April 1, 2013
After a long week of soul-searching, I’ve realized that I’ve made a terrible mistake. This entire website has been an exercise in futility and I’m going to pack it in.
I’ve realized that it truly is impossible to fight against the forces of conservatism and ignorance. They are just too strong. They have talk radio and major news outlets and they can scream really loudly. And that scares me. I don’t want people to think I’m a baby-killing pagan communist anymore.
To that end, I will do the only rational thing. I will shut up. For good.
This website will stand as a monument to my stupidity and hubris. How could I have thought for a second that I could make a difference?!
I should apologize to Glenn Beck for years of mocking him and thinking he was insane for thinking there was some vast conspiracy at work. There has to be. It makes perfect sense that he alone would have the vision to put together this web of lies that are ruling our lives.
I should also apologize to Fox News. I know I’ve said they’re the spawn of evil and deception in the world, but they’re not. I mean, they say everything so loudly and repeat it over and over again. It has to be true, right?
I’d like to apologize to the American Right Wing. I know you guys just want to make sure others can’t worship or lives their lives as they see fit, so I think you should just go ahead and do that. It’s exhausting hearing you.
But most of all, I want to apologize to my students and everyone who thought that writing, and critical thinking and expression could make a dent in the world. This is a cold, hard reality and it needs equally cold and hard people. Compassion, understanding, and curiosity have no place in it.
So, there you have it. Randomology is dead. And it failed. I’ll see you…
Well, I won’t. Just…
Bye. I’ll be leaving on a bus later today and heading to Alaska so that I may sit at the feet of Sarah Palin and learn a thing or two.
January 7, 2013
Since the world didn’t explode last month, or it did and we’re all actually in purgatory, I can go back to writing, ranting, and making videos. First, though, a word for anyone who has a blog, a Facebook account, or even just an opinion.
We’re never going to agree.
Well, maybe that’s overdoing it. Perhaps we’ll never agree entirely, but the fact that many of us are trying to get the conversation going gives me hope that this isn’t for nothing. Talking, writing, researching, arguing… it can get tedious and often makes for some very nice headaches, but it’s not a bad thing.
Last week, an old friend sent me a message where he expressed concern that our online debates and posts may hurt our friendship. He’s a staunch libertarian. While I agree with some libertarian points, I’m very much against things like getting rid of the social safety net and would like strong government regulations on things like banks. I believe public education is broken, but essential. I believe in limited gun ownership and control.
Obviously, we’re not going to run for office together any time soon.
But his message struck me. While we’d certainly disagreed on many things, I never thought less of him. I’m sure my tone probably made it sound that way, but I’d like to repeat what I told him.
It’s not about differing ideas moving people apart. It’s about lack of respect.
Over the last ten years, I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with and known people from all over the ideological spectrum. I’ve known Catholics, Wiccans, anarchists, old-school Republicans and young Republicans, humanists, Hindus, vegans, Tea Partiers, gun enthusiasts, pacifists, military vets, gays, bi, straight, genderqueer, artists, academics, historians, and every type of crazy you can imagine. Obviously, I have very different opinions from many on this list. Working with others is a skill everyone should have, but what about actually talking, conversing, and maintaining relationships with people with different opinions? Can you really not talk about religion, politics, and sex and keep a civil conversation?
Back in college, there was a guy at my fraternity who had a giant Confederate flag up on one wall. He studied history and rarely saw the point to fiction since, in his mind, real life was so much more interesting. He turned out to be one of my best friends. We would watch Invader Zim, drink beer, and eat chips and salsa. While he did mellow out slightly and is nowhere near as conservative as he was when he was younger, even then I could get along with him as though he were my brother.
He had clearly thought out his position on many things. He was open to change. He was curious about the world and sought to learn. He wasn’t stuck in just one position and bogged down by rigid ideology. The same goes for my friend who messaged me a few days ago. He’s very learned and obviously gave serious thought to his position. I disagree with his conclusions, but I respect his position, and I’ve actually learned from him from time to time, just as I hope he’s learned from me. He holds on to his beliefs and stands by what he says. So do I.
What I can’t respect, and what I often write about, are the people who hold on to concepts based on lies and ignorance. I can’t respect someone who blatantly refuses to listen to others, to accept he or she may be wrong. I can’t respect someone who tries to justify prejudice or tradition with pseudoscience and blatant half-truths.
