05 March 2008

Gun rights, abortion, and frustration with Congress?

Science fiction novelist and freelance writer extraordinaire John Scalzi links to a WaPo article about the political culture in the county where he lives.

The reporter summarizes interviewees’ points of contention as resting on gun rights, abortion, and frustration with Congress (thus the title for my own post). As can be expected, the article does a fantastic job of confirming my own biases, namely those that lead me to the conclusion that many of these people are at best ill-informed as a consequence of slurping from the Fox News trough… and at worst, outright hypocrites.

Blow by blow

  • Gun rights

    I’m going on this one anecdotally, since a call to the NRA Institute for Legislative Action rang off the hook.

    I’ve yet to hear of any concerted effort in the mainstream of the Left to promote a British-style ban on guns; the effort seems to focus on assault rife and concealed carry rights. Those, folks, are issues about personal power, and I bet that’s what’s got the mudflap demographic so riled up — the fundamental “pry it from my cold dead hands” issue and the ease with which ownership restrictions can be considered the top of a slippery slope. Meanwhile, the manner in which the Bush clique wants to leverage existing registration requirements into find-’em-anywhere-anytime domestic surveillance systems is an even greater threat to folks’ civil liberties.

  • Abortion

    This is the issue that really steams me, and not without cause¹. Stories of prosperity-gospel churchogers² and lifelong Catholics taking their knocked-up daughters in for abortions are legion in my experience; I can count two that involve close relatives². Meanwhile, the whole issue has always reeked to me of hypocrisy³: the same people who are egged on by Rush Limbaugh into pasting the Nanny State follow up by insisting that the government ought to legislate morality. The fuck?! So much for intellectual honesty.

  • Frustration with Congress

    The gamesmanship of parliamentary procedure has led both the D’s and the R’s to tiptoe around each other. Between that and the fact that too many of those bozos are beholden to moneyed interests and the demands of looking good for the media, you have a big domed building filled with 535 milquetoast characters. Meanwhile, those of us who want real change wait for someone to put the Internet to its best use.


¹ After I was born and until my parents’ divorce, abortion became Mom’s back-up method of birth control. The why-and-wherefore of this fact gets long in the telling, so I’ll save that litany for a time when I can do it without coming across like a total horse’s ass.

² The omission of “Christian” from the designation I give these people is deliberate, if something of an overgeneralization — many of these people do come across to me as sincere Christians, but plenty more do not.

³ Judging by sources, I seem to recall the Savior as saying “…and why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

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