Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Burden Of Proof

I recently engaged in a gun-related masochism exercise thread on a web forum infested with teenage drama queens (or adults indistinguishable from teenage drama queens) who just know guns are baaaaaad and people who have guns are arrogant, swaggering rednecks.

All I was trying to do was get even one of them to defend their positions with anything more substantive that this is how I feeeeeel and everybody knoooooows it's true. Well, that and perhaps get a fence-sitter or two to actually read the citations I linked to in my posts and maybe learn something.

Alas, it was not to be.

That whole venture into the twilight zone unfortunately occurred before D. J. Moore posted his incredible essay on where the burden of proof lies in citizen disarmament, "The Nonviolent Lie." I would have loved to quote this section to the members of that forum:

From here on out, anyone who reads this blog, and wishes to discuss gun control with me, needs to show that they have read both Ethics and Fraud, and understood them. Let me say frankly, in all good will and friendship, if you haven’t, and if you aren’t willing to sit and listen to me make these points, and if you cannot refute them — not, mind, just wave your hand and tell me I shouldn’t worry my gunsmoke-rotted, troglodyte brain over such obvious offenses to the Way Things Oughta Be, but actually refute them — you are too ignorant and close-minded to be worth arguing with.
Oh, well, who am I kidding? Based on their command of grammar and spelling, I doubt they would have understood.



DJMooreTX said...

Hecate, I appreciate the link, the quote, and the kind words.

One of the most frustrating things about this fight is that most of the people I had in mind as I wrote are not ignorant teenage drama queens. They're intelligent, well-educated friends and family I admire and respect who would not tolerate this level of dishonesty in any other topic of debate. Gun control propaganda, however, seems to cloud their minds, engaging an irrational fear that is difficult to penetrate. I hope someday to find the key that unlocks their chains.

BTW, if you don't mind, let me repeat the links to Eric S. Raymond's inspirational essays Ethics and Fraud. They really are indispensable, and I've edited the paragraph you quoted to include the links. I could not have written my, let me admit, somewhat emotional screed without ESR's careful work.

Hecate said...

Thank you. I inserted live links into the quote. The essays are also in my Links sidebar.

Lorimor said...

Wonderful reading!!!