A reasonable dialogue or debate over an issue requires that certain rules of logic should be followed. The letter titled “Who’s to blame?” (Jan. 17) does not pass this test very well. The logic of the letter uses analogy: “Inference that if two or more things agree with one another in some respects they will probably agree in others.” This does not always apply, of course, because one does not say: “All dogs are vertebrates; all humans are vertebrates; therefore, all humans are dogs.” One can only conclude from this analogy that dogs and humans have some similar things in common.
In his case, the author asserts that if an inappropriately acquired item is used to harm others, it does not follow that the particular item should be banned for everyone. The analogous item is a Corvette, with no explanation why the same would not apply to a Mustang, any other automobile, let alone knives or baseball bats. After supporting this assertion in many ways, the question is asked, “Anyone get the message?” So far, so good. I think I get the message.
The writer had an item of concern for the analogy, although it is never identified explicitly. The clue is, “Please support the Second Amendment!” I support the second amendment and my right to keep my shotgun. Does the Corvette analogy mean the writer wants the right to an armored personnel carrier mounted with automatic weapons — or with semi-automatic weapons? The Second Amendment doesn’t say anything about that, but automatic weapons have long been banned. Does the author want that ban lifted? If so, I would disagree. Keith Hansen and I agree on that. On this issue it would be helpful if writers indicate where they want the “ban” or restriction lines drawn.