On Wednesday, David Harsanyi (NRO/The Federalist) chose to paint a massive target on his chest with the following tweet:
Heh. Ahem. Well, yes. The point being of course that media coverage of protests is unduly weighted on the side of progressive causes, largely ignoring right-leaning public events (unless there’s hope for potential violence).
But Harsanyi’s tweet was met with a chorus of snark avoiding the actual point in favor of a silly (and wholly unoriginal) equivocation fallacy. Echoing the student speaker from yesterday’s Capitol rally who claimed, “Their right to own an assault rifle [sic] does not outweigh our right to live,” a flurry of responses chided Harsanyi for failing to consider the ingenious insight that guns, too, kill people:
I’ll defer to others more qualified on the question as to whether Mr. Harsanyi is, or isn’t, in fact, a “jar of hot mayonnaise”. I do however want to offer one simple point of clarification for this debate: while it is true that students, like all Americans, have the right to live, IT IS ALREADY ILLEGAL TO KILL THEM. The right to bear arms does not conflict with the right to life for the simple fact that murder is already banned in all states. The dichotomy they’re proposing in these quotes is nonsensical.
As for the term “pro-life”...GUYS—it is still legal to kill pre-born babies; it is, again, illegal to kill highschoolers. A proper analogy between gun control activism and pro-life advocacy would be attempting to ban scalpels and scissors, instead of what we actually seek: prohibiting the homicide itself.
That’s consistency: murder should be illegal. Tools with lawful purposes should not be illegal. It’s true for abortion, and no less so for gun rights.