“Should Be Able” versus “Should Be Required”

I was watching a news show the other day, and there was a story about this video.

Please listen closely to the words that NRA commentator Dom Raso speaks. The first sentence tells it all.

He says

“Every law abiding blind individual should be able to have whatever guns they want.”

Emphasis is mine, because that’s what this post is about. I’m not going to talk about the blind and guns, but rather an observation my wife made during the news report.

She pointed out that the news commentators turned Raso’s observation into an assertion that the NRA was insisting that every blind person should be required to carry a gun. I have to admit, when I heard the commentators make that point, I wanted to agree with them, because forcing blind people to carry doesn’t make sense. But then my wife said “Wait, that’s not what he said,” and she rewound the DVR.

This led to a discussion, and the realization of the anti-gun faction’s penchant for turning the observation that someone should be able to do something into an assertion that everyone should be required to do that thing.

I hear it all the time . . . the anti’s claim the NRA insists

everyone should be required to openly carry machine guns at Target . . .

children should be required to shoot guns as part of school programs . . .

shoppers at gun shows should be required to buy guns . . .

and the list goes on. They make the assertion that the NRA or we Gun Nuts want everyone to be required to carry guns, when in truth we just want to be able to carry guns if we choose.

And I have to admit, they do it so much that I don’t notice it most of the time. I even hang out with some anti-gun friends who do it.

Why do they do this? Because it is in the form in which they think. Since “should not be allowed” is the same as “should be required not to,” in their minds the opposite holds – “should be allowed” is the same as “should be required.” Faulty reasoning begets faulty reasoning, and no one should be surprised.

But I guarantee the next time, I am going to make sure they understand, we just want to exercise our right to be able to, not require anyone to do anything.

Except quote me correctly.



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