There has been a fair amount of discussion in the blogosphere about debating anti-gunners lately. Newbie Shooter has chimed in with some suggestions to make it a little more fair for the antis (a noble gesture). No doubt they will ignore him since their position isn’t based on rational analysis but emotion and power.
I actually had an enjoyable debate recently with someone who didn’t know the crime data, the defensive usage data, the English data, what the assault weapons ban covered, the CDC study or the NAS study, couldn’t provide a single case where gun control was actually effective in reducing crime and had never fired a gun in his life but by gosh he knew he hated guns and wanted to ban them. I chatted with him for close to 30 minutes and he only occasionally (6 or 7 times) flew into fits of rage. It was great fun.
In the end he succeeded in making an ass of himself. Okay, maybe I helped a little. I couldn’t help myself. But can I really feel guilty when you fall into obvious debating traps like “In 1997 Tony Blair imposed a nearly complete ban on private firearms ownership. Do you know what happened to the gun crime and violent crime rates in England afterwards?”. Seriously, if an NRA Life Member asks you that, it might be a clue that the answer isn’t “they went down”.
But it was abundantly clear during our debate that his view on guns was totally consistent with his leftwing political views: very focused on accumulating power in government, thoroughly infused with emotion and often anger and rarely based on objective, rational measures.