So, um, hi.
Yeah, I haven’t posted since the election. Sorry about that. I don’t even have a really good excuse for that; I just haven’t felt compelled at all to post. That kind of changed today, as the world went insane, and I ended up spewing forth with a rant on a friend’s Facebook wall today.
It started because he quoted that famous Ronald Reagan quote which says,
We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
That got a lot of thumbs up from his fellow conservatives, and another friend suggested that this is the kind of crisis that would be used to implement authoritarianism, and then I decided to reply and, well, just look:
Yeah, so not very polite, but oh well. I’ve written before about this specific Reagan quote and how much it bothers me.
If you’re having a hard time reading the image in that small font, here’s what I wrote:
There’s never been a bigger abdication of responsibility in the history of our country than Reagan’s words here. Every one is responsible for their own actions, but we are also collectively responsible for the society we create.
Conservatives claim to believe in personal responsibility but whenever something like this happens they refuse to look at how their own actions may have in any way contributed to this tragedy. Are we adequately funding mental health facilities? Are we willing to have a serious discussion on how to protect society within the bounds of the 2nd amendment, how to fulfill the “well-regulated” portion of the text, or do we instead demagogue any attempt to address these issues, accusing anyone who would seek to ban certain types of weapons or create waiting periods of being authoritarians, accusing people trying to find solutions within the framework of the constitution of just wanting to take away our guns, lying about their motives to win the next election?
Whenever something like this happens conservatives refuse to hear even the most benign ideas for prevention. Could we limit the size of clips? No, authoritarianism. Could we have a waiting period for buying guns? Tyranny! Could we do background checks on people when they buy a gun? Big brother! Can we better identify people who are mentally ill, and treat them before they hurt other people? Nanny state! We can’t afford it!
Each individual is accountable for his actions. Absolutely true. And each conservative who refuses to even discuss this issue in a helpful way or without accusing the other side of opportunistically using a crisis “to implement authoritarianism” is accountable for impeding any useful prevention.
Instead of looking inward at what the policies that have been pushed by the ghouls at the NRA, you guys want to fall back on the comforting words of Ronald Reagan, and tell yourselves that you share no blame whatsoever for what has happened. That’s what that quote is all about. It’s about covering your own sorry asses. Because deep down, you know. You know that your actions and the people you choose to support and all the stupid posts attacking Bob Costas for even daring to talk about gun culture is part of why no politician would even dare to bring up meaningful legislation that could have prevented this.
Have fun on congratulating yourselves for not actually pulling the trigger. The man who pulled the trigger deserved to be held fully accountable for his actions, absolutely. He is 100% responsible for his own actions. You’re right about that. But blame is not a zero-sum game. There’s plenty to go around.
I’m just so angry about today. I’m simply not in the mood for bullshit from these people. Not today.