1/19/11

On the absurdity of the "guns don't kill people" argument

Regarding the debate about ammunition clip limits on guns, the following argument (of those against limits) seems to apply: Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people. Therefore, we should oppose anyone attempting to limit the rights of individual Americans who wish to arm themselves with a nuclear weapon.

Why does this argument fail? Because there are no qualifications on the initial argument. In other words, of course people kill people--that's too simple. The logic behind limitations has to do whether the technologies available to killers too easily accelerate, magnify and multiply their intentions. Of course they do.

The NRA style argument which rests on the overly simple "people kill people" premise neglects these complicating factors. If the NRA style argument is willing to rest its case on a too-simple premise, then they must also be willing to accept the implication that a nuclear weapon, too, should be acceptable.

So, in the end, the NRA logic implies the acceptability of nuclear weapons--a clearly unacceptable conclusion. Thus, their premise must be flawed, and so there's good reason to suppose that some limits on clips is acceptable.

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