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Your Foundations Are Wrong; Your Conclusion Is Wrong. Just Stop It.

Your Foundations Are Wrong; Your Conclusion Is Wrong. Just Stop It. September 22, 2021

I wish people would read what I write and then interact with it, rather than just posting the same erroneous conclusions on my threads. It’s really frustrating, because I have debunked their position until they can show me I haven’t.

Here is Person223’s latest rehash of the same tired old baloney:

People do have the right to self defense and guns and the two are linked since the latter is a tool for the former. People in government, after all, as also people and they don’t have the right to tell us not to do that which doesn’t harm others. This is why a law against murder is a just, fair, valid law and a law against owning or carrying a gun is not. The answer is always asked the wrong way. The question isn’t what gives us the right to do things or have things. The question is what gives the people in government the right to tell us we cannot do that which isn’t harming anyone.

If someone is so untrustworthy as to prevent them from having a gun why aren’t they locked up for the safety of the rest of us? And why infringe the rights of the rest of us because of those few who are untrustworthy and/or violent?

Yawn. What is a right? Where is it located? How it is causally efficacious? How does it interact with the material world?

Okay, so I won’t rerun my arguments. He should have read them by now. About twenty times given the frequency of me banging on about them and the fact that his comments are directly below the articles in question. See:

What does Person223 mean by “People do have the right to self-defence and guns”? How does he know this? How does he establish this? And we’re back to “What is a right?”.

The first point is this: if I have a right to guns, then I have a right to a nuclear missile. This reductio shows how absurd or how arbitrary the claim is. “Oh, that’s ridiculous!” – Is it? Well, where do you draw the line? Because my line doesn’t accept people walking around with guns, but your line is where? RPGs? Machine gun outposts? Nuclear warheads?

What I am saying here is that his “right” has to somehow include a very prescriptive cut-off point within it to show that the right doesn’t include a Death Star but does include an AR-15.

Someone does have the right to own and even carry a gun in certain parts of the US but not others (at least with open carry) and not in the UK. So these rights are not inalienable and universal unless you claim they are in the abstract domain. But then you would have to show that (which Person223 hasn’t even remotely done). Thus, the right is only a right when codified into a law, and that law is enacted and enforced.

Or, we are really just talking about legal rights.

The rights you see in the UN Charter of Human Rights are fantastic ideals, but they depend upon…

  1. Being part of the UN.
  2. Adhering to those guidances (for that’s what they are in essence).
  3. Those rights being enforced in the event of non-compliance.

To say “I have a right to healthcare/water/education” or whatever you want to plug in there is very contextual. In the absence of the context, these are just another way of saying, “In the world I want to live in, everyone should have equal access to…”. When you start entertaining the context, such claims might be, “Given the legal framework set up in my nation-state, I am legally entitled to…”

Person223 seems completely unaware of all the articles that I have written on this and seems very comfortable with trotting out the same tired old conclusions, rationally bereft of foundation.

People in government, after all, as also people and they don’t have the right to tell us not to do that which doesn’t harm others.

Of course, this is precisely not the case. The government, when advocating for gun control, are indeed staking the claim that such unfettered gun ownership does cause harm to individuals, communities, and society.

Check out the gun deaths in the UK. Thankfully, we have “only” a knife problem precisely because people can’t get hold of guns, and this results in far fewer homicides, injuries and suicides. Or, less harm.

This is why a law against murder is a just, fair, valid law and a law against owning or carrying a gun is not.

Non sequitur.

The question is what gives the people in government the right to tell us we cannot do that which isn’t harming anyone.

Social contract, democracies, legal systems, and so on. By all means criticise this, but actually give some substance and then propose something else in its place.

I can think of many ways of changing the US system – vastly adapt or destroy the Electoral College system, get rid of First Past the Post, change the Supreme Court mechanisms, legislate against gerrymandering, amend the Constitution, so on and so forth.

I bet he had absolutely no problem when the Texas government brought in exacting anti-choice and anti-reproductive rights legislation because he agrees with it. He’s allowed to discount those rights and still argue for his gun rights because his rights are the right ones! Which is fine if he actually recognises how this works.

For me, the way to operate in the context of Texas is political reform to better reflect fair political representation (including in terms of reflecting the diversity of the electorate), and to play the long game to get the GOP out of office.

I think that the reproductive “rights” of the mother are more important than those of a cluster of non-sentient cells. People like Person223 disagree. So we argue in the marketplace of ideas and hope that our argument wins out in public discourse so that it is reflected in democratic elections and ensuing law changes (or lack thereof).

If someone is so untrustworthy as to prevent them from having a gun why aren’t they locked up for the safety of the rest of us?

He’s in danger of starting a far more interesting debate with this one, invoking The Minority Report and suchlike. Thing is, someone is much more dangerous than they otherwise would be, much more of a threat to the rest of us, when they have free and easy access to guns.

In the UK, some nutjob walking down the street is unknown to me as a nutjob because he goes about his business in a way that doesn’t generally represent harm. The most that often happens might be a fistfight. Give him a gun, he feels empowered. He gets a false sense of who he is and what he can do. He gets into a nutjob argument or feels nutjob aggrieved, shit happens. Give him a nuclear warhead, and watch out even more.

There are plenty of people who, in the right context, can be very threatening to our safety. You can go ahead and try and lock these people up before they do anything nuts with some prescient police force – good luck with that – or you can work hard not to present people with fertile contexts for loopy behaviour.

Don’t give a razor blade to a toddler. Or, don’t give the general public free and easy access to guns.

I, for one, feel much safer here without seeing people with them. I can’t remember the last time I saw a gun in real life.

Long may that continue.

Here’s my request, though, please stop, stop, stop splurging the same old conclusions without first doing some legwork to establish a rational foundation upon which to build them. By all means, whinge about my own foundations, but do that on your own away from here unless you can show them to be in some way faulty; until then, kindly desist from endlessly conclusion-asserting.


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