In a brief flash of honesty on the issue, or perhaps a Freudian slip, queen of the gun-banners Dianne Feinstein recently admitted that she didn’t think any law would have kept the mad dog at Mandalay Bay from carrying out his depraved murder spree last week. Others on her side of the issue, however, don’t even have those brief moments of facing reality.
Case in point: a few days ago, a person I’ll call Jim reached out to me at a place where I haven’t worked for eight years and opened a dialogue that began, “I would be grateful to know what you believe policy makers should do to reduce the incidence of gun violence in America. I know this is a topic of great controversy, but surely there are things we can do to insure justice, domestic tranquility and the general defense. Your experience and expertise merits soliciting your opinion. So, what are your thoughts?”
Seemed like an ordinary person with a logical question, so I gave him the following honest answer: “I don’t see how the black Swan Event in Las Vegas this week could have been foreseen or prevented. For gun violence in general, we have an ample number of gun laws now, but they need to be enforced, and we need more prisons and a return of serious mental institutions. Unfortunately, there are no simple answers to complex problems.
Cordially, Mas “
Jim’s response was: “Thank you for your reply. While I understand there may not be simple solutions, I remain interested in hearing a pro gun perspective on solving what is undeniably a lethal problem. Therefore, I repeat my request for your suggestion on how society can address the problem of mass shootings in America. It need not be simple, but surely it must withstand scrutiny and at least promise to make people safer than we are with deadly weapons easily available to killers. You may not like the idea of repealing the second amendment, requiring insurance, training and licensing, or disarming citizens. But those are ideas worthy of discussion and absent concrete alternatives, they are the only ones that will be considered. The status quo is unacceptable.”
Huh. Apparently enforcing laws, having enough prisons, and improving the mental health care system are not “concrete alternatives.” Seeing where this was going, I replied,
“If the solutions you propose are the only ones you will accept, we have nothing to discuss.
Jim’s answer: “Does that mean you have no solution? Or do you just want to avoid any discussion? As long as people get killed by deranged gunmen, there are going to be demands for action. I am willing to hear your proposals, if you have any. That is why I asked you to comment. The statement, “If the solutions you propose are the only ones you will accept, we have nothing to discuss” sounds like a cop out to me. In fact, had you read my message, it said ‘absent concrete alternatives, they are the only (ideas) that will be considered.’ If you have any ideas worthy of discussion then you have an obligation to present them. And if you think people sometimes die in a free society and we should get used to it, then have the courage to say so and explain why your ‘freedom’ is worth the lives that will be lost when some crazy gets it in mind to slaughter innocent people.”
“Freedom.” In quotes. In today’s parlance, that’s a trigger. I responded, “Sir, you wrote: ‘You may not like the idea of repealing the second amendment, requiring insurance, training and licensing, or disarming citizens. But those are ideas worthy of discussion and absent concrete alternatives, they are the only ones that will be considered.’ You’ve made up your mind and are not open to dialogue. I don’t have time for that.”
His reply: “You are not presenting alternative ideas. Are you not concerned about the victims of gun violence? Do you have no solutions? This is your last chance to participate in a meaningful dialogue. Gun control supporters have ideas. Shall we report that pro gun citizens are unable to suggest action, that they think society should just cope with things the way they are, or that they just don’t care? Your failure to address the original question creates a vacuum in which the conversation is ‘absent concrete alternatives’ so speak out or shut up.”
Being told to shut up by the guy who opened the conversation and had completely ignored the “concrete solutions” I had offered right off the bat, pretty much drained my last reserves of BS tolerance. I wrote back: “Jim, a few things you don’t understand. — You don’t have standing to give people last chances. — I have no idea who you are. You have no standing to begin a dialogue, particularly since…– Your research thus far has been so poor, it led you to contact me at an email address I left years ago. — You postulated to me a discussion in which the only possible answers were some form of ‘gun control’ long since proven to be useless. This smacks of an internet troll, not someone wishing to begin a meaningful dialogue. — And, since your own correspondence with me indicated you didn’t have a clue about violence beyond gun control, you probably wouldn’t grasp anything I suggested anyway. Don’t bother me anymore, Jim. I don’t have time for this bullshit. Sincerely, Massad Ayoob”
Which prompted Jim’s latest, today: “I’m writing a story and you will feature prominently in it…. big mouth gun advocate who has no idea how to protect society from dangers created of prolific firearms”
Knock yourself out, Jim. It should be fun.
By the way, folks, Jim’s last name is consistent with a man described thus by the Washington Times: “… a Democratic strategist (who) sent out a tweet from his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon with the hashtag ‘HuntRepublicanCongressmen’ after the shooting of Republican Congressman Steve Scalise. ‘I think it speaks for itself,’ (he) said of the tweet on Thursday afternoon. ‘Yesterday’s events are the result of escalating rhetoric and vitriol that has been evident in our political system culminating with the election of our president and the chickens came home to roost, you know?’”