A hat tip to joehuffman.org for pointing out the absurd in this article from ABCnews. It quotes Shannon Watts as saying the following: “I think the NRA should be very afraid of Americans, who’ve had enough of the gun violence in this country and in particular moms,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action and a board member for Everytown for Gun Safety, said. “Moms are afraid our children will be taken away and in the end, I think that’s the emotion that will win the debate.” So Ms. Watts believes that . . .
Debates are about emotion and apparently questions of law should be decided by the fears of mothers rather than facts, thought, rational consideration of reality and reasonably expected consequences. Not that we probably shouldn’t be afraid of Ms. Watts and the power of the anti-Second Amendment media and politicians behind her.
Relying on the power of emotion over fact and logic is a standard ploy for sophists for whom those factors don’t make the grade. It’s standard fare for those who believe that people are too stupid to control their own lives, so they have to be lied to in order to allow their “betters” to take care of them. It’s the mainstay of the nanny state.
The danger is that emotions can win debates when those emotions are backed up by threats of violence. An inflamed mob can kill you. If you fire up the ignorant enough, you can get them to go along with disarming and attacking those whom they are told are the real danger. You can use emotion to concentrate the power in the hands of the government to kill off the educated, as in Cambodia, or the Jews, as in the Holocaust.
My colleague, John Jay Ray, has studied the motivations of political leftists, and they are invariably founded in strong negative emotions. It’s worthwhile to note that Shannon Watts finds her strongest card in emotion, rather than fact. That is what you have to do when neither the facts, the culture and the Constitution are on your side.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.