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May 1, 2019

I recently responded to a Quora question. It was this: “As someone who is pro-gun, are you able to understand the reasons for banning guns?

My first impulse was to respond with some version of “well, given that gun-control advocates have, between them, the shared intelligence of a boiled quail egg…” That, sadly, would have been the high point of the exchange. It would have also been deleted by Quora moderation for violating the BNBR (‘be nice, be respectful”) policy – and rightly so. I elected to not go that route. Instead, I started thinking about every argument advanced for gun control that I could remember. Then, I went looking for others (I didn’t find any new ones). After all that, it was time to put them all into a document and consider them carefully. I was looking for commonalities. I asked myself two questions.

  • Do gun control arguments, when reduced to their basic form, have any common elements, and
  • If they do have common elements, what might those be?

What I came away with was something a little different. I came away with what I believe to be the six fundamental nature(s) or the basic form(s) of all arguments made in favor of gun control. I include the plurals because some arguments seem to include more than one of the basic arguments. I have since compared every pro-gun control argument I encounter to the list. So far, I haven’t found any that don’t make at least one of the underlying arguments. Now, presented for your approval and edification, I give you

The Six Basic Forms of all Gun Control Arguments

  1. Liberty is too dangerous to be entrusted to most people
  2. Safety is to be preferred over liberty
  3. Liberty must carry water for social utility
  4. It is okay for people with power to tell everyone else what to do, what to think and how to live
  5. It is reasonable, given that exclusive of military troops in combat, governments in the 20th century killed as many as 260 million of their own citizens, to trust government with a monopoly on violence
  6. The inanimate objects called “guns” possess the power to warp the character, twist the thoughts and pervert the nature of those who touch them

So far, I have found no exceptions. Every single argument in favor of gun control I have ever encountered is, at its most basic level, one or more of the above six arguments. When you realize the nature of the arguments, what they say at their most fundamental levels, it’s really kind of disturbing. One might argue that the above are really philosophical arguments. Okay. I’ll buy that. That’s important, if true. After all, it is our philosophy, all those things we know and how we allow them to affect us, that largely determine how we will view the world. It determines what matters to us the most.

What do you think?

From → Uncategorized

  1. OldNFO permalink

    Good post, and you’re on the money!

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