A few weeks ago I piled on James Kelly with Kevin over the usual topic of gun control. I left the debate when Kelly admitted facts were irrelevant to his beliefs.
Yesterday Kevin dropped a nuke on him and Kelly responded, in part, with:
Secondly, if as Kevin earnestly believes, he has ‘statistically proved’ that more liberal gun laws actually make people safer, why can’t he show that the level of violence has not just fallen, but fallen to a lower level than in a comparable country that has had stringent gun laws for a prolonged period? As I’ve said repeatedly, that’s the kind of ‘statistical proof’ that would impress me, and it’s distinct absence is one of the reasons why most people in this country are secure in the knowledge that, at least on this one issue, we’ve got it right and countries like the US have got it disastrously wrong.
But Kevin showed that the U.K. violent crime rate dramatically increased after stringent gun laws were passed while U.S. gun laws remained “lax” and the supply increased while the violent crime rate went down. And if current trends continue it will only be a couple years before the official reports will show U.K. has more violent crime than the U.S. I say “official reports” because the U.K. government recently admitted they have been under reporting the numbers for years.
And furthermore Kevin pointed out numerous studies, including ones done in the U.K. that showed gun control laws, at best, did no good.
And what does Kelly say about Kevin’s post?
I will obviously never convince Kevin that those benefits exist, and he will doubtless continue to try to disprove their existence by resorting to a barrage of voodoo statistics, but I remain more than content that I am on the right side of this argument.
…the vast bulk of Kevin’s dissertation genuinely makes no sense to me at all.
He claims something would “impress me” then when given just that he says it is “voodoo statistics” and “makes no sense to me at all”.
He also takes the time to say that he didn’t read one of my posts because he didn’t like the title of the post:
I was also concerned at Joe Huffman’s semi-abusive blog post title, directed toward me personally. (Joe, incidentally, seemed astonished that I didn’t bother reading the contents of that post – did he seriously expect me to consciously choose to read a post entitled ‘What Was It That James Said That ****** Me Off’?) No-one with an ounce of self-respect would persevere with a ‘debate’ that had descended to that level.
That was “semi-abusive”? That was the reason he didn’t bother to read it? And he got the title wrong! It was actually “What did James say that pissed you off so much?”. Typical. He hears/reads what he expects/wants to hear/read rather than what was actually said.
And of course he refused to answer Just One Question with anything other than numbers that were easily demonstrated as wrong at which point he ignored it.
Kevin’s nuke from orbit was overkill for the pointy sticks and stones defense Kelly put up but it’s a great to have that post in the arsenal for next time.
I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, Joe. He was such an inviting target, such an illustrative example of type, that I had to “pull the trigger,” so to speak. I’ve left a comment at his “response” (his comments didn’t appear open last night, but they do today). We’ll see if he publishes it.
Thanks for the link!
Clearly he cherry-picks just the statistics that support his belief system and ignores the rest – it’s his religion that way.
Very, very nice work, Kevin. I will now criticize it, but only because I respect you ; ).
I reject out of hand the very premise of the question.
“Pay close attention to what I’m doing with my left hand. No, don’t look at what my right hand is doing. Just focus on the left hand.”
This is an example of how we’re frequently sidetracked into debating crime and safety issues, when in fact, the motivation for arms restriction has never been about crime and safety. The crime and safety crap has merely been the rationalization– the means to sell it to an unsuspecting, ignorant or gullible public. Since when, after all, has a tyrant come right out and said he wanted absolute power so as to make his subjects toys for his personal gratification? No; there is always a very wonderful, sensible and compelling reason why we should give up our liberty and make ourselves vulnerable to the whims of sick and twisted, power-hungry sociopaths.
(Maybe on the edge of being thusly sidetracked) an interesting line of inquiry would go something along the lines of; “If you were really interested, as you say, in criminal justice and public safety (far from being the same thing, by the way) you’d be doing x, y, and z, instead of attacking the rights of the innocent.” But no– to the tyrant (and his dupes) the answer to all things is more tyranny.
“It’s the only way to be sure…”
*shrug* To quote Schlock, there is no such thing as overkill – there is only “open fire” and “reload”. James not only said some stupid nonsense, he repeated said stupid nonsense in the face of facts that disproved that aforementioned stupid nonsense. Such idiotic behavior should not only be called out, it should be called out repeatedly, loudly, and without mercy. Granted, James is probably not going to learn anything from the experience, but fence-sitters and random passer-bys will see him exposed as the fool he is.
I can live with that.
He’s a sheep in England. When he and his family are being eaten by the wolves – either the yobs or the “asians” – he will be happy knowing that he doesn’t have any means of defense. .
I appreciate (no, really!) your criticism, but I think it’s necessary, if you want to reach the undecideds, that you do it in terms that they can accept. Criminal misuse of firearms is something everyone understands. Self-defense is something everyone understands. You can lead people to the topic of government tyranny, but you (generally) cannot start there. And as I said in the essay, the point of the debate was to present the philosophies of each side for those in the middle to examine. James Kelly framed the debate, I filled the canvas.
Wow, I would never attempt to argue this way:
“But if like me you see the right to own a gun as a relatively meaningless, one-dimensional freedom, and thus interpret the banning of handguns as merely a minor disappointment to the minority of people concerned”
There certainly are inhabitants of the UK for whom the post-Dunblane restrictions were certainly a major concern. I know–I’ve read their blogs. Mr. Kelly is making some important decisions for them, and apparently without considering their opinions. What is the name of that style of governance, where the government makes all the decisions for you? (I’m snapping my fingers here, but it’s not quite coming to me.)
I note that the exact phrase “one-dimensional freedom” is employed by many disarmers. I’m not arguing about the “right to own a gun”; I’m arguing about the right to defend myself in the manner of my choosing, and to otherwise conduct myself in a sane and rational matter, without bothering others, with my would-be “contraband”. If I allow the argument to be reduced to the “right to own a gun”, I’m excluding all the other necessities of being armed, such as the means to procure or manufacture parts, munitions, modifications and all other weapons that are not firearms.