Earlier in the week, via Tiny Pasture, I learned that Bill Hobbs thinks that Republicans are happier than Democrats. And I admit that I scoffed at such a thing. I realize that the chief propagandist for the Tennessee Republican Party has to portray being a Republican in the best light possible, because part of his job is to bring people into the fold. But are Republicans really so much more happy than Democrats? I kind of doubted it.
Until I realized what makes Hobbs happy.
See, I had been assuming that Hobbs, like me, is made happy by simple things–families that love each other, smooches from a sweetie, loyal friends, good food, a perfect metaphor, a song you can dance to. And, by those criteria, he doesn’t seem much happier than me. Kind of less, actually.
And I was imagining that, if I had to get up every day and espouse letting 18-24 year olds arm themselves against their college professors (I guess that would end the pop quiz right quick. Could you imagine? You could study for a test or you could just get you and your buddies to set your guns on the table within arms’ reach. And could you imagine the fraternity parties when they all have guns?) or denying children loving homes or lying to them about the way the world works, I’d be pretty miserable.
But, y’all, I have come to realize that that’s what makes him happy. He imagines campuses full of drunken idiot teenagers armed to the teeth, not (often) killing each other only because of the threat of mutually assured destruction, but ever ready to menace professors and the administration and that pleases him. He imagines older children and teenagers shuffling through the foster-care system without ever finding a permanent home and, as long as it also hurts people who aren’t or can’t be married, he feels good. And, if he can aid in spreading idiocy by supporting legislation that would hamstring teachers and keep them from giving information to children that goes beyond what the most ignorant of parents want their children to know, he’s all for it. (I mean, seriously, have you ever heard of such a thing? It’s called ‘learning’ because the process involves finding out about things you don’t already know about. What Hobbs is advocating–letting parents limit not only what their own children can learn, but what all children can learn, based on their own fears and prejudices, is practically child abuse.)
So, I concede, Hobbs is probably happier than me, because the things that make him happy are evil and we all know there’s plenty of evil to go around.
As a side note, it seems to me that, if tragedies like the one at NIU really could be prevented from having more armed folks on campus (and it seems to me that the presence of more guns isn’t a guarantee of that, just because having a gun and being able and ready to use it when the shooting starts is not the same thing–look at what soldiers have to go through to train themselves to not automatically flee situations, but to remain calm and react to them), the solution is to have something similar to air marshals–people who look just like anyone else, but are armed and trained to shoot to kill.