Suppose person a has a view that x is better than y. But person b thinks y is better than x for z group of people. Therefore person b decides that person a hates z group of people.

Example: A: Studies show gun regulations work so I am pro regulation B: How will disabled people defend themselves? You clearly hate disabled people!!!

  • 1
    I think you are seeing this wrongly. You make a statement. Let's say K is your statement and now person B provides a counter example for statement k. So either your statement k is not objectively true or is not written with much detail. As written statement k is problematic and that is being brought to light. There is NO ARGUMENT and as a result there is no fallacy committed. So there is no ad hominem. It is like me saying I support the statement all women are 30 feet tall. Person B demonstrates Alice over here is a woman and is only 5 foot 3 inches tall.
    – Logikal
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 16:21
  • An informal fallacy is a persuasive, but faulty reasoned argument. If implied by the example that fer-us-or-agin-us reasoning is at play, then this would be a false dichotomy. In attributional psychology, this distortion would be idealization and devaluation.
    – J D
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 17:26

3 Answers 3


Welcome Alice

The Example is too quick. How does it follow that if disabled people cannot protect themselves with guns because of gun regulations, they cannot be protected or defend themselves in other ways? We can supply them with tasers or bullet-proof clothing or personal guards.

The question, 'How will disabled people defend themselves?', implies in context that they can't and that under gun regulations we will leave them defenceless. But we have seen that gun regulations do not leave them defenceless. The follow-on statement about hating the disabled is two-way false. This is because in the first place, as stated, we do not leave them defenceless; and secondly, even if we did leave them defenceless, which we don't, it would not follow that we hate them. We might be merely indifferent to their interests (indifference isn't hatred) or be prepared for them to be defenceless as an acceptable if regrettable price to pay, on a cost-benefit analysis, for gun control and its overwhelming advantages. Not my view, of course, but these two points defeat the claim about hatred.


No, it isn't; dependent on context obviously.

In your example, if the counter argument's assumption is true, and disabled people are at risk of violence they could not defend themselves from without gun control, then that's relevant to gun control.

It's not an ad hominem unless you infer something from the conclusion of discrimination, besides the need for gun control.

I would just reply that very few disabled people would be at much risk of violence without guns, point to how there's no disabled rights activists arguing for less gun control, etc..

But it does depend on context.

If someone claims e.g. that intellectually disabled people do not often make for good surgeons, then the counter-argument of prejudice doesn't make sense, even-though it isn't an ad hominem and we may be sympathetic to its motivation.


Shortly: Yes, it is.

Explanation: The example is a false argument. It is called a "strawman". It says nothing about gun control, but to defend/oppose gun control is accusing (with false argument) A from discrimination - this is no argument at all and there is no discrimination. The last sentence "You clearly hate disabled people!!!" is argumentum ad hominem, as you clearly label some (unreal) character, motive or action of the person, rather than the matter of substance.

Personal stance: I personally would not connect this question with gun control at all, because I would not support extensions of Gun control. I do count it as hypothetical case. Additionally, this could vary a lot, depend on from which country you originate or currently live.

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