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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Sen. Graham: I need an AR-15 because [INSERT PARANOID FANTASY HERE]

Raw Story:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says that if his family were victims of disasters like Hurricane Katrina then they would need to have military-style AR-15 assault rifles to protect themselves against “armed gangs roaming around neighborhoods.”

During a hearing Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, the South Carolina Republican pressed Attorney General Eric Holder about his support for a proposed assault weapons ban.

“Can you imagine a circumstance where an AR-15 would be a better defense tool than, say, a double-barrel shotgun?” Graham asked. “Let me give you an example, that you have an lawless environment, where you have an natural disaster or some catastrophic event — and those things unfortunately do happen, and law and order breaks down because the police can’t travel, there’s no communication. And there are armed gangs roaming around neighborhoods. Can you imagine a situation where your home happens to be in the crosshairs of this group that a better self-defense weapon may be a semiautomatic AR-15 vs. a double-barrel shotgun?”

Holder pointed out that the senator was “dealing with a hypothetical in a world that doesn’t exist.”

“I’m afraid that world does exist,” Graham insisted. “It existed in New Orleans, to some extent up in Long Island [after Hurricane Sandy], it could exist tomorrow if there’s a cyber attack against country and the power grid goes down and the dams are released and chemical plants are — discharges.”

No, it didn’t exist post-Katrina nor did it exist post-Sandy. The closest thing that I can think of to armed gangs was New Orleans cops using Katrina as cover for a series of racist killings. Somehow, I doubt Lindsey’s got much to worry about on that point. He seems better protected by his skin color than he could ever hope to be by an assault weapon.

The larger problem here is that this use of hypotheticals is completely illogical. You can use a hypothetical to justify anything: “What if a rogue elephant showed up and started stomping on schoolkids and I didn’t have a bazooka to blow it up? Do you want that? Why do you hate innocent children?” When arguments start to turn this way, you know the one doing the arguing is (excuse the expression) out of ammo. This is, quite literally, just making stuff up to defend your position. When that happens, you’ve lost.

Lindsey Graham can’t defend his position on assault weapons. He’s just throwing out horseshit now.

[photo via Secretary of Defense]

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