13 Firearm Experts Explain What Americans Don't Understand About Gun Control

Published : 02/13/2018 12:55:59
Categories : The Bunker - Ammunition Depot Blog

Do Americans have the right to own a gun? Of course we do. It’s in our Second Amendment: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The Supreme Court has already overturned several gun control laws within the last decade alone. They determined that the banning of guns were unconstitutional.

Yet there are still some people who argue for stricter gun control policies. They insist that gun ownership leads to gun-related crimes and that banning guns can reduce violent crime.

However the statistics have proven time and time again that the rate of violent crime will go up even if ordinary, law-abiding citizens are denied ownership of guns. And let's face it, criminals don’t obey laws in the first place. They won’t care if there’s a gun ban or not and will find ways to get their hands on a firearm.

If our guns, our means of defense, are taken away from us, how will we protect ourselves and our loved ones from becoming victims of violent crime?

But don't take our word for it. We asked some of the top experts what they think Americans don’t understand about gun ownership and what their opinions are on these misconceptions.

Here's what they had to say:

Aaron Spuler, The Weapon Blog

"I think that one thing most Americans may not understand is how prevalent ownership and carrying actually is. They are probably walking around and interacting with lots of folks that are armed every day.  Could be a neighbor, a friend, a co-worker that they don't know is armed but they've never seen them when they weren't carrying a weapon. Traditionally the reason that someone carries a weapon would be that of self-reliance."

About Aaron Spuler

Aaron Spuler is both the founder and executive editor of The Weapon Blog. His life long love of firearms began when an uncle took him up in to the mountains to learn how to shoot around six or seven years of age.

Aaron is a firearms enthusiast, hunter, and recreational shooter.

Chuck Michel, Calgunlaws

"Many Americans have been misled by the false narrative paid for by billionaire elitists financing the gun ban lobby. The gun banners have spent hundreds of millions convincing people to ignore the reality that firearms are used far more often to save lives than misused to hurt people. Gun banners are terrified that the public will realize that guns are a net benefit to society. Guns have social utility. Guns save lives."

About Chuck Michel

Mr. Michel is CEO, and Senior Partner at Michel & Associates, P.C. His practice focuses on adversarial litigation and regulatory compliance advice in the fields of firearms law, civil rights, land use, and environmental law. He has been lead counsel in over 50 jury trials. Mr. Michel is recognized as one of the leading authorities on California and federal firearms laws in the country. For over two decades he has played a significant role in advocating and defending individual civil and constitutional rights, and particularly Second Amendment rights, and in helping to shape related legislation.

Mr. Michel represents many of the most prominent shooting sports and self-defense civil rights associations in the world, including the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), and has represented many different clients in high profile cases that garnered significant media attention. He is a regular commentator and frequent contributor to national media discussions, and has appeared as a spokesperson for the NRA, CRPA, other associations, and individual clients on dozens of video and radio interviews and in hundreds of newspaper articles.

Lee Williams, The Gun Writer

"I disagree somewhat with the premise of the question. I strongly believe most Americans do understand guns and gun ownership. The ones who don't are the minority. We are the majority, so we need to start acting like it.

There are several common misconceptions among this small group of ill-informed people. However, in my humble opinion, this group chooses to be misinformed, and their misconceptions are affirmed and reaffirmed by the traditional media where, and trust me on this, the misinformation is rampant and accepted as truth.

Understanding guns is a pretty simple process. They're inanimate objects that can be collected, used for sport, to take game or for self defense. The ill informed want to personify them by adding all sorts of human characteristics, even though they're just bits of steel, plastic or wood.

Frankly, this personification of inanimate objects is the height of lunacy, and it says a lot more about them than it does us. Col. Jeff Cooper said it far better than I ever could in the 'Art of the Rifle.' 

Said Cooper: 'The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.'

About Lee Williams

Lee Williams is The Gun Writer and can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. He began penning The Gun Writer blog in 2013. In 2016, the blog evolved into this full site dedicated to news and information about firearms and all related topics, from personality profiles to new products to continuing training to legislation impacting Second Amendment issues.

