The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
Well, that was a noble try. Very well stated. It would be nice if these people would state up front they are not interested in learning or counter opinions.
I posted about this state of affairs, but I don't think I've got the trackback right.
Thanks for your efforts, Kevin.
Although I applaud your efforts to engage him I learned long ago his type is unreachable. These days, if I say anything at all, I ask Just One Question and let it go. My time is better spent getting good publicity for Boomershoot and other wholesome activities.
Pick the battles you can win or at least do significant damage to the enemy. It's much more rewarding than beating your head against a brick wall like that bigot.
I'm surprised he's replied this many times. Good job engaging him though. I enjoy reading a well thought reply.
Your exchanges with Dr. Kelly definitively demonstrate why rational discussion cannot change an anti-gun mindset. I have given up all such exchanges. Instead I work exclusively to enact more pro-gun legislation. During the past four years my state legislature (Ohio) has passed shall-issue concealed carry legislation and pre-empted all locally-enacted gun ordinances. More pro-gun rights proposals are on the menu for the new legislative session. I no longer concern myself with the bleatings of people like Dr. Kelly and his counterparts where I live. We're winning where it counts.
Gentlemen, the point is to engage people like this in public. Not with the expectation that you're going to sway their emotion-based position, but in order to provide the fence-sitters a concrete example of what the two sides represent. That way they can make a more informed decision. (Thus the "perfect example of type" comment.)
One slight correction. Gun control, specifically the so-called Brady Bill, has been found to have produced a statistically significant shift to hanging as a method of suicide among older adults. No net reduction in the number of deaths, but there was an effect.
Actually, older adult males. Women, by and large, don't commit suicide by firearm.
I try to not confuse 'em too much with the facts.
Kevin, as a novice in these matters, I appreciate your taking the time to counter this Doctors argument so thoroughly. Your commentary has greatly assisted in my education.
Actually, according to the current edition of our fun little handbook on the forensics of gunshot wounds, female suicides-by-firearm have been increasing drastically over the last few decades.
We've come a long way, baby!
Must be that "gun availability" thing.
I like to think it's wider education. Or at the very least, cultural awareness that suicide by drugs (the traditional feminine option) is really easy to screw up.
Firearms: the efficient choice for whichever target you have in mind.
Yes, thanks Kevin! You have given reasoned-voice and much word-ammunition to the logical side.
"...in order to provide the fence-sitters a concrete example of what the two sides represent. That way they can make a more informed decision. (Thus the "perfect example of type" comment.)"
Well, you didn't change MY opinion at all...not ONE little bit, see?
I don't know who to attribute the following to, but I'm certainly not the originator of the idea. Still, I think it applies.
The concept of a BELIEF, which is something someone KNOWS to be true, generally exists within and builds upon the fact of AWARENESS. That is, awareness, like headlights in the dark, allows us to see something. If we all look at the same object and we all have similar faculties, we all register the same image, but we don’t all “see” the same thing. What we see is filtered by our beliefs, so no matter how much we try to make someone "aware" of the correctness of our arguments (as in, with facts!) our belief structure filters out the ability to register that correctness -- i.e., to be truly aware.
In my experience, there are only two ways to change a belief, and both require the actual change to be initiated by the believer, albeit often as a result of some other catalyst.
The first way is by providing a new belief to replace one that is either absent or ill-formed. This occurs when we teach our young our value systems. For example, as a child I learned from my father that all Jews were tight-fisted. Essentially, that changed a blank belief into a belief.
My experience as a teenage Maytag repairman for my Dad where I dealt with many Jewish customers who tried to bargain (Jew!) me down on the repair bills only reinforced that belief. I learned that belief because I was by nature open to absorbing from my father.
The second way occurs when the believer is exposed to the truth, but it requires the believer to be open to change in belief; it essentially exists only when the believer is open to self-questioning. It was not until college, when I had made acquaintance with 8-10 Jewish friends, that I learned that bargaining was an ethnic trait that Pittsburgh Jews considered to be almost a sport. I opened up during my Prufrock years, which allowed me to change. Consequently, belief changed.
Some beliefs, however, are so ingrained, that they will never change, no matter how much evidence you pile on. I wish I could envision a way beyond such an impasse, but I don’t think I’m smart enough. I guess that means we will all keep banging our heads trying to explain to engender a belief change rather than just awareness.
Apologies if this is a bit off topic, but your essay reminded me of this 18th century defence of duelling. The sort who would ban weapons for the belief that they cause violence and killing have been around for centuries.