Observations on Being Liberal
Apr 04, 201302:02PM
Based on several recent conversations with friends:
Rule 1: Don't assume you know the background of the person you're talking to. Judging someone by their appearance isn't fair, nor liberal. Disabilities don't always show. Culture, religion, background rarely show, nor does gender orientation. Pigeonholing people is not very tolerant, nor liberal.
Rule 2: Anyone can discuss an issue. They may not be correct, or they may not agree with you, or some of each or both. Telling people they don't get to discuss an issue is not going to convince them you're right. It's only going to convince them you're conceited.
Rule 3: If it's a technical subject, such as firearms, reproductive biology or even a religious faith, the technical knowledge is a necessary part of the debate. Don't claim to be "informed" if you can't answer basic technical questions on the subject. In such cases, it would behoove you to acquire some technical knowledge, or to consult with someone who does. Here's the tough part: You have to assume they know what they're talking about, and believe their statements, much as you would a professional in any field. If the facts make your position uncomfortable, then perhaps your position needs to change. You are entitled to your own informed opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts. And if your opinion is not informed, you're still entitled to it, but no one is obligated to take you seriously.
3A: If you don't trust a person's technical opinion, why did you ask for it? Getting a second opinion is fine. Asking other people who are ignorant of a subject to fact check the expert is not only insulting, it indicates you need to re-read this rule. If most of the subject matter experts tell you you're wrong, maybe you are. This doesn't mean you have to like the conclusion. You only have to accept it.
Rule 4: Once you've demonstrated bias through ignorance, your credibility on any other matter drops fast. See Rules 1 and 3.
Rule 5: It's entirely possible for someone to have the same or different sources, be informed, and come to a different conclusion. This does not mean either you or they are wrong. Few issues are binary in nature. This offers an opportunity to debate, share information, and improve your position, even if you never fully agree with the other party. And that's okay, because liberals are tolerant of dissent.
5A: Don't assume that someone disagreeing with you must be ignorant of the subject. Ask questions. Learn why they have their position.
Rule 6: If you are absolutely sure the other party is wrong by your interpretation, remember that you also don't know everything, and even matters of common knowledge change with time. This person may be comfortable in a previous or foreign culture, or they may be ahead of the curve and ready for a future society. More likely, the answer lies somewhere between.
Rule 7: Activists don't have to compromise. They're expected to be extreme. If this applies to you, remember it also applies to others. They're entitled to the same focus and drive you are.
Rule 8: Skin color only matters to people who care about skin color. A person with dark skin may be from somewhere Africa, the Caribbean, or the US or anywhere else. Each of these people will have a different background. Their skin color only affects how you treat them, and how you treat them affects how they respond as a person. If you make assumptions about them based on their skin color, you're being presumptuous. Likewise, a white skinned person may be from the US, from Europe, from Australia. They're not going to all be the same, either. In fact, even American geography matters. However, it's likely that two Americans (or Canadians, Aussies, Greeks, Chinese), even of differing appearance, will have more in common with each other than with two people who look the same from different nations. If this is a revelation to you, you may not be as unbiased as you like to think you are.
8A: If you're a middle class white American, lecturing people on how middle class white Americans shouldn't lecture people on race/color/culture, you may have run into a recursive logic failure. Also, if you're assuming from visual cues that the person you're debating with is a middle class white American just like you...see Rule 1.
Rule 9: Telling someone else how they think or feel is conceited, derogatory, and wrong. Please don't do it.
Rule 10: You know how the popular press always gets your subject wrong when they discuss it? You know how the opposing press leaves out key facts through error or deceit and presents you in a bad light? It's a good idea to assume the same thing happens with other subjects and to other groups. See Rule 3.
Rule 11: Epithets like "right winger" and "wingnut" and even "troll" don't encourage the other parties to continue discussion. They're also neither liberal nor tolerant. Unless you plan on exterminating or outbreeding the dissenters, you need to patiently try to persuade them. Some won't be persuaded. This is not your fault. It may not be their fault, either. All you can do is try.