We may never agree on everything. That’s fine. In fact, I find comfort in the fact that we can all have such different opinions and sometimes end up in a different place after those opinions come out. We’ll change our positions, sometimes slowly, sometimes at moments of epiphany. But as long as we keep talking, keep trying to reach a solid conclusion, I think we’ll be fine. In the end, most of us just want the same thing: a better world, to be free and safe. We go about it differently, but at least we’re heading the same way.
So from me to my friends, you’re my friends because I respect you. We don’t always agree, but that’s not required for me to care about you or call you “friend.”
And now, speaking of spilt blood, let’s check out the new red-band trailer for the remake of Evil Dead. Warning! Copious blood and gore ahead! What a way to start 2013…
November 6, 2012
Politics, religion, and sex are the three most taboo topics in the world. That might explain some of the weird searches people use to get to this site…
I’d be lying if I said I felt really terrible for not posting as much the last two months, but the truth is that the website has really take its toll on me. Yes, it kept me writing. Yes, it’s been a blast hearing from all my readers, your wonderful comments on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, everywhere. At the same time, it’s exhausting. The research, the cross-checking, everything.
I was in Washington during the last presidential election. I remember receiving the first batch of “Obama is from Kenya” emails at the office. I remember walking into the chief of staff’s office and asking if he’d seen this. The “WTF” look on his face as he realized these people were serious is something I’ll never forget. I asked, half-in-jest, if it was acceptable to write an email to send back to these concerned citizens and call them the frakin’ morons they rightfully should be called.
I was told to be as polite as possible. And I was.
But I never forgot how I had to sit there and write a letter that was the equivalent of telling a charging rhino to sit. The whole time, I just sat there and thought of what I really wanted and needed to say:
I’m sorry, I agree that you have concerns, but I can’t really say that you’re the biggest fucking idiot I’ve ever met since my job depends upon my boss making everyone happy at the expense of not showing any spine or actual conviction. However, I understand you like to believe reality is a big conspiracy against you and the scary black man is going to take away Jesus and apple pie, and while such a scenario is about as likely as me gaining the powers of the Q Continuum just because I’m bored, I have to hold your hand and tell you that you’re right. Why? Because while liberals may have mistakenly latched on to the idea of relativism, the Right took it even further and declared that reality itself is so subjective that tangible, verifiable facts do not matter if you believe strongly enough. They believe that they can change reality by simply stating a bald-faced lie. Sure, I’ve been working in this office for only a few months, but even I know that both sides stretch the truth, exaggerate, and so on. However, I would present to you the following analogy.
Both of us are asked how to better move a couch up the stairs. My side suggests getting a bunch of people together to lift it, move it over the railings, and getting a few people inside to maneuver it through the door. Unwieldy, sure, and perhaps inefficient, but at least it worked. Your solution? Empty a gun into the sofa and hope God pulls it up.
I’m sorry. I’m supposed to be tactful, right? Positive? Okay.
Dear sir and/or madam, I am quite positive you have a massive learning disability, possibly self-inflicted from years of watching Fox and listening to Limbaugh. But just because you’re offended, you’re not right. Just because ten thousand people say it, it doesn’t make it true. Dismissing science, logic, and maturity does not make you quaint and homey. It makes you a child.
But I’ll be nice to you. Because it’s mean to be mean to children. Unless they’re idiots and refuse to learn from their mistakes. You know what? Forget it. You’re an idiot.
I’m pretty sure that was the moment I decided to try to reach out and educate people, maybe get a discussion going. I know some people will never be swayed by facts and experience, but I’m thankful for the things I’ve taught and for the things I myself have learned.
But frankly, the last year has been exhausting. I’ll be glad when the election is over. I’ll be more glad when I can finally tell myself I’ve edited Charcoal Streets as much as it’s going to get edited.
Good night. See you tomorrow, and remember…
Stories don’t tell children dragons exist. Stories tell children the dragon can be beaten.
I remember the moment I became interested in politics and world events. When I grew up in Mexico, I heard from someone that the United States had gone to war. To me, the United States was a magical land where people could find jobs, where you could be anything you wanted to be, where I could go to McDonald’s. That was my youthful, limited view of this country. I’d lived here when I was much, much younger, but before the age of ten, the United States was still a mysterious place where anything could happen. I mean, come on. It had Disneyland.
