Some rhetorical candy on the day after Valentine’s Day. On Fox News this morning there was a debate on gun control, and Mary Katherine Ham, who we can’t get enough of, got tired of having her motives impugned by Juan Williams as not caring about the victims of gun violence.
And she gave it right back to Williams, who does this kind of stuff on a constant basis, by calling him on it.
At Hot Air, Ham explained herself…
Juan and I are friends, and as I say at the end of the clip, we will make it up later. But please notice that I do not impugn Juan’s motives. I would have appreciated the same consideration. I have no doubt that he cares deeply about those affected by gun violence, but I think he puts far too much emphasis on the emotional catharsis of passing a law to “fix” a problem, which then doesn’t fix the problem. If one supports a remedy, such as the Assault Weapons Ban, which has already demonstrably failed to prevent mass shootings on a national level (Columbine) and a state level (Newtown), and yet wants to implement that failed policy again, isn’t that effectively just as bad as not caring about the problem? If one supports stricter gun laws, which have demonstrably failed in places like Chicago and Washington, D.C., while ignoring the deeper social problems that cause gang-related shootings and Newtown-like single shooters, isn’t that effectively just as bad as not giving a damn? Ignoring these failures and repeating failed policies arguably goes beyond indifference into a form of criminal negligence, no matter how well-meaning.
This argument is reminiscent of a quote we ran across in reading Amity Shlaes’ new biography of Calvin Coolidge this week. Namely, this…
“It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.”
Juan Williams is a frequent advocate of bad bills. And the arguments he uses to justify them are nearly always emotional arguments. Emotional arguments are invalid arguments where legislation is concerned, because they’re designed to sell you on doing something you wouldn’t do if you’d have time to think about doing it.
It’s a hard sell.
But every time a bill gets passed, somebody loses some freedom. And it’s not always the somebody, and the freedom, the bill intends. In fact, the unintended consequences of each bill are usually pretty sizable, and oftentimes do more damage than the bill does good.
With gun control that is always true, because gun control impinges upon the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens and puts them at a disadvantage against people who don’t care what the law says – and those are the people we’re supposed to be trying to stop from getting guns.
Juan Williams actually knows this. But he doesn’t care. He wants gun control, period, and that’s more important than whether it’s smart law.
So if you disagree with him and you’re more interested in individual rights and smart law, he has to impugn your motives in an effort to shut you up.
Mary Katherine Ham wouldn’t shut up. She wouldn’t put up with that kind of jackassery. Which is why we love Mary Katherine Ham.