Top 10 Myths About Guns


Firearms are a controversial topic worldwide, and while you’ve probably taken a side in the debate, there may be some assumptions you’re making that color your decisions.  So I’m going to help you by going over some myths about guns on both sides of the fence, because it’s always better to knowledgeably argue your subject than to proclaim ignorance.

For the record, this list is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only.  Anyone who owns a firearm should seek out training, and information about their legal use in the areas you live or visit.

10.  Suppressors (aka Silencers)


This myth regularly shows up on lists of lies Hollywood tells about guns (right next to “if you run out of ammunition, throw away your gun”).  Suppressors, sometimes called silencers, are designed to reduce the speed and sound of the gas that propels the bullet out of the barrel of the gun.  The way a cartridge works is that a pin, or striker, in the gun hits a primer (usually on the round,) which ignites powder and sends the bullet projectile out of the barrel.  By slowing the escaping gas, you can reduce the amount of sound produced.  It can also work by reducing the speed of the bullet, reducing the sonic boom or crack.

Again, you can reduce the sound, but not eliminate it.  On most rounds, you can get a 30-40 decibel reduction.  In quieter rounds, like the popular small-game .22 caliber, this means a pretty significant reduction in volume from around 140 db to the 110-120 db range.  But still, that’s a very loud sound, and repeated exposure can result in hearing loss.  You should always have hearing protection when using firearms.

9.  Semi-Automatic Firearms


When I say “semi-automatic”, many people have an image in their head of a man on a rooftop with an M16, pulling the trigger and firing off thousands of rounds (again, thanks to Hollywood).  This is a false image.

In a semi-automatic firearm, whether it’s a pistol (like the Glock 17), rifle (including the controversial AR-15), or shotgun, when the round is fired, the expanding gas from the cartridge launches the projectile and then opens the chamber, ejecting the spent cartridge and, if available, using a spring system to slide the next cartridge into place ready for the next trigger pull.  The gun will not fire the next round for you, and most guns are designed to prevent this from happening.  This works out to one trigger pull per shot, similar to how you have to pull a trigger in a revolver to fire the next round.

Fully automatic weapons, that fire multiple rounds with one trigger pull, do exist, but they are mostly illegal for citizens to own in the United States (you have to go through some serious federal licensing headaches).

8.  Assault Weapons


There’s a lot of debate over the use of “assault” weapons, but sadly, there’s not a lot of actual information.  So let’s sort through what we actually have.

Many gun rights advocates argue that there is no real definition of an assault weapon, and they would be incorrect.  The term “assault weapon” was legally defined in the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban as a semi-automatic firearm with a detachable magazine, that contains characteristics one would find on military firearms.  Simply put, it’s a civilian version of a military weapon.

Gun control advocates argue that assault weapons are much more dangerous than the average hunting rifle. And they are equally wrong.  The vast majority of add-ons that turn a hunting rifle into an assault rifle are mostly cosmetic: pistol grips, folding stocks, flash suppressors – things that the shooter may appreciate, but have no real bearing on the function of the gun or on its ability to fire rounds.  These are semi-automatic weapons: one trigger pull per shot, just like a revolver or your granddad’s hunting rifle.

7.  Stand Your Ground


In the US, while you do have a right to defend your life with deadly force, there are two basic theories on how to apply that deadly force in self-defense: duty to retreat, and stand your ground.

A few states in the US use a legal standard called “duty to retreat,” which basically says that, while you have the right to defend your life with deadly force, you need to make every possible, reasonable effort to get away from your attacker before using that deadly force.  While this sounds nice in theory, in practice it means that a person who has to use deadly force to defend their lives may have to appear in court and be tried as a potential murderer, spending tens of thousands of dollars and potentially ending up in prison for the rest of their life, all because someone else tried to kill them and they didn’t want to die.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have “stand your ground,” or “castle doctrine”.  Basically, this doctrine states that whatever space you’re occupying at the moment, you do not have to leave that space, in order to defend your life.  If someone is coming to kill you, you can pull your weapon and stop them with deadly force.  Some states that have this law also protect those who’ve used it from criminal and civil liability.  Again, it’s great in theory, but not so much in practice.  There have been dozens of cases where judges and juries have grossly misinterpreted these laws, acquitting people who chased down attackers out of revenge.

Between the extremes, you also have a patchwork of laws around the country that fall somewhere in the middle.  Some states allow a citizen to only use the castle doctrine defense in their homes.  Other states say they don’t really have a duty to retreat in law, do so in practice.  Gun laws are very complex and that’s why it’s very important to know what they are before you purchase and use a firearm.

6.  Magic Bullets


Every so often, there’s a new concern over a new type of “cop killer” bullet that will magically defeat everything in its path.  The truth of the matter is this: there is no such thing as a magic bullet.  However, knowing how your bullet will behave when it reaches its target is crucial in deciding what kind of bullet you need to choose.

Let’s talk about hollow point bullets.  Hollow point bullets are designed to dissipate their energy into their target, reducing penetration into the target, thus lessening – but not eliminating – the likelihood of coming out the other side and harming someone else.  In contrast, a full metal jacket is designed to penetrate its target, and continue until it slows to a stop.  That’s why hollow points are usually recommended as a good personal defense round; it’s more likely, should you have to use it, to stay in the bad guy and not harm anyone else.

