Editor’s note: Mr. Williamson is an accomplished science-fiction writer. He also wrote an essay with the above title. We at ScopedIn think this makes a compelling case against the folly of gun control, and have included excerpts with the author’s permission. The full essay can be found here.
That incidents where people shoot criminals in self defense are very rare, and shouldn’t be used as excuses to own guns, just as incidents where presidential press secretaries are shot are very rare, and shouldn’t be used as excuses to ban guns.
That a mugger will kill you in the half-second it takes to draw from the holster, but won’t harm you while you dial 911 on your cell phone, talk to the dispatcher and wait half an hour for the cops to arrive.
That gun control works, which is why there are no illegal weapons in Northern Ireland or Beirut.
That the Second Amendment only applies to flintlocks, just as the First Amendment only applies to quills and lead type.
That a gun with an 11 round magazine is dangerous, but a gun with fifteen 10 round magazines is much safer.
That a hijacker could easily take a gun away from a pilot, but the hundreds of passengers aboard would then be unable to take the gun away from the hijacker.
That if there’d been a gun aboard American Airlines Flight 93, someone could have been hurt.
That 1 firearm owner in 10,000 will commit an act of violence in his or her lifetime, and this is far more frightening than the 25% of drivers who will cause a serious or fatal accident.
That you should rely on police in lieu of your gun, just as you should rely on a dentist in lieu of your toothbrush.
That car keys, umbrellas and hairspray are good tools for self-defense, despite the fact that police continue to carry guns.
That Washington DC’s low murder rate of 80.6 per 100,000 is due to strict gun control, but Arlington, Virginia’s high murder rate of 1.6 per 100,000 is attributable to the lack of gun control.
That “assault weapons” are “very powerful” but big game hunters oddly prefer .30-06s and .375 H&Hs.
That we don’t need the Second Amendment or arms to protect our Constitution, but should instead use the courts and the government system, just as we did in 1776.
That the laws against specifically named weapons have been found unconstitutional, that the laws against “types” of weapons have been considered vague, that the laws against cosmetic features are easy to comply with and still produce the identical mechanism, and that laws against particular mechanisms are unconstitutional is an indication of the “obsessiveness” of firearms enthusiasts to do what they enjoy doing, against the wishes of the narrow minded prudes who wish to stop them, and not an indication of the obsessiveness of the ignorant paranoids who fear them.
That because of the bombing at Oklahoma City and the knife-point hijacking on September 11, we should take guns away from people who weren’t involved.
That families with children should not be allowed to own guns for safety reasons, just as they aren’t allowed to own dogs, power tools, or toxic chemicals.
That it’s wrong to destroy someone’s life over an administrative crime by jailing them and impoverishing their family, unless that crime is owning a gun.
That when someone dies because they couldn’t get a drug the government won’t approve, it’s tragic, but when someone dies because they couldn’t defend themselves with a gun the government won’t approve, that’s just life.
That the “Reasonable” uses for guns are hunting and target shooting, but not self-defense. In other words, it’s acceptable to use them as toys but not as lifesaving devices.
That .50 caliber rifles are both “very rare” and “selling like hotcakes.”
That intelligent people should support gun control because they realize they are too stupid to be trusted with guns.
That if honest people give up their weapons, the criminals and dictators will give up theirs, as Chicago street gangs and Hitler have demonstrated.
That outlawing the carrying of guns will stop people from doing so, just as lowering the speed limit stops reckless driving.
That we should deal with the problem of criminals using illegal weapons by taking lawful weapons away from honest people.
That pilots might accidentally shoot a hole in the skin of an airliner (see above), so shouldn’t have guns, and if the terrorists start banging away, we’ll just have to hope for the best.
That pilots shouldn’t be armed because they aren’t trained for use of weapons, but may use violent maneuvers that they aren’t trained for to somehow magically secure a hijacker they can’t see in his seat.
That a .38 caliber bullet might destroy an airliner, but violent maneuvers won’t rip the wings off.
That many “supporters of Second Amendment rights” endorse “reasonable gun control,” just like many “supporters of First Amendment rights” endorse “reasonable media control.”
That keeping a gun for self-defense implies a desire to shoot someone, just as keeping matches and having homeowner’s insurance implies a desire to be an arsonist.
That a punk wakes up one morning, and thinks, “Gee, instead of robbing, raping, sodomizing and killing a young woman, why don’t I turn my $400 gun in for $20 and a pizza and go work at McDonald’s?”
That assault rifles are far too powerful to hunt deer and elk, and too dangerous for private citizens to own, but are too impotent for modern warfare, too weak to reliably kill soldiers, and have no place in the concept of a citizen reserve.
That there’s no incongruity in claiming the preferred weapon of a drug dealer is a $25 .22 caliber pocket pistol, and claiming the preferred weapon of a drug dealer is a $2000 machinegun in the same piece of propaganda.
That any cheap weapon is a “Saturday night special,” and any expensive weapon is an “assault weapon.”