Eleven years ago, I was in my room while practicing for an upcoming choir competition. I had just popped in a tape (wow, I’m dating this) with the instrumentals to the songs we needed to learn. I was halfway through “Danny Boy.” I was just past the line about all the flowers dying when my mom called me to her room and said something had happened in New York City.
August 7, 2012
In a way, I’m sad that the culture war over gay rights has come to a head over a crappy chicken sandwich. On the other hand, I’m glad it finally opened the floodgates and we can tell who is for gay rights, who is pretending to be trendy, and who really has no idea what’s going on. For the latter group, let me explain a few things.
“This is a First Amendment issue!”
The most common gripe right now is that people who are boycotting Chick-Fil-A are somehow trampling on the company’s (and Cathy’s) freedom of speech.
He wants to believe gays shouldn’t marry, he has that right. He also has the right to donate money as he sees fit to whatever charity he chooses. My grievance, and that of many others, is WHO he gave the money to… the Family Research Council, among others. Just click the link and find out what kinds of people this good Christian man thinks deserve millions of his money.
Free speech means saying what you want. Paying to have others denied their rights is oppression. It’s that simple.
“Gay marriage isn’t that huge a deal! He’s just standing up for what he believes in!”
And what he believes in is hatred and intolerance even if he doesn’t sound like it.
Whenever people say they champion “traditional marriage,” it’s very likely they’re actually saying “the Biblical definition of marriage.” The problem, however, is that the Biblical definition of marriage is nowhere near what conservatives think. In fact, the Bible condones pretty much every other type of marriage except straight marriage. It advocates types of marriage we now consider highly unorthodox, so it’s ridiculous to claim opposition to gay marriage is based on the Bible.
Even worse, historically, “traditional marriage” has been a term used to deny rights to people who today can get married without fear of getting lynched. Interracial, different denominations, divorced couples… think about it. At one point, these groups were denied marriage for the same reason gay couples can’t get married. And every time, conservatives have been wrong. Their stance has been based on bigotry and hatred.
Why is this time any different?
Also, claiming that he’s innocent because he’s basing his actions on his beliefs pretty much frees any of us from any responsibility for our actions. The next time I get a traffic ticket, I can just say that my beliefs in chaos ruling the world make me except from the laws of man. So there.
“You’re just as intolerant as Cathy! You’re being intolerant of intolerance!”
…I’ve actually had people tell me this one. Somehow, calling someone out for being a bigot is the same as being a bigot.
Let me tell you something. Cathy and everyone like him can say whatever they want. I, too, can say whatever I want, and that includes disagreeing with him and his beliefs. However, I take special offense the actions he takes to limit gay rights and donate to a group that thinks homosexuality should be a criminal offense and thinks gays being killed for being gay is a good thing.
On the other hand, the Right doesn’t bat an eyelid when people on their side protest and boycott in the name of morals. Disney and General Mills, for example, have been hit with protests for their own stance on gay rights, and yet those actions were called brave, moral, etc.
But god forbid the Left protests something! We’re a bunch of communazi baby-killers, right?
“But it IS a First Amendment issue! Those mayors tried to ban Chick-Fil-A from their cities!”
Yeah, but they were wrong. A lot of people on the Left agree they were out of line to suggest they could deny a business a license based on their donations.
On the other hand, the Right was perfectly fine with denying mosques the right to build where they wished. That was also a First Amendment issue, but the Right screamed and whined that, well, they just didn’t want mosques in their cities. There was a wave of violence and a series of protests against Muslims who wanted to build houses of worship, and none on the Right stood up and said, “Hey, maybe this is a First Amendment issue.”
So remember, folks: chicken sandwich > religious liberty.
“Well, I don’t want to be part of this stupid debate. I’m going to keep going to Chick-Fil-A, but I still support gay rights.”
This is the same as saying, “I’m all for civil rights, but I’m going to keep eating at Swastikas and Subs, the Neo-Nazi shop down the street. I know they donate to the Klan, but they make a great meatball sub.”
If you know where the money goes and say you’re still for gay rights, you’re a hypocrite, pure and simple.
“But are you saying I have to check where companies donate their money and buy based on my stance on important social issues?! What about gas? Are you going to stop buying gas because it helps fund Middle Eastern dictatorships?”
Uhm, yes. You do have to check.
I know it’s impossible to check every major store, and it gets more confusing since many companies are owned by larger companies that are owned by larger companied, etcetera, etcetera, but if you KNOW you’re hurting the gay community and you keep doing this despite having the choice of going somewhere else, you’re complacent.
