Comment: Hugger, you're wise to let

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Hugger, you're wise to let

Hugger, you're wise to let your friend's point of view settle. Too often when we think we're "enlightening" someone, we're actually just spouting our own beliefs. A settling period helps give us that break to understand where the other person is coming from and really respond in a way that communicates rather than spouts.

I'll do my best with what I gleaned from what you said about your friend's gun control stance.

Her first paragraph: I completely understand. In fact, some of her reasoning her, I think, is sound. I can, as a free person decide to disarm anyone, and I can use my reputation and social sway to convince others in my community to maintain the disarmament of that person. By extension, we can as a community imbue a government body with that power to disarm and maintain the disarmament of an individual.

Where the reasoning begins to break for me is when she wishes to use government to prevent people from acquiring weapons. Fine to disarm a person who has convinced a community he should be disarmed; really weird to not allow someone to acquire a weapon before they've showed themselves and idiot with it.

Ask your friend what sort of world she imagines if we decide to let government not allow a law-abiding father to pass on a weapon to a law-abiding son. Remind her that convicted felons, those society has already decided are not law abiding or responsible, are not allowed to own weapons nor to buy or give weapons to others. Would she wish to replace the court system, trial by jury, all our legal protections with some government "you're-not-worthy" system? What would her system be based on if not a group of one's peers finding one guilt?

Your friend's analogy with a driver's license is just a little silly. No one needs a license to drive. The license only gives a person state sanctioned permission to drive on publically funded roads. You don't need a license to drive on your own property, or on private roads. It's not the driving that's sanctioned by the government; it's the ability to drive on government roads.

Finally, ask her to think about what she says in her last graph. First she thinks that laws will give irresponsible gun owners access to knowledge about gun safety. Ask her to consider this theory in another realm. People didn't know about the dangers of smoking pot until there was a law against and now everyone is well informed with the actual facts of the felony that is taking a toke. Ask her if she'd really like to be surrounded by a community of folks that waits for laws to become informed on anything. Do people make laws? Or do law make people?

Ask her how she envisions the government would find and prosecute those folks who have all these suddenly illegal guns. There is no way for the government to find out if you've got your guns safely stored or it you're all responsible with them all the time unless she sanctions door-to-door searches. Ask her if she'd be willing for a door-to-door search. Tell her that a great deal of Americans believe that it's irresponsible to have sex outside a committed relationship. Some of them want government to go door-to-door to ferret out those who are irresponsible with their reproduction -- an irresponsibility that leads to far more human deaths in the number of aborted fetus that death by gun. Would she like government to come to her door and examine and judge how responsible she is?

Ask her how well those government test are doing when it comes to licensing "responsible" drivers on public roads. Ask her how well the state is doing at judging who should drive on our public roads. Ask her if she wants that level of incompetency deciding who carries bullets.

Ask her if it's "responsible" and "safe" to have sex and risk pregnancy when you're pretty sure you'd kill your fetus. Ask her if the million human fetus aborted every year kind of make the 30,000 shootings (including suicide and accidents) a silly argument. If we want to save lives, have the government go door-to-door looking for women who can't figure out birth control. And by the way, point out that according to her logic, making abortion against the law would at least give folks "access to knowledge."

Sorry, I actually meant to phrase all that in a way that would work with your friend. I got lazy. I hope that it as least gives you a framework to discuss with her while being far more tactful and compassionate.