More Fish-in-a-Barrel from Quora

OK, so someone asked the question Why is the NRA is so vehement that the 2nd Amendment is interpreted as broadly as possible and is interpreted as if it’s 1776?

One “Andy Zehner, statistical analyst at Purdue University” gave an answer. Let the frivolity begin!

They espouse a strong interpretation of the 2nd amendment because it works to their favor. But I don’t believe the NRA is much concerned about civil rights as a principle. The NRA works for what is beneficial to gun manufacturers.

From their point of view, more guns is the only answer. If the problem is “Not Enough Guns,” then the answer is “More guns.” If the problem is “Too Many guns,” the answer still is, “More Guns.”

Are you sure about the second part of your question? I don’t think the NRA wants to “interpret as if it’s 1776.” I think if Thomas Jefferson came into the room, Wayne LaPierre would dismiss him as quickly as he dismissed the Sandy Hook survivors. Cleaving to 1776 and original intent means justifying private gun ownership in terms of a “well-regulated militia.” That isn’t something the NRA wants to have to do. They want “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” and damn the consequences.

I replied:

Cleaving  to 1776 and original intent means justifying private gun ownership in  terms of a “well-regulated militia.” That isn’t something the NRA wants  to have to do.

So you mean that the NRA wouldn’t want all eligible males of military age to be required to keep an M4 carbine, body armor, and a standard infantryman’s loadout of ammunition at home? (See The Militia Act of 1792.)  (And given their support for women with guns, perhaps them too?)  Actually, I don’t think they’d really have much of a problem with that.  But if instead you mean that they’re more interested in making sure that deer and duck hunters get to keep their wood-and-blued-steel guns, well, you may have a point.

What they’ve worked for in recent decades has been ensuring that law-abiding citizens are not made unable to defend themselves by state action. The NRA (along with the Second Amendment Foundation and many other national and state pro-rights groups) have worked towards expanding right-to-carry laws nationwide, so that now there are NO states where concealed-carry is outright prohibited, and only eight states where the law remains “may issue” instead of “shall issue.”

And the worst thing that can be said for this massive expansion in the right to arms is that it might not have contributed to the massive drop in violent crime that’s been recorded since the mid-1990’s.

So, yeah:  “More guns” does seem to have been “the answer.”  Or at least, it’s not “the problem.”

Facts are funny that way.

Of course, he took the bait:

“So you mean that the NRA wouldn’t want all eligible males of military age to be required to keep an M4 carbine, body armor, and a standard infantryman’s loadout of ammunition at home?”

No, I don’t think the NRA would want that. Dictating which weapons and the amount of ammunition would be a considerable curtailment of gun owners’ rights as they exist today. If I want a BushMaster or a Glock, what right has the government to tell me I have to have a M4?

And more to the point, the makers of the BushMaster and the Glock wouldn’t want that (unless one of them happens to make the M4, which I don’t know and am not going to bother to look up.)

So I set the hook:

Of course you won’t bother to educate yourself.  Your mind is made up!  Facts are irrelevant! 

Yes, Bushmaster does make M4 carbine clones.  As do over two hundred other manufacturers including (but not limited to) Armalite, Colt’s Manufacturing, Stag Arms, Rock River, DPMS, H&K, Fabrique Nationale, Barrett, and on and on and on.  The AR-15 platform is the most popular rifle sold today, after all. 

What right would the government have to tell you you must have an M4?  Surely you jest!  The same right it has to tell you you must have health insurance, of course!!  (Though in point of fact, it isn’t the government’s right – governments don’t have rights.  Governments have powers.)  Supporters of the Patient Protection and Affordable (yeah, right) Care Act held up the 1792 Militia Act as a model for the individual mandate.

And the government wouldn’t tell you you must have a Glock.  If anything, they’d tell you you must have either a Beretta 92 (standard 9mm issue sidearm) or a 1911 (the previous standard issue sidearm).  I’d bet on the latter, since there are just as many manufacturers of that weapon as there are manufacturers of M4 carbines.

We’ll see if he doubles-down on the stupid.

UPDATE:  He did.

