Picking Apart an Anti-Gun Presidential Candidate’s Gun Control Proposals

The anti-gun movement’s gun control efforts are so ineffective, you’d think they’re a joke. But unfortunately they aren’t joking…

Andrew Yang is a Democrat presidential candidate campaigning for the 2020 ticket. He isn’t a career politician, which seems to be a popular thing these days. Instead, Yang markets himself as “an entrepreneur who understands the economy” and his Presidential campaign slogan is “Humanity First.” You’d think that someone running for President of the United States would have some semblance of intelligence, but we all know that’s far from the truth.

Yang’s gun control proposals are so poor you’d think they were put together by a random word generator using anti-gun buzzwords instead of campaign material assembled by a Presidential candidate. What’s even more unfortunate, is a lot of these gun control proposals are pretty common amongst the anti-gun politicians and activists, so these points make for a good debunking session.

These quotes come directly from Yang’s policy page (as of December 12th, 2018) concerning “Gun Control and the Second Amendment.”

There are approximately 300 million firearms in the United States.

Recent gun ownership estimates put it closer to 600 million, the most shared number is more like 350 million, and that 350 million number is over a decade old anyways. There’s definitely way more than 300 million firearms in America. But he’s just downplaying how many guns there are in America.

While it is impossible to curb all gun violence, there are many things we can do to make Americans safer, particularly in schools, places of worship and public venues.

That’s actually true! There are a lot of things we can do to make America safer, and the most effective methods don’t even need gun control! But of course, he slips in the appeal to emotion logical fallacy by mentioning schools, places of worship, and public venues. A very clear call to emotion and referencing locations of mass shootings and the ever classic “think of the children!” appeal to emotion.

Just as we require people to pass a test to drive a car, we should require people to pass a test to own a gun. Responsible gun owners should enjoy the right to bear arms, subject to licensing and education requirements.

Licensing is a pretty common anti-gun effort at this time, but it isn’t anything new. Licensing to own a gun used to be law, in fact, the origins of gun control are in racism and they used gun licensing to disarm recently freed slaves after the Civil War. So if he thinks we should go back to a system created specifically to disarm minorities… He might not want to bring up how Martin Luther King Jr was pro-gun and was denied a gun permit because the government didn’t like him.

The true anti-gun purpose of licensing away rights isn’t to make America safer, it is to give the government the power to disarm people they deem unworthy of owning guns, such as political activists like MLK.

Those who are flagged as dangerously mentally ill, have been convicted of violent crimes, or have a history of spousal abuse should not be able to own weapons.

Does Yang not realize we already have laws for this? People who have been convicted of violent crimes and domestic violence are already barred from owning guns. I guess Yang has never filled out a form for a background check to purchase a gun, or else he would know that.

We also already have laws to keep guns out of the dangerously mentally ill. But our existing laws won’t do much if law enforcement don’t do a good job of enforcing these laws. I guess Yang forgot about the failures of local law enforcement and the FBI concerning the Parkland school shooting where law enforcement repeatedly ignored warnings.

We should raise the bar and restrict the ownership of military-style, semi-automatic weapons that can incur mass casualties.

Most mass shootings happen with handguns or firearms that fall outside of the realm of the commonly defined “assault weapons.” But he’s using the variation of the term “weapons of war” which means he’s specifically hyping up the fearmongering for an emotional response as “weapons of war” or “military style” terms have no place in good faith discussion. Is a bolt action Remington 700 rifle a weapon of war? Our soldiers are currently deployed with bolt actions right now.

He’s restricting “military style” weapons… but what about non-military style firearms such as the Mini-14? Functionally it is just the same as an AR-15, is that not a weapon of war? And (again) what about handguns? Handguns are used more often in mass shootings than rifles and handguns are by far the most common firearm used in violent crime. Does he not care about those? I guess not.

Since he’s so afraid of mass casualty events, maybe he should be more concerned about the mainstream media creating celebrities out of mass shooters. A recent study attributes 55% of recent mass shootings have been caused by the media creating copycats. Another study shows that the chances of a mass shooting goes up by 20-30% for the next 13 days after a mass shooting. Or maybe gun free zones since over 98% of mass shootings happen in gun free zones.

Maybe we should also tell Yang that other nations with strict gun control, such as France, have had worse mass shootings than the Vegas shooting. Or maybe the worst mass casualty events in America didn’t even happen with guns, even when you don’t count 9/11. Or maybe we should tell him that France has a mass casualty event with a van that killed more people than a mass shooting. If people want mass casualties, they don’t need guns to do it.

We should align gun manufacturers’ incentives to the public’s by fining manufacturers $1 million per person killed in any public setting. This way, gun manufacturers would be motivated to both make guns safer and keep them out of the wrong hands.

Should we also fine Budwiser and Toyota for drunk driving deaths? What about prescription drug companies for the ever growing number of opiate overdoses? What about Louisville Slugger for people murdered with a baseball bat? What about Tide for the deaths of people eating Tide Pods?

