TTAG reader James Mortimer [not shown] read an anti-gun op-ed that rubbed him the wrong way. He responded thusly:
Mr. Crisp [above],
It was with great interest I read your op-ed piece concerning the open carry of weapons and its psychology which recently appeared in my local paper. As is so often the case with op-eds on gun control, I anticipated a disingenuous, meandering diatribe based on little more than emotional appeals. You certainly didn’t disappoint . . .
Matters of great public interest should be debated with dispassionate facts and reason based argument. Your article contained nothing of the kind. You merely trotted out tired, discredited memes calculated to not-so-subtly discredit the opposing viewpoint. From a college level teacher I would expect better. I would also expect an English teacher to be familiar with the tenets of rhetorical argument and to put forth a well-organized and thoughtful opinion.
Instead, to the careful reader, it’s readily apparent you crafted a piece of dogma designed to inflame passions and cause panic at the prospect of open carry. The opening paragraphs relating the tragic shooting in a theater by an ex-police officer over cell phone etiquette, and the shooting of an apparently unarmed young man over loud music, merely exploits the notoriety of the cases in an attempt to frighten the public.
Then, using these tragic incidents, you insinuate that any person, otherwise a seemingly responsible and productive member of society, can suddenly snap with homicidal rage over minor incidents. It’s a reprehensible ploy, unsupported by any academic study with which I am familiar. That you don’t reference any such recognized behavioral phenomenon is a clear indication and acknowledgment that there is in fact, no such evidence. This is perhaps merely your personally distorted worldview. There is, however, a considerable body of work on psychological projection whereby one rejects their own negative qualities and instead projects them onto the outside world.
It’s quite clear you have an agenda and will use any artifice to further it. You offer no objective facts, only a couple of tangentially related anecdotes. Even worse, you create “facts.” You write “citizens are encouraged to carry concealed weapons because they believe others are carrying them,” and “states…promote (concealed and open carry).” How did you determine what a concealed carrier thinks? Do they all have the same exact thoughts you are somehow privy to? What state law can you cite that “promotes” concealed or open carry? Have I missed the public service announcements?
Additionally, you then regurgitate the Old West meme, a tried and true fear-mongering tactic to sway the uninformed. It’s the exact same drivel spewed during the move to concealed carry in Texas and many other states. Somehow, though, you missed the readily available data showing licensed concealed carriers are statistically – by a wide margin – more law-abiding than the general population and even police officers. You ignore the states that currently have legal open carry and their crime statistics. In short, you offer absolutely nothing other than your personal suspicions.
Nor are you above discrediting the supporters of open carry by accusing them of being fearful, insecure, paranoid, aggressive, and prone to intimidating others. It’s hateful speech and doesn’t warrant the dignity of a detailed response.
I encourage you to examine facts objectively before forming an opinion and exposing yourself to further ridicule. You would do well to review your college texts and re-examine the lessons in rhetoric, especially the fallacies of emotionally based arguments. You sir, have done a great disservice to your readers, your profession, and your fellow citizens.