Thursday, April 25, 2013

Gun Rights and Wrongs

Earlier this week I got a friend request from someone who shared 7 mutual friends with me on Facebook. I'm sure I could find her in an old high school yearbook if I was so inclined. I wonder what change her presence will bring to my Facebook feed? It could be anything! It could be beautiful and amazing! Is this that long lost person from High School who has gone on to greatness? Maybe they are witty and make quirky observations. I'm always up for a bit more of that in my life.

Oh, wait...
Oh no...

"Your new friend shared Patriots 4 Gun Rights's Photo"

Oh my... I... I... No. I... umm...

This inaugural case so perfectly captures the Social Catastrophe. Before the prevalence of social media it was easy to tell myself little lies. Something like this isn't normal. This is the kind of thing that is freakish and would show up on the ol' Jerry Springer show. The rest of society has its quirks, but hey, we're all somewhere in the ballpark of rational, right? I'm going to presume that is the case, and that way we can all respect each other and our differences of opinion, knowing we are each grappling with the world the best we can. Now I feel differently. Jerry Springer wasn't a freak show. We live in a Jerry Springer reality.

So, not everyone reading this may necessarily know my views. Let us proceed to Break Down Time!

I have opinions on Gun Control, but they barely factor into the horror that is this picture. If you must know, there are gun control measures I think are silly and for show, yet others I think could reasonably help. I would love for the U.S. to have a non-crazy rate of homicide compared to other countries, and if that can be done with programs addressing underlying issues and we don't need any gun control at all, great! Also, my default inclination is towards maximum personal liberty if at all reasonably possible.

That out of the way, some basic facts...

  • The Native Americans suffered a massive genocide, at least this picture isn't denying that. This is perhaps the only positive thing to be said.
  • Given the date and number of casualties mentioned, this seems to be referencing the Wounded Knee Massacre. This massacre did not occur in a school.
  • The government ordered their weapons relinquished and burned. Most but not all complied.
And now... why is this completely nuts?
  • I'm just going to say, co-opting the genocide of a race for your pet political issue is... well, I don't like to say "offensive", especially as I am not Native American and don't need to take offense on someone else's behalf, but I think I can at least say it is tacky as fuck! I could probably come up with an equally offensive analogy in an attempt to show you just how tasteless this maneuver is, but: a.) I am not convinced you would find it offensive and b.) The mental exercise would be damaging to my sanity.
  • The idea that the reason the Native Americans suffered genocide, and were victims of the Wounded Knee Massacre was because they gave up their guns is in itself completely bat-shit insane. The Native Americans were decimated by disease and faced a technologically superior opponent. By the time of this massacre, they had been herded from one reservation to the next. They did not have a war machine where they were manufacturing arms and ammo to resist the U.S. Government. The fact that I'm even having to say this to an adult with a functioning brain is a devastating commentary on the sorry state of our society. North America was once 100% Native American.  It is now less that 1% so.  There were Native Americans that tried to fight. It wasn't even close. 290 Native American men, women and children vs. 500 cavalry in the U.S. Army in 1890 was never going to change that.
  • The other implication of this image is that, if we give up any right or agree to any compromise on the use or ownership of guns, we too could suffer just like the Native Americans did. I'm sure there is a reasonable point someone could make that is somewhere near the universe of this implication... but no reasonable person is going to be able to unravel the fucked up logic, odd-ball conspiracy theory, confused cluster of wrong that riddles this awful, awful analogy.  You might as well be talking about the Tibetans vs. the god damned Illuminati you fucking fruit-cake!
And so... I could go on and on about how wrong this all is, but sometimes there are so many level of wrong it is hard not to be shocked into silence. Total "Oh my God, What the Fuck?" silence.  I believe that rational debate about the Gun Control issue is possible. Posts like this are so credibility destroying, however, that it just deals staggering damage to your side of the debate.

Also, on a personal level, I can only think "These are the kinds of people living in my community." Honestly, that shit scares the fuck out of me. Please, someone, make it better.


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