I’d love to stop buying gas form the Middle East, but have very little say on the matter. But this? I can NOT buy a chicken sandwich.
“What about all the jobs that will be lost if the boycott succeeds? You’re hurting everyone else!”
No, that would be Cathy. He made a terrible business decision by giving money to an organization that’s labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Center. Management made a terrible decision that hurt the company’s image. If Disney decided to donate a million dollars to groups that wanted to keep minorities from voting, a good chunk of the population would be outraged and stop buying Disney products.
Any lost business would be the fault of management angering their customers. We’re responding to something the company did, and if employees lose out on it, it’s a simple fix: Cathy has to stop donating to hate groups.
The point is that companies aren’t entitled to our business. They have to please their customers and put out a quality product. Chick-Fil-A did something that has a physical impact on the gay community. Their customers don’t like that. We’re boycotting.
If anyone suffers, it’s Cathy’s fault.
Don’t believe me? When was the last time Christians lined up at strip clubs to give money to the poor girls dancing their way through college? Because, after all, who will think of the employees?
The Bottom Line
Cathy’s donations hurt the gay community. People who willingly buy Chick-Fil-A sandwiches are feeding those donations. To ignore that fact is to be complacent and culturally lazy if you actually think gays should have the same rights as the rest of us.
The Right took more offense to a business losing money and being called out for its homophobia than to houses of worship being desecrated and attacked in the name of hate. They mobilized like Jesus himself was making sandwiches.
It’s enough to make me gag. And now, let’s see one brave, and stupid, protestor make a stance against gay rights.
July 27, 2012
It’s no secret that Chick-Fil-A recently got into a lot of hot water both from people who think the LGBT community is made up of human beings whom deserve the rights and dignity of every human being and people who like the Muppets.
That’s a big demographic to upset.
Chick-Fil-A’s president went on the record to state that he and his company stand for Biblical family, for traditional marriage, and oppose gay rights. That is his opinion to make. He has every right to believe that. Everyone can believe this if he or she wishes it.
Just like, you know, I and actual compassionate human beings have the right to not buy his product in order to send more money to anti-gay groups. It’s as simple as that. It’s called a boycott, and it’s a very simple, effective way to show your disapproval of a company. It helped get Glenn Beck off the air, for example.
However, over at The Atlantic, it seems that boycotting Chick-Fil-A is the first step towards… something. Something sinister that may (gasp) hurt businesses and is therefore and attack on capitalism and babies will explode and the sky will BURN.
Maybe the article doesn’t go into those depths, but it’s close.
Should [customers] swear off the legendary chicken sandwiches to support gay rights? Or could they eat one of the filets anyway, knowing their dollars would be but a drop in the bucket for a chain that has more than $4 billion in annual sales and donated a pittance to groups they may disagree with?
One person is not going won’t change anything, the author says. Yes, he’s right. One person doesn’t change a company’s policy… but thousands or millions certainly do change things. Even if the company donated just 1% of that $4 billion to anti-gay groups, that’s still forty million dollars.
On another note, the fact that these sandwiches are “legendary” and are therefore more important than gay rights is a bit offensive. No chicken sandwich… no SANDWICH, is worth more than basic human dignity and freedom.
I’d argue the latter — and this has nothing to do with my views on gay marriage. It’s because Chick-fil-A is a laudable organization on balance, and because I refuse to contribute to the ineffective boycott culture that’s springing up across America.
Uhm, okay? So you’re boycotting boycotts?
I actually like how smugly he justifies his contempt for the boycott. Chick-Fil-A is a business with a great business model and is therefore shielded from your petty worries. Everyone knows that being great at business means you’re morally beyond reproach.
Kneel before Zod!
First of all, Chick-fil-A is not a hate group. In a statement released yesterday, company leaders made their commitment to equal service clear, “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”
So the company admits that it will sell to anyone, at any time, and treat them well? That’s not an argument for them being nice people so much as it is an argument for them being savvy businesspeople. In such a multicultural world, you can’t afford to alienate anyone. Plus, money talks. Every person is a potential customer.
The company may not be in the same league as the Klan or other heinous organizations, but it’s campaigning against people in an effort to deny them rights. That makes them morally reprehensible to a lot of people.
