Did you know that you’re irrational?
I sure didn’t. I mean, there are a lot of things I probably get irrational about, but I think that’s true for most of us. Child abuse, for example, tends to make me very irrational and I’m OK with that.
But my support for the Second Amendment isn’t irrational. It’s based on a fair bit of reasoned thinking, just like most of you reading, I suspect.
Last year, Dean Winslow, a doctor and retired Air Force colonel was going through confirmation hearings before a Senate committee for a job as Trump’s assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. He offered the opinion that it was “insane” that in the U.S. “a civilian can go out and buy a semiautomatic assault rifle like an AR-15.” He looked at it from the perspective as a military doctor who had treated combat wounds.
Winslow believes the moment of truth cost him the job in Trump’s cabinet, as he later wrote in an opinion piece. He noted he had arrived at his hearing the day after massacre at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
“Unfortunately,” he wrote, “I do not possess one credential the committee wanted to see: I do not support the unrestricted ownership of semiautomatic assault weapons by civilians.”
No rational person would — unless it is someone with their own idiosyncratic attachment to the AR-15 or is a politician paid off by the National Rifle Association, the gun industry or some other lobbyist.
If you support AR-15 ownership, you’re not rational no matter what. This columnist discredits your opinions outright because you’re irrational and his sole criteria for determining that is your refusal to side with him. Either that or you’re bought and paid for because no one would look at this and come up with anything other than what he did.
The problem with this is that if anyone were to look at this rationally, they’d recognize that the problem is not now and never has been the AR-15 or other so-called “assault rifles.”
First, there is the minuscule number of crimes committed by people wielding AR-15s. While mass shootings make major headlines, they also make up the vast majority of illicit uses of AR-15s, and they’re far from the only tool used for such things. To date, the most deadly school shooting in the country remains Virginia Tech. The gunman there used two semi-automatic pistols.
This is a rational observation.
Second, there’s the fact that there are millions upon millions of these weapons in circulation. They’re popular and in common use, which means they meet the Heller test. They’re used lawfully by something like 99.99 percent of those who own the weapons (not an official stat, I should state, just a guesstimate based on observations and the fact that they’re used in so few crimes despite being so popular).
This is a rational observation.
Finally, this also ties into the fact that we have a constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. There’s no right to be comfortable with which guns other people get to buy. There’s no right to have reality distorted to conform to your feelings. There’s no right to any of that.
We have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and we also know that the Founding Fathers believed that the citizenry should be armed in such a way to resist a tyrannical government or foreign invader. While people like the author tend to argue that our Founding Fathers couldn’t imagine the firepower we currently possess, they either ignore or are ignorant of the fact that the Second Amendment protections included artillery. That’s right. Cannons!
A rational person would examine these facts and understand that opposing restrictions on firearms is rational.
Unlike, say, having a visceral hatred of a weapon time used in a tiny fraction of a percent of all crimes.
Hat tip: The Truth About Guns