I think I got the point across this time.


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Owen Sparks
December 2, 2010, 01:17 PM
The other day I was making small talk with a retired school teacher who I have known since I was a kid. The subject of guns came up and she made a statement to the effect that everyday people should not have military weapons. I noticed that she had a pen in her hand so I asked:

Should everyday people have access to sharp pointy things like your pen?

She looked puzzled so I said: Remember a while back when that in the local jail guy got stabbed in the throat with a pen and died? It was in the news?

She said yes.

I asked: You would not stab me in the throat with your pen would you?

She looked surprised and said: NO, of course not.

So I asked: Suppose it was a lot sharper, would you then? I then took out my pocket knife, opened it and laid it on the desk right in front of her.
I said: Now you have access to a deadly weapon. Are you any more likely to kill me now?

NO!

As I retrieved my knife I asked: What if it was a pistol instead of a knife? It would be a lot easier to use right? You could kill me from a safe distance, would that make it easier for you?

No, of course not.

Finally I said: Suppose it was one of those evil black automatic assault rifles. Would that make you any more likely to use it to kill me? You could safely shoot me from across the street and probably get away with it.

She was quite taken aback by all this and said: No I donít want to hurt anybody.

So I finished by asking: So you would be no danger to others even if you had access to a bazooka while some people are dangerous with a Bick pen?

She thought for a minute and said: I see your point but if I can get a gun what keeps bad people from getting them?

I then asked: If you can get a pen what keeps bad people from doing the same? Or should everyone be punished for what they might do? Is a person guilty simply for possessing the means to commit a crime?
After all you might stab me with that pen. Or should people be presumed innocent until they actually try to stab or shoot someone?

She became very receptive at that point as if a light bulb had come on and I think I got the point across that crime is an action, not a potential action.

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gunnutery
December 2, 2010, 01:23 PM
:cool:

Excellent job!

Rail Driver
December 2, 2010, 01:26 PM
+1! Great job.

JoeMal
December 2, 2010, 01:28 PM
Great job 'walking' her through it....I can imagine her gears spinning!

TNT in Round Rock
December 2, 2010, 02:08 PM
I like the way you worked that conversation .. good points

S. Hill
December 2, 2010, 02:12 PM
Geeez! Don't ya just HATE logic???

Way to go!

Captcurt
December 2, 2010, 02:16 PM
Thanks! I will remember this one.

docnyt
December 2, 2010, 02:26 PM
So when are you taking her to the range?

ShaiVong
December 2, 2010, 03:06 PM
A great scalable argument. Be prepared for the obvious counter-argument and think your way through it. I imagine it would go something like this:

You wouldn't feel nervous standing next to me with a pen or a bazooka because you know I'm non-violent. You would feel nervous standing next to Hannibal Lector with a toothpick, let alone a firearm. Ergo, restrictive gun control is needed to keep weapons out of the hands of people who somebody decides shouldn't have them. Then the conversation moves on to who makes the decision and what their criteria should be.

Owen Sparks
December 2, 2010, 03:25 PM
That is simple, people like Hanibal Lector who have been proven to be dangerous.

Leadhead
December 2, 2010, 03:26 PM
Was it a semi auto pen or a single shot?:D

Nice work!

ShaiVong
December 2, 2010, 03:56 PM
That is simple, people like Hanibal Lector who have been proven to be dangerous.
Not entirely simple. It's not unheard of for mass murderers to make a violent gun rampage their first violent crime.

BearAZ737
December 2, 2010, 03:56 PM
That was like professing your faith. Everyone one hopes when their turn comes they can handle the situation so perfectly. Great Job!

Owen Sparks
December 2, 2010, 04:32 PM
It's not unheard of for mass murderers to make a violent gun rampage their first violent crime.

A guy I went to high school with can no longer own a car. Some years back he got into an argument with his X wife and went on a violent car rampage. He drove right through the livingroom window slightly injuring his X and distroying her house. He was convicted of assault and did some time in the state pen. Now he rides a bycicle everywhere he goes.

Should we all be limited to bycicles because of what we might do with a big powerful automobile? Of course not, but a few people like the fore mentioned individual should.

Isn't anyone compitent enough to be turned loose behind the wheel of a two ton steel SUV compitent enough to own our nations current service rifle?

JoeSlomo
December 2, 2010, 04:39 PM
Well done.

Sadly, logic is lost on many.

therewolf
December 2, 2010, 04:49 PM
IMO, JoeSlomo is right.

