MAGAs owned me
Responses to my Medium posts are illuminating
I’ve been schooled.
Stupidly thinking it was my citizen duty to challenge power, I had the shameless temerity to question die-hard MAGA “patriots” and gun militants who control the Republican Party, Washington and our country. (See: “Shame the gun militants.”)
I suggested they were dragging America down to their ignorant, bigoted, paranoid, Fox-fed level, putting their selfish gun freedom over everyone else’s freedom from getting shot.
Responders were not happy with my views.
I forgive them.
How could they know that I served in the military, where I trained to handle, shoot and respect guns?
— Or that my former mother in law was killed in a mass shooting while teaching English as a second language at a community center. She was in her 70s, hilarious, loving, and beloved by everyone.
— Or that a few weeks ago, a sniper, aiming from his stockpiled fifth-floor apartment, shot up a nearby school in my normally peaceful neighborhood. The sniper wounded four (including a school security guard, a retired police officer) and terrorized and traumatized the kids, families, teachers and school staff, and community. Bullets were found blocks away. One hit a deli window.
— Or that a shooting happened just the other night across the street from my home at a 24-hour McDonald’s, as MAGA gun freedoms put them in the wrong hands.
— Or that my psychological profile makes me care more about precious children than the precious Constitutional rights exaggerated by gun militants for self-serving purposes.
My respondents likely assumed I’m just another stupid America-hating lib bent on disarming patriots so they can’t fight Socialist government tyranny.
But no, I’m not an anti-gun militant.
I get that reasonable Americans can feel safer having guns to protect themselves and their homes and families, or want guns for hobby, hunting or sport.
Reasonable Americans, however, don’t feel the need to stockpile private arsenals. Or walk around with guns, either preening open-carry or concealed.
Reasonable Americans don’t demand complete gun freedom. They’re not knuckleheads — they know the Second Amendment has limits. They support sensible gun controls.
Reasonable Americans don’t need AR-15 mass-shooter weapons and high-capacity magazines for protection, or to feel cool and tough, ready to fight tyranny and nonwhites replacing them, or cosplay citizen militia at protests to frighten people or storm state capitols.
Reasonable Americans know that arming teachers is stupid. Blaming everything but the guns is stupid. Arming everyone is stupid because more people will be shot by accident, mistake, misunderstanding, anger, drunkenness, or in the crossfire. Good guys with guns, other than trained law enforcement, rarely stop bad guys with guns except on TV. (And police use of guns is tightly controlled.) Slaughtered children are not the right price of freedom. All the gun spin, memes and slogans are transparently stupid and re-bleated because rational, cogent thinking and debate is hard.
Reasonable Americans know all this.
Reasonable Americans also don’t mind a few extra steps in buying a gun — they know it makes them, their kids and the nation safer. They don’t believe tightening gun laws is a slippery slope to banning or confiscation of guns by “jack-booted government thugs, federal agents wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms to attack law-abiding citizens,” as the NRA once declared to raise money. Only the slack-jawed swallow that.
And reasonable Americans know that Republican lawmakers who bow or pander to gun militants are not stupid, just craven.
But apparently, reasonable Americans are stupid.
I’m stupid, as I was patiently taught by replies to my Medium posts.
They certainly helped me learn a lot about the thinking behind gun militancy.
Two samples illustrate:
Gun militants like Antony Blinken or Jens Stoltenberg pushing howitzers at Ukraine? Or the FBI? Or BLM rioters? Or heavily armed local police declining to charge the school shooter?
Are you punching up at those gun nuts, or down at the farmer with his rifle or the mother with her saturday night special? The fundamental question eludes you.
So I’ll state it: Do you fear the guns more than you fear a rogue government?
Is it better to trust individuals, or the collective government to protect you?
I am not ashamed of being a legal gun owner. There is little you can say that will encourage me in to following whatever foolishness you advocate. I will not disarm just to mollify your fears. Pound sand.
Finally, there’s this response to my Medium post about the GOP, including its slavish fealty to gun militants:
You admit it yourself: You’re with the “Dems”.
Thar excludes you from any Jury service againt any Republican, not to mention the Party. Your piece is just that: “A PIECE OF PARTY PROPAGANDA” — it might come from that “commission” which has, actually, no Congress Authority, as itssetting-up did not follw Congres Rules.
In the same way, you lack any Authority to talk about someone you only can see s an “enemy”.
Boom. I’m owned.
These smart, coherent, well-written and powerfully argued rejoinders opened my eyes to the intelligence of the MAGA and gun-militant movement.
They also taught me that Bill Maher was right:
“Before we tackle any of our daunting specific problems here in America, we have to figure out how a country can solve any problem if so many of its people are so intractably, astoundingly, mind-numbingly stupid? … [Y]ou tell me if a country is only as strong as its people, what can the future possibly hold for a population this moronic?”
Excuse me while I go pound sand. With my forehead.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.