He's a senior editor at the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, FL. He also worked as an investigative reporter -- with the title -- at the Herald-Tribune and at newspapers in South Dakota, Delaware and St. Thomas, USVI. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen national journalism awards as a reporter – including numerous recognitions for The Gun Writer – as well as three medals of valor as a cop. He was certified by the NRA as a law enforcement firearms instructor, and he's an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy at the newspaper or on this site, he is usually shooting his AKs.

David Goldman, Gun Trust Lawyer

"Most Americans have never thought about the problems that guns can cause with the owner dies. While many gun owners assume that their kids or family will take care of the firearms and ammunition properly, we see many mistakes because of the differences in state and federal laws.

A child may be too young to own a firearm.
A Personal Representative or Trustee may be a prohibited person.
The guns may need to cross state lines.
The home state of the beneficiary may not permit the firearms into the state.
The beneficiary, may have a medical marijuana card or be a prohibited person.
The beneficiary may not be mature enough on the date of your death to receive a firearm
There could be a domestic violence or child abuse issue you were not aware of.
The value of your guns may disqualify you or your spouse from nursing home or long term care benefits.

As you can see, normal estate planning does not deal with firearms properly. It is important to have a properly drafted gun trust that can deal with all types of firearms as part of your estate plan, after all, most people would not want to cause their family harm simply because they died."

About David Goldman

Mr. Goldman has over 20 years of business experience. He has been involved in starting and managing technology related companies involved in distribution, manufacturing, marketing, retail, direct marketing and ecommerce.  With his broad business background, He concentrates in the areas of business formations, business transactions, elder law, and estate planning, asset protection, and limits his practice to Florida and Federal law.  

Mr. Goldman writes the Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog which deals with Florida Probate, Florida Estate Planning, Florida Elder Law,  Florida Guardianship,  Florida Business Law, Jacksonville Foreclosure Defense, and Florida Foreclosure Defense, Gun Trust Lawyer blog which deals with NFA Trusts and Gun Trusts, Florida Foreclosure Defense Lawyers Blog which deals with Jacksonville Foreclosure Defense, and Florida Foreclosure Defense.

Tom McHale, My Gun Culture

"I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that the presence of a gun doesn't drive behavior. Time and time again I see media stories and public figures fretting about how increased gun ownership or concealed carry will cause more violent behavior.

The facts against that misconception are very simple and easy to understand. The rate at which concealed carriers commit crimes of any kind is somewhere between that of nuns and active duty police officers. I mean that literally and the statistics back me up on that - seriously.

We see the same type of misunderstanding when it comes to that misnomer called 'gun crime.' At risk of sounding callous, I don't give a hoot about 'gun crime.' I care about crime. All crime. Period. Framing policy debates in terms of 'gun crime' is about as useful as attacking the drunk driving homicide problem by calling out 'Bartles and James Wine Cooler Driving' or 'Pabst Blue Ribbon DUIs.'

The bottom line is this. When it comes to guns, we suddenly throw out common sense and blame objects for behavior. Trying to fix behavioral problems is not only an ineffective approach, but it's also dangerous for all involved."

About Tom McHale

Tom McHale is a committed learning junkie always seeking a new subject victim. As a lifelong student of whatever grabs his attention on any particular day, he thrives on beating rabbit trails into submission. In between his time as a high-tech marketing executive, restaurant owner, and hamster cosmetology practitioner, he’s published seven books and nearly 1,500 articles about guns, shooting, and the American Way.

For Tom, learning is only half the fun – the other half is sharing his experiences with readers using his trademark “half-cocked but right on target” style.

Carrie Lightfoot, The Well Armed Woman

"I believe most Americans do not fully understand the uniqueness and the set-apart nature of our Second Amendment rights and that of all of our Constitutionally protected rights.

The rights that the Bill of Rights secure, are not 'given' to us by the government, nor is the government 'allowing' us to have them. Rather, they are rights we have as human beings that are protected and secured in the Bill of Rights as unalienable. These rights are protected and “set apart” as such so no person or government can take them away or infringe upon them.