You may have won the argument, and maybe actually changed a receptive person's mind, in this case. However, I feel it's the exception, rather than the
rule, OP.

99% of the time, I find I'm arguing with anti's who simply refuse to use or listen to reason. Unfortunately, I have too little time to try to find that 1% who may possibly be swayed.

Any logical person should see we need to punish criminal behavior,

not inanimate objects.

ShaiVong
December 2, 2010, 04:57 PM
A guy I went to high school with can no longer own a car. Some years back he got into an argument with his X wife and went on a violent car rampage. He drove right through the livingroom window slightly injuring his X and distroying her house. He was convicted of assault and did some time in the state pen. Now he rides a bycicle everywhere he goes.

Should we all be limited to bycicles because of what we might do with a big powerful automobile? Of course not, but a few people like the fore mentioned individual should.

Isn't anyone compitent enough to be turned loose behind the wheel of a two ton steel SUV compitent enough to own our nations current service rifle?
I like the parallel with a car. I often reflect upon how dangerous driving is. From what I gather, 42,836 were killed by cars in 2004, whereas ~ 8,000 people were shot to death. Although there are more cars being driven than guns shot every day, automobiles are clearly hazardous.

I'd wager that if the car was invented now, rather than 100 years ago, it would never be allowed.

Another interesting point is that to be able to drive an automobile you have to demonstrate a pretty minimal (but non-zero) level of ability to safely use and maneuver a vehicle. In order to buy a gun, you basically have to show proof of age and let them make sure you're not a violent criminal. Much, much more open.

Carl N. Brown
December 2, 2010, 05:17 PM
TWO MILLION people die in America each year, more than the population of Lichtenstein and Luxembourg combined! You don't have to look to scifi author Harry Harrison's Pyrra to find the Deathworld. America is The Deathworld!!

Or, two million deaths a year from all causes out of a population of a third of a billion is average.

therewolf
December 2, 2010, 05:28 PM
You make our case for us, however,sir.

America may be "Deathworld" but, because we, as a nation of individuals, are free to do as we choose, it is the country we, and many others, willingly CHOOSE to live AND DIE in.

Free choice attracts many others from around the world to emigrate to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. (the VERY brave) None of us EVER give a second's thought to how much statistically safer it is to live elsewhere, and leave our constitutional freedoms behind.

Guns are a part of America. Always have been, ALWAYS will be.

kayak-man
February 17, 2011, 10:14 PM
Hope you don't mind, but I am planning on blatantly plagerising that for my next run in with an anti. :D

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

JTHunter
February 17, 2011, 10:34 PM
Nicely done. Being a "retired" teacher however, her influence on the youngsters who will be having to make these decisions in the years to come, will be minimal.

NY'er
February 17, 2011, 11:34 PM
VERY well done!

She thought for a minute and said: I see your point but if I can get a gun what keeps bad people from getting them?

Another great question to add at this point might be "Well if the law says we can't so I don't~ can I trust the 'bad guys' to do the same???"

DasFriek
February 18, 2011, 12:31 AM
That was so good you convinced even me to buy another gun!

danprkr
February 18, 2011, 08:46 AM
Hope you don't mind if I steal that one someday when needed.

ZCORR Jay
February 18, 2011, 09:08 AM
That was a very good illustration and your lucky that you were talking to someone who had an open mind. Unfortunately there are many ignorant people who would have still discredited your entire presentation.

Legionnaire
February 18, 2011, 09:13 AM
Great way to make the "point!" Good job!

Manco
February 18, 2011, 12:47 PM
That was a very good illustration and your lucky that you were talking to someone who had an open mind.

That's right, and what this illustrates is that a truly open mind is receptive to logic. There are plenty of people who consider themselves "open-minded" because they have certain weird, irrational beliefs and justify them with good intentions, but I've found that such people can be the most closed-minded individuals around because they only hear what they want to hear and refuse to think logically.

Unfortunately there are many ignorant people who would have still discredited your entire presentation.

The thing about ignorance is that it often entails "knowing" so very many things that ain't so (apologies to Will Rogers ;)), and refusing to listen to reason. Sound familiar?

Some such people can actually be "cured" of this affliction (at least for one subject), but all the logic in the world won't do it--it requires a major event or paradigm shift that leads to a change in perspective and an epiphany. For anti-gunners, common examples of such an event would be having their lives threatened or getting violently attacked.

speedway
February 18, 2011, 04:50 PM
Nice work!

