With some political discussions, farce and humor can often be really effective. The gun control debate going on now is no different. For that reason alone, I’m thankful for Colbert:
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Stephen Colbert’s Double Barrel Blam-O-Rama – Piers Morgan & James Yeager|
It’s the second conversation (with Mr. Yeager, @ 2:30) that really interested me. The man admits that he sees in hindsight he probably shouldn’t have done. In emotional situations, with the adrenaline flowing, we’re all prone to shoot off our mouth. Why not our guns? Is it really so incomprehensible that, in situations where firearms are at hand, you’re that much more likely to react violently? You can take back a hasty word (kind of), but definitely not a hastily pulled trigger.
This doesn’t mean people shouldn’t own guns. It does mean people should respect their explosive potential, and look at the reality of the situation. Are you concerned about self-protection from criminals? Look at the stats for how likely home invasions as opposed to domestic violence or accidental shooting incidents. Or do you think you’ll have to fight off a tyrannical government with your gun? Think hard about how effective you’d be against even your municipal police force, and whether owning a gun will make it harder for other citizens to trust you enough to work with you for change. (The Onion actually has a good parody of this view, so it may be worth reading it and figuring out where you think the parody breaks down.) In all these situations, sometimes the gun really will be a reasonable precaution, worth the risk involved. Other times it’s not. And even when it is, being conscious of the risk means you’re more likely to take precautions. That’s a start.
On a related note, Mr. Yeager calls Obama a dictator. But I’m only seeing one man saying if our duly-elected representatives put together a law and voted on it, he’d use violent force to keep that from happening. And it isn’t the president.
Reasonable people can disagree on how best to address gun violence. But some voices just aren’t reasonable. I could pick them apart point by point, but sometimes humor works better.