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5 false assumptions in the gun control debate

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Introduction

First things first, let me assure readers that we'll be back to the more usual "civilian defence" and other martial arts topics again soon. However I've had a great number of responses to my article "We need to talk about the whole gun thing" and I thought I'd address them – preferably in one article.

Many of the responses share a common feature: the tendency to assume one or more variables that are false, but that are nonetheless intuitively appealing – so appealing we can't relinquish them to see the situation for what it truly is.

I liken this process to the "grip reflex" of which I've previously spoken: as a species, humanity often seems to have difficulty letting go of something that seems intuitive (ie. that which comes to us automatically and just feels "right") – especially if it makes the issue with which we're confronted look "simple" or "common sense". We end up thinking:�…

We need to talk about the whole gun thing

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I'm continually surprised to read the number of posts on Facebook of people (almost always so-called "conservatives") urging others not to discuss gun control in the wake of the latest mass-shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

They say that to do so would be to "point fingers" and "make politics" out of this tragedy. In other words, they're saying:

"You're not to discuss the 'elephant that has crept into the room', namely gun control.
It would be 'unseemly' and 'political' for you to do so."

It's as if they want a special dispensation not to discuss the most relevant legal, political and social issue impacting on this tragedy "out of respect for the fallen and their families".

Well I'm sorry: you can't silence the debate in relation to its most relevant issue – all on the basis of some purported "moral high ground". If we shouldn't talk about gun control now, w…