Over the years, design names and manufacturing tricks have given some a great deal of concern.  The key to remember is that, at the end of the day, there’s not much you can do to a bullet to make it more or less dangerous that hasn’t already been done.

5.  Self-Harm


You may have heard that you’re 43 times more likely to kill yourself or someone you know than you are to kill a criminal with a gun.  This statistic is from a study done by Dr. Arthur Kellerman back in 1986, and is used by gun control advocates to challenge the usefulness of owning firearms.  But is it a myth?

And the answer is: kinda.  The devil is very much in the details of the strongly criticized study.  Part of the problem is that Kellerman, in his study, only focused on gun deaths and not gun use, ignoring incidents where guns protected, but did not take, life. He was also criticized for failing to provide complete data, recognize contradictory studies, and include suburban or rural areas in his studies.

However, common sense does dictate that people who own guns are more likely to use them than people who don’t, often in tragic ways.  Statistics show that more gun deaths occur via suicide than by homicide and accidental shootings combined.  My personal advice is that if you do choose to own a weapon, please make sure that those who you trust have a plan to remove your guns in case you show signs of suicidal behavior.  If you are having suicidal thoughts, please get help.  In the US, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 1-800-273-8255.

4.  It’s Easy to Buy a Gun


After tragic events, there’s often a focus on how firearms are acquired by members of the general public, usually focusing on strengthening requirements and restricting access to certain types of weapons.  The result has been a series of laws that have been designed to keep guns out of the wrong people’s hands.

If you’ve never bought a gun, you may be surprised at all the hoops you have to jump through to get one.  To start off with, many states have some sort of licensing or permitting process for guns and gun owners, which can take weeks or months to complete.  Once you have your permit or license, you have to meet a fairly long set of federal requirements (age, legal status, mental status,) in order to purchase a firearm.  Federal firearms license dealers are required, by law, to do an instant background check on you, to make sure you’re not on the FBI’s long list of people who aren’t allowed to own a gun.  Only after you jump through all the hoops, are you allowed to walk out the door with your gun.  Even private sales between people can be very complex.

There’s also the part where you have to pay money for your gun.  Guns, in case you’ve never been shopping for one, tend to be expensive, and fluctuating supply and demand can quickly drive prices up.  Even in the cheapest of times, guns are an expensive investment.  You can easily expect to spend $300-600 on a decent lower-cost handgun, rifle, or shotgun, and it’s very easy to spend more.  This doesn’t include the cost of licensing, accessories, and ammunition.  Training classes and range time are also prudent investments that can cost big money.  If you go hunting, purchasing the right equipment is a big investment, as is the investment of processing your harvested meat.  Used guns can save you some money (usually 20-30%) on your investments, but make sure to have them checked out by a knowledgeable person before you buy them.

3.  You Need a Big Gun


“Why do you NEED an AR-15?”  It’s a common enough question by those who favor gun control, and if your focus is personal defense, a smaller weapon would probably suffice.  When we get down to simple practicality, a lot of people who look at guns get weapons far more powerful than they actually need, and in doing so, can put others at risk.

If you live in an apartment complex with people on the other side of the typical apartment paper-thin walls, while it may be cool to own a larger caliber handgun like a .45, you take the risk that a missed shot (which you are legally liable for) will go through the wall and injure someone other than the person coming after you.  A smaller caliber firearm with the proper bullets can defend your life without creating a higher risk of injury.

The same concept exists for hunting.  A lot of deer hunters tend to favor large rounds like the .30-06 Springfield (called the 30-aught-six) to take down their prize whitetail.  The problem with the .30-06 is that in areas where the distance between you and the target is likely to be less than 100-150 yards, the 30-06 is overpowered.  A less powerful round, like the 7mm or 270, is plenty powerful to quickly take down a deer and not do major damage to the carcass.  I’ve talked to some hunters who encourage people to hunt deer with a teeny little .22, but I ignore them because a .22 is more likely to cause the animal needless suffering, than to actually take it down.

The key here is to think of guns as tools, and you need to pick the right tool for the right project.  If you wouldn’t use a 30 pound sledgehammer to pound in a nail for a family portrait, then you probably shouldn’t use an overpowered gun to hunt squirrels.  Similarly, if you wouldn’t use a tack hammer to try to break up concrete, you probably shouldn’t use an under-powered gun to take down a grizzly bear.

2.  Gun Control and Crime Rates


One of the biggest debates in the US is whether gun control actually reduces the rate of crime.  Gun control advocates point out that other countries with heavy gun control tend to have lower murder rates, while gun control opponents point out that, where strict gun control has been implemented in the US, violent crime has skyrocketed.

So what’s the truth?  Well, if we look at the top 20 cities for murders per 100,000 residents, we find that nine of them are in seven of the states with the strictest gun control laws in the country (Newark, NJ; Baltimore, MD; Oakland, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Stockton, CA; Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; Pittsburgh, PA; and Buffalo, NY).  However, 11 of them are in states that have fewer restrictions on guns, with the top three most dangerous cities (New Orleans, LA; Detroit, MI; and St. Louis, MO) all in states that have a lack of gun control.

