While laws to disarm honest Citizens continue to be passed, DIY guns proliferate.
Knife attacks go up when guns are banned.
Vehicle assaults go up, when gun bans are enacted.
GHOST GUNS, are even more available when guns are banned.
People are going to find ways to commit crime, they are going to find ways to injure and kill, guns or no guns.
When morals are taught as being fluid, you have ambiguity as to what is right or wrong.
Moral Relativism is with us to stay, we just have to decide as individuals what moral path we take.
The ones who feel that they have proven their right to control their property, and live a life that they want, without interfering with others, often run into opposition with those who want to appropriate other’s property and do violence.
They prove their right to their property by earning it through work and wise investing.
Their are those who choose to rob and steal, even using armed assaults to acquire property.
So… the law abiding are subjected to rules and regulations to acquire a means to defend their property and families.
The law abiding can acquire means to build a gun outside of traditional routes to gun ownership.
Those who would otherwise not be LEGALLY allowed to acquire a firearm can also build a gun.
So… here we are, the law abiding, choosing to defend themselves, and own a firearm are barraged with negative attacks on their LEGAL firearms.
The ones who intend to harm can still get a gun, build a gun, and continue to rob, rape and, murder.
As Nation we have pushed away Moral Law, we have cheapened Human life, with Abortion and Euthanasia.
We have learned, in govt schools, a society at large, that it is not always wrong to steal, or lie.
If we don’t suffer the consequences for our actions, then we’re okay.
As we go farther from respect for each other, and as we move, even more, into the thinking that they have more than I do, we lose as a Society. We lose as a Nation.
While the huge majority of Americans are moral, are law abiding, we have an ever-growing population of Moral Relativists.
Among them are those who aquire Ghost Guns to harm others.
So… We who are aware of this in our society, can NOT ever be without arms to defend and protect ourselves.
If our guns are taken we are subject to the whims of those who will still have guns, and will rape, rob, and murder.
Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the world has changed for the better in almost every respect.
Since 1989, the number of people living in democracies has nearly doubled from 2.3 billion to 4.1 billion – and now makes up more than half the people on Earth. Of those remaining in an autocracy, four out of five live in China.
Since 1989, the percentage of the world’s population that lives in extreme poverty has been cut in half from a 52 percent majority to just 21 percent. Even more astonishing, the Brookings Institution reported in September 2018 that “for the first time since agriculture-based civilization began 10,000 years ago, the majority of humankind … some 3.8 billion people, live in households with enough discretionary expenditure to be considered ‘middle class’ or ‘rich.’”
Today, compared to 1989, we have more freedom, better life expectancy, higher literacy, lower child mortality, less disease, and less hunger than at any time in human history. If you could choose any era in human history in which to be born and you did not pick today you would be insane.
This dramatic expansion of human freedom and prosperity was unleashed by two factors: First, the collapse of socialism that fell along with the Berlin Wall; and second, the expansion of democratic capitalism under the protection of America’s unquestioned military and economic might.
The United States and its allies first defeated National Socialism and then Soviet socialism, and in the wake of those victories freedom and free enterprise are transforming the world, lifting billions of people out of poverty and misery.
And yet, a Gallup poll found that 58 percent of young Americans think that socialism would be a good thing for the country, while seven in 10 millennials said they would vote for a socialist candidate for president.
In an interview for our podcast, “What The Hell Is Going On?” Danielle Pletka and I asked U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard A. Grenell why socialism seems to be having a resurgence three decades after the end of the Cold War.
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“What’s really interesting is that here in Europe, I think it’s the opposite,” he told us. “There are young leaders coming on the scene, that are definitely not socialists and are capitalists and embracing capitalism in a big way.”
Grenell points out that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was born in East Germany, was recently asked what would have become of her if the wall had not fallen and the Soviet empire had not collapsed. “She flatly said, ‘I’d be in the United States.’”
Grenell says that we need to educate a generation that has not lived the experience of socialism about the evils of that system and the power of free enterprise.
