[lit-ideas] Re: Mark Steyn on Gun Control

I love it when conservatives talk about reality.  They're soooooooo tough 
minded.  Real he-men -- of the solitary, nasty, brutish and short variety.  I 
left "poor" out of Hobbes' quote because most conservatives aren't poor.  Yes, 
there are plenty of poor, conservative whites in the South who cling to the 
Republican Party as the great white hope that will restore racial supremacy as 
the rule of the day.  But for the most part, conservatives are successful men 
who like to think of themselves as self-made men, rugged individualists who 
don't hesitate to call a spade a spade and are realists enough to sometimes 
it's necessary to bury all fellow-feeling when there's profit involved.

As for Barak Obama, I agree with everything he said.  In our horror over the 
Virginia Tech killings, let's not lose sight of the quiet violence that 
corrodes the fabric of our society day in and day out.  The cheap "humor" of 
Imus, a comment that even if he is not himself a racist, certainly winks 
dismissively at the pervasive racism of our country and personally caused pain 
to innocent people he very publically denigrated.  The quiet violence of 
corporate greed that spits on the communities of people who have given their 
time and energy to build businesses only to be told: "So long, suckers."  The 
quiet violence of city governments that tax citizens to build football stadiums 
for millionaire teams and leaves the mentally ill to shift for themselves on 
the streets, that ignores the plight of the homeless.  The quiet violence of a 
society that sees the other as usable, as object, as enemy.  That's the reality 
that Obama was talking about.  The reality that conservatives can't seem to be 
able to get through their thick heads is that everything is inextricably 
interconnected.  Or to put it into my favorite quips:  "Show me a man who 
changed his own diaper and I'll show you a self-made man." (Michael Eric Dyson) 
 "It takes a village to raise a child." (Hilary Clinton)  "I am you and you are 
me and we are all together." (Beatles)  :  )   --  now THAT'S reality.  Guns 
deny reality, they are the disastrous fantasy of disastrous rugged 
individualism.    


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lawrence Helm 
  To: Lit-Ideas 
  Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 9:11 AM
  Subject: [lit-ideas] Mark Steyn on Gun Control


  This was sent to me by a blogger interested in our arguments about Gun and 
Nutcase control.  It is from a blog called "Power Line": 
http://powerlineblog.com/archives/017407.php .   Steyn's entire Sun-Times 
Column is at http://www.suntimes.com/news/steyn/351710,CST-EDT-STEYN22.article 
.  Gun Control people trying to make hay over Cho's massacre are in a ludicrous 
position.  There were alreadly laws in place that would have prevented Cho from 
legally getting a gun, and the place were Cho perfored his massacere, Virginia 
Tech College was a "gun free" zone.  You could almost laugh at this if so many 
people didn't have to die to expose this nonsense for what it is.  What Mike 
and Simon both did in the wake of Cho was something like Obama did: 
  'I've had some mail in recent days from people who claimed I'd insulted the 
dead of Virginia Tech. Obviously, I regret I didn't show the exquisite taste 
and sensitivity of Sen. Obama and compare getting shot in the head to an Imus 
one-liner. Does he mean it? I doubt whether even he knows. When something 
savage and unexpected happens, it's easiest to retreat to our tropes and 
bugbears or, in the senator's case, a speech on the previous week's "big news."'

  Lawrence




  April 22, 2007
  The claims of reality

  Mark Steyn devotes his weekly Sun-Times column to the political and cultural 
infantilization of American society manifested in events related to the 
Virginia Tech massacre. He urges us to get "realistic about reality." He 
doens't miss the unreal contribution of Barack Obama last week. He notes that 
at Yale, the students cannot even pretend to be realistic about reality: 

    [A]t Yale, the dean of student affairs, Betty Trachtenberg, reacted to the 
Virginia Tech murders by taking decisive action: She banned all stage weapons 
from plays performed on campus. After protests from the drama department, she 
modified her decisive action to "permit the use of obviously fake weapons" such 
as plastic swords. 
  Unfortunately, Steyn's not done with the Ivy League: 
    A few years back, a couple of alienated loser teens from a small Vermont 
town decided they were going to kill somebody, steal his ATM cards, and go to 
Australia. So they went to a remote house in the woods a couple of towns away, 
knocked on the door, and said their car had broken down. The guy thought their 
story smelled funny so he picked up his Glock and told 'em to get lost. So they 
concocted a better story, and pretended to be students doing an environmental 
survey. Unfortunately, the next old coot in the woods was sick of 
environmentalists and chased 'em away. Eventually they figured they could spend 
months knocking on doors in rural Vermont and New Hampshire and seeing nothing 
for their pains but cranky guys in plaid leveling both barrels through the 
screen door. So even these idiots worked it out: Where's the nearest place 
around here where you're most likely to encounter gullible defenseless types 
who have foresworn all means of resistance? Answer: Dartmouth College. So they 
drove over the Connecticut River, rang the doorbell, and brutally murdered a 
couple of well-meaning liberal professors. Two depraved misfits of crushing 
stupidity (to judge from their diaries) had nevertheless identified precisely 
the easiest murder victims in the twin-state area. To promote vulnerability as 
a moral virtue is not merely foolish. Like the new Yale props department 
policy, it signals to everyone that you're not in the real world. 
  Yale, however, isn't even in the play real world. That has to be some kind of 
a new low in the avoidance of reality. And the aphorism of the Roman poet 
Horace applies to "reality" as well as "nature": "Though you drive nature out 
with a pitchfork, she will still find her way back." 

  Footnote: See also Jack Kelly's column on NBC's irresonsibility in 
contributing to "the next public mass killing in America." 

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