So what can we draw from this?  Well, the first thing is that gun control doesn’t actually work.  Even if Chicago isn’t as violent as New Orleans, it’s still a violent place to be, where handguns were banned up until recently and yet, mysteriously, people were still murdered with them.  Scientific studies have backed up this conclusion.  It’s like the laws against illicit drugs: those drugs are illegal and yet, people who shouldn’t acquire them still do so.

The solution?  Well, there is a correlation between gun violence and another metric: socioeconomics.  To put it simply, the same cities you tend to see on the top of the murder list are the same cities you see on the top of the poverty rate list.  So the question then becomes: what can be done to lift those poverty-stricken areas out of poverty?  If you come up with a workable solution, let me know.

1.  The Second Amendment


Lots of international folks wonder why the US doesn’t just ban all guns, and the reason is found in our Constitution: the Second Amendment.  The problem is that most people don’t really understand what the Second Amendment means, and the result is a lot of arguing on both sides.  So I’m going to try to help clear things up.

First, let’s look at the text: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  Now, to today’s folks, the second part of the Amendment is fairly clear, but that first section gives us a lot of pause.  Gun control advocates argue that, since most states have replaced the militia with the National Guard, then the right to keep and bear arms for the average citizen isn’t really covered here. Therefore, gun ownership is a privilege, not a right, that should be revoked.  The problem: that’s not what the Amendment says.

You have to consider the historical context.  The US was a country born of war, where the average citizen could grab his musket or Pennsylvania long rifle, walk out the door, and join up with some other average citizens as a small militia group. They could be used to conduct small raids against the British and their militias, to weaken the armies prior to everyone fighting in the big battles.  When the war was over, the standing army was heavily reduced, and militias would be called up if needed.  In other words: the militia was, pretty much, the military of the country.

This leads us to two elements of interpretation.  First: since common men could be called into service to protect the country, they would need to be armed, and so, the right to bear arms would have been needed for national security.  However, the other element is that, because these men had just fought a Revolution against the British militia and government, the right to bear arms represented the right of the citizens to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. In order to keep the government in check, the right to bear arms was needed.  This second interpretation is backed up, heavily, by the recorded discussions on the amendment by Patrick Henry, Noah Webster, George Mason, James Madison and, ultimately by the Supreme Court in US v. Cruikshank and Presser v. Illinois.  In other words, because a person could be called up to militia, and because our government could become a tyrannical dictatorship, the right of the people to arm themselves shall not be infringed.

Where the real debate kicks in, is whether this right can be limited.  And the answer to that question is: yes.  Much like your first amendment rights don’t cover slander or screaming “fire” in a crowded theater, your second amendment rights can be limited within reason.  The Supreme Court has said, in US v. Miller, that the government does have the right to restrict access to certain firearms – in that particular case, a sawed-off shotgun.  There’s also been a few cases – including the recent District of Columbia vs. Heller – that have determined the rights of the government to restrict firearms access to felons and the mentally ill.  In other words: the Second Amendment protects your right to bear arms, but can be reasonably limited for the purpose of public safety.

Other Articles you Might Like
Liked it? Take a second to support on Patreon!


  1. Hey, guys. I’m the original author of the list and wanted to take the
    opportunity to say thank you for your interest and comments. I really
    appreciate your input, positive and otherwise. I really did try to
    shoot for a very balanced article, and I’m pleased that most of you
    found it to be exactly that.

    A couple of quick notes:

    1. I’ve got some heat on #3, mostly because I used the ever-popular AR-15 in the description as a “big gun”. For the record, I know it’s not a big gun – I just used it because that’s what most people think of as a “big gun”. The definition of what is and isn’t a big gun wasn’t the point. The point was that people should think of guns like tools and use the right tool for the right job.

    2. There’s a lot of talk down below over whether I used the term “assault weapon” correctly or whether I should have used assault rifle and vice-versa. The answer is: maybe. There are legal and technical definitions of both that I am aware of. However, I wasn’t aiming this list at firearms rights or gun control attorneys. I was aiming it at the general public, who use those terms interchangeably. I appreciate your concern for the correct definitions, tho.

    Thanks again – and be sure to check out my other lists and all the other lists at TopTenz. I do have a Youtube Channel, but

  2. I was recently exposed to gunfire without hearing protection (boring story, nobody hurt, not crime related, I just happened to be in the wrong place at the time) and was left with ringing in my ears for days. So this leads me to propose a second list of gun myths that were not addressed in this one, or maybe this list could be amended (put it in with #10) to include this little fact:

    Guns are frickin’ LOUD. It seems that you see characters in a movie/TV show blaze away in confined spaces without hearing protection and then have a normal conversation minutes later. I was outside and exposed to only 3 shots from the rifle and I still have a headache and ringing.

    Point being: The idea that a person can fire a gun indoors (or even outdoors) without some kind of hearing protection and not suffer any ill effects is just BS.

    • Hearing protection is always recommended, but not always available when you need it. I’ve never had to use a firearm in self-defense, but I’ve been informed that the adrenaline rush from the situation can address some of these issues.

      Having said that, when I first started hunting, I once fired a 12-guage next to my unprotected ears. Once.

