Skip to main content

Christmas is fast approaching, for those of you who do that sort of thing.  Many of us are heading to see family, those folks we wouldn't hang out with if it weren't for our shared genetic material.  Some of us are dreading the gun-enthusiast cousin or uncle, who we just know is going to blather on about guns loudly and confidently in the hopes of squelching the conversation before it starts.

Last week's gun massacre in Newtown, CT finally forced us to start up that conversation on our nation's gun problem.  Some of us have leapt to the solution stage--- many argued for more gun control, and more than a few of us have argued for gun removal.  Maybe those are the solution, I don't know, but it's nice to see ideas out there. Still, I want to put first things first: Our country has to admit that we have a problem with guns and that we have to do something about it.

For too long, we've avoided a conversation about this problem.  That's because the gun lobby and its supporters know that they're on the losing side of history.  So they try to squelch the conversation before it starts.  First with manipulation ("it's too soon"), and then with a long litany of fallacious excuses that allow us to sweep the bodies under the rug and put the question off for another day.  

And what for? We keep refusing to admit our nation's problem with its guns, because some of us are afraid that the solution to the problem might infringe on their lifestyle.
Most of the excuses are slippery slope fallacies, straw men, or simply built out of sheer paranoia (of a type that ought to get one disqualified from gun ownership, if you ask me).

Getting our country to admit the problem is the first step.  Doing so one family at a time will be far more effective than all the TV mouthpieces can ever hope to be.  Moreover, I believe that marginalizing the "nuts" will help members of the healthier aspects of gun culture (like hunting or target shooting) to step forward and contribute to the conversation with their knowledge and expertise.  Because I for one have had it with the unhealthier gun enthusiasts and their lame excuses.

We've been hearing these excuses for decades.  Wayne LaPierre's monumental paean to refusing personal accountability last Friday brought them to the forefront.  Despite every shooting involving guns, guns are not a contributing factor to shootings.  Like I said, fallacious.  So what do we do when our relative opens up his gaping maw of foul fallacy? See below the squiggle.
 

disclaimer: Before we get started, I know that the excuse-maker in this scenario might not be an actual gun nut.  And he might be a woman.  Normally I'd use singular they. But this diary is based off a comment I made to someone worried about a male relative, and I didn't change it, for timeliness' sake.

What to do when the excuse-slinging starts?

  Fake a yawn.  Tell him, blasé, that those are the same lame excuses we've been hearing for decades now.  Politicians only put up with them because they were afraid of the gun lobby's effect on their campaigns, not because anybody actually believed them.  The pols aren't so afraid anymore, so reform is on the way.  Funny how using a gun to kill a bunch of kids can affect people, isn't it?  Tell him that if you were him, you'd sell your guns now while there's still a market for them.  Then ask him if he wants a refill on his eggnog.

The problem isn't the guns, it's the "bad guys".  It's mental illness.

Tell him that these "bad guys" shooting up schools were good guys when they got their guns.  If he blames "mental illness", remind him that most shooters (mass or not) are not mentally ill, there's no evidence that this shooter was mentally ill, and that mental illness can happen to anyone at any time, just like any other illness.  That said, addressing and destigmatizing mental illness is a noble goal, and we can do that, too.

If there were more armed guards, this would never have happened.
 

Tell him that Columbine had armed guards, and so did Fort Hood.  And besides, if we put guards in schools, they'll just go to theaters.  Hospitals. Stadiums. Libraries. And so on.  Are we going to put a cop everywhere the public might gather?  Is he going to pay the taxes for that?  Why not just pay the taxes to buy back the most lethal guns?  

Well that's what concealed carry is for/everyone should have a gun

Tell him that fewer Americans buy guns every year (though those that do buy are buying more). Tell him that therefore, having everyone buy a gun is basically a (de facto) government mandate.  (I'm assuming he was against mandates when it was Obama's idea.)  Tell him that more health insurance is proven to help people; more guns are proven to hurt us.

An armed society is a polite society.

Tell him that a society where everyone is armed is not a society anymore.  It's gangland.  Which is... not safe at all, actually.  And the American people say no to that.  It's Somalia. It's any number of places without central authority.  Places where, in the real world, we don't actually live. The US has plenty of central authority. And plenty of not-so-central authority.  

