This is special pleading—the illusion that an inherent risk is avoidable. It’s generally an excuse or a rationalization, not a valid argument or basis for policy. We can build nets under bridges and run gun buyers through Brady background checks in order to make the most reasonable stab we can at preventing the mentally unstable from harming themselves and others (can’t do nearly so much about cars or power tools or drugs ... ), but it’s an obvious perfectionist fallacy to argue that this possibility leads to the conclusion that having such a vulnerability makes something a threat to society.
Why? Because you refer to the “special pleadings”, “fantasies, “fallacies” “illusions”, “excuses”, “invalid arguments” of others as if yours are not the same.
No, because of the reasons I gave in the explanations and arguments I’ve posted.
You cite these things and analogies as if they are indisputably written in stone when they are not.
I presume you accept other arguments you disagree with as simply arguments and not cited “as if they are indisputably written in stone”. Why do you perceive mine this way?
The whole point is reducing risk, not eliminating it altogether.
Actually it’s about balancing risk with security and civil liberties (and I remind you, I’ve already stated I think it would be within acceptable legal limits for the right to keep and bear to be restricted to a single, tactical firearm—this isn’t a Kostric et al argument). That was my point. If you set an unrealistic standard reality is never an actual consideration on the table.
“Someone with a gun is ipso facto a threat because s/he has no ability to ensure that said gun will remain in his/her hands forever. Or that s\he will never have a mental lapse of control, let’s say drunkeness or mental illness or brain injury. Or that s/he will perceive a threat where there is none. And so forth and so on.” —M is for Malapert
[Future] drunkenness or mental illness or brain injury?
Do those standards really seem reasonable to you?
There’s also no consideration there, in that statement, for the other side of the equation ... in fact there’s not even any apparent consideration for how the given side of the equation might be (and is) dealt with.
You argue that the point of one person carrying a gun may reduce a threat to that one person only, by allowing them a chance to defend themselves with a lethal weapon. What about the flip side. Perhaps one less gun in the hands of one more wrong person may save one life also.
What about the flip side? That’s an obvious issue in the equation—a basic question. What can you tell me about it?
But according to you, there are already so many guns out there, there is no point in applying restrictions now, or that there are enough restrictions already, or that “more effective restrictions” aren’t possible.
Well, no, I didn’t argue that at all ... well, maybe the last one, but you’ve cast a pretty wide and haphazardly strewn net there quite frankly, so it’s hard to tell. No point; enough restrictions already; more effective restrictions aren’t possible ... seems like a lot of potential contingencies upon which to ground a complaint. At any rate it certainly seems I’ve argued quite otherwise, even in that very post. But the specific issue at hand here is (or was anyway) assessing the threat that the legal ownership of guns presents. I was arguing that M’s threat assessment and her standards for what defines an unacceptable threat aren’t reasonable.
The biggest problem here is that we have to start with reality in order to develop reasonable opinions about it, and we’re not there yet.
What concrete information are you working with in order to complain that my (actual) position about the US gun stock (i.e. there are far too many guns already in the black market and far too few legal gun owners using them criminally for restricting legal access to be an effective focus for gun violence/gun crime reduction strategies) is unfounded?
Note that I in no way indicated I disagree with reasonably restricting access. I’ve stated several times I agree with the Brady Law, and there are some other responsible measures I think we could take. I’ve also made it clear that I think the Constitution allows for much stronger restrictions than we have now (and that wasn’t a statement that we need more or that we don’t).
Is it also a “perfectionist fallacy” that feeling vulnerability to a criminal with a gun is a threat to you when you probably won’t encounter one in your lifetime, yet you must carry a gun ... just in case?
