I’ve been watching cable news networks. What I’ve learned from this is that Piers Morgan of CNN likes to ask gun advocates questions, wait for them to begin speaking, then shout at them and drown out their voice. I understand why he does this, but it’s not effective. He does it because he already knows ahead of time what the advocates are going to say, so it’s not worth listening to them or giving them air time (I’m generalizing here, of course). I’ve also learned that there are two pro-gun arguments that are not only ready-at-hand to gun advocates, but which are also taken seriously as arguments with little mention of just how weak they are. Here they are:
P1. Responsible people enjoy sport shooting, and occasionally hunting, with ‘assualt rifles’ like the AR15.
C. Therefore, we shouldn’t ban assault rifles.
With this kind of logic, we might as well legalize anything that people enjoy, but also make sure, of course, that the mentally ill don’t get their hands on whatever it is that people enjoy if what they enjoy can be dangerous to others.
P1. Banning assault weapons is ineffective.
P2. When you ban assault weapons people find ways to get them anyway.
C. Therefore, we shouldn’t ban assault weapons.
Strangely, the next logical step here is not the suggestion that we should ban the production of assault weapons for commercial sale. Instead, it’s to get more assault weapons into the hands of civilians.
It’s going to take a long time reforming gun law as long as we continue to take seriously arguments like this.