The problem is the "criminals" with their "illegal guns"

Tell him that every illegal gun used to be a legal one, so getting rid of legal ones stops that problem.

How are you gonna get rid of all the guns?

Australia and the UK both did successful mandatory buybacks of illegal guns. Neither has had a mass shooting since, and they have had fewer single shootings and suicides. If America can put a man on the moon, I believe that America can surely handle a gun buyback. Doesn't he?

If you ban guns, only "criminals" will have guns.

Tell him that if we ban guns, not only will "criminals" have guns, but police, national guard, and the military will, too.  

Tell him that besides, if we ban certain types of guns, and you keep yours, you are no longer law-abiding, but a criminal, and deserve to be treated like one.

The "madmen" will use knives, sticks, anything, if they don't have guns

Save the hypotheticals for law school.  These killers, and the non-mass shooters, used guns.  All we know for sure is that if they didn't have guns, they wouldn't have shot anyone.  The rest is pure speculation to make ourselves feel less guilty.

I don't think we should take away our guns.

Tell him that there is a difference between gun removal and gun control, and that the second is happening no matter what.  He should be glad the first one isn't, too.  Yet.

But, but the 2nd Amendment!

Tell him we/the courts can interpret the 2nd amendment however we like, just like we do with the other 26. If you want to scare him, point out that Obama will likely appoint 2 justices this term, and with the coming filibuster reform, they'll likely be pro-gun control.  Maybe even pro-gun removal. Bwa ha ha ha.  

What about all the "criminals" "out there"?

Tell him that him being afraid of a "criminal" is no reason to make normal people afraid of him.  Tell him that a 'crazy' person never thinks he's the crazy one. (substitute with creepy, or whatever negative adjective might be most appropriate).  Since we're trading fears, we go to majority rules.  And most Americans want fewer guns out and about, putting them and their families in danger.

I feel like I need a gun to defend myself

Tell him that his guns are ten times as likely to be used for suicide or homicide as they are for self-defense.  And that most of these people were "responsible" gun owners, just like him.  Tell him he's like one of those people who drive because they're afraid to fly, even though flying is actually far safer.  Being behind the wheel gives the illusion of control, which makes some people feel better. Carrying or owning a gun gives the same illusion, for the same good feelings.  

By your logic we should ban cars, too. Cars kill people, right?

Tell him that cars are different from guns because a) cars only kill when things go wrong; guns kill when they are used for their designed purpose.  b) we've enacted car control legislation over the last 60 years that has cut deaths to their 1950 levels (not the rate, but the absolute number! The rate is 1/7 of the 1950 rate.)  c) we've enacted drunk-driving controls and the rate of DD-deaths has dropped 60% since 1982. d) we did not pretend there wasn't a problem because some drivers were afraid that the solution to the problem would infringe on their lifestyle.  We curtailed the dangerous aspects of car and booze culture, and this liberated the safer aspects.

The people need to be armed to protect their liberty

Tell him that a well-regulated militia is not necessary for the security of a free state; we have police and a standing army for that.  Some countries don't even have an army.  In 1789, police hadn't been invented yet, and the army was nearly non-existent, so they thought they needed a militia.  By the war of 1812, they realized the error of their ways.  

We shouldn't punish "repsonsible" gun owners because of a few bad apples.

Tell him that every "irresponsible" gun owner used to be a responsible one.

But guns don't kill people; people kill people.

Tell him that if guns don't kill people, they don't protect people, either.

I'd like to see the government try and take my guns/ cold dead hands  

Tell him that the government isn't coming for his guns; the American people are.   Besides, I'd rather pry a gun from your cold dead hands, than a crayon from the cold, dead hands of yet another shooting victim.  Just sayin'.

Tell him that there is literally zero chance that any hobby arsenal can stand up the unparalleled might of the United States Armed Forces.  Anyone who tells themselves otherwise is delusional, period.  The Vietnamese and Taliban could run to other countries when the action got too hot.  He cannot.

