A potentiality is not an actuality

Yesterday I posted a quote from someone opposed to open (and I would imagine any type of) carry. He was responding to someone else in the comments to a newspaper article:

“How many open carry citizens have committed crimes with their weapons?
Answer – none”.

You are incorrect. Open carry laws make it easy for psychos to tote
around LOADED weapons, which are responsible for a lot of the crime and gun
deaths each year. The law may be designed for the “law abiding” citizen, but if
you think only “law abiding” citizens utilize the law you are an idiot.

It is my belief that we are so frequently exposed to irrational and nonsensical thinking and behaviors that we frequently cannot see it for what it is. We accept it as normal and attempt to confront them on their own territory using their own “rules”. This is like mud wrestling with a pig. They are going to be an extremely slippery opponent, you are unlikely to win, and even if you do there is no hope of any dignity or great reward.

I didn’t notice that I had ignored this guy’s subterfuge until sometime after I had posted it and rather than update the post I decided to see if anyone else noticed and pointed it out in the comments. About a 1000 people have seen that quote here and no one has said anything about what the guy did. I doubt that he himself realized what he did. It is what these people do naturally. Their thinking process is so messed up that it just comes out.

The two points that need to be made are:

  1. The responder changed the question. The question was, “How many open carry citizens have committed crimes with their weapons?” The responder changes this to, the implied, “Does the ability to openly carry enable crime?”
  2. A potential to do harm is not the same as actually doing harm. In nearly every instance of a push for greater gun control (and, if you think about it some, nearly all government programs) those advocating more government control focus almost entirely on the potential harm if action is not taken and the potential good if the action is taken. Actual harm and actual benefits appear to be (and in many cases I’m sure it is deliberately) ignored.

This second point is very important. A potentiality is not an actuality.*

For the most part when we debate against gun control (or socialism for that matter) we use actual facts. We accuse them of using emotionalism but it goes deeper than that. They frequently argue about “what could happen”. When they do this there is almost no limit to what conclusions will be reached.

They end up arguing that .50 caliber “sniper rifles” can bring airplanes down out of the sky. To the best of my knowledge there has never been a case of a semi-auto or bolt action .50 caliber rifle taking down an airplane. Potentiality versus actuality.

They end up arguing criminals will buy guns at gun shows with “no questions asked”. Criminals obtain their firearms at gun shows less than 1% of the time. Potentiality versus actuality.

They end up arguing if you carry a gun it can be taken away from you and used against you. Defending ones-self with a gun results in less injury to the defender than any other course of action. Potentiality versus actuality.

They end up arguing that if there were strict, “common sense” gun laws in place crime would go down. At the very best the facts show heavy restrictions on private citizen access to firearms is not positively correlated with an increase in crime. Potentiality versus actuality.

Keep your eyes and ears open and your brain working. Don’t let them get away with arguing potentialities. Make them argue actualities. A potentiality is not an actuality.


*The title for for this blog post comes from Susan K. (Cherry Tree–Susan will know) who, about 25 years ago, used this phrase to emphasis a point in a debate I had with her. This post was inspired by the book I’m currently listening to, The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand. Susan was a huge fan of hers although I didn’t hear that exact phrase in the book (so far anyway) similar wordings and phrases caused me to remember the debate I had with Susan. It turns out, that if you do a web search for that phrase you will find that Ayn Rand did in fact use it–but in a totally different context.

8 thoughts on “A potentiality is not an actuality

  1. They live in an entirely different mindset than we do. When I was anti-gun I found myself getting into discussions about gun control with people who were pro-gun, and I got beat hard simply because they knew the subject better than me.

    Now being a logical person I decided to research the subject so the NEXT debate I could make a convincing and compelling argument. Armed with facts I saw that Gun Control was a born looser, and was actually directly opposed to my values for supporting it in the first place (less violence, less crime, more safety).

    Illogical people will simply attempt at all causes to discredit, silence, or bypass the opposition, rather than attempting to make a compelling or convincing argument.

  2. OMG, The “open carry” group has not been like that in CA and in CA there have been no crimes comitted by open carriers here in CA. What if is a bunch of crap and we all know that. This is created by a fear not reality. Open Carriers frequently get checked to make sure the gun is unloaded. I know I clean mine everytime after the range so I know mine is unloaded. I carry my gun to detour people who have been threatening and intimidating me. Why should the public be subjected to added costs and problems this bill creates when in CA open carry is not a problem as documented by most of our police departments here. Do a few public records requests and see for yourself, then shut the hell up. If you believe everything TV tells you then I guess you will believe that the world will end in 2012 and aliens live amoung us. What if we have a flood or natural disaster, should we ban all defense such as emergency supplies? Get real, I don’t like guns either but it is better in the hands of open carry than with a criminal. It takes PD in CA up to 30 minutes to respond. I cannot tell you how long that is in an emergency. We have serious cuts here in CA most people who have a heart attck die because EMS cannot get to them in the required 8 minutes. We have daily robberies, crime and lots of problems with illegal aliens who commit crimes. There are no jobs and we are releasing record numbers of felons. Why don’t you come to CA and look for yourself. This is where I live: http://www.claycord.com

  3. The Virtue of Selfishness was the 1st Rand book I ever read. It’s short, to the point, and a great introduction to Randian Objectivism.

    Illogical people will simply attempt at all causes to discredit, silence, or bypass the opposition, rather than attempting to make a compelling or convincing argument.

    This. These folks simply do not engage in normal thought processes, so trying to debate with them is nearly impossible The gulf between how a rational person like your or I think and how they think about this issue is so wide that there can be no common understanding on their part. It’d be like trying to discuss Ferrari’s with someone who is convinced that a Fiero and a Ferrari are one in the same.

    You can beat the close-minded over the head with truth, but unless there’s a crack none of it will penetrate their ideology.

  4. “…none of it will penetrate their ideology.”
    It’s a simple case of prejudice. You’re the devil, so anything you say is the devil trying to fool them with mind tricks, even if, or especially if, your mind tricks are extremely compelling. That’s how the devil works, don’t you know. They on the other hand are the soldiers of righteousness, so anything they say or do, even if it’s deliberate deception, is for the good, QED. All’s fair in the war between good (the left) and evil (you). As Dan Rather said after being exposed as a fraud; “Courage.” As the jihadists say too, it is perfectly acceptable, even laudable, to lie to, cheat, steal from, or kill, any infidel.

    From their perspective as dedicated members of the Cult of The State, we are infidels. All their perceptions follow from that basic premise. That premise is continually reinforced in their circle of friends, acquaintances, teachers, professors, and by the media and entertainment stars they admire, so it isn’t all that hard to understand them.

  5. Joe,

    Next time someone tells you 50 caliber bolt or semi-auto rifles are capable of bringing down an aircraft in flight, PLEASE remind them that QUAD MOUNTED M2 MACHINEGUNS were ABANDONED by the US Military as proved to be largely ineffective.

    The SIX 50 Caliber MACHINEGUNS on the F86 Saber proved very inadequate against the Mig17 in the skies over Korea. If 50 calibers were useful for anti-aircraft use WE WOULD STILL BE USING THEM.

  6. I wish social engineering drop-outs would stop scapegoating psychotics. A psychosis is a horrible disorder. Those who suffer from it are chained to the schedule of their medications–some of which might kill them–and their lives are forever intruded upon by the people who must monitor them. They are at least as likely to hurt themselves as other people. These poor souls have more pressing concerns than frivolous contraband rules.

    What disarmers should be worrying about are the otherwise functional misanthropes who favor defenseless, surprised victims that expect safety because of useless contraband rules.

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