5 Points to Make About Freedom if Confronted at the Thanksgiving Dinner Table

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posted on November 22, 2023
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Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

We all have those relatives who seem to see everything differently than we do, some even concerning the constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. While we see them infrequently, holidays draw us together, and, invariably, we’re seated next to them at the annual family Thanksgiving dinner table.

Whether it’s your vehemently anti-gun uncle or your ambivalent cousin who simply doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about the right to keep and bear arms, no matter how hard you may try to avoid a conversation that may lead to an argument, you are frequently faced with a challenge that is forced upon you.

That said, here are five important points that can be made about our Second Amendment freedom this Thanksgiving if someone forces the discussion in that direction. Perhaps a few at the table could even become new gun-rights supporters.

  1. The Supreme Court has Affirmed This is an Individual Right

While your uncle might still try to argue that the Second Amendment only applies to militias, not individuals, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed in the District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep (own) firearms. Nearly 15 years later, in last year’s New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen decision, the high court further affirmed that the individual right to bear arms also applied to Americans carrying firearms outside the home for self-defense purposes.

  1. The Bruen Decision is Not “Out Of Touch” With the Majority Of Americans

When the Supreme Court announced its decision last year in Bruen and set a new standard of review for Second Amendment cases, gun-control groups came out of the woodwork to denounce the ruling. The Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety immediately proclaimed, “Today’s ruling … is out of touch with the overwhelming majority of Americans.” Other gun-ban groups immediately parroted that assertion, with the media quickly following suit. Recently, however, researchers at Marquette Law School found just the opposite to be true. They conducted a poll, designed to gauge public opinion on the Supreme Court, that found 67% of respondents favored the ruling—more than twice as many as those who opposed it. It’s impossible to argue that 67% isn’t a majority.

  1. Guns are Frequently Used to Stop Violent Crime

After losing on the first two points, some might throw out the old gun-ban group “factoid” that gun owners seldom use their guns to stop attacks and other violent crimes. Don’t let them get away with it. The most-recent data available on defensive gun usage draws a much different picture. The 2021 National Firearms Survey, conducted under the supervision of Georgetown University professor William English, estimated 1.67 million defensive gun uses (DGUs) annually in the United States. That comes out to about 4,575 a day! It’s hard to explain how 4,575 DGUs a day fits into the definition of “seldom.”

  1. Gun-Free Zones are, Indeed, Victim Zones

“If we could just ban all guns, murders and violent crime would go away.” So goes the thinking of many other gun-ban advocates; however, that tactic has actually been tried in many places in the United States, and the results have been disastrous. We call these places “gun-free” zones, even though the only people who don’t have guns in these locations are law-abiding citizens, leaving violent criminals free to act with little chance of being stopped or confronted by an armed citizen.

Dr. John Lott, head of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), found that criminals “are smart enough to know that they can kill more people if they attack places where victims can’t defend themselves. That’s one reason why 98% of mass public shootings since 1950 have occurred in places where citizens are banned from having guns.”

  1. Concealed Carriers Have Stopped Many Mass Murders

If a relative is really pushing for one more verbal tussle over pumpkin pie, they might claim that it is a myth that good guys with guns stop armed bad guys. According to the CPRC’s Lott, such instances are very common; in fact, Lott reports that, in 2021, an incredible “49% of active shooting attacks were stopped by citizens with permits to carry.” “If you don’t count gun-free zones, the number is closer to 60%,” says Lott. “Imagine how much higher those percentages would be if every state had constitutional carry and banned [government mandated] gun-free zones.”

Of course, while arguing at Thanksgiving dinner is very common in many families, others frown upon it. The five points above are simple truths about guns, gun owners, and the Second Amendment, and speaking truth in a clear, concise way is perfectly acceptable when someone else wishes to force an argument into a family gathering.

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