Wednesday, February 13, 2013

One of the stranger arguments in the gun debate

Occurred yesterday.  Somehow, Americans who may in some vague and non-stated way not support the measures currently proposed by the Obama administration are hypocrites because - wait for it - Obama said we have to get serious about North Korea's recent nuclear weapon test.  It took me forever to figure out what was being said.  A link to the Drudge site didn't help.  In the end, based largely on watching the comments pick up, I concluded there was an attempt to draw a moral equivalency between wanting to keep a country like Korea from getting nuclear weapons and wanting to keep maniacal killers from having fire arms.  I suppose.  But the worst part was this:
As near as I can tell, it boils down to acceptable losses. The thousands we lose each year to gun violence are an acceptable tradeoff for us. Los Angeles is not an acceptable tradeoff. So we accept the idea of states regulating the access of evil maniacs to one sort of arms, but reject the idea of states regulating the access of maniacs to another sort of arms.
And this illustrates a pockmark upon so much of our modern dialogue; a tendency that suggests we haven't learned much from the mistakes of the past. Even assuming we can draw comparisons between an oppressive and evil dictatorship obtaining nuclear weapons with not having enough regulations on guns, do we actually think that those who oppose these suggestions conceded they are good, but because of some gun-worship don't want them, and are happy to let innocents die to keep their precious guns?  Really?  Could it be they think that regulations or changes might do more harm than good, or cause even more innocents to die? Or maybe they want to get to the root causes, rather than spend 99% of our efforts on things that might possibly only prevent 01% of the problems?  I should also add that the tendency of these vague and non-committal swipes and poorly defined groups that I mentioned some time ago doesn't excuse the tactic.

I have news for the Internet, especially the Catholic variety. Jack Chick sinks that low sometimes.  Some fundamentalists and more radical liberal denominations have gone there.  But for the most part, not following the talk show/cable news approach and manifesting the worst those outlets have to offer would go a long way.  Resisting the notion that there's beautiful me and the hip cool people like me, and everyone else who disagrees because they are stupid and/or evil could elevate the discussion. We should be showing the world how it's really done.  Not taking the worst of what the world has to offer and justifying it because we're obviously so right.

Perhaps that's why this little and oft ignored gem in that 'optional' section of the Catechism  right next to the all important 'never lie for any reason' portion, should be moved to the 'real Catechism we should all listen to' portion:
2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278 He becomes guilty:- of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;279- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.280


  1. And now John C Wright has arrived, should be interesting.

    It's depressing to see just how unhinged Shea is getting with this issue and...

    Ok, let me use the analogy with children's toys.

    Comparing North Korea + nukes to citizens + guns is like comparing keeping an xbox out of the hands of the school admin staff vs keeping see saws from private citizens. Seriously consider just a moment how much easier it would be to keep an xbox from some people compared with a see-saw.

    Nukes are complex and require a lot of rare parts, it's not that hard to keep a tight lid on them. Guns are extremely simple and require common parts.

    Oh speaking of...
    right next to the all important 'never lie for any reason' portion

    I laughed because in the comments to here:

    Someone wrote:
    Uh oh. Don’t tell you-know-who that Pius XII is a “liar for Jesus”, just like Lila Rose.

  2. Good point about guns and see saws, as best as I can tell. Again, I'm not a gun expert, I just recognize crappy arguments when I see them. And yes, Mark seems to be increasingly emotional. Plus, so much of the rancor is aimed at other faithful Catholics with whom he disagrees, rather than how it was years ago. Back then, it was aimed at Catholics who basically wanted to tear the Church down and rebuild it in some liberal pro-choice image, or anti-Catholic fundamentalists, or anti-Christians in general. It's a dangerous thing to start looking at those in the next pew who insist they're on the team and the team's OK, and let fly anyway.

    As for the lying, I've was somewhat taken how that issue went down, and how things were said, when the section right beside the lying part was reasoned away by many insisting on the unwavering literal take on the lying part. Go figure.


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