Are facts obsolete?
By Larry S. Moore
Townhall.com has an excellent piece by well-known author Thomas Sowell. Sowell clearly explains how demagoguery is used by many to defeat the facts. Anyone involved with the struggle for our right of self defense should certainly recognize demagoguery. It is alive and well in Ohio.
It may be impossible to determine who should win the demagoguery award in Ohio. The leading candidates in Ohio are no doubt Toby Hoover (Ohioans Against Gun Violence) and Capt. Born, with an honorable mention to Col. Paul D. McCellan, both of the Ohio Highway Patrol. The demagoguery award may have to be jointly shared by Hoover and Capt. Born. Based on recent statehouse sightings during the testimony on HB 347, they should have no problem sharing.
So how can we defeat demagoguery in the legislative process and pass common sense pro-self defense legislation in Ohio? We are not likely to convert those who practice demagoguery. They don’t listen to facts or common sense. Col. McCellan and Capt. Born are not likely to change their views. They’ve certainly had the opportunity to review the facts. I know they have seen at least one fact filled letter about concealed carry. I sent that letter in May 2003. A recent public records examination conducted by Buckeye Firearms Association volunteer Ken Hanson revealed that letter is on file and was widely read by the leadership of the Ohio Highway Patrol. Since they continue to stand on their demagoguery answers, it is clear that no facts were able to slip in under their tight brimmed “Smokey the Bear” hats! The Ohio Highway Patrol remains unable to see past the borders of Ohio to all the other states where concealed carry has worked.
We must educate the uninformed. I believe the truth is still the most powerful tool at our disposal. We must arm ourselves with the truth and with the facts. We must boldly go forward in our mission. We must recruit new members and get all gun owners to support the cause.
There are good things in HB 347 for all gun owners. We need to spread the word to the 400,000 deer hunters what preemption means to them. Cities who pass laws outlawing guns have also outlawed hunting! Every homeowner who has kids and files one of the “Identi-Kids” cards with the local police believes in making their castle safe for their children. Every parent should be informed and supporting HB 541 as the parental right and responsibility to protect their children. It is often said that the protective gene in Mothers is the strongest in the world. So where are the Mothers that need to be behind this legislation?
Go forth with the truth and facts so that good legislation and justice for the right of self-defense can win over demagoguery in Ohio!
The following is separate commentary by Jim Irvine:
Thomas Sowell is one of my favorite authors because he is so good at clearly explaining with few words what I know is true, but struggle to clearly convey. While this column deals with much more than guns, it explains perfectly the problems gun owners face. From dealing with elitists, to the media, to the legislature, Sowell wonders the same thing many of us have; “Are facts obsolete?”
From the story:
- We learn from the media's filtered facts that there are countries with stronger gun-control laws than ours which have lower murder rates. We seldom, if ever, learn from the media about countries which have stronger gun-control laws than ours and whose murder rates are two or three times higher than ours.
The media also filter out facts about countries where gun ownership is far more widespread than in the United States -- and who nevertheless have lower murder rates.
He could be describing the Cleveland Plain Dealer or the Columbus Dispatch or any number of Ohio papers who write about concealed carry or what HB347 or HB541 will do. What he is describing is the rule, not the exception. That is why grassroots organizations like Buckeye are so important. The Internet provides a way to research the truth, and to communicate with people who are similarly interested in finding it. (On guns or any other issue.)
Again from the story:
- People who have made up their minds and don't want to be confused by the facts are a danger to the whole society. Since the votes of such people count just as much as the votes of people who know what they are talking about, politicians have every incentive to pass laws and create policies that pander to ignorant notions, if those notions are widespread.
And thus the mission we all share – to educate people about the truth regarding hunting and concealed carry and “plain sight” and “duty to retreat.” Sometimes we may be preaching to the choir, but ask yourself if your choir knows the difference between Betty Montgomery and Tim Grendell, Jennette Bradley and Sandy O’Brien, or Subodh Chandra and Marc Dann? In each case there is a clear choice between a candidate who supports your right to bear arms and one who does not. And every Ohioan will have the choice to support one of these candidates on May 2.
As we work together to spread the truth about candidates, politicians gain incentive to support us. Every person whom you reach, through all the media bias, and inform about the facts about guns or politicians is important in swaying the legislature to “want” to do more to help gun owners. Together, we will win this battle, because facts still matter, and they are on our side.
Note: If you are not sure which of the above candidates are good, see our 2006 primary endorsements for more information.