John Hawkins has a gem of a piece over at Right Wing News today. Apparently Josh Marshall (don’t feel bad, I’ve never heard of him either) wrote a long, whiny, nutless screed over at TPM that was meant to explain why Americans shouldn’t be allowed to have guns–which is, by the way, because guns scare him and it’s his right to not have to be around them. What makes it all even more rich is that he titles his puerile missive “Speaking For My Tribe.” I’ll get to why that’s fitting and sadly hilarious in a minute. First, let’s talk about the logic behind this whole idea that because Josh Marshall and his “tribe” are scared, we should get rid of our guns.
As Hawkins points out, the liberal stance on rights is basically this: “If I am offended by it, you shouldn’t be able to do it. If I support it, you should be forced to accept it.” This illegitimate standard is applied to everything. We are told that we must accept every personal choice under the sun as perfectly viable and right and good–and we should happily pay for not only the facilitation of such choices, but any resulting consequences as well. Stay out of my bedroom, but pay for whatever happens as a result of what I do in it. The reverse certainly does not apply, however. Can you imagine if I decided that Josh Marshall should pay for the guns I choose to collect? (If someone else is paying, I’m going all out, let me assure you. Hey! I think I just described the motto of the Obama administration…but I digress.) The average liberal cannot see the hypocrisy in saying that my gun scares and offends him and he doesn’t think I should have it, but his lifestyle choices should be celebrated and loved and valued and accepted and taught to my children over my objections. On that basis alone, Josh Marshall’s argument fails. No conservative is saying you don’t have the right to be offended. BE offended! Hate guns with every fiber of your wussified being. No one asked you to like my guns. Tell you what–how about you do what you tell the rest of us to do when we are offended by the trash on television and the porn clogging our internet and the stupidity that passes for “art” now. Just don’t look at it.
Now let’s talk about another specific point in Marshall’s article where his inability to form coherent thought rears its ugly head.
I don’t particularly want to be around people who are carrying. Cops, I don’t mind. They’re trained, under an organized system and supposed to use them for a specific purpose. But do I want to have people carrying firearms out and about where I live my life — at the store, the restaurant, at my kid’s playground? No, the whole idea is alien and frankly scary. Because remember, guns are extremely efficient tools for killing people and people get weird and do stupid things.
Yes, people get weird and do stupid things, like try to rape women or kidnap children. They rob stores and beat up random strangers for an article of clothing. They band together in groups of stupidity and run around the neighborhood spreading violence and crime wherever they go. Josh Marshall doesn’t want people carrying firearms out and about where he lives his life. News flash for the village drooler: They already are. In fact, they’re everywhere. They’re already behind you in line at the store, waiting til you leave so they can rob the clerk. They’re a few tables down from you in the restaurant, watching you pull bills out of your wallet and wondering if you’re worth following outside. They’re already at the edge of your child’s playground, thinking she looks pretty spiffy in her little dress and waiting for you to take your eyes off her for just a second. In fact, the difference between all of those people and me, is that I’m not walking around waiting for an opportunity to victimize you with my gun. In fact, the beauty of the whole situation is that regardless of your ridiculous, factually incorrect, cowardly view of guns in general (and those who carry them legally), I’d use mine to protect you, your child, and your right to talk trash on the internet about how guns scare you and we shouldn’t get to have them. Again, your argument fails. (And by the way, I wonder if he knows how much time we crazy gun people spend training and practicing and studying? He must be assuming that because he’s not interested in learning, we aren’t either.)
Remember at the beginning of this little journey, I mentioned the title of Josh “I’m a Scaredy Cat” Marshall’s article was “Speaking For My Tribe?” That particular term has a special significance for those of us who subscribe to the belief system shared by people like Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Bill Whittle. Back during Hurricane Katrina, Bill Whittle penned an essay called…you guessed it…”Tribes.” In it, he describes two different tribes of people.
My Tribe consists of people who know that sometimes bad things happen, and that these instances are opportunities to show ourselves what we are made of. My people go into burning buildings. My Tribe consists of organizers and self-starters, proud and self-reliant people who do not need to be told what to do in a crisis. My Tribe is not fearless; they are something better. They are courageous. My Tribe is honorable, and decent, and kind, and inventive.[...]
The Pink Tribe is all about feeling good: feeling good about yourself! Sexually, emotionally, artistically–nothing is off limits, nothing is forbidden, convention is fossilized insanity and everybody gets to do their own thing without regard to consequences, reality, or natural law.
For his part, Lt. Dave Grossman expands on this as well:
Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, “Thank God I wasn’t on one of those planes.” The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, “Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference.” When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.
While there is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, he does have one real advantage — only one. He is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population.
So, you see, Josh Marshall’s use of the phrase “my tribe” is telling–not because someone else used it too, but because he proves the point that there are sheep, and there are sheepdogs. Grossman is right–people like Josh Marshall don’t like people like me. Until they’re in a mall and some crazy gunman starts shooting, and someone like me pulls their own concealed weapon and ends the problem before the shooter kills another sheep. Thanks, buddy…now go away. Your gun scares me.
It’s ok, Josh. We know what
tribe herd you’re a part of, and we accept that. We accept that you don’t have the cojones to defend yourself, and will fully expect someone else to show up and save the day when you become the damsel in distress. We even accept when you’re being victimized and there are no cops around, it will fall to one of us to step up and defend you with no thanks expected–if we’re around, that is. Then again, we wouldn’t want to scare you.