There is logical fallacy called “shifting ground” or non sequitor(sic), in which the arguer fails to address the rightness or wrongness of what has been said, and instead jumps to a different place without connecting what they are saying now with what was said previously.

Here’s an example:

Earlier Kevin Baker said: “So you mean that the NRA wouldn’t want all eligible males of military age to be required to keep an M4 carbine?”

I responded that I thought the NRA would not want that. I responded to the question he asked, which was about what the NRA would want. I said nothing about whether the government would want that or would do that. Clearly, what the government would or wouldn’t do is a different question from what the NRA would want.

And then Kevin Baker implies (rudely) that I’m all kinds of wrong because the government would do one thing rather than something else. But we weren’t even talking about what the government would do.

Oh, and here’s a bonus logical fallacy: All the minutia about which gun maker manufacturers which types of weapons proves that Kevin Baker knows more than I know about guns. He know a lot about guns, in fact. But it’s all just stacked evidence or extraneous detail. He could expend any number of words listing which manufacturer makes which guns and it wouldn’t erode the validity of my point in the slightest. My point stands: The maker of any particular gun wouldn’t want people to be required to own different guns from the ones they make, and the NRA wouldn’t want such requirements as opposed to unlimited right to own guns.

Sounds like he’s got a little sand in his mangina. We’ll see if he replies to this:

Oh, there’s some “ground shifting” going on, but it’s not coming from me. 

“Earlier Kevin Baker said: ‘So you mean that the NRA wouldn’t want all eligible males of military age to be required to keep an M4 carbine.’

“I responded that I thought the NRA would not want that. I responded to  the question he asked, which was about what the NRA would want.”

My question was in direct response to your original assertions: “The NRA works for what is beneficial to gun manufacturers.” and: “Cleaving  to 1776 and original intent means justifying private gun ownership in  terms of a “well-regulated militia.” That isn’t something the NRA wants  to have to do.”

Given those two assertions, I asked if you meant that the NRA wouldn’t want all males of military age to be required to supply themselves with rifles suitable for militia duty as per the Militia Act of 1792?  After all, if “The NRA works for what is beneficial to gun manufacturers,” what would be more beneficial to gun manufacturers than a need to produce, oh, 100 million M4 carbines?

“I  said nothing about whether the government would want that or would do  that. Clearly, what the government would or wouldn’t do is a different   question from what the NRA would want.”

Read your own reply: 

“If I want a BushMaster or a Glock, what right has the government to tell me I have to have a M4?”

Since what people decry is the NRA’s involvement in legislation (or stopping of said legislation) then the basic question is what the NRA can or can’t get the government to do.  Restoration of the Milita Act – “justifying private gun ownership in  terms of a “well-regulated militia” – would fit that bill.

“And  then Kevin Baker implies (rudely) that I’m all kinds of wrong because  the government would  do one thing rather than something else.  But we  weren’t even talking about what the government would do.”

And that right there is “ground shifting.”  I imply you’re “all kinds of wrong” because you’re all kinds of wrong, but we were most definitely discussing what the government COULD do if influenced by the NRA for the benefit of gun manufacturers, as you asserted is their raison d’etre.

“My  point stands: The maker of any particular gun wouldn’t want people to  be required to own different guns from the ones they make, and the NRA  wouldn’t want such requirements as opposed to unlimited right to own  guns.”

But you didn’t assert that the NRA exists to benefit “the maker of any particular gun”. (Thus, you’re shifting the ground, not me.)  You asserted that the NRA exists to benefit gun manufacturers.  All or most or many of them. If this is true, then creating a demand for, say, 100 million M4 carbines and 100 million 1911 pistols (both of which are made by numerous manufacturers) would be a net benefit to “gun manufacturers,” Q.E.D.

And once you’ve established not only a right, but a DUTY to possess weapons suitable for use in militia service, what does it matter if those same individuals have “sporting” rifles, shotguns and handguns?  In essence, haven’t you established an “unlimited right to own guns” (from your perspective)?

UPDATE II:  Aaaaand this one’s over:

You’re all sound and no sense. You really don’t see your errors, do you?

Pot? Meet kettle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.