Additionally, the organization gives millions of dollars each year to charitable causes — and not just to “pro-family” groups. It funds a large foster care program, several schools of a higher learning, and a children’s camp. It has provided thousands of scholarships for Chick-fil-A employees to attend college and grow past the service sector where they got their workplace start. (On Friday, the company provided free meals for Aurora, Colo., policemen.)
Foster care and children’s camps are not some liberal cause. Neither is providing food to law enforcement. Scholarships to employees? That’s just having awesome benefits. Somehow, the fact that the company donates to charities that EVERYONE can like is somehow supposed to make up for the money that goes to groups that want to keep several of my friends from marrying their partners.
Rush Limbaugh donates to charities, too. He’s still a pompous dingbat with a massive disconnect from reality and an ego with its own gravitational pull. Helping one person doesn’t excuse treating another like crap.
In a nation that’s as divided as ours is, do we really want our commercial lives and our political lives to be so wholly intermeshed? And is this really the kind of culture we want to create? Culture war boycotts cut both ways and are much more likely to meet with success when prosecuted by large groups of people, such as Christian activists, who are more numerous than gays and lesbians and their more activist supporters.
Actually, there’s a wonderful article right here on why Christians SHOULDN’T boycott. It’s anti-Christian. It’s coercion. It’s a sinful use of power.
Now go ahead, Christian Right. Boycott. Because nothing draws in the heathen crowd like seeing a bunch of fundamentalists picketing. It’s like chum for the heathens and hedonists out there. It must mean fun is trying to be suppressed.
Gay and lesbian groups were famously rankled when pro-family activists reacted against Kraft for posting a photo of an Oreo cookie with rainbow-hued filling last month in honor of Gay Pride Month, and also when similar groups protested JCPenney for announcing lesbian talk show host Ellen DeGeneres would be its next spokesperson.
So should the 45 percent of Americans who oppose gay marriage opt for Chips Ahoy! instead of Oreos? Should they begin shopping at Belk instead of JC Penny? If they did, it wouldn’t make any more sense than the endless failed calls for liberal consumers to boycott Urban Outfitters, because its owner is a conservative and Rick Santorum donor, or to not order from Domino’s Pizza, because it was founded by a Catholic conservative who helped fund anti-abortion causes.
Actually, yes, they can boycott. They’re making their voices heard. If I believe someone is going to use my money to fund causes I am against, I’m certainly not going to give them money.
In one breath, the author states boycotts don’t work, and in the next, he threatens a boycott that he insists would work. It’s an amazing feat of logical gymnastics that would get a high score in the BS Olympics.
On both sides of our latest culture war divide, we must learn to have level-headed disagreements without resorting to accusations of hate speech and boycotts. As Josh Ozersky argued on TIME Thursday, “businesses should be judged by their products and their practices, not by their politics.”
That’s not how life works! If the pizza shop down the street makes the best pizza in Chicago and New York combined but the money goes to fund Glenn Beck, you bet your life I’m not going to go. When I give someone money, I’m doing it with the expectation that the money is going to pay wages, materials, administrative costs… etc. If someone who works at a great bar makes the best drinks in town but is an avowed racist, you bet I’m not going back until that person is fired. That’s one great thing about capitalism. You don’t have to write a letter to get someone’s attention. You can just do NOTHING and get a result. The company’s job is to make money. Making statements like this and donating to groups that are fighting against a segment of the population will be detrimental to business one way or another.
As far as I can tell, the author seems to think corporations and businesses are somehow different from the people who run them. Chick-Fil-A is a company, after all, and the company didn’t say these things. It was one man!
I don’t care how my dry cleaner votes. I just want to know if he/she can press my Oxfords without burning my sleeves. I find no compelling reason to treat sandwiches differently than shirts.
This is really just like saying, “I don’t have any convictions or opinions of my own and wish to be deaf to the funding for causes that may affect me in the future.”
Basically, the author is advocating social laziness.
From a business standpoint, some might say Cathy’s comments were imprudent if not downright dumb. But in a society that desperately needs healthy public dialogue, we must resist creating a culture where consumers sort through all their purchases (fast food and otherwise) for an underlying politics not even expressed in the nature of the product itself.
If white meat’s not your thing, try the Golden Arches. But if you want a perfectly fried chicken sandwich, Chick-fil-A, will be happy to serve you — gay or straight. In this case, those who boycott are the ones missing out.
And there it is. How dare we deny ourselves a perfect chicken sandwich? It’s so much work to look through our purchases or pay attention when someone makes a very public declaration that they use consumer money to further ideological agendas. Why can’t we all just give in and throw our money at the corporations so it can eventually trickle down to us?
