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comment by johnnyFive
johnnyFive  ·  356 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A conservative argument for gun violence restraining orders

Yeah, I think none of this is accurate. And this is the frustrating thing as a gun owner; you're talking about marketing that I've never seen, and a viewpoint among gun owners that I've never seen.

It's also beyond naive to think that it would change the culture. Did it last time?

    And whether the pro-gun crowd likes it or not, they've become the de facto weapon of choice for mass shooters.

[citation needed]

ghostoffuffle  ·  356 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Citation provided

Newtown: Bushmaster

Aurora: M&P15

Las Vegas: FOURTEEN .223 AR15 rifles; EIGHT .308 AR10 rifles

Pulse: SIG MCX

San Bernardino: DPMS Panther; M&P15

Those are the shootings I remember off the top of my head. In the last couple years.

I'm talking about marketing you've never seen? Go to Bushmaster's website and peruse their tac rifles- say, their Patrolman's Carbine. All components mil spec! How very tactical. Or maybe you're in the mood for something more high end? How about the ACR enhanced (ACR, of course, stands for Adaptive Combat Rifle... perfect for hunting, right?) whose blackout flash hider provides exceptional signature reduction. You know, so you don't give your position away to the deer.

Not in the mood for Bushmaster? Yeah, maybe you have an icky taste in your mouth popping off rounds at the range ever since a guy murdered a bunch of six year olds with one of those. Bad for branding. Let's go over to Colt and check out their classic AR (again... Assault Rifle) series, which are "based on the same military standards and specifications as the United States issue Colt M16 and M4 carbine." You know, for sportsmen and hunters alike! Their Combat Unit carbine would be perfect for an idyllic day out duckhunting with your kid. Too flashy? The AR15A4 is no-frills and mimics the line that provides "our armed forces the confidence required to accomplish any mission." All models function with 30 round clips; the pricier models can adapt to all of your ammunition needs.

I'd call it dog-whistling, but the frequencies are low enough to pick up even from my inferior station as a non-gun owner. This is marketing. It speaks to the most militaristic aspects of gun ownership, with an obligatory nod and wink towards "hunters and sportsmen." You're smart- do you really not see a particular flavor to these descriptions?

What I liked about your posted article is that it fairly illustrated the anti-gun crowd's general stance without ever denigrating or belittling it, and offered an option presumably acceptable to both sides. There's something for everybody to learn there. I'm happy to talk out viewpoints with you, but I have little patience for condescension. My POV isn't "naive" just because you don't like it.

johnnyFive  ·  356 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Your position is naive because you don't understand the people you're criticizing, or the things.

AR does not stand for "assault rifle." That style of rifle also doesn't use clips. The SIG MCX does not operate in the same way as an AR-15.

I've never met a gun person who takes that marketing remotely seriously, any more than gamers are taken in by Razer.

You've also failed to address the fact that the last such ban didn't magically change culture.

ghostoffuffle  ·  356 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You're right- my misrepresentation of what "AR" stands for, plus my substituting "clips" for "mags" totally negates my larger point. I can't possibly understand the finer details of gun culture, and thus can't possibly contribute to the debate on how we ought to approach guns.

At no point did I suggest that an MCX functions the same way as an AR-15. My argument addressed the way assault-style rifles are marketed to the public at large, and seem to call out particularly to would-be mass shooters. At this point, I've provided plenty of "citation". You've ignored the provided evidence, and responded with snark and little else; "I don't take that marketing that I asked you to provide proof of seriously" does not count as a salient point. Neither does "you don't understand the people you're criticizing, or the things," which always comes off as the last thin attempt that pro-gun folks make to diffuse a discussion they can't stay on top of.

Again, if you want to come off as the enlightened, moderate gun-owner, meet disagreement with respect and constructive counterarguments. If you just want to kick more dirt, don't bother replying further- you just look dirty. At this point, though, the onus isn't really on me to provide more evidence to be dismissed out of hand.

johnnyFive  ·  355 days ago  ·  link  ·  

To recap: me saying that you're mistaken about the impact of marketing is not a meaningful argument, but you saying that I'm mistaken about the impact of marketing is.

    At no point did I suggest that an MCX functions the same way as an AR-15.

You said that the AR-15 was the "weapon of choice" for mass shooters (which you "supported" by citing 5 out of 150 in the United States), and then justified this by mentioning a rifle that doesn't use the same operating mechanism as an AR-15.

Meanwhile, it's strange to me that somehow firearms are the one area where it's okay for people who are almost completely uninformed about how they work to nonetheless make policy suggestions and be taken seriously.

