Commentator JadeGold posted a comment to RF’s post Gun Control Is Alive and Well and Living at Sharon High School, wherein she accuses gun rights activists of relying on “fraudulent” arguments. JadeGold cites six specific examples from an allegedly endless list of erroneous pro-gun claims. Is it true? Do those of us that embrace gun rights live in a fraudulent fantasy world? JadeGold has utilized the rhetorical devise known as straw man argument. She has provided an exaggerated and distorted version of what gun rights advocates believe so that she can then knock those fabricated claims down. Because her straw man arguments fail to address the actual beliefs of gun rights advocates, her arguments are fallacious. Let’s examine these claims one at a time.
–Gun Control leads to Nazi Germany as run by Pol Pot.
I don’t know anyone that believes that gun control leads to totalitarianism any more than gun control leads to crime. It is correct, however, to point out that gun control leaves nations and individuals vulnerable to exploitation by tyrants and criminals.
Since JadeGold brought up Nazi Germany, let’s take a look at the history. Prior to Hitler’s ascension, the Weimar Republic enacted the highly restrictive 1928 Law on Firearms & Ammunition. This law required a permit for the purchase and carrying of firearms “only to be granted to persons of undoubted reliability, and — in the case of a firearms carry permit — only if a demonstration of need is set forth.”
Ten years later, the Nazis replaced this law with the 1938 Weapons Law, which liberalized gun ownership for the general populace. Of course, the “general populace” of Germany excluded German Jews. More pointedly, a law passed later that same year called Regulations Against Jews Possession of Weapons, forbade Jews from possessing any weapon whatsoever.
Did these laws create Hitler and the Nazis? No. Did they facilitate the attempted extermination of the Jews? Certainly.
–Guns are a “God-given” right.
I know of no assertions that guns, per se, are God-given rights. The right to protect one’s life and liberty is a God-given right. The right to bear arms is a constitutional guarantee.
–International comparisons are meaningless. Unless we’re talking about Hitler and gun control.
Hitler again. Oy vey! International comparisons are great. They show that many countries with high per capita gun ownership have low murder rates (e.g. Israel, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, etc), thereby debunking the myth that “guns kill.”
International comparisons also show that some countries with strict restrictions on civilian ownership of firearms are bloody violent messes. I’m talkin’ to you, Mexico.
–All universities and professional organizations are biased.
I’m a little unclear on what JadeGold is driving at here. Does she mean to say that gun rights activists believe that “All universities and [so-called] mainstream media outlets have leftist biases?”
It is patently false to say that gun rights proponents believe that “all” of anything is biased. I prefer to say “many” or “most.” For example, a New York Times survey of Washington DC-based journalists found that they favored the 2004 election of John Kerry, a well known gun control advocate, by a ratio of 12-to-1 (the same survey found that journalists based outside of DC favored Kerry over Bush 3-to-1). I am therefore comfortable concluding that most Inside the Beltway journalists are biased in favor of gun control.
And at universities? A 2007 published study by researchers at George Mason University documented a growing trend toward liberal bias at American universities. Among other things, they reported that sociology and anthropology professors identified as Progressive or Liberal more than Conservative or Libertarian – “by a margin of at least 20-to-1.”
–Statistics rank below the practice of alchemy and tea leaf reading as a viable science.
This couldn’t be more false (I use a few above). To the contrary, gun rights proponents embrace the statistical analysis such as that popularized by John R. Lott, Jr., author of More Guns Less Crime. However, correlation does not equal causation, so in the end it is very difficult to apply statistics to justify any theory regardless of what side of the gun control debate you are on.
— Guns are the only things that prevent us from being overrun by UN forces, space invaders, or rabid panda bears.
This one’s easy to debunk: no one in the world is afraid of the impotent goofballs with the baby blue helmets.
People of the Left love to characterize their opponents as intellectually vapid. I guess it doesn’t help to have advocates carrying the torch for gun rights like Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, and Sean Hannity, whose explanations never venture beyond the superficial. (With friends like those, who needs enemies?) But it is wrong to assume that the presence of a few high-profile lightweight in the debate means that the doctrine they espouse is without depth.