Long live the corporation!
Okay, so maybe I stretched it out, but my point stands: this is social laziness. Boycotting is not always successful, but companies are not entitled to our money. We buy a product because we like the product, but if the company supports causes. If I have a choice between a Neo-Nazi burger joint that uses 100% angus beef and home-made condiments and a McDonald’s-like crap burger, I’m going with the crap-burger.
Not every Chick-Fil-A employee is homophobic, but the money’s going to homophobic causes. I won’t support that. Neither should you.
And now, to cleanse the palette, let us laugh at dumb people hurting themselves.
July 25, 2012
The shootings in Aurora, Colorado have once again brought up the debate about gun control, and once again, the Right is shrieking that it’s being persecuted all because someone used the laws they passed and killed a dozen people.
Let’s get a few things out of the way first.
I am pro-second Amendment. I believe it’s a good idea to be able to own guns. I understand hunting and shooting are part of our national heritage and can exist without animosity or hate towards others. However, I also have the capacity for critical thinking.
And the NRA and pro-gun lobby are dangerously wrong on a lot of points. And poor me, all I have is documented evidence instead of calls to fear and persecution.
“If there had been another person there with a gun, this could have been stopped!”
Really? Holmes was wearing ballistic armor (which you can apparently just buy online) and had thousands of rounds at his disposal. Unless the other person inside the theater was a crack shot and managed to shoot an area without protection, handguns would have been near-useless. Assault weapons might have done the trick, but then you’d be advocating we should be allowed to bring rifles into places like movie theaters.
The idea that some lone hero could stop these tragedies lies with our romantic notion of the lone gunslinger, the brave soul who steps up and solves the problem before it starts.
Consider this. Katie Pavlich was in a church when an armed assailant went in with the intent to kill. She put him down before he initiated a massacre. Sounds like a great argument for being able to own guns and take them anywhere, right? One problem, though. Pavlich was an armed security guard hired by the church. Yes, a gun stopped the massacre, but that’s because she and her team knew who was and wasn’t supposed to have a firearm inside. Plus, they were on watch. In the middle of a chaotic shooting, if more than one person is firing, how are bystanders going to know who to shoot at?
Also, remember that human reaction time is roughly a third of a second, but if everyone had a gun, this might offset that sort of delay, right?
A few years ago, an armed assailant got the jump on four police officers. Who were armed. And MAYBE managed to hit him once before he ran off. You can only react so fast. You’d have to be actively looking for trouble, but even then, having more guns on the scene is not a good thing.
During the Gabrielle Giffords shooting last year, multiple civilians had firearms on the scene. It didn’t stop the shooter, and one of the supposed heroes almost got shot himself. Joe Zamudio rushed someone else that had already disarmed the shooter… and nearly killed the wrong man. By Zamudio’s own admission, it was a stroke of pure luck that kept him from executing an innocent bystander. A lot of people made a big deal that Zamudio had a gun and he helped stop the shooter. True, he did, but he didn’t use his gun. The gun had no direct impact on his actions. In fact, the gun just made him more confident he would be safe and he wasn’t shot at. In the end, it wasn’t the firearms that helped stop the shooter. It was sheer guts and courage. The gun almost resulted in MORE death.
Let me put it another way. This is a loaded example, but follow me on this. When we developed nuclear weapons, we didn’t say that every country should have them. We still don’t think some countries should even THINK of developing them. We didn’t go out and give everyone the plans to make sure we could police each other. I don’t think ANYONE thinks giving North Korea or Iran is the best way to make sure we’re safe. A nuclear weapon is designed to kill. A gun is designed to kill. I don’t see a huge difference in why we want to limit one but not the other.
“Banning guns will just keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.”
First of all, I’m not saying we should ban guns. I’d just like to know that people with guns are not convicted felons. Take cars, for example. In order to drive, you have take a test, show you are capable of maneuvering a ton of steel of flammable fuel, and get insurance and registration in case anything should happen. Last year, we had 32,000 automotive fatalities in this country. Compare that to roughly the same number of gun-related deaths in the same time period. How much lower could that second number be if we actually forced people to receive proper training and get licensed?
When people died in car accidents, someone realized we could build a strap to help keep people from flying out the window. Then someone came up with the air bag. Then someone thought about including crumple zones and all manner of technology. Now, we can’t legally text and drive. With cars, we’ve made the machine safer and instituted penalties for reckless usage.
