Wednesday, February 13, 2013

An appropriate response to gun control assumptions

Written in response to the previously referenced post:

“So what’s the basic difference between this and our own domestic debates? As near as I can tell, it boils down to acceptable losses.” 
Friend, you are letting rhetoric usurp logic here. It does not boil down to ‘acceptable losses’ and no one who argues in favor of an expansive interpretation of the Second Amendment has ever said it does. 
Are you honestly unaware of what the arguments are in favor of a republic maintaining an armed citizenry? I am not asking if you agree with the arguments, merely if you are aware of what they are. 
If you are aware of such arguments, then answer them. Answer our arguments at their strongest point, if you think your argument can carry the day. But to pretend we say something we did not say, and to answer that instead, is what is called a ‘straw-man’ argument. It is a trick of rhetoric, not something a serious man does when pondering a question seriously. 
Here are the arguments you have to address: 
First, an armed citizenry is the best guarantee of maintaining the liberty of a free peopleSecond, even if this first consideration is secondary to the safety concerns which require some reasonable regulation of arms, the Congress has no authority to pass any such regulation. 
Third, even if state and local governments (who do possess that authority) wish to pass such laws, it must be done in a fashion which has the smallest possible effect on the legitimate ownership of arms by law-abiding citizens — this is a principle of the common law extending back to the Twelfth Century, namely that no law should be overbroad. 
Fourth, if a proposed law or regulation is found that places a minimal burden on lawful ownership of arms, whether the law will be efficient or inefficient? Both common sense and scientific studies show that areas with the most restrictive gun laws (Chicago, DC, LA) also have the highest rates of gun violence, whereas those with the least, have the least. See, for example, John Lott’s MORE GUNS LESS CRIME. 
Finally, the analogy between me, a law-abiding and honest citizen of a free country who has both the right and the duty to defend myself and my family from crime, assault, and tyranny, and the mad dictator who is himself one of the tyrants the whole point of civil society is meant to fight, and, with God’s help, abolish, is an analogy that looks at the shallowest possible surface phenomena and ignores the substance. 
Please resist the temptation to indulge in merely rhetorical scoring of points. Our current public discourse already suffers from far too much of this nonsense, and it generates emotion without addressing the logic.

I think the first question was the most important: if you don't know the arguments, don't  judge and condemn those who hold them. I admit I know little of the gun advocate side, since I don't personally own any guns.  As I said here, I hunted with my Dad, but that was many moons ago.  I do notice things, such as the tendency of those who push for tighter gun regulations to also want to regulate things like religious freedom, by way of the HHS mandate.  I'm also not stupid enough to miss that there are those who would ban all guns tomorrow if they think they could.  I even notice that the Bishops seem to have suggested it's time to ditch all handguns.  I don't know.  I don't know what the answer is.  I just know that when I start hearing "I'm right/you're stupid or evil (or both)", I immediately begin to get suspicious.  Well done Mr. Wright.

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