First, I don’t carry a gun—just want to restate that here. But to those who do carry doing so isn’t much of a “con” in a pro vs. con assessment, if at all, so given little or virtually no inconvenience for them, why would they not carry, just in case when it’s “just in case” your life is threatened? It seems your assessment requires a set of premises that those with much at all in the way of experience don’t see as realistic. You presume fear and risk where none effectively exist, and this dramatically skews your assessment. You’ve also limited your consideration (at least according to the above argument) to criminals with guns, but that’s not the only potential threat or use for a gun. I know in some less populated states a lot of people carry guns in the vehicles specifically to deal with animals (also for others the thinking is often even more specifically humane in that some carry a gun in their car because don’t want to hit a deer or something and leave it to suffer on the side of the road). That’s just an example from personal (and secondhand) experience, but I hope the point is clear. You’ve padded the data by eliminating all but one of several legitimate purposes, just like Arthur Kellermann in his Guns in the home: Protection or peril? study in which he came up with the “43 Times Fallacy” (it and its derivations being a bit of “common wisdom” about guns many of us have been socialized to believe/presume). His error is far more egregious of course, because it was published research, and yours is just a post on the interwebs, so it’s reasonable to much more casually toss things like that on the table in here.
We know there’s no perfect option, so what’s really the best balance here?
What are the real risks involved in legal ownership of guns and how do we best address them?
What are the real benefits of legally owning a gun?
How do those factors balance out?
Most gun rights/control advocates heavily unbalance their considerations, and unfortunately both have bad science to support them (much more for gun control types though, because they’re typically a lot more cognizant of the power and value of science whereas gun rights advocates tend to think more in slogans and the imposition of dogma through authority).
A better analogy, I think, would be drinking and driving. It is an inherent risk to drive. But the government doesn’t say let’s therefore issue licenses carte blanche, or let’s not tweak the laws to help reduce the number of occurrences of deaths and injuries caused by drunk drivers.
First, note that you’ve inverted the equation. You’re talking about licenses issued in order to drive, not to drink (the drinking and gun toting being the potential problems analogized, driving and cruising around in public being the basic living conditions analogized). That’s more of a focus on the driver/drinker/carrier than the substance at issue. It’s a far more reasonable approach, and one that I’ve stated I advocate (licensing). The actual analogous arrangement to the standard issue gun control ideology would be licensing and regulating alcohol in order to reduce drunk driving (again, in order to reduce drunk driving). I would oppose that strategy as obviously flawed (and I point out that doesn’t mean I oppose regulating alcohol consumption or holding brewers and distillers to reasonable quality and safety standards, however—those are two very different things). Your analogy also implies my position is complete non-control of gun ownership, when in fact I presented some of my ideas on gun control measures I support (including the Brady Law).
We can ... run gun buyers through Brady background checks in order to make the most reasonable stab we can at preventing the mentally unstable from harming themselves and others…
Your quote supports my contention of acceptable risk.
Of course it does.
You’ve set your own bar and termed it reasonable.
Tentatively and based upon training and experience and reviewing a large body of the research, yes.
To you, the frequency rate of collateral damage is acceptable as is.
Not quite my position, but fair enough ... perhaps. Depends upon what you mean by “acceptable”. Are you arguing I think it’s okay, or that I think it’s as low as can be reasonably expected without too much of a compromise on the other side of the equation?
And you didn’t touch the point of stolen guns and recent laws in certain state(s) for mandatory reporting. Of course, their doing this was special pleading based on fallacy, right? Allow me to pre-empt your answer and qualify this with, it remains to be seen how effective it is and it may contribute to overall effectiveness in combination with other strategies. In any event, it is a logical policy decision whether you agree with it or not.
I do agree with it though. But it’s not a gun control strategy, it’s just information gathering. Still, that’s exactly what we need at this point. It may produce information useful in formulating effective law enforcement and/or improvements in gun control measures, and it certainly won’t hurt.
Note: the actual issue was M’s post and the idea that it’s reasonable to base gun control measures on the “potential for availability and misuse of guns by mentally unstable people or in crimes of passion is a threat”, not whether it’s reasonable to monitor stolen guns.
While you accuse everyone else of irrationalism, I see you protesting with an unwarranted and unsupportable zeal while at the same time trying to keep too many plates simultaneously spinning on their poles.
Well ... sorry, but no, you don’t.
Whereas before I thought we had much in agreement, now I’m not so sure.
I think we still probably do. I think we just need to be more careful about the “unchecked” baggage we’re bringing into the discussion (the baggage we may not be a ware of—got to be very careful about what’s there on the page vs. what’s seeping in through our own reactions). I expect it’s a tough arena to parse without being so inclined on top of the other problems that I think are the basis for most of the misunderstandings and cross-talking I’ve mentioned.