An Appeal to Authority is a fallacy with the following form:
Person A is (claimed to be) an authority on subject S.
Person A makes claim C about subject S.
Therefore, C is true.
This fallacy is committed when the person in question is not a legitimate authority on the subject. More formally, if person A is not qualified to make reliable claims in subject S, then the argument will be fallacious.
This sort of reasoning is fallacious when the person in question is not an expert. In such cases the reasoning is flawed because the fact that an unqualified person makes a claim does not provide any justification for the claim. The claim could be true, but the fact that an unqualified person made the claim does not provide any rational reason to accept the claim as true.
When a person falls prey to this fallacy, they are accepting a claim as true without there being adequate evidence to do so. More specifically, the person is accepting the claim because they erroneously believe that the person making the claim is a legitimate expert and hence that the claim is reasonable to accept. Since people have a tendency to believe authorities (and there are, in fact, good reasons to accept some claims made by authorities) this fallacy is a fairly common one.
This story relates to an op-ed which was published earlier this week in Esquire Magazine, and it provides a chilling look at precisely how far askew the debate over Second Amendment rights in this country has swung. I expect to see all manner of anti-second amendment rights arguments from denizens inside the ivy covered walls of universities, liberal politicians in major cities and the feces infested tent camps of the former Occupy movement. But this one should catch our attention, being written by an active duty Lt. Colonel in the United States Army. Meet Robert Bateman. (Hat Tip to BIZPAC Review).
After citing the sad story of an Alabama fan who shot another team supporter last week and professing embarrassment for his own nation, Col. Bateman identifies what he sees as the crux of the problem.
Five of the nine members of the Supreme Court agreed that the part in the Second Amendment which talks about “A Well Regulated Militia, Being Necessary To The Security Of A Free State…” did not matter. In other words, they flunked basic high school history.
The lengths to which Justice Scalia had to go in his attempt to rewrite American history and the English language are as stunning as they are egregious. In essence, what he said about the words written by the Founding Fathers was, “Yeah, they didn’t really mean what they said.”
You have got to be fking kidding me. Seriously? You spent nearly 4,000 words to deny the historical reality of thirteen words? That, sir, is an embarrassingly damning indictment not just of you, but of an educational system that failed to teach history.
It would be a waste of space to detail for the umpteenth time the number of historical and legal fallacies in those few paragraphs, so we won’t spend the time here doing that today. The man is flat out wrong on nearly every count, and most of you reading this already know the real intent of both the Founders and Justice Scalia on this issue. But from there, Bateman goes on to propose a new plank for any willing political platform committee which would allegedly set matters to rights. Hang on to your hats, because here’s where it gets frightening.
I am adding the following “Gun Plank” to the Bateman-Pierce platform. Here are some suggestions:
1. The only guns permitted will be the following:
a. Smoothbore or Rifled muzzle-loading blackpowder muskets. No 7-11 in history has ever been held up with one of these.
b. Double-barrel breech-loading shotguns. Hunting with these is valid.
c. Bolt-action rifles with a magazine capacity no greater than five rounds. Like I said, hunting is valid. But if you cannot bring down a defenseless deer in under five rounds, then you have no fking reason to be holding a killing tool in the first place.
2. We will pry your gun from your cold, dead, fingers. That is because I am willing to wait until you die, hopefully of natural causes. Guns, except for the three approved categories, cannot be inherited. When you die your weapons must be turned into the local police department, which will then destroy them. (Weapons of historical significance will be de-milled, but may be preserved.)
3. Police departments are no longer allowed to sell or auction weapons used in crimes after the cases have been closed. (That will piss off some cops, since they really need this money. But you know what they need more? Less violence and death. By continuing the process of weapon recirculation, they are only making their jobs — or the jobs of some other cops — harder.)
4. We will submit a new tax on ammunition. In the first two years it will be 400 percent of the current retail cost of that type of ammunition. (Exemptions for the ammo used by the approved weapons.) Thereafter it will increase by 20 percent per year.
5. We will initiate a nationwide “buy-back” program, effective immediately, with the payouts coming from the DoD budget. This buy-back program will start purchasing weapons at 200 percent of their face value the first year, 150 percent the second year, 100 percent the third year. Thereafter there will be a 10 year pause, at which point the guns can be sold to the government at 10 percent of their value for the next 50 years.
6. The major gun manufactures of the United States, less those who create weapons for the federal government and the armed forces, will be bought out by the United States of America, for our own damned good.
The anti-gun rights crowd has been so successful in peddling their pablum that an officer in our own Army has bought into it lock, stock and barrel (if you’ll pardon the phrase). Nearly every wish list item from the far left wing of the Democrat party is in play. They seek to regulate gun ownership and use through taxes, followed by restricting the types of available firearms to technology which is a century or more old. And over the longer span of time, to slowly confiscate every gun not in the hands of the police and the military. (And some of them aren’t too sure about the police, either.)
This is what you’re facing today, and a prime reason why we should continue to avoid giving one inch to the various “reasonable” demands for “minor concessions” as they pop up in Congress and around the states. People like to scoff at the “slippery slope” argument in most debates (sometimes with good reason), but here it remains completely valid. This is the agenda where all such proposals are heading, and now they’ve got an Army officer spouting it. Remain vigilant.
Lt. Colonel Robert Bateman may well be an expert in Military strategy and tactics, but he is nothing even remotely approaching a expert on the United States Constitution or the the writing of the Founding Fathers on the subject of the 2nd Amendment. In fact, having opened his mouth and removed all doubt he has proven himself to be nothing less than a domestic enemy of the United States Constitution. As such he has disgraced not only himself, but the entire United States Army.
The mere fact that Lt. Colonel Robert Bateman has not been dishonorably discharged for making these very public statements only illustrates how disgraceful the the senior leadership of the United State Military has become. The comments and proposals made by Bateman constitute nothing short of sedition and treason against the United States Constitution, to have a commissioned Officer making such comments publicly without any repercussions is utterly disgraceful and beyond the pale and can only lead to the appearance that his remarks are shared values of the rest of the senior leadership of the United States Army.
No individual who shares the views expressed by Bateman has any place as a Commissioned Officer in any branch of the United States Military. The Oath sworn by every single individual serving in the United States Military, regardless of which Branch, is not to the President of the United States, it is not to Congress, nor is it even to the People of the United States, but but to Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all Enemies Foreign and Domestic.
If there was anyone left in the senior leadership of the United States Army with so much as a single gram of Honor or Integrity, Robert Bateman would be stripped of all Rank and Privilege, and dishonorably discharged post haste. Not that there is much chance of that happening anymore as various Marxist Pretending to be Democrat Politicians have long since ensured that the senior Leadership of America’s Military is infested with their Marxist Fellow Travelers.