VT Deer Hunter
February 18, 2011, 05:01 PM
Nice job there!

Lonestar49
February 18, 2011, 05:08 PM
...

What a great method of use by the OP.. a KISS

Keeping it simple so they can "get the picture" otherwise blinded by too much thought-processing of this BG or that BG or anyone with a gun.. or a GG with a gun or pen


Ls

AZ Lawman
February 18, 2011, 06:42 PM
Wow...very seldom am I ever taken aback by the use of logic and common sense, as those two attributes appear to have ben removed from the collective consciensness of the vast majority of people in the US.

Here's to you Owen.

Nicely done sir, and OUTSTANDING.

rainbowbob
February 19, 2011, 01:29 AM
So you would be no danger to others even if you had access to a bazooka while some people are dangerous with a Bick pen?

Love it!

As others have mentioned, you were able to work through the argument because your audience was at least open-minded enough to to pay attention to the logic.


As Manco points out:

There are plenty of people who consider themselves "open-minded" because they have certain weird, irrational beliefs and justify them with good intentions, but I've found that such people can be the most closed-minded individuals around because they only hear what they want to hear and refuse to think logically.

I know folks like that. For example, they consider themselves "open-minded" because they are "certain" that extra-terrestrials walk amongst us - with absolutely no evidence and no logical argument as to how this could be true. They consider me to be close-minded because I am agnostic about things that that are neither evident or logical.

KAK
February 19, 2011, 01:37 AM
Great analogy!!!!

gbw
February 19, 2011, 04:00 AM
To me the logic is shallow and badly flawed, and this sort of slight of hand does us no service.

The exchange started from a false premise and proceeded nowhere from there. Although in the story the teacher seems to buy all of this I suspect she has long since figured it out. Most teachers aren’t too dumb.

Here’s why:

The logic runs basically that guns are harmless in the hands of those who mean no harm, (in this version no more harmful than a ball point pen), ergo the uncontrolled availability of guns poses no particular threat. The first half is true. A gun is no danger by itself. Neither are anthrax or cancer cells or tobacco or cranky women.

The second half goes off the rails and here the lady will realize she was had.

What is the purpose of a gun? Why were they invented, and why do we constantly refine and make them ever more efficient? What are they for?

Well, lots of reasons, of course. Target shooting, competition, collecting, self defense, intimidation (lets hope by police and soldiers), hunting, and so on.

But the real reason they were invented and still exist, the reason that overwhelms all others, the reason we carry them, and the reason too many gun-folk go to ridiculous lengths to deny, is that guns make for easier, faster, and more efficient purposeful killing than anything else commonly available, once that decision is made.

Pretending they are in any way whatever equivalent to ball point pens, cars, chainsaws, knives, ball bats, and whatever else is nonsense. Are all of these things used to kill? Sure. But none can hold a candle to a gun.

Guns are in a class of efficient lethal power all their own – that’s why we invented them and we keep making them better, and that’s why we, and LEOs, and soldiers all carry them. Soldiers don’t carry ball-pens or ball bats – when they need to kill they intend to be the best.

The teacher will of course quickly realize this and again believe she was right all along. Guns are deadly and dangerous weapons, widely available, and expand exponentially the power of the holder, for good or ill. The guns in the hands of the benign give her no comfort, and guns in the hands of the criminals and other trash terrify her, especially if she watches much news.

A couple of other things the teacher will soon realize:

No 6 year old is able to kill another with a ball point pen negligently left lying around. It doesn’t happen often with guns, but it happens. Once is too often.

And no idiot ever got mad at his wife and ran to Wal-Mart to buy a Sharpie to kill her.

Most here won’t like it or admit it, but we pay a serious price in innocent human life to remain an armed and relatively free people. There is no value in trying to minimize or smokescreen that cost. I believe our best long term hope for keeping that freedom is to find ways to virtually eliminate that cost. Nearly everywhere else has failed, and they have already lost it.

gamestalker
February 19, 2011, 04:54 AM
A very good analogy. I also like to include that banning guns is going to make it illegal for criminals to use what they get illegally anyway. So how is banning them going to have any effect on them getting them and using them? Now you have a bunch of criminals out there with guns that were already illegal for them to have prior to a ban, to use against an unarmed society of innocent law abiding citizens the result of a ban. That is like giving them the keys to the city, which is something we are already wittnessing in states that have removed our ability to defend our life. Washington D.C. is only one of many examples of the criminal knowing he is superior and well protected from resistence.
"When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!"

