Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Guns and Magical Thinking

I’ve made no secret that I once called myself a liberal. I believed that all people should enjoy American life without discrimination based on race, age, gender, or even their sexuality. I still believe it. I believed that a clean environment is better than one in which a river catches fire (and more than once). I still believe it.

But liberalism left me some time ago. For one thing, it moved to nannyism. It thinks the state should decide if I can own a gun, smoke a cigarette, play cards for money on a computer, and other things too numerous to list. It also moved into what I will call “magical thinking.” I tend to be logical and straightforward in my thinking and liberals lost me with this crap.

To be fair, most if not all of us engage in a little magical thinking. We cross our fingers hoping to improve our changes at something. Still, most of know that crossing our fingers doesn’t change the odds one whit.

Too many on the left believe that their “magical thinking” is actually worth something. All of us have seen bumper stickers that say “Visualize Peace.” Many ardent environmentalists also visualize Gaia as a real Earth Goddess (see the kid’s cartoon show Captain Planet as one example).

Not only is the Earth personified, but so are guns. Alphecca points us to an “Idiot Thinker of the Day.” His name is David Gerard and he penned a rambling editorial full of magical thinking.

Gerard’s editorial was in response to Jonah Goldberg’s opinion on embryonic research. Evidently Goldberg stated that science is neutral. That drove Gerard to posit that things are not neutral; guns for example, “…the more complicated tools and machines get, like guns, the more personal they get. Guns don’t like living beings. Their goal is to eliminate living beings.”

I’ve said that I bought a gun because “it spoke to me,” but that means I liked it for itself and that I wanted to add it to my collection and to shoot it. I know that the gun doesn’t speak to me, but I’m not sure if Gerard really understands that guns have no ability to not like human beings or that they can’t have a goal. Guns don’t think.

Somehow Gerard blames President Bush for not stopping the potential genocide in Darfur. I have news for Gerard. The only ways to really stop a slaughter that the government of that area abets, if not causes, is to arm the people being killed or to go to war—with guns.

Guns are used for good and evil. They don’t cause either one. No amount of magical thinking will change that fact.

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