Rule 12: Selection bias doesn't help. Seek out opposing viewpoints. You may change your own. You may strengthen yours. You may change or strengthen theirs. Worst case, you'll know how the opposition thinks and feels, and so will your allies. Holding carefully monitored discussions with your friends isn't a bad thing and has its place. But it's not an open discussion. Keep private matters private, and allow public discourse to be open. And echo chamber is not very useful.
Rule 13: If you're thinking of deleting, blocking, shutting down a dissenter or a thread because you don't like how the discussion is turning, you may not be as tolerant as you like to think you are. Certainly there are absolute trolls who contribute nothing. But a dissenter is useful under Rule 12.
Rule 14: Shocking fact: These same rules apply to conservatives. You may in fact find fora where you're tolerated and treated with respect. You also may find some where you're insulted and called a troll. You can complain about this...if you haven't committed the same act yourself.
Rule 15: Nothing is binary. There are pro-gun gays and feminists. There are anti-abortion atheists. There are black racial separatists. There are pro-gay Muslims and Pentecostal Christians. There are polyamorous Republicans. See Rule 1.
Rule 16: Even among people of the same general background, individuals have different experiences and perspectives. What's wrong for you may be right for them. Or it may simply be they're a product of their experiences.
Rule 17: If everyone agrees with you, you need to widen your circle. If you're not angry at something at least once a day, you're probably not learning anything.
Rule 18: Yes, it gets frustrating re-hashing the same material. If you've adopted the mantle, you have to try to be patient. Unfortunately, it's the only way. See Rules 11 and 13.
Rule 19: Some of your opponents will love you even though you're wrong. Try to extend them the same courtesy.
Rule 20: There is nothing morally wrong with apologizing. If you were perceived as offensive, or lost your temper, or even just misunderstood, apologize and try again. Often, that will make more progress than any number of graphs and charts.
Williamson's Fourth Law
Apr 03, 201311:59PM
If you look for racism, you will probably find it.
Let's consider science fiction:
If your black characters act like white characters, they're tokens, and you're a racist.
If your black characters act like black characters, they're stereotypes, and you're a racist.
If your black characters are in the forefront, you don't consider them capable of command, and you're a racist.
If your black characters are in command (Nick Fury, forex), then you don't have them in the forefront, and you're a racist.
If your black characters are good, they're shallow, and you're a racist.
If your black characters are villains, they're caricatures, and you're a racist.
If your black characters sacrifice themselves for the white characters (Phantom Menace, even though they weren't actually black, and Revenge of the Sith), they're throwaways and you're a racist.
If your black characters are saved by white characters, they're incompetent, and you're a racist.
If your black characters are kept safe, we're back to them being tokens, and you're racist.
If you decide not to mention race and let people draw their own conclusions about the characters, you're passive-aggressive on the subject, and a racist.
If you have a future where people have given up racial issues and interbred all genetic lines, then you've destroyed black race and culture, and you're a racist.
If you don't have Africa ascendant at some point in the future, because you believe environmental and political issues won't support that in your given timeframe, you're a racist.
If Africa is ascendant in your work, but contemporary mores would find your culture offensive, you're fabricating false perceptions and you're a racist.
If your future Africans choose a development that makes them too western, you're provincial and a racist.
If your black characters are conservative and successful, they had to sell out to have a place in your universe, and it's a racist culture. You're also a racist.
If you observe that Americans are predominantly white, the SF readership are predominantly white, and white writers don't get much reader attention from the black community, you're a racist.
If you decide all this is too complicated and don't use any black characters, you're definitely a racist.
The above only applies to a white writer. A black writer can use their characters any way they wish. If you complain about them overdeveloping black characters over their white characters, you're a racist.
A non-white, non-black writer writing about black characters gets a partial pass, if the liberal establishment likes their political position. It's entirely possible for an other minority writer to be racist.
If you try to analyze perceptions in order to make a better presentation of black characters, and discuss those issues online, you're a racist.
Stone Age Chicken (A recipe)
Apr 02, 201310:13PM
Based on research I'm doing for a story. I have no idea if this ever existed, and I don't think anyone else does. It works with materials that would have been easily available, however.
