Assault and Sanity


I am an open and proud liberal.  I don’t think that any one would mistake me for anything else.  Sadly though, all too many people who call themselves liberal in this country are actually not.  That’s right, I’m calling you out.  You know who you are.  If you are a whole hearted supporter of Obama and think that he’s just the greatest thing since sliced cheese, then you are not a liberal.  Chances are pretty good you actually fall in the center, possibly center left (but more likely center right) of the political spectrum.  If you were an Obama supporter by default, there is a chance you may be a liberal.  I may or may not know you personally, so I won’t judge you.  I will, however, tell you those facts.

What this means, right now, is that sometimes my views may be shocking to some.  Even to some who consider themselves liberals.  That’s okay.  I suspect that today may be one of those days where some of you learn something you didn’t realize after reading along for the last year, and for those readers who have known me personally, may not have realized before.  This is also a deeply personal topic for me.

NEWS FLASH!  Not all “gun nuts” are conservatives.  Nor are all gun owners.  Nor are all constitutionalists.  Nor even all 2nd Amendment supporters.

Shocking, isn’t it?  You whackos on the right do not have a lock on the guns.  You only have a lock on the ridiculous arguments in relation to them.

My father has a friend who is an environmental attorney.  He is also a hunter, and a liberal.  He and another friend of his have taken such grief from the conservitard hunters that they also know at the hunting shop that they had shirts made up to commemorate their, “Pinko Commie Hunting Club”.

I, honestly, did not want to get involved in this debate this time around, in spite of its importance.  I was really sick of it.  However, I find that it is not something that I am able to sit back and not be involved in.  You see, it is simply too important and the idiots on both sides of this argument are being too stubborn to even listen to each other.  They are each taking the, “My mind is made up; don’t confuse me with the facts” position.  I find myself, again, in the “A pox on both your houses” seat.

We’re going to have to draw some distinctions here, in order to make any sense at all.

As a matter of principle I maintain that the 2nd Amendment serves two purposes – first, to provide for individual self-protection and second, to provide for defense against the government.  The former has some merit still, both from a practical and a principled stand point.  (We’ll come back to the pit falls.)  I firmly believe from a principle view that our government should not have access to any weapon that we as individuals do not also have access to.  Yes.  FROM the perspective of principle that does include nuclear weapons.  The principle is, if we as a culture, manifest through our government decide we do not want our individual citizens to have those weapons, then we as as culture manifest through our government should not have them.  (This is the same principle as we should be applying in dealing with our foreign relations, by the way.  If we do not want other nations to have nuclear weapons, then we should not have them.  It is a very, very simple principle.  Honor and integrity matter!)

However, as a practical matter, I have had to rethink this.  I do not like that.  In fact, I despise it.  I hate compromising my principles.  I have realized at various times in my life that I have had to.  Such as when I’ve had to compromise my moral principles and shop at Wal-Mart because the prices were lower, thus sacrificing my moral principles to my economic needs.  And, this is another example.  Having to sacrifice my philosophical principles to the practical needs.  I recognize that the principle I have just outlined, while I do believe it, is impractical at the individual level.  (It should still be practiced at the national level, and would then be de facto practiced at the individual level.)
CONTINUED on Page 2

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About Just Torch

Author of the SCIAMAGE column a space devoted to American political and social commentary and analysis. It is unabashedly liberal, but makes every effort to present clear, verifiable facts and sound reasoning. It also makes a commitment to clearly distinguish between facts and opinions. View all posts by Just Torch

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