  3. The guy who wrote #3 obviously doesn’t know much about the .45 does he? Funny thing about the .45 ACP, it’s a subsonic round. That means it generally is travelling a lot slower than that smaller caliber that they are advocating, which is normally a supersonic round. The .45 is heavier, and hits with more force, but it doesn’t have the same penetration or velocity.

    Also, an AR-15 firing .223 (or even military grade 5.56 “Ball” ammunition) isn’t going to be penetrating all sorts of walls in your house, and its extremely easy to control. Much better for personal defense than the things most haters advocate.

    However, using anything bigger than 5.56 for home defense is just downright impractical and dangerous, because a .308 WILL penetrate several walls, and a .30-06 will penetrate even more than that.

    • There’s a lot of “depends” when it comes to ammunition, especially in an enclosed area. The amount of powder, the design of the bullet, the strength of the material in the walls. Best rule of thumb, IMO, is that if you live in an enclosed area with shared walls, using a frangible product like Glaser Safety Slugs is a good idea.

  4. hollow points are much more then that man, they break up in itbity bits as soon as it hits the target and the exit wound is about 3x the size of the pentration mark

    • The point of hollow points being that there should not be any exit wound. They put all their kinetic energy into the target. This makes them into non-armor piercing bullets. Some rounds even being designed not to penetrate walls. I don’t think they have it quite down to being stopped by sheet-rock, something like that would be almost useless but there are rounds that break up quickly on impact.

  5. I think that their is actually a lot of people who know what a semi automatic weapon is. Anyone who has ever played Call of Duty knows that an M-14 is a single shot gun and an M-16 is a three round burst. See video games aren’t all bad. lol.

    • actually the M-16 fires in semi and full auto while the M-16A1 and M-16A2 fire in semi and 3 round burst. See video games don’t teach you a damn thing about reality. LOL at you. Don’t argue with me I used to be a BRM instructor in the Army.

  6. Semper Paratus on

    I really enjoyed reading this article. I am not one to comment but I always love to read the responses almost as much as the articles themselves. I commend you 5 minutes, this was a great read. I have seen many of your comments posted and usually you sound very anger and negative. I enjoyed the way you handled a lot of these negative comments by responding calmly and reaffirming your statistics and sources. Love this 5 minutes much better. Again thanks for the great read!

    • I’m a naturally critical person because, at heart, I’m a teacher who wants people to be better. And because I’m also honest to a fault, I’m even more critical of myself – so it’s nice to hear a compliment.


  7. It’s ridiculous to believe that the ownership of guns “shows” the government “who’s in charge”. The government has more and better and bigger weapons than any individual can get. So your stand against the government would fail rather quickly if you were up against the US military. What the world needs now is fewer guns and fewer people (and governments) willing and eager to use the remaining guns.

    • I wish more gun owners could understand this. Any standoff between the police and armed gunmen usually ends up with arrested or dead gunmen. The police are well armed. The raid at Waco, Texas had very well armed religious fanatics who still lost against the Law when the FBI showed up with an armored vehicle. For the general record, the US Armed Forces has tanks, airplanes, helicopter gunships, UAVs, nuclear weapons, aircraft carriers, cruise missiles, automatic weapons, armored fighting vehicles, artillery (rocket and cannons), chemical weapons, biological weapons, land mines, hand grenades and an ongoing list of gear the local yokel militia will never be able to muster. To believe that our guns keep us safe from tyranny is absolute fantasy BS.
      The South in the late 1800’s LOST against the North, not for lack of trying, but because they didn’t have the industrial and supply base they needed. The North was better equipped, had more money, more industry and the moral high ground. Sure, the South had plenty of armed militia men and lots of high quality generals but they were gradually crushed by the North’s industrial might. The same thing would happen to any militia movement in the USA. They would be branded terrorists and squashed like grapes with the first artillery barrages. Ask the Taliban, they are armed to the teeth and they suffer massive casualties against the coalition forces.
      The government doesn’t need to stage a military take over of the USA. They have Average Joe Civilian by the balls every day with debt, false hopes, pipe dreams and plenty of false platitudes about us being the greatest nation in the world.

      You know what? There needs to be a “Top 10 List of WHY Gun Owners Want To Own Guns”. If I weren’t so busy with real stuff to do I’d write it myself. But I’d put “Because Shooting Is a Fun Sport” at #1. Small Penis Compensation might be around 7 or 8 on the list.

      • 1.Because the Founding Fathers felt it important enough to amend the constitution and guarantee it.

        2.It’s better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have it.

        3. I’m too old, fat and slow to defend myself or run away from the threat of bodily harm.

        4.Controlling your aim and hitting the target is great for hand eye coordination.

        5.Wild game doesn’t jump into an oven or hang itself on a wall by itself.

        6.It’s easier, faster and more fun to put holes in something with a gun than a drill.

        7.Exploding targets won’t go off with less than 2000 fps muzzle velocity.

        8.I can send a golf ball 300 yards down range with a rifle blank and a golf ball launcher but not a driver or fairway wood.

        9.Asking a robber to leave your home isn’t nearly as effective as a muzzle flash.

        10.A pistol in your pocket makes a much bigger impression than a pickle.

