handsoff630It seems as though every anti-gun editorial that I have read follows the same narrative:

  • The author claims to look at the gun control issue from an impartial, common sense viewpoint.
  • The author claims to be a gun owner.
  • From there the pleas follows an emotional path, invoking such terms as “for our children”, “massacre”, “bloodbath”, etc.
  • At the same time also saying that anyone opposed to them must be “extremists”, “terrorists”, “frothing at the mouth”, and other charged buzzwords.
  • Finally, the article is capped off with some kind of emotional plea to keep tragedies happening by having everyone surrender their firearms.

One of the things that I have found is that reading these types of articles is pretty frustrating because they aren’t impartial, they tend to not follow any type of logical flow but instead resemble more of a rambling emotional missive where one set of rules applies to the author and then another set of rules applies to everyone else.

God forbid anyone disagree with them because they are impartial…..with their agenda. There is one thing you can always seem to count on, and that is whatever arguments they make they are loaded with contradictions because emotional based arguments are precisely that, emotional, and not rational.

Recently I read through the following article by an individual covering a protest and counter protest over the issue of gun rights and more specifically universal background checks. Some of the counter protestors were open carrying their firearms. (As a side note, the individual managed to lose their notebook in the process, which will come into play later).

I won’t regurgitate the entire article here, but I did want to take some quotes from the article and place them under rational scrutiny.

From the article:

I try to take a neutral stand when I turn out for one of these events, at least when my feet are on the ground…Even in print, I like to maintain some journalistic objectivity as I can write an opinion piece when I want to.

A thorough review of the article in question prompts us to ask “What objectivity?” Let’s look at the words that the author uses to describe the pro-gun side of the discussion:

  • “belligerent”
  • “close to going out-of-control”
  • “extreme”
  • “flirt with the bright line of political sanity, but seem to cross over it regularly”
  • “you and your kind”
  • “nuts”
  • “bullying”
  • “foaming at the mouth”

That sure looks impartial, doesn’t it?

How many negative things were printed about the anti-gun proponents?

Answer: none.

This typifies one of the fundamental tenets of those with an agenda. Proclaim objectivity, and then provide the exact opposite.

The typical gun rights enthusiast talks a game of respecting constitutional rights but has a visceral hatred of those poor ink-stained wretches like myself who try to practice the rights guaranteed us under the First Amendment.

I want you to pay particular attention to this quote, because it is the false premise by which we are going to impeach much of the author’s argument.

As a refresher, let’s review the text of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The operative statement here is that Congress shall make no law. If the author wishes to espouse his views, the counter-protestors whom he labels as bullying and frothing at the mouth are not lobbying Congress to pass a law to strip the right of an individual of their free speech. Nor are they lobbying Congress to take away the author’s right to peaceably assemble.

Disagreeing with someone is not an infringement of an individual’s right to free speech. In fact, the whole idea behind the notion of free speech is to protect individuals who do hold opinions that may not be popular.

It would be ridiculous if the pro-gun advocates actually were trying to use the power of government to silence others as if they were calling for something like that, they could also find themselves in a situation where they couldn’t speak their minds or freely assemble.

But the author, on the other hand, IS calling on a repeal of an individual’s rights when he states later in the article:

It’s time for New Hampshire’s open carry and stand your ground laws to be repealed.

Since a particular state was referenced, let’s look at the NH state constitution (Article 2-a):

All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.

The author is actively advocating that the state use its power to deprive individuals of their actual right to keep and bear arms.

Notice the difference? The author of the article in question doesn’t.

I am a Gabby Giffords type of guy: I support the Second Amendment, I am a gun owner…

But you don’t support the second amendment.

The statements “I support the second amendment” and “It’s time for New Hampshire’s open carry and stand your ground laws to be repealed” are contradictory. You can’t advocate for a right and then advocate the infringement of a right. That simply doesn’t make any sense logically.

Covering yesterday’s Nashua City Hall protest by pro-gun control activists, I was rather astounded by the turn-out of the Second Amendment true-believers. Did you guys have a permit, too? Their permit required them to stay within a circumscribed area around the statue of JFK, who was killed with a mail-order rifle. By commanding the sidewalks, you were able to obscure your blood enemies in your battle for unrestricted access to blunderbusses, but was it legal? They were complying with the law; were you?

Since the author likes referencing the First Amendment, let’s bring that back up:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Peaceable assembly is a right that is recognized by the first amendment. So the question is why should the First Amendment protect the author’s ability to speak his mind, but not their right to peaceably assemble?

If I have to get a permit to do something, then it isn’t a right. It is a privilege. I own a right. A privilege belongs to someone else who then grants me the ability to do something. If I have a right to do something I don’t need to ask permission to do that activity. Placing a requirement for a permit on something is an infringement.

You can’t advocate a right to do something, and then advocate an infringement of a right. That’s another contradiction.

But that was a long time ago, and when I read about the Gabby Giffords shooting, I didn’t even have any idea that a pistol cold hold 30-rounds. A 30-round magazine? That is insanity, an invitation to tragedy, tragedies which have happened too frequently since I joined the Army and Ronald Reagan became my commander-in-chief.

First off, the protest was about universal background checks. How did we get on the topic of magazine capacity?

How is having a magazine holding an arbitrary number of rounds insanity? At what number does a magazine transition from sane to insane? He doesn’t specify.

How is it an “invitation to tragedy”? Not specified either.

