Why Southerners Don't Car About New York Times Op-Eds

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

I was born and raised in the Deep South. I have a deep affinity for the place of my birth, one that I wouldn’t have imagined I’d have in my teenage years.

Down here, we have our issues, to be sure, but one thing we’ve never been really big on are people from the North trying to tell us how to live our lives. Call it a holdover from Reconstruction or just plain stubbornness, but when the New York Times tries to tell Southerners how to live, it usually doesn’t work out well.

Yet, that’s pretty much what the Times decided to do with an op-ed titled, “Southern Republicans Cannot Be Trusted With Public Health.”

For those of you keeping score at home, here is where things stand in the 2021 National Calamities Sweeps, Southern Division:

In the ever-expanding Climate-Augmented Natural Disasters event, results cannot yet be tallied. Tennessee and North Carolina are both digging out from catastrophic flooding, while parts of Louisiana were flattened by Hurricane Ida, and most of New Orleans remains without electricity. Ida’s remnants also brought even more rain to areas of the South and beyond that were already dangerously waterlogged.

In the Utter Failure to Understand What “Pro-Life” Really Means tournament, normally a very close battle in the red states, Texas is currently uncontested: Its leaders just made it easier to carry a gun and harder to end an unwanted pregnancy in the same week.

Instead of taking concrete measures to limit climate change, they send up prayers for rescue workers. Instead of making it possible for poor women to get quality medical care, they limit reproductive options for everyone — though the poorest, of course, will suffer most. Instead of espousing common-sense gun laws that keep citizens safe, they ally themselves with the gun lobby. (Tennessee’s governor, Bill Lee, actually signed this state’s new permitless-carry bill in a ceremonial event at a gun factory.) Instead of trying to keep people safe during this pandemic, our leaders offer ludicrous platitudes on the subject of freedom.

Obviously, I’m going to focus on the gun issue because, well, this is Bearing Arms. It’s kind of what we do.

Basically, the author’s entire premise is that Republicans in the South can’t be trusted with public health matters because they won’t do precisely what she thinks they should do.

We won’t drink the gun control Kool-Aid, so we can’t be trusted to make decisions for ourselves.

Meanwhile, she says stuff like this [emphasis added]:

And yet, despite these indisputable indicators of failed public policy, Mr. Lee has no intention of reversing course. Most Southern Republicans don’t, either, and that’s why Southerners will continue to die unnecessary deaths — if not from Covid, then from natural disasters, or self-administered abortions, or gun violence, or any number of other preventable tragedies.

So, tell me, how’s that gun control working in New York, Chicago, and Baltimore? How many people are dying unnecessary deaths from “gun violence” in our major urban cities, most of which are liberal run and many of the worst have strict gun control in place?

And let’s be honest here. While something like COVID may be a public health issue, so-called gun violence isn’t. It’s an act one human chooses to do to another human. It’s a problem, but it’s not a disease. It’s a conscious decision.

But that doesn’t matter to some people. For them, what matters is that we do precisely what we’re told.

It’s not about trying to convince us they’re right. The author seeks to scold us for being wrong, and in the pages of the New York Times.

If there’s one thing the average Southerner doesn’t care about, it’s what much of anyone writing for the Times thinks of what we do down here. We never have and probably never will. What Karen here doesn’t get, though, is that her attempt at meddling not only won’t yield the results she intends, but it’ll likely push a lot of us to defend laws we might not otherwise.

That’s especially true when it’s coming from a publication in a city with the strictest gun laws in the nation and a skyrocketing violent crime rate. Honestly, the writer may well be from the South. I doubt any of us would consider her Southern, though.

Let me make it plain: Our guns aren’t going anywhere, so stop trying to pretend you’re trying to do this for our own good. We’re not buying it.