Monday, October 18, 2010

Ignorance vs dishonesty.

On one hand, the average journalism intern who puts together these types of ads aren't among the sharpest knives in the drawer. Being ignorant of firearms and firearms law, they likely aren't going to know that fully automatic weapons are already heavily regulated at the federal level and banned at the state level in Illinois. Ignorance, while dangerous, is forgivable and fixable.

On the other hand, a member of the gun control movement has admitted to using dishonesty to further their goals ("The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons." - Josh Sugarmann). Dishonesty is most definitely dangerous, unforgivable, and unfixable.

Then there is that grey area between ignorance and dishonesty: Malevolent ignorance. What is malevolent ignorance? Malevolent ignorance is being uninformed about an issue and being uninterested or actively opposed to becoming informed due to ones own bias and/or bigotry. For an example:

Not only does she not know what a barrel shroud is, it is extremely unlikely that she even cares. Her goal is to simply ban guns. The rhyme or reasoning is completely irrelevant to her. I bet if you were to ask Carolyn McCarthy right this moment what a barrel shroud is, you'd get roughly that same answer, "I don't know and I don't think it really matters."

Being that the only thing more dangerous than intentional ignorance is well-intentioned ignorance, Carolyn McCarthy definitely qualifies as malevolent to me.

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