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12 Dumbest Things Non-Gunners Say to Gun Owners

We’ve all heard them. The stupid things people who know nothing about guns say to gun owners, both in print and in person. Some of them are the result of ignorance and a lack of knowledge. Some are driven by adherence to a political ideology that cherishes emotion over fact. And some are just plain mean and intended to be insulting.

Here are the 12 that strike me as some of the dumbest. Some provide an opportunity to steer the person into a meaningful conversation about guns. Others are meant as insults or are so stupid all you can do is shake your head and walk away. 

1. Why do you need a gun?

From a light-hearted shooting sports perspective, a logical response is, “Oh, I don’t know. Why do you need a basketball?” Collecting and shooting guns is fun. It’s a hobby that ranges from plinking on weekends to building high-tech rifles with competition shooting and hunting in between. It’s a rewarding and challenging pastime, and in my opinion, there’s nothing else like it.

From a more practical perspective, you might as well ask why anyone needs a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, or spare tire. The answer is simple: you don’t need any of these things until you do, and then nothing else will work as well. It’s a condescending question, as if the person asking knows better than you do what your personal needs are or what your personal choices should be.

2. Guns Are a Big Problem

This is one of those emotional comments that seek to blame an inanimate object for something that is the result of human behavior. It reduces the complex issues that shape societal behavior down to a piece of metal that has no ability to act on its own. It also allows certain people to ignore issues like criminal recidivism, mental illness, poverty, and a society that is slipping into such a decline that adults seek to confuse children about what gender they are. If guns are the problem, then why are so many assaults and homicides committed with fists, knives, blunt instruments, and even vehicles each year? People create and solve problems, not inanimate objects.

3. Gun-Free Zones Work

A good response to this one would be to ask them to define “work.” If they mean that gun-free zones provide criminals and crazies with a risk-free area to commit mayhem, then yes, they work quite well. There are no statistics whatsoever that indicate that putting up a sign that says no guns are allowed does anything to reduce crime. 

The Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) reports that 94% of all mass shootings since 1950 have occurred in so-called gun-free zones. The percentage would be higher if we chose a later starting year since there were fewer gun-free zones in 1950 than now.

4. The Second Amendment is Outdated

The concept that any aspect of the Constitution is outdated is both stupid and dangerous on many levels. The argument goes that the Second Amendment was written at a time when the new United States had just thrown off the yoke of a tyrannical overlord and that it is no longer pertinent to the current times. But that misses the point of the Constitution. It isn’t a document written to address any particular time; it was written to provide a basis for freedom moving forward.

Further, the idea that the Constitution should be changed to suit some group’s political agenda opens it up to be gradually altered until all rights are chipped away. If the Second Amendment is outdated because of changing times, then perhaps the Fourth Amendment is as well. After all, we no longer have British troops battering their way into our homes, so why have protection against unlawful search and seizure? Or freedom of speech? Or freedom of the press? It is a slippery slope.

5. You Must be Paranoid

This is a great one. If you are concerned about your and your family’s safety, you are paranoid. I suppose that means that if you wear a seatbelt, lock your car in a parking lot, or lock the door to your home at night, you are paranoid. After all, it’s not like the other drivers on the road are out to get you or somebody has directly threatened you. 

Anyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows the world contains dangerous people. The FBI Criminal Victimization Report states that there were 4,598,310 victims of violent crime in 2021. That’s the number that made it into the FBI database. There is undoubtedly a large percentage that didn’t get reported to the police and another percentage that never made it to the FBI database. Labeling someone as paranoid because they enjoy shooting sports and want to protect themselves and their family is beyond narrow-minded.

6. Only the Police Should Have Guns

Another version of this is everyone would be safer if no one had a gun. There are two major flaws with this. First, the police are not there to protect us. The Supreme Court ruled that government agencies have no obligation to protect citizens (Deshaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, 1989). This ruling has been clarified and upheld numerous times. Even many police department websites state that they are not there to protect you.

Second, the idea that only police should be armed puts my teeth on edge. It goes against everything the Founding Fathers intended when they framed the Constitution. An armed populace is the best safeguard for preventing the rise of a police state.

