Its no secret that one of my guilty pleasures is listening to the Adam Carolla Podcast, he does some pretty good interviews and I love his style of ranting. When it comes to politics he seems pretty libertarian with some “California corruption”. Recently he did an interview with actor Rob Schneider, in the last 10min of the episode Adam compared the way the NRA acts to the way smokers as a whole act. In summary he said
Step one – Smokers get moved from the general resturant to a “smoking section” :smokers dont protest and move quitely
Step two- Smokers get moved from the smoking section of a resturant to the bar area only: again no protest and the smokers go enjoy their meal in the bar.
Step three- Smokers get pushed outside the building: No significant protest again
Step four- Smokers get told to go smoke at home and are now unwelcome at or near the restaurant
As compared to the NRA
Step one- government says we want to ban grenade launchers : NRA fights, gets money together and digs in their heels
Step two- general public thinks its not worth arguing with the gun lobby and leaves them alone.
Now I certainly don’t agree with all of the details of Mr. Carolla’s argument but I think the crux of the argument is valid. Any time we as gun owners try and argue that the slippery slope is valid the argument gets rejected however the plight of smokers is a clear example of incrementalism works.
However several key things are missed in this line of argumentation, first of all smoking is a freedom but not a guaranteed right, it should be far harder to trample on that right but in many cases that fact gets ignored. Secondly you could actually make an argument that smoking does have an effect on the “general welfare of others”, while in comparison me owning/ carrying a firearm doesn’t effect the general populous. These facts should again make out RKBA much harder to infringe on than the freedom to smoke but again it doesn’t seem to play out this way.