There are some things people with different values just won’t “get” about their opponents. Folks who support gun bans and greater gun control just don’t “get” arguments for the Second Amendment and for “more guns” in peaceful citizens’ hands. And so, when confronted with a scholar and analyst of gun control like economist John Lott, they shy away from actually arguing with his points.
Their approach? Scattershot. Sniping. Crossfire.
Thus it was, this week, on Piers Morgan’s CNN interview show. Morgan grilled Lott in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater atrocity. Lott ably started making his case numerous times, but Morgan refused to engage Lott’s points, instead unleashing a barrage of “isn’t your positions just ridiculous?” non-questions.
The lack of engagement with ideas is astounding.
When Alan Dershowitz joined the “debate,” it only got worse. Dershowitz repeated an accusation of “junk science” without really demonstrating how the science marshaled by Lott was unsound, and engaged (falsely) in the favorite ad hominem gambit of the age: “research funded by the NRA.”
The sad thing about this is not the inability of Morgan and Dershowitz to understand Lott. The sad thing is their unwillingness to even give it a good ol’ college try. It was downright uncivilized. Dershowitz is a lawyer, so his resorting to base rhetoric in a no-holds-barred attack is understandable. But Morgan is allegedly a journalist, on the advance guard of history, a seeker of truth.
But Morgan is not seeking truth; his mind is already made up. Facts be damned. That doesn’t lead to good interviews.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.