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Old October 10, 2008, 04:42 PM   #4
Glenn E. Meyer
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 18,604
My point was that it isn't just the 2nd Amend - although that is our focus here.

When folks have a belief, probably locked in by emotional evaluations, they don't look disconfirming evidence.

A person whose loved one was killed by a nut with a military derivative rifle is not going to read a book on the pros of the 2nd Amend.

A person who defended themselves with gun against a rapist is not going to read evidence that overall guns are dangerous to society.

Either will focus on their experience and overestimate its validity.

It takes explicit training in empirical methods to overwhelm the emotional.

One might decry a person who vandalizes your progun sticker. At work, we had a person with a Darwin fish on their car and it was vandalized. Some folks justified the vandalism as acceptable because that statement was contrary to their beliefs. Someone who vandalizes a progun sign probably has the cognitive belief that guns are only instruments of unacceptable violence and that preventing such violence is a greater good that justifes the action.

Only if folks are willing to objectively analyze the situation can you change beliefs. There are various persuasion techniques in many disciplines. Will folks go to the effort - no - most are intellectually lazy unless they are forced by circumstance to do this.

So I ask - have many progun folks read articles and books that might suggest gun control has utility - to see if empirically some programs might be good for society? Have antigunners read the progun literature? It has been done by some - McClurg, Kopel and Denning have a great book - Gun Control and Gun Rights - A reader and Guide - 2002 NYU press. It is a rational pro and con.

If one says apriori that there is no value to any antigun argument - then that's the problem. Emotional evaluation as compared to empirical.

If one wants one to come up with the magic progun argument.

1. It's a right from God
2. It is to protect against tyranny
3. More guns, less violence or crime

and expect not to back it up to an anti - that won't happen. I think the people who change position have the cognition resources to actually think about the issues.
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