Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Logical Fallacy of the current Gun Control discussion

As I've followed the gun control debate after the horrific incidents at Sandy Hook Elementary school, I've been amazed.  Not long ago I posted something that was very popular:  Lord Monckton's "The Logical Case Against Climate Panic."

One of the logical fallacies he pointed to in climate panic is being constantly used in this discussion.  It is the argumentum ad misericordiam, the fallacy of pity.  The line we hear again and again is, "Those poor children.  We can't ever let this happen again."  Like everyone else, I was horrified and deeply saddened by the slaughter of children perpetrated by a mentally-ill mass-murdering criminal.

Good policy doesn't arise from emotional pleas or the argumentum ad misericordiam, however.  Well and accurately did Thomas Sowell insist, "Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good." (Is Reality Optional?, 1993)  The media and leftists have done a great job of making sure we never blame the criminal for criminal acts.  "He had a terrible upbringing.  Society treated him poorly.  He was mentally ill."  None of these things eliminates personal choice.  None of them excuses criminal behavior.  If their view is that you can't blame the criminal for his actions, though, that leaves us with a problem.  Who do you blame?  The answer is anything you wish to alter or vilify.  In this case, guns are being blamed.

Once again I appeal to one of my favorite quotations:  "The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles."  (Jeff Cooper, The Art of the Rifle)

A serious study of the facts on gun control in America indicates that at the very least, lawful possession and carry of firearms doesn't increase crime.  The best evidence suggests it may even reduce crime.*  This is simply logical.  If you were a criminal, would you seek to victimize a safe, opposition-free target, or one that might shoot you in the face?  Why do you think would-be mass murderers so often choose to attack in "gun free" zones?

Here's the really scary part:  If we implement gun control policies which we already know don't work and gain therefrom a false sense of security, this will happen again.

Why would we return to failed policies that make our society easier to victimize?  Gun control doesn't work here.  It doesn't work in Finland.**  It doesn't work anywhere.  Self-defense does.  The special forces community provided us with some much better solutions to prevent future mass-murder events.  Why not focus on what works, instead of what "feels good"?

*Click the gun control label for previous posts with links to more information.
**Finland's would apparently be better served by tough alcohol control laws instead of tough gun control laws.

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