The top five gun control lies

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

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.


  1. “(N)ow it’s soccer moms with M&Ps and accountants with 1911s.”

    It’s probably just nitpicking, but I believe that the ‘combat accountant’ Larry Correia prefers a 2011. 😉

    Seriously, nice debunk.

    1. Herbert Kornfeld’s CCW piece of choice was the staple gun. May he R.I.P.

  2. “Simple fact: an AR15 or AK47 is no more or less dangerous than the .30-06 your grandfather used to hunt with.”

    I’m sorry, but saying that a magazine-fed semi-automatic has no more deadly potential than a bolt-action rifle is totally disingenuous and does the pro-gun movement no favors.

      1. The .30-06 was plenty deadly for punching through cover or a Stahlhelm! Penetrates modern body armour! The horror! These weapons of war among us!

      2. Within distances encountered outside of hunting, I’d say that the ballistic advantage of the 30-06 hunting rifle is BY FAR negated by the superior capacity and ROF of an AR or AK.

        1. pg; I assure you I do not feel any disadvantage between my M-1 Garand and those with AR/AK platforms.

      3. I’ve been reading your blog long enough to know you’re not dumb. Do you SERIOUSLY believe that the ballistic superiority of 30-06 over 5.56 or 7.62×39 makes up for the ROF disparity between a bolt-action hunting rifle and an AR/AK?

        Unless you’re going to argue that the longer effective range of 30-06 makes up for ROF and capacity, but I’m struggling to think of a plausible situation where that matters.

        1. I’m not talking about destructive potential here, I’m talking about the effect of the bullet that comes out of the muzzle. A .223 out of an AR15 won’t kill you any deader than a .30’06 from pappy’s hunting rifle. The original bit may have been poorly phrased.

          1. OK, so you were just talking about the destructive potential of individual projectiles.

            I think it’s fair to say that the anti-gun movement is the most hot and bothered over semi-automatic rifles fed by 30 (or more) round magazines. Those are the defining characteristics of so-called “assault weapons,” which is what you were talking about. Do you see how breezing past those characteristics doesn’t make for an effective argument?

            I’m not trying to troll you here. Just trying to keep you honest.

        2. I can build a 10/22 that qualifies as an assault weapon.

          The point is here that cosmetics have nothing to do with it. I have an M1A that wouldn’t qualify as an assault weapon because it’s wood and no bayonet lug. So the only “features” it has is a detachable magazine and flash hider. Both of those you can also find now on bolt action rifles.

          The M1A however will match your rate of fire and be considerably more destructive while doing so. Maybe instead you realize that the point of this is that ultimately it’s the bullets that do damage, not some list of features.

      1. Well the article does say hunting rifle. So I’m guessing a bolt action .30-06 is more commonly used for hunting than an M1 Garand. So in that case based on the functions of higher capacity and a semi-auto action, they CAN potentially be more dangerous in a defenseless environment. In reality, deadly is deadly.

    1. Why don’t you share with us the reasons why you believe a “magazine-fed semi-automatic” rifle is more dangerous than a bolt action rifle? Both are repeating arms. Both have magazines that hold X number of rounds. The semi-automatic MAY hold more rounds, but the 30-06 is far more destructive.

      I’m curious what your rationale is and why you find it necessary to make it sound like Caleb’s point somehow hurts the pro-gun movement.

      Do share.

      1. The semi-auto not only holds more rounds, but has a far higher ROF. And a 5.56 NATO is plenty deadly inside a couple hundred yards or so; if you’re seriously falling back on BUT 30-06 HAS MORE STOPPING POWA I’m thinking you’re grasping at straws or don’t understand terminal ballistics.

        And statements like that hurt the pro-gun movement because they’re ridiculous. If we seriously can’t think of better arguments, the pro-gun movement is in rough shape.

        1. Lol, I said nothing of “stopping power”.

          We could counter back and forth forever. Semi-autos have a higher ROF, but at higher ROFs the accuracy decreases significantly (for most people). Just because it can be a more effective tool, doesn’t mean it is any more dangerous.

          The attitude that some guns are more dangerous than others also feeds the anti-gun idea that some guns need to be more regulated than others. So it seems to me your argument would do just as much made-up potential damage to the pro-gun movement. That type of thinking is why we have magazine capacity limits, assault weapons bans, regulations over SBRs and SBSs.

          And bolt actions are plenty good for shooting people, just because they aren’t in wide use for that purpose anymore doesn’t mean they aren’t effective at it. It just means newer technology has come out that is even more effective at it.

          1. First of all, the whole point of a semi-automatic is that it’s easier to place accurate shots faster. With a bolt action, you need to cycle the action before taking aim again and pulling the trigger. With a semi-auto, you just have to pull the trigger. Less stuff to do between shots means faster shots. I don’t know why I need to explain this.

            “And bolt actions are plenty good for shooting people, just because they aren’t in wide use for that purpose anymore doesn’t mean they aren’t effective at it. It just means newer technology has come out that is even more effective at it.”

            So… you try to say that semi-autos AREN’T more dangerous, and then you go right ahead and flat-out say they’re more effective at killing people? I’m seriously confused about what your point is.

            You’re the one that made the connection from more deadly -> needs more regulation, not me. It is, however, the anti-gun argument, and we can’t counter it effectively by denying self-evident facts. This isn’t “made-up potential damage”; pro-gun people saying and doing stupid things (see: the Texas Chipotle OC Crew) makes great media fodder, and damages the image of gun owners in the public mind.

          2. I’m glad your comments are at least good for a laugh. Equating Caleb’s statement to the antics of the OC activists in Texas is just silly.