This is flexible, so it's easy to do wherever you are.
Slice your chicken into thin strips. This also works for goat.
Hot pan, hot rock, hot oven stone.
Sprinkle with rock or sea salt. Add some chopped scallion/wild onion/chive. Add rosemary or similar evergreen herb. The greens will likely pop and jump on the hot surface.
Lay the chicken down on the bed of salt and herbs. Once the edges are white, flip over. Cook until lightly brown.
In a pan, you can also pour in some brine in small drops, to sizzle under the meat.
For cooking on a grill, dredge in the salt mix before laying over the grill.
you can add vegetables if you wish.
My kids insist I cook this regularly.
Gay Marriage--This Discussion Is A Waste Of Time
Mar 27, 201309:47PM
Observed fact: Gays were not able to marry in the US for the duration of its existence, nor in the colonies before, until the last decade. No harm came to the US from this standard (Which was pretty much the world standard). So, if SCOTUS rules against this issue, the safety and existence of the United States is not in jeopardy.
In the last 15 years or so, several nations and several states have legalized gay unions and marriages. There are no observable direct or indirect repercussions causing damage to the political existence of these jurisdictions. So, if SCOTUS rules in favor, the safety and existence of the United States does not appear to be in jeopardy.
Every opposition to the matter I've heard comes down to either "Our religion doesn't like it," or "We've never done it that way."
Setting aside the religious question as not admissible in court, we come down to, "At the time the nation was founded, marriage was between one man and one woman."
And for the last two months, the Left (including a large number of gays) has been bleating that, "At the time the Constitution was written, 'arms' referred to muskets'" as an argument against any firearm designed after the 1870s.
So, logically, there are no arguments for, and the Left's own logic against.
Argument in favor of gay marriage fails for lack of support, and lack of logical consistency.
Unless, of course, the Left would like to compromise and concede that as time progresses, society and technology do, too. Then, they must apply that argument fairly to groups they don't agree with.
A Response To Someone's Comments On Gun Control
Mar 12, 201301:59PM
Okay, Tad, there are several problems with your post.
First, your comment about "weapons of easy mass murder (like machine guns and rocket launchers) ".
The statement is nonsensical, and doesn't apply to common household guns. I could respond with "no one is talking about legalizing rocket launchers, this is an argument you're only having with yourself." Except that I AM trying to reduce the restrictions on rocket launchers and machine guns. I'll be honest. However, your statement shows you really don't know much about machine guns. In fact, I'd venture to guess TV provides most of your information about them.
Point of fact, I have a Browning 1919A4 conversion. It weighs 33 lbs. It's tripod mounted. I can fire 400 rounds in a minute, but it will cost me $200 in ammo to do so. No one is using these for crime, nor will they ever.
A friend of mine brought his full auto Uzi to our last shoot. Under current law, that gun cost $6000, a $200 tax stamp, requires written permission of the federal government to be taken out of state, and a 32 round magazine ($12) lasts about 3 seconds. Unless you're a trained professional, the best hit rate is likely to be THREE of those 32 rounds, at 15 yards. You won't find any records of anyone committing "mass murder" with these because anyone with the training to do so would find a better way to do it. Automatic weapons serve specific niches. "Mass murder" and "robbing banks" aren't two of those.
Also, the weapons Mme Feinstein is trying to ban are common, everyday rifles. That you don't like their looks (it's because they're black, isn't it?/sarc) isn't relevant. They're common, everyday rifles. Calling them "Assault weapons," a completely made-up term (I might as well call a Hummer a "military style assault vehicle") doesn't change their mechanics, nor define them.
Now, this is a legal and constitutional matter, so you will have to be precise about what you mean, using proper terminology and nomenclature. I understand guns aren't your thing, and you're not comfortable with them. The problem is: That doesn't matter.
Here's a comparison on rhetoric for you to consider:
From Obama's PR people:
"The President believes firmly in protecting our Second Amendment rights.
But common-sense changes can go a long way in keeping our streets and our schools safer -- and there's too much at stake to stand by and wait for action.
