Quote: “Good people make good decisions. That’s why they’re good people.” Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the N.R.A., in the New York Times.
Figure of Speech: tautology (tau-TOL-ogy), the fallacy of proof by repetition.
Fifteen states in the past year have enacted laws letting citizens shoot to kill, even if they don’t fear for their safety. Wayne LaPierre, the take-no-prisoners head of America’s gun lobby, defends the new laws with a tautology (“repeated words”), a fallacy that proves a point by saying the same thing in different words.
Good people make good decisions. Who decides whether the decisions are good? Good people. What makes them good? They make good decisions. Care to go around again? One such good person, a retired cop in Florida, shot his unarmed neighbor in the stomach and chest during an argument over garbage.
Good decision, obviously. In Red State America, if you want to be a good person, get a gun. Already have one? Good decision.
Snappy Answer: “I’m a good person, Wayne. Make my day.”