That Charlton Heston as president of the NRA is a shill who should be ignored, but Michael Douglas as a representative of Handgun Control, Inc. is an ambassador for peace who is entitled to an audience at the UN arms control summit.
That ordinary people, in the presence of guns, turn into slaughtering butchers, and revert to normal when the weapon is removed.
That someone who fails to clear his weapon, fails to point it in a safe direction, pulls the trigger without checking the chamber, and blows his foot off is an example of how even a “trained professional” can be a “victim” of a diabolical gun, but people in the military who clean weapons millions of times a year without getting hurt are “dumb grunts.”
That the New England Journal of Medicine is filled with expert advice about guns, just as Guns and Ammo has some excellent treatises on heart surgery.
That modern design firearms contain features such as box magazines and fiberglass stocks, which were designed for military use and shouldn’t be available to civilians, just as modern design automobiles contain features such as rack and pinion steering and McPherson struts, which were designed for the race track and shouldn’t be available to civilians.
That the best way to avoid an accidental shooting is to stay completely ignorant of guns and never go near them, just like the safest way to avoid an accidental drowning is to stay completely ignorant of swimming and never go near water.
That the “right of the people peaceably to assemble,” the “right of the people to be secure in their homes,” “the enumeration herein of certain rights shall not be construed to disparage others retained by the people,” “The powers not delegated herein are reserved to the states respectively, and to the people,” refer to individuals, but “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” refers to the states.
That the 2nd Amendment, ratified in 1791, allows the states to have a National Guard, created by act of Congress in 1916.
That private citizens can’t have handguns, because they serve no militia purpose, even though the military has hundreds of thousands of them, and private citizens can’t have assault rifles, because they are military weapons.
That it is reasonable in California to get two years in jail for a serious crime such as possessing but not using a weapon, and probation for a minor crime such as molesting your children.
That the first amendment absolutely allows child pornography and threats to kill cops, but doesn’t apply to manuals on gun repair.
That free speech entitles one to own newspapers, transmitters, computers, and typewriters, but self defense only justifies bare hands.
That gun safety courses in school only encourage kids to commit violence, but sex education in school doesn’t encourage kids to have sex.
That the ready availability of guns today, with only a few government forms, waiting periods, checks, infringements, ID, and fingerprinting, is responsible for all the school shootings, compared to the lack of school shootings in the 1950’s and 1960’s, which was caused by the awkward availability of guns at any hardware store, gas station, and by mail order.
That statistics showing high murder rates justify gun control, and statistics that show increasing murder rates after gun control is legislated are “just statistics.”
That guns cause crime, which is why there has never been a mass slaying at a gun show.
That guns cause crime, just like matches cause arson.
That guns cause crime, just like women cause prostitution.
That guns cause crime, just like men cause rape.
That guns aren’t necessary to national defense, which is why the US Army only has 3 million of them.
That banning guns works, which is why New York, DC, and Chicago cops need guns against armed criminals.
That a handgun, with up to 4 switches and controls, is far too complex for the typical adult to learn to use, as opposed to an automobile which only has 20.
That handguns are useful only for murder, which is why the police and military define them as defensive weapons.
That one should ignore as idiots politicians who confuse Wicca with Satanism and exaggerate the gay community as a threat to society, but listen sagely to politicians who can refer to a self-loading small arm as a “weapon of mass destruction” and an “assault weapon,” use the term “bullet casing,” don’t know the difference between a “clip” and a “magazine,” and can’t tell the difference between an AKM, an MAK-90, and an SKS.
That there is no absolute right to a weapon, documented historically because the British government used to prohibit Catholics from owning guns. And that wasn’t a sign of religious bigotry. (Note: the British Constitution actually RESTORED to Protestants the right to own arms, which Catholic James II denied them.)
That rifles with pistol grips are assault weapons, just like vehicles with racing stripes are sports cars.
That the ACLU is good because it uncompromisingly defends certain parts of the Constitution, but the NRA is bad because it defends other parts of the Constitution.
That police operate in groups with backup, which is why they need larger capacity magazines than civilians, who must face criminals alone, and therefore need less ammunition.
That calling 911 and asking them to send a man with a gun to protect you is good, but cutting out the middleman by protecting yourself is bad.
That guns cause the high suicide rate in the US, even though Japan’s rate is almost three times higher.
That a registration plan will reduce crime, because criminals will register their guns despite the Supreme Court decision Haynes v. U.S. (309 U.S. 85, 1968) that registration violates self-incrimination.
That it’s reasonable to require proof of a criminal act before an order of protection can be issued, but reasonable to assume anyone with a gun will commit a criminal act, so they should be subject to prior restraint.
That it is essential to incorporate locks and sensors into guns to make them safer and that only a criminal would not support this, but cops and federal agents would be exempt for safety reasons because locks are unreliable and hinder access.
That a bank guard can protect money with a gun, but you cannot protect your children with one.
That the piecemeal destruction of the right to keep and bear arms makes the right useless, and therefore justifies destroying it further.