        • “10.A pistol in your pocket makes a much bigger impression than a pickle.”

          Must… stop…. laughing….

      • Raj & Marc and anyone else who doesn’t appreciate that the right to bear arms is a last step against tyranny either:
        1) over estimates our government’s power or
        2) underestimates the power of the people.

        You also probably live in a city and don’t appreciate just how nasty us gun toten’ rednecks can be!

        Here’s what you need to do.

        First go to NetFlix and rent the movie Red Dawn (1984 and/or 2012).

        Then read a little history. Who won in Vietnam? How many military powers have given up in Afghanistan? How many national governments are currently threatened by civil wars and militias?

        In this day and age of mass media a truly tyrannical United States of America government would be repelled enough by citizens bearing arms to garner attention of the remaining populace, mainstream media and the entire world. The military eventually would not support such a government because their fathers, sons and brothers would be the ones bearing arms against said government.

        The Second Amendment would then live up to the expectations of the Founding Fathers and fulfill its destiny. I have no doubts this is how it would play out because I believe in the heart and soul of the American people and I am a proud gun owner who would readily give my life, as so many others have already, to preserve this freedom.

        • ha ha ha ha LOL.

          No. Actually I live in rural New York State just on the edge of the Catskill Mountains and I hail from Plattsburgh, the last bastion of civilization in the Northern Tier. Yeah, that’s right. New York State and New York City aren’t the same thing. Don’t you dare condescend to me that I don’t know anything about rednecks. My family is full of them.

          Next on the list. Red Dawn is not a documentary. It’s a complete work of fiction. A gang of teens would not last long against any army. Besides the logistics of invading the USA would be a nightmare for any country. Simply getting the hardware here would be difficult beyond measure as the US Navy and Air Force would take care of most invading shipping and aircraft before it got halfway here.

          The NVA and VC won against the USA with an awful lot of support from the USSR and China. Two huge industrialized nations with a near endless supply of money, weapons and trainers to loan to them.

          Al Qaeda won against the USSR in the 80’s with the help of… THE USA! Another huge industrialized nation with near endless money weapons and “advisers” to defeat the USSR.

          The current situations in Syria and Libya are able to come about because the central governments are weak to begin with, already crippled by massive internal corruption, I’m talking corruption beyond anything the average American has any concept of. UN sanctions, and a general unwillingness to face reality. The militias are a tough lot but they are fighting against governments on their last legs.
          When my wife studied for her MBA she met a lot of people from South America the Far East and the Middle East who all agreed bribes are just a way of doing business. They didn’t even think twice to question the fact. In the USA corrupt politicians are quickly defrocked and sent to jail when they are found. Trust be dude, the USA is nowhere near as corrupt as people would like to believe it is.

          If our government ever did anything to cause an armed uprising then they have completely failed at governing. The monied interests in control of the super PACs work very hard and spend lots of money to make sure America stays politically divided and insecure so they never have to fire a shot.

          Finally remember that the USA has had a dark history where brothers and fathers took up arms against one another. The American Civil War began on Friday, April 12, 1861 and ended on Tuesday, May 9, 1865. While I’m watching Netflix you can go read a 5th grade history book and remind yourself of that. SPOILER: The South LOST the war with all its militia.

        • Realisitically, Marc is right. If you have an armed, untrained populace in revolution up against the tactically trained, better armed government, you’re likely going to see a bloodbath, plain and simple.

          However, there is still the fact that the Founding Fathers put that amendment in our constitution so the people could do exactly that. Will it ever happen? Probably not. Another large-scale armed revolution in this country is unlikely simply because there are so many other ways to affect change in our government on a fairly rapid basis. Witness: 2010. In 2006-08, the government switched control from the Republican to the Democrat party in a fairly massive way. In 2009-10, the Democrats pushed through one of their keystone proposals that the people really didn’t want (55-60% were opposed). As a result, in 2010, the people changed the government, creating a stagnant legislature and basically creating gridlock for the next 4 years.

          Because our government is so flexible, an armed revolution is unlikely (and ultimately pointless). If it were to happen, if would be against a ruler who attempted to seize power unconstitutionally, and would probably involve parts of the US military up against other parts.

  8. Excellent summary article. Some quick points: 10) Silencers…I work in occupational safety and health and, if not for fear and misunderstanding, suppressors would be required by OSHA for various firearm applications. Analogous noise reduction technology in other industrial applications is currently required. 4) Big guns…nice summary, but a major point missed. The word “need” implies something else to those who want to ensure gun rights. Who are “they” to say what I “need”? If you disagree, think of the following…you do not “need” a car that can exceed the highest speed limits (80 mph). To exceed that spped endangers yourself and others and is illegal. Car ownership is not enshrined in the Bill of Rights…so the government should immediately ban higher speed cars. This will save far more lives than gun bans as many more people die in traffic accidents. While we are at it….why do you “need” to go 80mph? Or 70? Or 50? If we all went no faster than 30mph….many lives would be saved. 1) Second Amendment: excellent discussion….the context involving defending yourself against potential tyranny is very often skipped these days; I am sorry but if I hear one more politition talk about “hunting” in context with the 2nd amemdment. You may no agree with the need for such protection…but that was clearly what the founders meant.

    Great job!