The police and military use magazines that can hold 30 rounds. Are they insane too?

Since the author was in the Army, does that mean he is insane?

Are you proud of your fellow guns rights “enthusiasts” who circulated vicious, hateful posts about Gabby before her trip to the Granite State, when you and your kind took to your Internet message boards to round up a posse of open carry nuts to stage a counter-protest at the Puritan Room?

Did the vicious, hateful posts contain accusations calling those who disagreed with them “foaming at the mouth”, “extreme”, “nuts”, or “flirting with the bright line of sanity”?

Oops. I am sorry. I got all those terms from the author’s article.

As we all know, if someone disagrees with you, then clearly they are crazy or at least that is what some would think.

And let’s forget about any First Amendment in this discussion, as some would claim that free speech only is protected if it is speech with which you would agree.

Are you proud of bullying the young pro-gun-control woman with the clipboard? … For that’s what your “open carry” show of arms is: an attempt at intimidation.

That begs the question: Is exercising a right an attempt at intimidation?

Let’s look at the wording of Second Amendment to the US Constitution:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

Bear means to hold or to carry. If I was standing with a rifle in my hands I would be bearing that rifle. If that rifle was slung over my shoulder or if I had a sidearm in my holster, I would be bearing that firearm.

The bearing of arms is specifically recognized as an existing right that an individual has.

If exercising a right is an attempt at intimidation, wouldn’t it also follow that someone exercising their First Amendment right at their free speech should also be considered as attempting to intimidate?

If that was true (which it is not), then we would need to ask the author why he was attempting to intimidate those individuals who were exercising their rights.

By that time, things seemed to have cooled off between us when I went over to a clump of gun enthusiasts and wrangled an interview with someone who was not foaming at the mouth. (All of the Second Amendment supporters aren’t into intimidation, not even those who openly carry guns, like the armed father with his two little girls, one of whom was accessorized with her own rifle.)

Remember, if you are going to throw a bunch of insults and other accusations make sure that you leave at least one comment that would be somewhat objective for the other side. Remember, if one person wasn’t foaming at the mouth then that implies everyone else was, a very objective statement.

I had found my subject, but when I reached for my reporter’s notebook in my breast pocket, it was gone. How deft must have been the hand that stole it. I didn’t feel a thing.

Now if we were in a courtroom, I would object. Why? Because of a reference to facts not in evidence. The simple fact is that if you lost your notebook that doesn’t guarantee that someone stole it. Perhaps you lost it? Perhaps someone on your side stole it?

What proof do you have that it was stolen?

Remember, if you are going to accuse someone of doing something wrong, the burden of proof is on the claimant. Thus far you have provided none.

(I originally wasn’t going to include talking about the notebook in analyzing the original article, but after thinking about it I thought that it was important. Why? The author had absolutely no proof that any wrongdoing was done by those whom he disagreed with. That, however, didn’t stop the baseless allegations. If the author has no issue making unsubstantiated claims like this, how many other claims being made are as unfounded?)

My argument with you open carriers had been that loaded guns are unsafe.

I look forward to your next expose where you inform every police officer that they are unsafe as they open carry on a daily basis. Remember, you said the statement, “loaded guns are unsafe”, therefore you are asserting that anyone who carries a loaded gun must be unsafe as well. I would ask that you record this on video so that we can get the reaction of the officer in this discussion. Also, I would be surprised if you ever have called 911 because that would mean that unsafe people would arrive, well, at least according to his argument.

Loaded guns must be treated with respect. Whether something should be respected is very different than saying that something is unsafe.

Are vehicles with full fuel tanks unsafe? Or do they become unsafe when an individual gets behind the wheel and does something to injure someone else?

After Concord and now Nashua, I believe that time is coming. And it fills me with trepidation. An alarm needs to go up and be heard from Nashua to Concord and to Washington, D.C. No more Sandy Hooks! No more Auroras! No more Columbines. No more massacres.
It’s time for New Hampshire’s open carry and stand your ground laws to be repealed.

This is such a contradictory furball one hardly knows where to begin.

Did Sandy Hook have to do with legal open carry of firearms? No.

What about Aurora? No.

Columbine? No.

What about Stand Your Ground? Did Sandy Hook have anything to do with stand your ground? No.

Aurora? Nope.

Columbine? Not there either.

It is interesting that he decided to bring those three tragedies into this debate. Why bring them up? Because they evoke an emotional response. Factually they have no relevance, but that isn’t the point. The point is to emotionally charge the reader and to ignore that they have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

What about the original topic of discussion, that of universal background checks? Would Sandy Hook have been stopped had universal background checks been passed?

No, because the shooter killed his mother to obtain the firearms. Murder is already illegal but didn’t stop that from happening.

What about Aurora?

No again, as the shooter obtained the firearms legally from gun stores, passing the background checks.

What about Columbine?

Those were straw purchases, which were already illegal.

However, what DID all three of those massacres have in common?

Sandy Hook, Aurora, and Columbine were all supposed gun free zones.

How soon until that ego inflation balloons your head to where you feel you are god?

It was precisely the lack of armed good guys that let the body count reach the numbers that they did in each of those tragedies.

Why?

Because the very means of individuals being able to defend themselves were taken away by legislators who did want to play God.

Who did assert that they should decide whether you should have the right to live or die by stripping your right to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Who did say “No, we know better than you”.

And who were wrong, just like every false claim made in the original article.