Okay, this is my last second amendment column for a while (I PROMISE!!!) but I just heard a news report this morning that I need to comment on. The cognitive dissonance it set-up in my mind was interesting because the speaker seemed to be completely oblivious to the logical false equivalence he was drawing. The double-standard it drew on was so deliciously dissonant that I had to rewind it to make sure I had not imagined it!
Nope! I hadn’t!
Listening to a story on CNN Radio, I heard a couple quotes that a gun enthusiast used to explain his feelings were delightfully inconsistent with each other. To be fair, this guy was a moderate as gun enthusiasts go – he was arguing FOR universal background checks. He was against the idea of registering guns. And it was in discussing that point that the first of the two quotes that came-up was made:
“I’m not going to tell the government that I own a gun. What business is it of theirs?”
This seems innocuous enough and (although I disagreed with it the moment he said it) in and of itself it is logically defensible, I guess. But what he said just seconds later made the objection that I made mentally when he said the first comment. His second statement came in response to a question about why large-capacity clips for their guns SHOULDN’T be outlawed just because there is no reason any law-abiding citizen would need one:
“Why do cars go 170 MPH? You can’t legally drive that fast! Are we going to outlaw any car that goes over 75?”
Again, the second argument is a bit specious, but, taken by itself, it might sway some people the problem is when you take them together. In the later he seems to be equating guns to autos. But in the first he is opposed to registering his gun with the government. Does this mean that he drives an unlicensed car? He doesn’t – one would imagine – registering his car, why is the gun any different? Surely, the government has no more reason to care that he owns a car than it does that he owns a gun – the opposite, I would imagine, is true.
Wherever you are today, I hope you enjoy the logic (or illogic) of the world around you!