Quote of the day–Dennis A. Henigan

Shortly after I began my career as a lawyer and advocate for the nation’s leading gun control group, I started to notice a peculiar repetitiveness in my opponents’ arguments. Whether it was on radio or TV talk shows or panel discussions or speeches with audience Q&A, there was a striking similarity in the substance of the arguments, and even the language, used by my opponents. Over and over again, I would hear that “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” I would hear “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” I would hear “An armed society is a polite society.” I had seen these sayings on bumpers stickers for years, but I discovered that my opponents actually argued in these terms. Even when these exact phrases weren’t used, the thoughts they express were conveyed in other words. In more scholarly settings, critics of gun regulation would dress up their arguments in the arcane language of academia and in mounds of statistics, but their basic claims could, to a remarkable degree, be boiled down to the same themes I had heard on countless talk shows.

Dennis A. Henigan
Pages 5-6, Lethal Logic — Exploding the Myths That Paralyze American Gun Policy
[I’ve addressed some of his points in this book from a press release here. I now have the book in hand having borrowed it from Carnaby last night. We’ll see if there is anything particularly interesting in it. So far, part way through the prologue, he is just complaining that the gun control movement has trouble getting any traction and all the pro-gun people have is bumper stickers.

It seems to me that if your opposition is able to hold you down with a few bumper stickers then perhaps your vehicle is lacking substance under the hood.–Joe]

10 thoughts on “Quote of the day–Dennis A. Henigan

  1. It seems to me that if your opposition is able to hold you down with a few bumper stickers then perhaps your vehicle is lacking substance under the hood.

    I am reminded of Phil (Random Nuclear Strikes) recounting the tale of his encounter with a hippie chick who objected to his “Peace through superior firepower” bumper sticker, and the bomb he dropped on her worldview with this phrase:

    Isn’t it sad that all of the psychobabble you keep in your head just lost an argument to a bumper sticker?

    Same holds true for Dennis Henigan.

  2. I had forgot about that post! You’re right. This is a very similar situation.

    I might have regurgitate that thought from my unconscious. Thanks for giving Phil some credit.

  3. If I understand the point of the quote correctly; the more we assert our simple and basic rights, the more we are practicing repetitiveness, and therefore the more we are wrong. Is that about it?

    So if I and a hundred million other people assert that two plus two equals four, and we say it often, and we put it in simple terms on bumper stickers, then we must be wrong, ipso facto.

    I think what he meant to say is that pro-rights advocates are very consistent, both in their principles and in their effectiveness in defining those principles. Well thank you, Dennis. Glad you noticed. Maybe you should try to learn from it, though I think the problem there is you’ll have a very hard time pointing to any founding principles for your anti-liberty stance that can hold up to scrutiny. That’s why you have to constantly shift your message around, willy nilly. “Guns are bad because they cause accidents.” Oops– accidents have been falling while gun ownership rises. “OK, guns are bad because they cause crime.” Oops– can’t point to any supporting facts. “OK then; guns are bad because they contribute to cross-border drug trafficking and gang violence.” Oops. And so on and on.

    He’s envious. I know how this works. He assumes we’re using simple-minded dirty tricks, and when he tries his very own simple-minded dirty tricks, they fail. What the…? Well, why should people fall for our simple-minded dirty tricks and not fall for his, when his simple-minded dirty tricks are, in his mind, more eloquent and sophisticated? Obvious answer; people are just too stupid to understand his eloquence and sophistication. That and he doesn’t have enough money. Look for him to try dumbing down his message while demanding more money, “equal” air time, and press coverage.

    I got a little kick out of this bit; “…my career as a lawyer and advocate for the nation’s leading gun control group…” Isn’t that more and more like saying you’re a lawyer for the “nation’s leading” thimble collector’s advocacy group? Yippy skppy– you’re really somebody.

  4. Actually, I believe Henigan is a very intelligent man who works hard in a field he’s passionate about. I’ll bet there’s a bit more substance to the book than you’ve encountered so far, Joe. I’m looking forward to picking up a copy myself. There’s probably a treasure trove of blogging material in there.

  5. Funny that Henigan hasn’t noticed the “peculiar repetitiveness” of the bunk that his side peddles.

  6. “Actually, I believe Henigan is a very intelligent man”

    Then you would be a fool, Mikeb. But you have already proven yourself to be so in other places.

  7. After reading that, you should check out Howard Nemerov’s book “400 Years of Gun Control: Why isn’t it working?”. Different sort of book, but chock full of goodness.

  8. “I’m pretty good at long range shooting.”

    Joe, you just made my Hero Of The Day for understatement, and made me snort an adult beverage through my nose to boot.

  9. When training, teaching, and trying to get a point across to people like Dennis Henigan and their ilk, I try to remember to use the K.I.S.S. principle.

    Keep
    It
    Simple for the
    Stupid.

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