The President will not wait. Yesterday, he signed 23 executive actions to start moving our country in the right direction. And he's calling on Congress to act on four legislative measures -- closing background check loopholes, banning military-style assault weapons, "
Then he DOES NOT believe in protecting our Second Amendment rights.
"He believes in protecting a woman's right to choose. He has called on Congress to require waiting periods and ultrasound before abortion..."
"He believes in protecting our First Amendment rights. He has called on Congress to regulate bloggers to prevent hate speech..."
"He believes in protecting the rights of gays. He has called on Congress to strengthen the Defense of Marriage Act..."
"He believes in protecting our right to worship freely. He has called on Congress to pass laws challenging the tax exempt status of churches who argue against science..."
You cannot "protect" a right while calling for limitations on it.
I have a constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms. SCOTUS says so. I'm sorry it makes you feel uncomfortable. At this point, your options are education on the subject, or therapy. Otherwise, you're trying to negotiate away my rights in exchange for…what? A "compromise" requires each side to give something. So what are you going to give me in exchange?
I've never heard anyone from your side (well-intended or not) offer a "compromise." What they want is for me to give up something I have, in exchange for…nothing.
No. Happy now?
No? Oh, I'm sorry. How about "No"?
You're not getting what you want. End of discussion. You have nothing to offer, and it wouldn’t matter if you did.
Consider: What can the hardcore fundamentalists offer as a compromise for ending abortion? What can they offer in exchange for outlawing recognition for gay partners? What can they offer in exchange for outlawing pornography?
See the problem? You want 100% of what you have, and 50% of what I have. When you talk about "weapons of easy mass murder," you're conflating the concept with guns that I own, and guns that my teenage kids have owned since they were seven years old http://olegvolk.livejournal.com/551736.html
http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/images/linked/EricBee2.jpg. Perfectly normal, common, guns, of the kind that shoot bullets, like every other gun. You do want to take those away from me, or make it more complicated for me to own them, and in exchange, you're offering me nothing.
So, it's not a compromise, so there is nothing to discuss.
And, SCOTUS says it's a constitutional right on my part. So again…nothing to discuss.
What we need to discuss is that you're afraid of something you can't effectively define in words, and you are a published author. If it's that hard for you, how hard is it for others? And why should we pass laws based on ignorance?
Now, here are a couple of links, that demonstrate what happens when people ignorant of a subject pass laws:
Let's look at that last part again:
"Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding."."
Constitutional right. I keep repeating it because a lot of well-meaning people are not getting it: It doesn't matter if you're unhappy. It wouldn't matter even if there WERE a connection between particular guns and murder. Much like there is a connection between homosexuality and AIDS. Provably. We live in a free society. We accept that certain actions of the individual aren't always positive for the body politic. But you can't argue against one without logically arguing against others. You can say "porn causes rape" or "gays cause AIDS" or "guns cause death" and the answer is, "So what?" even if you could make a valid case for them.
And as you can see from the posts above—the laws don't work. No effect whatsoever. Rifles are involved in less than 400 killings a year, out of a third of a billion people. Statistically irrelevant, and no cost benefit analysis would support such laws—the police and legal effort is better used elsewhere. Cases in point: The rifle at Sandy Hook was in compliance with CT's so-called "assault weapon" ban. It wasn't an "assault weapon." At Va Tech, the shooter used reduced capacity 10 round magazines. Banning standard capacity magazines (Definitions again: you don't get to redefine them as "high capacity" or call them "clips" based on your phobia and ignorance) had no effect. So, now New York is asking for 7 round limits…from no limit to 30 to 20 to 15 to 10 to 7 in some jurisdictions. You CANNOT tell me, with that information, that "no one is trying to take away your guns." Yes, they are.
Let's look at New York's law again: We've already effectively eliminated ownership of machine guns. We've had bans on "assault weapons" that prohibit designs from the 1930s. New York's law, now under court injunction, prohibits designs from the 1890s. So tell me, at what year of design do we stop? When is your non-compromise enough? You personally are willing to sacrifice my rights back to the 1930s. That's the equivalent of me limiting you to a manual typewriter, film camera and dial phone, and telling you no one is taking away your right to free speech…but maybe some of those typists have put out some hateful ideas, and need to be stopped. What can't you express with a fountain pen?
