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It gets old, doesn't it? It gets sooooooo old. We've all been there (and by "we", I mean people with a healthy view of guns) (and by "healthy", I mean we're willing to talk about regulation and don't use bickering over irrelevant minutiae like cartridge power or lack of a threaded barrel to deflect attention from the larger point, which is no more dead children)-- Sorry. I digress. Angrily.

Back to the point: repetitive talking points. It's getting to be like arguing with a forced-birther, especially on social media. The more fixated and fetish-driven of our gun-owning friends (you know who I'm talking about; the hardcore, I'm-gonna-start-killin-people-YouTube-video-making ones) can spit out the same, shop-worn talking points on command, and often do so rapid-fire, leaving you buried in a cross between word salad and half-baked-idea jambalaya. And what the hell do you do with that mess?

Well, if they're just going to be boring and repetitive, you might as well join them. So, as a public service, I've decided to write down some convenient anti-talking-point talking points. All you have to do is memorize a few key phrases, and you can turn back to your regular life with a minimum of commitment to the gun puppy yapping at your feet.

Join me below the fleur de kos. It'll save you precious hours and blood pressure.

So basically, the format here will be Talking Point (TP) followed by one or more simple Answers. Get the answers down, and all you'll have to do is repeat one of them whenever your "worthy" opponent stops talking. If you really get them down, you can enjoy a nice book while doing so. Ready?

TP#1: Guns don't kill people; people kill people.

Answer: (Eye roll) Then us good guys don't need guns, since we're only protecting ourselves from people, and not, you know, guns.
(Note: A particularly stupid argument deserves a particularly sarcastic answer. No need to be clever on this one.)

TP#2: You don't need a gun to kill someone. Where X country has no guns, Y murders were committed using Z Weapon.
(Note: There are several variations of this, usually beginning with a form of, "Taking away guns doesn't stop violence...", which is another Talking Point covered further down.)

Answer: Then all you need is Z Weapon, since you've now proved it's just as effective as a gun.

TP#3:  It's my right, guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment!
(Note: There are a lot of ways to play this. My advice is, don't get bogged down in the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. They love this. It puts the argument on their ground, and they can enjoy endless hours splitting hairs. Nip it in the bud.)

Answer: So is free speech, and that's regulated. For example, a death threat is not free speech. All "rights" are regulated. Guns are not special.

TP#4: I need to protect myself from the Gubmint!

Answer#1: The government can kill you from space. You've already lost that arms race.
Answer#2: If you think you and three buddies can get up off the couch and go toe-to-toe with a USMC fire team, you're delusional.
(Note: If your antagonist is exceptionally clever for its type, you'll probably get a follow-up to Answers#1&2, with a TP to the effect of, "So we're over-matched, so we shouldn't even try?" A simple, "Not at the expense of 20 children in 3 minutes versus a paranoid fantasy that will never come to pass," will suffice.)
Answer#3: Name one instance in your lifetime where a law-abiding citizen "protected" themselves with a gun from the government. That's what I thought.

TP#5: The (insert whichever substitute penis they cite) is an excellent hunting rifle! Sportsmen! Target shooting! Blah blah blah!

Answer: When I was young, my father and I hunted deer and got one each every year. I used a single-shot .30-06 breech-loader, and he used a .50 caliber muzzle-loading musket. You must be a terrible shot. Learn to shoot better.
(Note: The first two sentences are honest-to-Eris true, if you're me. My father literally hunted with a musket. But since you're not me, you can either use your own experience, lie - and you have my permission use my life experience - or skip to the why-do-you-need-thirty-shots-to-hit-a-deer response.)

TP#6: Taking away guns doesn't stop gun violence! In X country, they took away guns, and violence/crime still went up!

Answer: We're not talking about crime or violence in general. We're talking about gun violence, which goes up when you have more, you know, guns.
(Note: This bait-and-switch is common. They cite statistics showing general crime or general violence on the rise, dropping the "gun" part of the equation and reinserting whenever it best fits their narrative. Listen carefully when they make claims that more guns doesn't increase violence and death, or the reverse.)

TP#7: I need a gun to protect my home from criminals!

Answer#1: I hope you have 22 disposable family members, because statistically, that's how many you'll have to go through before you kill an intruder.
(Note: An Arthur Kellerman study showed it's 22 times more likely a family member will be killed by a gun in the home than for the gun to be used to ward off an intruder, Journal of Trauma, 1998)
Answer#2: Congratulations! You've nearly tripled the chances you'll be killed instead!
(Note: Arthur Kellermann again; a gun in the home makes being murdered 2.7 times more likely.)
Answer#3: I'm sure your children will thank you for increasing their chances of being killed by a gun by a factor of 10 or more.
(Note: American children are 16 times more likely to be murdered with a gun, 11 times more likely to commit suicide with a gun, and 9 times more likely to die in a firearm accident than children in other countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

TP#8: What about X Location where Y Civilian stopped Z Killer?!

