Tomi Lahren Doesn't Rhetoric Good, By A Ph.D. In Rhetoric

Straw woman

In the Library of Bad Arguments, there's a whole wing dedicated to Fox News personalities, did you know that? The Bill O'Reilly Reading Room alone is vast. And while Tomi Lahren may not have the epic record of stultifying dissembling you encounter in the works of veterans like Steve Doocy or Tucker Carlson, she is quickly filling volumes for future scholars to behold. Like this morsel from her Twitter feed yesterday, where she deftly confronts liberals with their terrible hypocrisy. See if you can withstand her blistering excoriation!

Look at the silly liberals, trying to restrict the availability of a mere tool in one kind of shooting and yet shifting responsibility to the person misusing that tool in another kind of shooting! Tami Luhren is truly wielding logic like a lance of justice here, isn't she?

But yes, let's take Tommy Lurid at her word here and 'splainer the logic. Yr Doktor Zoom is, after all, a credentialled Ph.D in rhetoric who wrote a whole dissertation on Looney Tunes, so we are surely up to the task. And to be sure, Lahren has at least the outward form of an argument here, and you could even break it into syllogisms if you wanted to (just be careful not to get syllogism in your hair like Cameron Diaz in that one movie):

Inanimate objects cannot have agency.

A gun is an inanimate object.

A gun does not have agency.

You can say the same for being a moral or legal actor: We don't imprison guns, we imprison people who misuse them, because, after all, guns are only objects. Oh, and sometimes we make people who misuse guns into folk heroes (See James, J., Barrow, C., and Calley, W.), but that's neither here nor there. Ergo, liberals are quite illogical to blame "guns" for a mass shooting and yet blame police officers for unjustified shootings of unarmed people.

If, of course, you buy the completely bullshit assumption that "liberals blame guns" for mass shootings, which of course they don't. Ain't nobody blaming an AR-15 for shooting up Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. What Thames Lohrp-Lohrp has there is actually a big old straw man argument, because she's accusing liberals of blaming something they aren't blaming at all. As Professor Evan Hurst said in the ChatCave, "She's just straw manning sane people's arguments for gun control by saying we 'blame the gun.' She's a fucking moron and should stub her toe daily."

Or as a tweeter put it,

But if we aren't blaming guns, what are we blaming? As all you Lisa Simpsons with your hands up are just bursting to say, Liberals blame lax gun laws for making it easy for irresponsible or evil people to have guns.

Lisa, you can put your hand down now.

But let's go a little farther with this: Is there some kind of logic whereby we can resolve what Lahren has dishonestly presented as contradictory behavior? Sure, you betcha! We won't break this down into syllogisms, because our contract ensures we can only be forced to do a certain amount of formal logic on federal holidays. But how about we start with this: Guns are serious business because they put holes in people and can make them dead. For that reason, we should demand that guns only be available to people who will use them responsibly. Policies governing both the actions of law enforcement and the availability of firearms to civilians should be crafted to minimize the likelihood of irresponsible or criminal firearm use.

There you go. Damn liberals want stricter gun laws and we want strict limits on when cops can make use of the guns the state has given them. It's about limiting the damage done by firearms -- since cops are actually legally allowed to kill in certain circumstances, we want to make damn sure that happens rarely, and only when absolutely necessary.

For the general population, we want safety, too: some reasonable assurance that bad actors will have difficulty obtaining firearms in the first place, and that people who do have guns use them responsibly. Oh, look. That's pretty logically consistent. It even takes into account -- as Lahren's stupid tweet does not -- a pretty essential distinction: Cops are not the general public.

Of course, if Trauma Leering wants civilian firearm use to be modeled on cops', we can see some useful analogies there, like mandatory training, strict limits on where guns can be kept, a duty to keep track of weapons at all times, and mandatory reporting of a lost or stolen gun. We'd be good with that.

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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