Bad Comparison: Dissimilar Events

This is not a valid argument, because the two events were very different.

In Garland, TX it was an event guaranteed to upset Muslims. The event organizers, very prudently, hired guards to keep the events safe. An attack was expected, guards were there, and it was resolved successfully.

In San Bernardino, CA the attack was unexpected. While having CHL holders might have helped matters, we cannot be sure. People are much easier to attack when they think they are safe. Therefore, this comparison is invalid. A better comparison would be to an unexpected act of violence, such as this one.

Unexamined Assumption: Fear of anything is fear of everything

Taken from https://www.facebook.com/ConservativesAreDestroyingOurFuture/photos/a.1011033115579692.1073741834.620332914649716/964262030256801/?type=1&theater

The unexamined assumption here is that gun owners fear everything. Try this with a less emotional tool for emergency use: “I don’t own a fire extinguisher because I don’t live in fear that everyone and everything is combustible”.

This is ridiculous – the realistic statement would be “I don’t own a fire extinguisher because I don’t live in fear that anything in my house would catch on fire”, or “I have a fire extinguisher because some things in my house might catch on fire”. Which of the two last statements is a more accurate description of reality is left to the reader’s judgement.

Strawman: What Does Believing In America Mean?

This depends on what it means to “believe in America”. If it means believing that all other Americans are non-violent, then the meme makes perfect sense. However, such a belief would be delusional.

If believing in America means believing in the ideals expressed by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, then arming oneself makes a lot more sense. Is it against American values to believe that under certain circumstances rebellion against the government is justified? Let me quote a famous American document (emphasis mine):

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Does this justify rebellion against the current government? We can argue, but I am very clearly in the no camp. Revolution is almost always a bad idea, as even the declaration says:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

However, it means that rebellion is justified under certain conditions. Therefore, being armed lest such conditions happen and you won’t have the means to rebel is consistent with American values or “belief in America”.

Factually Wrong: American Colonies and Non-violent Protest

Actually, they did politely protest the British policies. Voting was not an option, and neither was royal impeachment or marching across the ocean.

They did try non-violence first. It just didn’t work. To quote the Declaration of Independence:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Unexamined Assumption: Knives are for Fighting

In fact, 7 out of 10 young people who end up in A&E with a knife injury have been stabbed with their own knife. Carrying a blade actually puts you at risk.”

The statistic seems to be from here. The suspicious part is that it doesn’t seem to break down A&E (that’s British for Emergency Room) between accidents and fights. Of course, most people how have accidents while cooking are going to have them with their own knives, especially if they are teenagers and are likely to cook at home, but not to work in a restaurant.

False dilemma: Not perfect, therefore useless

The quote in this meme is not “A good guy with a gun can always stop a bad guy with a gun”. The fact that the Reagan assassination attempt was not foiled by the secret service doesn’t refute that good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns in some cases. Perfection is rarely obtainable in human affairs, especially when it comes to preventing crime.

You could argue that the quote is wrong because the would-be murderer was subdued by a hit to the head rather than by being shot. But that only happened after he got out six bullets and had to reload.