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Citizen Irrelevant

Spot the Fallacy: Gun Control

The following is one section from an LTE in a local,paper's 'Opinion' section.  The writer, an 82 y/o resident of this southwestern Montana region, routinely submits lengthy pieces of this nature which seem to be FOUNDED upon the overt use of logical fallacies.  See how many you can spot:

   " If we want to reduce the criminal use of guns, we need to figure out how to solve the broken family problem we have in this society.  As to assault rifles, you can use historical perspectives to claim that all guns were “assault” guns at one time or another in history.  The obvious long term intent of the Democrats is to ultimately outlaw all guns. "

asked on Monday, Mar 29, 2021 02:33:56 PM by Citizen Irrelevant

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Answers

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Bo Bennett, PhD
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If we want to reduce the criminal use of guns, we need to figure out how to solve the broken family problem we have in this society.

This is an opinion.

As to assault rifles, you can use historical perspectives to claim that all guns were “assault” guns at one time or another in history.


equivocation . While you can "assault" someone with a popsicle stick, the "Assault Rifle" is a specific gun with specific properties only tangentially related to the word "assault". There is no argument here, but an implied one: we always legalized assault weapons so why change things. Besides equivocation, this is also a strawman fallacy .

The obvious long term intent of the Democrats is to ultimately outlaw all guns.

Unsupported claim or opinion. And as Michael points out in his answer, poisoning the well .

answered on Monday, Mar 29, 2021 03:37:27 PM by Bo Bennett, PhD

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Citizen Irrelevant writes:

Thank you for "weighing in" on this challenge I submitted.  I am submitting these in the spirit Jordan Pine outlined for this group;  I think it's a great way to sharpen one's logical fallacy radar!

posted on Monday, Mar 29, 2021 03:54:39 PM
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Jordan Pine writes:
[To Citizen Irrelevant]

Thanks for playing the game. It’s fun, right? We see fallacious arguments in the “wild” all of the time.

May I propose using the subject/title “Spot the Fallacy,” followed by the general subject next time? So this one would be something like...

Spot the Fallacy: Gun Control

Again, thanks!

[ login to reply ] posted on Tuesday, Mar 30, 2021 07:32:26 AM
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Bo Bennett, PhD writes:
[To Jordan Pine]

I can update the post's title if needed when I see these. I did for this one.

[ login to reply ] posted on Tuesday, Mar 30, 2021 08:26:30 AM
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Jordan Pine writes:
[To Bo Bennett, PhD]

Thanks. Enjoying the game!

[ login to reply ] posted on Tuesday, Mar 30, 2021 09:45:29 AM
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Kostas Oikonomou writes:

The use of "historical perspective" is also appeal to tradition 

posted on Tuesday, Mar 30, 2021 09:20:26 AM
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mchasewalker
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If we want to reduce the criminal use of guns, we need to figure out how to solve the broken family problem we have in this society.

Non-sequitur

As to assault rifles, you can use historical perspectives to claim that all guns were “assault” guns at one time or another in history. 

Equivocation fallacy

The obvious long term (sic) intent of the Democrats is to ultimately outlaw all guns.

Strawman argument, Poisoning the Well

answered on Monday, Mar 29, 2021 03:26:13 PM by mchasewalker

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Dr. Richard
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The last sentence (The obvious long-intent of the Democrats is to ultimately outlaw all guns) does not necessarily follow from what I see to be the premises. The author would have made a stronger argument for this conclusion by quoting leading Democrats themselves.

answered on Tuesday, Mar 30, 2021 06:02:51 PM by Dr. Richard

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Jordan Pine
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If we want to reduce the criminal use of guns, we need to figure out how to solve the broken family problem we have in this society.

A form of petitio principii (begging the question). It begs the question of what causes the criminal use of guns.

This is an effective persuasion technique, by the way, called "thinking past the sale." It would take the form of: "How can we fix the broken family problem that's leading to the criminal use of guns in this country?" When you answer the question, you've accepted the premise (thought past the claim the query was selling).

 

As to assault rifles, you can use historical perspectives to claim that all guns were “assault” guns at one time or another in history.  

Amphiboly (ambiguity fallacy). An obvious ploy to change the present meaning of "assault weapon" to win the argument. 

The obvious long term intent of the Democrats is to ultimately outlaw all guns.

This sounds like a slippery slope argument to me. The word "obvious" also suggests the alleged certainty fallacy.

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It would be good to have Dr. Bo critique our responses and agree/disagree. The respondent gets a "point" every time Dr. Bo agrees. (Not suggesting a real scoring system. Just imaginary points for fun.)

 

answered on Tuesday, Mar 30, 2021 08:34:42 AM by Jordan Pine

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Rationalissimo
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 If we want to reduce the criminal use of guns, we need to figure out how to solve the broken family problem we have in this society.

So, we assume we have a 'broken family problem', and this is then linked to the criminal use of guns. I'm not seeing the connection here, though some elaboration would help to clarify this person's point of view. This could be begging the question but I'd hold off until I got further information.

As to assault rifles, you can use historical perspectives to claim that all guns were “assault” guns at one time or another in history.

equivocation since "assault" means two things; it can refer to the charge of assault, or a specific category of weapon.

The obvious long term intent of the Democrats is to ultimately outlaw all guns. "

strawman fallacyNowhere is it demonstrated this is the Dems' aim (from what I know, they mostly want sensible background checks and restrictions on certain types of weapons, but Repubs are convinced this is a slippery slope to banning all guns.

answered on Monday, Mar 29, 2021 10:30:42 PM by Rationalissimo

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