I am a cynical son of a bitch. I am the first to push emotion aside for the purpose of the greater intellectual good. So I was surprised how much tonight’s episode of 60 Minutes struck me. The show brought together a group of parents who lost children at Sandy Hook. The cynical side of me was very clear: this was a very manipulative segment; the producers should have been ashamed. And I thought that as someone who agrees with the parents fully on the issue of gun control.
But I thought that with a small part of my brain. The majority of my brain was overwhelmed, desperately trying not to be emotionally destroyed by the stories that the parents were telling. My brain failed utterly. There is just no way to get past the emotional tug (more like a tractor beam) of these very human stories and the tragedy of these deaths. I had to turn it off. I don’t need to hear this kind of thing. After all, I’m the guy who says fuck the assault weapons, let’s outlaw handguns.
It got me thinking. (Of course!)
I understand the arguments of the gun lovers. They says things like, “Rights are more important than lives.” And, “If you outlaw guns, even more people will die.” I have a very clear answer to this: bullshit! Just admit it: you care more about keeping your assault rifles than you care about the lives of these grammar school kids. And may God make you fry in hell for the privilege.
But it’s worse. These gun people are not arguing that gun rights are more important than the lives of these children. They are arguing that the simplest reforms—getting rid of the gun show loophole of a law they claim to be for—is more important than the lives of these children. Are they fucking kidding me? Really: I get the slippery slop argument. It’s bullshit, but I get it! But this isn’t it. I don’t even know what this is. “If we fully enforce the law then the Nazis will come in and take away all our guns”?
I am a cynical son of a bitch. And I just don’t get it.