Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fear and Loathing

No, not mine for once.

This is a portion of an e-mail I received during an internet argument several years ago. I swear I'm not making it up. I didn't know what to say; this person's perceptions were so completely alien to mine it was like we weren't even the same species.
"You are infringing on the rights of the unarmed people of the US to live a peaceful existence without fear of being gunned down by a citizen carrying a concealed weapon. You are interfering with their right to openly express their frustration if they feel so inclined. Always in their minds is the thought, 'He might have a gun'!"

This was brought to mind by a comment on an article I read this morning. After my Quisling post last weekend I've been following developments in that Arizona legislation more closely - I don't usually obsess about laws, current or prospective.

Irony can be a pretty toy. I get a kick out of poor, sad creatures who spew fear and loathing toward people they don't even know, people who've done them no harm and wish them no harm, while accusing those same people of being 'scared of their own shadows.' Sometimes, as in this case, it's just good for a cheap laugh. To wit:

A commenter who has chosen the nym "rufusmucus," for reasons I choose not to explore, says:
I hear people say that wherever guns are allowed the crime rates go down.
Actually, Rufus, most gun-owner rights proponents concede that the causative link between rising carry rates and declining violent crime rates has not been established. But even the Brady Bunch admits that violent crime rates are dropping nationwide, and not least in states that have relaxed their anti-gun-owner rights laws.
Yet when one looks at the national crime rate statistics these claims do not hold water. Arizona, for all its love of guns is near the top of the list for crime in this country.
You just made that up, didn't you?
Laws preventing cities from enacting their own ordinances regarding guns? What?
By what tradition have cities ever 'enacted their own ordinances' regarding any basic human right? I'm just going to go ahead and guess that if Chicago passed an ordinance forbidding freedom of speech, the press and assembly, you'd be outraged. But as long as it, or any other city, blocks a freedom that frightens you personally, you're all leading the cheers. Screw you.
Laws designed to nullify Federal Law? Can't be done.
First, this proposed relaxation of a law doesn't nullify anything. There's no federal law concerning how to carry a handgun. Sorry. Second, as to actual nullification: Stay tuned, Binky. You think you're scared now?
What are we doing here in Arizona? Fighting another Civil War?
Dude. I don't even know what this means.
You can't have fifty individual states deciding what the law is.
Since when? What do you think states are for in a republic? (Did I just defend a form of government? Ouch!)
What's next? You gun nuts going to try and make your own definition of free speach or religion or the press?
Oh, I get it now! You're just ignorant! No, Rufus, that same Bill of Rights you just alluded to recognizes the right of the people to keep and bear arms. See Second Amendment; it's just under the one you paraphrased.
I don't trust your judgement.
Yeah? I don't trust your judgment either, but unlike you I won't interfere with your right to make mistakes as long as they're not hurting me or mine. I'd appreciate the same courtesy.
The decisions you are making on guns is based on your persecution complex and dilusions of grandeur. In other words, you people are paranoid and scared of your own shadow. That's what its all about, right? Your scared and paranoid and your decisions show it.
No. But say all that's true: What's it got to do with you? Hey, Rufus, people make decisions based on irrational fears all the time. Germaphobes, for example. I think they're hilarious. But I don't interfere with them, because they're not hurting me and it's none of my business. Just like what I choose to carry on my belt is none of your business.
I only recently moved here but I'm getting out of this lousey state as soon as possible.
That might be the right thing for you to do, Rufus. I suggest Chicago; I hear it's nice.
Give warming to all who will listen. Do not live in Arizona. Very bad state because of the people in it.
I'm sure the people there will appreciate the news, Rufus. But let me ask you one last thing, as if we were really having this conversation. Since you assume all those bad people in Arizona are carrying guns, and since that seems to distress you so, why aren't you afraid of insulting them en mass in this way? Could it be that, deep down in that squishy glob of goo you call a thought process, you know that they're really no threat to you at all?


MamaLiberty said...

Great essay, Joel!

Even after all these years, it's really hard sometimes for me to accept the fact that people like this can be so totally irrational. sigh

Kevin Wilmeth said...

Love it. This will be a nice reference to send people on to when I don't have the energy to try and address it myself. :-)

And don't you love the irony of people who call everyone who disagrees with them, paranoid? You can't make that stuff up!