The population needs to keep guns to stand up to tyrannical government

Tell him that all the gains in civil rights were won non-violently; that the people fighting liberties were the ones using guns.  Tell him that the people of Tunisia overthrew their dictator despite the lowest gun ownership rate in the world. (Not to mention his completely cynical and paranoid lack of faith in American democracy and America itself.  Hammer that in.).  Tell him that Syria's rebellion got nowhere until army units defected with army weapons.

Hitler/Mao/Stalin had gun control

Totalitarian dictatorships have enacted gun control and removal. But so have peaceful democracies.  Neither turned into the other as a result--- the dictatorships kept on being dictatorships.  The democracies kept on being democracies.  We have a democracy now. If we disarm ourselves, we'll still have a democracy.  Tell him to cut the theatrics.

Everyone has a gun in Switzerland, and they don't have as much violence

Tell him that Swiss men with military rifles in their house are all reservists who train regularly.  They don't have the ammo for their rifles, or they have it under seal, and they are not allowed to use the rifles if someone breaks in.  Tell him that ever since Israel made its reservists keep their guns at the base, servicemen suicide has dropped 60%.

Canada has a gun culture, too.  They don't have the violence we have.  Thus the problem is the people.

Tell him that the fact that other countries have guns and no violence only tells you that other countries can handle their guns, and we can't.  

Tell him that the problem isn't just guns; it's Americans with guns.  You have to get rid of one or the other, but you can't get rid of the Americans.  So there's no other choice, I'm afraid.  Unless he wants to move to another country.

Banning guns won't stop all gun violence
Tell him that no law stops all the behavior it means to (we have rape laws, and yet there are still rapes). But nobody is that naive except in NRA pamphlets; the laws reduce the unwanted behavior.

Guns aren't the necessary factor for shootings

Tell him that for all the shootings, all over the world, there is only one thing they ALL have in common, and it isn't video games.  (Two things if you count the victims being human.)

It's the violent movies and video games
Tell him that we used to watch real-life violence as entertainment--- in sport (boxing, cockfighting, dogfighting), comedy (three stooges, tom and jerry), and the civic arena (hangings, firing squads, lynchings).  Besides, even if movies and video games did make us want to shoot people, it's nothing but guns that give us the ability.  

Tell him that if there's anything wrong with the media, it's that it feeds the delusion that a lone gunman is the solution to all of life's problems.  Even when that lone gunman is a cop or a soldier, they generally are "loose cannons" who don't play by society's rules (Die Hard, 48 Hrs, Dirty Harry, etc).  This delusional fantasy is at the heart of the unhealthy aspects of gun culture, even finding its way into our legislation (Make My Day laws, etc).  In the real world, we don't live on the lawless frontier anymore, and the vast majority of us will never experience anything remotely resembling one.  See the comment above about risk assessment.  [Note: This is just one of a long list of delusions that underpin conservative ideology, but that's for another diary].

Chicago/DC has strict gun laws, and high gun crime.

Tell him that cities pass strict gun laws because they had high gun violence first, not the other way around.  That's why many cities even in the Wild West straight up banned guns in the city limits.

Tell him that states with more guns have higher rates of murder, suicide, and assault deaths.

We shouldn't pass legislation based on kneejerk emotional reactions to tragedy

Tell him you and the majority of Americans have felt this way for decades, we've only been silenced by the conversational bullying of the NRA and its lapdogs.  What he's afraid of is our pent-up frustration and anger finally being released. Tell him it's like a reservoir that filled up behind a dam... all the gun violence put cracks in the dam, and the Newtown gun massacre broke the dam.  You can't put the water back in the reservoir.  

...
Whew, that's a long diary.  But then again, the gun lobby and its parrots have come up with a LOT of excuses over the years. And I'm sure I've left some out.  

You can mix it up with your family member, or you can just defuse it all and tell him to pass the ham already, because this is SO boring.  Most importantly, don't get riled up.  Keep your cool.  Make him get all in a huff.   You won't convince him of anything (any more than he would you).  But it's not him you're aiming for, it's the audience.  Not just those needing convincing, but those who agree but maintain the NRA-imposed silence on this issue, and will come up to you later and thank you for standing up.  

