Continuing the discussion from TOM THE DANCING BUG: When Gun Proponents Go Ballistic:
Yes, that is exactly what a logical analogy is. Suppose you made an argument for exterminating mosquitos because of West Nile, then someone pointed out that if you substituted “fruit flies” for mosquitos then your argument would still work. That shouldn’t work. In this case, presumably part of your argument for exterminating mosquitos would be that they carry West Nile. Thus, we can’t just substitute “fruit flies” in, because that would make the statement about carrying West Nile false. If we could actually substitute fruit flies without invalidating any premises, then the argument would certainly be stupid.
The comic took the exact arguments, substituted missiles for guns, and showed the arguments would be equally valid. For example, the argument from the second amendment:
The second amendment gives the right to bear arms, guns are arms, therefore we have the right to guns.
The second amendment gives the right to bear arms, missiles are arms, therefore we have the right to missiles.
If the former works without any additional reasoning or premises then so does the latter. They are exactly parallel logical constructions, and the only premises (second amendment gives right to arms, and guns/missiles are arms) are true in both cases. The logical analogy is not dependent on guns and missiles being the same thing, it is dependent on both satisfying the premises of the argument, that is, on both being arms.
Clearly, having missiles in your yard is totally unreasonable and we agree about that. The point of the analogy, then, is that it demonstrates that the argument can’t be made without additional premises or stipulations. There is some kind of reasonability test, or a test that balances the rights of the individual against the rights of society that has to be applied as well. That test is what makes the argument “work” for guns, but not for missiles. But if such a test exists, then it also has to be applied to guns. The conclusion is that argument from the second amendment is not absolute, it requires additional reasoning.
If it seems inflammatory to suggest that each of the arguments presented in the comic is logically invalid when used to support guns and/or each imports hidden premises that need to be examined, then you have a very different idea of inflammatory than I do. If the choice of missiles seems unfair, the you misunderstand the point of a logical analogy, it is to pick an example that demonstrates the argument is clearly false so the flaw can be seen. The point is not to say that people who are against gun control are against missile control, it relies on the fact that the vast majority of people who are against gun control for missile control.