Friday, April 06, 2018

inspiring speech on gun rights

This impassioned speech is going viral, at least among folks in the pro-gun community:


I agree with every single word.

It's funny, too, because I don't own a gun and have never shot anything more powerful than a Crossman pump-action air rifle. I can't claim to know that much about guns, which makes me as gun-illiterate as the liberal folks that the NRA sneers at. That said, I do stand firmly behind an interpretation of the Second Amendment that, just as the man says in his speech, was written to apply to everybody. It's the right of the people to keep and bear arms that shall not be infringed. If you're still focused on the distracting use of the term "militia," watch Pen & Teller's video on the subject.

Dr. Vallicella, meanwhile, lays out a logical case for gun ownership, which is reiterated in a recent comment-thread exchange with a gun naysayer going by the moniker "Tony" (see this post and scroll down). I'll repost a paraphrase of Dr. V's reasoning here:

1. You have a right to life.
2. If you have a right to life, it's morally permissible to defend that life.
3. If it's morally permissible to defend that life, it's morally permissible to defend it using the best means available, which can and probably does include guns.

Deny Premise 1 at your peril. If you say you have no right to life, I may as well shoot you right there since I'm violating no one's rights. Premise 2 seems to be a reasonable outgrowth of Premise 1: a right to life may indeed require defense of that life. Premise 3 also seems reasonable, given that it's saying "the best means available." Granted, the best means of self-defense might not always be a gun, and this premise allows for that possibility. But there may be situations in which a gun is indeed the best (most efficient, most expedient, etc.) way to defend against a deadly threat to one's person. As long as there's a chance that a gun might be needed, then the use of guns, taken as a general principle given all the what-ifs in life, is warranted. All of this seems reasonable to me; there's nothing insane about any of it.

Missing from the above logical formulation is a conclusion; what we have are three premises, and you can draw your own conclusion from them. If the conclusion you draw is "Therefore, using guns is never justified," then I suggest you check your head and try again. That, or be ready to explain how a gun is absolutely never the best means of self-defense because that's the position you're committing yourself to. If there is even one case in which a gun is the best means of defense, then the above premises hold.

I think the gentleman makes a fair point when he talks about how new laws will affect only the law-abiding. This isn't an original argument by any means, but the man makes his case with eloquence and passion. He's a very inspiring speaker who could easily slip into a career in politics if he were so inclined.



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