About Tanoro

Christopher "Tanoro" Gray is a web programmer and science advocate especially concerned with resource management technologies, biology, and artificial intelligence. He is a student of epistemology and philosophy as well as an Atheist competent in Christian theology.
HOME > View Blog  >  Pro-Gun Advocates Have to Redefine Terms
Pro-Gun Advocates Have to Redefine Terms
Posted by: Tanoro - Apr 24, 2018 9:56AM

When I issue a claim or proposition on any topic, I am in the speaker role -- the one conveying the message. As such, the speaker gets to define the terms in service of ensuring the message is properly understood. The listener's role is to attempt to understand the message. Ergo, the claimant's definition is the only one that matters. When the listener appears to be trying not to understand, they are to be called out on it for the dishonesty they are exhibiting.

I had a conversation with a pro-gun advocate yesterday over the term "assault rifle." I disclaimed that I don't use that term because both sides of the gun control debate can't agree on what that term means, so I provide my own term and my own definition. I want gun control regulation on "military rifles," and I define this term as: "Any rifle with the physical capability of injuring and/or killing numerous targets without warning with very little rest or reload." I admitted that this definition contains two elements of fluidity that are subject to debate: 1.) How many targets can be shot at whatever speed; 2.) How little time is between reloads by a user who is familiar with the weapon.

I justify this definition by citing military rifles as having a unique utility that civilian weapons do not require. They can drop lots of people very quickly with little to no opportunity to respond to the shooter. That is how they are designed. Mass carnage is their intended use!

Before letting this gun advocate respond, I explicitly predicted what he was going to say. I disclaimed that when I present this term and this definition, pro-gun advocates usually respond by trying to redefine the term for me. That being said, as soon as he opened his mouth, he tried the redefine the term for me. "My .22 rifle can do that and it's not a military gun."

*facepalm* You can easily engage the two debatable avenues I gave you to exclude your .22 rifle. If you are unable to argue that, then yes -- it is a military rifle by definition. Rather than do that, he tried to pick out a gun that he thinks applies and then argued that it didn't apply. I don't even think he realized he had done this. It was a knee-jerk reaction. The pro-gun niche teaches you to do this.

They teach you that you know more about guns than the gun control side of the debate, so you're the authority who gets to define terms even when you're not the claimant. Such frauds these people are.

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