Did you ever wonder why gun control advocates are so totally convinced that they are right? Did you ever ask yourself how one arrives at that level of conviction?
You might not have, but I did. And I came up with something of an answer.
Their belief system is based on a proposition, a statement. In and of itself, that statement is absolutely true. In fact, there is no way to disprove it. The people who blame guns or who want to rid the world of guns are being totally logical.
Here is the cornerstone of their belief:
If there were no guns, there would be no shootings.
In slightly different terms:
If no one had a gun, if no one possessed a gun, if no one knew how to shoot a gun, there would be no shootings.
Of course, someone might retort that if no one had any fingers no one would ever be able to pull the trigger on a gun either.
But I digress.
As it happens, this article of faith, this dogma from the Church of the Liberal Pieties, is logically true. It is unimpeachable… which is why those who believe it are so frustrated that you do not see the point. Of course, it verges on the tautological, but don’t let that bother you. Certain types of logical truths are always tautological.
What am I trying to say here? I am trying to say that you cannot prove or disprove the statement by any reference to reality. Such is the case of Freudian psychoanalysis, as Karl Popper noted many decades ago and as I discussed in my book The Last Psychoanalyst.
Evidently, the statement is not a scientific hypothesis. It cannot be tested and verified; it cannot be tested and falsified. When you latch on to such a logical proposition, nothing in the real world can ever disprove your belief. Therefore you need not worry so much about reality... except as it can help you to persuade others to believe as you believe.
This is why scientific fact is always subject to skepticism and doubt. And it is why anyone whose belief is impervious to evidence or who cherry picks evidence cannot be doing science.
The problem with the proposition is not that it is illogical or that it is, on its face wrong. The problem is: it is irrelevant. It fails to address the problem or the issue. You might as well put your head in the sand and pretend that no one can see you.
We can happily imagine a world without guns. At some point in human history people lived without guns. They also died at age 30 of disease and starvation and knifings.
For the moment, there are upwards of 300 million guns in America. When you allow a fiction to blind you to reality you are living in the theatre of the absurd.