You see, once again our nation suffered a collective injury when a shooter entered a building and murdered children in their classrooms and school hallways. Instead of addressing the multitude of issues surrounding this tragedy, many Americans decided instead to attack those asking to discuss the issue of gun reform. In doing so, it becomes quite obvious our nation is in deep trouble. How so? We are in deep trouble because so many cling to the Second Amendment without knowing anything else about our Constitution, that's how.
This week I replied to someone on Facebook when someone posted blatant falsehoods about gun control advocates. The responses I received were, well, frightening. No, no one threatened me with physical harm. What they collectively did though sent a shiver down my back. I know, "suck it up and take it like a man!" Except no matter how hard one may try to enlighten fellow Americanas on anything, many people feel empowered not to argue facts, but instead attack, attack and attack yet again anyone that opposes their views. I can take the attacks, but it's the content of the attacks that disturb me. How so?
As soon as I pointed out that Chicago has not had strict gun laws since they were struck down in the McDonald case some 10 years ago, I was met with; "you are such an arrogant asshole!" When I pointed out that Chicago is not the "Murder capital of the World" and posted links to prove both points, I was not met with "Hey, thanks for correcting this for me." instead, I got a lot of "You think you are so smart and we are so dumb!" Actually, prior to engaging with them in this "conversation", I never considered anyone stupid, just unaware that their positions are based upon myth and falsehoods. Another responded with "Ya, just continue flying your rainbow flag and pushing your leftist agenda and you can leave America if you don't like it!" One obvious problem is none of the responders cited any evidence I was wrong - just that I was "Condescending and Arrogant" and "worthless." By now you know I try and try again to get through to people (it's the pedantic educator in me), but when like-minded people jumped in to say "I've checked you profile and lawyers are the least respected people in America!" how does that makes sense when arguing about guns?
Another responder chimed in that I am a "leftist that wants to take our guns away from us!" And obviously, I have "no idea what the Second Amendment says!" When I suggested they read Scalia's opinion in the D.C. v Heller gun case, I was met with even more strident barrage of hate. "Courts are a joke. Unelected judges make decisions that mean nothing. We are not bound by decisions of Courts!" Anyone else see the irony of Americans wrapping themselves up in the Second Amendment while having no idea what the rest of the Constitution says or the objective of the Framers to vest interpretative powers in an unelected judiciary - to make them independent from the pressures of the uneducated in America (affectionately known as the "mob."). When I raised the notion of reading The Federalist Papers #78, their response was more direct - "We know everything we need to know and don't have to take direction from an asshole that thinks he's smarter than we are. This is why Trump won and will win again - because of people just like you!" And that is when I told them to have a nice day but that I was no longer going to waste my time.
So when indictments come down to prove Russian interference in our elections, these same folks scream "Who needs the FBI, they are all 'deep state traitors!'", score one for Putin. Thanks Mr. Trump. You have unleashed the ignorant and their vile hatred of knowledge (as long as it doesn't come from Fox news, it must be fake!). Which gets me to my point. I was taught to respect intelligence. To embrace the notion that "I don't know what I don't know" and to surround myself with people that are smarter than me because hopefully their knowledge and wisdom would be shared and come to me. Instead, in America today we have a class of citizens that feel they already know everything they will ever need to know and detest anyone with more formal education or experience beyond their provincial foundations. And these my friends are the "Trumplings!" So we are in scary times. Not just because of the proliferation of mass shootings and death in the form of unlimited access to weapons, but because we now have a large swatch of the electorate currently celebrating ignorance - and it has and will continue to cost us all as a nation.
As President Thomas Jefferson once wrote; "Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." Sadly, our liberty and our nation is threatened from within -by those too ignorant to learn, too cocksure to realize others may actually know more, and who have forgotten that civic duty goes beyond pushing narratives designed to divide us from each other. Have a great week!