It’s not like we say we need more drivers on the road to corral bad drivers if they get out of hand. We don’t ask soccer moms in SUVs to push drink drivers to the side of the road. Why are we asking everyone else to be cowboys when it comes to guns?
“We need to trust our citizenry to get trained and be responsible. It’s up to the individual to make these choices.”
The right to own a gun is not the same as magically acquiring responsibility, much like turning 21 doesn’t automatically mean you know how to drink responsibly. It’s the reason we don’t allow things like drunk driving and go after drunk drivers HARD. We’ve shown time and time again that left to their own choices, people are outright stupid. I’m not advocating government control of our lives. I don’t think Big Brother should be monitoring our love lives, our search history, or whether or not we just mouth the pledge of allegiance. I don’t think the government should have a hand in every business…
But I also think we need monitoring and regulatory agencies to make sure companies don’t dump poisons into the air and water and pay fair wages while not abusing employees.
There’s a reason we enacted these laws, and yet when it comes to technology that allows one person to shoot one hundred people in a crowded theater, we don’t bat an eyelid. We just say, “Oh, the people who were shot should have brought guns too.”
“Americans don’t want more gun control!”
Yes, America wants more gun control and restrictions. The NRA is the one that wields a megaphone, but being loud and being right are not the same thing. This isn’t an appeal to the masses, either. If the question comes down to a vote, the majority wins and we get more gun control.
“Even if we change the laws, we can’t round up all the guns out there. It would be impossible.”
There are a lot of guns out there. There are people who have purchased extended magazines for pistols. There are people that bought assault weapons. There are collectors who have a dozen or more guns in their homes. They bought all these things legally.
Changing the law won’t mean they have to give them back if we word this right. The easiest thing would be to outlaw the sale of certain magazines and weapons after a certain date. Those bought before that date would still be legal, but perhaps restricted. Possibly transporting them or re-selling them would be an issue, but the point is to not keep making the same mistake just because we can’t undo the past.
This is like saying, “Well, we can’t pay back all these people for slavery, so why get rid of slavery?”
Small changes add up.
“Gun control is not the issue. We need to address drug regulation/ fear/ mental health/ etc.”
Banning certain types of firearms or making it difficult for someone to stock up on 6,000 rounds of ammo and enough guns to take on a Terminator may not stop the whackos, the lunatics, the crazies, and the criminals from finding them through less legal means… but it will certainly stop other, less-determined idiots.
Yes, we should address the root causes of this violence, but in the meantime, we can make it harder for one lunatic to wipe out a room full of people in ten seconds. It’s like saying we shouldn’t focus on AIDS treatments since we should be looking for a cure.
“The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. How dare we interfere with this fundamental right?”
Because, as we all know, the US Constitution is unchangeable and sacrosanct… except for all the changes we’ve made over the years.
I’m always dumbstruck by people who fall back on the argument that the Founders did this and the Constitution says this so it must be right. Why? What made the Founders these pillars of wisdom and common sense? They had some wonderful ideas, but they were a very diverse lot. Some wanted more state’s rights. Others thought the federal government should have final control over the states. Others thought only white men should vote.
Looking back at the fact that Americans in the 1770’s could own flintlocks and using that as the basis for allowing every citizen to buy assault weapons, extended magazines, or who knows what else misses the point. We’re all adults. We can ask if freedom of expression should protect people who yell “Fire” in a crowded theater.
That means we can also ask if we should allow everyday citizens to purchase weapons that can empty a thirty-plus round magazine in two seconds. I seriously doubt deer have equivalent firepower.
And, on another, note, people like the gentleman in this article that says he would feel naked without his ammo and guns scare me. They’re basically saying that they feel wrong about something, so it must be true. That’s not an argument. That’s an opinion. Give me facts, damn it!
Look, Obama is not coming for our guns. The United Nations is not going to ban firearms. Hunting will still be allowed. I and people like me want background checks. We want a red flag to go up whenever someone buys thousands of rounds of ammo. At the very least, we’d like to know the people who purchase and own a handgun are competent, well-trained individuals who can be punished for misusing their newfound power.
In the end, though, this debate comes down to fear. The NRA and extreme gun-nuts are afraid they won’t have their dick-extenders to hold on to while they watch Fox.
Oh, I’m sorry. Did I say that out loud?