The debate over the Second Amendment takes many forms. I’ve seen most, if not all of them. Some people will try to form a logical assault on the Second Amendment, or what they think is logical at least. Others will try to point out statistics.
These are approaches that I can at least respect, even if I disagree with them. After all, they’re treating me as an equal and assuming that I’m a decent human being. I can accept that and while I may spend much of my time debunking these arguments, I can at least have some respect for those trying to make them.
Another approach, of course, is the emotional. Sometimes, this approach gets unintentionally hilarious.
Other times, though, it pisses me the hell off.
Take an op-ed in The Atlanta Voice recently. There, writer Bill Fletcher Jr. argues that we on the pro-gun side actually don’t care about mass shootings.
Fletcher wrote recently on the subject, “We become increasingly numb to the impact of gun violence which, I have come to conclude, right-wing gun fanatics wish to encourage.”
He continues on with his diatribe, but honestly, this angered me to such a profound degree that I honestly don’t give a damn what he has to say at this point. I read it, I just didn’t care.
You see, Fletcher figures that because we don’t want to address the problem the same way that he does–by restricting the rights of people who have done nothing wrong and will do nothing wrong–that we simply don’t want to see it addressed. Nothing is further from the truth, of course. He follows this bit up by referring to armed teachers but fails to note that arming those educators was part of an overall strategy proposed by many that included making schools much harder targets for would-be mass shooters.
In other words, it’s quite clear that we on this side of the discussion believe it’s a problem too and wants to address it. We just don’t think gun control is the answer.
Not that it matters to Fletcher or people like him, of course.
No, they’d much rather cast aspersions about us as people than actually try to understand where we’re coming from on any of this.
To be fair, I get a lot more pissed about this than many do. Some just roll their eyes at comments like Fletcher’s and go about their day. I get outraged over it. As I’ve noted previously, I lost someone I cared about in a mass shooting. A dear friend from high school was killed in the Cafe Racer shooting five years ago.
What Fletcher and those like him are doing is claiming that I and people like me actually want to encourage people to tolerate mass shootings, that we’re somehow okay with these tragedies taking place. He tries to pretend that someone like me simply doesn’t give a damn about the kind of senseless acts that took people we cared about from this world.
Oh, we care. We care plenty.
What we don’t get is why people like Fletcher remain so entrenched on gun control that they won’t entertain even the possibility of other solutions. We don’t understand how people who talk in the language of emotion can be so intransigent on the topic that they don’t comprehend additional options that don’t infringe on people’s Second Amendment rights.
On this side of the debate, we argue not so much that gun control is something we don’t like (though it is) than that it is something that simply doesn’t work. Not the way proponents demand. We want other solutions, things that can have a real impact.
But anti-gunners like Fletcher don’t want to debate those. Instead, they want to try to shame us into compliance.
If anything is more pathetic than the effort, though, is the abysmal rate of success for that approach. I mean, has anyone ever looked at an argument like that and thought, “Oh, well, I don’t want to seem callous to this guy I don’t know and don’t care about, so let me change my entire worldview to appease him” in the entire history of man?
Of course not.
Then again, it won’t stop people like him from trying it again.
To be fair to Fletcher, though, he’s not the first or the only one to try this approach. I’ve seen it over and over again, sometimes to a more vicious degree. Fletcher things we just want the public to get numb to mass shootings. Others think we actually like them. He’s not going that far, at least.
Not that what he says is that much better.
The shame approach isn’t going to work. It’s just going to make pro-gunners care even less about what you have to say.