Argumentum Ad Hitlerum: Gun Safety Law Edition

Argumentum ad Hitlerum
Argumentum ad Hitlerum

Do you know what is just like Nazi Germany? Gun safety regulations, of course. Background checks, to be precise. That is according to NRA spokesperson Brian Judy, who presented this gem of historical analogy at a pro-gun rally in the state of Washington last week. It is also factually wrong.

A brief look at the Wikipedia article “Overview of gun laws by nation” reveals that there are many countries around the world with some sort of background check examining mental health required for gun ownership.

Among the countries that have this gun safety regulation in place are Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Israel, and the United Kingdom.

Now that would be quite a lot of countries governed by Neo-Nazis.

This is of course total nonsense and only illustrates that the NRA’s Mr. Judy is not interested in facts but careless hyperbole.

It is but one more ridiculous example of playing the Nazi card, the argumentum ad Hitlerum, because one’s argument is not based on valid facts.

Argumentum Ad Hitlerum: Climate Change Denial Edition

As readers of this blog might know, one of my pet peeves is ridiculous comparisons of random things to Adolf Hitler that I find on the Internet. Here we go again.

Argumentum ad Hitlerum
Argumentum ad Hitlerum

This time, the culprit is a corporate-funded climate change denialist who apparently does not consider it beneath him to smear the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change by comparing it to the persecution of Jews under Adolf Hitler. You read that last sentence correctly.

As progressive media watchdog website Media Matters for America reports, Exxon-funded physicist William Happer—who is not a climatologist, mind you—appeared on CNBC recently, and was, to CNBC’s great shame, presented as an ‘industry expert.’

Happer claimed that

“the demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler. Carbon dioxide is actually a benefit to the world, and so were the Jews.”

Where to start here? First, you cannot murder carbon dioxide. But six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. To insinuate that corporations with a high carbon dioxide footprint, such as Exxon, are persecuted like Jews in the Third Reich is just obscene.

Second, climatologists do not ‘demonize’ carbon dioxide as such. This is a total straw man argument. In reality, climatologists examine the effects of the high amount of greenhouse gases in the global atmosphere. The general scientific consensus, as compiled by the IPCC is very clear: humans are a factor in the rising temperatures on this planet. You can read about it here. Climate change denial is at this point willfully deceptive.