Saturday, July 21, 2012

I feel like my brain is being sucked out by a vintage hairdryer

  1. Why did I argue on Facebook with some members of my family about the Second Amendment and gun control laws?
  2. Why did I bother when I knew perfectly well that their beliefs are nearly antithetical to my own?
  3. Why did the shooter in Colorado have no problem buying more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition for his guns?
  4. Why is there not unequivocal agreement that the above is INSANE?
  5. Why was it easier for that guy to buy his guns and ammo than for me to petition my private insurance company to add an epilepsy drug to the formulary so that I can afford to give it to my disabled daughter?
  6. Why don't I feel nearly as much terror about what happened yesterday in Colorado than in the newest statistics about global warming?
  7. Why do people believe the NRA to be anything but a powerful business conglomerate interested solely in money and power?
  8. Why do people insist that owning a firearm gives one the ability to defend oneself? From what?
  9. Why is everything couched in military terms? 
  10. Why don't I feel the same warm, fuzzy feelings about American "liberty," "freedom," and "values" as my relatives?
  11. Am I a bad person for not thinking like them?
  12. Are they bad people for not thinking like me?
  13. Why are Christian conservatives so afraid?
  14. Why am I not afraid?
  15. Why do I get called a "libtard" if I question American exceptionalism?
  16. Why in the recent spate of mass shootings did no one fire a gun in self-defense if this is an argument used by NRA types? Surely one or more of the nearly 50% of Americans who own firearms have been bystanders in the recent spate of killings.
  17. Why is the United States ranked fourth in the world for murders by firearms after South Africa, Columbia and Thailand?
  18. Why is Switzerland, with such high gun ownership rates, such a peaceful country?
  19. Why does Switzerland's populace feel that since they are a wealthy country, it's their duty to protect the most vulnerable (the disabled) from birth to death?
  20. Why do Americans believe that protecting the most vulnerable is tantamount to socialism, one of the world's greatest evils?
  21. Why do people insinuate that I should just "love it or leave it?"
  22. Why don't I just move to Switzerland?
  23. Why does the United States account for 5% of the world's population but 25% of the world's incarcerated population?
  24. Why does posing these questions incite others to claim moral superiority over me with their faith in the status quo?
Reader, I'm certain you have answers to some of these questions and perhaps even some questions to add. 

Please do.


  1. I think the key to all your questions lies in No. 13: "Why are Christian conservatives so afraid?" Fear is the motivating factor in America's increasingly aggressive nationalism, in all the jingoistic bullshit we often hear, in discrimination of all types. I don't get it either. (And it's not just Christian conservatives who are afraid -- it's lots of people.)

    Many people feel a deep need to cling to fixed ideas about things that are inevitably changing -- like language, religion and culture. But change is the way of the world. It's going to happen. We just have to direct it as best we can, with the welfare of all as our goal.

    (And meanwhile, we need to improve the availability of mental health care and reform our crazy gun laws!)

  2. Why does anyone really need a gun? Many years ago, guns were perceived to be phallic symbols compensating for basic masculine's all about the ability to "shoot" at will and to demonstrate power and cause someone to submit?

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  4. Oh Elizabeth, I had the same arguments with my family yesterday. It makes no sense -- Can you imagine if half the people in that theater did have guns and had started shooting to defend themselves? How many more would have been injured? There is no logical explanation as to why a person can buy 4 guns -- one of which is an assault weapon -- 6000 rounds of ammunition, yet it doesn't raise one flag on any kind of federal registration? You can use your credit card too many times a day and get a call from their fraud dept. to make sure your card hasn't been stolen. Surely, this can be tracked.

    Honestly, I can compromise on this, even if I don't agree -- get yourself a handgun for protection, but no one, NO ONE, needs an assault weapon. It's ridiculous and so frustrating.

    Sorry, I have no answers to any of your questions. The NRA is like a big bully with tons of money...they have proven impossible to go up against.

    And global warming... sign. So scary.

    Sorry to ramble. I guess I'm doing it because I can say these things here and not be attacked.

  5. Well, every one of your questions is valid. And let's face it- you're just a really intelligent person who can see through the bullshit. I mean, seriously, Elizabeth. Not saying that your relatives aren't intelligent too, just, well, maybe in a different way.
    And I don't have any answers. I sure have a lot more questions. One of them is this- why do God and Guns so often go together?
    I have my theories.
    I won't espouse them here.

  6. Thank you. Keep asking.

  7. I had a discussion with my co-worker yesterday (luckily we think alike) about gun control and why someone can buy four guns and it doesn't raise any flags, and why do some friends of mine believe so strongly in having guns at their home, and how can they say they keep them for home protection, but keep them unloaded and locked up because they have small children? They are responsible people but how long will it take before there's an accident?

    I do not like guns. At all.

  8. I think the answer to most of your questions is money, pure and simple.

  9. i love this post. and i think steve is correct about the key being fear. number 13.

    and the NRA. ugh. UGH.

    i think it's a comfort that you feel the way you do. and your commenters feel the way they do. at least there are some of us left. maybe more than we know?

    i hope. yes.

  10. Are you and I the same person? Amen.

  11. As a European, I can't stop asking me those questions about the USA and wondering why intelligent people as yourself are not heard as you should. Keep questioning, please!

  12. why can't a women get an abortion even though the Supreme Court has ruled that she can?

    why, in one of the world's wealthiest nations, do we have no access to health care and healthy food, and why are so many living in poverty?

    why is Wall Street still calling the shots?

    Why can't President Obama say, in addition to this being a time of mourning,it is a time to FINALLY draft some gun control legislation?

    I wonder, too, E., I wonder too.

  13. I'm right with ya, sister, but not being an American, that's all I'm gonna say about it.

  14. Question 18 says a whole lot, a heavily armed country with a real lack of crime. The NRA is exactly right, we all should be armed.

    1. Anonymous: I guess you wouldn't mind if we were all armed and socialist, then? Switzerland is an interesting country because they only have a defensive army, have strict laws about guns and work in far more democratic ways than we do here in the United States. Communities are intact there not because they all carry guns but because they believe deeply in community, in sharing wealth among the citizens. The cult of individualism that rots the best of America is unknown there. They also have universal healthcare that everyone participates in paying for. Children with disabilities are cared for from birth until death as is respite for the family. Families get one year off when a baby is born -- each parent can take six months off at 55% pay and return to work at the same position and salary. My husband is Swiss, as you know, and despised his army service as his father and grandfather did before him, but he despises right wing American politics even more. He, and his gun-toting brother who still lives in Switzerland think the NRA is a repellent organization that represents most of what is ugly about America.

  15. Could I borrow that hairdryer when you're done?

  16. this is the most perfect and piercing post on the colorado shooting that i have read. thank you.

  17. I have some of my own, and agree with many of yours. Why do so many of my fellow Christians act like I am less faithful because I am a--gasp--democrat! And even have some--ultra gasp--socialist leanings! Hello?! I am part of the religious, even, dare I say it, born again, LEFT wing group. Am I all alone over here? I don't believe the Bible says God or Jesus are democrat, republican, socialist, etc.

    Carrie T.

  18. WHY, indeed, don't you move there? Is it because of the boys?

    Have you considered moving there? (If he could find a job there). Just curious



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