Sophistry: noun: the use of fallacious (highly untrue) arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving.
Here’s today’s insanity from NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, who, like VP Mike Pence, looks like the Nazis in The Sound of Music chasing the Von Trapp family around the Alps [hat tip: Billy Crystal]:
Wayne LaPierre: “What they want is more restrictions on the law-abiding,” LaPierre said on stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington. “They want to sweep right under the carpet the failure of school security.”
1. Everyone is “law-abiding,” even psychopaths, right up to the moment said psychopaths open fire on large crowds of innocent people with military-grade weapons. Take that maniac in Las Vegas last October. Up until he smashed open the window of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and fired his bump-stock-enhanced AR rifles at the crowd of Country Music fans below, killing 58 and wounding over 800, why, he was as “law-abiding” as any other person; after all, he legally purchased over 45 weapons in the previous year and passed every background check—you cannot get more “law-abiding” than that. And then he wasn’t when he pulled that trigger and unleashed hell on the crowd below. Can we please put this logical fallacy of “law abiding” to rest? It is a specious argument. Every person is technically law abiding until the moment he comes unglued and kill others. Who, we citizens ask, is the next psychopath to go from law abiding to total kill-kill-kill crazy in a matter of seconds and unleash hell with assault rifles and high-capacity-mag pistols on groups of innocents? Please explain this distinction, Wayne. Oh, right, there is no universal algorithm or pattern where you can predict when and where the next law-abiding idiot starts killing others. Ergo, the access to guns of mass casualty infliction is the issue, not the “rights” of the individual. Get rid of the guns and the slaughter will definitely diminish, even disappear. That is a logical fact, Wayne.
2. If what happened in Parkland was a “failure of school security,” what about what happened in Las Vegas? What was that a failure of, except to prevent a single citizen from buying over 45 military-grade weapons and thousands of rounds of ammo, checking into a hotel incognito, and murdering 58 people? Was that a failure or “security” too, Wayne, or just the fact you and the NRA encourage any and every fucking idiot in the USA to purchase a shitload of weapons and ammo for the so-called protection of liberty? What liberty was that asshole in Vegas protecting, Wayne? Again, can we dispense with the logical fallacy arguments? The easier security solution to prevent the thousands of gun murders every year is to get rid of the guns. Outlaw them. Seize them all. Now, this may seem impossible, and maybe it is, but, logically, that is the most correct answer to all this gun violence. Ask Australia. That brave country did exactly that, outlawing semi-automatic long rifles and seizing them from private citizens. Turning our schools into armed prisons? Insanity. Arming everyone in America into a giant Mexican standoff as a means of security? Really, seriously? You’re fucking insane, Wayne.
What’s so frustrating about the so-called public discourse on gun violence is that, for far too long, these specious arguments haven’t been rightfully ridiculed for what they are, a load of horse shit. Our right not to be shot by maniacs, as far as I know, greatly exceeds the rights of so-called “law-abiding” psychos for purchasing weapons designed for soldiers to kill lots of enemies in a war. Let’s not bullshit the citizenry of this country over this; Second Amendment rights are one thing, but how about the right to live free from nut jobs shooting at you with weapons that have no truly utilitarian use in the hands of private citizens?
How about the right not to get shot by a psychopath while attending a concert in Las Vegas? Or while attending church in Texas? Or watching Batman at a theater? Or having a work Christmas holiday party? Or dancing at a disco with your friends and loved ones? Or going to school or college in Colorado, South Florida, Kentucky, Virginia, et al.? Or just walking down the street? Your right to bear arms, Mr. Pretend Patriot Douchebag Wayne LaPierre, doesn’t trump my right to live peacefully. So while I think there’s lots of debate to be had about the validity of the 2nd Amendment—and the restrictions we as a civilized country should employ to prevent the thousands of gun murders every year—let’s not forget that the fundamental rights of a US citizen are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not to own a murderous war machine like an AR-15 rifle. Please, Wayne, with the silly bullshit arguments otherwise.