“I think that we have a responsibility to tell the rest of the story, so to speak. Because you have to be able to show the end of socialism, what happens after you train a generation to just not embrace capitalism and not to embrace the hard work that goes with the idea that if you work hard, you can be better than your parents, you can have more, and you can have better. And I think that what we need to be able to do is tell the rest of the story.”
Provocative Atlantic asks how civil war can be avoided
In a provocative new issue, the Atlantic magazine asks how a civil war can be avoided
By DAVID BAUDER AP Media WriterNovember 12, 2019, 8:57 AM3 min read
The Atlantic magazine was founded in the years leading up to the Civil War, so it’s worth noting when it produces a special new issue on the theme, “How to stop a Civil War.”
The issue went to newsstands and its articles were posted online Tuesday, the day before the House begins public impeachment hearings on President Donald Trump, timing both fortuitous and coincidental.
“It seemed fairly obvious that a magazine of the American idea should look hard at the question of whether the country is coming apart,” said Jeffrey Goldberg, Atlantic’s editor.
He’s not comparing the current era to November 1857, when the first Atlantic issue was published, “but it does feel that something has come off the rails a little bit,” Goldberg said.
Among the pieces in the new issue are Yoni Appelbaum’s look at the impact of demographic changes, where nonwhites will soon become a majority; Jonathan Haidt and Tobias Rose-Stockwell’s report on the destabilizing effect of social media; and Jonathan Rauch and Ray La Raja’s examination of a political system that increasingly punishes moderate viewpoints.
“We have political and media and technological systems that reward extremism,” Goldberg said.
Trump is a symptom of what has been happening to the country, not the cause, the editor said.
Lest the issue seem unrelentingly negative, it also contains a wistful piece by author Tom Junod on how Mister Rogers might react to the current times, and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda explores the impact of art in a troubled era.
While Atlantic writers offer some suggestions on how to get beyond current problems, Goldberg cautioned that “it’s not the job of journalists to make you feel better. It’s the job of journalists to tell you what’s going on.”
It may seem quaint to think a magazine with a paid circulation of 450,000 could have an impact on the national conversation. But that measurement is a reflection of another time, too. The Atlantic’s website has 30 million unique visitors a month, Goldberg said.
The magazine has been growing, adding 80 new positions since announcing an expansion in February 2018. It launched a new digital subscription plan with three tiers of service in September. The Atlantic said its digital revenue growth has thus far exceeded expectations.
Goldberg said the response indicates a desire for carefully reported and edited long-form journalism.
“Our desire is to inform and contextualize and argue and provoke all at the same time,” he said.
The new issue also coincides with a redesign of both the magazine and website. The December issue’s cover image is a red and blue handprint.
Dedicated to those who can no longer argue for themselves.
As a citizen and a teacher of logic, I humbly offer as a public service this sampling of the many bad arguments made in response to even modest suggestions meant to reduce the number of deaths and injuries produced at the hands of individuals wielding assault-style firearms.
Some of these arguments are of a very recent vintage; others are clichés, well-worn by dint of repetition but still easily recognizable. Many have been uttered by politicians, pundits, and other public figures; countless variations are continuously issued from a multitude of social media feeds. All represent failures of reasoning in the eyes of logic.
Logic is the science of argumentation. Put in the simplest terms, logic defines an argument as one or more statements (called premises) that claim to provide reasons to believe another statement (called the conclusion). Here’s an example of a simple argument:
“The easy availability of assault-style firearms has led to too many mass shootings. Therefore, we need to ban these weapons, or at least more strictly regulate access to them.”
In my experience, this is where the gun debate starts, usually shortly after a mass shooting. I also think that among gun control advocates this is the most typical response to such shootings. I’ll call it the prime argument for gun control.
There are two ways to critique an argument: attack the truth of its premises, or show how the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises given. Demonstrating the falsity of a premise cannot help but weaken an argument. Showing that the conclusion doesn’t follow is to reveal a fallacy, a mistake in reasoning or the creation of an illusion that makes a bad argument appear good. Philosophers have spent centuries naming and categorizing these failures of reason.
