“Peterson is no survivor of gun violence. Her sister was murdered by her criminal brother in law. She wasn’t even there.
This isn’t something I would have ever said to Joan, because I think her grief is genuine and real, and I wouldn’t want to appear to be diminishing it or trivializing it. But I’m also not sure why Link’s statement is fundamentally wrong as a matter of how we generally think about these things.
Those who have been reading for a while know my mother died of breast cancer when I was 20 years old. She was diagnosed in my early teens and spent about 8 years fighting a losing battle against the disease. So I not only know what it’s like to lose a loved one, I know what it’s like to watch them slowly die and deteriorate over a period of years.
But yet the title of this post would make you think I had cancer, had beat cancer, or had otherwise somehow been directly victimized by it. By the same token, if I had said I was a suicide victim, it might make you wonder if I had tried it, or was giving a new definition to the term “ghost writing.” Usually when we speak in the context of victimhood, we assume a direct association with the person who was victimized. If your sister was raped, you’d say your sister was a victim of rape. You wouldn’t say you were a victim of rape. People would naturally assume that meant you yourself were raped.
There’s a lot of religion in this issue, on both sides. I don’t mean literal religion, but figurative, in the sense that the same kind of devotions, faiths, heresies, dogmas and scriptures are at work at a very fundamental level. But our religion is the role firearms play within the American cultural and political framework. It is heresy to the other side, because their religion centers around victimhood. Victimhood, to us, is heresy. Or at least the type of victimhood their religion centers around is. In short, Link was questioning Joan’s religion, and while that’s never polite, I can’t be so quick to say it’s incorrect. If it is, then I’m a cancer victim.