Inflammatory rhetoric and emotion doesn't change facts

Inflammatory rhetoric and emotion doesn't change facts

People engage in all kinds of rhetoric in all kinds of debates. Often, the language they use is off-the-cuff and driven by emotion more than anything else. Other times, it’s carefully chosen and used to create a specific response in the listener or reader.

Other times, like with most of what I write, it’s somewhere in between, depending on my mood.

Rhetoric is just a tool, but like any tool–yes, including guns–it can be misused.

That’s precisely what’s happened in this piece from a blog in Iowa. The piece started with discussing the plight of a young boy injured in the Highland Park shooting, but before long, it gets into the typical anti-gun nonsense.

I’m going to get into it bit by bit.

It is so hard to believe that there are many people in this country that believe the suffering of Cooper Roberts and his family and friends is the price of freedom. It is so sad that elected officials such as Iowa’s radical Republican delegation simply claim there is nothing they can do.

Well, let’s remember a few things. Cooper Roberts was shot by a guy who acquired his firearm in a notoriously anti-gun state and committed a mass shooting in a city that had banned the firearm in question.

When those Republican lawmakers say they can’t do anything, what they mean is that nothing they do would prevent this kind of thing.

After all, Illinois did pretty much everything it could to prevent such a thing, and how much good did it do?

Then let’s get into the rhetoric itself, calling them “radical.”

How is it radical to want to maintain the status quo that’s existed in this nation for more than two centuries? Even if that status quo is politically unpopular, it’s hard to see maintaining things as they currently are as all that radical.

What’s radical is trying to upend the Constitution.

That is little but self-serving malarkey. They get bribes from the gun manufacturers and then make up their stories to salve their consciences.

Bribes?

Do you mean campaign contributions, just like anti-gun lawmakers get from Brady, Giffords, and other such groups?

Why are they “bribes” when they come from a group you don’t like, but unquestionable when they come from your side?

Honestly, accusing lawmakers of accepting bribes falls into the realm of libel. Especially if you turn out to be talking about lawful contributions.

There are safety features that could be engineered into guns that would stop them from working in certain situations. There are laws that could be passed to stop guns from getting in the wrong hands. Laws could be passed that could limit range of guns and number of bullets in a gun.

Tell me you don’t know anything about guns without telling me you don’t know anything about guns.

First, no, you really can’t engineer guns so they wouldn’t work in certain situations. Not without making them so they wouldn’t work in other situations where lives are on the line.

Further, the author invokes Highland Park, then says laws could be passed? Highland Park, Illinois had tons of such laws. They did absolutely nothing to stop that shooting. Neither did the plethora of gun control laws passed in California (Sacramento shooting) or New York (Buffalo).

And laws limiting the range of guns? Here I thought no one wanted to go after hunting rifles. After all, those are generally the firearms that are capable of long-range fire. I mean, we always knew that hunting rifles were on the target list for anti-gunners, but most are careful not to say so.

Really, what we see here is emotionally-driven rhetoric written by someone who doesn’t understand what they’re talking about. There’s no crime in that, mind you. People are free to express their opinion on anything, but when it’s clear they’re ignorant, that opinion should be dismissed.

Inflammatory and emotional rhetoric cannot and should not be a substitute for actually knowing what you’re talking about.