Finally, all one must do is compare the average victim to the average criminal to see that there is frequently a great disparity in strength and aggressiveness. Women, the elderly, the infirm, and the physically weak are generally at a great disadvantage against physically stronger and psychologically more aggressive assailants. As the Old West adage says, “God created men, and Sam Colt made them equal!” A 90-pound woman and an 80-year-old man are both equal to a 26-year-old, 210-pound assailant if they are armed with a gun they are trained to use.

7. Guns Kill People

For some reason, Liberals like to blame crime on everything except the criminal. They’ll blame a criminal’s or mentally ill person’s actions on society, the police, their gender, their race, or the weapon they held in their hand as they committed murder. Rational people understand that the inanimate object used by the criminal is just that…an inanimate object.

According to the FBI, 22% of all homicides are committed with knives and blunt objects like hammers and 2X4s. That means there must be a lot of evil knives and hammers floating around that represent a threat to society. A deranged person will use whatever object they can find to commit mayhem.

The gun a father is using in rural Iowa to go target shooting with his kids is not responsible for the murders in Chicago that happen daily. Nor is that gun responsible for the good time the father and his kids are having. Guns are inanimate objects with no free will of their own. Demonizing an object will not solve society’s problems. Holding people accountable will.

8. Assault Rifle Bans Work

The first thing someone saying this should be prepared to do is define what an “assault rifle” is. Since it is a term used primarily by politicians and anti-2A crusaders, descriptions seem to vary quite a bit. The second thing they should be prepared to do is define the word “work.”

The reality is that there are no definitive statistics that offer any measurement as to whether bans on weapons the government terms assault rifles have any effect whatsoever on crime or mass shootings. A semiautomatic rifle is not a prerequisite for a crazy to commit mayhem. The DC Sniper used a bolt-action rifle. The Navy Yard shooter used a shotgun. The Virginia Tech shooter used a handgun. Eliminating rifles from America altogether wouldn’t have much of an effect on crime. The FBI Crime in the United States report notes that only 2.6% of all homicides involved a rifle of any kind.

9. It’s Too Easy to Get a Gun

This one is good for an immediate laugh. It could only come from someone who has never purchased a gun. There are over 20,000 gun laws currently on the books nationwide. These include requirements for an FFL, waiting periods, background checks, age limits, and even limits on how many guns you can buy in a given period. Some antis believe you can just buy a gun online and have it shipped directly to your door. Again, ignorance is king.

The other thing they seem to forget or ignore is how easily criminals and juvenile gang members seem to be able to acquire a gun. Both groups are legally forbidden from owning a gun, but that doesn’t stop them from getting them. For the most part, the only people the laws regulating the buying of guns seem to affect are law-abiding citizens.

10. You Must Be a Republican

This one is often intended to be an insult for some unfathomable reason. It will no doubt come as a shock to the many Democrats who have recently been buying guns. It’s especially funny since the rush to buy guns in urban areas comes because of failed Democrat policies regarding everything from crime and immigration to defunding the police.

11. You Shouldn’t Have a Gun if You Have Kids

My first response is, why not? While it’s true that there are far too many tragic instances of irresponsible people leaving guns out where kids can find them, it is the exception the media sensationalizes rather than the rule. I grew up on a farm where guns and ammunition were always readily available. We had to shoot a rabid fox on our back porch one day. I learned to shoot at an early age and managed to survive. 

My children grew up in a home with guns present. They also learned to shoot at a young age and never once acted irresponsibly around guns. I nodded my head in approval one day when my then 14-year-old son took an adult friend of ours to task for not handling a handgun safely while we were out shooting. 

This is another case of blaming the inanimate object for the failings of people. Guns, like chainsaws and sharp knives, should be carefully secured around small children or anyone else who isn’t well-trained or responsible enough to have access to them.

12. You’re Part of the Problem

When all else fails, get personal. Sooner or later, all arguments based on emotion rather than facts become a personal attack. This is especially true when it involves guns. The reality is that responsible gun owners are part of the solution, not the problem. The real blame for “the problem” rests on the people who commit crimes or allow repeat criminals to go on committing crimes long after they should have been put away forever. The same people who cry the loudest for gun control while doing nothing to address the root of the problem.

That’s my list of the dumbest things non-gunners say. I’m sure there’s more, so feel free to share them with us in the comments section.

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