    • Thanks!

      10. Suppressors shouldn’t be as difficult to get as they are, if only for safety’s sake.

      4. I spoke of need, not desire – and certainly not in any sort of requirements via force of law. My concern with “need” really focuses more on what people are going to use their guns for. If you’re going to use a gun for personal defense walking down the street, an AR-15 probably isn’t the best choice. On the other hand, if you’re going hunting for bear, I wouldn’t recommend a .22lr.

      1. I agree. Fortunately, the SCOTUS has defined the 2nd Amendment as protecting the traditional uses of guns – including hunting. Hunting is important, but you are very right in that it’s not why the 2nd Amendment exists.

  9. American love guns simple as that..all this bull about constitution,freedom showing the government whos in charge..dont make me laugh..what about countries with no legal guns..huh so they are not currently in a country where guns are easy to get..believe me the difference is clear..they dont get off on dressing in army gear and hunting animals feeling like they are some sort of nutcases almost had Palin as your v.p for christ sake..not all Americans but an alarming amount just love their gun toys..thats why get so scared at the thought. of losing them.

    • Yeah. That, or the fact that our constitution enshrines the right to bear arms as a last step against tyranny.

  10. The one interesting fact about US v. Miller is “why” the Supreme Court ruled that sawed off shotguns could be regulated.

    In a nutshell, because of the the militia language in the 2nd the US argued, and the Supreme Court agreed, that only military weapons were protected by the 2nd Amendment and that sawed off shotguns had no military value. Seriously!

    IOW, the 2nd Amendment doesn’t protect hunting rifles, target rifles, sporting rifles, etc. but does protect “Assault Weapons”!

    Kind of a twist from what you hear now days.

    • Sort of…

      The Miller ruling (which sticks out like a sore thumb in 2nd Amendment cases) basically said that only weapons that could reasonably be used for the “common defense” were protected, and that a sawed-off shotgun did not qualify. The problem is that they really didn’t go beyond that statement and, ultimately, the Supreme Court somewhat invalidated that tight interpretation of the militia clause in DC v. Heller, where they found that the possession of firearms by citizens for traditional purposes, including self-defense, were in line with the 2nd Amendment.

      • A nit, but I would say Heller “broadened that tight interpretation” rather than “invalidated that tight interpretation”.

        Still, the concept of the 2nd protecting military weapons stands, which makes specifically banning them constitutionally shaky. The USSC has almost always held the precedents of previous rulings as settled law and has been very reluctant to reverse them outright.

  11. 5minutes:

    Kudos on a well written article. if read completely, then it should help to clear up many misconceptions concerning guns.

    Now for the bad news 😉

    #2 – Crime stats vs gun ownership

    While I didn’t go as far as to check their validity, the same article you use to make you point has an entire paragraph stating that the stats shown should not be used to either rank cities for crime purposes. Not sure how valid stats are that have a disclaimer saying not to use them for the purpose you wanted to use them for.

    #9 – Semi Autos vs full autos

    Maybe it was done on purpose (God knows most people shouldn’t have one for their own safety) but owning a fully automatic weapon isn’t as hard as it looks. You have to be old enough, submit fingerprint cards, passport-like pictures, a $200 Transfer Tax per weapon and some other assorted items. Then you have to wait. And wait. But if your record is clean AND you live in a state that doesn’t prohibit them (sorry NY’ers but you are one of the 11 that don’t) AND you can afford the $5,000 to $35,000 it takes to buy one AND you haven;t given up in the two-six months it takes to be approved by BATF, then it can be yours. No Federal license required.

    Other than those two items, well done.

    • On #2: The stats come from the CDC and FBI. You can dig into the stats a lot more deeply if you’d like, but the ultimate point is that dense population + poverty + lack of education = violence.

      #9: By “Federal Licensing”, I meant the tax stamp. (Not to mention, you can only buy automatic weapons made prior to 1986, thanks to that law). Personally, if I wanted the feel of a fully automatic weapon, I’d go with something like the Slide Fire stock.

    • As John said it is LEGAL to own an automatic weapon in 39 states. You just need to properly register it. But, in addition to the details John provided you also give up your rights to due process and are subject to search and seizure at any time. Most criminals have things to hide and will not accept this extra requirement.

  12. I would like to applaud you on this article. It has good information presented in a non biased form that tends to educate instead of missinform. Even though im probably not 100% on the same page as you i found this to be a great article. Im sorry, but the previous article was a shame, and I applaud TopTenz for publishing this “counter” story. While reading the other article I felt like it spewd mis information. Great article, and my question to the author is, How do you feel about Gun Shows?

    • Is this only open to the author or can some nosey busybody (like me) butt in? 😉

      Gun shows are gun shows. I personally don’t have a problem with gun shows and I feel that they have been given a bum rap by those wanting to restrict firearm ownership since all sales made by licensed dealers (those who have tables/booths) must go through the same procedures as they do in their shops. If they hold an FFL, they are required to run a background check on the buyer.

      About the only thing I would MAYBE allow to be changed would be the PRIVATE sales of weapons by folks that bring in their own and attempt to sell them there. I’m not sure that it should be allowed. It is a gun SHOW, not a swap meet. I feel it should be for the dealers only that PAID to have a booth/table set up there.

