I'm getting my life back on track just now, and I haven't really been able to post, what with college applications. However, I hope to have a couple more posts in the coming weeks. I've been meaning to look at the Mary McFate thing that happened recently, as well as another well-deserved bitching out of MediaWatch.
Anyway, a few months ago, the Supreme Court of the United States, or SCOTUS, upheld the complaint brought by a Mr Heller, that the Washington D.C. ban on handguns violates the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. Common sense, I'd think.
We're a few months past that now, and the debate's all said and done (apart from a few bigots who whine about the SCOTUS "misinterpreting" the 2nd Amendment (in other words, reading it as it should be read). There's not much I can say that hasn't been said in better ways, by better people.
During the discussions of the last few months however, I had a bit of an epiphany regarding how anti-gun people treat the honest people in the gun debate.
Set the Wayback Machine to 2003. I've just gotten into the whole gun debate, and found the website Keep and Bear Arms, an American website that posts the pick of the day's online articles regarding the Second Amendment and gun crime, as well as having some good political cartoons.
I remember seeing One of Scott Beiser's cartoons called "Learn to Listen". It was a cartoon regarding the difference between what gun owners say, and what anti-gun people hear.
The "What gun owners say" picture was of a man in a suit with his children, holding a rifle, saying "We just want to live in peace and be able to protect our kids".
The "What anti-gunners hear" is a picture of the steryotypical "'Roid-raging Rambo", holding a rifle to a childs head, both of them held in his other arm, saying "We just want to blow everyone to pieces, especially kids!", with rabid foam dribbling from the side of his face.
At the time, I thought it was kind of funny. Now, as I write this, I'm looking at that cartoon, and it's kind of scary how true it is.
Over the past few months, with the SCOTUS decision, there's been a lot of discussions, especially on Democratic Underground, one of my favoured sites for reading the debate of progressive against pro-gun control (Yes, there is a difference).
As I said before, I'm on the left end of the political spectrum, but on DU, there would be no place for me, because anybody who shows a truly progressive attitude towards guns is belittled on every place except the Guns sub-forum, a forum referred to as "The Gungeon" or Gun dungeon.
Okay, I'm not bashing DU. There are good people there as well as bad. It's just that outside of the "Gungeon", there's a hell of an attitude towards gun owners, which can only really be described as bigotry.
Seriously, it seems that every time there's an article involving an accident or gun crime, these people do their damn best to blame the innocent gun owners. There's references to "Gun Nuts", "Gun Loons", "Gun Fanatics", "Gun Fetishists", I've seen people who blame the NRA and the "Holy Second".
Every time something happens that's gun-related, there's a number of individuals who are hell bent on blaming innocent people for no good reason.
Even the higher-ups in the debate are guilty of this. Bryan Miller, head of one of the Ceasefire groups, has a blog where he told of how he wept at a comment left by one of the pro-gun contingent on the site, which he claimed was "ill-concealed and pathetic rage and misinformation", after reading about an officer's death in the paper the same day. He went on to describe his rage at the person, who he called a "fanatic", who "by both twisting the truth and attacking the caring and bereft, seek to derail any attempt to inject reason into the debate about guns".
What was the comment? This person, "VeroFeritas", had posted an angry and sarcastic comment on how Mr Miller had used the death of his brother to attack thousands of innocent gun owners.
Whether he likes it or not, it's true. These people did not "enable" the felon who committed the murder, they were not with him pulling the trigger, they had nothing to do with it. And yet, these innocents are the people he has convinced himself must pay, for no legitimate reason.
Don't get me wrong - the death of any innocent is a tragedy, no matter the circumstances. But you've got to be one fucked up person to think that the answer is to penalise equally innocent people, and belittle them when they make valid observations.
And "derail any attempt to inject reason into the debate about guns"? Injecting reason into the debate is all that people like VeroFeritas do. People like David Codrea, like Sebastian the "Pro-Gun Progressive", all they ever do is inject reason and logic and common sense, and for that, they are called fanatics, and attacked with such misplaced hate, that you'd expect their attackers to be wearing white robes and burning crosses on their lawns.
Looking at the "What anti-gunners hear" picture, I now realise that they actually believe this shit. They've deluded themselves into believeing that they're the arbitrators of reason and logic, and believe that shouting down legitimate criticism is the right way to have "Reasoned Discourse".
Take "Assault Weapons", for example. The AR-15 is one of the most popular target rifles and is adequate for defense too, but anti-gun people see the resemblance to the M-16, and say there's "no legitimate reason for it to be in the hands of civilians", picturing, as I said before, a "'Roid-raging Rambo", when in truth, there's thousands of them which are used for several legitimate reasons, including the two I listed.
If the anti-gun contingent is so convinced of their righteousness, then why in the nine hells do they do this? Every time there's a debate, they respond with bigotry, with hate, with unjustified aggression.
If anyone reading this is offended, I'm sorry, but the facts are the facts. What these people do is wrong, and instead of facing that, they unleash hate towards people who are only trying to protect themselves. Those people are called "paranoid", yet the advocacy for their disarmament is because they "might" go nuts and shoot up a mall or a school, which is just as paranoid.
Again, I'm sorry, but I'm tired of the whole damn thing. I've seen good points on both sides of the debate, but the gun owners win out, simply because for the most part, their points aren't wrapped up in slander and bile.
Instead of attacking those you distrust, and only reading the retaliations in their replies, read it all. Look at their facts, don't just dismiss them. I mean, going back to Mr Miller, Feritas did have a point in his reply. However, his reply was angry, based on the slander of a gun shop owner that was the subject of the blog post, and his point was lost in that anger. Mr Miller saw the anger, and ignored the point altogether.
That's kind of the whole thing. Gun owners are slandered left, right and center on anti-gun blogs, and when they do reply, their points are ignored in favour of a minority of angry comments, that antis hold up as "proof" of their slander. Why even start with the slander? Here's a thought - tell the facts, without the name calling and misplaced aggression.
Look at the people you're criticising, not the stereotype you've built up in your mind. Put the hate to one side, and talk to the gun owners you've been attacking. You never know, you might find you have more in common than you think.
Okay, rant over. Discuss if you want.