This lack of understanding leads so many Americans and politicians to treat them and want to legislate them as we do other privileges or opportunities we have as citizens of this country. Owning and operating a car is an example of a privilege given to us by our government. It is an entitlement granted to us that is conditional and revocable. Meaning it is something that we cannot do without permission, and our ability to drive a car can be taken away. A right is fundamental to all human beings and cannot be taken away, nor do we have to earn the permission of another to have it. As you can see, there is a significant difference between a right and a privilege. Efforts to legislate them into a 'government-given privilege' is very concerning and we each must understand and fiercely protect this distinction."

About Carrie Lightfoot

Carrie Lightfoot is the founder and owner of The Well-Armed Woman, LLC, the largest and most trusted women’s resource, committed to bringing innovative products, training and information to women gun owners everywhere. Carrie is also the founder and Chairwoman of the Board of TWAW Shooting Chapters Inc. a 501(c)3 Non profit organization with 380 chapters in 49 states. Carrie is the co-host of the very popular podcast, The Women’s Gun Show and a consultant to the firearms industry through the Carrie Lightfoot Consultancy.

Named by Newsmax as one of 2015’s 100 Most Influential Pro-Gun Rights Advocates and recipient of the 2015 GLOCK Safety Ambassador Award and named the NSSF Project Childsafe S.A.F.E Local Champion.

Carrie is a published author with articles in leading industry magazines and her book “The Well Armed Woman’s Concise Guide To Concealed Carry”.  She is a popular national speaker and frequent guest in national media including: CBS 60 Minutes, TIME Magazine, NBC Nightly News, USA Today, FOX News, Blaze TV and NRA News.

Carrie is an NRA Certified Pistol, Personal Protection In The Home, Refuse To Be A Victim Instructor and a USCCA Certified Instructor and Training Counselor.

Chris Browning, Gun News Daily

"Most Americans don't understand basic laws of gun ownership. Most people (including myself) often take a political stance on gun ownership one way or another. In fact, things are not as politicized as most people would expect. Rather, it's local and state laws that dictate much of what people think and feel about guns! The average gun owner may not be aware of particular laws that dictate when are where you can carry, what types of firearms can be legally carried, which cartridges, which magazine sizes, etc. So, how would the average non-gun owner know these things? By staying abreast of laws in your state, you can get a clearer sense of what is and is not allowed, under law. This beats jumping to conclusions! (regardless of where you stand on gun ownership)."

About Chris Browning

Chris Browning is the current editor-in-chief of Gun News Daily. The site was originally built by his father who used it as a resource center for people looking to learn more about gun education and safety. This legacy was carried on by Chris, who in 2015, started to republish articles and build up GND as one of the top news sites for firearm related information.

Sam Paredes, Gun Owners of California

"The misconceptions about personal gun ownership are many,and unfortunately they are driven by fear: fear of the gun itself and fear of being a victim. The fear is perpetuated by politicians and media who focus on mass shootings and report that a statistically deceiving 36,000 deaths are due to 'gun violence' each year. To ignore that 60% of gun deaths are due to suicide or that many 'gun violence victims' were killed while committing a crime is nothing short of dishonest – and dishonesty drives fear.

Americans are also under the mistaken belief that more people owning guns means more violence – a myth that is easily debunked but one that doesn’t make for headlines. With reports that mass shootings are on the rise, most (56%/Pew 2013) believe that gun crime has escalated in the last 20 years, even though it has significantly declined.

Sadly, many think the government should decide how we choose to protect our home and families.If more Americans understood that most gun crime is limited to hotbeds of criminal gang activity (Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit) rather than at the hands of the law-abiding, there would be far fewer misconceptions – and fear – about personal gun ownership."

About Sam Paredes

Sam Paredes has been with Gun Owners of California for over 35 years, currently serving as Executive Director, a position he has held since 1998. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Gun Owners of America and Treasurer of Gun Owners Foundation.

