No guns at political fights
Have you seen the pictures of protesters with unconcealed weapons outside of rallies for President Obama? Is anyone as appalled and shocked as I am? I am torn: Should we celebrate the confirmation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech or is the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms what we should be talking about? Maybe it’s the dysfunction of contemporary American politics and the gridlock created by partisan machinations. These subjects are all worthy of inspection, but something else caught my eye—the concept of political bullies.
A bully is defined as a “blustering, browbeating person; especially: one habitually cruel to others who are weaker.” Bullies and bullying aren’t just for children and teenagers anymore. But once an individual straps on a semi-automatic weapon, he may be stronger, but not smarter. American history is full of fights against those who are habitually cruel to others who are weaker. It’s part of what makes America and the American Dream so attractive to the rest of the world. The issues on the table—health care, war, torture, immigration, the environment and the economy—must be confronted head-on, but with rational, reasonable debate. There will be, and should be, disagreements about how to resolve these problems in the best interests of America and all of its residents. The television and radio are filled with folks who, with their blustering and browbeating rhetoric, incite behavior and speech that don’t enhance or promote intelligent, useful debate.
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin gave us a preview of the potency of the vicious recklessness of political discourse when she distracted us with claims that President Obama “used to pal around with terrorists.” Remember the ugly, scared response from the crowds…the mobs? We should see the tactics of bullies with guns and microphones for what they are—distractions. Our government’s system of checks and balances was created to fight against the tyranny of a mob. We shouldn’t try to settle American political disagreements by strapping on a firearm. Bullies thrive on fear and the absence of reason. Stand up for our democracy with your participation. And speak out against the bullying tactics of these political mobs. But please, no more guns at political fights.