      With that having been said, there should NOT be any further restrictions to allowing the private sale of firearms AWAY from the gun show than already exist.

    • I have no problem with gun shows or private sales, but those who participate in them need to take the same steps FFL dealers do to ensure that their guns don’t end up in the wrong hands. In theory, closing the gun show loopholes is an OK idea, but in a practical sense, gun show-purchased guns are not often used in crime, so I’m not exactly sure there’s an actual problem that needs to be solved here.

      As for private sales, any wise gun owner should conduct any private sales of his weapons through an FFL, if only to make sure that there is an official, legally traceable record on paper that his gun no longer belongs to him or her.

  13. I wholeheartedly agree with #3. Some of my best fun shooting has been with my .177cal air rifle. I can shoot all day for pennies, don’t end up with sore shoulders and I’ve never had to worry about killing my neighbors. I can plink and even take small game with my gun. It’s no toy , it’s capable of sending a pellet downrange at 1000fps. It’s all the gun I need.

    I’m a bit put off by people for whom shooting is a contest of how big a cannon they an manage. They are usually the same people who only eat raw habanjero peppers by the fistful. No concern for flavor, just how hot can they make their chicken wings.

    To each his own, but I am well aware of just how much gun I need compared to how much gun I want.

    For the record, I own 2 Mosin-Nagants also. At 7.62x54mm they pack a huge kick and can take down a bear. But dammit if I can find a place to safely shoot them.

    • One of my favorite guns I own is a Bersa Thunder 22. It’s a great little semi-auto pistol, super-accurate, and when I use good ammo like CCI’s, it doesn’t jam (the Winchester white box stuff from Wal-Mart is terrible). The only downside now is that everyone’s scared of government gun bans and so they’re buying up all the ammo. I can’t find a lick of .22’s around here.

      • do you hear u.s gun nuts get turned showing how much knowledge you have about guns..thats why once you get tired out shooting tin cans in the woods..and animals..whats next people..that’s why Americans are so trigger happy..most of all friendly fire accidents in war =dumb trigger happy yanks.the funny thing is your soldiers are not even that good..British sas are the best..look it up..but that’s about courage not gun knowledge i suppose

        • I’m sorry, I ran your paragraph through Google Translate and their crazy-to-English translation is down at the moment. It sounds like you were trying to rant about Americans being armed, combined with an accusation that we’re all going out shooting people once we’re done with tin cans. I may be wrong.

          Either way, you’re so unbelievably wrong that it’s not even close to funny. There are over 300,000,000 firearms of various sorts in the US. Every year, 65,000 of those firearms (or 0.02%) are used in some sort of criminal activity. 11,078 of them (or 0.003%) are used in homicides. Nationally, this works out to 3.6 per 100,000 of our population. Anything above 0 is a shame, but this number is comparable to other countries in the Americas, with the exception of Canada.

        • well mr 5 minutes im not going to hold your username against you because we all have our bad days with the ladies so i guess my name is 7 minutes..that aside you wouldn’t happen to have any clever stats on shooting sprees in the u.s compared to the rest of the world ..would you..seemed to have missed those out..and also you wouldn’t happen to know the last time a gun in the u.s was actually used against tyranny..muskets dont really count..because i didnt know tyrants could be found in schools or watching batman movies.anyway your crazy to english comment was at least gun loving nuts are witty..oh yeah i hope you find more 22 ammo because im sure all that blasting away at stuff has you all out of sure you dont need all that practice so it means you enjoy the hell out of it..admit that at shoot things for enjoyment and not only for protection..

        • 1. English. Learn it.

          2. Shooting sprees happen, but the actual percentage of people who die in shooting sprees is fairly small in comparison to other homicides.

          3. The fact that we have guns is probably the reason we haven’t had to use them against an American dictator. In fact, the vast majority of guns in our country haven’t even been used against a person.

          4. I do shoot for enjoyment. Target shooting is a fun, challenging sport, which is probably why it’s been done at every Olympics since 1896, with the exception of 1904 and 1928. Target and skeet are enjoyed across the country, as is hunting.

        • Freedom via Gun on

          To my cousin across the pond (assuming from calling us “yanks” that you are from the UK or specifically British), “gun crazy us”:
          You are an ignorant subject, sir. But that is exactly what subjects are…..the results of the whims of oppressors.
          Americans, on the other hand, are individual citizens with freedoms that are guaranteed to exist, thanks to those who fought the revolution that cut the ties between us and your way of life….sheltered and provided for just enough to make you think they know what’s best and then making you think it is your own opinion instead of their brainwashing.
          You don’t even see your own hypocrisy. One second you just label us as being on the verge of killing people just because we own guns and then immediately hail approval to British sas.
          I would like to know something about you, being someone devoid of the guarantees that I have been endowed with……
          Do you feel as though you are a free man in your country?
          Note, I am not asking you if you feel enslaved.
          I am asking if you ever find yourself feeling good that you live in a country that guarantees your freedoms.
          Now, it may be my own patriotic pride and ignorance from the lifestyle of a subject to the Kingdom, but I assume that the answer is no. You don’t ever find yourself reflecting on any such thing.
          Therefore, this is why you need to shut up and start listening.
          Our 2nd Amendment is our 1st Freedom….because it is what solidifies the remaining freedoms and rights that are listed in our Bill of Rights within the US Constitution. It reminds them….(those in power)…..Go too far…..and you will be removed.