GOC is a non-profit lobbying organization formed to protect and preserve our Second Amendment rights in California. Paredes is a registered lobbyist, has testified in hundreds of legislative committee hearings and has advocated on behalf of the gun community before the California Fish and Game Commission, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Department of Justice.

Sam is a certified firearms instructor, an avid outdoorsman and enjoys all shooting sports, hunting, fishing, golfing and traveling. He has served as a volunteer firefighter and as a board member of his local fire protection district in El Dorado County. He is the father of three children and grandfather to an ever growing brood of grandkids. He lives with his wife in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

Jon Hines, American Shooting Journal

"1. They think that owning a gun is a privilege when it is actually a right.
2. They think that there is a gun show loophole when there is not one.
3. They think that many crimes are committed with a rifle or AR15 when less than 1% of any crimes are committed with any type of rifle.
4. More people are killed with Hammers than the AR 15 (modern sporting rifle (MSR).
5. Many think that the gun is dangerous, but the fact is that it is just a tool like anything else. The gun itself won't do anything unless someone picks it up to operate it.
6. *** Many people think you have to have a permit to own a gun.*** This all depends on which State you or County you are in. This is the most confusing for people. Concealed carry is a whole subject on its own.
7. The Media plays a large part in the noneducational information of the public, mainly because they don't know what they are talking about and the public gets dumbed down from there."

About Jon Hines

Jon Hines is a retired military of 22 yrs of service. He’s been playing in the digital world as a Digital Marketer for over 10 years now. He got into the gun industry about 5 years ago as an in-house SEO guy to help Western Shooting Journal - which is now American Shooting Journal. Since he’s been there, he worked with three editors that was responsible for the print. He became the unofficial online editor that directs the traffic to American site behind the scenes.   

His main expertise in the gun industry is in the tactics and personal defense, honed while in the military. Because by trade he’s an SEO/Web person, he works with data. He uses data to help in crafting stories for his audiences and for the bigger picture to gain organic search traffic to the site.

Vitaly Pedchenko, Remington 870

"Gun owners are misjudged a lot, no matter where they are in the world. The truth is that gun owners are usually nice people who are friendly and not aggressive. They’re even willing to offer assistance to novices who are new to guns. If you visit your local shooting range, you’ll see how friendly they are.

Many gun owners don’t like to hunt animals. You may think hunters and gun owners are the same but they’re not. A lot of gun owners have never gone hunting before. Instead, they just buy guns for recreational target shooting or defending their home.

Gun owners are just like everybody else. They have hobbies, jobs, and families to support. The only difference is they like to go shooting.

To debunk further myths, gun owners are not always registered Republicans. There are Democrats who like to shoot as well.

Gun owners are not dangerous people at all. In fact, they’re knowledgeable about how to handle a gun safely, since shooting ranges have tough rules on safety. Gun owners have no choice but to be safe and responsible with their weapons. Otherwise, there could be grave consequences."

About Vitaly Pedchenko

Vitaly Pedchenko is the author of the blog, the most popular site about the Remington 870 shotgun. IPSC and 3-Gun competitive shooter, Range Officer and firearms instructor. Author of the Complete Remington 870 Guide ebook.

Eric Hung, Pew Pew Tactical

"I think a big misconception is that most gun owners want to become military operators or are preparing for battle. I believe this is due to the imagery present in a lot of advertising. My take on it is that most Americans support the troops, and have a high degree of trust that what the military uses has been vetted and proven.

I think many times instead, regular folks become gun owners because firearms are FUN. Most of my friends that have gotten into guns could not stop grinning after I took them to the range. Even the ones that were really apprehensive or even anti-gun beforehand. Now…they are proud gun owners and I have no shortage of friends to accompany me to the range."

About Eric Hung

Eric Hung is Editor-In-Chief of Pew Pew Tactical and instructor at Gun Noob. His passion is guns and he loves teaching others about safety, proper firearm selection, upgrades, and gear. When not pew-pew-ing, Eric enjoys traveling, eating fried foods, and spending time with his wife and two cats in sunny Southern California (where all the fun guns are banned).

