Cynical Son of a Bitch

60 MinutesI 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.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Cynical Son of a Bitch

  1. This is going to sound horrible, yet I think it’s true: part of the reason a massacre in Connecticut hasn’t spurred more outrage among gun lovers is because it happened in Connecticut. Home of diseased/demented liberals. No huge loss.

    That does sound horrible; I’ve also heard gun lovers say it out loud. There’s a reason this country has killed millions upon millions of foreigners (and accepted policies, like for-profit health-care, that have killed thousands upon thousands of Americans.) Not to mention genocide of the Natives, slavery and wholesale terror against Blacks, and so on.

    There’s something in our national myth which tells us bullies are cool, and victims are wimps. God wants the successful to be successful, and so anyone on the losing end of life deserves what they get. It’s just too bad.

    Remember the American reaction to the tsunami that ravaged the Indian ocean a few years back? Americans donated a ton of money to flood relief. While we were engaged in annihilating Iraqis, and not long after Katrina (or, more accurately, the government’s non-response to it) killed more people than fundamentalist flight-school graduates with box knives did in 2001.

    If the Sandy Hook shooting had happened in Texas or Alabama, I believe it would have had more impact. It will happen in places like that, eventually, and maybe sometime in the next fifty years we can have a rational conversation about how arranging our society so some get all and most eat dung deranges people.

    National myths, like our fantasy that might makes right, are always toxic and always need to be destroyed. Ours is so stringently held that it’s hard to imagine people letting go of it, right now. They will, though, eventually. They’ll have to. The question is, will they replace it with a nastier myth or some semblance of reality? I have absolutely no idea.

  2. RE: JMF, no I don’t think it would have made a difference – the ‘gun nuts’ would have been saying leave them alone even more because it’s our part of the country and we understand more.
    Your comment reminded me of one of my first thoughts – that at least it was in a neighborhood where the parents have more money and might be able to change it now.
    My personal solution would be to offer to buy back weapons like some of the cities have done already – only on a national scale. Otherwise put heavy taxes on the ammunition like Chris Rock said, $6 a bullet, or something.

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