Thursday, June 30, 2016

Huge potential for harm. Minimal potential for good. If we're talking guns, that's good enough!

The perfect drinking companion
So a guy outside a nightclub pulls a gun over an argument, and starts shooting. Another guy (outside the nightclub) shoots back.

And based on the reaction I'm seeing on social media, a guy resorting to shooting over an argument doesn't demonstrate to conservatives that it may be dangerous to introduce guns where people will be drinking and may, while impaired, argue. On the contrary, this just "proves" how we need more people bringing guns *into* nightclubs. Where people will be drinking, and, while impaired, arguing, and not thinking right because they've been, you know, drinking.

Even the NRA recognizes how dangerous this is. We tell drivers not to get behind a wheel to get home if they've been drinking, because they're a threat to public safety. As in, they can fucking kill people even when using something not designed to kill, because alcohol impairs judgement. We teach hunters that they should never mix hunting and alcohol because it's, you know, fucking deadly. But when it scores political points, mixing guns and alcohol is suddenly a great idea. Apparently to the "guns solve everything" crowd, the innocent lives that will inevitably be lost by mixing guns and partying are just numbers on a chart; and if, somewhere along the line, they can point to even a single instance where a gun being present turned out decently, tough shit for the many lost lives from all those other instances when it was a total, predictable fucking disaster.

In no other circumstance would we accept a clearly deadly thing because every once in a while a good outcome may occur. If eating rat poison occasionally prevented cancer, but mostly, if it had an impact at all, led to suffering and sometimes gruesome death, nobody in their right mind would urge people to eat rat poison, much less if there was the potential for individual rat poison use to have an impact on others too. And yet some conservatives are so insanely obsessed with guns that an obvious harm, a well documented danger -- mixing guns and alcohol and crowds -- is okay if once in awhile the outcome is good. No matter how many other times the outcome is disaster.

These people -- so many of whom pretend to be "pro-life" -- have taken a healthy embrace of the Second Amendment to an obsessive worship, where human life just doesn't matter if it gets in the way of their gun fetish. Thus the heavy confirmation bias, the selective preference of rare goods to frequent harms, that allows them to push their version of eating rat poison on the off chance that it may prevent cancer.

Their desire to carry a weapon absolutely everywhere, even if drunk, outweighs your right to life. Because if you don't have guns in a place where people are drinking and partying (and sometimes fighting), what's going to protect you from guns in a place where people are drinking and partying (and sometimes fighting)?

Friday, June 17, 2016

If your response to Orlando is...

A few thoughts on the aftermath of Orlando (and, yes, these are all things I've seen people say).

If your response to Orlando is...

...to call for more guns, or talk about how "if only they were armed": consider what you are saying, and don't just parrot the same old party line regardless of the circumstance. Because let's be clear, these circumstances are not "more guns" circumstances. When people are partying, dancing, relaxing and hanging out in a club, they don't need a bunch of partygoers packing heat. Alcohol and firearms are a lethal combination, not a solution. This is just another problem proposed as a solution.

...to congratulate yourself that your particular brand of bigotry doesn't involve murdering gay people: fuck you. Seriously. Isolating, harassing and persecuting people, or fighting to make it legal to do so, doesn't make you a good guy. You may not personally be murderously inclined, but when you contribute to a culture that drives gay kids to suicide all the time...guess what? You've got blood on your hands. When you contribute to a culture that demonizes, harasses and persecutes gay people, you don't get a free pass just because there's someone out there who is worse than you. And fuck you for even going there.

...blame all gun owners: stop. Seriously. You're not helping anything. You're alienating millions of people who would not hurt a fly, and feeding right into the NRA's "liberals want to take out guns" BS. Don't lash out at people for utilizing a constitutional right. Contribute to finding the solution, not making noise.

...saying this has nothing to do with Islam: listen to the shooter, and stop talking. No, of course this isn't the fault of other Muslims. And maybe the shooter was a bad Muslim. Certainly there were other factors at play too. But when someone is vocally mowing people down for their god, why the hell would you deny that reality? You won't stop bigotry that way; you're just throwing your weight onto a demonstrably false point.

...blame all Muslims: piss off. Unless you are willing to assign the blame for Robert Lewis Dear, Westboro, the KKK, etc, on all Christians, you're a hypocrite; and if you are, you're just wrong. There's certainly things the Muslim community can do to combat homophobia, and those are legitimate points to make. But if you are using this as an opportunity to dump on Muslims and hold them to standards you won't hold yourself to...again, piss off.

...suggest banning people on the terror watch list from weapon purchases: think through what you're asking for. This one sounds like a good one on the surface, but it really isn't. You're suggesting that *suspicion* should be enough to deprive someone of their constitutional rights. Again, these aren't people who have been proved to be doing harm, they're not people who have been charged with crimes. These are people *suspected* of terrorist leanings. Our constitutional rights should never be waved over suspicion.