Poor form, I know, to a) not post anything for ages and then b) climb back into the saddle with something verging on the rant-like. I won’t make either a habit, I promise. For the moment, though, what can I say: the death of Maggie Thatcher, gun control measures thoroughly failing in Washington, D.C., and a crazy-arse few days in Boston… sometimes you just want to unfurl a big, liberal flag and let it flap around a bit.
Every now and then to respectfully disagree is a fine and noble thing to do. Many other times it is a course of action plainly only half correct.
Should we respectfully disagree every time various religions counter the march of progress, with various idiot claims, for their own self-serving ends? No. Reams of their ancient dogmas are terrible, retrograde, and wrong—and just because they’ve doggedly survived is no reason to respect them.
Should we respectfully disagree with someone who is sexist, homophobic, and a bigot because they are those things for religious reasons? No. We should say to them, grow up and stop being such an awful dick. You can try to hide whatever you want within a cloak of faith—but if there’s a whole lot of unpleasantness underneath, the rest of us should reserve the right to see you standing naked, reduced, shivering, and shallow.
And just the same—the angriest bee buzzing around in my bonnet today—no, no, and a third time no, the so-called “right to own a gun” is not something the rest of us may only stand back from politely and respectfully disagree with. The gun lobby got their way last week but, hey, how about those of us on the other side of this don’t tie ourselves up in knots trying to reason why.
In 2013, the “right to bear arms” is simply and solely a relic of the past. It is no less anachronistic than, say, being fearful of thunderbolts from Zeus, or traveling to work in a chariot. As with the ‘issue’ of gay marriage, are we really still having this conversation?
There continue to be people who believe the possession of assault rifles and other automatic weapons is some sort of inalienable right, bestowed upon them by generation after generation of upstanding citizens who safeguarded the privilege. And there continue to be people who believe that SHOOTING ANIMALS is a recreational activity and a sport.
I don’t respectfully disagree with these people, and nor should you! They are wrong and their relentless attachment to any notions to the contrary are spoiling a great country that deserves better (albeit also one with a military industrial complex that long ago became absurdly over-sized).
Guns do nothing to enhance us and often do much to leave us all the poorer. Why bother denying what is inevitable and obvious? If you want to glorify the use or ownership of guns—call it manly, patriotic, or even responsible—you may just as well go around and smash inanimate objects with a baseball bat. It would make about as much sense. (Likewise being against same-sex marriage: pick your knuckles up from the floor and keep your hairy nose out.)
Oh, and given this is a free country, feel free to disagree.