Gun Riddance and 11 NRA Talking Points
By Gene Griessman, PhD Author of “Lincoln and Obama”
For years gun fanatics, with the backing of the NRA, have dominated the debate about sensible gun control…with hackneyed talking points and cliches.
With yet another mass shooting fresh on our minds…we believe thoughts and prayers are not enough.
The time has come for us to push back.
You won’t change the opinions of the fanatics, but you can keep them from controlling the conversation.
The First NRA Talking Point. “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”
Donald Trump’s version. “It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger. It’s the person.”
And here’s what you can say.
“It is a person that pulls the trigger, but what kind of person? It’s a person who can get a gun without a background check.”
(Polls show that some 90% of Americans want universal background checks.)
“It’s a person who can get a Bushmaster Model XM15-E2S rifle, and kill 26 children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School.”
“It’s a person who hates Jews and is able to get an AR-15 and kill 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue.”
“It’s a teen gunman who is able to get an AR-15 and kill 17 students and staff at Parkland High.”
The Second NRA Talking Point
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
What you can say. “A hater of Mexicans with an AK-47 killed 22 Walmart shoppers in El Paso.
It was all over in less than a minute.
Could a good guy with a gun have saved those lives? C’mon. Walmart had a truckload of guns.”
The Third NRA Talking Point
“It’s mental illness.”
What you can say. “Every nation has mental illness but other nations don’t have recurring mass shootings….because guns are hard to get.”
“Are mass killers legally insane? Certainly not all of them. The legal definition of insanity is whether the perpetrator could distinguish right from wrong when the crime was committed.”
“Only in America is it easier to get an AR-15 than a driver’s license.”
(Switzerland has lots of guns but has very strict rules about who can get one.)
The Fourth NRA Talking Point
“It’s Video Games.”
This is a really absurd talking point.
What you can say. “Every developed nation has violent video games but they don’t have recurring mass shootings…because guns are hard to get.”
The Fifth NRA Talking Point
“Gun regulation violates the Second Amendment.”
And here’s what you can say.
“The Second Amendment does not say guns can’t be regulated.
In fact gun regulation is in the very wording of the Second Amendment: a ‘well-regulated’militia.”
Here’s what the Second Amendment actually says.
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
“Do you think our founders intended that just anyone, sane or crazy, could wander around willy-nilly bearing military assault weapons? Of course not. “
The first part of the Amendment…the need to have militias…is the rationale for the second part…the right to own and bear arms.
The people’s right to bear arms is for the purpose of having a well regulated militia. Had it been an individual right there would have been no need to mention a militia.
This is not just our opinion. It is what the US Supreme Court has held for most of the nation’s history.
The Sixth NRA Talking Point. “The NRA represents the beliefs of most Americans.”
Here’s what you can say. “According to a 2016 study conducted by Harvard University and Northwestern University…
Approximately 60 percent of America’s households don’t have even one gun. And most of those that do own a gun keep it for hunting or protection.
More than half the nation’s guns are owned by just three percent of the population!
The Three-percenters are an intense, unwavering, voting bloc
They are fronted by the NRA, and heavily funded by the gun industry plus over $2.5 million in gifts to the NRA by Russian oligarchs.”
(The NRA spent more than $30 million to get Trump elected.)
The Seventh NRA Talking Point. “Gun regulations are useless because bad guys will still be able to get guns.”
What you say: “Gun laws are anything but useless in Australia where gun deaths declined dramatically after that nation adopted strict gun laws.
If you make it difficult for bad guys to get guns, fewer bad guys get guns.”
The Eighth Talking Point. “Strict gun laws lead to tyranny.”
What you can say. “Australia banned assault weapons after a 28-year old killed 35 people in 1996.
All these years later, Australia is still a vibrant democracy.”
The Ninth NRA Talking Point. “Fewer Americans die from guns than from physician errors.”
What you say. “That’s a spurious comparison. Physicians do make fatal mistakes but physicians are trying to save lives, not take them.”
The Tenth NRA Talking Point. “Knives, clubs, ropes, even rocks can be used to kill people. Why not ban them, too?”
What you say. “There’s a chance I can outrun somebody with a knife, club, rope, or rock but I can’t outrun bullets.”
The Eleventh NRA Talking Point. “Obesity kills more Americans than guns.”
What you say. “I’m a lot more afraid of an AR-15 than I am of a Big Mac.”
We Americans don’t need foreign terrorists to kill us. We do the killing ourselves. Approximately 100 gun deaths every day. Every single day. About 40,000 gun deaths every year.