When it comes to the debate around gun regulation that always inevitably follows every mass shooting in America, there’s one talking point I find particularly disingenuous and overall ridiculous.
“If there were no guns, the killer could have still used a knife or a bat.”
I’m sorry—it’s a stupid argument.
Donald Trump Jr. ran with this argument on Saturday in a video posted on his Facebook page. He actually argued that Salvador Ramos could have committed the same crime at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde if he were wielding a bat or a machete.
“If it wasn’t for the gun, this kid would be a well-adjusted, reasonable individual, he’d be a wonderful human being, right?” Trump Jr. asked even though literally no one has suggested that. “He wouldn’t have done the exact same thing with a bat, or a bomb, or some sort of improvised device–or a machete?”
First of all, I’m not sure why this man is bringing bombs into the discussion. I’m pretty confident that your average gun-regulation advocate would also take issue with citizens having easy access to explosive devices. If creating bombs wasn’t already very much illegal, I’m certain bomb regulation would also be pretty high on the “leftist” priority list. We’d stage anti-bomb protests. We’d call for bomb bans in every state. The NBA (National Bomb Association) would need a lot of lobbyists to shut down are cries for common sense bomb legislation. Seriously, what the hell is Great Value Trump even talking about?
Secondly, no, Ramos likely “wouldn’t have done the exact same thing with a bat.” Could he have killed someone or multiple people with a bat? Sure? Would he have been able to kill 19 children and two adults with a bat before anyone had stopped him? Not likely. I don’t mean to blow Trump Jr’s already-blown mind, but it’s a lot easier to take down or run from a man wielding a bat than it is a man wielding the assault rifle he purchased legally before using it to commit a mass shooting.
It’s not about whether other objects besides guns can be used to kill—of course they can—it’s about whether or not they can be used to kill as effectively as guns to kill massive amounts of people in a single event.
Here’s an NRA convention attendee who really tried to argue that more people use hammers to kill than guns before he was fac checked in real-time and forced to default back to “but, but, but my Second Amendment rights) after he was informed how loud and wrong he was.
Guys, I know some of you love your guns, but you’ve got to be smarter than this.