1. If the police come to my house, they will probably shoot Mrs. Wigglebottom.
2. There’s something really funky about how we treat gun owners. I probably don’t have this point as well worked out as number 1, but that’s because number 1 is easy to be alarmed about. I was talking to the Professor about this at lunch yesterday and Coble brings it up again today. Twice in two days? Probably a good topic for blogging.
So, I’ve been thinking–why, whenever there’s some horrific crime involving guns, is the response to push for restrictions on gun ownership and not harsher penalties for the crimes or more money for police or what-have-you?
Are we, as liberals saying that we believe that there’s just a certain level of wrong-doing that’s going to occur and that there’s nothing we can do to affect it other than to keep the wrong-doers from having too-deadly of weapons? Are we really, at heart, saying that we don’t believe that punishment deters crime or that social programs can lower crime rates or that police protection makes much of a difference? That wrong-doing is just a force of nature, unimpeded in its ability to hurt us by anything except reducing the tools available to wrong-doers?
I don’t think we really believe that. I could be wrong, but I don’t.
I think the impulse is actually worse than that.
I don’t think this is about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals at all. I think this is about ridiculing and shaming legal gun owners.
I think we do this for two reasons. 1. By and large, we don’t own guns. We want to believe that our way of looking at the world is correct and therefore, we want gun owners to give up their guns in order to validate our ways of life. This is stupid, but not malicious.
2. We want to punish gun owners for being different than us, for not accepting our values.
This is an insidious wrong, painted up like a moral position.
And, I know, it’s not as if there aren’t one million things about which conservatives do the exact same thing. You know, if we were honest, we’d just change the National Motto from "In God We Trust" to "We Know What’s Better for You than You Do, and By God, We’re Going to Make You Do It." It’s not quite as catchy, but it’s more accurate. We’re going to have to mint some larger coins to fit that on there, but it’s worth it, I think.
I think "We Don’t Trust You" would work fine, with no need for bigger coins.The text of a sticker I saw on a lightpole recently sums it all up:Wherever you go, whatever you do, whoever you are, YOU ARE UNDER SURVEILLANCE because you are a potential criminal, perhaps you secretly doubt the sanctity of corporate property, or the validity of laws made by the rich to govern the poor, or the soundness of capitalism itself–we can’t afford to assume you don’t. That’s why there are video cameras pointed at every cashier and police cars circling every block. Left to itself, a state of disorder and inequity returns to equilibrium; our job is to perpetuate this one indefinitely. Department of Homeland Security. "In Suspicion We Trust!I just can’t tell you how tired I am of all the freakin’ cameras everywhere.
Sadly, I’m counting on Zachary to slow down the stormtroopers long enough for me to be in a good position to send a few round through the drywall at about knee-level.
Exador, I’ve got half a mind to start a collection to buy poor Zachary a bullet-proof vest. Poor guy! Bridgett, Okay your motto is definitely better, though I’m still kind of fond of the idea of great big coins.
b-it’s interesting how when you read the first couple of paragraphs of something that someone else writes how your mind goes off in a completely different direction, and then when you see where the writer ended up, you’re a little surprised.anyway, last week when i read this, i sort of got stuck with the idea of believing that there’s just a certain level of crime that occurs. and that we accept that there will always be this element and that we’re powerless over it. you went to a whole other place, but i got to thinking about how we respond to crime as a society.[perhaps right here as a disclaimer i should say that i have never been the victim of a violent crime (though i have had a family member who was). and that i live in the safest big city in america, though we’ve seen an upturn in crime in the past year, particularly in my neighborhood.]i believe that as a society we’re definitely at a place where we don’t really believe in punishment or rehabilitation. or maybe we believe in punishment ad infinitum but that no rehabilitation can result from that. and that disappoints me. like we’ve given up hope that people can ever change.so i was thrilled at this article in the times today and wanted to share it. it’s about a group of former inmates (some repeat offenders) who are making a fresh start by getting college degrees. this, people, is rehabilitation. it can happen.thanks for keeping me thinking. and maybe this article will remind people to have hope.http://select.nytimes.com/2006/06/13/nyregion/13nyc.html