Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Neil Macdonald: Death and delusion in a nation of assault rifles

Yet another "national discussion" about guns is under way here, and it's so anti-rational, so politically cowardly, so …unbearably stupid that you have to wonder how a nation that has enlightened the world in so many other ways could wallow in this kind of delusion.

Twenty children are dead, and journalists and politicians have assumed those breathy, semi-hushed tones that have become so much the norm in covering tragedies.

Everywhere, there is talk about "the grieving process," with pious asides thrown in about the need to "go home and hug your children," or pray.

As if that is going to accomplish anything.

The American audience is a giant emotional sponge looking for distraction from its collective gun craziness, and the media obliges, broadcasting endless montages of victims, with sombre, hymnal piano music playing underneath.

Matt's rebuttal:
You'll see in the above article was is called the "oreo argument strategy", whereby someone puts forth their opinion, then puts the real facts of the matter in the middle, and ends off with their opinion again. It's most often used when what they're saying is a) likely incorrect and that fact needs hiding, and b) when you want to change someone's behaviour without hurting their feelings.

He begins by stating how horrible assault rifles are. Agreed, they're meant to kill people, as are all guns, and everyone knows (or should know) that "hunting" was never the primary usage of such a weapon.

However, then comes the sweet, delicious cream of the piece. Gun ownership not only saved his and his family not once, but twice against possible assault or death, but it also saved a mother and her baby from a vicious intruder who, despite most people not being able to believe it, carried out a potentially fatal crime without needing a gun at all.

In summary, if you screen out the fluff from this piece, he's basically said the following: gun ownership has saved several lives, evil people will be evil regardless of what weapon they possess, and his father was a crack shot and therefore everyone should be limited to just one bullet because they should be just as good. As we know, reality operates much differently.

This man has never been kidnapped, beaten and tortured. His wife has never been raped, his children never slaughtered in their school, nor has he ever faced any situation outside of which daddy picked up his gun and took up the responsibility of defending him.

I continuously find the same anti-gun argument repeated over and over again. "Nothing bad has ever happened to me, or my neighbours, and therefore I nor they need to ever possess a gun, nor should anyone else in the world, because my experiences in life should be the sole markers by which other people gauge their own safety."

One again, reality trumps opinions. Take me on in the comments, you Christmas-cookie-eating liberals, you (just teasing, I'm genuinely interested in hearing what others think on this, since this is a big deal especially with the world collapsing around us).