Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Arguing About Semantics

I succumbed to a mild bout of irritation this afternoon as our alleged leaders of both parties continued to bicker over words, rhetoric and other pointless things. So, first of all:

Watch this.

I'm not a huge Samantha Bee fan as she tends to be a little too progressive-preachy for my liking sometimes- but then again I haven't seen that much of her show either. After seeing this, I might start. If you weren't expecting someone on television to channel to sheer unadulterated fury and impotent rage a large chunk of the country must be feeling in the wake of our latest tragedy, guess again. Go, watch.

Read this.

This flashed across my Twitter feed this morning, courtesy of a RT from the always excellent Caitlin Moran. I clicked the link, read it, thought 'well this makes a lot of sense and seems pretty damn true to me' so I gave it a RT myself. Then I saw President Obama unleash on Donald Trump about his refusal to use the term 'radical Islam'- he called it a political distraction.

But that article I linked to hits the nail on the head. If you don't want to call it 'Radical Islam' call it something else. Call it anything else. But if liberals can't name and identify the problem and draw a clear delineation between disliking radical fanatics that shoot up nightclubs and an entire religion, then they essentially give the entire issue to Trump and his ilk. And how's that working out? If you don't call the problem something, you can't stamp out the ideology. (And can we agree that the world would be a better place without ideologies like these?)

There is a radical ideology out there. It's killed more Muslims than anything else, but if we're too scared to call it what it is for fearing of being seen as 'Islamophobic' we're never going to solve the problem. And believe me, I'd like to solve the problem. I think extremism of any kind is bad. I think if you like freedom and living in relative peace and quiet then extremism should be opposed. Vehemently. Loudly. And without consideration for people getting their underwear in a bunch about it. Radical Islamic Terrorists have killed people across the world, the overwhelming majority of their victims are Muslim. Saying so shouldn't be seen as prejudice against Muslims and wouldn't be if Liberals could actually pull their heads out of their asses and own this issue for once. If you let Trump set the debate, you get to play by his rules on this issue. I didn't see anything from the President or Mrs. Clinton this afternoon that indicated they were trying to take the issue away from him.

Which brings us back to the other side of the political equation: guns. Do I think it's demonizing all gun owners to maybe, just maybe, get guns like the AR-15 off the streets? No. My first amendment rights are limited. I can't shout 'fire' in a crowded theater. And if my first amendment rights have some natural limits, surely the second amendment has some too?

I'm not sure about the whole 'no guns if you're on the no-fly list' thing. It seems logical, but I dislike the idea of the government keeping lists. But background checks on all sales? Let's do that- can we get together on that, at least?

It's worth noting that super strict gun control laws didn't stop attacks in Paris or Brussels. A ban on assault weapons or weapons like the AR-15 isn't a cure-all. But I know there are too many of those type of guns that are too readily available to loons and fanatics. There should be less. If someone has the intestinal fortitude to come up with a law that can effectively and efficiently make that happen- whether it's an assault weapons ban or something else, let me know.

Do I think anything's going to happen? No. I remain 100% convinced of that. I do feel like the mood of the public is shifting though. Whether it's shifting enough to prod Congress into action is doubtful. Republicans are going to say as little as possible and do nothing and Democrats won't be nearly as aggressive as they should be in an election year with the possibility of getting the Senate back in play.

Whatever his motivation- whether it was repressed sexuality, religious fanaticism or some strange combination of the two, it's irrelevant. We know the lack of a sane gun policy is part of the problem. We know the extremists we fight are another part of the problem. Getting to a solution requires being open and honest about identifying the problem.

Instead, we argue about semantics.

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