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Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday Gunday: Demand Knowledge

A terrible thing happened in Oregon last week, as I'm sure you've all heard by now. The day it happened, I said "I can't wait to be told how this is somehow my fault."

I didn't have to wait long.

But I'm not going to be talking about the shooting, or about how of course I would have stopped it if I could have, or how despite all the media frenzy we're still on track for the lowest murder rate in 100 years (and if you think I'm picking from biased, right-wing sources, kindly look at this article from Slate, a magazine whose readers describe as having a "generally left-of-center" viewpoint. The actual data may be found in this PDF), or how it's this constant mediabation that glamorizes mass murderers and creates more of them.

All of these are excellent topics, and have already been covered, likely in a better manner than I could. Just today my friend Nicki Kenyon talked about how background checks didn't prevent this crime because all of the Oregon shooter's guns were purchased legally, and her facts come from this New York Times article (another source that is noted for not being kind to gun owners.)

So what are you going to talk about? I hear you ask. Well, it's simple:  I'm going to talk about how nice it is that the mask has slipped and gun control people are finally letting us know what they think about us, and how proud they are that they don't even read the laws they're clamoring for.

For example:

This is exactly what I'm talking about:
Meme: Anyone who hates background checks is someone who shouldn't own guns.
Eric Wenthe:  Here is an example, based on how things actually are under current Washington State law, which shows how background check laws can be used to punish certain people.
Commenter: Oh look, here's someone who loves guns and hates background checks, so obviously he's another nutjob not to be taken seriously.
Wenthe: So I assume you haven't bothered to read the actual legislation for this thing you want so badly?
Commenter: No, and you're the embodiment of evil for even suggesting I do such a thing. 
This is what my friend Salem calls "No reals, only feels." We've seen it a lot lately: it isn't important to understand a thing you hate. In fact, knowledge of evil taints you in some way. No, it's far more virtuous to stay blessedly ignorant, because feelings are what matter.

This is actually a big help for us, because not only does it make it plain what they want and how they think (no more of this "Let's have a discussion" business when they really only want to make demands; at least now they've decided that pretending to have a discussion is useless). it also demonstrates how they reach their conclusions and what they refuse to think about.

In other words, the people who are demanding change have no idea how to go about getting what they want, because they are starting from a position if ignorance.

I've been trying to think of a way to express the notion that we the people ought to expect the people who are demanding passage of laws actually know a thing or two about those laws. And then it hit me:

It's not my best work, I admit -- I rather suck at graphic design -- but you can clearly see both logic and sentiment there.

If anyone can improve upon this, please do so, with my blessing.

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