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Old 09-10-2019, 12:51 PM
ASL v2.0's Avatar
ASL v2.0 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2019
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Posts: 969
Is it necessarily dishonest to believe that you have a right to something on multiple grounds, but to recognize that one particular basis would be more decisive, and more likely to convince others, than the other, and so to argue it first and foremost?

And does anyone think theyíre going to convince the person theyíre arguing with to change their mind, then and there? That the answer is most likely to be "no" does not mean there isnít a potential benefit to spread the message (hopefully backed up by data and a good argument) to a wider audience.

Personally, I think the biggest problem with 2nd amendment debates isnít the good faith or lack there of of the participants, but rather that we who favor gun control fail at the outset by so often allowing the discussion to be framed in the context of what are really only a sliver of the wider issue when compared to the bulk of gun violence cases. That is, this fetish we have (on both sides of the debate) for dissecting mass shootings, which necessarily entails a discussion of the motives of individual mass-murdering assholes, and opens the door for speculation about what could have been done to stop them before or during the event if only...

Thatís the wrong way. The discussion, if it is had, should focus on the bulk of gun deaths caused by less-than-mass shootings, and yes, even suicide. As a side benefit, maybe we could convince people to see the mentally ill as predominantly victims of our gun culture, rather than perpetrators.

Oh by the way, if pro-gun commenters donít get to argue their case first on legal, then on moral or other (like, natural rights) grounds without being considered "dishonest," then does that apply to the gun control crowd too? Because when I get into these discussions, I do so with a belief that the 2nd amendment has in the past been interpreted to allow for greater control of firearms, but I donít allow my argument to be blunted by limiting it to merely what the 2nd amendment allows: I believe that everything should be on the table, including amending the constitution. I also believe firearms do more harm than good on more occasions than not.

In short, if you believe that the constitution should be amendedóthat is, you DON'T think there is a natural right or a moral imperative or whatever to own firearmsódoes that mean you canít also argue that firearms should be restricted because the constitution, in your reading, allows it? Are YOU dishonest when you shift from making a constitutional argument to a moral-based argument to a practical argument based on crime statistics? I think not.

All sides in a debate should be permitted, nay expected, to argue their position on multiple grounds without being accused of dishonesty for the mere fact that they think theyíre right for a lot of reasons, even as you think theyíre wrong for a lot of reasons.

I think guns do more harm than good and should be more tightly controlled on practical grounds. I also believe the constitution, as written, can be taken to allow for some additional regulation. I also believe the constitution can and should be amended to allow for still more control. I also donít believe there is such a thing as natural law, at least as commonly held by advocates of such a thing. I "canít wait" to learn which of those points Iím allowed to advance in good faith, and which would be "dishonest" because they didnít come first.