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How do we think about the George Floyd murder?
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Lax gun laws allow people to suppress the ideas of other people

Making it easier to obtain guns creates an environment that has the potential to silence others by intimidating them into submission, especially if the owners of the guns do not share the same ideologies as those they are trying to intimidate.
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The Argument

Having lax gun laws can create a setting that promotes ideological suppression. The relaxed nature of these laws would make it easier to obtain guns. The guns generated by the lax nature of these laws could then become an instrumental part of their owner's intimidation tactics. The incident in Crown Point, Indiana, is a good example. In this case, black protesters were demonstrating following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis when a group of white bystanders armed with rifles appeared at the protest. This group stood face to face with the protesters, carrying their rifles so that the protesters would be able to see their weapons. [1] The protesters' goal was to demonstrate their discontent regarding the death of George Floyd. By choosing to show the protesters that they were armed, one can make the case that these white bystanders were actively setting out to intimidate the protesters. In doing so, this intimidation tactic if successful, would have contributed towards the suppression of the ideas associated with the protesters. Additionally, those white bystanders were within their rights to carry their weapons the way they did because of the laws Indiana has in place regarding guns. The looseness of Indiana’s gun laws allowed this situation to transpire, had they been tighter, the white bystanders would not have been able to display their weapons the way they did. A similar event occurred during the protests in Kenosha, where a white 17-year-old boy named Kyle Rittenhouse arrived with a semi-automatic rifle and opened fire on black protesters. Rittenhouse killed two protesters and wounded another before turning himself in to authorities. [2] Here, like in the case of Crown Point, Indiana, the rifle was used to intimidate protesters into submission. The only difference was that in this instance, the gun was more effective due in part to its use proper. These two scenarios demonstrate that the role of the gun is one of suppression, the suppression of ideas, made possible by the lenient gun laws in place.

Counter arguments

At the same time, lax gun laws may not mean that they can be used to suppress ideas. Instead, they are likely used as a form of self-defense. In St. Louis, Missouri, Black Lives Matter protesters traversed through a private community to demonstrate in front of the mayor’s home. As they passed through, residents Mark and Patricia McCloskey stood in front of their home with their weapons (an assault rifle and a handgun respectively) in an attempt to keep protesters from approaching their estate. [3] As a result of seeing a large mass of protesters, one can make the case that the McCloskeys were only trying to defend themselves from a possible threat, as they had no way of accurately discerning the intentions of the approaching protesters.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Monday, 9 Nov 2020 at 23:09 UTC

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