Help burst the dam a little more, and let the floodwaters wash away everything the NRA has built to stand in the way of our nation's progress.  

P.S I wholeheartedly welcome contributions from gun owners and enthusiasts who have something to offer besides the same old excuses.  Many of you have already written stirring diaries to that effect.  These have offered  refreshing and insightful contributions to this conversation, which is going to happen now, no matter what: The delaying excuses we've seen over the last decades just don't cut it anymore.  

Originally posted to Curious Kansan on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:44 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  What if the problem is going away? (3+ / 0-)

    Would a decrease in firearm homicides be good?
    Do you dislike death and misery or just guns?

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:55:19 PM PST

    •  Good question! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharon Wraight

      although, yes, the phrasing could use some work.

      It is indisputable that violence is at an all-time low. This is the least violent era in history, including the 20th century. (Steven Pinker's recent book will bury you with the evidence that this is the case)  It is also indisputable that violent crime in the US is on a downward trend, and is approaching the numbers from the 1950's, when the trend was also downward from the past.  [This means that the question about crime isn't why it dropped since 1992, but why it ever rose in the 60's to begin with; we're now back to where we were.] Perhaps, you suggest, we can just let this trend continue, and keep our toys/instruments of death.  

      The thing is, there are two things to consider.  One is that the trend is driven by the civilizing effect of central authority, increased democracy, and universal education.  As one of our political parties is determined at reversing all three of these factors, we cannot consider the trend to be irreversible.  We may need to help it.  And there is no real reason not to nudge the trend along, except to preserve a lifestyle that isn't fit for the 21st century.

      Which leads to the second thing to consider. It goes to a point I made up there; the problem isn't just guns, it's us.  It's the gun culture that's the problem.  It feeds the frontier delusion.  Back in the day, we didn't have central authority, much democracy (if any), and very little education.  Guns were necessary for many people, notably those actually on the frontier (Natives included).  But frontier areas were extremely violent.  Some towns had murder rates of 1 in 4!  Range wars and family feuds and vendettas were routine.  Most of American civilization has moved on from this mentality as the nation grew up.  But the gun culture is stuck in it--- just listen to what they say about "defending themselves" against "bad guys", "being the hero (in the white hat)", and how the police are incompetent (and see my replies above-- it is indisputable that having guns around makes a person less safe, no matter how 'responsible' they are.).  

      The gun culture is what I am against. It's a rot on American society and it needs to go.  If that requires gun removal, so be it.  If not, then not.  But the conversation will take place.  

      That said, I don't know if you are an afficionado of gun culture.  If you are, I suggest taking a long, hard look at yourself.  Ask yourself if the cost to your country is worth the personal pleasure you derive from your lifestyle.  If you're not, but you are pro-gun, I suggest you distinguish yourself from them. To go back to the dam metaphor, move your house out of the floodplain, lest you be swept away with the NRA.  

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 08:02:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Does the right to bear arms (11+ / 0-)

    outweigh the right of a child not to be shot to death?

    Excellent points, I disagree with a couple, but thank you for the diary.

  •  The First Seven First Graders Autopsied..... (17+ / 0-)

    had 3-11 bullets in each of their little bodies.  Get graphic.  Bring it up @ every opportunity.  

    Great arguments, Nominalize.  Your best in MHO was "if guns don't kill people, then they don't protect people either".  

    One week later, pundits like David Gregory are doing the old false equivalency routine.  As in....you could be right, that's a good point, what would the NRA be willing to do, would you support banning drum clips?

    Negotiating w/ the NRA is not allowed anymore.  We don't need their agreement, their allegiance or their input.

    Move on.  Pass the ban.  And when they bring up Israel, remind them you must be 21 years old to get a gun permit in Israel, pass a background check, pass a psychological evaluation, pass a safety course.  And.....only after that are you issued 50 bullets to last the rest of your life.  

    •  I would show the bodies, myself (0+ / 0-)

      Go Emmitt Till on everyone.  It's like in school--- some people learn better with visual prompting than with verbal prompting.

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:27:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would also add (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExpatGirl

      that if we should take any ideas from Israel (or Switzerland), we should be taking universal health care, not universal guns.

