Monday, November 25, 2013

internet exchange

I read a guy's blog post this morning about an encounter he had with the police which was nominally about the gun culture here in this country. This particular man refuses to subscribe to the culture of fear so rampant in this country. He does not let fear control what he does or when he does it or where he does it. By the same token he does not own a gun. Neither is he deluded about the safety, or lack there of, of the streets. He prefers to not live in fear and just be vigilant.

The encounter he had with the police was that he was working in his office when he became aware of two people in the hall testing the door knob to see if it was locked. He walked over to the door and suddenly opened it to find two policemen pointing their guns at him.

They didn't shoot, obviously, and that was his point, comparing trained and psychologically prepared police with the average citizen with a gun reacting with the fear with which they live their lives.

Scrolling through the comments, of course he got his share of the 'guns are my right' crowd, one of whom referenced the Second Amendment. Or rather part of the Second Amendment, the part about the right to keep and bear arms so I reminded him of the rest of that, the part that precedes it that says 'a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state'. Can't just quote the phrase you like best.

Of course he replied, quoting some Supreme Court decision that guaranteed the right to bear arms to which I replied that we have that part well in hand, now let's work on the well regulated part.

His response was predictable. He made assumptions about me, then insulted me in a condescending manner because of those assumptions. Essentially he patted me on the head and told me it was OK to just go on being a soccer mom but to stay out of discussions I didn't understand or else do some research and quoted some other Supreme Court decision as he explained that 'well regulated' meant 'well equipped'. Earlier he had used the term 'soccer mom' in a derisive manner to describe those who are uninformed spouting off opinions on things they don't understand.

What is it with those people? Are they totally incapable of having a civil conversation?

I'm certainly not an expert on all the law and court cases surrounding the Second Amendment but I have read about it on several past occasions. This ain't my first rodeo after all. And I will do quick searches before posting a comment to make sure I can back up my post. So I did a quick search of the meaning of well regulated as defined by those who used it in that context and it did indeed mean well equipped.

It also meant thoroughly trained and well disciplined, men the country could rely on in time of need to protect itself. I also read that the phrase 'to bear arms' almost exclusively referred to 'in military service'.

I made one more reply. I rebuked him for the condescending attitude and insult, I told him I was neither unintelligent nor unread and I didn't need him to mansplain things to me, and I directed the conversation back to the Second Amendment and the complete meaning of 'well regulated', something that our current culture and society is far from. I certainly wouldn't trust my defense to a peacock strutting around in a parking lot brandishing his AK-47 in a deliberate attempt to intimidate a few 'soccer moms' upset at the level of gun violence in this country.

The thing is, I really don't have a problem with the Second Amendment as written by the Founders because what they wrote, what they intended, what they meant is not what we see in this country today. Citizen's owning a gun that they are competent to use for defense is one thing. The wacko with his conspiracy delusions stockpiling weapons and ammunition and fomenting insurrection is not what the Second Amendment was supposed to protect.

So, I ended my final reply to that guy by telling him I expected he would reply probably with more insults and maybe even some profanity because I didn't acknowledge his superiorness but that I was giving him a gift anyway, the last word.


I see a notice that he has responded once more. Good for him.

I won't be reading it.


  1. arrogance and testosterone are a terrible mix. Both clog the brain making rational thought impossible. poor thing...wasting the gift of living on this planet in a self made gunky glue- maintain your "rubber" , " I'm rubber, you're glue, what you say bounces off of me and sticks on you"...Basically there is no conversation to be had with either gun dicks or religious freaks...their minds are shut and locked.

  2. "Mansplain" -- ha! I love that.

    These pro-gun types are well versed on all their talking points by the NRA and other groups, and besides that, you just can't win an argument on the Internet. I try not to even get involved, which may be chicken of me, but it's just too exhausting. So bravo to you for sticking to your guns, pardon the expression.

  3. I do so agree that those who carried guns in the past used them for food for families or to protect themselves from wild animals. They were not people who sat on the sofa and then cocked their gun in the dark of night when the doorbell rang. When NYC policemen hit their target 37% (or something like that) of the time, what makes me trust a good old boy who had not encountered a riot or boogey man ever?

  4. Beliefs are so firmly set there is little to no reasonable dialogue. It's always worth the try, but it just won't work. In the end we are drawn back, like proverbial moths to the flame, knowing we will again be judged stupid. I've given up a couple of blogs, saving myself the lecture, but it wasn't easy.

    I realized recently we are so inured to the gun culture around us, they aren't even called guns anymore. In Ohio you obtain a Concealed Carry Permit. WTH. My extra panty liners are concealed carry, too. I cannot envision a way out.

  5. Never argue with idiots on the internet. They have more time and more stupidity to spare than you do.

  6. I just hate encounters like that. It always takes something out of me when I have to deal with fool children.
    Sounds like you handled the situation admirably though. He wasn't properly "armed" to fight with you. He was certainly "out gunned" by someone with logic and rational thinking. Beats the hell outta them everytime. Way to go. Oma Linda

  7. IT sounds to me that fear continues to be a major motivator.

  8. Ugh.. I know the type very well. There's nothing more frustrating and disheartening than to be ridiculed for what you have to say.. and misunderstood on top of that. I've been there recently. I feel for you.

  9. People get crazy when you talk about guns, religion, abortion, gay rights, therapeutic wait, that one's ok for now, but you get the point.
    We've come to a place where civility is a foreign concept. I'm not sure where we go from here.
    Great post Ellen.

  10. I'm sorry this will be a really long comment - but I just saw this on Facebook this morning & thought it would make a nice addition to the conversations:

    "PSA: Learn to argue constructively.

    1) No ad hominem. Ad hominem is attacking the person instead of the argument. Ad hominem is bad. Stop it.

    2) Do not immediately assume that since someone is attacking your position on something that they are attacking you.

    Example: "I think that naked mole rats are a perfectly acceptable pet because they are naked and eat their own poo. It makes them really easy to clean up after."

    Good rebuttal: "I disagree that naked mole rats are good pets. First of all, they are a foreign species and there are no vets that can treat them adequately. Second of all, they are used to living underground and in groups like ants; it would be cruel to keep them in an unnatural environment for them."

    Bad rebuttal: "You're disgusting! I hope that you die in a fire because naked mole rats are Earth's feces-eating children and NOTHING deserves to be enslaved to your selfish desire to have a "unique" pet. You fail at life."

    Good rebuttal rebuttal: "I can see your point about it being unnatural, but we already keep pets in unnatural circumstances and I think that me and my friends could keep it company. How hard can it be to provide veterinary care for a species that has never been domesticated or commonly kept in local zoos, anyway? (I didn't say it had to be logical or even factual; it's just focusing on the argument, not the person).

    Bad rebuttal rebuttal: "Well, you're just a fat slob, so who cares what you think. Maybe you should stop dressing your dog up in sequins, whore."

    Are we all clear on this? Okay? Okay.

    Poo heads."

  11. Nothing sucks as much or is less forgivable than condescension, and his was combined with sexism making it even worse. I'm so sorry you got slammed by a moron, but I hope it's easier to put behind you since it was by a moron.

    The vigilance of which the blogger wrote is also referred to as relaxed awareness, something between a green and a red on the color scale.


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.