So, I'm sorry you're not happy with one of my rights. I'm afraid there is no legal, moral or practical reason for me to compromise. You'll need to come to terms with this, and move on with life.
And regarding Constitutional amendments, which you will never get past 38 states: Remember how Prohibition turned out. If you really want a multibillion dollar black market and a bigger police state, there are much easier ways to do it. Please don't. Because I can build an AK47 in my garage: http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/politics-The%20Steampunk%20AK47.html which means anyone with some 1900s machine tools can make thousands of them for a black market. Remember bathtub gin? Garage AKs, coming your way under a ban. Guns are a 1250s technology. Rifling is a 1570s technology. Self-loading weapons are an 1880s technology. You can't stop it.
That, and a whole bunch of us gun owners have decided liberals are not useful allies to us, http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/blog/item/the-post-in-which-i-piss-off-everybody (about 250K, last time I checked the page count) and are looking out for ourselves. That means we're voting for "right wing" candidates, who will also oppose your positions on gays, porn, religion, speech and race issues. But those aren't my problems, and I have to put mine first. If you're willing to "compromise" my rights away, there is no reason for me not to compromise yours away in return, to save what matters to me. See how that works?
It doesn't matter whether you agree, or like it. It matters that it's what IS.
Now, let's look at other comments:
You said: "And, no, I don't think taking anyone's gun away is the same as inserting a probe into someone's body, nor is mandated anger management class."
And in your universe, you get to decide. In our society, SCOTUS has said you're wrong. It doesn't matter what you think. And that is the end of the discussion. Because if it's not, then your opponents' opinions on those other matters have to be given the same weight as yours. Also, you're admitting you think there are civil rights that can be restricted without it being "unreasonable." That means you have no moral standing to argue against restrictions on abortion, speech, etc. As you note, the question is where is reasonable. If Americans vote for it, using your logic, it's reasonable. Do you really want to go there?
Now, back to this:
"weapons of easy mass murder (like machine guns and rocket launchers) privately, except in certain collector-related circumstances."
"Collecting." So you're okay owning them as toys, but not for their intended use. Doesn't that seem a bit contradictory? "It's okay to own this horrible weapon I hate, for fun. Just don't use it." How would you enforce that? Again, you're using emotion over logic. If they were really that dangerous, and not a protected right, why would anyone be allowed to have them for any reason? "It's okay to have a canister of nerve gas, as a collectible." Really?
You said: "any more than you can drive a nitro-burning funny car down the streets of your neighborhood, unless you live on a drag strip."
But that's the point. Just as I take my funny car to the dragstrip, I take my .50 BMG to a range 80 miles from here that has a mountain as a backstop. It also is 4' long and weighs 28 lbs, and ammo is five bucks a round, so I'm not exactly going to rob a bank with it. What you're saying is, "You can't own a nitro-burning funny car because you MIGHT drive it on the street." BTW, the nitro burning funny car, as long as the chassis predates emission control, would be perfectly legal, as long as I complied with the driving laws. So it's unreasonable to race on streets or shoot guns on streets except in dire emergency? We agree. What's the problem?
You said: "Just like everything, it's a question of where the lines are drawn."
Correct. And SCOTUS says we're right. Even on the NFA registry, existing decisions on other matters make it pretty clear we're going to win when the discussion gets there, much like the First Amendment people overturned the ban on the Kama Sutra in the 1950s. The line has been drawn. You don't like it. I'm sorry you don't like it. I guess that's a problem for you. Some people don't like gays. Some don't like alcohol. Some don't like meat.
Final note: Based on a tiny handful of incidents over several years, you are, unintentionally, wishing to affect the lifestyles of 94 million families. Consider if someone were to do the same over Penn State and Bradley Manning. Would it be fair or reasonable?
Has Anyone Else Done This Mod?
