In addition, can you think of any challenges you might have in successfully convincing someone
else that the technique you chose demonstrates what you now know that it demonstrates?
The main challenge in successfully convincing someone else that the technique I chose demonstrates what I now know that it demonstrates would be in trying to get them to break from indoctrinated thought processes or personal biases, an incredibly difficult challenge.
People have been indoctrinated to reify “government.” They actually believe and talk as if there is such a thing as a “government.” The premise that “All government employees are people,” and its ramifications on the argument will likely catch them by surprise because they think in terms of “government” doing things and are mostly unconscious to the fact that “government” is just a whole bunch of people. Reminiscent of The Matrix, many people aren’t aware of the reality in which they live and this kind of argument can cause a lot of internal, emotional turmoil that they would rather not deal with because it’s uncomfortable. It challenges the foundation of many of their beliefs and that is, understandably, a very scary thing.
The problem of personal bias is two-fold: it’s personal and, as such, there may be an emotional attachment to the position. This bias may come from personal experience (a family member feloniously killed by a person with a gun) or from media-hyped incidents, falling victim in both cases to the fallacy of misleading vividness. The emotion could be loyalty to a political party, demanding that the party position be defended at all costs (critical thinking be damned!). It could be any number of reasons. Being personal, it may not be immediately apparent what the person’s motivation may be in defending the invalid argument. The emotional attachment to the position may make it feel to that person that “attacking” their opinion is an attack on them. This may cause them to entrench mentally, which in turn may cause them to argue with even less regard to rationality, resort to ad hominem attacks, or storm off so that don’t have to face reality.
One thing that will likely be similar in both cases is using the appeal to special pleading, arguing that government employees are not “regular” people. It will be argued that government employees, although taken from a general cross-section of people, somehow possess a particular trait or superpower that exempts them from the rule that “People having guns creates an unsafe situation.” People who have had the government gene spliced into their DNA can be trusted to have guns but “regular” people can’t. Not only is this fallacious but since government employees hurt and kill far more innocent people with guns than non-government employees, a fortiori government employees should be banned from possessing guns under the gun control argument.
A couple of other fallacies are likely to make an appearance. There are good odds that an argument from effect will be presented (“If we don’t ban guns, there will be a mass murder every week.”) or a straw man (“So, you’re okay with someone walking into a school and shooting little kids?”). There are better odds that the fallacy of pious fraud will show up (the old work horse of weak political arguments, the “necessary evil”). If the debate continues, don’t be surprised to see ad hominem, a red herring or two, an appeal to force, or the fallacy of the kitchen sink (where every fallacy is thrown in, including the kitchen sink - I made that one up).
Overcoming these challenges with someone who is deeply staid in reification or personal bias is nearly impossible (trust me) but their irrationality doesn’t diminish the counter argument and shouldn’t discourage pointing out the invalidity of the gun control argument.