Thursday, May 23, 2013

Oh no! There's a slippery slope!

The NRA's war on the ATF, the CDC, and all the American citizens who depend on the government to save them from anarchy, all rests on one basic argument: that reasonable laws invariably lead to more extreme, unreasonable ones.

This is the "slippery slope" "argument."

But "slippery slope" is a metaphor, not an argument. Metaphors can illustrate points. They can't make them. There are incidents without number when a restriction led to even more restriction. There are also incidents without number where a restriction led to a loosening. These things have to be looked at on a case by case basis.

For example, Prohibition didn't lead to having the death sentence for possessing alcohol. Instead it was repealed. Marijuana possession laws were enacted in the last century, and they will almost certainly be repealed in the not too distant future. The voting age was moved from 21 to 18. It hasn't moved from 18 to 10.

There is no such thing as a "slippery slope" except for actual slopes--like on hills--that get slippery when they get wet.

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