Gun Banners Have to Use Emotion…

…because their arguments lose when facts and logic are used.

Hot Air reports that Michael Eisner wants to ban guns, and wants to do it by reaching the American public with emotional inspiration:

“I’ve always wanted to do position through story on the ridiculousness of having guns and automatic weapons in our society. And it’s been very much obviously in the news, sadly, sadly. But when you’re in a public company and you’re in Washington — I was just saying “Don’t fight the NRA” — or you’re in a big company where your major constituencies are middle Americans, and where you don’t own the company, you’re working for your shareholders, you’ve got to be very careful. And we pushed through same-sex health insurance, some very advanced things… But we never could do the kind of material that I can now do because nobody can tell me I can’t do it. So I think the solution is to get the public, in an emotional, story-driven way, behind the goal of an abolition of handguns and automatic weapons.

That’s how it worked in the UK, but first they had to greatly reduce the number of people who owned firearms through ever-more-restrictive acquisition and possession laws until the remaining gun owners had no political voice.

Not so here. And with the advent of the internet, we have access to each other, the opposition, and the organs of power. The Brady Campaign, for example, has learned this the hard way – finally instituting a registration scheme for commenters to their blog, but it doesn’t really help – it only helps keep out the nutters.

Joe Huffman has the best single-line logical refutation of gun-control – his “Just one question:”

Can you demonstrate just one time, one place, throughout all of human history, where restricting the access of handheld weapons to the average person made them safer?

In opposition to this, all Eisner and Company can do is play on the public’s emotion.

Sorry, Michael. It won’t work any more.

UPDATE: Jack Cluth of The People’s Republic of Seabrook seems to have fixated on me again. He links to this post with another emotion-ridden hand-wringing piece. My comment:

If we want to discuss mental illness, how about we discuss Jack Cluth’s denial, avoidance, and cognitive dissonance, not to mention “Bush Derangement Syndrome”?

“If one was so inclined, and I certainly am leaning in that direction, the blame for this massacre could well and fairly be placed squarely on the shoulders of Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader © . After all, he allowed the assault-weapons ban to expire.”

If you’ll recall, it’s the job of the legislature to write laws. The President only gets to veto or sign them. Bush said (and I believe him) that if a renewal had reached his desk, he’d have signed it. Either way, we’ll never know. Congress failed to do so. Blame Congress all you want, but you are not allowed your own set of facts.

“This argument is not about gun rights, nor should it be. No one is proposing the repeal of the Second Amendment.”

No? Salon’s Walter Shapiro is. He’s not alone. Just vastly outnumbered.

“The very obvious question, though, is why a weapon with a 15-round magazine is legal in the first place? Can an argument actually be made that this sort of thing is appropriate for “personal defense”? There really isn’t any excuse for a civilian to be in possession of a weapon with only one purpose: to kill people.”

This is one of my favorite arguments. The Glock 19 is perhaps the most popular sidearm of police departments around the country. When the “assault weapon ban” was in place, fifteen-round magazines were still being made, they just had “law enforcement use only” stamped on them. So, if the purpose of a fifteen-round magazine in a handgun has only one purpose – killing people – then why are our police departments so equipped? Why, indeed, are so many departments armed or arming with AR-15 rifles with 30-round magazines? Are there huge crowds somewhere that the police need to kill by “spray-firing from the hip”? I’m curious.

It’s your proposition, Jack – an “either/or” dichotomy. Either high-capacity magazines are exclusively for killing large numbers of people (and thus no one – even the police) need them, or you’re first premise is wrong.

Tell me, Jack: With no one attempting to stop Cho, what difference would it have made if he shot thirty times reloading only once, or if he had to change magazines twice? (Remember, ten round magazines were perfectly legal under the ban.) And how many is “enough”? When does the magazine capacity finally fall low enough that the “one purpose” of the firearm isn’t “to kill people”?

And, finally: “I’m sick to death of those who have spent the last few days opinionizing that, if only students and staff at Virginia Tech had been able to carry, this never would have happened.”

True to your nature, once you’ve picked a meme nothing will dissuade you from it. As I said in the previous peice, I haven’t read anywhere where people have declared that allowing concealed-carry on the VT campus would have prevented the attack. In fact, my precise statement, given in comment below was: “I do not now, nor ever have I advocated “a pistol on every hip.” In a free society, people get to choose, and most people (when free to choose) choose not to. That’s OK. But if 1% of the population on the campus of Virginia Tech had been armed, the death toll might have been lower.

“No matter what, it wouldn’t have been zero.”

Once again, you avoid addressing that statement, because it doesn’t fit your mental model. Like I said in the piece you linked to this time, when faced with actual facts, your arguments lose. Emotion is all you’ve got.

UPDATE, Case in point: Lawrence O’Donnell – completely wrong, but absolutely confident!

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