            I find it very interesting that you are resorting to trying to marginalize others’ comments and putting words in peoples’ mouths to try and make your point. I made no connection between more deadly = more regulation. I said that is how anti-gun folks think, which I doubt you would argue with. So saying a type of firearm is “more dangerous” than another can potentially add validation to those false statements.

            You said Caleb’s statement was disingenuous. You have yet to put forth a coherent argument that convinces me of that.

            Both types of rifles, regardless of caliber, are potentially deadly. Both can be effective at killing things. Both can be operating in a manner to kill or injure many things quickly. Both are dangerous.

      2. Think about it this way:

        Let’s define “dangerous” as “good for shooting at people.” Bolt-action rifles used to be widely used for shooting at people. Now, outside of some narrow parameters like sniping, they’re no longer used for shooting at people. If you’re a soldier, and you aren’t fighting for some 3rd world country, you almost definitely are issued an assault rifle or battle rifle. If you’re a police officer in the US, chances are these days that you have a carbine in your cruiser instead of a shotgun. I’ll grant that most civilian-owned carbines in the US are semi-automatic instead of true assault rifles, but IMO that just removes the temptation to spray bullets.

        Don’t get me wrong. I own an AR-15 and plan to buy more. I 100% support the right of the people to own them. However, if we keep parroting dumb talking points like “A BOLT-ACTION HUNTING RIFLE IS JUST AS DANGEROUS HURRRRR” we’re going to get murdered in the battle of public opinion.

        1. Your point is fair. However, you’d be surprised at the number of anti-gunners who, through a total lack of knowledge on the topic, truly believe that the “armor-piercing, cop-killer bullets” fired out of “high-power military-style assault weapons” are much more deadly than the rounds used in Grandpa Joe’s Model 70.

          Many people who don’t like guns are terrifyingly ignorant about them.

          1. I’m actually with PG on some of this. Pointing out the other side’s ignorance on certain issues doesn’t really do anything for our side – in fact, as PG points out, it can make our side appear weaker and “grasping at straws” because it comes off more as “neener neaner, you don’t know the right words” than it does a well reasoned and articulated argument.

            For example, on “Myth One” and the Gun Show Loophole the argument made above that it’s a “myth” misses the point the antis are making and we know it. I feel like a parent saying “Yeah, but you know what I MEAN”. The phrase “Gunshow Loophole” is a catchy and easy thing for the antis to use – it paints a certain picture of unregulated sales. Yes, gun shows are not the wild arms bazar the phrase implies BUT, we know what the antis mean and Caleb dances around the issue. Antis are 100% talking about private sales, regardless of location. We need to ADDRESS THAT with facts and well thought out rebuttals, not word play. Any of the people I try to sway our way would read that word play as BS and move the opposite way as a result. (This is the same thing as that video of the Cali anti Rep that absolutely gets it wrong. Yes, he’s an idiot and gets a ton of stuff wrong but we can come off just as bad by mocking ignorance rather than 1) education on correct terminology and 2) good and reasoned rebuttals to “what they meant to say” )

            #2-3 I agree with

            #4 – PG made the point – No anti talking about ARs etc is talking about ballistics and “We know It”(and they likely don’t care). Being coy and talking about pappys hunting rifle vs an AR and them both being “deadly” is true but side steps the issue which is almost always ROF. Again, anyone on the fence will likely see that dance for what it is and raise an eyebrow. Better to address the issue with facts and well reasoned replies – I often reply when ARs are brought up with the FACT that rifles and long guns (that includes everything ELSE in addition to ARs) account for a tiny fraction of all fire arms related homicides in the US (less than knives, hands fists and feet and blunt instruments) and are simply not the issue no matter what MSM likes to sell. They’re easy to target and we often don’t do a great job in the rebuttal.

    2. My grandfather had a Remington Model 742 in .30-06 he bought in the early ’60s. Not a bolt action.

    3. Have you ever used either of those firearms or a .30-06 (7.62×63mm)? I never did see the author mention a bolt action rifle though I know many people who can “accurately” fire one just as fast as they can fire a semi automatic rifle. My grandfather used an M1 Garand to hunt with. That is a clip fed .30-06. Do you seriously think that firearm has less deadly potential than an AR15 (5.56×45mm) or an AK47 (7.62x39mm)?

  3. Well, The International Lord of Hate is a mutant freak with hands the size of shovels. An STI 2011 is like a Colt 1903 to you or I. . . 🙂

  4. I wonder how many new CCW’s there are. I think that would be the best measure of increase in individuals owning guns. It won’t provide an exact count because it excludes the increasingly popular AR sales but it would give a more discrete count as commented in the article. Handguns are still more popular anyways, especially for 1st time buyers as far as I know. There has to be a way to get a more discrete count, not that this presidential administration is interested in collecting factual numbers. Using phone survey (or any survey) for these numbers are pointless as most gun owners I know don’t admit to owning guns to complete strangers.

    1. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (

      # of CHL Licenses Issued
      2010: 102,133
      2013: 242,641

      So it seems to me that in 3 years the number of CHL licenses issued per year in Texas increased by 138% or 140,508. And Texas is on a 5 year license – so people issued licenses in 2010 would not be renewing in 2013.

  5. Great article, Caleb! Thanks for a handy reference I can use at the next family get-together!

    I did see that in the last paragraph, you wrote “Hopefully you’ll get a change…” I think maybe you meant “chance.” I’ve had enough hope and change already!

  6. My CCW permit class in WI from last year is a primary example of what you say. Out of 50 people, I would say 40% were women, 25% were people of color, and it was about 60% 21-40 years old, 30% 41-60 years old, and 10% 60+ years old. I spent the portion of the class where we actually handled firearms getting to know my partner, “Jane,” a 75-year old grandmother of 7. It was truly a slice of Americana. They have classes like this EVERY weekend at my local range. The range line is usually at least 33% female on any given day. We are winning the culture war.

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