Friday, April 6, 2007

Knowledge is Power

The arts of logic, debate and rhetoric go back thousands of years and were, in fact, the core of the education system in the classical world. The art of rhetoric is generally understood as the technique of persuasion, such as an individual giving a speech. The art of logic deals with the structure of statements and arguments, and forms the basis of modern debate. While these arts are ancient, they have a staggering impact on society today as they are the primary tools to attack and defend the Second Amendment.

One key to winning any debate is knowledge. If you can demonstrate that your opponent’s argument has a fatal flaw, or is based on poor or erroneous data, then you will have made progress toward discrediting your opponent’s view. However, modern political dialogue doesn’t rest on logic and debate alone – there is an emotional component. An accomplished speaker can still win an argument or debate through skillful use of words and ideas that don’t rely on data.

Like most well-funded and large political action organizations, the Brady Campaign attempts to use a combination of rhetoric and logic to support their views on gun control. I say “attempts to use” because while they do a fine job preying on people’s fear and ignorance through rhetoric, I’ve found that their logical arguments are almost universally based on bad data or tenuous interpretations of law and statistics. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of the bad data they use is not easy to correct in a seven second sound-bite or even a lengthy blog post.

I have, however, found a site that makes any supporter of the 2nd Amendment’s job easier! Check out Bradybusters. Perhaps the most valuable part of this site is the “Documents” section. Which includes the 2004 report by the Attorney General on the 2nd Amendment, various gun FAQ’s, and Guy Smith’s "Gun Facts". Quite simply this site is an amazing resource for anyone wanting facts and figures to counter the arguments of gun control advocates everywhere.

In the long run, I like to believe that best data will win out over a blind emotional plea. In that scenario, knowledge is truly power. The Bradybusters site does an exemplary job of providing any supporter of the Bill of Rights the knowledge needed to combat the ignorance so prevalent in America today.

Until next time!

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