There are a few pro-gun arguments that make me grind my teeth. I encountered quite a few of them when I was linked what I was told would be a logical analysis of gun control laws. What I found was a long-winded mess of more of the same.
“The United States of America is a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy. Even if second amendment support were not pervasive – 40-45% of households report owning a gun – a majority vote to ban guns would remain unconstitutional. Even if only 1 single American gun owner were left and all others unanimously decided that all guns should be banned, the second amendment would still protect the right of this individual to be armed. It is important to understand the United States is not a democracy, and that the fashionable and fickle whims of the majority cannot alienate you from a right endowed to you by your creator and enumerated in the foundational documents of your country.” http://www.danielvitalis.com/2013/01/on-gun-control/
Why do people think this is a smart statement? A republic is a democracy. Democracy does not only mean “direct democracy,” as it seems this statement’s promulgators imply. There is zero significance to this argument, yet it is parroted quite often.
Using their logic, one might be prone to go around asserting “Nikes aren’t shoes, they’re Nikes.” And while Nike’s brand marketers, and school-aged children of my past, may have liked to pretend that were reality, anyone should be recognize that as a silly statement.
The writer also employs a common straw man tactic of the pro-gun crowd.
Not going to waste time on this, so here goes:
Linking proposed gun control to outright handgun ban and criminalization of current gun owners is a misrepresentative farce.There is no movement to ban handguns, or even the ownership of assault weapons by current owners.
Then the writer hammers away on the constitutionality of his position. However, a look at reality reveals the situation is not as black and white he is convinced. There is precedent to legislative limitations to what armaments are acceptable for civilians. We don’t allow for the ownership of a number of dangerous weapons, and there are constitutional precedents for firearm restrictions: full-auto weapons have had heavy restrictions since 1986, when new purchases were outlawed and the ownership and transfer of previously owned weapons were made permissible.
On display, also, is a flawed perception of just how the constitution works. Sure, the document is meant to define the parameters of the law, but there is also an amendment process. If you think a democracy, even a republic, would not respond to the “whims” of 320ish million to one by amending the constitution then I’d say there is some serious detachment from reality going on. I bet there are more than a hundred American’s whom would support private owner ship of nuclear, biological and nuclear armaments, but guess what they aren’t allowed to do?
The reader is later invited to partake in a “thought experiment.”
…whenever you hear mention of “guns” or “firearms”, change the word in your mind to “weapons”. If you hear “assault rifles” mentioned, change the word and mental image to a medieval long-bow. Should you hear the term “hand gun” change this – both word and image – to “dagger”, and if the term “shotgun” should come up, shift it to “cross-bow”. When you hear the word “magazine” switch it to “quiver” and “bullet” to “arrow”. This exercise gives you an opportunity to alter your perspective on the topic, removes the major “trigger” words, and reduces the emotional response to the issue. It may offer you a view point that was previously crowded out by rhetoric and emotion.
And to respond to this I offer a counter thought experiment:
Whenever you hear the words “weaponized smallpox” replace it with “itching powder.”
The fact that this is not an uncommon thought, that knives and bows and blunt objects share the same lethal capacity as a firearms, is an obnoxious distortion of reality.