And Then My Head Exploded

Posted: March 22, 2013 in Politics
Tags: ,

guncontrol01A friend of mine (acquaintance, really, but I like the guy – he always seemed nice) recently posted this on Facebook:

I am not surprised by Sen Harry Reid’s treatment of “the gun bill.” Afterall his job is to get bills passed that are of interest to the Democratic Party and, in his case, the NRA’s thousands of dollars in Mr Reid’s campaign war chest. “The gun bill” will indeed be a fight up a very steep hill requiring continuing strong moral conviction, stick-to-it-tive-ness, convincing oratory, genius, and memory of the murdered children of Sandy Hook.

This time we had better not let our Congressmen go it alone. They need continuing encouragement and input from the rest of us. Join me in letting them know we want a US without killer weapons in anybody’s hands but the military and police. Remember the children.

I try to paint people in the best possible light – and so I nearly convinced myself he was being ironic, satirical or sarcastic. But it’s pretty clear: my friend is an idiot.

I nearly responded publicly to his post. I did not – not because I am afraid of repurcussions, but because I did not want to hurt my friend, or be seen as attacking his opinion. I typed a few things in as a reply, and good sense prevailed and I canceled my attempt at reason. You cannot change someone’s mind when they have their head that far up their ideology.

guncontrol02My favorite non-posted reply: “I cannot join you in your misguided dream of a US without “killer weapons” in anybody’s hands but the military and police. Tyrannies bloom and thrive in that atmosphere. Ever heard of China? Do you have the slightest idea how many millions have died because of that disparity of force? Even the most altruistic government will soon degrade into despotism if there is no barrier to it. Our founders understood this, largely because they had lived under a despotic ruler – and hoped to prevent his kind ever gaining a foothold again. You want a US in which only the government has weapons? The mere idea horrifies me.”

  1. Margaret Peltier says:

    Having lived the bulk of my life in a country that does not have the same relationship with guns as this country, I cannot agree less. More over it saddens me that having an opposing view to yours makes me an idiot.

    • RedBing says:

      My standard for using that term is much higher than just “having an opposing view.” If that were the case every basketball fan, Mormon, vegan or light beer drinker would be an idiot. They are not.

      Some people think I am an idiot for some of the things I’ve done in my life: running up $60k in credit card and student loan debt as a young adult; being a faithful Christian; smoking cigarettes for over 20 years; marrying a single mom with two kids, one with autism. Sometimes they were right and sometimes not, but I understand why they thought so either way. I can live with that.

      But I have a friend who thought it was a perfectly reasonable idea to cheat on his spouse. I had a relative who thought it was a good idea at the age of fifty to cash out his entire pension to start a business that quickly failed. I know parents at my child’s school who think it’s a great idea to throw a keg party for their kids because it keeps them from going somewhere else to get drunk with their friends. These people were idiots. Not all the time, not about everything, and not because I disagree with them; but because they never thought beyond their great idea to discover it was actually a really bad idea when it runs to its natural and obvious (to others) conclusion.

      My “no guns” friend isn’t an idiot because he has an opposing view; he’s an idiot because he doesn’t care how it might play out. He thinks removing completely the constitutionally protected means of self-defense from the hands of 134 million people who never harmed anyone is a great idea – and he is actively advocating it no matter how many people are eventually harmed. He wants to restrict free people because they can never be trusted – until they become elected to government office, where magically they become angels that will always act in ways that are altruistic, kind and for the public good. He is encouraging a monstrous idea of an armed government ruling over a weaponless populace despite reason, logic, morality, history and facts. I still think my label for him is well applied, but you can think I am an idiot for saying so.

      I love you Margaret, and I don’t think you’re an idiot. I hope I am still your friend even if you think I’m the idiot. Everybody is, some of the time.

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