Chris Conran, SilencerCo

"I feel most Americans don't understand the primary reason for owning a firearm; self-defense. Our second amendment is a given right that our founding fathers found necessary in order to preserve individual freedoms as guaranteed by the constitution. These are the same freedoms that preserve our way of life including freedom of speech, religion, and press. A lot of parties out there try to spin these words and misconstrue the verbiage associated with the second amendment, but in all reality, we hold the right to bear arms to protect all of our other rights as well. Owning a firearm doesn't make you a dangerous or violent person, it just means you're someone who understands that the world isn't perfect but owning a firearm levels the playing field in a time of crisis."

About Chris Conran

Chris is the marketing communications manager for SilencerCo. He come from a military family who has always supported the second amendment and preserving our rights. Sports and competition have always been a large focus of his, and after hisy college baseball days, he decided to dedicate my focus to shooting and learning as much as he can about guns.

Kevin Creighton, Misfires and Light Strikes

"Gun owning Americans understand that we're in a political war, but what they don't understand is that we're also in a culture war. If gun ownership ever becomes perceived as unpopular in America, it's over for those of us who own guns. It's not a coincidence that gun ownership blossomed when programs like Top Shot" and other gun-related shows were on cable TV. Opinions about gun control aren't going to swayed by what a politician says, they're going to be swayed by normal, everyday people having a safe and fun time with their guns. We need to make guns normal again, which means that we can't be boxed into a country music / rural lifestyle corner: We have to show how the armed lifestyle relates to every segment of our culture, not just people who watch Duck Dynasty. 
There are a few easy wins we can pick up here: The tagline of my blog is "Guns are the new Harley Davidson," so reaching out to motorcycle riders and tying the freedom of the open road to the empowerment of safe gun ownership is an obvious win. Going even further with that idea, the adrenaline rush of extreme sports is a natural segue into the thrill of shooting a practical pistol match, and lastly, I have no idea why more effort isn't made to market safe gun ownership to video game players. There are thousands (if not millions) of eighteen-year-olds out there who know all the stats of an M1 Garand because they've shot on in the virtual competition of a video game, and it's high time we start encouraging them how to compete with one in the real world."

About Kevin Creighton

Kevin Creighton is a writer and an active competitor in USPSA, IDPA and 3 Gun.  He writes on the new realities of gun ownership for Shooting Illustrated, NRA Family, and on his own blog, MisfiresAndLightStrikes. You can follow him on Facebook at /MisfiresAndLightStrikes, on Twitter @ExurbanKevin and on Instagram @exkev.

