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Just Me

On Gun-Toting Crazies, Inflammatory Language, and Metaphors.

Posted on 2011.01.10 at 12:59
Like much of the world, I've been following with horror the news story of the clearly mentally-ill young man who shot 18 people in Tuscon, Arizona this past weekend, killing 6 of them, and like many, I see it as a clarion call for those who are trading in hateful, violent rhetoric in American politics to take a look at themselves, and the atmosphere they're creating. Yes, I'm talking to you, Sarah Palin, with your crosshairs -- no, it's a not an innocent surveyor's mark, it's a gunsight, and nobody in America doesn't know it -- on the Congresswoman who was shot, and your "Don't retreat-- Reload!" Yes, I'm talking to you, Sharon Angle, with your "Second Amendment Remedies."

Listening to news coverage of the story, there seem to be a lot of angry conservatives saying, "There's no evidence that Loughner saw that Palin website, or heard Angle's 'Second Amendment Remedies' talk! This is an irresponsible attempt to censor the right!"

I think it misses the point entirely, but the best I can do by way of explanation is an analogy.

A guy starts to spend his night drinking in a bar then driving himself home. Every night, he drinks more, then climbs into his red 1987 Chevy Nova, drives 13 miles to his house, staggers in the door, and collapses on his bed.

After awhile, he gets where, when he wakes up in the morning, he doesn't even remember driving home. He remembers leaving work, and going into the bar, and starting in, and then, BAM! He's waking up collapsed on his bed.

One morning, when he wakes up, he hears that there was a hit-and-run accident at about three in the morning, a red 1987 Chevy Nova, driving erratically, plowed through a line of pedestrians, killing six of them and injuring another 12. His eyes go wide! Good God, did HE do that!?!?!? He struggles out of bed, shambles through his house, his head full of nightmare visions of the dead and the wounded, and of lawsuits and prison time and infamy. He opens his door, and there, in his driveway, is his Nova, completely undamaged. He runs out and looks it over, and, NO, his wasn't the car, HE wasn't the rampaging drunk driver who killed six and injured a dozen.

Now, we would hope his response to this would be that it's a wake-up call. Cool, he didn't kill anybody -- YET! Time to stop drinking and driving, before he does, right? Time to stop being irresponsible, and a danger to himself and others.

Of course, the reaction of the Right-Wing Nutbags, the Teabaggers and their ilk, represents the other possible response: The worst possible response: "See, I'm fine, no harm done, so I'm cool to keep driving drunk."

And that's today's editorial.



Abby Normal
ozma_katiebell at 2011-01-10 18:19 (UTC) (Link)
heron_pose at 2011-01-10 19:00 (UTC) (Link)
You, sir, are a genius.

You should go to law school! you'd kill on the LSATs.

Um, that's not an insult .. I should make that clear, I guess.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2011-01-10 19:05 (UTC) (Link)
I kinda wonder.... There's stuff about moral fitness before you can be admitted to the bar, isn't there?

"You write pornography about teenaged magic-users from children's books you don't hold a copyright on. Sounds morally fit to me!"

tariana at 2011-01-10 19:38 (UTC) (Link)
Morally fit or not, I'm sure glad you do!
heron_pose at 2011-01-11 01:14 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, dude -- the stuff that slips by bar associations? It's *very* unlikely this would get in the way.
natertatersmom at 2011-01-10 20:14 (UTC) (Link)
This entire thing is so sob inducing. And RAGE inducing. And I want to use my rage to cast ALL THE VOTES. I'm just saying.
ljs at 2011-01-10 21:29 (UTC) (Link)
Great analogy!
louboutin at 2011-01-10 21:34 (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad that you posted your feelings about this in a clear and logical manner so that I may borrow tidbits. When I try to talk about it my RAGE keeps getting in the way, and all that comes out is angry gibberish.
amythis at 2011-01-11 14:52 (UTC) (Link)
You, Sir, remain amazing.
ashaherazade at 2011-01-18 07:58 (UTC) (Link)
Just wanted to tell you that I've used your analogy multiple times at this point when speaking with others because it is by far (BY FAR) the best analogy that doesn't bring in other issues that I have seen. As others have said I'm torn between rage and pain over all of this so having your clearheaded comparison helps.
And FTR you only have to have 3 practicing lawyers swear as your character references to pass the requirements the last I knew. I am SURE you can find 3 who haven't any interest in HP fanfic to vouch they know nothing of your 'illicit' writing. :-)
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