Tag: anger

A Pro-Life Movement, But Not THAT Pro-Life Movement

Alex Pareene, who is I think really too smart to meant this literally, has a controversial post today on Gawker entitled “The Gun Control Movement Needs It’s Own Pro-Life Fanatics“:

This doesn’t just mean marches and protests. It means constant marches and protests, and open and blatant harassment of your political opponents. It means protesting at the homes of gun manufacturing company executives and trying to shut down gun stores. It means very publicly making a scene at as many gun shops as possible, and personally attacking—verbally, but bordering on physically—people trying to enter those stores to legally purchase guns.

After all, the point of screaming at women outside a clinic isn’t to erect a legal barrier to abortion access, it’s to prevent that woman from getting an abortion, and to dissuade others from even considering it. It’s to prevent abortion from being considered a legitimate option. Aren’t there a couple thousand gun control activists out there passionate enough to want to stand outside gun shops and provoke confrontations with open-carry wingnuts?

It also means going all-in on gore. It means waving gruesome photos of dead children in the faces of Republican legislators, gun store owners, and gun manufacturers. This is where the conservatives shine. Good liberals are too squeamish to look past the police tape. They worry that if they focus, up close and without flinching, on the goriest details of the carnage, it’ll glorify violence, or worse, inspire future killers. Maybe, but it’ll also scare the shit out of future killers’ mothers before they fill their houses with guns, to feel safe.

. . .

If the gun control movement actually, really wants to change America’s gun culture, they will have to put the least reasonable and the least accommodating activists they can find in charge of directing the entire movement. In order to achieve a realistic outcome, the anti-gun movement needs to fight, passionately and vociferously, for an unrealisticgoal. Don’t campaign to expand background checks. Fight like hell to ban all private gun sales, and watch as expanded background checks becomes a politically palatable compromise. Keep fighting, and eventually “I support banning handgun ownership for everyone besides childless victims of domestic assault” becomes the politically palatable compromise position.

As I noted in my first post on this blog, I am deeply upset about the state of gun regulation in America today. I myself am a gun owner*  and also a former member of the NRA. I believe that gun ownership can be a rewarding and beneficial thing for society. But I also look at the now-weekly horror of mass shootings, as well as the many-times-a-day horror of “ordinary” homicides, accidental deaths and suicides. And I weep.

But if there’s anything — anything! — that makes me as angry as our national complacency with gun violence, it would be the chicanery, deception, and bullying of the anti-abortion movement in this country. To be sure, many pro-life Americans are sincere in their beliefs. Even many of the louder activists are OK people. But the movement as a whole is fostering an anti-intellectual, irrational atmosphere that breeds contempt for the law and hateful violence.

The last thing I want to see is people who are so amped up about gun control that they’re willing to shoot up a gun shop or murder firearm safety instructors.

* To be sure, it’s a 22LR pistol I use for target shooting — many gun rights advocates would probably recoil in horror at the lack of recoil and horror with my Sig Sauer Mosquito. When I took a concealed handgun course (mostly to learn about safety), I had to use a “bigger” gun (actually smaller, a Beretta compact 9mm) just to prove myself on the range. I never ended up getting my CCH because I don’t feel the need to do actually carry, and didn’t want to pay $200 for the license fee and fill out intrusive paperwork.

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Anger is a gift, pt. 1

Hello World.

I’ve been involved in politics blogging on-and-off for a long time. I helped to start one of the oldest progressive blogs in Texas, The Burnt Orange Report, when I was in college. I have made a few other brief forays into blogging, but mostly have been content to comment-troll (hopefully for better) at sites like LGM for quite a while. I also have a rather bad habit of spamming my friends, family and coworkers with political posts on social media (mostly hidden from the full view of the world by Facebook’s privacy settings, as wobbly as they are).

You may notice that I have named this blog after the clique of foul-mouthed Scots in Armando Iannucci’s “The Thick Of It” universe. In many ways, I find myself often tapping my inner Malcolm Tucker these days. Every time I pick up a newspaper or turn on the television, it seems like I want to start screaming obscenities.

Following the terrible shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon this week, I had a short discussion with my sister about the role of anger in politics. In my view, anger can be constructive if it is directed toward proper ends. In a sense, I’ve decided to start blogging again because I am angry, and I believe that my expressing my views in a public forum can help bring about positive change in the world.

My sister is correct that anger can do a lot of damage. Clearly, angry people like the UCC shooter are murdering innocent people. At a bigger level, I believe that some of the worst things that are happening in American politics today are being driven, or at least rationalized, by anger and resentment.

I hope that in my blogging, I can rise above the fray. Although I am not religious, I respect the wisdom of the Bible with regard to emotions and human relationships; and as Ephesians 4 commands: “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”