Quote of the day—Herschel Smith

So Giffords opposes semi-automatic gun ownership because it is “more effective than automatic firing of the same weapons because they allow for more accuracy without substantially sacrificing rate of fire.”  On the other hand, bump stocks are a “serious threat to public safety” precisely because, according to Giffords, it mimics fully automatic fire.

Herschel Smith
April 22, 2020
Giffords Law Center Presents Anti-Gun Arguments That Contradict Not Only The Constitution, But Their Own Positions
[What most people don’t realize is rational thought is alien. Rational thought is a very thin veneer over a mass of beliefs and feelings.

In our culture some portion of us were told, expected, to think and reason. In general it may even be that you expected to go with that flow. But it’s tough. Reality is really, really difficult to understand. The vast majority of people have reasons for their beliefs and actions. Notice I wrote “reasons”, not rational, logically consistent, factually supported constructs.

Those reasons are far more than enough to convince yourself and can frequently even convince the majority of people around you. You can believe you have everything all completely figured out. But yet the majority of the time you don’t.

I suspect, but don’t know for certain, that in this case the people at Giffords Law Center believed they had a very tight, logically sound belief system. But what they actually have are “reasons”.

Those “reasons” are, in essence:

  • Bump stocks are bad because they can fire many bullets in a short period of time like fully automatic guns.
  • Semi-automatic guns are bad because they are more accurate than fully automatic guns.

It’s circular “logic”. Until someone points it out one could be be completely comfortable with such a belief system for the rest of their life. And most people, when their faulty logic is pointed out to them, will try to save their beliefs rather than correct their thinking. It’s far less psychologically stressful to cling to their beliefs rather than admit they are wrong. Everyone does it sometimes and to varying degrees.

For some people there exists a cure. They need to feel safe in admitting they were wrong. The cost of such admission must be made low or a even a positive experience. High self esteem helps. A politician seeking votes can change their beliefs easily and even multiple times in one day. They value the votes and the power far more then their beliefs. The beliefs are no more a part of them them than a shirt or a pair of shoes. They change their clothes in response to their circumstances, why not their beliefs? And if they really believe it then it’s not lying.

For those will a low self-esteem and with a few people who support them in their irrational belief system it’s far more difficult to give up a firmly held belief. They may even hold onto their beliefs even when faced with their own death rather than give them up.

Anti-gun people tend to fall more into the second category than the first. Look at them and watch and listen to them. Most are timid, low self-esteem people. When they are confronted with evidence and arguments which contradict their beliefs they will shut off the dialog or dismiss you will a childish insult rather admit their belief is worthless.

There are exceptions of course. The power hunger politicians must be persuaded via power but the timid low self-esteem types can sometimes be empowered by taking them to the range. Teaching them to be good at something that gives them independence from fear and you have a good chance of changing their irrational beliefs.—Joe]

3 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Herschel Smith

  1. I’ve noticed that the farther from center, in either direction, a person is on the social and political spectrum the greater their dependence on “canned” philosophies and arguments.

  2. And they want to ban bolt action precision rifles because they allow accurate fire over long distances.

    With them, guns are bad if they produce accuracy by volume (full-auto), quick accuracy at shorter ranges (semi-auto) or slow accuracy at longer ranges (bolt guns). I’m surprised they aren’t throwing pump shotguns under the full-auto bus since they can throw lots of lead with a single shot.

    They are consistent in one thing: They hate guns. All they are changing is the argument for the audience of the moment.

    • Matt gets it. If all guns are bad, then the reasons for banning each type can be inconsistent, but still fit the ultimate objective. Before there was a fuss over semi-automatics, so-called Saturday Night Specials were bad because they were cheap, concealable and black people could own them. At the same time, expensive pistols were bad because they were too accurate. AK-47s endanger people because they spray bullets indiscriminately, but scoped precision rifles endanger people because you can aim and hit what you’re aiming.

      They are like children who don’t want to eat their vegetables – at least the relatively benign ones in the group. They can think up myriad reasons for why a particular gun is bad, and those reasons – collectively – provide them with a strong reasons to ban all guns, even if the reasons cancel each other out.

      Of course, for the tyrants and evildoers among them, the reasons need make no sense at all, other than “guns hinder my ability to rule.”

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