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I really don't hate liberals. At the risk of sounding like That Guy, some of my best friends are liberals. I consider myself a liberal, in many ways (in the sense of Thomas Jefferson, not Jesse Jackson, that is). And I resent the right-wingers who disparage liberals, and try work against that type as much as possible.

Gary Trudeau, however, is the sort of liberal I hate. I hate him because he is a hypocrite who is not interested in rational argument. He is (perhaps) not as bad as Rush Limbaugh, but he is contemptible for similar reasons...both of them stereotype their enemies and attack strawman arguments. Both of them rant and rave about dirty tactics their enemies use, and then happily use those same tactics themselves.

When someone portrays a homosexual using a vicious stereotype, that's wrong, I think everyone should call it thus, and the artist should be pilloried. So why does Trudeau consider it okay to stereotype gun owners and think that's okay because it's "satire"?

Are some gun owners redneck jackasses? Undoubtedly. However, whether Mr. Trudeau likes it or not, open carry IS a legitimate 2nd amendment issue, it IS about freedom, and openly carrying a sidearm is not "being a moron about guns". And plenty of people carry sidearms each day without Starbucks turning into a wild west saloon.

For people who don't read or don't care about Doonesbury, never mind, this wasn't for you.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
eremos
May. 3rd, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
I understand that it's a fundamental issue for a lot of people, but I wish we'd quit getting up in arms (pardon the pun) about "rights". We spend, and waste, more time arguing the infinitesimal details of what does and does not constitute a "right" than considering the greater good. Most of the time, I don't give a shit about who has the right to do what, so long as we are moving ahead on a path that produces a good result for society and country. All rights are fluid, even the ones that aren't. Freedom of expression is a very different thing now than it was in the 18th century, not merely because the tools and techniques of expression have changed. Our ideas have changed, our technology has changed, our demographics have changed, and the very soul of our country along with them. To presume that we can govern our people now with rules written then is something very akin to stupidity.

The spirit of the Second Amendment- that the people be armed against potential tyranny- is already unachievable in the practical sense. It was lost when the Army deployed its first Sherman tank, when the Navy launched its first aircraft carrier, when the Air Force tested its first nuclear warhead. Against the American military, the American people stand no chance, regardless of the condition of any supposed right to keep and bear arms. As far as I'm concerned, this point is settled: though the Second Amendment may prescribe it, we need no right to arm ourselves against a tyrannical government. Anyone who says otherwise is merely casting illusions about the state of things.

That being said, I am happy to willfully misinterpret the Second Amendment (as in Heller) as a guarantee of the individual's right to self-defense- again, not because I feel this is a right deserved by all (it probably isn't) but because it is beneficial to the function of our society, in our country, at this time. The police cannot be everywhere all the time, and I would much rather deal with the potential guilt over an intruder I've shot dead than grieve for a family member I have to bury. Firearms tend to be equalizers, taking away the larger man's ability to bully the smaller man, and that is a benefit to society. One could argue that this shifts the balance of power to those with more powerful weapons, or those with more skill at using them, but the disparity in applicable force between the majority of amateur shooters and those very few professional gunslingers is far less dramatic than that between bullies and bullied.

I cringe whenever I have to quote Heinlein, but what he said was true: "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." So long as we stop flailing around in idealistic mud, arguing to our deaths about what is right and what isn't, the correct solution presents itself clearly: arm the people, because we can't not.
spartakos
May. 3rd, 2010 06:32 am (UTC)
Seldom has someone managed to make such confident assertions that are nonetheless entirely incorrect. :)

I understand that it's a fundamental issue for a lot of people, but I wish we'd quit getting up in arms (pardon the pun) about "rights". We spend, and waste, more time arguing the infinitesimal details of what does and does not constitute a "right" than considering the greater good.

This, for instance, is 100% wrong. Because rights are ABOUT the greater good. Whenever someone tells me to abrogate my freedom of self-determination for "the greater good", what he means is HIS freedom of self-determination. I cannot get a group of 20 people at a cocktail party to agree on what cosntitutes "the greater good"...how do you propose to get a nation of several million to agree on it?

Individuals can strive to do what they think is best to better society, and I wish them well at it. But governments and large groups have no moral imperative or moral sanction to direct my life for me. The only moral power a government has is to protect the rights of its citizens.

The only "greater good" worth having is one where more people have freedom of self-determination in their lives.

Most of the time, I don't give a shit about who has the right to do what, so long as we are moving ahead on a path that produces a good result for society and country.

Ah, but you DO care about who has the right to do what, when the who is you, and the what is doing what YOU think produces a good result for society and country. So unless you think people shouldn't be allowed to have independent thoughts and disagree on what constitutes "good" for society and country, you are a hypocrite. :)

Freedom of expression is a very different thing now than it was in the 18th century, not merely because the tools and techniques of expression have changed. Our ideas have changed, our technology has changed, our demographics have changed, and the very soul of our country along with them. To presume that we can govern our people now with rules written then is something very akin to stupidity.

I disagree. Utterly, and completely. Can you explain to me in what ways the ideal of freedom of expression--that people should be allowed to express their thoughts and ideas without governmental restraint--has changed?
If you mean the practice and interpretation of that ideal has changed, you're right...but when an ideal is good and sound, I see no reason not to strive for it.

The spirit of the Second Amendment- that the people be armed against potential tyranny- is already unachievable in the practical sense. It was lost when the Army deployed its first Sherman tank, when the Navy launched its first aircraft carrier, when the Air Force tested its first nuclear warhead. Against the American military, the American people stand no chance, regardless of the condition of any supposed right to keep and bear arms.

Again, I must respectfully disagree with you. As you quote Heinlein below, I presume you are familiar with the man's work...I suggest you read his story "Free Men".
Yes, advanced weaponry can slaughter people by the thousands, and even millions. What of it? Tyranny is not about the slaughter of populations...it is about control of people. And even the most advanced weapon systems do not run themselves...they are used, maintained, serviced, fueled, and built by men, all of whom cannot eat, sleep, and in general live in complete immunity to small arms.

I mostly agree with the rest of your comment, and in the places where I disagree, I can simply admit that you have a differing opinion and wish you well of it. I don't need to agree with everything a person says to consider them an ally.

Snub your nose at discussion of rights and ideals if you like; your opinion is not more valid, superior, or enlightened simply because you wish it to be so. I do recognize it as a valid opinion...but your refusal to do likewise to others reflects on upon you, not them.
cathieanne
May. 4th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC)
Man, Doonesbury drives me eight kinds of crazy.
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