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:45:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks --alot of good "ammo" provided (12+ / 0-)

    so to speak.

    Anyway, I have been especially curious to see conservative Republicans so piously offended about Operation Fast and Furious, the ATF gun-walking scheme to suspected Mexican gun smugglers (a program which was initiated by the Bush administration).  Guns don't kill people, right?

    •  I've forgotten the congressman but the reason (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, nominalize

      Repubs were upset over fast and furious is they imagined a conspiracy to have US guns to provably be used by Mexicans to kill Americans and provide an excuse for gun grabbing. Hope I have it right, I'm not totally up on all R wing conspiracy theory.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 07:19:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The NRA's respond is cold, heartless, insensitive (10+ / 0-)

    in the midst of the pain familes are feeling this Christmas.  How can we get the point across that the NRA does not speak for the majority of Americans.  Just a minority of amoral freaks or NRA spokesman would take this opportunity to push their violent agenda on America.

  •  I am sick of the right wing (8+ / 0-)

    and I won't even be polite anymore.  The latest I hear from my right wing sister is that the US population should be armed to fend off an invasion; from who I don't know but I thought that was the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps' job.  Another right wing nephew said that the 1968 Mai Lai massacre at the hands of "agents of the US government" wouldn't have happened if the innocent women, children and old people had been armed.  You can't reason with these people and I don't even pretend to have any patience with them.

  •  Be Careful with gun-nut relatives (8+ / 0-)

    This is a great post and it's full of excellent talking points, but it is written with a particular individual in mind, an individual who is obviously capable of listening to criticism and counterarguments.

    Not every gun-enthusiast will react well to this kind of aggressive argumentation.

    As I wrote to a friend of mine who is heading to one of these situations:  "There will be a lot of 'conversations' about guns over the holidays and unfortunately, some of them will end with guns being used, you can count on that."

    Use your best judgment, especially if alcohol is involved.  

    "Evil resides in the very gaze which perceives Evil all around." -- GWF Hegel

    by Fatherflot on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:21:22 PM PST

  •  It should be at least as tough to get a gun (7+ / 0-)

    as it is to get and keep a driver's license.

    At minimum, there should be rigorous education requirements, registration, a demonstration of proficiency, and insurance requirements.

    "Why do we see the same old Republicans all over the news all the time when they were kicked out for screwing everything up?" - socratic's grandma

    by Michael James on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:29:33 PM PST

    •  It should be far tougher (0+ / 0-)

      Because guns are weapons by nature and design.  But yes, handling both requires a great amount of responsibility, guns even more so, though cars more frequently. Yet, all I hear from the gun crowd is a complete shirking of responsibility.  They call themselves responsible.  Well fine, prove it.

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:32:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I renewed my driver's license by mail (0+ / 0-)

      here in Louisiana. Not too tough.

      "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

      by rocksout on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:40:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well if it was my house. (3+ / 0-)

    I would say I will not tolerate any talk of guns today.
    If you feel that's unreasonable then you can spend your Christmas elsewhere.
    I would inform invited guests of that well in advance.

    "Too much. There's too much fucking perspective now." David St. Hubbins

    by nellgwen on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:35:22 PM PST

    •  Me too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nellgwen

      I can say that the original comment was for someone going to the NRA-parrot's house.

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:33:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Isn't this what the NRA wants? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nominalize, nellgwen

      That is, they want us to suppress the conversation about guns and behavior to sustain the status quo?

      I'm all for being polite but to have this topic off the table is nonsense.

      And keep in mind that a properly managed conversation on the subject typically has the 'gun nut' (or right-winger or conspiracy theorist, take your pick) backing himself into a logical corner.  Typically they are the ones who offend, not a properly prepared, logically consistent debater.

      And this diary does a great job of preparing for those 'discussions'.

