Qu’est-ce que c’est
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The problem is, this topic is just to difficult, intellectually, for Americans. It’s a sad state of affairs, but even those American who have had an excellent education, have been systematically deprived of the training in logic and rhetorical analysis to maintain focus in an argument from beginning to end. And that is what is needed, from everyone. This problem will not get solved until critical thinking is re-introduced into our laughable “curriculum”.
When I do my analysis, it is non-partisan. I intend to find the correct answer. I am equally shocked at the flawed reasoning presented by both sides. While I would like to chide the Liberals because they should know better (because they claim to), and malign the Right, because they “must be” consciously manipulating their arguments, motivated to achieve the goals prescribed by their self-titled “Right-ness”, I can see (can you?) that this kind of underlying pettiness is NOT GETTING US ANYWHERE. In fact, this underlying juvenile bickering is sorely to blame for the deaths of innocent people, and we ALL should be ashamed for not looking at this problem like ADULTS.
Here is one way to reason it:
- The argument that mental illness, not guns, is the problem, is muddled on both sides. Liberals cite statistics like, “Fewer than 6 percent of the 120,000 gun-related killings in the United States between 2001 and 2010 were perpetrated by people diagnosed with mental illness.”
- In rhetorical logic, this is called a false dilemma: when a problem is presented as having only two causes, when, in reality as we know it, this is rarely the case. This argument is chock full of false dilemma.
- First, must it be either mental illness, OR, proliferation of guns? Can’t it be both? Really. What a poor excuse for reasoning. Of course it can be, and clearly is, both mental illness and the availability of guns, than contribute to mass killings.
- Second, does one have to be completely mentally ill, or nothing? Certainly there exist many layers of psycho-emotional disturbance that could lead, very quickly, to such rash actions, without first reaching the level of clinically discernible pathology.
The other flaw with this argument, from the Liberal side, is the use of misleading statistics – this statistic from Vanderbilt U. does NOT give us the number of psycho-killers who were mentally ill; rather, we get the number of psycho-killer who were both apprehended, and then diagnosed. Please. If you don’t see this, then return to Plato, and do not collect $200.
So, what’s the answer, Mr. Know-it-All? Well, that’s the deal – it’s not so easy to just get an answer that fits into the Twitter block, and that you can consume along with your Starbucks.
- The second major problem in a hard one to swallow: it is a long-standing sociological truth that law does NOT function as a deterrent to crime. Repeat: does not. Thus, making every single gun in the world illegal will have marginal, if any, effect. In short, there is no such thing as gun control. But don’t believe me! You should walk to Powell’s books, and select three Sociology 101 textbooks, and turn to chapter 5. Am being serious. You can look at a summary here : http://nij.gov/five-things/pages/deterrence.aspx
Here is a deeper analayis, from and Oxford paper, which claims:
But available social science research suggests that manipulating criminal law rules within that system to achieve heightened deterrence effects generally will be ineffective. (Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Volume 24, Issue 2, Pp. 173-205)
In case you don’t have the time, consider these ideas:
In States with the death penalty, the murder rate is markedly higher than in States where there is no capital punishment. This could be taken as an argument against capital punishment, rather than one against making laws against guns. However, if you actually do your research, you will see that there has already been a large degree of strong gun control legislation, often obfuscated by those who feel that obfuscation serves the common good, and this legislation has had no effect.
What about this? Does making murder illegal stop people from murdering? Isn’t there already a law against murder? This hearkens back to the capital punishment example. Does making the enforcment against and punishment for murder have any effect? Seriously. The United States has, on the contrary, become the center of violent murder in the World.
So, is time, finally time, to abandon this path. This is not to say remove all gun control, nor is it to say that we should not seek stricter enforcement of licensing. It is only to say that this it not the solution, and further debate on the 2nd Amendment, further criticism of the “gun coalition” , further plying of gun toters against tree huggers, is A WASTE OF LIVES.
You wanted the answer, right? And I mentioned that it is not such an easy one.
It begins with understanding something like what Pope John Paul the II described in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, which is often referred to as “the culture of death”.
“Choices once unanimously considered criminal and rejected by the common moral sense are gradually becoming socially acceptable,”
Unfortunately for all of those who have died, this valuable document with great insight from a true logician, and empathetic person, has been muddled by extremist Right, and blithering Left, as being an “abortion” document. It does use the idea of abortion in a critical way, by saying that abortion is one of the ways that our society has become desensitized to death. Forget your ego for a second, and try to follow the idea: the more cases in which we say “it’s ok to kill; it is justified in this case”, the more opportunities we provide for people like Christopher Harper to conclude, with legal and social precedence, that it is justifiable to kill someone. The point the Pope was trying to make was that if we add up the ways in which we “allow” death in our society, including abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, assassination of threats to the United States, warfare of any kind, if we add up all the movies, TV Series, books, social media, that focus on a rich portrayal of violence which leads to murder, IT ADDS UP to a society that is more aligned with DEATH than with LIFE.
The answer is, possibly, to take fundamental steps to unbuild this culture of death. Wow! It seems insurmountable! It would be so much nicer to fight for gun control. But unfortunately, a sick society, like a sick person, is a burden to which we must devote our hearts, despite our feelings of futility.