Dishonest Distinctions in Gun Control Advocacy

There’s gotta be a name for this that I’m not aware of, but it’s a working title so bear with me. I’m going to apply this in the case of firearms and gun control at the legislative level. What I mean by “Dishonest Distinction” is actually a combination of several rhetorical strategies that in themselves are not necessarily dishonest but have been combined and used for dishonest means by certain people. In this post, I am focusing only on those who advocate for gun control in these ways but if the shoe fits for any side in any issue, wear it (to include “pro-gun” advocacy).

Recently, we have seen and we will see again soon a rather spectacularly awful attempt at pushing ridiculous legislation that hurts the innocent and empowers the criminals. This was at the Federal level, it’s now at the State level and the Feds will bring up something else for us to battle at that level. The heat was on the Democrats primarily though not exclusively, and this statement applies to the absurd nonsense that was spouted in support of gun control in Congress. I don’t see in shades of Democrat or Republican and I don’t identify with either. It would be observed, however, that many did play party lines. If a self-identified Democrat out there wants to know how to argue on this issue, check out this fantastic article by pro-gun leftist “Kontra” on his blog that you have probably already seen. It’s not written as an instruction manual but it’s something you need to read if you haven’t yet.

Some of the most infuriating arguments I hear for gun control are those that focus on specific firearms or types of firearms as if they are truly different at the moral, esoteric, and grand level. This is the “Dishonest Distinction” in this case and it doesn’t have to do with logic or facts; it has everything to do with emotion. Arguing with an anti-gun person on the grounds of facts, specifically, is actually extremely easy (and it ain’t too much harder in terms of logic either, I’d say). It’s like playing a game of whack-a-mole. Some poor fool wants to ban this or that because they believe that an “assault” rifle’s main offenses are pistol grips and barrel shrouds (which is not a “shoulder thing that goes up”) or that a magazine is “spent” once there’s no more ammo in it or that an AR-15 is harder to aim and shoot than a double barrel shotgun – It goes on. So you just figuratively whack at ’em with a very simple correction as they pop up. Whack whack whack, not difficult and even kinda fun. Feel free to try for the high score.

Anyway, where was I? Ah, the origins of these arguments. I’m not a skilled or experienced historian, sociologist, or psychologist, but hear me out. At some level, we do tend to make certain distinctions. There’s nothing wrong with this if those distinctions actually matter at that particular level. The color of a car’s body paint job does not matter in regards to the function of its engine, and if the engine is your focus, that distinction is useless to you for that reason. If you are wondering, for example, whether your son or daughter will like the car, now it’s an aspect to seriously consider in addition to everything else. Get what I mean? Let’s reel it in a bit.

What many gun control advocates in Congress are doing is making useless distinctions, distinctions that have no place or relevance at the levels they are being brought to. If someone intent on mass murder uses any kind of firearm or uses bombs or chemicals or fire or deception or whatever to accomplish this, what does it matter what kind it is when you are talking about preventing an individual from wanting to commit this atrocity in the first place? What does it matter when you’re talking about whether you ought to, as a general rule, wait for the police instead of take some sort of action yourself? It doesn’t. It’s a dishonest distinction. The same arguments both for and against apply to them all.

It’s not legitimate at that level and it’s useless, so why are these distinctions made like this all the time? Because it’s a trick, a ploy, a scheme. The neocortex is the part of your brain that is responsible for logic and rational thought. It’s the limbic system one tier below that which controls emotions and some other things, and that is the primary target of this fallacious method. Below that is the ancient brain, the brain stem, that mainly controls instinct and sensory information (such as smells). Each tier is made up of several different components and are not always structurally distinct. The way they are distinguished is in their roles and their power. Each lower tier overrides the higher tiers as necessary, but each higher tier almost never overrides the lower tiers. So, the brain stem will override both the limbic system and the neocortex if deemed necessary, and the limbic system will override the neocortex if deemed necessary and if not already overridden by the brain stem, and the neocortex just kind of sits there and takes it.

Why emotions? Why go through the trouble at all? Gun control advocates in Congress want all of your guns, not just one or two or a few types. All of them. They know they’ll never get them all at once and will fail if they push too hard for that. So, they need to divide and conquer. They’ll chip away bit by bit until they get what they want, which is everything. The more they gain, the more we lose and the faster we lose it as we will have less people who can and will stand up and say “No”. The distinctions between different kinds of firearms brought up at the grand level serve this duplicitous purpose and this purpose alone. Of course logic doesn’t work, because there is none. It’s cheap shots. When emotion comes into play, our logic and reasoning tends to go out the window. It’s a natural thing and easy as hell to exploit. That is why the families of victims are scooped up and brainwashed in a time when their emotions are wreaking havoc, that is why they are brought to impart emotional control over you, that is why the mantra of “save the children” and similar is chanted repeatedly. The method exists solely to eat towards the end goal, not to save lives or do anything good. The unbearably long track record for gun control is abysmal in that latter department!

The distinction between the kinds of arms a criminal or madman is using and how they are using such things is valid at the tactical level and operational combat level. That is, what cover you use, how and when to retaliate or escape, how to treat the wounds, how far you gotta go to get out of range, what lessons you teach to those who engage in combat, etc. Basically, the common thread here is that it’s not advocacy for banning this or that but simply information that can help you decide how to react to the threat in front of you. It’s a resource, not a policy or law. I guess that digs into the root of the social condition a little bit. We eschew information, preferring instead the deceptive embrace of ignorance and false security. Knowledge isn’t everything, it really isn’t, but you can’t ignore the important things…

Anyhow, this is a good place to stop. I’ve said what I’ve wanted to say and I hope it makes sense to you. Thanks for reading, and don’t be afraid to share!

-DH

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~ by demonhide on May 2, 2013.

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