Analogy Fail

I know many people think I should ignore the Brady Board member from Minnesota, but as a leader in their movement, I think it’s worth pointing out how they think. Earlier this week she managed to put together a coherent argument, even though the analogy fails on every level:

The truth is that only some gun sales require background checks and others not. They are all selling the same products. Guns are all potentially dangerous. They should all be treated the same as say cigarettes where store clerks ask for IDs for anyone who looks too young to legally buy them. In addition, cigarettes are now behind counters where someone has to ask for them. Why? Because we have decided that they are bad for your health and not good especially for kids and teens. Alcohol sales are regulated as well. IDs are required for purchases if the buyer looks too young to be legal. Why? Alcohol can be bad for people as well. But all alcohol sales are treated the same. All cigarette sales are treated the same.

All gun sales are treated the same by this analogy. At retail, I have to present ID, fill out federal and state forms, and submit to a background check to determine my eligibility to make the purchase. That’s the same everywhere a gun is purchased at retail. Similarly, I may have to flash ID to buy cigs or liquor if there’s a question about my eligibility (being 21 or older, which is pretty obvious). Now, in most states, it’s illegal for me to transfer liquor or cigarettes to someone who isn’t eligible (under 21 or 18). But there’s nothing to prevent me from transferring or selling either to someone over those ages, and the only thing preventing me from doing so is the law itself.

We do not make it a felony for me to take a bottle of wine to a friends house for him to try out. When I bring a friend over, I can let him have a bottle of beer. I can even pay a friend who helps come over for some home improvement with a case of beer. For smokers, it’s not illegal to bum a cigarette off someone. If I decided to quit drinking, I could still sell my wine collection to someone in most states. Now, you can’t sell your homemade wine, but you also can’t sell your homemade gun. You can’t make moonshine legally without a license, but nor can you make a machine gun without the same. You can’t be in the business of selling alcohol in most states without a license, but you can’t be in the business of selling guns without a license either. So aren’t alcohol, tobacco, and firearms already regulated quite similarly? Actually, firearms are regulated more severely. I don’t have to fill out forms to buy booze or cigarettes, and I don’t get carded much these days.

What Joan proposes is that the only people who can transfer a firearm are federally licensed dealers. If we treated tobacco and cigarettes the same way, you wouldn’t be able to transfer any alcoholic product to another except through a liquor store, where the store would charge you a significant price of a bottle of wine. Only the liquor store could legally determine eligibility. Someone bumming smokes off you would have to go to a licensed cigarette outlet, and they’d have to authorize the transfer of the cigarette, which of course they’d charge for since you’re wasting using up their valuable time.

I point this out not because I expect to change Joan’s mind on this, but to show how shoddy their thinking is on these things. They act like it’s just common sense, when we treat no other consumer product, even dangerous consumer products, that are restricted from certain persons, the same way Joan proposes we treat firearms. It could be argued that you can’t see a criminal record as apparent as someone age, and they might have a point. But that doesn’t necessarily translate into prohibiting all transfers that don’t go through a retail dealer.

7 thoughts on “Analogy Fail”

  1. Since knowingly selling a gun to a felon is illegal as well as straw purchasing means that private transfers of weapons is already regulated under penalty of law. And that law does get used in Texas. Theft is against the law but criminals don’t abide by the law anyway.

    That said, personal responsibility goes a long ways, you don’t have to sell to someone if it doesn’t quite feel or smell right, neither does the FFL.

    Once I buy a gun, it remains with me for life, I don’t sell or trade them. If it becomes unusable or dangerous it goes to the DPS and to be slated for destruction only, along with the copies of the original purchase records.

    If, and I mean IF, I were to ever consider selling a firearm to a stranger, said stranger would have to produce a Texas CHL, No CHL, NO SALE! Or we head down to the DPS and request a verifiable OK from them that this person is not restricted from gun ownership. I only trust what I can verify, nothing less. But since I don’t sell or trade I have never had to go thru this. Its not required by law, but its my way or no way.

    One more thing. Upon my death, my kids can inherit them, but only after each one has obtained their CHL. My wishes, my rules. Most likely they will be given to them before I die, but death can happen without warning sometimes. None of them are gun nuts so to speak but they are likely to get little else from me anyway. I have already spent their inheritance on THEM!

  2. It’s been said that no analogy is perfect; they all fall apart when taken to extremes.

    That said, the analogies our side uses don’t tend to implode in the middle of the argument. “Analogy Fail” is right!

  3. So aren’t alcohol, tobacco, and firearms already regulated quite similarly?

    When I have to complete a federal background check for every single retail tobacco and alcohol purchase, maybe. If her sister had been drowned instead of shot, she’d probably be out crusading against water. So yes, you should ignore her. She’s damaged goods and can’t be reasoned with because GUN KILLED SISTER or whatever.

  4. I have to show ID to buy a six-pack of beer or a box of cigars at retail, to satisfy the clerk that I meet the legal age requirement. Otherwise, the transaction is entirely cash-and-carry: there’s no forms to fill out, no check of my background, no waiting period, no limit on the quantity I can purchase at once.

    In other words, even a retail tobacco or alcohol purchase has only superficial resemblance to a retail firearm purchase.

  5. There’s another fail here.

    “The truth is that only some gun sales require background checks and others not. They are all selling the same products. Guns are all potentially dangerous. They should all be treated the same as say cigarettes where store clerks ask for IDs for anyone who looks too young to legally buy them.”

    I don’t get asked for ID when I buy alcohol either at a private store or a state store. Because I’m 31 and bald.

    So not all alcohol sales are treated the same. By her logic a FFL would only be required to run a background check if the FFL thought the buyer looked shady.

  6. By law, I should be able to show my LCTF and walk out the door with my legal, paid for property.

    By edict of a non-elected state police force and their corresponding union, we may not do that.

  7. I’ll bet she would be the first to say (the tired old statement by the gun-grabbers) “Why can’t we have a rational talk about gun violence prevention?” (or similar). However, if you have ever seen ANY video with an anti-gun person vs a representative of firearms owners it ALWAYS starts out with a reasonable debate, then quickly progresses to the anti-gun person shouting out irrational statements (ex. Piers Morgan saying, “So you think everyone should have machine guns and grenade launchers…”) because the pro-gun person always has answers that destroy their logic. Their “solutions to gun violence” are based on emotion, not legitimate and practical methods. And, by God, if the pro-gun person should suggest that guns save lives, all Hell breaks loose as they go apoplectic!
    I love to have my own miniature versions of these debates with co-workers (they know better now) or persons I meet at gatherings when I find out they they are anti-gun. Armed with fact and logic I get them turned inside out and they either go away frustrated or, even better, I get them thinking that their position may actually be wrong and based on…. wait for it…. emotion, not facts! Try it. You’ll like it. Just have your facts and figures memorized and you will have fun.

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