|Terry Rumsey and Robin Lasersohn of Delaware County United For a Sensible Gun Policy [sic] telling us what they really want to do with guns.|
A prime example came from Pres. Obama during CNN's “Guns in America”. They went to great lengths to mock those concerned that the government might one day try to disarm us. Why do this? Because they want to bury the fact that they've long been saying that they do indeed want to disarm us. (See here, here, here, here and here.) True that they aren't going to require turning in guns nor are they sending out SWAT teams to take guns from people but they are trying to implement an incremental disarmament strategy. Obama said he wants to “make progress” and “incrementally make things better” with his anti-gun rights diktats. He was talking about gradually disarming us. It is discussion of this strategy that they want to intimidate us out of.
Ayn Rand referred to it as the argument from intimidation. Here's how she summed it up:
The tone is usually one of scornful or belligerent incredulity. “Surely you are not an advocate of capitalism, are you?” And if this does not intimidate the prospective victim—who answers, properly: “I am,”—the ensuing dialogue goes something like this: “Oh, you couldn’t be! Not really!” “Really.” “But everybody knows that capitalism is outdated!” “I don’t.” “Oh, come now!” “Since I don’t know it, will you please tell me the reasons for thinking that capitalism is outdated?” “Oh, don’t be ridiculous!” “Will you tell me the reasons?” “Well, really, if you don’t know, I couldn’t possibly tell you!”In order to fool gun owners into accepting background checks and restrictions on the ownership, transfer, and transportation of guns they have to hide the real purpose of these measures. It's not about safety, Obama admitted they won't reduce crime during the clown show on CNN. To repeat, it's about gradually disarming us.
All this is accompanied by raised eyebrows, wide-eyed stares, shrugs, grunts, snickers and the entire arsenal of nonverbal signals communicating ominous innuendoes and emotional vibrations of a single kind: disapproval.
If those vibrations fail, if such debaters are challenged, one finds that they have no arguments, no evidence, no proof, no reasons, no ground to stand on—that their noisy aggressiveness serves to hide a vacuum—that the Argument from Intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence.
To restore our rights we're going to have to be mentally tough enough to stand up to gun rights haters. What Ludwig Von Mises wrote about economics applies to guns:
The enemy is not refuted: enough to unmask him as a bourgeois. Marxism criticizes the achievements of all those who think otherwise by representing them as the venal servants of the bourgeoisie. Marx and Engels never tried to refute their opponents with argument. They insulted, ridiculed, derided, slandered, and traduced them, and in the use of these methods their followers are not less expert. Their polemic is directed never against the argument of the opponent, but always against his person. Few have been able to withstand such tactics. Few indeed have been courageous enough to oppose Socialism with that remorseless criticism which it is the duty of the scientific thinker to apply to every subject of inquiry.The answer is clear, since they want to bury the idea of incremental disarmament we have to have the courage to shout it from the roof tops. Bring it up anytime gun control is discussed. Whether it's in comments to online articles, letters to the editor, or opinion columns, bring up incremental disarmament. In online forums, bring up incremental disarmament. In face to face conversations, bring up incremental disarmament. In videos and television interviews, bring up incremental disarmament. Our gun rights and, therefore, our lives depend on it. Once again Ayn Rand:
How does one resist that Argument? There is only one weapon against it: moral certainty.
When one enters any intellectual battle, big or small, public or private, one cannot seek, desire or expect the enemy's sanction. Truth or falsehood must be one's sole concern and sole criterion of judgment—not anyone's approval or disapproval; and, above all, not the approval of those whose standards are the opposite of one's own.
The most illustrious example of the proper answer to the Argument from Intimidation was given in American history by the man who, rejecting the enemy's moral standards and with full certainty of his own rectitude, said: "If this be treason, make the most of it."