Hidden Violence

Here's a point of view that might be new to you, let's see if it's controversial in any way.

Gun control proponents are violent.

Nope, not a typo. Like an email address on a web form, let me type it again so you can be sure I meant it the first time:

Proponents of gun control are violent.

My guess is that most gun banners don't consider themselves violent, and for good reason. So, I'll explain further, but to do that we need to counter some myths that are so prevalent and "normal" that most people won't even notice that there IS a myth, let alone think about it in any meaningful way. If they do read this, and think about it, I expect they're going to have to re-align a lot of their theories about life and interaction with other people. Or, as is more generally the case, just dismiss me as a whack-job so they can go back to their "peaceful" lives and not worry about all the havoc and death and destruction that's being done in their names, and, in a very small way, because of their actions.

Here's the dialogue with my imaginary straw man:

Me: What does it mean to "ban" something?

Strawman: Silly question. It means we say people can't have the thing.

Me: Uh oh, that brings up three more questions. If every answer does that we're going to explode like a Plutonium bomb. 1. WHO says people can't have the thing? 2. WHICH people can't have the thing? 3. After we find out the WHO from question one, then we ask: Why do the people from question two pay any attention to them?

Strawman: Ok, we can address these issues, this time, because I can see that you're writing the words for both of us, and I have no choice but to indulge you. I mean, it's your blog. If we were real people, in the real world, right now I would be scoffing and pointing out how ridiculous you are. Everyone knows we're talking about the government, which is the will of the people. If they ban a thing, it goes away and isn't a problem anymore.

Me: I know you're my strawman, and I just made you say that, but even you, an imaginary person created solely to argue against me, have to be able to see that whatever the answer to the first two questions, your preliminary answer to number three is not close to reality. But, we'll deal with that later (or not). We're going to pin you down on your answers to 1 & 2 first. So you're saying it's "The Government" that does the proclaiming?

Strawman: Yes.

Me: Ok. I agree. What about number 2?

Strawman: The people.

Me: The people of the government? You mean the employees?

Strawman: If I asked you to define "pedantic", do you think you could do it in less than 500 words?

Me: No.

Strawman: Ok, just wondering. No, I don't mean the employees, I mean the subjects. You know - the people.

Me: No, I don't know, but just for the sake of this argument, let's pretend I do, and I'll accept your definition. The people who are subject to the rule of the particular government, meaning nearly everyone who is in its "borders".

Strawman: Yeah, the people, like I said.

Me: Ok. So, you said earlier that the thing disappears when it's banned. I don't understand how that works. Let's ignore that there are, in fact, some of these things in existence, and just pretend they disappear. Then let's also ignore the fact that the law has to be very carefully written so that people know exactly what they can and cannot do, and many people will find a way to comply with the letter of the law and not the spirit. Let's ignore all of those kind of side issues, and agree that commercial manufacturing of the banned item will cease immediately. Sound good?

Strawman: Yes. That's exactly what will happen.

Me: Ok. Why?

Strawman: What do you mean why? The government said to stop, so they stopped.

Me: I don't think so. If I owned a business that was making me money, I wouldn't stop just because a bunch of people in an expensive building somewhere told me to. There must be more.

Strawman: Well, of course. If they don't stop, they'll be fined.

Me: You mean those people that told them to stop will then tell them to pay them some money? Nope. There's got to be more than that. If I ignored them the first time, why would I not ignore them again?

Strawman: I'm not exactly sure what would happen next. Nobody ever ignores them. Maybe you'd get a summons to appear in court.

Me: And if I ignore it?

Strawman: Well, if you don't show up in court they may issue a bench warrant, meaning they can arrest you and bring you to court. I guess they would come and get you and bring you there.

Me: What if I told them I didn't want to go?

Strawman: They wouldn't care, they would just take you anyway.

Me: Take me? How do you mean? With brute force? You mean just grab me by the arm like a mobster or something?

Strawman: Not like a mobster, the guys that come will be officers. They have procedures for this, they put handcuffs on you.

Me: I don't like having handcuffs put on me.

Strawman: No, I doubt many people do. But sometimes bad guys have to be restrained.

Me: By bad guys you mean people who are peacefully living their lives, making items that other people want?

Strawman: No, you know, bad guys who hurt other people.

Me: So, in this case we're talking about they would not arrest me?

Strawman: Of course they would, in this case you're a bad guy.

Me: So by bad guys you SOMETIMES mean people who are peacefully living their lives, making items that other people want? Ok, skip it. Let's say I agree I'm a bad guy, but I still don't want to be arrested. If YOU grabbed me by the arm and tried to make me go with you, I would have the right to stop you, wouldn't I?

Strawman: Yes, but this is different.

Me: Yes, because these particular guys you're talking about have guns, don't they?

Strawman: It's not the guns that make the difference, it's the badge, and the fact that the government has issued a warrant.

Me: But if I still think I'm right, even though they have badges and a warrant, then that doesn't convince me. But the guns do. They'll shoot me if I try to defend myself.

Strawman: Yes, of course, but you wouldn't do that.

Me: No, I wouldn't. I would probably stop as soon as they said to. But just so you know, and just so all you gun banners out there know: It's not because you're right, it's because you have a bigger army, with bigger guns. You win by using the gun you forbid me to have. And each time you take away a weapon, it gets easier to take away more. Even the filtered history we learned while growing up showed us how dangerous governments are. Governments have killed literally millions of people in the last century. First step to that kind of evil? Disarm the people.

Me (again): Thank you, Strawman, you did a fine job. I invite anyone who thinks Strawman should have had better arguments to please comment and let me hear them.

Gun control proponents might want to recognize that reality sucks. It's tough out there, and while most people are good, there are a lot of bad guys. If we agree that people who use guns to force others to do things they don't want to do are bad people, then you have a small internal crisis you need to deal with. I'll let you get on with that.

- Trevor.