(Still quoting others for post titles...)
Anarchangel has an excellent post up on just that topic: the differing first principles between our gun-culture and the anti-gun culture. Quote:
Here's the thing, pro-gun and anti-gun people are arguing from a different set of first principles. There can be no useful debate betwen two people with different first principles, except on those principles themselves.It's just another way of stating the philosophical schism between those of us who understand the concept of violent-and-predatory vs. violent-but-protective, and those who only see violence vs. non-violence. It is very much a matter of first principles, and it is why one of my earliest posts on this site was Is the Government Responsible for Your Protection? The only way to reach the other side is to debate those first principles, and the only way to do that is to get the other side to look at the harsh realities versus their philosophical ideal.
ProGun people believe that the gun is a useful tool with no inherent motive, and no inherehnt dangers, excepting misuse. Additionally, guns are examples of elegance in mechanical engineering, which many take pleasure in. Finally they are a source of enjoyment through the practice of the skill of marksmanship. But guns are jsut inanimate object; dangerous if muisused, but so are knives, screwdrivers, chainsaws, cars.. well really just about anything. A gun is an inanimate object, just like any other two pound chunk of metal.
Anti-gun people operate from a completely different principle. They believe guns are inherently wrong. They equate guns with assault and murder, and conflate a causal relationship. They believe that if anyone would have a gun, they must have a valid justification for it, and that they (the anti-gun people) must judge the validity of this justification. They believe that the desire to carry a gun is in iteslf a pathology, and therefore no-one who wishes to carry a gun should be trusted to do so.
I've tried pretty hard to do that in many of the essays over there on the left under "Best Posts," just as I did in the six months I spent posting in the Gun Dungeon of DemocraticUnderground.com. Just before they tombstoned me, I got nearly the greatest compliment a writer like myself could have. There was the following exchange at the end of what was to become almost my last thread there:
Reply to post #20
21. Oh, I'm willing.
Your side finds guns just as animated, potent and totemic as my side does, if not more so.
Oh, certainly. At least the "totemic" part, anyway.
Considering the kind of comments that turn up here from Gun Huggers on a regular basis, I don't think a cautious, intelligent advocate such as yourself can afford to.......
I will readily admit (and have, I believe) that we are often our own worst enemies. The number of "people with less than 100 posts" who come in here and hurl invective certainly make points for your side of the argument. But have you spent any time in the talk.politics.guns newsgroup? Your side is abundantly represented by the slavering gun-phobic there. I don't bother with it because it is essentially a flame-fest of the far fringes attacking each other through the anonymity of the internet.
You know why I like this forum so much? Because it represents a good cross-section of the gun-control demographic - the people who "believe in gun control" but who aren't really involved in it, and who don't really think about it. The moderators do a good job of keeping at least the gun freaks out of the board. Instead, the groups represented are the moderates, and the gun haters. The moderates I think I can reach. The gun haters make excellent illustrative examples. They generally sound so reasonable until you expose them. The gun freaks? Yes, they frighten John Q. Public. Hell, I find them a bit discomforting. I find skinheads and the KKK discomforting too, but that's insufficient reason for a general restriction of free speech and search-and-seizure rights.
I think I represent something you don't see a lot - the reasoned, logical fanatic (as I defined it to CO Liberal in another thread, "fanatic: won't change the subject, and won't shut up.") Or, the "cautious, intelligent advocate" as you put it.
You want to discuss emotional wellbeing? Hell, I'm up for it.
Reply to post #21
22. Cut Yourself Some Slack
This issue needs a lot more "advocates" and a lot fewer "fanatics," on both sides.
I think you fit in the "advocate" category. As I've said before, I also think you fit in the "pain in the ass" category, but you've exhibited your emotional wellbeing by considering that a compliment.....
Reply to post #22
23. I LIKE being a PITA
It's tough to ignore a nagging pain.
And I am, most certainly, an advocate. But, as CO Liberal and I have discussed, I'm also inflexible. I have a position I've taken after research and due consideration, and I'm not moveable on that position. So, my advocacy is to get others to consider that position, and accept it. If being a PITA is required (and it seems to be,) that's what I do. Like I said, I won't change the subject, and I won't shut up.
CappurrThey booted me on Sept. 3 after I had achieved 1819 posts.
Reply to post #23
24. Dear PITA
Don't shut up. I wildly disagree with most of your positions on this subject, but you are a damn fine advocate. And you make me think. And that is important.
Making them think. It's why I now blog. (Won't change the subject. Won't shut up.) But boy do I miss that target-rich environment!