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Busybodying May Be The Most Powerful Force in the Universe

How much have busybodies infiltrated the corridors of power? Enough that the National PTA has a position on guns, and it’s so badly done, you almost won’t believe it. Their definition of a semi-automatic assault weapon is hysterically ignorant. There’s one part of the position I’m somewhat OK with, “require knowledge of appropriate firearms use and safety practices.” I agree, so let’s get rifle teams back in our high schools, and have the team members run the gym class where the kids get introduced to that kind of thing.

Most of us here are Dems, Republicans, Libertarians, etc. But if we had to really pick a party that would truly represent us, it would probably be the “Leave Me the Hell Alone” Party. The problem is, because we’re the types that like to be left alone, we don’t really seek out offices and avenues by which we put ourselves in the position of running other people’s lives. We’re just not into that. You do your thing, I’ll do my thing, and as long as you’re not screwing up my shit and I’m not screwing up yours, we’re good.

But the busybody, especially the morally crusading busybody (lets face it, most gun control activists come off as Gladys Kravitz types to me), have every incentive to seek out those kinds of positions. You can even see it in this election: the DC-based religious right establishment is ready to have a cow if Trump wins, because the people they claim to represent put him there! The system picked out the worst moralizing crusaders and sent them to DC because they are the ones with the right incentives to get into those kinds of positions. To give government more power is to give moralizing busybodies more power, because that’s what’s attracted to government.

Most of us don’t want power to rule others: we want to be left alone. But in order to be left alone, you have to seek enough power to make them leave you alone. That, I think, is our great Catch 22.

12 Responses to “Busybodying May Be The Most Powerful Force in the Universe”

  1. Whetherman says:

    “we don’t really seek out offices and avenues by which we put ourselves in the position of running other people’s lives.”

    Oh? Have you considered those among us who may have supported the tactics of “stealth” that were popularized by a faction of the conservative movement, that now appears to make up its backbone?

    • Sebastian says:

      That’s a bit of what I’m writing about. The people who have the motivation to achieve power are usually motivated by the wrong things, like running other people’s lives. So yes, dominionists would be more motivated to seek out positions of influence over ordinary evangelical voters. So you’d expect them to wield influence well beyond their actual numbers.

      • Whetherman says:

        “So you’d expect them to wield influence well beyond their actual numbers.”

        I would argue they have exercised influence well beyond their actual numbers. The problem is, it has never been with issues you and I care about. E.g., I have maintained for a long time that gun rights are only a “decoy” issue they will use to raise money and win support for their candidates who are really committed only to their social conservative issues.

        We are indeed fortunate when now and then they feel they must actually do something for gun owners to keep us on the line.

        I agree we should take whatever we can get, but I believe mistaking false friendship driven by expediency, for true support, has always been a tactical shortcoming on our part.

  2. Chiefjaybob says:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
    C.S. Lewis

  3. Zundfolge says:

    So they want to ban the Steyr AU … so does that mean any Steyr that’s gold plated? or what?

    • Sendarius says:

      I figured it must be the Australian version – they support Australian-style gun laws after all, don’t they?

  4. wizardpc says:

    Some of that looks lifted directly from the AWB

  5. Sigivald says:

    … equally, why is there “national PTA”?

    The only sane point of a PTA is to be a school-level local interface group.

    A national one is nonsense.

  6. Aaron says:

    Oh, they are for banning Garands, M14s, Enfields, Mausers, Mosin Nagants and BARs, but not AR-15s* (marketed and sold to hunters 5-6 years or so before the military adopted it).

    *They seem to hate wood stocks.

    Anyone know what a combat magazine is? Does it have a bayonet attached to it or something?

  7. mikee+ says:

    I, for one, learned that little old ladies in neighborhoods are an absolute force for good of the community, as they spend a lot of time looking at who goes where and then gossiping, or calling the police when needed.

    However, as in a community where the LOLs keep an eye on things but don’t get to tell anyone else what to do, because they’re half senile, there are limits to the authority one should grant a busybody. Telling them “No” often enough seems to help.

  8. TS says:

    You do your thing, I’ll do my thing, and as long as you’re not screwing up my shit and I’m not screwing up yours, we’re good.

    This is the definition of peace. It applies to countries as well as children in the back seat of a car.

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