Recently, I visited a conservative Facebook page in wake of the tragedy in Connecticut. Obviously, the owner of the page is staunchly against gun control while I am firm for it. Watch as he/she commits the infamous Slippery Slope Fallacy, highlighted for your enjoyment.
GUN ADVOCATE: You can ban all the guns in the world, and the destruction and mayhem will just get much worse. The solution is not stricter laws, the solution is to place armed guards in the areas of concern, and train the average citizen how to use a gun, and train them in crisis situations. Why not, most American citizens would help if they could, the show of force from people who are armed would be enough to stave off an attack. Make it known that people here are armed and these tragedies will stop. That boy forced his way into the school, if an armed guard had been present, this whole tragedy could have been avoided.
Here's something to keep in mind about banning guns. If you ban guns, what's next? Kitchen knives? They can be weapons. Baseball bats? They can be used as weapons. How about hair spray? Light it up and that's a very destructive weapon. How about Curtains? You can throw them over people and bring them down, or you can tear them into shreds and use them to choke people with. Oh wait, lets ban screw drivers, they can become weapons, or how about a nail gun, now that's a gun so we need to ban that too. Letter openers, nail files, fire pokers, brooms, bleach, keys, etc. How about things to make a bomb, are we going to ban them as well? Acetone, Hydrogen Peroxide, Muriatic Acid (If you don't have this around go to a pool store). A molotov cocktail would need a rag, glass bottle such as a wine or beer bottle, gasoline, motor oil and the optional styrofoam cup, are we going to ban all of these things too? My point here is no matter what, there are always going to be weapons of mass destruction at the tips of anyone's fingers. Banning guns does not solve the problems, it will just create more and you won't like the results any better.
The answer is to increase security in areas that are prone to attacks such as this. I heard a guy on Hannity yesterday say that his idea would be to place trained police officers that are on disability and unable to perform their duties as a cop, but could handle a role as a security cop at the schools. They are trained in bolistics, they have firearms, and they would be an excellent choice to put in schools because they know how to spot the criminals before something happens. Pay these guys a little more than what their disability check is paying them, and they would make excellent security guards for schools, malls, wherever they are needed to ward off would be slayers. Arm the areas that need arming, and these problems won't be problems anymore. Start banning guns, and it won't stop there. We won't have anything pretty soon, and Agenda 21 will be a reality.
MY RESPONSE: I'm sorry, but if you make the argument that getting rid of all the guns in the world will lead to more mayhem, you have to at least come with facts.
Now I realize that there may be studies that intimate that having more guns leads to less crimes, but I'm talking about deaths. And since the ban on assault weapons expired in 2004, mass shootings have doubled in the U.S. Japan has very strict gun laws and while we have thousands of gun deaths each year, the most they have ever had was less than a hundred. The Harvard Injury Control Research Center concluded that where there are more guns, there are more homicides.
States with stricter gun laws tend to have less homicides. High income countries with less guns have less homicides. Now there's several cultural and sociopolitical factors that may have a confounding effect on these differences (lower recidivism rates, higher conviction rates, a more authoritarian government) but when you see this trend from nation after nation, doesn't that at least give you pause?
The Absurdity of Macgyverisms
Let me just point out the fatal flaw of your second argument. You say that if we ban guns then that will lead to people banning other things -- such as curtains -- that can kill. Therefore, we shouldn't ban guns.
OK, imagine it's many many years ago when nuclear warheads were coming in vogue. The government all of sudden says, "Listen citizens, I know this second Amendment thing says you can have any type of arms you want, but the nuclear variety is off the table." Then a gentleman comes and says, "But, sir, if you don't let us have nuclear warheads what's next? Guns? Staplers? Curtains? Bubble gum? YOU watched McGuyver didn't you? People can kill with ANYTHING! No matter what you do we'll have these weapons of mass destruction at the tips of our fingers. Banning nuclear warheads doesn't solve the problem."
This argument would be ridiculous. This level of ridiculousness even has a special name in logic known as the slippery slope fallacy.
"1. Event X has occurred (or will or might occur). 2. Therefore event Y will inevitably happen. This sort of 'reasoning' is fallacious because there is no reason to believe that one event must inevitably follow from another without an argument for such a claim." LaBossiere, Michael (2010-11-04). 42 Fallacies (Kindle Locations 2070-2075). . Kindle Edition.
Simply because anything can be used as a weapon does not mean we should not ban guns or nuclear warheads. There is no reason to believe that we would ban all of these random things if we banned handguns in the first place...
It's Curtains! Curtains! You understand?
Furthermore, if all these things are just the same as a gun, why do you not instead carry a concealed curtain? Or a beer bottle? Or stick bubble gum? -- well some people do that last one already but you get my point: it seems that, of the things I mentioned, one of these things is not like the other. SOMETHING is easier to kill people with.
Secondly, let me let you in on a little secret: they don't have guns in Japan. Despite all that, they have no people killing with letter openers, nail guns, and curtains -- of all things. Interesting thing, an almost exact situation happened in Japan just after the shooting in Connecticut. There was a mass assault, but instead of a gun, they used a knife. I believe 22 were stabbed. What was the difference? THOSE PEOPLE LIVED. Even if they do get their hands on something else, less people die.
Now, I'm not like other liberals. I don't mind a trained cop or veteran being in all of these places. But look, most times I go into a mall I might be walking with a backback. There are various entrances at that mall. You're going to have a cop or soldier at each entrance checking everyone's bag as they come in? But fine, you'll probably say he can just "tell" because he's been trained. Fair enough. However, what's to stop our gunman from shooting up people in a park? What's to stop him from shooting up people in a church? What's to stop him? Don't let him have the gun! Let him go get his curtain and try to smother a crowd to death. I welcome it!
You say guns are only more destructive because criminals choose them first??? No, criminals choose them first because they are more destructive. Not only that, but they're more efficient. Again WHY do you have a gun and not a broken bottle? Why don't you just make a bomb every morning and carry it with you to work? One is more efficient and convenient.
Oh, Let's Just Give Guns to EVERYBODY!
Finally, it would be nice if every Tom, Dick, and costumed kid's show character was properly trained with a gun, always packing, and ready to pop a perps head clean off his shoulders from 40 feet away. Unfortunately, I don't want to have to depend on all of these highly unlikely scenarios in order for these killings to be thwarted. Also, what if someone simply doesn't want a gun? What if they are raised in a culture where guns are taboo and barely anyone in their city has a gun? Certainly they shouldn't be forced to carry one. This portion of your solution is flawed. It depends on voluntary participation. That's like replacing the tax code with voluntary donations: you just might not get enough participation for it to be effective.
Therefore, we need an alternate plan. How about we just cut the gunman off at the pass? How about we just don't let him get guns? Or at least not semiautomatic or assault weapons. There's more I have to say, but I've rambled on too long. Always nice to discuss the issues. We both want the same thing: safety for our kids. We just have very different solutions. Peace.