Mar 01, 201307:27PM
If you put an M4 style accessory stock on your AK, you have this AR extension tube on the back, with nothing in it:
So, with a bit of lathe work, you can turn it into storage space.
I'm thinking of calling it the Butt Plug.
Vice President Shithead Doesn't Understand the Constitution
Feb 19, 201309:26PM
"How can I say this politely?
The Constitution does allow the government to conclude that there are certain types of weapons that no one can legally known. Now, if that were not the case, then you should be able to go buy a flame-thrower that the military has. You should be able to go, if you're a billionaire, buy an F-15 loaded with ordnance. You should be able to buy an M1 tank. You should be able to buy a machine gun. You should be able to buy a grenade launcher. And you can't do those things."
How can I say this politely, Vice President Shithead?
You're a fucking moron:
Now, please cite the part where "The Constitution does allow the government to conclude that there are certain types of weapons that no one can legally known."
BTW, flamethrowers are unregulated by federal law, and the military doesn't use them anymore.
Gun Control, Summarized
Feb 18, 201306:54PM
Any REAL liberal would recognize it as right wing, racist bullshit.
First you require transfers through people with licenses and complicated rules for transport.
Then that mfrs submit guns for destructive "testing."
You set standards for material and production that have nothing to do with safety or reliability (which is of no concern in stopping crime, really--who cares if guns jam, if you're trying to stop crime?), but everything to do with driving up production costs.
Then you require rules on storage and locks.
Sample bullets for "tracking," that every real expert can prove don't help track anything, just add additional labor to the production cost.
Pretty soon you can't get a gun for under $1000 with several hundred $ a year in legal maintenance.
Thus fucking everyone living in poverty from defending themselves, and ensuring that only rich white "liberal" cocksuckers can own them.
It is immoral, it is racist, it is statist, it is classist, it is indefensible, and we need to start calling people on it.
Just How Vomitous is Cuomo?
Feb 17, 201307:09AM
Here is a list of just some of the crimes NY finds less offensive than owning a standard capacity AR or Glock magazine (a class D felony).
If you believe that owning a magazine for a common gun is worse than anything below, please kill yourself at once.
120.70 - Luring a child | E Felony
121.11 - Criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation | A Misdemeanor
125.10 - Criminally negligent homicide | E Felony
130.20 - Sexual misconduct | A Misdemeanor
130.25 - Rape 3rd degree | E Felony
130.40 - Criminal sexual act 3rd degree | E Felony
130.52 - Forcible touching | A Misdemeanor
130.53 - Persistent sexual abuse | E Felony (repeat child molester, must be caught and convicted in two separate cases before the charges even reach this level)
130.65A - Aggravated sexual abuse 4th degree | E Felony
130.85 - Female genital mutilation | E Felony
135.05 - Unlawful imprisonment 2nd degree | A Misdemeanor
135.10 - Unlawful imprisonment 1st degree | E Felony
135.45 - Custodial interference 2nd degree | A Misdemeanor
135.50 - Custodial interference 1st degree | E Felony
135.55 - Substitution of children | E Felony (switched at birth type of thing)
135.60 - Coercion 2nd degree | A Misdemeanor
150.01 - 5th degree Arson | A Misdemeanor
150.05 - 4th degree Arson | E Felony
178.10 - 4th degree Criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions | A Misdemeanor
178.15 - 3rd degree Criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions | E Felony
220.28 - Use of a child to commit a controlled substance offense | E Felony
240.05 - Riot 2nd degree | A Misdemeanor
240.06 - Riot 1st degree | E Felony
240.08 - Inciting to riot | A Misdemeanor
240.10 - Unlawful assembly | B Misdemeanor
240.15 - Criminal anarchy | E Felony
240.20 - Disorderly conduct | Violation
240.61 - Placing a false bomb or hazardous substance 2nd degree | E Felony
250.45 - Unlawful surveillance 2nd degree | E felony (Hidden cams for sexual gratification)
255.25 - Incest 3rd degree | E Felony
263.11 - Possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child | E Felony
263.16 - Possessing a sexual performance by a child | E Felony
The Post in Which I Piss Off EVERYBODY.
