Friday, January 18, 2013

Gun owners aren't the only ones feeling invaded ...

Yesterday Rain and I had a civil discussion in comments about what ought to be done about regulating guns. I'm an extremist on the topic and I was just tired of having those of us who want guns gone being polite and reasonable while the right wingers and the gun lobby screech about tyranny.

Josh Marshall at TPM apparently was also feeling that a large number of us are being silenced. He called his post "Speaking for My Tribe." Click the link to read it all:

I have my own set of rights not to have gun culture run roughshod over me. ... In the current rhetorical climate people seem not to want to say: I think guns are kind of scary and don’t want to be around them. Yes, plenty of people have them and use them safely. And I have no problem with that. But remember, handguns especially are designed to kill people. You may want to use it to threaten or deter. You may use it to kill people who should be killed (i.e., in self-defense). But handguns are designed to kill people. They’re not designed to hunt. You may use it to shoot at the range. But they’re designed to kill people quickly and efficiently.

... A big part of gun versus non-gun tribalism or mentality is tied to the difference between city and rural. And a big reason ‘gun control’ in the 70s, 80s and 90s foundered was that in the political arena, the rural areas rebelled against the city culture trying to impose its own ideas about guns on the rural areas. And there’s a reality behind this because on many fronts the logic of pervasive gun ownership makes a lot more sense in sparsely populated rural areas than it does in highly concentrated city areas.

But a huge amount of the current gun debate, the argument for the gun-owning tribe, amounts to the gun culture invading my area, my culture, my part of the country. So we’re upset about massacres so the answer is more guns. Arming everybody. ...

I heartily recommend reading Marshall's post and its follow ups. He's a reasonable person; I choose not to be on this topic.

This is one more arena in which our ability to work out our differences within a democratic system is suffering strains. I'm not one to fear polarization over political differences reflexively; I find it clarifying and don't mind some accompanying incivility. We can't wish polarization away -- we do disagree. I guess the best we can do is hope that majorities can be civil; some folks will always be screaming.


Rain Trueax said...

We decide such issues by majority vote and whether one side or the other loses, theoretically we accept that is the decision. I am not comfortable with people carrying around guns as some kind of macho symbol as they did recently with assault rifles in Portland. What I liked about what Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly is they are working for reasonable gun reform but say they own guns. I wish more reasonable gun owners would step up and speak about this. My blog on the topic comes on Saturday since I am only doing one a week these days for Thoughts. (lots more in Rain Trueax).

The problem we have right now is a lack of acceptance that the majority will decide an issue and that can mean amend the Constitution. I heard Rachel's show last night discussing the lawlessness in Kansas trying to basically continue killing abortion providers. This same group also want zero help for that baby once it is born-- not health care or education. We are in a very violent time and that's why I think we need to speak out but do it responsibly with great thought. If anyone listens to the far right now, it's anything but reasonable.

janinsanfran said...

Let's make this easy: you can read Rainy day thoughts at the link.

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