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Seth Burgin

07/31/2018 15:50:16

You will hear the left wingnuts try to discredit this amendment by emphasizing the three words, "Well Regulated Militia". The militia IS "THE PEOPLE". It is not the army, navy, marines, air force, or national guard. IT IS "THE PEOPLE" who's right to keep and bear arms, that shall not be infringed. Then out comes, the old, "THIS WAS INTENDED FOR MUSKETS". Horse sh*t! Privately owned arms during the revolutionary war included canons, German Pennsylvania rifles, and even privately owned warship, with multiple cannons & deck guns. So, by those standards any individual, should legally be able to own an aircraft carrier, if he/she could afford to build, own, operate, and maintain it. The left, in it's lunacy, used heart string pulling hot button issues, that are in fact rather minor in the grand scheme of things. The wish to undermine and destroy what our founding fathers sat forth as the foundation upon which our government was built to insure our freedom from tyranny, crime, injustice, political corruption, and the eventual and inevitable unfair subjudcation that will arise from disarming "we the people". Your child is far more likely to die in a car crash than in any school shooting. I came close to losing my life and a limb when a drug crazed career criminal attacked me, and a friend on the night of October 3rd, 2003. Had I not had a Browning Hi Power, I'd have had to try to survive being run over by a pickup truck until the police arrived, and had no one called the police, that could have been two days or two weeks later. As it was, the 10-12 minutes it took for enough cops to arrive that they felt safe enough to intervene, seemed like an eternity. The pickup truck was effectively disabled, and the assailant was without the most dangerous weapon in the world, a motor vehicle. After the threats on my family, and the court fiasco, I should have killed him, while I had good reason, and the just and legal cause to do so, without the fear of any criminal reprisals. I was still thinking about a civil suit for wrongful death, as I fired three shots, two of which deflated two tires, one each drive axle of his 4x4, making it almost immobilized. If he had limited slip or positraction, I'd have had to have taken the head shot, despite the people down range. I worked with enough electricity every day to kill myself 1,000,000 times over, but I respect it for what it is, just like I respect firearms for what they are. Used improperly, both can kill, wound, mame, and destroy, but imagine living without electricity. We have building codes, and insurance company testing standards to make sure electricity is used safely, just like we have SAAMI, and CIP to ensure firearms, and ammunition are safe, and reliable, when properly used. A good arsonist can use electricity to burn down a building, and if someone dies in the process it's considered murder. We used it to execute prisoners for many years, too. The left is so full of _____, they refuse to see the truth. Before Backpage was shut down, I bought numerous firearms from private owners, without the 4473 forms, but ONLY ONCE was I not ask for a photocopy of my driver's license, and that seller was cop, I happened to already know. Hey, I wouldn't mind a paper free gun, as a drop piece, but "they do not exist", unless I want to become a criminal and steal one myself, or associate with criminals. I really don't want to do either one. That incident on October 3rd 2003, left me permanently disabled. Shooting, is one of the few outdoor activities I can still enjoy. I live in Arizona, where the law was changed so a permit is not required for carrying a concealed weapon, but I chose to get my permit anyway. A good comprehensive CCW class, is the best money I have spent as a gun owner, next to the 80 cents for 3 bullets back in 2003, that saved the lives of two people. I have guns I travel with, that are compliant with the laws in the states I travel to. With the CCW popping up on the computers in Arizona's DPS cars, the random DUI stops on holiday weekends, have been eliminated. They run the plate, see the CCW, figure, "This guy has made it 50 years and not committed any serious crimes", and they pull over the guy driving next to me. I grew up with a father who was an avid hunter, fisherman, outdoorsman, and a fed. We had guns in the home, all my life. Dad had two basic firearms rules: "Treat every gun like it is loaded.", and my personal favorite, "The unloaded gun is the most dangerous gun of all.". I have fired a gun in a video game. It's 10,000% BS. We need video games that are more like real life shooting. Guns bruise shoulders, make your ears ring, spit hot gases, and shards of metal. Sometimes they blow up in your hand. You have squibs, light strikes, hangfires, double feeds, failures to eject, stuck casings, failures to feed, bad magazines, bad ammo, bent sights, etc. but NEVER EVER in any video games. No one has ever gotten a skiff of snow or a glob of mud inside a shotgun barrel, and blown up the barrel in a video game. "That", is "real life" shooting! I shall never forget when my father came across a father and son, where the father was mortally wounded, while climbing a fence with a loaded gun, and the nearest phone was a 2 hour hike away. You won't see that in any video games, either. Hunter Safety, and Gun Safety were both elective classes we could go out to the shooting range, and take, in primary school. The school provided the transportation, and paid for the classes. This was one of the films we saw, and when "The Duke" had his ostrich farm in Arizona, he might even show up for a class or two.

Gregory M. Corcoran

06/30/2018 03:28:51

Hey there folks, I must say I'm really releived to hear rational, well articulated statments that are void of the "hate speach" that, it seems, the 'Left' has devolved to when taking up the gun debate. Sadly, each of you has clearly pointed out that what seems to be the biggest misconception is the difference between our rights versus a priviledge. What they want, in my humble opinion, is to legislate violent behavior. We all know that is impossible, so they attack what the criminal used to inflict the greatest damage. Sadly, they seem to, almost immediatly, forget that the criminal with a gun was stopped by a GOOD PERSON WITH THE SAME TOOL. A refreaching set of oppinions that I will try to get my 'Left' leaning friends to read. That should make for some very interesting conversation afterwords.

Lee Williams

03/06/2018 06:25:29

This is a fantastic piece of work. Kudos! I am truly honored to be a part of it!

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