January 25, 2013

Shootin' Blanks

Hatched by Dafydd

I'm not here to argue the case for gun liberty. Rather, I take up the smart man's burden to do battle on the field of logic, rhetoric, and rationality.

Jon Stewart (of Daily Show fame) seems to be under the impression that he, being a logical prodigy, and being for "gun control" in all its manifest denials of essential liberty, has definitively refuted the most popular arguments against gun banning and confiscation. Let's see if that claim holds more than a raindrop or two of water.

Here are the five arguments he supposedly debunks -- wherein I debunk the debunking, or D²Bunk the immortal Stewart...

Argument #1 – We don’t outlaw cars because of drunk driving

Stewart's proposed debunking: Many laws have been passed to reduce drunk driving; "Cars have not been outlawed, but sensible regulations have been passed."

D²Bunking: The laws passed prohibited dangerous misuse of cars -- for example, driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. I doubt that any gun-rights supporter would object to similar laws prohibiting dangerous misuse of guns (for example, firing celebritory rounds into the air in a big city).

But the anti-gun laws that Stewart supports infringe upon perfectly legitimate use of guns and even their possession -- all those guns and magazines that would be banned under the new proposal by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA, 90%). Now if Mr. Stewart can show me even one single make and model of car that was banned from possession and sale because of its perceived association with drunk drivers, I will concede the point.

Good luck on that one, Mr. Stewart.

Argument #2 – No gun control law will be perfect

Stewart's proposed debunking: All we need do is undertake "a 'series of steps' which, implemented over time, could improve the situation."

D²Bunking: This argument is such a straw man, it should have been delivered by Ray Bolger.

Not even the grainiest anarchist argues that because the law cannot be perfect, we should have no laws! (Even if he's against all laws, he would come up with a better rationale for it.)

So what is the real argument that Stewart caricatures? The real argument is not that "no gun-control law will be perfect," but that the particular gun-control laws proposed are not even rational. Rifles and pistols are added to the ban-list of "military-style assault weapons" for purely arbitrary, capricious, and cosmetic reasons.

Too, gun-rights supporters argue that the fundamental premise of gun control is flawed, because it assumes that a criminal who is willing to commit assault, robbery, rape, or even murder will nevertheless recoil from violating a gun-control law.

Argument #3 – The solution is more guns

(That is, the argument that the way to stop a bad guy with a gun is via a good guy with a gun.)

Stewart's proposed debunking: Many shooters have body armor and assault weapons (using definition du jour).

D²Bunking: All right, then the solution is good guys with more high-powered guns! Don't arm your school guards with .22 caliber target pistols. Give them something more substantial. Even the most military-looking semiauto is a lot cheaper than the guard who fires it, so go for the gusto. Let every school contain an arsenal.

Argument #4 – The Second Amendment prohibits gun regulation

Stewart's proposed debunking: "Stewart begs to differ, saying the Second Amendment only grants the right to bear arms to a “well-regulated militia."

D²Bunking 1: Long discredited. The grammatical structure of the Second Amendment does not place "well-regulated militia" in the subject but leaves it as a subordinate clause. Its only purpose is to give a reason why it's there in the first place. It's explanation, not limitation.

Stewart's other proposed debunking: "[M]any weapons are already banned,"

D²Bunking 2: Thus proving that it's constitutional to ban weapons! If I get my city to prohibit speeches by Occupiers, does that therefore prove that it's constitutional to limit the speech of Occupiers?

Courts strike down laws every year on constitutional grounds; ever since Marbury v. Madison, that has been one of the major duties of the Supreme Court and lower courts. For example, just today, the D.C. Circus struck down Barack "Recess!" Obama's inter-session recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. The fact that "many weapons are already banned" doesn't mean they were properly banned; courts will eventually have the final say on that.

Argument #5 – Any gun control will lead to a tyranny where all guns are taken away

Stewart's proposed debunking: No politician is openly advocating confiscation of all guns [well, actually many are; but let's press on]; therefore, fears of gun-grabbing are irrational.

D²Bunking: Just one word... The United Kingdom.

The defense rests.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 25, 2013, at the time of 5:48 PM

Comments

The following hissed in response by: brotio

Stewart's proposed debunking: Many shooters have body armor and assault weapons (using definition du jour).

D²Bunking: All right, then the solution is good guys with more high-powered guns! Don't arm your school guards with .22 caliber target pistols. Give them something more substantial. Even the most military-looking semiauto is a lot cheaper than the guard who fires it, so go for the gusto. Let every school contain an arsenal.

D3Bunking: The idea that a .357 slug to the chest won't cause intense pain, because the person shot is wearing body armor is nonsense. It's going to knock Mr Body Armor on his ass. Armor might save his life. It won't save him from potentially-incapacitating pain.

The above hissed in response by: brotio [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2013 12:00 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for hissing in, . Now you can slither in with a comment, o wise. (sign out)

(If you haven't hissed a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Hang loose; don't shed your skin!)


Remember me unto the end of days?


© 2005-2009 by Dafydd ab Hugh - All Rights Reserved