Thursday, December 20, 2012

The emotionalism continues

CNN takes it upon itself to help a grieving 10-year old advise the President:
Natalie's letter, written to President Barack Obama and read by Anderson Cooper on air, voiced her clear and thoughtful belief that guns did not belong in the hands of most civilians:
My name is Natalie Barden and I wanted to tell the president that only police officers and the military should get guns. If people want to do it as a sport than they could go to a shooting range and the guns would not be able to leave there.
Yes, her letter is clear.  But 'thoughtful?'  Only in the sense of regurgitating a talking point against the straw man argument that gun ownership is mainly about recreations.

It's not.

You see, Natalie is young and still learning about the world... which is why she doesn't yet vote.  In fairness, given that most public discourse these days is about on a fourth-grade level, maybe she should be able to.  But my point is that Natalie probably hasn't considered what happens when "only police officers and the military" get guns... and they choose to abuse the power that monopoly conveys.  She and her peers found themselves in a situation where seconds counted... but the police were minutes away.  It says a lot about how we are raising our children that this horrific evil leads them to the conclusion that citizens shouldn't have access to weapons, rather than the thought that "gee, I wish the teacher had been able to fight back until help arrived."

A friend of mine recently posted on their Facebook page that they were tired of people equating pro-gun sentiment with patriotism.  That's fair enough.  The issue isn't one of patriotism.  It's of freedom.  It's true we all give up some of our individual latitude in order to form a working society.  That sacrifice should never have to include the ability to defend our very lives when evil chooses to appear (and make no mistake, it always will -- somehow, someway).   Outsourcing this defense to others is the very definition of dependency... not freedom.

In an ideal world, nobody would go hungry, nobody would feel alone, and nobody would suffer from random, senseless violence.  We don't live in that world, and 5,000 years of recorded history indicates it's rather silly to expect we ever will -- at least this side of eternity.  One can either confront that reality and prudently prepare to handle the issues, or one can look to others to deal with it for them while think happy thoughts.

In other words, one can think, or one can fantasize.  I know which way of assessing the world I prefer...

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