Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Gun Bill Also Contains Potassium Benzoate

For the 5 of you who don't get the reference

In an effort to be slightly less cynical about life and the state of the world, I'm trying to look more often for the best in situations and people. Well...I'm not straying that far from cynicism. So I guess I should say I'm looking for situations and people?

Which brings us to the unprecedented sit in being lead by House Democrats in an effort to force a vote on some gun control bills. In trying not to be completely cynical about the world, I'll note it's fairly cool that some elected officials are at least trying to make some changes in how we respond to the repeated mass murders plaguing our nation. But as is so often the case, hoping for meaningful change from the two-party system is like buying a cursed doll and receiving a free cursed frogurt, in that any positive you can find is almost immediately tempered by an extreme negative.

In this case, we have a bunch of elected officials taking drastic action to begin to address our nation's gun violence epidemic (that's good!). But their offered solution rests upon racism and scapegoating of an already embattled minority group (that's bad). This could signal a long-overdue shift in elected officials repeatedly caving to every demand of the gun lobby (that's good!). But this particular action is to call a vote on bills that are already doomed to be voted down and wouldn't meaningfully address the problem in any way (...can I go now?).

While those linked readings explain why these bills are trash on the larger level of political and human rights (short version: the very same no-fly list that was decried by Democrats as a racist Orwellian invasion of our rights when it was introduced by the Bush administration is now being trumpeted as the solution to our problem by those very same Democrats), there's also the obvious problem I've not seen addressed by anyone: only Homer Simpson would buy a cursed doll.

Which is my way of saying it is insanely naive to think justifying gun control by saying that terrorists are snatching up legally-available guns is going to change the opinion of anyone who was already opposed to gun control. "Terrorists are going to come here to take advantage of our lax gun laws!" is not going to result in gun-control opponents suddenly thinking "Ok! We definitely need to restrict access to guns." Instead, given everything we have witnessed in the past 20 or so years of how gun-huggers respond to any hint of gun control, I can pretty much guarantee they'll respond with "HOLY SHIT! TERRORISTS ARE BUYING GUNS! I NEED EVEN MORE GUNS TO DEFEND MYSELF FROM THESE HEAVILY-ARMED TERRORISTS! PEW PEW PEW!"*

And that more than anything if why I feel like Homer at the curious oddities shop -- any possible good that's going to come from this is more than washed out by the fact that the doll is actually a cursed, murderous spirit hellbent on killing me. Or maybe the problem is just that someone set the NRA to evil?

*Ok, maybe not that last part, but I like to imagine that every sentence of gun-humpers ends with them aiming finger pistols in the air and pretending to fire a gun. I can't say for certain that's true, but I'm pretty confident it is.

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