Feb 13, 201301:57AM
Or, How I Learned To Stop Caring.
By way of introduction, I'd like to explain some of my former positions. Please do not reply and tell me why I'm wrong. That's not relevant to this post. These WERE my positions, for right or wrong.
I used to believe women had a right to reproductive choice. As a male, I will obviously never have an abortion. I supported access because birth control is cheaper than abortions, abortions are cheaper than welfare, welfare is cheaper than jail. And I don't believe the government is capable of legislating for every circumstance. Most of the time, a woman and her doctor will make a decision that works for the situation, and until a baby is an independent organism, it's a parasite. This was also important to me because my wife was warned that a further pregnancy could kill her. That's been surgically remedied and is no longer a problem.
I used to believe gays were entitled to relate as they wished, including marriage. What two people do together doesn't affect me unless I'm one of them.
I used to believe it was wrong to treat people differently based on their skin color. Even if a few people fit a stereotype, millions of others do not.
I used to believe there should be a strong division between church and state, that any support of a religious entity using property of the state constituted endorsement and was wrong.
I used to believe people had a right to protest, campaign, rant and create non-violent incidents to express themselves and their positions. I also believed they had a right to publish as they chose. I believed they were entitled to burn the Flag in protest, to make a statement.
I have obviously been at odds with conservatives over these positions. There have been loud arguments, heated discussions and occasional insults.
I believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. The Supreme Court agrees with me, which means that right is as valid as abortion, sexual privacy, protest and speech.
This should mean that strict scrutiny applies, meaning the government needs to prove the fabric of society itself is at risk before limiting it. Just as the Press has the right to broadcast troop movements it can see or acquire, regardless of casualties, I have the right to own weapons, regardless of how someone else may act. "Someone might get hurt" is an invalid excuse for restriction.
In fact, it's easy enough to prove that freedom of the press HAS caused harm and even death to people, whether it's troop movements, or the address of a person of interest.
The rights of gays to relate as they wish brings the risk of AIDS (60% of all cases are from gay relations, not drugs or medical contamination.)
It's provable that if we required proof of need before awarding a driver's license, we'd have less car accidents.
So, the argument that "guns kill people" is null and irrelevant to the discussion. Lots of things kill people. That's not relevant to our civil rights.
Now, over this position, I've had at least 5 death threats (though of course, no "liberal" actually has the balls to attempt so).
I've twice been reported to Family Services on the grounds that I have guns in the house, which means I'm a danger to my kids (which complaints were laughed at, here in Indiana).
I've been accused of racism...because I own guns.
I've been accused of fascism…because I own guns.
I've been called a coward…no "real man" needs a gun to protect himself. This is a surprise to me as a veteran, who carried guns regularly for the purpose of protecting myself and others, but what do I know?
I've been called a "Fat, Fox News watching, McDonald's munching, inbred, retarded, drooling redneck imbecile."
I've been told I have a small penis.
I've been told I'm insane to "imagine fighting the government" by people with no military experience who also hate the government, sometimes for the same reasons.
I've had a date tell me I "seem so normal, for a gun nut."
I've been called a "rightwinger." Indeed. A gay/female/black/abortion/separation of church and state/free speech supporting rightwinger.
I've been told this right doesn't exist, that if it exists I can't "pretend" it's more important than wage inequality for women, or gay marriage.
When the Heller Decision was decided in favor of gun ownership, I was told "I hope you all shoot yourselves with guns, because I can't marry the man I love!" by an alleged friend.
There's apparently a "Right to feel safe," and my owning a gun destroys it, because I might shoot someone. However, if I say a gun makes me feel safe, I'm paranoid and insane.
I've been told I support "baby killers."
I've been threatened with having my Wikipedia page vandalized, by someone who claimed he was more of a man than me.
I've been told I can't be trusted. How can anyone know I won't go on a shooting spree, because I own an "assault rifle"?
So much for liberal tolerance.
I didn't realize I was so evil and hateful an individual I deserved to be treated in such fashion.
But when I look at the arguments, I think they may be correct:
"At the time the Constitution was written, the weapons in question were muskets."
