With the recent shooting massacre in Oregon still fresh on everyone’s mind, The Amazing Atheist put out a video telling us why he believes there should be gun control enforced in the United States. That Guy T made his own video rebutting The Amazing Atheist point by point (Warning: There is some language throughout):
After the Oregon shooting, President Obama asked the media to compare the number of deaths due to terrorism to the number of deaths due to guns (I guess he doesn’t know how to use Google). Vox pulled the numbers together and created this now popular chart:
Both Obama and Vox want you to look at that chart and say, “I can’t believe we’re not doing more about guns in this country!” Ironically, Obama should probably be asking why he’s spending so much time and so many resources on “counterterrorism” activities. The Amazing Atheist asks exactly that question in the video and laments the existence of organizations such the TSA, NSA, etc. As That Guy T points out, yes, those organizations and regulations are crazy and unnecessary, but the question of how government involvement would solve this apparent gun crisis remains unanswered.
The Amazing Atheist compares the regulation of cars and driving to guns and holds that regulatory system up as a suitable standard. He talks about how easy it is to buy a gun and contrasts that with the many regulations and rules that come into play when trying to purchase a car. And I’ll give him a pass on all the ways That Guy T showed his comparisons to be false (e.g. you can avoid the regulations by buying a car on Craigslist) and take a look at how well the regulations on cars have gone.
Wait! Why are people so concerned about guns when there are usually more than 40,000 deaths per year caused by cars?! And why is The Amazing Atheist holding up the government’s regulation of cars as such a great thing? If we’re going straight by the numbers, if guns are such a crisis, then cars are three to four times the crisis.
One of the things that bothered The Amazing Atheist so much about guns is that he thinks anyone can buy one without having any knowledge of how to use it. He finds comfort in the fact that government has all sorts of regulations for driving cars to make sure that people are properly trained in their operation before getting behind the wheel. On top of that, most roads are built and maintained by the government and the laws of driving are created and enforced by the government. Yet despite all of that, people still find plenty of ways to kill themselves and others with their cars.
If your response to this is: “Well, just think of all the additional deaths that would happen if government didn’t regulate driving,” then you would necessarily have to agree with someone who claimed that the number of deaths due to terrorism would swell without domestic spying and TSA pat downs. If not, it would be necessary to explain why one form of government regulation works well while the other does not.
Consistency is important and so is the ability to back an argument up with logic. The Amazing Atheist failed to do either and instead relied on emotional appeal to make his point. Sure, he’ll have the support of anyone who already agrees with him but will never convince someone who doesn’t to come around to his side.