I was asked quite kindly in the earlier hot-button political post if I was overreacting due to being sick
. The answer to that is certainly yes. But, here's my gloss from that response, lightly edited from the comment I wrote:
Truth be told, I've always felt this way about guns. I mean, the 'defense of essential liberties' argument is a great piece of theory, but over 10,000 people a year in the United States are fatally deprived of their essential liberties by widely available handguns. Anyone who makes that argument is placing their theoretical need for defense of liberty over the real deaths and deprivation of essential liberty of 720,000 people in their lifetimes, at a conservative assessment of the current firearms death rate and American lifespan. That is one hell
of an offset for a theoretical defense. And we got upset over a mere 2,700
people preventably dead in 9-11.
It doesn't matter what you argue, that just doesn't hold up morally or ethically.
I thought this when I was on the riflery team in high school. I thought this when I was ROTC in college. I thought this when I earned my marksman's medal in the National Guard.
I used to be a very angry political actor, vocally liberal. Bush v. Gore, 2000, pretty much silenced me in a six-year long political depression. Today, for a few minutes at least, my true feelings came back out, goaded by my Dad switch.
Am I overheated? Sure. But I'll say this: if guns, like cars, produced meaningful utility to offset their death and injury rate, lib/con logic chopping about the Second Amendment might hold some water for me. But firearms only support a theoretical eventuality argued by people claiming absolute allegiance to the very foundational law that they themselves are rapidly deconstructing right now
Dead children, my friend. The world doesn't need more dead children.
Here's the hard part for me. When I feel better, do I put my true feelings back in the box where they've been thumping and whining through the entirety of this decade and go back to being Mr. Mostly Apolitical Writer? I mean, I've worked pretty hard for this blog to be a welcoming space for people interested in writing and general weirdness -- Ghu knows there's enough angry politics on the Intarwebs at all ends of the spectrum.
Am I facing my own Niemöller moment, where I choose to stand up publicly against all that's gone horribly, sickly wrong in this country -- aided in meaningful part by the distorted electoral politics of gun control -- or do I choose to turn back to my own pursuits and hope someone else makes it better for me?
Ask me tomorrow when I don't have a fever and I'm not quite so heartsick for those parents out there. Maybe I'll have found my courage, maybe I'll have put my happy writer suit back on.