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“All Daesh members are Muslims.  All Daesh members are terrorists.  Therefore all Muslims are terrorists.”

Even people whose formal education did not include Logic 101, recognize the fallacy in this contemporary version of the famous ancient syllogism.  For those who don’t “get it”, the following might help :  “All Catholics are Christians.  All Catholics believe in the ‘Real Presence’.  Therefore all Christians believe in the ‘Real Presence’ “.  They don’t, of course.  You can be Christian without believing in the ‘Real Presence’ of Christ in the Eucharist.  Such Christians are called Protestants.

Donald Trump not only never studied Logic but would also be incapable of recognizing the fallacy.  He wants to stop Muslims immigrating to the U.S., and promises to do so if ever – God (?) forbid ! – he is elected President.  He seems not to realize that there are millions of resident Muslims of numerous national origins already in the U.S.  God (?) knows what he would do with – or to – them if he is given the keys to the White House.  The precedent of Japanese internment camps during World War 2 inevitably comes to mind.

But there is another logical aberration abroad, this one concerning gun-control.  In spite of Columbine and the multiple massacres since, including the most recent slaughter of fourteen people in San Bernardino, California – this time by two Muslim terrorists – a new argument has surfaced defending the American citizen’s right to bear arms and to buy weapons at his/her local gun-store.  It runs like this :  “We very rightly do not condemn all Muslims because of the mass-murders in Paris or San Bernardino by some Muslims, identified as radical extremists.  When are we going to abstain from condemning sane gun-owners because of the murders committed by a tiny minority of deranged gun-owners ?”

It seems there are in the U.S. no less than 310 million guns owned by some 80 million Americans.  They insist on their interpretation of the right to bear arms as proclaimed in the American Constitution.  After every Columbine they say that such murders reinforce, in fact, the obvious need to own guns precisely to protect themselves from the crackpot mass-murderers !  Anyone at any time anywhere in the States can buy as many firearms as he/she likes (there’s a Pistol-Packin’ Momma near you !).  Politicians have never succeeded in enforcing effective gun-control, which the powerful National Rifle Association will continue, in the foreseeable future, to prevent from happening.

Believing and practising “moderate”, non-violent Islam is a right which democracy must protect.  Gun-owners add that owning lethal weapons is just as much a right.  Extremist, terrorist, insane, murderous, kamikaze behavior by the few, they say, is to be condemned, not the behavior of either the non-violent Muslim or the non-violent gun-owner.

It is a clever gambit, with, however, a fatal flaw.  The problem with unrestricted access to ownership of guns in the U.S. is not only the repetition of mass-murders by maniacs.  The conveniently overlooked reality here is the disproportionate numbers of people killed by firearms in the States, contrasted with such numbers in other countries.  The relative gun homicide rate in the U.S. is nearly six times that of Canada, more than seven times that of Sweden and nearly sixteen times that of Germany.  More guns owned mean more gun-deaths.  Period.

Owning guns obviously increases the risk that they will be used.  Non-radicalized Muslims are no more likely than non-Muslims to murder people.  On the other hand, gun-owners are far more likely than non-gun-owners to murder people.  Unfortunately American rednecks and NRA supporters refuse to see the point.  Blindness is not limited to religion.

RIDENDA   RELIGIO

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