    Neither does "you don't understand the people you're criticizing, or the things," which always comes off as the last thin attempt that pro-gun folks make to diffuse a discussion they can't stay on top of.

So your position is that we should put as much weight on the opinions of someone with 0 knowledge of a subject as someone with, well, actual knowledge?

    Again, if you want to come off as the enlightened, moderate gun-owner, meet disagreement with respect and constructive counterarguments.

Except every time I provide a counterargument, you accuse me of acting in bad faith. You can't have it both ways.

ghostoffuffle  ·  355 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Read my initial post again. Never said AR15 was the weapon of choice. I said "assault style rifles", and I stand by that claim. Revising my printed words and then arguing against your preferred revision gets you nowhere, and wins you no points. If you're going to play semantics, at least stick to your own rules.

You haven't yet provided any counterarguments. You've just insisted that I provide evidence, and then more evidence when you didn't like the evidence I provided because it didn't align with your personal opinion on the matter. Your chief response up to now seems to be "you're naive, so I don't need to live up to my own standard of discourse." Have we ever interacted before this? What evidence, beyond my horrible mischaracterization of the AR line, leads you to believe that I'm naive, or otherwise unworthy of decent discourse?

johnnyFive  ·  355 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I said "assault style rifles"....

Except this is a meaningless statement. "Assault style rifle" can mean whatever the speaker chooses, and is a completely arbitrary distinction. It's a classic motte and bailey.

You're moving the goalposts every time, while simply ignoring the things you can't actually argue against. You won't actually engage with my counterarguments, instead refusing to acknowledge them as such and hiding behind personal affront when I disagree with you. You have the gall to describe all gun owners as brainwashed psychos, but then I'm the one unwilling to engage in "decent discourse" when I suggest your position is unsupportable? Rather than acknowledge your factual inaccuracies, you're trying to turn this around so that I'm somehow being unreasonable by expecting you to understand the thing you're talking about.

You're clearly unwilling to come at this in good faith. I have no doubt you'll find a reason that this is my fault, too.

ghostoffuffle  ·  355 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hm. You and I, I think we're working with different definitions. Moving goalposts, for instance:

ME: Assault-style weapons seem to be defined primarily by their effective marketing, which is baked into gun design and promotes a militaristic approach to gun ownership and operation.

YOU: I have NEVER SEEN this marketing of which you speak.

ME: here it is on the gun, as explicitly advertised on the manufacturer's website.

YOU: I have NEVER TAKEN such claims from the website or features of those guns seriously. Also, try to define assault-style weapons, but in a way that's different than how you've already defined them.

Motte and Bailey?

ME: Assault rifles are becoming the weapon of choice for mass shooters.

YOU: prove that AR15s are the weapon of choice for mass shooters.

ME: I didn't say that, as such a claim would be unsupportable. You changed what I said to make your position defensible.

YOU: I win!

It's not that I WON'T engage with your arguments, it's that I CAN'T because you haven't yet leveled any. "I disagree" isn't an argument, it's a basic opinion. "people who don't own guns obviously don't know anything about guns, and thus are unqualified to contribute to the national debate" is kind of like saying "only gun owners should be allowed to speak to and shape policy on gun restrictions," which isn't so much of an argument as it is an absurdity. You're acting as though my inability to map out the differences in firing mechanisms between rifles renders me unfit for debate on policy, which is semantic bullshittery and you know it.

Which brings me to our biggest gulf in definitions: debate. You seem to think that it's sufficient just to lean on all the old semantic talking points that I always see trotted out in these discussions: "assault style can mean anything! you don't know the difference between a clip and a mag! those guns don't even work the same way!" Because it's easier to tout your mechanical knowledge of the tool than to defend the nature or necessity of the tool. You also seem content to constantly call me out as "naive," and then when I repeatedly invite you to develop your argument, start pouting about how I characterize gun owners as "brainwashed psychos," which I never did or even came close to doing. Ever. Explicitly or implicitly. At this point, my best guess is that you've had this argument so many times that you're responding to what you think I'm saying rather than actually examining my argument...?

And FWIW, I never addressed your "prove that previous policy has changed public perception" retort because that's a way larger discussion than just guns, and requires nuance, and this exchange has left me with little faith that we can speak to each other in the language of nuance, or even mutual respect. Which is a basic prerequisite for complex discussions.

Sorry you got bent out of shape over this topic. I do appreciate a lot of what you contribute on this site. I don't believe the above exchange represents the best of what you have to offer.