Saturday, December 1, 2012

Exaggeration and Credibility

Rub dirt in your hair. Rend your garments. Curse the heavens. Stand on a street corner with a battery bull horn and proclaim the end of the earth. Or just join the Tea Party, or other bloviating collection of gas bags and erase what marginal vestige of credibility they might have had when they woke up this morning. This is the patriotic bullies' end of the world, who see themselves as the saviors of our ability to own firearms and enjoy shooting sports.

These folks lost the election. The American people did not buy their over-the-top rabble rousing, appeal to the lowest common denominator of uninformed voter style of presenting the pros and cons of an issue. They helped sink the once Grand Old Party with their crude rhetoric, their tragic comprehension of history and their prognostications of things to come that any high school debate team could render moot. Instead of leading the discussion, they herd their acolytes and believers, sweeping along the confused and undecided into what appears to them to be a consensus.

While grown-ups (mostly) debate our financial future in Washington, these single-issue ideologues hop from one foot to the other preaching doom. They are not alone, of course. On the other side of the issue, the equally silly "gun grabbers" who doggedly follow the path that gave us Prohibition in the 1920s, plan and connive to remove all firearms from civilians -- 300 million firearms -- to make our world a safer place. That might have been a swell idea back when the Chinese were still tinkering with gunpowder, but 1100 years later, things have gotten out of hand.

All of the chest beating on both sides has done nothing to ease the burden on the average gun owner who must explain themselves as a sportsman and not one of the aluminum foil hat people whenever they let slip their sport of preference in a conversation.