Lots of leftists love to point out the “blatant hypocrisy” of supporting gun rights (or the death penalty, on a different topic) while opposing abortion. Recently, the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah commented:
Imagine if we could bring some of that pro-life passion into being more, well, pro-life. But right now, [pro-lifers are] more like comic book collectors. Human life only matters until you take it out of the package, and then it’s worth nothing.
Take that, pro-lifers. You bunch of dirty two-faced Pharisees! Except … no. This whole argument, like so many arguments, is based on a different interpretation of the data. People in favor of gun control just love pointing out how the United States has a higher gun homicide rate than all these other developed countries with more strict gun control laws. Their argument is simple: more guns=more death. They will post graphics like this:
Because obviously, these statistics mean something. Except for when they don’t. The rhetoric correlating gun control laws with lower gun deaths is rife with problems. For instance, the United States has about 319 million people in it. Japan has 127 million. It makes sense then that the number of gun-related incidents would be smaller in Japan because they have less than half the population the US has. That doesn’t make that much of a difference to those numbers, but that’s only the very first of the problems.
Consider that other countries have very different methods of collecting data about gun deaths. For instance, Great Britain doesn’t “count” a gun homicide unless the shooter is actually convicted of homicide. And they also don’t include self-defense cases. If the United States were to recorded its firearm homicides in the same way, it would greatly reduce our numbers—by as much as 62%.
Also, firearm homicide really isn’t what’s important here. If you want to talk about supporting life, the real question would be correlating gun ownership, gun control laws, and total homicides. These statistics would also have to exclude suicides and any deaths caused in self-defense in order to be useful for a discussion about crime.
We would also need to know how much was changed by gun control laws after they were put into effect. For instance, some countries might already have had very low crime rates before they placed strict gun control measures in place. A continuation of low crime rates in those countries is not a statistically significant metric for the effectiveness of gun control laws.
As you can see, this whole argument is rife with logical pitfalls and ideological mine fields. But one thing is for sure, the US does have more gun deaths because we have more guns. I agree with that statement. But would we have fewer overall homicides if we had fewer guns? Not necessarily. The question is, “Does the United States have a higher crime rate and more overall homicides than all the other countries with fewer guns and stricter gun control laws?” The answer is a clear no.
Many gun control advocates prefer to look at only firearm homicides, not total murders. The United States has neither the highest firearm homicide rates for all countries or for developed countries. Among OECD countries, Mexico has the highest firearms homicide rate, with a rate about 3 times higher than the US rate. Brazil’s and Russia’s are much higher, though Russia does not report firearm homicides so it is only a guess for that country.
By the way, despite Israel and Switzerland having very high gun possession rates, their firearm homicide rates are extremely low. . . . Switzerland had a firearms homicide rate of 0.77 per 100,000 people and Israel has a rate of just 0.09 per 100,000.
Note that there are many countries that clearly have higher gun homicide rates than the United States that don’t have data available. Indeed, while 192 countries report total homicides, only 116 countries report firearm homicides. The average homicide rate for the countries that don’t have firearm homicides is 11.1 per 100,000. The median homicide rate for those that are missing is 8.7 per 100,000. Among the countries with higher homicide rates is Russia with a homicide rate of 11.6. The bottom line is that the countries that are missing the data are among the worst homicide countries.
That puts a pretty significant dent in the “more guns=more deaths” argument. In point of fact, more guns does not mean more deaths. If people didn’t have guns, they would still kill each other. They just wouldn’t use guns. And to bring this full circle to the Planned Parenthood situation, Planned Parenthood has killed almost seven million human beings since 1970, and they have never once used a gun.
The death penalty argument and the gun control argument have the same answer. Pro-lifers are about protecting the lives of the innocent. Guns in the hands of citizens protect them from criminals and tyrannical governments. Defunding Planned Parenthood and ending abortion in this country protects our most innocent citizens—unborn children.
But let’s not get it twisted. Gun control activists and pro-choice nuts are about protecting life, too. The problem is that the lives they wish to protect are guilty lives, even in opposition to innocent ones. They want to protect criminals and over-reaching governments with gun control laws and guns, not innocent, law-abiding citizens. They want to protect the lives of women and abortion doctors even to the death of innocent babies.
Pro-lifers care about innocent life in the womb and we care about innocent life after. That’s why we want guns in the hands of good people. To protect innocent life. That’s why we want murderers put to death. So they can’t murder anyone else.
It’s really not that hard to understand. Unless you’re not one of the innocent ones. Then it makes sense why you would be afraid of the death penalty and the Second Amendment. Because you feel like they’re pointed at you. They are.