Michael Ian Black Is Schooling Gun Arguments On Twitter

michael ian black schooling gun control debate
Image by Alex Erde, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommerical license.

I’m a firm believer that celebrities can, and should, do more with their recognition than merely entertain us. Celebrities can definitely be a positive force in American society beyond their primary contributions.  After all, why should holier-than-thou, keyboard-tapping pundits monopolize the market?

With that said, writer and celebrity poker player Michael Ian Black is currently schooling social media on the American propensity for violence and the availability of its instrument of choice. In 140 characters or less, Black is actually doing something we all should be doing — civil engagement.

It started off bluntly enough…

… then became a lesson in politicization.

Michael Ian Black’s Twitter engagement over the issues of gun regulation and violence should serve as a guideline for how to effectively have this conversation as a people.

He makes an appeal to the pro-gun side of the argument and finds commonality:

When another Twitter user brings up radical Islam, he responds directly and without provocation:

He cites facts, not rhetoric:

Further, he corrects inaccuracies in some talking points, citing a Harvard University study…

… and he doesn’t discount suicide statistics, like many of us do.

When criticism manifested in the form of another Twitter user’s snarky comment in response to an economic view of the issue…


Mr. Black kicked the schooling up to 11.

This guy decided to resort to the tried-and-true anti-regulation tactic of “then I guess you’re content with X number of people dying in terrorist attacks.”


To which Mr. Black not only knocked the argument down, but asked the commentator to provide proof that “men w/guns kill terrorists.”

He sets he record straight regarding fears of gun confiscation to guy whose Tweet has since been deleted.

This guy tries to take the discussion in the direction of another tried-and-true piece of pro-gun advocacy rhetoric.

To which Michael Ian Black replies:

When someone tries to chop his credibility at the knees…

Michael Ian Black responds.

Having exhausted himself after schooling people on social media over this topic for the better part of a day, Michael Ian Black decided to wrap it up in the best way possible.

Michael Ian Black’s swift and direct schooling on Twitter should serve as a guideline on how to handle this topic. There is no need for pointless, inflammatory, and provocative rhetoric. It’s such a big turnoff. What we need to do is be rational, logical, and fact-based when we debate how to handle the stark number of people killed each year in the United States by firearms.

Look, we all want the same result. No one is accusing anyone else of not having the intention of saving lives. All we really disagree on is how to go about saving those lives. Since altruistic intentions are really the backbone of both sides of this argument, then we must appeal to logic, reason, and fact.

And even though it makes some of us uncomfortable, this conversation needs to take place.

Robert could go on about how he was raised by honey badgers in the Texas Hill Country, or how he was elected to the Texas state legislature as a 19-year-old wunderkind, or how he won 219 consecutive games of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots against Hugh Grant, but those would be lies. However, Robert does hail from Lewisville, Texas, having been transplanted from Fort Worth at a young age. Robert is a college student and focuses his studies on philosophical dilemmas involving morality, which he feels makes him very qualified to write about politicians. Reading the Bible turned Robert into an atheist, a combative disposition toward greed turned him into a humanist, and the fact he has not lost a game of Madden football in over a decade means you can call him "Zeus." If you would like to be his friend, you can send him a Facebook request or follow his ramblings on Twitter. For additional content that may not make it to Liberal America, Robert's internet tavern, The Zephyr Lounge, is always open