For the most part, gun control opponents don’t directly address the prime argument. Instead, they rush to present counterarguments which they think are superior, but which often commit fallacies. I have paraphrased them here for the sake of brevity (and made explicit the implied conclusions), followed by a brief explanation of the fallacy committed. They are presented in no particular order.
(1) “Clearly, you people want to abolish the second amendment.” (Therefore, the prime argument is invalid.) Except the prime argument doesn’t argue for the abolishment of the second amendment. It argues for specific gun control policies, which is not the same thing. This is the straw man fallacy, which distorts an opponent’s argument beyond recognition for the purpose of more easily attacking it. The problem here is that this strategy leaves the prime argument completely unrefuted.
(3) “Any attempt to regulate firearms will infringe on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.” (And since we don’t want to infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens, we must not accept the conclusion of the prime argument.) This is the fallacy of false dilemma, where the premises present two alternatives as if they are the only ones available followed by the arguer eliminating the undesirable alternative, leaving the other as the only possible conclusion. But the prime argument easily dissolves this dilemma because, as I have just noted, there is no disjunction between the constitutional right to bear arms and gun regulation.
(4) “Even if we pass stricter gun regulation, people will find a way to get these weapons and these tragedies will still occur.” (Therefore, the prime argument is flawed.) If we accepted this logic we would have to repeal all laws that are not 100% effective—that is to say, all laws. This is known as the perfectionist fallacy, when realistic solutions are rejected because they are not perfect. Most people advancing the prime argument are under no illusion that stricter gun regulation will completely eliminate mass shootings. But any regulation that reduces the number of gun-related deaths is arguably a good enough reason to consider it.
(5) “The media loves to politicize these tragedies” or “millions of law-abiding Americans are being indicted as child murderers” or “it’s interesting that so many of these people who commit mass murders end up being Democrats” or “those who advocate gun control don’t even know the difference between a clip and a magazine, etc.” (Therefore, the prime argument is mistaken.) These are examples of red herrings. This is probably the most common fallacy committed in the gun debate, and it has an infinite number of variations. The way it works is by distracting the attention of the audience by changing the subject to a different but subtly related topic. But think about it: even if all of the premises above were true, they could not count as blows against the prime argument because each premise is completely irrelevant to that argument.
(6) “We have a terrible problem with obesity, but we’re not banning forks and spoons.” (Therefore, we cannot accept the conclusion of the prime argument.)Arguments by analogy depend on a comparison between two different things or situations that have a sufficient number of similarities to draw a strong conclusion. When there is not a sufficient number of relevant similarities between the things compared, the fallacy of weak analogy occurs. This can be seen in the (actual!) example above, provided by Florida state senator Dennis Baxley. The reason the analogy is weak should be obvious: I cannot recall the last time someone walked into a high school with a bag of silverware and force fed scores of students to death. This is admittedly pretty low-hanging fruit, but arguments by analogy are another staple in the argumentative arsenal of gun control opponents and more typically involve comparisons between guns and things like knives or cars. But the mistake they make that almost always renders these analogies weak is that they assume that because any object is potentially deadly all objects are potentially equally deadly. This is obviously false. After all, if all objects were equally deadly, we could ably defend ourselves against malevolent gun-wielders with any object whatsoever.
(7) “Guns aren’t the cause of mass shootings. The cause of mass shootings is mental illness, drug abuse, violent video games, and/or gun-free zones, etc.” (Therefore, the prime argument is based on a flawed premise.) This line of argument at least has the virtue of addressing the causal nature of the prime argument, which asserts that the ready availability of assault-style firearms causes mass shootings. Now it’s reasonable to claim that mental illness and drug abuse have played a factor in some mass shootings. But to claim that guns have had no causal role whatsoever in any mass shooting is absurd. In fact, the presence of guns is the one factor common to all mass shootings. This is a variety of the false cause fallacy, more specifically, oversimplified cause. After all, a person abusing drugs without a gun is . . . just a person abusing drugs. Similarly, an unarmed person suffering from mental illness is not going to shoot anyone so long as they have no access to firearms. Gun-free zones without guns are . . . gun-free zones where no one gets shot. This fallacy is most succinctly expressed by the NRA slogan: “Guns don’t kill people; people do.” No—it’s the combination of people and guns that kill.
