There are some arguments that are beyond ridiculous. We’ve all heard them, of course. When it comes to guns, one of the most absurd is that if we ban guns, violent crime will more or less disappear. After all, that’s never happened anywhere on the planet and we’re typically more violent as a nation than most other countries, but sure. That’s going to happen.
However, many on the anti-gun side truly believe that. The smarter ones, even if they believe it, recognize it’s a bad argument to make because there’s so little evidence for it.
Yet their side isn’t immune to it. Our side makes some arguments that make anti-gunners completely roll their eyes and dismiss anything else you might have to say.
Perhaps one of the worst is the argument that gun control is really about controlling people.
During this year’s annual red versus blue reassurance ritual, the blues took decisive control of Virginia’s state government. In the spirit of true political opportunism, legislators are wasting no time seeking to consolidate their power over the citizenry.
It’s no secret that gun control is a favorite tool to accomplish this goal.
Of course, gun control is really just a thinly disguised smokescreen to control the people themselves.
Historically, every single authoritarian and totalitarian regime, at some point, has sought to render its subjects incapable of resisting its demands. This requires that those in authority enjoy a monopoly on force.
Now, look, I don’t necessarily disagree with the idea. Gun control is an essential requirement for a totalitarian takeover of the United States. Dictators prefer their subjects not be able to fight back.
The problem is that making this argument suggests that you believe this to be a goal of gun control, that the purpose of gun control is ultimately to control people. Let’s be honest here, most anti-gunners believe nothing of the sort. Many, if not most honestly believe that gun control would somehow make our world safer. They really think that by impacting law-abiding citizens, those effects will somehow trickle down to the criminal elements of our society, regardless of evidence to the contrary.
When they hear arguments about gun control really being about controlling people, they’re not going to step back and think, “Whoa! I didn’t realize that. I’ll completely change my position on gun control.”
That has literally never happened in the history of mankind.
Instead, they hear it and roll their eyes, dismissing you as someone worth taking seriously. They’ll dismiss just about anything you say going forward. After all, you’ve firmly established yourself as a crank.
Now, I’m not about to tell you what to believe. I, too, happen to think that gun control is a slippery slope toward tyranny, toward a government that can exert more and more control over us as a people in our day to day lives. After all, look at the direction the UK is heading where people are prosecuted for saying mean things or even for making tasteless jokes. I have to believe that the government there would be less inclined to do that with a population that could fight back.
What I don’t think is that the average gun control advocate is thinking that way. Most are well-meaning but horribly misguided individuals who don’t understand our rights. That’s it. The thing is, most of the people on the middle of the road–including both those that lean pro-gun and those that lean anti-gun–don’t think of it that way either.
As fantasy author and confirmed gun nut Larry Correia argues, you’re not trying to win the die-hards over. You’re trying to win over that other guy who is watching but is undecided on the issue. Or at least open-minded on it.
You’re not going to do that by screaming that they’re out to get us and herd us into slave camps. It’s just not going to fly.
Believe what you want to believe, of course, but if you want to make headway in the gun debate, make arguments that other people can at least identify with.