Bonesinium
February 19, 2011, 04:56 AM
And no idiot ever got mad at his wife and ran to Wal-Mart to buy a Sharpie to kill her.



Or a lamp. Oh wait.

http://www.thepanamadigest.com/2010/08/u-s-citizen-murdered-in-boquete/

Hammer?

http://www.trentonian.com/articles/2011/01/07/news/doc4d26373599612544667470.txt

What about a brick?

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2010/08/new_orleans_man_who_killed_mom.html

Scissors?

http://news.in.msn.com/crimefile/article.aspx?cp-documentid=3874768

But guns are designed to kill, so making them illegal will prevent them from being used in crimes right? That doesn't sound right, so maybe making them illegal will prevent criminals from obtaining them. Yes, that sounds better. If they can't get them legally, they won't have them to use. Problem solved! Oh wait...

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=115048

Nearly 80% are obtained illegally already? Huh.

Even with an outright ban of firearms, there are in estimated 200 million privately owned already.

You are twice as likely to kill yourself then be murdered by any means (in the US). Maybe we should focus more on that then gun crime...

Shadow 7D
February 19, 2011, 04:59 AM
No 6 year old is able to kill another with a ball point pen negligently left lying around. It doesn’t happen often with guns, but it happens. Once is too often.

I can list the ways that is a false statement...
a 6 year old is capable of killing another, all it takes is a fit of anger and them hitting with a pencil or pen in hand to do serious to FATAL harm...

Once again I point that it isn't the tool, rather the one using it that is lethal
Dangerous is simple able to easily cause harm
by that definition, PEOPLE are dangerous, our tools just Potentate it.

kyletx1911
February 19, 2011, 08:53 AM
Geeez! Don't ya just HATE logic???

Way to go!
yep i smell smoke:D great job

dickttx
February 19, 2011, 11:43 AM
There used to be an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman who went all over the state giving shooting demonstrations, at schools!!, service clubs, shopping centers!!!, or anywhere they invited him. He was an amazing shot with any type of gun. His whole point, after he gave his shooting demonstration, was to show you that the gun was not nearly as deadly a weapon as the automobile. He reinforced this with albums of color 8x10's of auto wrecks he had worked, some involving entire car loads of mangled people.

Owen Sparks
February 19, 2011, 03:06 PM
What is the purpose of a gun? Why were they invented, and why do we constantly refine and make them ever more efficient? What are they for?

Well, lots of reasons, of course. Target shooting, competition, collecting, self defense, intimidation (lets hope by police and soldiers), hunting, and so on.

Stop right there. You think only the “police and soldiers” i. e. the government should have the power to intimidate people? The only moral use for the intimidating threat of deadly force is in protection of life, liberty and property. Those of us who believe in a free society see police and soldiers as hired watchmen who guard our homes and nation so that we can be free to go to work and be productive with out having to stay home and guard our stuff. The collectivist sees armed agents of the state as our masters and keepers.

But the real reason they were invented and still exist, the reason that overwhelms all others, the reason we carry them, and the reason too many gun-folk go to ridiculous lengths to deny, is that guns make for easier, faster, and more efficient purposeful killing than anything else commonly available, once that decision is made.

Of course guns are made to kill and there is a perfectly legitimate and moral reason to kill. It is called SELF DEFENCE. The availability of firearms puts the small and elderly on equal footing with the young and strong, the 110 pound woman can defend against the 220 pound rapist and one man can effectively repel a gang. Restricting common people from having modern weapons is like asking for rule by the young, the strong and the many. Whether you have to defend yourself or summon a hired employee (government) modern weapons are the best tool for that job.


Pretending they are in any way whatever equivalent to ball point pens, cars, chainsaws, knives, ball bats, and whatever else is nonsense. Are all of these things used to kill? Sure. But none can hold a candle to a gun.

True, but in their absence bad people will turn to whatever is available. Right now Great Britton has launched a government campaign against the possession of sharp pointy kitchen knives because the thugs over there are stabbing each other. If they succeed bad people will resort to sticks and rocks. Ever seen some of the improvised weapons used in prisons?

Guns are in a class of efficient lethal power all their own – that’s why we invented them and we keep making them better, and that’s why we, and LEOs, and soldiers all carry them. Soldiers don’t carry ball-pens or ball bats – when they need to kill they intend to be the best.

