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Response to TPaine7 (Reply #88)

Mon Dec 19, 2011, 06:32 PM

92. Ahh, logical ineptitude in all it's glory. Bravo!

 

So let's start with your misrepresentation of the argument for gun control. If you read my posts you see that I repeatedly argue that gun policy should be based on balancing competing goods -- self-defense versus public safety. If you have gun laws that are so lax that it results in an overall increase in the amount of violence and death (like we have in the US), then this is completely self-defeating. Pro-gunners never seem to understand this, never seem capable of seeing beyond the immediate and trivial effects of policy.

For example, you make a big deal about the fact that in some cases, an individual may be better off in a given situation with easy access to a gun. But then you completely ignore the fact that this easy access to guns actually creates more such dangerous situations. You see, to me the objective is less violence and less death -- however this is best achieved, I'm in favor. But, it appears, to you, the value of a person who was not shot because the criminal was prevented from acquiring a gun doesn't hold as much value as a person who was not shot due to a successful act of self-defense.

On top of that is the fact that there are many means of self-defense that do not involve guns. Advocating a cost-benefit approach to guns does not mean opposition to self-defense. It just means valuing it accurately. In reality, not only is it possible to defend oneself without a gun, but the added defensive benefits of guns are highly questionable. There is very little evidence that owning or carrying a gun actually improves one's personal safety, and in fact most evidence actually points in the opposite direction. Again, what we have here is the black-and-white simpleminded gunner mentality where either someone is helpless or someone is secure. But reality is far more subtle than this.

In the end, the only argument you offer for why guns are essential to a free society is personal safety. And I agree, this is important. But, crucially, it's not the "gun rights" that matter, it's the safety itself. After all, a person killed by an armed criminal is no more free than a person who died because they couldn't defend themselves. A person killed by a stray bullet is no less dead than a person killed because they didn't have access to a gun.

If safety is the justification for gun rights, then it is simply absurd to set gun restrictions at such a low level that the increased gun violence results in a lower overall level of safety in society. In a sense, by admitting that this is about safety, you are forced to accept this utilitarian approach. And, as I've mentioned, on rational, utilitarian grounds, the NRA argument is pretty much unwinnable.

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LineLineLineLineLineLineLineNew Reply Ahh, logical ineptitude in all it's glory. Bravo!
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