Actor George Takei of Star Trek fame should be awarded a prize for tweeting the most imbecilic comments about gun control this week.
His tweet about the NRA selling guns is so stupid, it’s hard not to simply mock him. But, alas, many people believe this insanity, so it must be answered:
The NRA sells guns to Americans, then when those guns get used for the purpose for which they were designed, the NRA sells Americans ways to fortify against the effects of those guns. Quite a racket they have going.
And their biggest pitchman is sitting in the White House.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) February 23, 2018
Let’s break down his “logic” into a syllogism:
A. The NRA sells guns
B. Guns are used to shoot people
C. The NRA sells guns to protect people from getting shot
Conclusion: The NRA swindles Americans
This is what we call a logical fallacy. For one thing, the premises are glaringly wrong. The NRA does not sell guns, canceling out premises A and C; therefore, the conclusion is in error.
The NRA educates people on gun use, and lobbies to protect the Second Amendment. It never sells guns. Evidently, Takei didn’t learn much from his Vulcan comrade on the Enterprise. As Spock would say: “Insufficient facts always invite danger.”
Speaking of Star Trek, here is another jewel tweeted by Takei:
In Star Fleet we did not allow students and teachers to carry phasers into class. Some radical Earthlings argued we would be safer if everyone was armed, but the Vulcans pointed out that this was plainly illogical. Besides, the Klingons tried that, and it didn’t work out so well.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) February 24, 2018
Again, as Spock would say: “In critical moments men sometimes see what they wish to see.” In Takei’s case, it’s a fantasy world.
This is the problem with celebrities using their platform to spread misinformation and hysteria. They aren’t looking at facts. They’re not using reason. They’re not considering other causal possibilities to a problem. They’re seeing only what they want to see — their own fantastical agenda.
When this happens in La La Land, we get stupidity like this from singer Meghan Trainor:
I think it’s ridiculous that random crazy people can buy guns. I think it’s absurd. Like, I had friends from London that are like, “This is why I’ll never live over there.” I’m like, “Why? What’s wrong?” They’re like, “You have guns.” I’m like, “Oh yeah, it’s pretty bad.”
This is, like, ironic coming from a Brit, since American rights were formed in the crucible of violent conflict with England. In the Columbia v Heller decision — the landmark Supreme Court case in which the majority concluded that the Second Amendment protects the rights of the individual — Justice Antonin Scalia explained that George III tried to control the colonists by disarming them, an action that “provoked polemical reactions by Americans invoking their rights as Englishmen to keep arms.”
By the time of the founding, the right to have arms had become fundamental for English subjects. Blackstone, whose works, we have said, “constituted the preeminent authority on English law for the founding generation,” cited the arms provision of the Bill of Rights as one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen.
His description of it cannot possibly be thought to tie it to militia or military service. It was, he said, “the natural right of resistance and self-preservation,” and “the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence.” Other contemporary authorities concurred. Thus, the right secured in 1689 as a result of the Stuarts’ abuses was, by the time of the founding, understood to be an individual right protecting against both public and private violence.
Singer Tony Bennett once claimed that the right to bear arms will turn America into Nazi Germany:
It’s the kind of turn that happened to the great country of Germany, when Nazis came over and created tragic things, and they had to be told off. And if we continue this kind of violence and accept it in our country, the rest of the world’s going to really take care of us, in a very bad way.
Hmm. Consider Adolf Hitler’s comments about gun ownership:
The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty.
Or his counterpart Mao Zedong:
All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.
Rosie O’Donnell echoed these totalitarian tyrants when she said this on her television show:
I don’t care if you want to hunt. I don’t care if you think it’s your right. I say, “Sorry.” It is 1999. We have had enough as a nation. You are not allowed to own a gun, and if you do own a gun I think you should go to prison.
Actor Danny Glover used a favorite liberal talking point when trying to bash the Constitution — slavery:
The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect themselves from slave revolts, and from uprisings by Native Americans. A revolt from people who were stolen from their land or revolt from people whose land was stolen from, that’s what the genesis of the Second Amendment is.
Nope. The Second Amendment is ultimately about being able to defend oneself from a hostile government force. As Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison in 1787:
What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.
George Tucker wrote this in Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, a text greatly used by the drafters of the Constitution:
This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty … The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.