Me too! I hope I never have to kill anyone in self defense but if I do I want the best possible tool for the job, just like my “employees” (whose salary I pay) get to use.

The teacher will of course quickly realize this and again believe she was right all along. Guns are deadly and dangerous weapons, widely available, and expand exponentially the power of the holder, for good or ill. The guns in the hands of the benign give her no comfort, and guns in the hands of the criminals and other trash terrify her, especially if she watches much news.

Then she had better be properly equipped and trained to use them properly. Laws CAN NOT keep guns out of criminals hands. You have to look no further than the “War on drugs” to see that laws have no effect on determined criminals who want something.

A couple of other things the teacher will soon realize:

No 6 year old is able to kill another with a ball point pen negligently left lying around. It doesn’t happen often with guns, but it happens. Once is too often.

And no idiot ever got mad at his wife and ran to Wal-Mart to buy a Sharpie to kill her.

So you propose laws that treat EVERYONE like children and idiots?


Most here won’t like it or admit it, but we pay a serious price in innocent human life to remain an armed and relatively free people. There is no value in trying to minimize or smokescreen that cost. I believe our best long term hope for keeping that freedom is to find ways to virtually eliminate that cost. Nearly everywhere else has failed, and they have already lost it.

Anytime human beings are allowed to run around loose some of them are going to do stupid or evil things. That indeed is the price of liberty. The alternative is to treat them all collectively as the lowest common denominator or weakest link. The formula is simple:

If some people can’t be responsible with X, then NOBODY can have X (except our masters in the government of course).

Our system of justice is supposed to be rooted in the concept that a person is presumed innocent until he is proven guilty. Gun control laws do just the opposite because they presume guilt based on the potential of a person to commit a crime through possesses of a tool that he might misuse.

Crime is an action, not a tool.

C/O
February 19, 2011, 05:59 PM
Good job.

rainbowbob
February 20, 2011, 04:18 AM
This is good stuff.

Gouranga
February 20, 2011, 12:09 PM
And no idiot ever got mad at his wife and ran to Wal-Mart to buy a Sharpie to kill her.
Apparently though some burglars do in fact go out buy themselves a pen to do an "armed" robbery:

http://www.wreg.com/news/wreg-west-memphis-stab,0,7536674.story

and there are PLENTY of cases of said idiot getting mad at his wife, grabbing an ax/hammer/knife/book/chair/bat/screw driver/etc yet we do not have anyone calling for banning, licensing, registering, etc any of these.

ShaiVong
February 20, 2011, 03:28 PM
Though, if as may people were killed with melee or improvised weapons as are with firearms there would be a burden of regulation (justifiably).

It is a false equivalence to compare any other weapon to a firearm.

http://www.allcountries.org/uscensus/333_murder_victims_circumstances_and_weapons_used.html

I've got two swords and a steel mace in my closet, but I'm reaching for the Benelli if things go ploin shaped.

Owen Sparks
February 20, 2011, 04:44 PM
Though, if as may people were killed with melee or improvised weapons as are with firearms there would be a burden of regulation (justifiably).

It is a false equivalence to compare any other weapon to a firearm.

Wana Bet?

Here is a preview of what's to come after gun control. Apparently there is no limit to how far governments will go to ensure their monopoly on the use of force even if it means rendering the population defenseless. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-storie ... -20644126/

Also related:

The first “anti-stab” knife is to go on sale in Britain, designed to work as normal in the kitchen but to be ineffective as a weapon.

Picture: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 501720.ece

The knife has a rounded edge instead of a point and will snag on clothing and skin to make it more difficult to stab someone.
It was invented by industrial designer John Cornock, who was inspired by a documentary in which doctors advocated banning traditional knives.
The knife is designed to cut vegetables, but will make it almost impossible to stab someone to death and will reduce the risk of accidental injuries.

ShaiVong
February 20, 2011, 08:24 PM
Wana Bet?

Here is a preview of what's to come after gun control. Apparently there is no limit to how far governments will go to ensure their monopoly on the use of force even if it means rendering the population defenseless. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-storie ... -20644126/

Also a false equivalence, for two reasons.

1) The UK is not the US. It has a completely different history and social milieu.
2) This is not a directive by any type of government. Somebody thought there could be a market for less stabby knives, and so he designed a $75 knife. I doubt it's selling well; but that's how a market system works.

I had a blunt, square tipped knife that I used for scuba diving, in order to lessen the chance of accidently puncturing my dry suit.

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