Worldviews and Emotional Assumptions in the Gun Civil Rights Debate

Heated debates about law-abiding responsible American gun ownership civil rights tend to start and end as emotional arguments stemming from dug-in presupposed assumptions and predetermined worldviews, rather than inquiring open-minded attitudes that lead to acceptance of convincing proof.

Unalienable human rights, such as the Second Amendment, are based on the steadfast recognition that there are certain nonnegotiable, self-evident givens in human nature, prior to the state’s involvement, which the state is obligated to respect. Natural human rights are meant to be inviolate; incapable of being reduced to merely legal rights or privileges.

A myriad of statistical analyses are already available that support how the gun civil rights position is effective in crime control, such as

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Important Judicial Decisions Regarding Self-Defense Law ]

Because the facts are readily viewable online, the following chart is an attempt to help you recognize the underlying basic emotional premises from which each side approaches the subject. Once these perspectives are identified and acknowledged, perhaps feelings will subside to the facts, helping to deescalate emotional-only arguments.

Pro-Gun Civil Rights Premise Anti-Gun Civil Rights Premise
Guns save lives. Guns only kill lives.
Gun rights are civil rights. There are no gun civil rights.
Guns are productive tools in the hands of responsible law-abiding citizens. Guns are always intrinsically counter-productive.
Guns are last resort tools used to protect people from deadly force threats and violence. Guns are used only to indiscriminately kill.
Keeping and bearing guns is set forth by the USA Bill of Rights and the USA Supreme Court to be a permanent and self-evident right—not merely a privilege—for every responsible American. The writers of the USA Bill of Rights did not intend for individuals to own guns.
The 2nd Amendment of the USA Bill of Rights was intended to protect gun ownership by all able-bodied persons so they could defend themselves and participate in the militia to keep the peace and defend the country against tyranny if needed. Militias and individuals are not the same. The 2nd Amendment was intended to protect the right of militias, not the right of individuals, to own guns.
The 2nd Amendment of the USA Bill of Rights protects individual gun ownership, conveyance, and use. The 2nd Amendment is dangerous and should be abolished.
Just as the 1st Amendment continues to protect free speech for today’s modern forms of communication that were not available in the 18th century, so, too, the 2nd Amendment continues to protect the right to keep and bear arms for today’s modern firearms that were not available in the 18th century. The writers of the 2nd Amendment did not intend to allow citizens to keep and bear AR-15 rifles and other modern firearms.
Law-abiding responsible gun owners are their own immediate first responders in criminal and terrorist self-defense without having to rely solely on distant government third parties. People should not defend themselves; they should only call 911 for rescue by distant government third parties.
Continuing violence by terrorists in America necessitates allowing responsible citizens to exercise their 2nd Amendment civil right to keep and bear arms for self-defense against deadly force threats. When terrorism strikes Americans, they should rely on distant government officials to protect them.
Foreign governments that hold anti-democracy and anti-civil rights views will do anything to subvert America and will only be defeated by the will and ability of American citizens to defend themselves. The idea that foreign governments want to cause anarchy to America’s democracy is ridiculous, as is the idea that citizens could stop it.
Guns are dangerous but safe when handled responsibly; they won’t fire on their own. Guns are never safe and could fire even if no one is touching them.
Law-abiding responsible gun owners are unjustly and wrongly blamed when criminal gun violence occurs, instead of blaming the criminal. All gun ownership is criminal.
Gun control laws are an illegal infringement on the civil rights of law-abiding Americans as set forth in the USA Bill of Rights. Civil rights don’t factor into gun control laws.
Gun control laws will not prevent criminals and terrorists from obtaining guns or breaking laws. Gun control laws will prevent criminals and terrorists from obtaining guns or breaking laws.
Gun control laws give too much power to government officials and may result in government leaders taking away all guns from citizens in order to establish government tyranny. Government leaders can be trusted to control and limit Americans’ ownership of guns, and to not become tyrannical.
Gun control efforts have repeatedly proved ineffective in preventing crime and gun violence. More gun control laws are needed to reduce gun deaths.
Gun control laws do not deter crime and terrorism; responsible gun ownership deters crime and terrorism. Armed civilians are unlikely to stop crimes and are more likely to make dangerous situations more deadly.
Gun control laws infringe upon the right to self-defense, thereby denying people safety from deadly force threats. Gun control laws give people safety.
More gun control laws are unnecessary because gun deaths are statistically much lower than other causes of death. Deaths by gun violence are astronomical.
Gun-free zones invite criminals and terrorists to act violently, knowing they won’t be stopped by responsibly armed law-abiding citizens. Gun-free zones provide safety because criminals and terrorists won’t act violently in them.
Guns are often used by responsible law-abiding Americans in self-defense to stop deadly force threats. Guns are rarely used in self-defense.
The presence of a gun makes a conflict less likely to become lethal. The presence of a gun makes a conflict more likely to become lethal.
Gun control laws and lower gun ownership rates do not prevent suicides. More gun control leads to fewer suicides.
More gun control is not needed; education about guns and gun safety is needed to prevent accidental gun deaths. Gun control laws reduce the number of accidental gun deaths.
Many countries have higher gun homicide rates than the United States. Countries with restrictive gun control laws have lower gun homicide rates than the United States.
The AR-15 semi-automatic modern sporting rifle is not a military-grade assault firearm; they simply look similar. Civilians, including hunters, should not own military-grade firearms or firearm accessories, such as the AR-15.
Shooting guns is a fun sporting activity. Shooting guns is always a wicked activity.
Guns are normal and normal people use guns (as observed by Wake Forest University sociology professor David Yamane). Guns are abnormal and people who use guns are abnormal.

Click to view the above chart as a PDF document

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