Nick Kristof Argues with Straw Men about Guns

Nick Kristof Argues with Straw Men about Guns; Straw Men Win

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. (CBS via YouTube)

If you can’t win an argument even when you stack the deck in your favor . . .Yesterday, the New York Times’ Nick Kristof posted a column that purported to tell his largely progressive readership “how to win an argument about guns.” I’m interested to read good arguments from the other side, so I clicked eager to find how Kristof would best an informed gun-rights advocate in debate.

The short answer, it turns out, is that he wouldn’t.

The column’s pattern is simple: Kristof posits a primitive caricature of a gun-rights argument, delivers a thoroughly inadequate response designed to settle the issue, and then repeats the cycle. In other words, he erects one straw man after another and fails to best any of them.

 Kristof first purports to answer the “argument” (it would be helpful, by the way, if he included a link to serious people making the arguments he’s purportedly rebutting) that cars are more likely to kill a person than guns, but we don’t try to ban cars. Here’s the core of Kristof’s response:

We don’t ban cars, but we do work hard to take a dangerous product and regulate it to limit the damage.

We do that through seatbelts and airbags, through speed limits and highway barriers, through driver’s licenses and insurance requirements, through crackdowns on drunken driving and texting while driving. I once calculated that since 1921, we had reduced the auto fatality rate per 100 million miles driven by 95 percent.

Notice the glaring omissions here?

Full Story:

This entry was posted in Politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply