Right now, political division is extremely high. I don’t want to say it’s at an all-time high because, well, there was that little tiff back in the 1860s that suggests it might have been a tad worse back then. I mean, 620,000 American lives lost is a bit worse than the rioting we’ve seen in the last few years.
Yet, anyone with eyes can see that it’s still pretty bad.
Many are issuing calls for unity, for us coming together and working with one another. Of course, this comes after four years of #resistance and all that, but whatever.
The problem is, when you don’t really understand why some divisions exist, it’s easy to make light of the issues. Take this one, for example.
If your dog won’t stop chewing on the furniture and you work with it to chew its toys are you suddenly on the level of your dog for still allowing the chewing?? Of course not! This is literally how simple and idiotic the arguments that happen on Capitol Hill are. Let’s take gun rights for example:
Democrats don’t want to see people get killed. Republicans don’t want people’s rights infringed on. So suddenly, any Republican who supports any kind of gun legislation wants to take everyone’s guns and any Democrat who wants to compromise is a murder-permitting disgrace. This also works the other way though too. This means that Democrats now must signal that they are okay with taking guns and that Republicans must signal that they don’t support gun laws. Which, of course, further contributes to the polarization because now each side has a reason to fear that extreme because it’s real now. Not only that but, if anyone on our side is working with the other side, they must have switched viewpoints because there’s only two and they’re so different. Get the picture?
Sure, if you look at it through a microscope, it appears that way.
When you understand the subject in totality, though, not so much.
See, when we say that anti-gunners want to take away our gun rights, it’s not based on fearmongering or a misunderstanding of their position, but a firm understanding of history.
Federal gun control was unheard of until the first half of the 20th Century. Yet, following the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and other gangland violence, people wanted something to be done. The Thompson submachine gun was a favorite of the mob in those days, so that became the target. Anti-gunners of the day said that if you went after the guns, you’d curb the violence, but don’t worry, they just wanted the machine guns.
So, they passed a law that tightly regulated full-automatic weapons and short-barreled rifles–another favorite of the mob–but didn’t take anything from anyone.
As time went on, though, other acts pushed them to regulate guns more. They didn’t want to take away your right to buy a gun in 1968, they simply wanted to make it so assassins couldn’t get guns by mail.
With each and every new regulation, the anti-gunners were never satisfied. They always wanted more and more.
A great analogy comes from my friend LawDog writing over at his blog where he compares gun rights to a cake and every anti-gunner wants to take the cake away.
So when the above-linked author looks at the politics of guns, all he sees is division and thinks that we should totally be able to get past that. What he doesn’t see is that yes, anti-gun Democrats have illustrated through the years that they want our guns. All of them.
And yeah, we see any Republican who gets down there with them as trying to help them take away our guns.
After all, this whole simplistic nonsense is predicated on the idea that gun control is the best choice to reduce violence or even will reduce violence. That’s not necessarily the case.
Democrats push gun control because they don’t like guns. That’s been the case for decades. During that time, they’ve tried to ban anything and everything they thought they could get away with. Anyone who doesn’t believe they’d ban everything if they could is simply deluding themselves.
There won’t be a compromise on guns because we’ve done it before and gotten nothing in return. We’re tired of it and yeah, anyone Republican who wants to get down with anti-gun Democrats will be labeled as anti-gun themselves.
As they should be.