  14. I live in america but not in the US (yes there are other countries in America :-)), i never had a gun in my life and don’t plan on ever carrying one so i’m probably not the best guy to talk here.
    As Voorhes (Is your first name Jason, that would be scary ? :-)) mentioned in his comment, i don’t think there will ever be an efficient gun banning in the US considering the number of guns already in circulation and frankly also because you enjoyed your toys too much.
    End of the day, you do have a society crisis: people, kids are getting killed.
    Is it fair to blame the tool ? Maybe not, but unless there’s a magic plan to cure every inequality within society, maybe gun control would be a good start.

    • The reason we will never get rid of our guns isn’t because we enjoy our toys. It’s because gun ownership by private individuals is enshrined in our Constitution (as a tool to remind the government of who’s really in charge – the people). To change that, you would either need to get the approval of 2/3 of both houses of Congress or a convention called by 2/3 of the states, followed up by a 3/4 majority of the states approving the amendment. Simply put: it will never happen.

      Additionally, we already have gun control. It is illegal for violent criminals and the mentally ill to own or acquire guns. And yet, they do so every day.

  15. We disagree on this topic – but nevertheless, I wanted to let you know I acknowledge this list is well-informed, and a good read (apart from the more technical points like #8-#10 which aren’t too interesting unless you already have a basic knowledge about guns – which I mostly don’t).

    Maybe it really IS the fact that America and the rest of the world have a completely different attitude to all this. 😉

  16. The funny thing is, only arguments are based on crime protection or militia…..both based on fear. Which i find hilarious. Also the most guns used for criminal are stolen so legal gun ownership isnt to blame…….but then if there was no guns at home to steal then that argument is also invalid. lol. Im british, and have given up on America banning guns. It wont happen, and if it did, it wont make any difference due to the amount of guns there are. But i think more could be done to limit accidental deaths, 150 ish kids die a year from accidental gun firing. Now this, i think most Americans and gun owners (responsible gun owners) can agree is a issue worth fixing. Better safety and gun care and storage would save a lot of lives.

    • According to the Centers for Disease Control’s latest data sets, 62 persons under the age of 15 died from accidental discharge of firearms. This is a significant step down from where numbers were in the 80’s and early 90’s and likely reflects efforts to make parents more responsible gun owners via required gun locks and storage requirements.

      The problem with gun deaths in the US isn’t accidental discharge – it’s in the socioeconomic culture that has grown up in poverty, but armed (usually with illegal weapons), and usually not educated while young about proper gun use.

      Education is critical. I grew up poor and had a few anger issues due to my parents’ divorce and a bum leg. When I was 10 years old, a church friend of my mom’s took me out to his farm and pulled out a couple of .22 rifles. We spent about an hour learning the basics of long gun use and pinging off at a few targets. I was frighteningly good for a kid with no experience. I got more training from scouts as I grew. As a result, while I knew about guns and had access to them, the idea of using them against another human just to express my anger was as foreign to me as a McDonald’s on North Sentinel Island.

    • The only thing I see that isn’t adressed in the original posting by Voorhees is EDUCATION. All the safety and gun care and proper storage won’t make a difference worth mentioning if there isn’t also education. If the only EDUCATION that people (notice I didn’t say children. It’s on purpose.) get is via the tv, video games and the internet, then the problem will never go away. If you are going to own a firearm, from a BB gun up to an elephant gun, then GET EDUCATED ON THAT WEAPON! Period. If you get educated on each weapon you own then you will know what they can do, how they do it and when they do it. They don’t go boom by “accident”, they don’t kill someone unless they are actually pointed at someone or in a careless manner, and they WILL make your life a living hell unless they are used responsibly.

      There really is no excuse to NOT know what you are using, especially when that item can kill you or someone else.

      • it’s not a matter of just knowing how to use a gun but when and why too. Guns really should never be used in anger or as a solution to problems. This is an issue with our culture that needs to be addressed. Too many movies and games (both mediums which I enjoy very much) use violence as an easy way to advance a plot line or solve the conflict.

        Let’s not just educate ourselves about guns but how to be more mature.

        • It depends on the problem you’re trying to solve. If the problem is “my neighbor’s dog won’t shut up”, then that’s a problem that doesn’t require a gun.

          If the problem is “that guy is trying to murder me”, then yeah, a gun can solve that problem pretty well.

    • Honestly, I hope it’s not as bad as the last article’s comments. There’s too many people – on both sides – who argue from emotion rather than knowledge and facts. My hope is that some of those emotional issues would be addressed by this article.

      For instance… semi-automatic weapons. I’ve had several people tell me, personally, that semi-autos should be banned. When I ask them “what do you think a semi-automatic weapon does”, without fail, they’ve imitated a fully automatic weapon (older folks tend to lean more towards the old tommy guns). When I explain to them that a semi-auto is one shot per trigger pull just like a revolver, all of the sudden, things start to clear up for them and they start thinking through their decision rather than relying on the emotion of the moment.