Enabler of death and evil

My previous post, Quote of the Day–The Gun Guys, about anti-gun bigots demanding people use emotion to win arguments and their agenda in legislatures, deserves more attention. His email was inspired by Despite Large Majorities, Democrats Are Chicken on Gun Control by Drew Westen.

Weston claims people are at their most basic and inescapable level not logical. I’ll grant that he is not but nearly everything he says just does not compute with me. I associate him and his viewpoints with death and evil. I associate great emotion with the great evils of the world. Every genocide, the burning of “witches”, the war against us by Islamic extremists, racism, domestic abuse–the list is almost endless. Strong emotions and the exclusion of facts and logic have played a huge role in the killings of millions of innocent people. To endorse emotion as a means of “finding your moral compass” as Weston apparently endorses is flat out wrong.

Reading this article was about as pleasant as shoveling fresh cow manure out of a unventilated barn on a hot day (I’ve actually done this–it’s not for people with weak stomachs). Weston has the gall to claim facts are unimportant. Emotion is what is important and he claims this as a fact. There is no hypocrisy in his world view is there?

I was going to just ignore Weston’s factual errors in regards to gun laws but I can’t. Weston’s tries to convince us with facts and logic that facts and logic aren’t important. But he is so careless with facts that even if we were to overlook his hypocritical argument we just can’t trust him. Each time he erroneously states a “fact” it’s like he just broke out another window on his airplane. His argument is so drafty that no reasonable person could tolerate the ride even if his plane could get off the ground.

Here is a sample of the factual errors:

  • The Brady Act restricted the sale of “assault weapons” — Wrong. It was the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act passed in 1994.
  • The Brady Act caused 100,000 felons to loose their right to bear arms — Wrong. Convicted felons had that right infringed in 1968 with GCA68.
  • Hunters have a right to own firearms — The right to own firearms has nothing to do with hunting.
  • The National Rifle Association supports semiautomatics for felons — Wrong.
  • The National Rifle Association supports unrestricted access to automatic weapons — Wrong.
  • There exists some set of firearms “designed for no other purpose than to take another person’s life” — I suppose it’s possible but I’ve never seen or heard of such a gun.

I will grant Weston has a point in that emotion is a “card” politicians can and do play with great effect regardless of the facts and logic of reality. But this is not the way it should be. Emotions should be used by politicians to gain support for that which is true and logical. The “dispassionate mind”, which Weston apparently despises, should be the beginnings of any endeavor which has the luxury of at least a small amount of time devoted to planning. From the basis of what is true and good one can build up a web of logic and reach conclusions that will resonate and create passion. One should not start and end with conclusions and passion. To do that is to invite error into our thinking and that is why I see Weston and his ilk as enablers of death and evil.