Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism, Technology > On the Futility of Attempts at Gun Control in the USA: July 26, 2015

On the Futility of Attempts at Gun Control in the USA: July 26, 2015

The act of publicly bemoaning a lack of “effective” gun control laws upon hearing news of yet another mass shooting is one of the most popular LIEbral ritual in USA. For reasons that I will get into a bit later in this post, most LIEbrals believe (or at least want to believe) that severe restrictions or outright bans on private ownership of guns will somehow magically translate into an almost total elimination of mass shootings and other incidents of firearm related “violence”. They will also tell you that the much lower rates of suicide (or homicide) by firearms in other developed countries with draconian regulation of private gun ownership support their beliefs. But is that really so?

Well.. the short answer is “no”. But the longer answer is far more interesting and provides some intriguing insight into their mindset and worldview.

FYI, this is not my first blog post expressing strong skepticism about the effectiveness of passing more gun control laws in the USA. I have previously pointed out that most mass or spree shootings in the USA are the end result of somewhat unique and systemic social problems. Also, people who commit such acts frequently have no suspicion-invoking history of violent behavior. Furthermore, trying to suppress one manifestation of a much deeper set of problems almost guarantees that they will manifest themselves in another, and even more problematic, manner. It is also no secret that those clamoring the loudest for more gun control are doing so to maintain their power and social status.

There is however something else that I have alluded to, but not discussed at length, in my previous posts on this topic. I am now going to talk about one of the core issues that underlies discussion on gun control laws but is seldom mentioned- especially in public forums.

Some of my previous posts on other topics talk about factors that influence (positively or negatively) the perceived legitimacy of any given system of government. Now, many of you might think that opinions of citizens about the degree of legitimacy of the government system they live under are largely a non-issue in “developed” countries with democratically elected governments. As I will show you in the next paragraph- perceptions and opinions about the legitimacy of government systems are far more important for policies on gun control than most LIEbrals want to believe. It really comes down to two inter-linked issues..

Firstly- even a brief reading of the previous 150 years of global history show a rather disconcerting, yet seldom talked about, pattern for violent deaths. Governments of countries (as opposed to individuals) have been responsible for the vast majority of violent deaths in populations governed by them. If you don’t believe me just add the body count of all major inter- and intra-state wars, genocides and consequences of war (such as the influenza pandemic of 1918) which have occurred in the last century and half. My point is that the vast majority (way over 99%) of violent deaths (around 150-200 million) in that time span were state sanctioned and therefore technically “legal”. Furthermore, the number of violent deaths caused by recent or ongoing conflicts such as those caused by american meddling in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan within the last decade are still many tens of times higher than a sum of the body count caused by individual mass or spree shooters in the same time span. Even the police in USA kill many times more unarmed people than mass shooters in the same calendar year. To put it another way, governments of nation states (and their subsidiaries) are by far the biggest cause of violent deaths- including those by guns. I fail to see how passing more gun control laws would have change that fact.

And this brings us to the second issue- namely, that a significant minority of people do not perceive the current government system as being legitimate. But why does that matter? Don’t people in other developed countries have similar views about their governments? Well.. it does matter, because people in other developed countries do perceive their governments to be significantly more legitimate than people in the USA see their own. But why? What makes people in Japan, Germany or even the U.K feel that their government is legitimate? The simple answer is that the perceived legitimacy of a government is directly proportional to the consistency and effectiveness of its efforts to maintain the quality of life for the median citizen.

It is therefore no surprise that gun control measures seem to work in countries where the government directly or indirectly intervenes in favor of the median citizen. I should also point out countries with such government systems always had very low rates of deaths by individual acts of violence- especially in the post-WW2 era. In contrast to that, countries in which governments routinely and overtly abuse the majority to benefit the rich minority always had rather high rates of non-state sanctioned homicides. That is why certain countries such as Mexico, Brazil and South Africa have rather high rates of non-state sanctioned homicides despite highly restrictive gun ownership laws. My point is that the USA has always been more like Mexico, Brazil and South Africa than Japan, Germany or the U.K.

LIEbrals push for more gun control laws because they do not want to acknowledge that the USA has always been an affluent third-world country and that they have tremendously benefited from this apparent contradiction.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. P Ray
    July 27, 2015 at 1:02 am

    There are lots of other ways to kill people beyond guns, in ways that are both terrifying and random, e.g.
    “Someone dressed as a postman, drops off a letter bomb” …
    who knows who is and isn’t a postman?

    Hopefully that sentence in quotes makes people think about that line:
    “Life is unfair”
    and your rejoinder
    “Unfairness has its consequences”.

  2. Ed
    July 28, 2015 at 10:40 am

    This is an interesting argument.

    Its a side point, but I’m not sure about treating the US as a “more affluent” Latin American country. And this is a point I’ve made myself. For example, the political system and the party system in the US is Latin American -this happened quite deliberately, since the other countries in the hemisphere copied the US Constitution and party system- and has little to do with the Westminster systems used in the UK and its former colonies, or continental European politics. So in that important respect the US should be grouped with South American and Central American countries, with Canada in another group. Also, the racial mixture in the US fits the profile of a Latin American country more than most people realize, even before massive immigration from Mexico and Central America.

    However, there are still some important historical differences. The US contains no advanced pre-Columbian civilzation. Most of it was not part of the Spanish or Portuguese empires (which were under the same crown for over a century), and that has implications, as these empires were hyper-organized and bureaucratic and used a completely different legal tradition that the common law used in the UK. Being mostly Protestant and not Catholic -I’ve found in practice that American Catholics tend to instinctively think like Protestants in religious matters- and being English speaking also should make a difference.

    I think its more accurate to say that the US is a sort of settler society, founded so people could come here, exploit, and get rich, with a thin at best sense of community greater than that. In that sense we are worse off than Latin America, which had a history before the conquistadors show up, and memories of that still survive.

  3. lalit
    July 30, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Time for you to write an Article:

    “What advice I would give to the head recruiter of ISIS”

    Few men are more qualified than you.

  1. August 26, 2017 at 4:54 pm

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