertise in dealing with insane people, but he doesn't make use of that expertise to propose policy changes for better dealing with insane people. Instead, he proposes treating everyone in the country as if we were all criminally insane.
While Shermer acknowledges nothing can be done to completely eradicate crime and violence, he does believe more control can be placed on the sale of guns, the amount of ammunition people can buy and the places guns can be carried. He believes America should reduce the number of guns available, rather than to continue increasing them.
He acknowledges gun control doesn't work and won't stop violence, then calls for gun control.  That's practically the definition of irrational behavior.  As for his specific proposals:
  1. The government doesn't have the resources to enforce the gun control laws in place already;
  2. There's no point in restricting the amount of ammunition people can buy for lawful purposes.  People who go shooting as a hobby or for professional reasons use a lot of ammunition.  Criminals usually don't need to fire their guns, the threat is sufficient -- they don't actually need more than a box or two of ammunition to commit their crimes.  Mass murderers like Lanza plan their crimes for months or years, and won't have any trouble amassing the few hundred rounds they need for their one big shooting spree -- whereas a serious hobbyist could go through a few hundred rounds a month.
  3. People carrying guns legally with a concealed-carry permit simply do not commit crimes.  Banning people who carry legally from carrying in more places will do absolutely nothing about crime -- except possibly encourage it, as criminals pick "gun free zones" to attack.
  4. People carrying guns to commit a crime do not care if there is a sign that says the area is a gun free zone -- except possibly to prefer such areas for their mass murders.
  5. It is impossible for all practical purposes to reduce the number of guns available without banning and confiscating all firearms.  Firearms are durable, long lasting objects.  There are firearms over a hundred years old that, with basic maintenance, are still functional and safe today.  Millions of people are buying new guns.  Dozens of gun manufacturers are producing and selling new guns.  Only a tiny fraction, less than 1%, of those guns will ever be used in a crime -- unless you make simply owning the gun a crime.
Allowing college students to carry guns likely would lead to deaths as a result of lovers quarrels and drunken brawls that could have otherwise been prevented or would not have happened had their not been access to guns, Shermer said.
Gun control advocates need new lies.  The old ones aren't working anymore.  They have tried this same line every single time a state considered passing shall-issue concealed carry legislation.  Every single time, the blood in the streets failed to materialize, yet they are making the same old argument.
"The idea of arming teens and students in their early 20s, who have access to alcohol and narcotics and are also emotional and competitive in nature, is a bad mix," said Shermer, who calls mass shootings such as Sandy Hook "black swan" events because they were rare and unpredictable.
You must be 21 years old to own a handgun, and the same age to have a concealed carry license in Texas.  That's not only legally an adult, it's three years past the age of legal adulthood.  The people who are getting drunk or using drugs are not going to be the same people getting a concealed-carry license, even if both sets of people are students.

At some point, you have to stop treating people like children, and start treating them as rational adults capable of behaving responsibly.

As for black swan events -- yes, mass murders like Sandy Hook are rare and unpredictable.  That's why it's a bad idea to base gun control policy on such events.
Pitrucha and 54 percent of the 221 UTPB students polled in a recent survey agree that students with a valid CHL should be able to bring their handgun on campus and into the classrooms.
Students want guns on campus.
In contrast, Macias does not believe guns should be allowed on campus, as students may make snap, uneducated judgments and use them detrimentally.
Macias doesn't seem to have faith in his students, or in his ability to educate them -- even though educating them is supposed to be his job.
Macias said all decisions regarding guns on campus should remain local and be made by each school?s board of trustees, not state or federal governments.
He says that because if the state government makes the decision, it will overrule his own personal opinion, just as he is overruling the opinion of 54% of students at his school.

This entry was published Wed Mar 27 00:02:12 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2013-03-27 00:02:12.0. [Tweet]

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