Originally Posted by Gilsch
You're just window dressing the argument. More guns= more "deterrents"=reduced crime. That's not different to what I said based on what others claimed. What's a responsible citizen by the way? Someone with no criminal background? Apparently the VT killer had that. I also don't agree with comparing a "responsible citizen" with a cop. Give me a break. Speaking of Utopian. A "responsible citizen" by the way, has the potential to fuck up an already bad situation...not to mention causing accidents.
Quite a contradiction there. The problem with "proliferation" is that there are indeed
more guns available to end up in the wrong hands.
I disagree. If we look at what gun nuts tend to spout, then we do come up with some ridiculous nonsense tantamount to "More guns = less crime." That claim is patently absurd, and totally illogical. It is flawed because when dangerous people get weapons, threat increases. "More Guns = Less Crime" is a polarized and distorted version of a very legitimate argument. "More Guns = Less Crime" is used primarily by Anti-Gun nuts who want to exaggerate an opposing viewpoint and take it out of context in order to make it easier to refute. It is also used by Pro-Gun nuts when they get too emotional over the issue. Go read up on logical fallacies on Wikipedia to get an idea what I'm talking about.
As to the legitimate argument that underlies the distortion, please point out a flaw in it.
As to what the definition of responsible citizen is, I agree with you completely that absence of a criminal background does not equate to responsible citizen. I'm sure we've all met people of detestable morals, who actively violate laws, minor or otherwise, who simply haven't been caught yet. I'm also sure that we've all met people who, though they may be well intentioned, and free of any past crimes, are either too impulsive or too irresponsible to be trusted with weapons. Background checks are a minimum. If weapons are to be introduced to environments, such as a University, where the potential for misuse is elevated, then I'm sure everyone will agree that more scrutiny is necessary. You do not hire a crossing guard to guard a nuclear facility.
As to Utopia et al.: I have been a soldier. I have been a security guard. I have had authority, and I have known those with it. I tell you the truth: Authority corrupts, and police can, and do, screw up. Police are a necessary evil. They are people who have more rights than the people they are charged to protect. The same goes in the military. In the military, especially during military actions, soldiers can, and do, do things that they would serve prison sentences for if they were civilians. The majority of the time, they suffer no repercussions whatsoever. I was at Abu Graib. I know this from first hand experience. Argue against it if you will. Others will decide who is more credible. Please understand that when I say "responsible citizen" I most certainly do NOT apply that to everyone who does not disqualify. The difference between a responsible citizen and the average redneck is as stark as that between a doughnut eating security guard, and a SWAT team member. It is as important as the difference between a lowly Personnel Clerk, and a Special Forces soldier. Let me put it this way: I am talking about the kind of person whom you would trust to drive your child to school. Furthermore, I'm sure that you'd agree that if people are put in a situation where they can potentially cause harm, then additional training is called for. I am most certainly not suggesting that we trust our safety to Barney Gumble.
I would argue that a citizen, who has no more power, no more rights, than the rest of the population, will be MORE attentive to the rights of others. They will be MORE careful than police or military personnel who benefit from a limited amount of immunity. Being a member of "Us" the civilian will be far more cautious about violating others rights, for if he violates their rights, what protection is there for his own? It is plain self interest. As a member of the Police or of the military, you know that you have authority over "Them", the civilian populace. You know that your interests lie in protecting your fellow officers or soldiers, and in protecting the government, with far more immediacy than they lie in protecting the populace. Police are NOT saints. Police are not the answer. A structure supported from within will always be more stable than one supported only by outside influence. Please, please, please, concede that police are just as likely to make an error as civilians are. You will be very hard pressed to disprove it.
As to proliferation (and I'll go ahead and concede that that was a poor choice of words on my part), you are again settling on a logical fallacy. This time it's Post Hoc
and petitio principii.
It is erroneous to assume that increasing the number of people who are permitted to cary firearms will increase the number of firearms obtained by crazies. It is a false cause. To demonstrate why it is false, imagine that 100,000,000 citizens, all carefully screened to ensure (pretend that we can ensure this) that they are indeed responsible, are issued CPLs. Has the number of firearms available to crazies increased? No. No additional firearms have gone into circulation yet. Therefore, issuing CPLs cannot be the cause of increased availability to crazies. Lets go ahead and give each of these 100,000,000 people a handgun and stipulate that it be kept on their person at all times, and that it be rendered physically incapable of firing should anyone else try to use it. Has the number of firearms available to crazies increased? No. The only ones who have the firearms are the 100,000,000 trustworthy citizens. This leads us to the conclusion that it is not how many people are permitted to have firearms, nor how many firearms are in existence, but rather how well those who legally own those arms hang on to them. A crazy can obtain one of these firearms only by forcibly taking it, or stealing it, from one of the 100,000,000. Of course, I'd volunteer that anyone who looses his firearm needs to have his trustworthiness seriously reevaluated. My argument stands though that the simple existence of firearms does not mandate that crazies will get them. It is lack of proper control that leads to that. Those proverbial Texans you mentioned surely don't wish for crazies to get guns. Again, let me refer to the fact that unless disarmament is total and every firearm in existence is destroyed, firearms will still be available to those determined enough to either steal or make them, and the net result of that partial disarmament is that the populace will be more vulnerable to a prolonged attack.
Now lets stop with the excessive semantics arguments (more red herrings here) and start looking at the concepts. Lets all agree that we're willing to rephrase as necessary so as to keep the discussion intelligent.
Now, I've got calculus to do. No more posts from me until next month.