Who Defines What Makes Guns ‘Bad’ And What That Really Means


Let’s talk for a minute about what words mean. Now, I’m not interested into getting into esoteric silliness like “it depends on what is means.” Only someone like Bill Clinton could say that with a straight face.

But we are going to talk about the word “bad” as anti-gunners apply it to guns. Why? Because anti-gunners say guns are bad, and that is why they want to ban them. So, it’s important to understand who defines what that word means and what they mean by that so that we can understand what is really going on here.

Fortunately, Liston Matthews has some thoughts for us about exactly these topics:


Some years ago, before the smoking ban in Tennessee, my wife and I went to a new restaurant. We asked for a non-smoking table. After a while, the manager took us to a table to be seated. With a not-so-sleight-of-hand motion, he reached over and grabbed an ashtray and put it behind his back.

The ensuing dialog went something like this:

“I asked for non-smoking.”

“This is non-smoking.”

“But you just picked up the ashtray! That’s not a non-smoking table.”

His response!? “It’s non-smoking because I say it is.”

So it is with gun laws. Gun laws make guns bad because someone says guns are bad.

The problem with gun laws is that they are Malum Probibitum, which is defined at Cornell Law School as “An act which is immoral because it is illegal; not necessarily illegal because it is immoral.”

Malum Prohibitum contrasts with Malum in Se, defined as “An innately immoral act, regardless of whether it is forbidden by law.”

Think about this for a moment. Gun laws “make” guns immoral simply because they are illegal, not because the law is an indication of whether something is moral or not in-and-of-itself. By this same kind of logical fallacy, many anti-gunners have made supporters of President Trump “immoral” in their minds simply because people who support Trump support a different candidate than the anti-gunner.

This thinking is sheer nonsense just like defining guns as immoral or “bad” because some delusional and power-hungry politicians make them illegal in a certain geographic area is nonsense.

Don’t be like anti-gunners. Think for yourself, and use rational thinking instead of silly “reasoning.” Use your mind to come to your own conclusion about the morality of guns.



  1. I have heard a similar differentiation but very similar in meaning. I heard it as “Mala In Se” and “Mala Prohibida” – the former that is what criminal acts are and the latter means “Evil because someone says it is.” The first of the latter was alcoholic beverages – evil because Andrew Volstead said it was. Most of us still remember what that resulted in.

  2. Attaching Morality to in anti-mate objects is ludicrous! Good or Bad!! Guns are like Rocks, they just are!!
    It’s like the gas in the Bank robbers car is evil, & the Gas in the police car, chasing them is good! Give me a break!!

  3. Guns – like any and all other TOOLS are inanimate objects – thus they do not have ANY moral, ethical or legal standing of their own. Those traits are designated by the user, no more – no less.
    This is why it is incumbent on us to NOT let the antis define the terms of the discussion. Period.

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