You know what? You're right. And marriage was between one man and one woman. So what's with gay marriage? No longer will I offer any moral support, oppose any online statements attacking it, speak out for it. They have the same right as anyone—to marry someone of the opposite gender. And given that all gays support raping little boys (just like all gun owners support shooting school kids), I don't think I can support them. We should do things just the way they were done 220 years ago. That's the liberal way.
"The Heller Decision was by an activist court. It doesn't count."
Indeed. Just like Roe v Wade was an activist decision. It doesn't count.
"We're not trying to take your guns away, just have reasonable limits. It's a compromise."
And some people want reasonable limits on abortion, like waiting periods, gestational time limits, ultrasound, etc. It's a reasonable response to an activist court decision, and reasonable restrictions on a right, for public benefit. Don't come whining about your right to murder babies, and I won't come to you whining about my right to shoot school kids.
And no one is saying you can't ride the bus. You just have to sit where people think is reasonable. No one is saying women can't work. They just have to get paid what is reasonable for the work they do, allowing for the fact they're going to leave the workplace and raise a family. It's a compromise.
"Assault weapons are an extreme interpretation."
True. And not allowing any religious emblems on government premises is an extreme interpretation. As long as they're privately paid for, what's it to you? No one is saying you can't belong to the Christian church of your choice, just not to extreme groups, like atheists or Muslims. It would be paranoid to think anyone was trying to infringe on your legitimate right to be free from state religion, just like I'd be paranoid to think they wanted to take my guns. Quite a few states had official churches well into the 1800s. This is not an infringement on your freedom of religion.
"Given Sandy Hook, you have to make reasonable compromises."
"We just want licensing and safe storage requirements so the wrong people don't get guns."
"Publicizing the information lets people make informed choices about who they live near."
Accepted. In exchange, gay men should make reasonable compromises over Penn State. They will simply have to accept being registered and kept a safe distance from children. This isn't a violation of their rights. It's just common sense. The public has a right to know.
This should apply to protests, too. No reasonable person would object to being identified. They should welcome it—it means they can't be wrongly maligned. All union members, blacks, gays and feminists should be signed in with ID before a march or gathering, just so we can track the real criminals to keep the rest safe.
"The country survived without assault weapons for 240 years."
True (well, no, it was 135 years, depending on your definition of "assault weapon"). And it survived without women in combat even longer. The infantry's trying to scare off women? Serves them right. Things were working just fine the way they were.
"This woman is being badly portrayed on the cover of a book."
No, no, that's an accurate portrayal, just like all military contractors are sociopathic mercenaries who torture people, all gun owners are moral cowards with Walter Mitty complexes and all gun dealers exist to make money from gangbangers. It's silly to suggest one group is singled out for inaccurate portrayals when we know the other portrayals are spot on.
Yup. I'm taking you at your word. Want money? Don't care. Want a petition signed? Call someone who who gives a shit. Want a link spread? Yawn. Women or gays or blacks or Hispanics don't feel they're being treated nicely? So what?
First they came for the blacks, and I spoke up because it was wrong, even though I'm not black.
Then they came for the gays, and I spoke up, even though I'm not gay.
Then they came for the Muslims, and I spoke up, because it was wrong, even though I'm an atheist.
When they came for illegal aliens, I spoke up, even though I'm a legal immigrant.
Then they came for the pornographers, rebels and dissenters and their speech and flag burning, and I spoke up, because rights are not only for the establishment.
Then they came for the gun owners, and you liberal shitbags threw me under the bus, even though I'd done nothing wrong. So when they come to put you on the train, you can fucking choke and die.
Or you can commit seppuku with a chainsaw. I really don't care anymore. This is the end of my support for any liberal cause, because liberals have become anything but.
UPDATE: A friend of mine observes that he voted for legalized pot and gay marriage in his state, and now those same activists, with time and resources freed up, are attacking his right to keep and bear arms.
No, it really doesn't make sense to help them, they will only stab you in the back. They're not "liberals" and they don't want "liberty." They want liberty for them, but not for you.