|A quote falsely attributed to George Washington with my less-than-clever speech bubble|
Yeah. Turns out there is no record of GW saying this.
The meme is likely another example of someone realizing that no one is going to care about what some joker on Facebook has to say about the government or the right to bear arms. So, they falsely attributed it to someone with a bit more ethos.
It's kind of like when someone opens by saying, 'according to studies, gun control has...,' but when pressed for specifics, they fail to find the name of any studies.
Or something I see even more often in the work of novice writers:
'It is widely known that gun control is a...' Oh I hate it when people tell me something debatable is "widely known."
But you see, we all want our arguments to sound important enough to merit attention. And there are some clever tricks for making an argument sound important.
But an ethical argument doesn't require tricks. An ethical argument stands on its own merit.
Knowing this doesn't make it any easier to compose an ethical argument. Nevertheless, this issue of slippery rhetorical tactics is something I work to make my students aware of. These methods of argument are so common that students might not even know when they themselves are using them.
But these techniques have consequences. People start to misunderstand history, devalue the reliability of the sciences, or misconstrue public policy.
What's odd here (other than the unintentional support of my point via unclear pronoun usage) is this is a gun enthusiast who actually believes his rights are constantly being eroded.
That just isn't the case. As of 2013, people can now carry a concealed weapon in all 50 states. Assault rifles are legal in all but 7 states. States are changing laws so that formally gun-free campus allow students to carry weapons.
We live in country where gun control is being relaxed.
That does not seem to register with people who are are against gun control. Pro-gun folks roll out the rhetoric of the persecuted whenever gun violence is in the news. They talk about dictators and looming threats.
And whenever a mass shooting pushes the nation to question our decisions to continually relax gun control, the pro-gun crowd convinces themselves that they are the victims.
Don't talk about an assault rifle ban, or else you'll hear them gasp, "How dare you threaten the right our forefathers fought for and that we won in 2004."
The effort has worked. In the minds of many this modern policy debate is linked to a caricature of our forefathers, or else it is portrayed as an assault on the persecuted.
It's absurd, and it's in particularly bad taste to play victim every time innocent people have been shot.
And so, I call on you to stop putting up with it:
Gun rights advocates are not victims.Don't let them act like they are.
If they start acting like victims, here's what you should do:
- Point out that they are acting like the victim when the real victims are the ones who got shot.
- Tell them to stop whining. It's just unbecoming.
- Ask them to describe how and when exactly their right to bear arms have been violated. Make them be specific. Ask them about their rights. Ask if they have been forced to give up a gun. Ask if they missed a hunting trip or a day on the range due to unreasonable waiting periods.
- And don't put up with any nonsense. Gun owners have their rights, and any suggestion otherwise is stupid.