That people are too stupid to handle guns, but are intelligent enough to vote.
That the NRA, with over 4 million members, is “out of touch” with America, and HCI, with 50 thousand members, is a “mandate from the people.”
That the National Defense Act of 1916 doesn’t exist.
That registration of guns, in violation of the McClure-Volkmer Act, and as declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, is somehow still legal.
That we must close shooting ranges because of the noise, but ban silencers because they are quiet.
That making it harder and harder for even cops to have guns on school property will somehow make it harder for lunatics to kill the utterly helpless students.
That accidents with a product justify banning the product, even though MADD has never called for a ban on alcohol, people actively push to legalize drugs, and no one wants to ban swimming pools, so basically it’s only practical items like guns we should ban and not the luxury items that are essential to human survival.
That a high percentage of immigrants own guns as an overreaction to the living conditions in their nations of origin, but the US should try to emulate those nations’ gun control and social policies.
That shooting at an intruder who smashes your door and enters with knife in hand will somehow “escalate the violence.”
That since banning a few guns hasn’t helped, we should ban more.
That stupidity can be cured by legislation.
That with nationwide gun control, the entire nation can be as safe as NYC, LA and Chicago.
That since a gun isn’t 100% effective for self defense, you should get rid of it, along with your first aid kit and fire extinguisher, since they aren’t 100% effective, either.
That it’s wrong to use tax dollars to finance private political agendas, unless that agenda is to ban guns.
That gun owners are unwilling to compromise, which is why there are only 20,000 gun laws in the US.
That one accidental death is too many, but thousands of people dying because the means of self-defense were not available is unavoidable and not worthy of worry.
That we should ban guns because people have a “right to feel safe,” but the right to feel safe by owning firearms for defense is not valid.
That it’s outrageous to count 18 and 19 year-old parents as “children” for statistical purposes, but perfectly acceptable to count them as children for purposes of exaggerating gun deaths among “children.”
That the dangers of guns outweigh their recreational uses, unlike alcohol and motorcycles.
That a woman shooting a rapist is a felon.
That repealing laws that discriminate against gun-owners “endorses” guns, just like repealing laws that discriminate against gays “endorses” homosexuality.
That guns are designed only to kill, just like women are designed only to give birth.
That a person who would commit violence with a gun would never do so with a knife.
That most people are seething cauldrons of potential violence who cannot be trusted with a gun, but most people are so decent that there is no need to carry a weapon for defense.
That 83 million gun owners are “extremists,” and the 50,000 members of the Million Moron March are “the majority.”
That a woman buying a gun to defend herself against a violent ex needs five days to “cool off.”
That there’s no risk of the US becoming a police state, Japanese-Americans were not interned in the 40’s, blacks were not oppressed and jailed in the 50’s, and no students were killed at Kent State.
That the NRA is bad for running political activities, but the Million Moron March, stealing money from AIDS research, illegally maintaining tax-exempt status as a 501c(3) organization and fraudulently using a hospital rent-free as its headquarters is good for running political activities.
That “assault weapons” have no purpose other than to kill large numbers of people, which is why the police need them.
That citizens don’t need to carry a gun for personal protection but desk-bound police administrators who work in a building filled with cops do, as do tax auditors, vegetable inspectors, mail inspectors, and meat inspectors.
That “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq refers to an intact, armed nuke with a delivery system, but in the US refers to common self-loading rifles.
That an AK-47, designed in 1947 with a maximum effective range of 400 yards, was “designed to pierce police body armor” that didn’t exist until the 1970s at “ranges over 1000 yards.”
That with only 1 chance in 5 of facing violent crime, and 1 chance in 10 of a gun being used defensively, the risk is minimal and gunowners are paranoid freaks, but it is insane not to get immunized against hepatitis, which strikes 1:50,000 people.
That guns cause crime, even though crime has been shown to drop in areas with higher levels of gun ownership, and to rise where guns are restricted. This is due to “other factors.” We should ignore those other factors and ban guns.
That guns in areas of the world like Afghanistan are frequently used in crime, and therefore guns are bad, just like doctors in Afghanistan have a high rate of patient loss, therefore doctors are bad.
That guns don’t cause an increase in crime in low crime areas like Arlington, VA where they are available legally, but do cause an increase in crime in adjoining areas like Washington, DC where they are not available legally. The obvious solution to this is to make them illegal more places, which will make the crime rate go down to the level it is in places where they’re legal.
That the “gun show loophole” allows you to go to a gun show and find a federally licensed dealer surrounded by cops and federal agents and 10,000 buyers, who will wink and violate existing federal law by not requiring ID, a form 4473 and a call to NICS before selling you a gun, and neither of you will be arrested for the attempt.
That the Army could save a lot of money taking the precision adjustable sights and optical sights off M16s, since they are “designed to be spray-fired from the hip.” (According to Sarah Brady.)
That the only reason to own a firearm silencer is for quiet assassinations, just like the only reason to own a car muffler is to clandestinely run over civilians.