Modern sensibilities

Ann Woolner provides an excellent example of the problem in Give Us a Right to Be Free of Those Who Bear Arms. The title illustrates a lack of tolerance for other people and their views. In order to support the desire to be free of certain type or class of person, that class is then assigned certain ‘bad’ behaviors.

I favor a reverse Second Amendment. It would read something like this:

“Well-regulated firearms, being necessary to the security of the states, the right of the people to be safe from gunfire as they go about their daily lives shall not be infringed.”

This should be a familiar pattern to those who understand racism. In this case, the assumption is made that the right to carry firearms means that society is subject to a lack of safety due to gunfire. The desire to be free from any risk of gunfire is laudable. It is the connection between that and the lawful carrying of firearms where the problem arises. This is analogous to expressing dislike of some racial or ethnic group and rationalizing that dislike by asserting that that group has some despicable or other bad characteristic or behavior – as a group.

If you read the opinion, you’ll see other characteristics besides this bigoted racism. There is the use of ridicule. There is the reduce to the absurd. There is a problem connecting to reality. There is fear to go with the loathing. There is the scary example implied to be the norm.

There is a constitutional concept that allows us to be free from certain people we loathe or abhor. It is the freedom of association. That, like the freedom to bear arms, requires responsibility, tolerance, and acceptance of its limitations. Many have tried to have ‘gun free’ compounds. That is their right. Where it becomes a problem is when they try to foist that value on everyone else and force them to also live in such a compound. That is the essence of modern sensibilities: we know what is good for you because it is what we like.

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