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Vacuous Arguments

There are a number of arguments or statements said against ownership of guns and their use for self-defense that are frankly vacuous, or silly. While the person may be well-intentioned, it is surprising that they are used and indicate that the person hasn’t taken the time to be self-critical, thoughtful, or careful in their reasoning.

Can you think of additional examples of vacuous or silly arguments? Maybe you think the responses here miss the point. Either way, let us know. Send an email with your thoughts. si.vis.pacem.info@gmail.com

If it saves even one life!
It's worth it to severely restrict guns or eliminate them altogether, "If it saves even one life." This often heard statement is an emotional play to get people to think that any reasonable person, who cares at all about others, will desire stricter limitations on guns, or even the removal of them completely. Even better (more manipulative) is the use of it for saving “even one child.”

It is hard to imagine a weaker, more useless argument than this one, though as an emotional appeal it might be effective for the anti-gun crowd. Recognizing the very clear reality that guns have often been used to successfully protect and defend life, and that the majority of gun owners have their guns to protect life, it is a simple matter of using the same sloganeering in defense of gun ownership. “If it saves even one life, we need to protect the right to own guns and even further remove current restrictions.”

I can defend myself without the use of a gun
This is encountered a surprising number of times, sometimes by those who have trained in martial arts or hand to hand combat to some degree, but the machismo isn’t restricted to those people. Inherent in the statement is an arrogance that this one person can beat any other one person they might encounter in hand to hand conflict, or at least defeat sufficiently enough that they can escape with their life saved. If pointing out the arrogance alone isn’t enough to separate such a person from their delusions, perhaps barely scratching the surface just a little more will.

What if that one person has a bat, or knife, or gun?

What if it is two, or three, or more other people?

What if it’s a combination of the above?

How will you use your strength from one location when in another location someone is attacking your wife or child or elderly parents, or a neighbor? Neither your strength and skill nor your distant gun can help them, but their gun might.

What if you are elderly, have a disability, an injury, etc.?

What if there is a riot, or some type of mob violence, especially one where the police are unable or prohibited from helping you? See more about the inability of police to protect.

The police are supposed to protect citizens
Most of us don't live with a police officer. The police aren't with you or near enough to you throughout the day, even if you did live with an officer. Response takes time, and time you may not have. This is why there is an expression, “When seconds matter, police are just minutes away.” God and nature don’t absolve you of your duty to protect those under your care as you await a police response. If someone has determined to do violence to you at a particular moment in time, an attack may come so fast that you don't even have time to resort to a gun, let alone wait for police. Further, it is a fact that police are not obligated to protect you. In some cases they are prohibited from helping you, or they may even refuse to help. While this may sound extreme to some ears, it is simply the truth. At the time of this writing (June 2020) we are in the middle of riots and mob violence in certain locations, and have even seen sections of cities being taken over by mobs. This is also not the first time that this has occurred. These events have given us real life examples of each of the concerns expressed here.

Owning or using a gun is a failure to trust God's providential care


"God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at his pleasure." Westminster Confession of Faith, Article 3

The person who argues in this way does so as one who wears a seat belt, looks both ways before crossing the street, stops at red lights, locks the doors to his vehicle or house, and doesn’t usually wander alone at night through a bad part of town. He also goes to the doctor for normal checkups and when something is wrong with his health,  seeks remedies that medical science provides. This is a very lazy argument.


I live in a safe country/city/town/neighborhood
In some ways this is a distant cousin to the claim that gun owners fail to trust in God’s sovereignty. I’ve never utilized a seat belt to save my life, yet I wear one. Maybe you’ve heard the claim on ads about investments, “Past performance is not an indicator of future results.” Locations change, events happen, riots and mob violence sometimes descends on even people that live in relatively safe neighborhoods. Sometimes you might even go outside your home and venture into an area that is less safe, or go on a vacation that takes you through many different areas. Playing statistics with other people’s lives (family and neighbors) is a poor decision to make.

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