Companies who lawfully sell their products should not be held responsible for people misusing their products, especially when that misuse is already illegal. Companies should be held liable for manufacturing defects that cause injury or death, but not when the injury or death is caused by the illegal use of a lawful product.

We should raise the legal age of gun ownership to 21.

Should we also raise the legal age of right to free speech to 21? After all, teenagers aren’t the brightest bulbs in the bunch. Maybe we shouldn’t let them protest until they’re a little older.

Raising the age of legal gun ownership would do absolutely nothing. The current age requirements don’t stop teenage gang members running around robbing and murdering with guns. So what would those extra three years help? Especially since most mass shootings are committed by people over the age of 21 anyway, and the mass shootings committed by people under 21 already obtained those guns illegally. Raising the age of gun ownership wouldn’t do anything.

If we don’t trust teenage civilians at home with guns, why do we trust them overseas in the military with much more destructive and explosive weaponry? If we don’t trust teenagers with one constitutional right, why do we trust them with any of the other constitutional right? Heck, why do we trust them behind the wheel of an automobile? Automobiles kill more people than guns after all and teenagers have a much higher accident rate than adults. If we’re looking to save lives and raising the age of gun ownership would supposedly do that (even though no evidence has been provided), then maybe we should talk about raising the age requirements to drive.

We should offer to buy back guns – no questions asked

Yang has no idea how expensive that would be. Let’s say gun owners get robbed and get WAY under paid for their firearms and everyone gets $400 per gun – that would cost anywhere between 140,000,000,000 and 240,000,000,000. It’d cost even more if people were paid what the guns were worth. That’s billions of dollars. This guy’s estimate is that a gun buyback would cost approximately 61 million dollars per homicide victim.

– and offer to upgrade guns to signature guns that can only be fired by the owner.

Despite what a James Bond movie might lead you to believe, that technology doesn’t exist. There are some prototypes on the market right now, but they are horribly ineffective and are built around the concept of the “smart gun.” These current smart guns barely work at best and can be easily defeated, some can be defeated without even disassembling the firearm. Firearms are amazing because they are simple mechanical devices, they really are. These mechanisms could be easily defeated by disassembling the firearm.

The idea that any existing gun could be “upgraded” to only be fired by the owner shows he’s intentionally lying in his campaign promises or he hasn’t even read some Wikipedia articles on smart guns.

These mechanisms would also be incredibly expensive, which means low income families would be priced out of a Constitutional right. Remember the outrage over poll taxes? What’s the difference between a poll tax and increasing the cost of gun ownership to keep poor people from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights?

We should initiate an ammunition registry to track suspicious purchases.

What would be a suspicious purchase? You only need to buy one box of ammo to go kill people with guns. Most mass shooters have a hundred or two rounds of ammo on them. That’s less ammo than I shoot in a single range session. I regularly purchase bulk ammo to save money – and by bulk ammo I mean over 10,000 rounds in a single purchase. Would my training ammo be considered suspicious but the person who bought four boxes of ammo for a mass shooting not be considered suspicious? What would traking ammo purchases even do to stop a mass shooter or criminal who bought ammo that morning?

Nothing. Tracking ammo purchases would do absolutely nothing to stop any crime, but would create a nice list of gun owners for future confiscation.

A recent study showed that California’s universal background checks didn’t reduce crime or suicides, so how would this be any different?

We should establish a Shooter Help Line for people to be able to call in if they believe someone is a potential danger.

Maybe something like… 911?

In many cases, this will mean getting mental health treatment resources to people.

Any data to back that up? Phone calls with concerns over the Parkland school shooter were ignored. Why would this be any different? Maybe we should enforce existing laws since we already have laws to cover all of this.

We should invest in our mental health infrastructure. There is a massive need to destigmatize mental health issues and increase resources.

100% agree.

We should initiate and fund mindfulness programs in schools and correctional facilities. They have been demonstrated to increase resilience and reduce violence.

I also agree.

Guns in the hands of law abiding citizens save lives

After all of this, maybe we should remind Yang of the recent study from the CDC commissioned by President Obama. That study showed us that “Self-defense can be an important crime deterrent” and “consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.” So not only is self defense important at lowering violent crime rates, but firearms are the most effective tool for self defense. Yang should also be reminded that guns are used around 300,000 times a year in violent crime and 500,000 to 3,000,000 times a year in lawful self defense.

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s gun control efforts are completely ineffective.

Be sure to vote in the upcoming 2020 elections, your vote does matter. In the meantime, contact your representatives and urge them to oppose anti-gun efforts.

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Brian Purkiss
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Brian Purkiss is a firearms instructor, competitive shooter, proponent for individual liberty and Second Amendment rights, and a web developer. He enjoys competing in and organizing Run and Gun Competitions, as well as shooting in USPSA, Outlaw matches, and 3 Gun.