Fact: the national right to keep and bear arms movement is winning. Two Supreme Court decisions, Illinois now has shall-issue CCW, and more and more people are buying guns and carrying guns. There has been an absolutely explosion in awareness of 2nd Amendment rights and gun ownership. If you’d told me in 2004 that we’d be where we are right now, I’d have laughed in your face. And yet with all our victory, and indeed perhaps because of it, the anti-gun factions keep lying, and keep pushing their nonsense. It’s like they see they’re on the brink of total defeat, so they’ve doubled down on their lies even harder. Here are their five favorite lies.
1. The Gun Show Loophole
What they say: Anti-gun activists will tell you until you’re bored to death about the gun show loophole. To hear them tell it, all across America are these Khyber Pass style bazaars full of shady dudes selling machine guns to anyone with cash on hand, no questions asked.
Why it’s a lie: The truth of course is that gun shows are very strictly controlled. Most sellers at gun shows are Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) who are required by federal law to conduct a background check on any firearms sale, regardless of the location where they conduct the sale. That means if you buy a gun from an FFL at a gun shop or a show, they have to do a background check. There are private sellers at gun shows, these are usually collectors and hobbyists looking to clear out part of their collection. It is not a loophole for an individual to sell a gun to another individual, it is complying with the law. So long as the person making the sale is reasonably sure that the buyer is not a prohibited person, the transaction is perfectly legal.
2. A gun in the home is more likely to hurt you than save you
What they say: According to anti-gun people if you keep a gun in your home for defense, you’re more likely to be killed or injured with that gun than you are to use it defending yourself against a home invasion.
Why it’s a lie: This one is actually fairly clever, and should be exposed. Their statement takes a wide definition of what counts as having your own gun used against you, to include suicide. It is a fact that guns are a common choice for committing suicide, especially with males. Because suicides with firearms are more common than in-home defensive shootings, they twist this tragic statistic to their own ends to portray a home defense gun as a lurking cobra under the couch, waiting to strike and murder the home’s occupants. But the truth is that if you remove suicide from the equation, a gun kept in the house for home defense is quite likely to never be fired in anger at all.
3. A majority of Americans support stronger gun laws
What they say: You’ve probably heard this one recently, especially after the Sandy Hook murders. It was mostly used as a way to emotionally bully people who were on the fence about gun control – “everyone else agrees with us, and you do want to be liked, right?”
Why it’s a lie: The truth is that the majority of Americans don’t have the faintest clue what our gun laws are. Try this experiment: find someone you know who is not involved in the gun control debate at all. Describe the current state of all gun laws to them, federal all the way down to state restrictions. Background checks, licensed dealers with federal government oversight, a registry for items like machine guns and suppressors, the whole nine yards. Tell them what makes someone a prohibited person. Then ask them if they think we need more gun laws. The reason that the anti-gunners were able to get their “majority of Americans” lie started in the first place was based on an incredibly misleading poll that asked low information voters whether or not they supported “background checks for all gun purchases.”
4. Assault weapons
What they say: “OMG BLACK RIFLES ARE EVIL OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD TOO MANY BULLETS EVIL” /runs away crying
Why it’s a lie: While we’ve lost the language battle on the phrase “assault rifle”, we’re winning the battle on the guns themselves. In fact, this one has been so thoroughly smashed that there’s no need for us to deal with it. Simple fact: an AR15 or AK47 is no more or less dangerous than the .30-06 your grandfather used to hunt with.
5. The gun culture is dying out
What they say: To hear it told, fewer Americans are buying guns, and the reason that more guns than ever are being sold is because a few (million) gun owners are buying them in case lots and hoarding them. Gun owners are a dying breed!
Why it’s a lie: The numbers just don’t match up. Guns have been selling for the past 8 years in record numbers, in numbers that couldn’t possibly be accounted for by existing gun owners adding to their collections. Plus, concealed carry permit applications have spiked across the country, and you can’t possibly believe that’s all because some guy has owned guns his entire life and suddenly now wants a permit. No, the majority of those CCW permits are new gun owners. Participation in training classes is off the charts across the country, and many of those attending are first timers. The gun culture may be changing away from hunters in duck blinds…now it’s soccer moms with M&Ps and accountants with 1911s.
The real truth is that anti-gun advocates can’t win without lying. The truth just isn’t on their side. Hopefully you’ll get a change to use this list next time you’re having a conversation with someone who’s on the fence and is merely repeating talking points he heard on CNN. Be gentle, be polite, but be persuasive. And don’t waste your time arguing with the truly anti-gun, because they’re a lost cause, doomed to the eventual dustbin of history alongside similar organizations like the KKK, Holocaust deniers, and 9/11 Truthers.