      •  logically and morally consistent (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nellgwen

        morals trump logic when arguing with human beings outside of the courtroom :)

        Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

        by nominalize on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 08:06:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well a couple things. (0+ / 0-)

         Does a person need to talk about it all day everyday?
          Presumable there will be other people not emotionally involved in any personalities at the dinner, and they have to listen to a, "Mom liked you best." argument by gun proxy?
           And presumably there might be children there or young adults that might not take well to hearing about it at Christmas dinner.
           The NRA doesn't even want property owners to be able to say things like, I own this property and I do not want guns on my property, end of conversation. Now we have to talk about it weather want to or not, to suit the NRA's interests?

          Sometimes the pro-gun people just want the argument. If you refuse to have it, sometimes it works better than engaging in it because you've already won.
          If they take issue with that one could say I would be glad to talk about this issue, but not here, today, with you.
         

        "Too much. There's too much fucking perspective now." David St. Hubbins

        by nellgwen on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:26:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "If guns don't kill people, they don't (6+ / 0-)
    protect them, either."
    Brilliant rebuttal - thanks!

    I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

    by 1BQ on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 08:51:35 PM PST

  •  Here's another point to add (4+ / 0-)

    Argument:  "Guns are just inanimate objects.  How can an inanimate object be 'evil'?"

    Answer:  There is a curious ontology going on in these kinds of arguments that aims at naturalizing guns, turning them into powerful phenomena that simply exist (like lightening, fire, hurricanes, etc.) and which we have to get used to.  Thus the condescending tone of some gun enthusiasts when faced with gun control arguments, as if attempting to control guns is like banning heatwaves or tornadoes.

    But a gun, like a toaster, a computer, and an atom bomb is a human creation, a technology created by and for human beings filled with human intentionality.  In this sense it is "animate" in the sense that it expresses and potentially carries out the intentions of its creator.

    It is possible to label a technology "evil" because of the evil purpose it was designed for?  Are iron maidens evil?  Was the rack evil?  Are showers that were specially designed to dispsense Zyklon B evil?

    What if I invented a kid's toy called "aqua toaster" which was a regular toaster painted with fish and dolphins and mermaids and what if I put pictures on the box of kids sitting in a bubble bath laughing and enjoying nice hot toast.  Would such an invention be "evil"?

    My answer to all of these would be "Yes" ---- these are technologies with absolutely no purpose other than to kill, torture, and/or maim.  Do they require human operators to fully achieve their purposes?  Yes.  Do humans, in ordinary situations, have the choice whether to operate these devices?  Yes.  Do these facts make these technologies "innocent"?  No.  Since they powerfully embody and suggest evil intentions, that work to tempt, to corrupt, to win over human beings acting in concert with their intentions.

    Our technologies use us as much as we use them.  They teach us to see the world in the way their creators did.  "To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."  To a man with an assault rifle, every person in view looks like an easy target.  

    "Evil resides in the very gaze which perceives Evil all around." -- GWF Hegel

    by Fatherflot on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:24:38 PM PST

  •  yep (0+ / 0-)
    Tell him we/the courts can interpret the 2nd amendment however we like, just like we do with the other 26
    Why do you narrow your ability to interpret stuff the way you want to amendments? Why not Article I, say? Are you, like, an Ayn Rand troll?

    But then again

     Besides, I'd rather pry a gun from your cold dead hands, than a crayon from the cold, dead hands of yet another shooting victim.  Just sayin'.
    Tell us more about your fetishes...
    •  Two insults in one comment, this is a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      diary about gun control, it you don't like it, go read some RBKA diaries.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:39:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yawn. (0+ / 0-)
      Why do you narrow your ability to interpret stuff the way you want to amendments? Why not Article I, say? Are you, like, an Ayn Rand troll?
      Good question! I don't.  However, you see, when a person is in a conversation, the pragmatic maxim of quanitity drives that person to remain relevant and not add more information to the conversation than necessary.  Since the segment is about amendments, I stuck to amendments.  

      I asserted that we interpret the amendments, but you are the one who drew an implicature that I asserted we only interpret the amendments.  You're arguing against words you've put in my mouth.  Which is at best disingenuous.  

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:43:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ask them how they feel about military suicides... (0+ / 0-)

    See this comment and the additional links contained therein:

    Ask an expert: Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli

  •  Guns are more (0+ / 0-)

    of a problem than a solution.

    "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

    by rocksout on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:35:57 AM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site