(8) “Guns are not to blame because there have always been guns.” (Therefore, the prime argument must be dismissed out of hand.) First of all, the premise is historically incorrect, but if we interpret it in the spirit of generosity this is another case of oversimplified cause. No matter how much gun control opponents would wish it otherwise, guns will always play a role in gun deaths—by definition. Secondly, there is a lot of suppressed evidence here. At the founding of the republic we had a much smaller population owning single-shot firearms. Given the weapons technology of the time, it’s hard to imagine what a mass shooting would look like. Today gun ownership exceeds our current population of 320 million, and many of these weapons can rapidly fire several rounds in seconds. All of this disregarded data helps to explain the significant increase in the number of those killed or wounded by guns; it also undermines this argument.
(9) “As usual, the opportunists wasted not one second to exploit tragedy for political gain . . . What they want are more restrictions on the law-abiding—think about that . . . You should be anxious, and you should be frightened. If they seize power, if these so-called ‘European socialists’ take over the House and the Senate, and God forbid they get the White House again, our Americans freedoms could be lost and our country will be changed forever.” (Therefore, we must soundly renounce the prime argument.) These remarks from NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre are a perfect example of the slippery slope fallacy, which occurs when a conclusion rests on an alleged chain reaction of events when there is not sufficient reason to think this chain reaction will occur. Will the banning or regulation of assault-style firearms kick off a chain of events that will result in the loss of all our constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms? I am doubtful, especially since the Supreme Court has ruled that private gun ownership can be subjected to regulation. There is also clearly an appeal to fear here, aimed at irrational suspicions and fears founded on no solid evidence.
(10) “But the purpose of the second amendment is to allow citizens to resist a tyrannical government.” (Therefore, we must reject the prime argument.) This argument is not fallacious, and in fact it might be the strongest argument on this list. Still, the premise is questionable. First, it is not at all clear that this was the intended purpose of the amendment, and many historians have argued against this reading. Secondly, as a practical matter, it seems dubious that independent and disorganized citizens could effectively oppose the combined forces of the U.S. military armed with 21st century weapons technology. And third, the premise seems to assume that the only way to resist tyranny is react to it through force of arms. In fact, strong arguments have been made that a more efficient way of preventing tyranny is when it is but in design, through proactive civic and political engagement.
(11) “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” (Therefore, the prime argument must be rejected.) There’s no fallacy here but the argument glosses over the fact that we already have “good guys with guns”: law enforcement officers trained to handle firearms to keep the public peace on our behalf. The premise also makes so many assumptions that it can’t possibly stand by itself. It assumes that “good guys with guns” are as well-trained as professional police in active shooter situations, which are not the same as hunting or target shooting. It assumes that all professional police officers draw and fire their weapons over the course of their careers, and that they always hit their intended targets. It assumes spontaneous and seamless tactical coordination between civilian good guys with guns and law enforcement and/or other good guys with guns, in a fluid, chaotic, and lethal encounter with a bad guy with a gun. It assumes that increasing the number of weapons in such a situation make it less lethal and not more so—despite the fact that in such a situation we can more reasonably assume vastly different levels of active shooter training, ranging from none at all to expert, and even more importantly, different levels of real world experience. Perhaps most obviously, surely “bad guys with guns” have been stopped by people not armed with a gun. Until these assumptions are adequately supported, this will remain a very weak argument.
(12) “Gun control proponents are socialist snowflake libtards who are only interested in exploiting this issue for political gain.” (Therefore, the prime argument is suspect.) The argument against the person (or Argumentum ad Hominem) tries to refute an argument by verbally abusing the author of the argument, or by suggesting that their circumstances makes them predisposed to argue in a certain way. Unfortunately, calling your opponents names does nothing to undermine their arguments, and noting that they might be inclined to argue in certain ways is logically irrelevant to the force of the arguments themselves. The same holds true in the gun debate.
