Why Be Stupid?
Perhaps you’ve read it. Maybe you’ve heard it on TV or YouTube. I’ve done both and it really needs to stop. This particular “it” is the increasingly extreme rhetoric from both sides of the gun debate (as an aside, you have no idea how hard it is for a retired Coast Guard and Navy guy to refer to firearms as “guns”).
From pro-gun control people suggesting that it might be okay to kill members of the NRA or any other pro-gun person it’s the height of hypocrisy. And please, don’t lecture me about the 10 bizillion uses of hyperbole. It has its place, but this form of exaggeration for effect, if that’s what it was, is not the place for it. Likewise, shouting down your guests who happen to disagree with you does not lend your arguments weight. It makes you look like a spoiled child, so impressed with your own importance and so used to having your way that the possibility someone might actually have a good reason for disagreeing with you makes you violate your own much vaunted comments regarding respectful discourse. And, lets not forget the spectacle of a grown man covering his ears because he didn’t like what was being said (and yes, I understand that he was almost certainly wearing an earpiece so it was more for show than anything else, but still…).
Look, I grew up in and around newspapers at a time when there was still an understanding that the purpose of any news organization was to simply report the facts. Opinions were limited to the op-ed section and even those had to pass muster with the editor. I can remember editors who simply would not stand for the sort of outrageous editorializing we see so often, in both print and other media, surrounding the gun debate.
Now, as for my fellow pro-gunners. Enough already with the increasingly shrill rhetoric. Must we insist our elected officials protect all our constitutional rights? Of course. Is the 2nd Amendment more about personal defense and resisting tyranny than it is hunting and target shooting? Duh. That being said, let me suggest effectively making those points is not accomplished by doing any of the following things:
- Repeating bogus quotes from the Founding Fathers, ad nauseum, in the hopes we’ll convince those who disagree with us (while hoping we don’t get caught lying).
- Branding those who honestly disagree with us, including at least some of our elected officials, as traitors who deserve to be tried for treason (at least). I understand that sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between honest disagreement and political posturing, but it’s worth the effort. Note that I’m not saying we shouldn’t be pointing out errors and what are clearly lies, just that not all errors are the result of dishonesty…or stupidity. We need to take the time to make the best determination we can as to which we’re dealing with and then respond accordingly.
- Declaring our republic at an end with armed uprising coming, along your preparedness for it and your willingness to participate. This is the one which bothers me the most. While there are exceptions, most of the people I encounter who spout this drivel have never been in a firefight and have never experienced the horror and terror of combat, even if they make sure to mention frequently that they are veterans. They’ve not seen their friend’s head when hit by a round from a rifle and they’ve not encountered the smell of the aftermath of a battle. So, listen up, all you would be revolutionaries, warriors and war heroes: Years ago, foolishly and stupidly thinking how it would make me stand out among my colleagues, I was in a Bad Place with Bad People trying to kill me and my friends. We fought back and we won. That is, more of ours lived to go home than theirs. But…it was scary. Really scary, as in lose control of your bodily functions, scary. People got shot, including some of the Good Guys. People died, including some of the Good Guys. Many of those who died suffered horribly before drawing that final breath that took them to meet their Maker. So, to the next would-be, wanna-be Terror of the Battlefield who tries to tell me about the oath I took and how I should still honor it, as if I don’t know that as well as the price of honoring that oath, to the next would-be historian/constitutional scholar who tells me “freedom isn’t free”, I make the following offer: You can waltz your happy little ass to my part of Texas and I will quite happily place my boot so far up your backside it dislodges your tonsils. Let me suggest that most of those who post this sort of “get ready for the uprising” crap have no idea of what they’re saying. And, if you’re one of them and you’re depending on others like you to have your back if and when the Bad Thing happens, you’re going to be unpleasantly surprised to notice how many of them don’t show up when it’s time to cross that particular Rubicon. (It’s usually at this point that my fiance suggests I take a deep breath and step away from the keyboard)