Debunking leftist pro-gun talking points
Hi. I’m a socialist who believes that revolution to achieve socialism is justifiable. As such, I spend a lot of time around people who think they’ll need guns to bring about fully automated luxury gay space communism. I agree with them about the goal, but I dispute their methods. So I’m here today to give some of their common talking points and explain why they’re bullshit.
**”I need guns to protect me from fascists.”**
[Defensive gun use is almost non-existent.](https://slate.com/technology/2015/01/good-guy-with-a-gun-myth-guns-increase-the-risk-of-homicide-accidents-suicide.html) [In fact, getting into a fight with a gun on you INCREASES your chance of death.](https://www.bustle.com/articles/92454-does-owning-guns-make-you-safer-statistics-say-youre-actually-at-much-higher-risk-of-being) [Moreover, there are 78x as many gun suicides and 2x as many accidental gun deaths per “justifiable” gun homicide in the US.](https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/06/19/guns-in-america-for-every-criminal-killed-in-self-defense-34-innocent-people-die/) I don’t care if you’re surrounded by fascists. Having a gun on you makes you less safe by any metric.
Also, no matter how stable you think your mental health is, you can’t know what will happen tomorrow. Maybe you’ll lose your job. Maybe your entire family will be killed in a car crash. Maybe you’ll have a bad reaction to a drug. You can’t know that you won’t suddenly become suicidal or homicidal.
**”I need guns to protect me from the state.”**
You mean like Breonna Taylor? Her boyfriend, quite reasonably, fired a warning shot at the police when they entered his home. They responded with *32 fucking shots*, killing Breonna. They got off scot-free.
Please provide one (1) modern example of someone, especially a leftist or person of color, successfully defending themself from the state using a gun without swift and violent retaliation.
**”But the Black Panthers!”**
The Black Panthers were based. You going to the shooting range twice a week doesn’t make you one of them. The BPP actually *did* stuff with their guns, like protecting black schoolchildren. You want me to respect you? You want to prove that guns have a place among leftists? Do something like that. Stage an armed defense of a homeless encampment. Protect someone from eviction with your guns. You aren’t defending the proletariat merely by having a gun. You have to *do* stuff with it.
**”uNdEr No PrEtExT”**
Karl Marx, like the founding fathers, could not possibly have envisioned modern gun violence or the sheer futility of armed resistance to the modern state. Moreover, he was just a guy. A very smart guy who did a lot for the left, but just a guy nevertheless. His words are not gospel. I guarantee you there’s already something you disagree with him about.
**”Gun violence is a mental health problem. Mass shootings won’t happen after we achieve socialism.”**
1) This is not falsifiable.
2) We do know that it’s possible to greatly lower gun violence rates under capitalism. Other countries have both capitalism and mental illness, and they don’t have the same mass shooting problems America has.
3) Soooo… What do you propose we do in the meantime? Just sit around and let people die? There’s stuff we can do *right now* to stop gun violence. We probably aren’t getting socialism soon, and we sure as fuck aren’t getting Medicare for all or any other proposal that would improve mental health across the nation, but we might get a few gun control bills passed. If that’s the only stopgap measure we can get, surely we have a responsibility to take it.
Yes, Switzerland has comparatively loose gun laws and maintains a low gun violence rate. However, they’re quite stingy with concealed carry permits, unlike the US. Also, the main reason for their high gun ownership numbers is that army members are required to keep their service rifles at home.
**”We need guns to do a revolution!”**
Firstly: Are you seriously willing to sacrifice countless real human lives for the sake of a completely hypothetical revolution? Is the sanctity of human life and happiness not the most basic principle of all leftist ideologies?
Secondly: There are any number of ways to revolt against capitalism without the use of guns. Strikes and workplace sabotage are just two of the more potentially effective ones. Imagine the sheer power of a general strike. What are they going to do? Make you go to work at gunpoint? There will never be enough cops or troops for that.
Further, unarmed protesters have more than proven they can outmaneuver and overpower armed police. Even assuming things must come to violence, having a populace that was previously armed won’t necessarily make or break the revolution.