Anti - Gun Control
The issues of gun control are the subject of much controversy. In the article “The Killer Who Supports Gun Control” by Nicholas D. Kristof (2013), he argues that a strong gun control will yield fewer deaths. Kristof summarizes how the gun itself and the person are responsible for deaths, in order to show how dangerous the combination of the two is.
Kristof (2013) argues that more gun control will make it difficult for people to acquire guns, which will lead to fewer deaths by guns in the following way:
We lose many lives to gun violence.
People kill people and so do guns.
When products are “killing machines”, we should tighten measures to keep them away from criminals.
Cars are potentially lethal instruments that could have been made safer through regulation.
We need to approach gun safety in a way similar to how we approach safety in motor vehicles.
Therefore, more gun control will result in a lower casualty rate.
Kristof’s argument for strict gun control fails because his second premise is false, his premise does not provide enough support for his conclusion, and his premise is inductively weak because he commits several fallacies such as weak analogy, ad hominem, false cause, and appealing to unqualified authority.
In Kristof’s argument, he possesses some hidden assumptions that are worth noting. There are two hidden assumptions he makes in his argument. First, Kristof assumes that all products that fall under the category of “killing machines” should be regulated and controlled. This is not an acceptable assumption because anything made by humans could be classified as a “killing machine”. For example, a pencil is a “killing machine” if it were to be used to stab someone in the skull. It is true that the classification of a “killing machine” varies from person to person; however, it still shows the vagueness of what can be classified as a “killing machine”. The definition of a “killing machine” is ambiguous; so, his assumption that all products that are considered “killing machines” should be regulated is not an acceptable assumption. Second, he assumes that anything that is labeled as a “potentially lethal instruments”; it could be made safer through controls and regulations. This is not an acceptable assumption because a “potentially lethal instrument” will always be a potentially lethal instrument no matter how many controls and regulations are installed. Take ladders, for example, which is still a potentially lethal instrument that can cause harm to others or the person despite all the regulations and controls that were put into effect. It is true that ladders and other “potentially lethal instruments” are different; however, they all share similarities because each one of those “potentially lethal instruments “are could possibly be considered lethal despite the different precautions that were installed. Therefore, his assumption of anything that is labeled as a “potentially lethal instrument” could be made safer...