(13) “The so-called ‘victims’ of mass shootings are actually crisis actors who participate in false flag operations in order to engineer the mass confiscation of all firearms.” (Therefore, we must not fall for the prime argument!) This is an example of conspiratorial thinking, which has sadly become more prevalent of late in regard to this and other important issues. Conspiratorial thinking is a form of hypothetical reasoning, and so is similar to the kind of thinking that happens in science. Like scientists, those who advance conspiracies are attempting to explain phenomena by advancing hypotheses—but this is where the similarity ends. Scientists have a rigorous method of formulating hypotheses, drawing out their implications, and then testing these implications in an attempt to prove their hypotheses through careful observation, measurement, and mathematical expression, all of which are subject to peer review. Conspiracy theorists, by way of contrast, tend to generate hypotheses in an ad hoc fashion, are lax about what does and does not count as legitimate evidence, have no well-developed method for testing their hypotheses, and there is no peer review in the “science” of conspiracy. In fact, conspiracy theorists rarely attempt to prove their hypotheses. More often than not they simply put forward a piece of speculation and then fall back on an appeal to ignorance, a fallacy that claims something has been proved by virtue of nothing being proved one way or the other about that something. An appeal to ignorance in the present context might look like this: “No one has ever proved conclusively that the so-called ‘victims’ of mass shootings are not crisis actors, so we must conclude that these ‘victims’ are indeed crisis actors.”Any rational person can see that this argument provides no positive evidence for its claim, and a lack of evidence reveals nothing but our ignorance.
I know this list is not exhaustive, but I am confident it is representative. I also know that this list will make no impression whatsoever on those who dogmatically oppose reasonable gun legislation. My point in making it public is to show the vast majority of Americans who favor such legislation that reason is not on the side of this loud and dogmatic minority. Nevertheless, these fallacies muddle the debate and threaten to keep us trapped in a permanent state of confusion with no way out of a state of affairs that continues to destroy countless lives every year. The sooner we as a society become wise to these failures of reasoning, the sooner we can move toward a reasonable compromise that will reduce the number of gun-related deaths and injuries on our streets and in our homes, schools, and other public places.
Originally posted February 25, 2018 Last revised April 15, 2018
The least likely to commit a gun crime are being punished, with a gun tax in some cities. Gun owners are large consumers of other products in the market. CEOs and cities take note…
When companies move in ways that are against our beliefs and our lifestyles, we simply take our business else where.
So… Cities imposing extra taxes on guns, and ammo, are simply moving businesses and citizens to other venues to do their purchasing, and selling, of not only guns, but other items in the market.
A legal, vetted, citizen buys a gun, going through the many steps, then they are taxed, extra.
This is an infringement on the honest Citizen. The business is within their legal right to do this. Some have thought this through and feel it may help the ‘gun problem’.
The ‘gun problem’.
Is the media making social pariahs of lawful citizens
Our national detractors have bolstered the ‘gun problem’. Pushing the reduced access of guns to the general population of the country.
Using children to decry the ‘gun problem’.
Creating narratives that are partially true to address the ‘gun problem’.
To address the ones most likely to commit a gun crime, how about teaching that guns are a tool for a purpose, self defense, hunting, sports, and not an answer to retaliate for the perceived wrongs in a person’s life?
How about not excoriating the honest citizen that owns guns.
How about beating the drum, to promote values that move against gun violence;
Government programs that work to keep families together.
Promoting ideals that describe and promote a strong male/father figure in families.
Promoting sanctity of human life in all it’s stages, from birth to old age.
How about NEVER naming mass shooters, to keep them from being notorious.
Beating the drum to appeal the 2nd amendment? Maybe we can call the Media on that one. Our enemies love this.
The enemies of our nation continue to put a public face on working for peace, working for trade equality, and working for building a cleaner and more equitable world for everyone.
Behind the curtain, behind the smoke, behind the smiles and ingratiating head nods, our enemies are paying out big time to dis arm our citizens. Many in Media are well aware of the AGENDA.