Answer#1: And in every one of those cases, the "Civilian" was a cop or a soldier, or the Killer had either stopped shooting or run out of ammo, or both. So all we need is for everyone to join the military or the police and wait until the killer stops killing. Brilliant.
Answer#2: 62 other mass murders since 1982, none of which were stopped by a civilian with a gun. Hooray! Every 63rd mass murder will be stopped! We're saved!
(Note: If the current explosion of mass murders continue, it's possible one of them eventually may be stopped by a lucky civilian in time to save lives. Answer #2 is the response in that case. The 62 mass murders since 1982 data is from an exhaustive investigation by news organization Mother Jones.)

TP#9: X gun isn't really an assault weapon and shouldn't be subject to legislation passed on assault weapons!

Answer#1: Then I guess all those people murdered with it didn't really die!
(Note: Where applicable, which is sadly too often.)
Answer#2: By that definition, neither is the Bushmaster AR-15, which was used to kill 20 kids in 3 minutes. So I guess we'll have to look at non-assault weapons, too.
(Note: Especially potent if the AR-15 is the weapon they cite.)

TP#10: It's not fair to punish law-abiding, responsible gun owners because some whack job goes on a shooting spree!

Answer: But it's fair to let children be murdered because you don't want to be inconvenienced? Hold on, I'll fetch your Humanitarian of the Year award right now!

Bonus: Topical Talking Points

Okay, so there are some current talking points pertaining to recent events, particularly in regard to the national conversation about what to do in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. But just because they're new (or new variations on an old theme), it doesn't make them any less tedious. So here's a few for the road:

Topical TP#1: Obamaz trynna take mah gunz away!

Answer#1: Name one of his proposals that suggest confiscation of guns. That's what I thought.
Answer#2: Name one gun-control advocacy group that rates President Obama highly. That's what I thought.

Topical TP#2: We shouldn't talk gun control while we're all still emotional after Sandy Hook.

Answer: Sorry, but unlike you, I don't plan to stop giving a shit that 26 27 people were murdered. Might as well talk about it now, then.
(UPDATE: Note: Thank you to jvantin1 for pointing out that I had overlooked the first victim, Adam Lanza's mother. I apologize, feel embarrassed, and regret the error.)

Topical TP#3: This is Fascism/Socialism/Communism/Nazis/the Red Skull/George Soros!

Answer: The majority of the people want gun control. The elected representatives of the people are trying to give it to them. That's the textbook definition of democracy. Read a book.

Topical TP#4: Sandy Hook didn't happen! It was a conspir-aaaauuughh!!!!!

Answer: ...
(Note: No need for an answer; the punch in the face said everything you had to say.)

Well, I hope that helps. Of course, there is still plenty of room to have an adult conversation with the actually responsible, law-abiding gun owners about common-sense proposals and efforts to prevent more killings. All of the above is meant more to weed out the chaff, so to speak, to send the children off to the kids' table so the grown ups can talk sense.

Of course, there's always a chance you run across one of the many gun owners who are pleased as punch to talk sense about background checks and closing gun show loopholes and the like. You're on your own then; I have no blanket suggestions for dealing with reasonable people, only smartass remarks for the irrational.

Good luck to everyone.


Rec List. Um. Thank you. I mean that; I really am grateful. But now I feel a like a bit of a jerk because A) This little smartass snarkfest has overshadowed this thoughtful, well-written, rational, and well-informed diary by xaxnar that makes a lot of good points and provides much food for thought (IMHO, YMMV). Please go there, read and rec it up.

And B) Because it's happened again. PhilS33 and middleagedhousewife have provided links (one to the ABQJournal and one to the BBC), showing that a shooting has occurred in South Valley (a suburb of Albuquerque?) New Mexico. Preliminary reports list the death toll at 5 so far. Someone who is more informed than I am - and who isn't just a smartass - please write this up and let us know what's going on and what - if anything - we can do.

Thank you.


As pointed out by jvantin1, there were 27 victims in the Sandy Hook Massacre, not 26. I have corrected the related TP and Answer, and I apologize. We should not overlook nor forget the first victim, Nancy Lanza, Adam Lanza's mother. According to Huffington Post (I know, beware), Nancy Lanza was in the process of having her son committed to a psychiatric facility when the killing started.

Also, a couple of people have chimed in with much better suggestions than what I've made:

Alternate answer (5+ / 0-)

Topical TP#2: We shouldn't talk gun control while we're all still emotional after Sandy Hook.

Answer:  No, we're responding to Columbine.  We've just been waiting this long so we wouldn't be accused of acting on emotion.

by Scioto on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 01:37:08 PM CST

My stock answer is "Freedom Isn't Free" - which (12+ / 0-)

really torques them once they remember it's their own damn propaganda network that's proudly flown that freak flag 24/7 since 9/11.

Fox News: "Fare Unbalanced."

by here4tehbeer on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 12:13:53 PM CST

Well played.

Originally posted to Neurodump on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:47 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Friends of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, Three Star Kossacks, and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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