In a post yesterday regarding the Umpqua Community College shooting, I offered the following quote for consideration
“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”
–Robert A. Heinlein
A certain DUMBFUCK visited the blog at 6:06:57 Eastern time and read that post. Three whole minutes of deep thought later, DUMBFUCK posted the following on Twitter:
Given the fact of their temporal proximity, it is reasonable to conclude that DUMBFUCK’S TWEET is in response to my post. But post hoc ergo propter hoc is a classic fallacy that a DUMBFUCK might understand and mention once it finished demolishing a strawman.
So I’m going to choose not to draw that conclusion. Instead, I’m going to examine the tweet with cold rationality.
(That means I’m going to THINK. You DUMBFUCKS reading this might want to skip ahead a ways to avoid the rush of blood to your brain that makes headaches and strokes. Go pour yourself a tumbler of–WINK, WINK!–“cream soda” instead.)
First, the unassailable wisdom of ALL CAPS!!
MORE GUNS FOR EVERYBODY!
Who said that? I surely didn’t. I don’t know anyone who did. Could this be Joe Satire, “being a writer…able to place [it]self into situations [it’s] never experienced.” Or is it just DUMBFUCK: “…you know, it’s not really my fault? I just write stuff. [Consequences are for other people]?”
I didn’t say more guns for everybody. I don’t believe in more guns for everybody. I believe that some unbalanced people with a dearth of coping skills, a surfeit of social justice righteousness, and rent-assisted apartments in Wisconsin see the words “Gun Free Zone” and think “Shooting Gallery.”
I think that mass shootings don’t happen in places where armed citizens congregate – gun shops, police stations, and shooting ranges. And I think I know the reason why. Resistance is futile in a Gun Free Zone.
This is why DUMBFUCKS can make themselves feel brave from their double-locked prison cells by calling people “pussy” online. And, to be perfectly frank, it’s also the reason I can call people (well…person) DUMBFUCK from behind a cloak of anonymity.
There’s not much anyone can do about it. The only consequence for a DUMBFUCK is that every time it says or does something stupid online, I get fresh material. The only consequence for me is that every time I mock a DUMBFUCK, it says or does something stupid online, and I get more fresh material.
In business terms , this is known as a WIN-WIN.
But I digress.
Next, DUMBFUCK says, “That’ll solve the problem, right wingnuts?”
Sure. Provided your definition of “the problem” is “how do we get guns into the hands of everyone?”
But this is not the problem. It never has been the problem. This is the problem that DUMBFUCK wants to argue against. I think it does this because it’s easy and DUMBFUCK is an intellectual infant. It’s no challenge to let its inner 4 month old take the wheel and scream “WAAAAAAH!!! GUNS MAKE ME SAD!!! TAKE AWAY GUNS!!!” And just keep that screaming cranked to an earsplitting level until we surrender to the baby so it will just GO THE F*CK TO SLEEP.
If you have ever been a parent, you know what I mean. And we also know that a silent baby is always a temporary state of affairs.
No the problem is, how do the adults in the room address the multiple causes of gun violence in a reasonable manner, within the strict guidance of the Constitution, without surrendering to emotion and beating to death with a tire iron the crying baby that won’t GO THE F*CK TO SLEEP?
If you have ever been a parent, you still know what I mean.
And did you SWIDT?
The problem is not the guns. The gun is simply a tool, an object, a thing. It has no moral value, except as a conduit and expression for the intent of the person behind it. Likewise, a tire iron or a baseball bat. Tools, objects, things, neither inherently good nor inherently bad; capable of replacing a flat tire, or blasting a baseball 450 feet into the stands to delight thousands of fans. Also capable of shattering bones and bursting internal organs.
The problem is not the bat. Nor is it the tire iron. Nor is it the gun. The problem is the person using the tool.
And “MORE GUNS FOR EVERYBODY!” is not a solution to that problem.
Only a DUMBFUCK would “place [it]self into situations [it’s] never experienced” like that.
I tried this once. I put on my writer’s hat, closed my eyes and tried to see what the world looks like through the eyes of a DUMBFUCK. This is what I imagined:
I suppose this is the ultimate result of a life governed by willful, incredible stupidity.
Now, I want to talk about that Heinlein quote. I’m feeling wordy today.
Does everyone have guns in an armed society? Of course not. A person could carry a hunting knife on their hip, or a study oak staff they call a walking stick. A 20” 6 cell Super Maglite flashlight is a handy tool with multiple uses. So is a simple boxcutter, as we learned in 2001.
Do these things make for a more polite society?
I think it was more likely in 1942 when Heinlein wrote Beyond This Horizon than it is today. Today, the separation of cyberspace emboldens us to greater heights of rudeness than even Heinlein might have imagined. I have a virtual cloak of anonymity to protect me; DUMBFUCKS hide behind locked doors and domineering, emotionally distant mother figures. And Parkinsons.
The only thing we have to guarantee the respectful politeness society once prized is the law. And the legal system is overburdened. In the best of circumstances, the legal establishment seeks efficiency over justice.
“Why don’t you just change your email address and stay off the internet?”
Because the law trails society. Email and internet access are on the cusp of becoming utilities. Children can no longer function is school without internet access. Our economy continues to gravitate toward cybershopping, and cash is not accepted. We shop-and PAY- for everything online. Even groceries, right down to perishables.
Can’t do without the World Wide Web unless you are determined to live like Thoreau, Emerson, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.
So in the internet age, how does an armed society equate to a polite society?
For example…let’s say someone named Calvin is given to calling people names online, and he has a particular preferred target named Nick. (Literally pulled these names out of air, folks…they are placeholders of ZERO significance) One day Nick runs into Calvin on the public way…say in the whiskey aisle of a local package store or at a nearby bus stop where the traffic camera is inoperative…and Nick pulls out a pistol and points it into Calvin’s face, asking if he felt like calling Nick names at that particular moment. As satisfying as that might temporarily be, Nick would quickly wind up in a prison cell. That would be stupid.
On the other hand, if instead of a firearm Nick were to unleash the fierce and deadly power of a 6” Phillips screwdriver, applied with gentle pressure (and the promise of just a little bit more) to the eardrum of Calvin, Nick (whom Calvin has never seen before in his life) may walk away from such an altercation with no one ever the wiser. Except perhaps Calvin.
It’s not a gun problem. It’s not a screwdriver problem.
It’s a social problem. People can be rude at so many levels now that used to be resolved with a good punch in the mouth. But society and its laws and its foolish Zero Tolerance policies have taught us that such direct, satisfying options for conflict resolution are no longer acceptable.
Conflicts left unresolved…fester. And grow. And spread. Until what once might have been solved with a couple of bruises grows so large and fearsome and EVIL that only a permanent response seems rational to a mind ruled by emotion.
MORE GUNS FOR EVERYBODY?
More guns for rational, well-educated, well trained, personally responsible, law-abiding, licensed citizens. And the right to carry them on any public property. Like a driver’s license grants the privilege to drive on the public roads…only protected by the United States Constitution.
Doing that will put (marginally) more people in a position to fight back effectively against a mentally ill person committed to deadly violence. A person who, despite the best intentions of DUMBFUCKS across America, are not dissuaded from their murderous purpose by one of these in a window:
If you want to protect the flock from the wolf, get a sheepdog. The last thing the flock needs is more sheep.