Paradigms, due process, and civility: guns

Scott Adams thinks he knows Why Gun Control Can’t Be Solved in the USA. One problem is the idea of “solved” as applied to gun control as the debate has little to do with guns and a lot to do with control. The Democrats temper tantrum in the House yesterday showed that. The temper tantrum was about due process, not gun control, as due process was the only sticking point on a Senate bill the Democrats otherwise supported. Adams also illustrates the misdirection problem.

So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. Psychologically, those are different risk profiles. And you can’t reconcile those interests, except on the margins. For example, both sides might agree that rocket launchers are a step too far. But Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as “Put down your gun so I can shoot you.”

Let’s all take a deep breath and shake off the mental discomfort I just induced in half of my readers. You can quibble with my unsupported assumptions about gun use, but keep in mind that my point is about psychology and about big group averages. If Republicans think they need guns to protect against Democrats, that’s their reality. And if Democrats believe guns make the world more dangerous for themselves, that is their reality. And they can both be right. Your risk profile is different from mine.

Fear always beats reason. So as long as Democrats are mostly using guns to shoot innocent people (intentionally or accidentally) and Republicans are mostly using guns for sport or self-defense, no compromise can be had.

When fear drives people to solving the wrong problem, there is a solution to be had. In the Adams scenario, this would be for Democrats to address the reason why they are killing each other – e.g. inner city crime. The problem here is that they oppose the effective and proven methods. Stop and frisk has been set aside in New York. Black Lives Matter works on a false premise to emasculate proper policing. Releasing criminals from prison on a false pretext of racial disparities in the prison population is another. None of these have anything to do with gun control but they do have something to do with murder and mayhem.

What is missing in the efforts to solve a political problem is first the lack of intellectual integrity. There is no common basis in reality upon which to build any solution. The House tantrum shows just how deep a denial exists. That tends to lend credence to the idea that “Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats” as that is one of the fundamental reasons for the second amendment in the first place: citizen defense against irrational tyranny that eschews such concepts as due process much like the Democrats are advocating.

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