Back Away Slowly, We’re Talking About Guns

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Because every polarizing debate deserves some kind of historical background. And for some reason the gun debate never includes pretty pictures.
Image property of Jeb

I just want to get this out here right now, I am just a little against gun control. Never mind, I am really against gun control. I think that that is an important observation because I will be analyzing an argument against gun control. I recently came across a blog post titled “An Opinion on Gun Control” by Larry Correia, and while I mostly agree with what he has to say, there are some issues with the structure argument. I hope that my admission makes it clear that I am not analyzing his points, but how he puts them together.

The first thing that Correia does very well is his introduction of himself and his establishment of credibility. While some might argue that he goes overboard in establishing this, I think that the way he goes about it is really the most effective way. In a debate like the one on guns, there is so much junk flying around from both sides of the argument and it is important that one is able to determine whether one’s source truly is reliable, so the massive quantity of credentials that he supplies is great. The other upside is that the large quantity of information forces opponents to take Correia seriously and not just right him off as another crazy gun-nut.

Correia also does a very good job of backing himself up with facts and statistics. Every point that he makes is supported by some statistic or study. All of these numbers give credibility to what he is saying. This high point though also has a downside though: Correia does not cite his facts, well hardly ever. In order to actually be taken seriously by the opposing side, Correia should have provided the sources for every statistic he used and then probably should have in included footnotes with additional sources of evidence backing himself up.

Correia also does a good job of supporting and narrating his arguments for armed teachers, against Gun Free Zones, about gun control laws and the gun culture. He supports each of these arguments and informational pieces with statistics and personal anecdotes that are relevant. He also has a good tone for most of his pieces that is a bit humorous and very average Joe like in its delivery. These arguments do not have any noticeable logical errors and make sense.

On the other hand, Correia makes several arguments that are just plain weak. His argument on a unified agenda for the media, apart form the obvious one of making money, is not substantiated at all. This argument gains a lot of strength though when is leaves off the line of a unified media agenda and instead focuses on the attention that the media gives the shooter. The argument against humanizing killers and making a big show about them is very well thought out and logical. The argument also slips, majorly, when Correia starts talking about confiscating guns. His argument does nothing at all to make the average reader want to give guns to the people who would potentially start shooting people up when their guns are threatened. The argument is also just flat out confusing when he starts throwing in cops, drones, and the military. And that argument does not make the gun culture sound more normal, it just makes me wonder when gun happy people will start the next American Revolution to protest a violation of their rights.

There is one thing in the argument which really stood out to me: Correia flat out states that he will not discuss a topic that he is not qualified to discuss. That took a lot of self-control to do, something I hope that I have the ability to do. There is one sticking point in this great paragraph though, the condescending line about people who do not know that guns fire from the pointy end. This sounded slightly mean spirited and out of place.

Overall the argument was a well developed and well written response to the current discussions on gun control. There was probably some skewing of statistics to help prove Correia’s point, but if we look at that honestly, everyone skews statistics, unconsciously or not, to support their own arguments. Overall the essay was well done and that observation should not be dependent on where the reader stands on the gun debate.

Jeb

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chloe
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 14:51:07

    I liked that you mentioned that Correia had enough self-control to not comment on an issue he knew he wasn’t qualified to discuss; when I read his essay I, too, was quite impressed by his willingness to be so honest and reasonable. You point out some really good points about where he went wrong and where he supported himself really well. Good job, this was a very well written post!

    Reply

    • jebrd
      Jan 18, 2013 @ 15:02:44

      Thanks, I really liked your post too! I think that admitting publicly that one does not know something is one of the hardest things for people to do and do well.

      Reply

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