This morning I was listening to the radio when a caller called in about gun control. The liberalish host answered the callers point in a way that stumped the caller, and caused me to think. The following is the response the logically fallacy of ineffective laws should be appealed period, thus ineffective gun laws should be repealed just as ineffective illegal drug laws.
The point the caller was trying to make is simply the one that gun laws only hurt law abiding citizens and not really criminals. Of course the host took this to mean that the caller was arguing that we should just throw out laws that are not effective and asked the caller if he was also prepared to legalize drugs as we all know such laws are also ineffective. Now he may have stumped the caller, but he shouldn’t have. Here is why:
The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” I do not see anywhere in the governing papers of our government a similar statement regarding drugs of any kind. There is no right of the people to do drugs like cocaine or pot even. Thus the first and most simple defeat to the idea that gun laws and drug laws are similar is that the former is a constitutional right and the other is not.
If the first response doesn’t persuade there also is an effect second that one can employ. It simply is the observation that we have drug laws because there is no such thing as the righteous use of certain “illegal” drugs, nor do they add anything meaningful to life. Of course one might argue that Alcohol is in the same boat, a debate for another time, but I will simply say that although Alcohol can be abused, there is a benefit that has thousands of years of history behind it: it can be enjoyed without being abused – an argument that cannot be made for a great number of “drugs” out there. In other words everyone who uses “illegal” drugs does so to get high (which is usually unavoidable even at the lowest doses), not because the act itself is enjoyable (as in the scent, or taste, or texture of the drug is enjoyable in and of itself). This is just not true with Alcohol as it can and is often enjoyed for its taste, scent, texture and craft and paring with foods, not for its “high”. My point is basically that certain illegal drugs can only be abused and they have no other use, while Alcohol can be enjoyed or abused and the enjoyment good outweighs the risk of abuse – but I am off track. Guns on the other hand are more like Alcohol, they can be used for righteous ends and do benefit society. Without Guns people wouldn’t be able to protect themselves from criminals or tyrants more powerful and skilled then themselves (if Guns didn’t exist then those with the strongest arms and greatest battle skills would rule those who were physically or skillfully weaker – guns, as famously said – make people equal). There has been no time in history like our time where an individual can defend himself against a more numerable force – the skill to fight off 5 muggers with a sword vs a gun is significant. Therefore the simple (unlike the sentences before) response is to point out that legalizing drugs doesn’t reduce the harm done by them, but increases their harm because now more people will participate in their destructive properties who previously wouldn’t because they were illegal. However, legalizing more guns only benefits society because it allows more law abiding citizens to defend themselves against the criminals who already have guns no matter what the law says.
So if you find yourself in a debate about gun control and a liberal throws out the good old line: “well if you think that gun laws don’t work because they don’t stop criminals, then are you for legalizing all illegal drugs since people still get ahold of the drugs in spite of the laws?” you can have confidence that his thinking is flawed and point that out in your well reasoned response: “I’m sorry buddy but I’m not going to fall for your emotional and poorly reasoned rhetoric, gun laws and drug laws are two completely different and separate things. First gun ownership is a fundamental right, while drug use is not, and second there is no righteous use of these drugs, no benefit to society, while gun use can and is often righteously used as they defend family and country from tyranny global and domestic, from those who wish us and our loved ones harm.” Don’t let people snow ball you with quick responses that seem emotionally powerful, but really lack any reasoned substance.