The U.S. Needs Fal­lacy Con­trol — Now

MidWeek (Hawaii) - - Front Page - MUS­INGS Michelle Malkin

Enough is enough. It’s epi­demic. It’s dan­ger­ous. And the time has come to de­mand its end.

In the af­ter­math of the hor­rific mas­sacre in Las Ve­gas, Amer­ica needs fal­lacy con­trol. Now more than ever, the na­tion is suf­fer­ing from an out­break of il­log­i­cal think­ing. In re­sponse to sense­less vi­o­lence, clear­headed cit­i­zens de­serve a safe space from the 24/7 bar­rage of rhetor­i­cal non­sense.

Let’s break down the col­lec­tive cog­ni­tive break­down. Ar­gu­men­tum ad celebri­tum. Empty talk­ing points don’t be­come per­sua­sive ar­gu­ments when ut­tered by Hol­ly­wood stars. But in the bizarre land of the celebrity cult, late-night co­me­dian Jimmy Kim­mel has been sud­denly anointed “Amer­ica’s con­science” and “voice of rea­son.”

Kim­mel railed “in­tensely” on TV Oct. 2 against politi­cians do­ing “noth­ing” to stop mass gun vi­o­lence. Sob­bing and emo­tional, he in­sisted, “there’s a lot of things we can do about it.” Yet, Kim­mel ac­knowl­edged that Man­dalay Bay gun­man Stephen Pad­dock had passed mul­ti­ple, man­dated back­ground checks and had no crim­i­nal his­tory. More­over, Pad­dock bought his guns legally from Ne­vada and Utah gun shops sub­ject to a thicket of lo­cal, state and fed­eral rules — and re­port­edly car­ried 23 of his weapons into a casino/ho­tel that al­ready op­er­ates as a gun­free zone.

Fed­eral stud­ies show that a measly 1 to 3 per­cent of all guns are pur­chased at gun shows, but that didn’t stop Kim­mel from toss­ing around non-se­quiturs at­tack­ing the “gun show loop­hole.” It’s a myth­i­cal ex­emp­tion in fed­eral law for pri­vate weapons sales at gun shows or on­line in­tended to drum up hys­te­ria about un­reg­u­lated gun sales. In real fed­er­ally li­censed firearms deal­ers at gun shops, shows, garage sales or any­where else are sub­ject to all the usual checks and re­stric­tions. Only a nar­row cat­e­gory of same-state trans­ac­tions be­tween pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als not en­gaged in the com­mer­cial busi­ness of sell­ing col­lec­tors, for ex­am­ple) are un­af­fected by those reg­u­la­tions.

There is zero em­pir­i­cal ev­i­dence that ban­ning these types of trans­ac­tions would do any­thing to pre­vent gun crimes or mass shoot­ings. But who needs ev­i­dence when Jimmy Kim­mel is bawl­ing on stage “in­tensely”? The tears of a clown out­weigh the so­bri­ety of facts.

Ar­gu­men­tum ad pop­u­lum and ar­gu­men­tum ad hashtag.

Ac­tor Billy Bald­win un­loaded a fal­lacy two-fer with his as­ser­tion that “the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of Dems, Reps & NRA mem­bers en­dorse #GunSafety,” so “how can we let the #NRA hold us hostage like this? #NRATer­ror­ists.” Claim­ing that an “over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity” of peo­ple agree with you doesn’t make your ar­gu­ment sound. Nor does cit­ing polls show­ing sup­port for “gun show loop­holes” that those sur­veyed don’t fully un­der­stand. Nor does at­tack­ing the char­ac­ter of your po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents and hashtag-smear­ing them as “NRATer­ror­ists” for hold­ing po­lit­i­cal view­points dif­fer­ent than your own. Straw men and red her­rings. Grossly over­sim­pli­fy­ing sup­port of in­ef­fec­tive or su­per “#GunSafety” al­lows celebri­ties, politi­cians and ac­tivists to prop up their fa­vorite hol­low de­bat­ing tac­tic: as­sert­ing that gun own­ers, NRA mem­bers and Repub­li­cans don’t care about gun safety and want more in­no­cent peo­ple to die.

Demo­crat Rep. Ted Lieu il­lus­trated a sim­i­lar di­ver­sion­ary tac­tic by wav­ing the red her­ring of a “gun si­lencer bill” and de­mand­ing that GOP “COW­ARDS” vote against dereg­u­lat­ing such sup­pres­sors. Hil­lary Clin­ton also dem­a­gogued the is­sue, ghoul­ishly tweet­ing: “Imag­ine the deaths if the shooter had a si­lencer, which

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