How I afford to do this

Monday, July 15, 2013

How to win the debate

I may have mentioned before, but I am currently a little over half-way through my MBA coursework.  My recent business law class had a student who worked for a gun manufacturer, and the topic of gun rights came up.  My initial statement was that while a world without guns would probably be a cool place, the notion of in-inventing something does not exist within the confines of reality.  Below I have pasted another classmate's response along with my counter.  Note that I did not use any cliches that the other side is used to hearing.  Instead, I met her at her level of comprehension and presented facts.  Ultimately there are still people who are still trying to figure things out, and like this one, can be won over.  I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing.

Classmate's statement:
I would like to agree with your though to un-invent gun and a world without a single firearm or weaponized explosive of any kind would do wonders, as it would force disturbed individuals to kill in smaller numbers. I must tell you the rate at which i hear and see gun crime on the news in America is quite so unbelievable as in my country Nigeria I can say I do not know of any gun dealer shop let alone people carry guns freely as one of their human rights. True there is gun crime in Nigeria but very minimal as compared to developed countries where anybody can walk into a gun shop and buy a gun as long as the registration and checks required are fulfilled.
Class, I must say this is what civilization and democracy is bringing to us and i keep wondering and thinking that if there is no law that can drastically bring these gun crimes to a stop what is going to become of the world in the nearest future?

My Response:

  It is interesting to see how some countries allow their citizenry to be armed while others don't.  I have no wish to harm any human being, but (obligatory disclaimer aside) I would imagine the mentality of a killer is something along the lines of:
1.     Identify pain.
2.     Identify cause of pain.
3.     Resolve to seek vengeance.
4.     Determine capability to kill.
5.     Resolve to kill a specific person(s).
6.     Choose method [gun/knife/ice cream truck/etc.].
7.     Execute (no pun intended).
  The choice to commit an act of violence, though it could take less than two seconds, would conceivably contain all of these elements.  Notice how the gun is only a small part of this equation.  I think that the problem cannot be blamed only on "step six."  To solve violence, we as a culture need to shun violence.  Stop going to violent movies.  Stop buying violent video games.  Stop buying music with violent lyrics.  Again, restricting the tools will only cause those who complete steps 1-5 to kill less efficiently, and will render law-abiding victims unable to survive the acts of an aggressor.

Back to your comparison, I pulled the murder rates by country and compared the US and Nigeria.  I also pulled the gun laws in Nigeria to compare with the American rights.

Murder rates per 100,000 population:

Nigeria: 17.7 (2004)

USA: 5.9 (Average, 2003-2005)

  Nigerian gun rights summary:  Civilian gun ownership is not guaranteed by law.  Handguns are illegal for civilians to own.  Semi-automatic and fully-automatic assault weapons are not legal for civilian ownership.

  USA gun rights summary: "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
"  Ownership by civilians is restricted in several cases such as rifles with less than a 16" barrel, shotguns with less than a 18" barrel, select-fire (Fully-automatic) weapons systems and AOW, or "any other weapons" systems such as pen guns, cane guns and systems which completely conceal a firearm during use.  Further restrictions at the state level exist concerning other firearm-type/accessory limitations and rights concerning the public open-or-concealed carry.

  As we can see in the case of Nigeria vs. the US, if legal gun ownership limitations play a role in frequency of crime, it can be assumed that more legal gun ownership is conducive to less crime.  Again, I feel that the problem is not with step 6, but with 1-5.  Otherwise, America will see nothing but a spike in knife crime against a defenseless citizenry.

Rogers, S. "Global homicide: murder rates around the world."  13 October 2009.  Retrieved from on 16 February, 2013.

Author Unknown, Nigeria — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law.  Retrieved from via on 16 February 2013

Madison, J. United States Constitution; Amendment II. 25 September 1789. Retrieved from on 16 February 2013.

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