Poison Tomatoes

Robb takes a look at how we overcame a societal perception that tomatoes are poisonous, and compares it to guns in restaurants.  Some people just aren’t drinking the tomato juice, no matter how many times they see someone do it, and not die.

I think the problem, and what this whole gun rights issue really boils down to, is whether you trust ordinary citizens to generally do the right thing, or whether you view them as poor in judgment, and thus in need of structure in order to protect themselves and society from it.  If you believe the latter, you believe it’s only a matter of time before someone chokes on a tomato, so maybe people are just better off not eating them.  And surely when this inevitably happens, you will be quick to point out “See!  Tomatoes kill people.”

What I’ve never been able to understand is why the gun control crowd believes having a badge immunizes a person from the poor judgement they attribute to other ordinary people.  Why put so much stock in the badge, but so much less in another token from the state which sends many of the same signals?  It must be something deep seeded: ordinary people just can’t be trusted.  They know that sure as 18th century Americans knew tomatoes killed people.  It’s something I understand, but then again, I’ve always liked tomatoes.

6 thoughts on “Poison Tomatoes”

  1. How else are you gonna make a Bloody Mary on Sunday morning? Not with clam juice I hope – and who ever thought to drink that stuff, the squeezings of a bivalve mollusks, was nuts.

  2. I think it is projection. They believe that they are not trustworthy, so they don’t think anyone else is either.

  3. Has anyone read the wonderful novel “Once An Eagle.” Raybyrne spends half a page explaining how “love apples” will kill you.

    Great book, read it.

  4. A few months ago I visited a friend in Florida, and most evenings we sat across tables in restaurants that serve alcohol having dinner. Both of us were armed, he’s a police officer, and I have a permit. Pretty boring, a non-story, to say the least. But if he were to visit me here in North Carolina, we could certainly go out for dinner in a similar restaurant, but only he could legally carry a firearm, thanks to federal law exempting him from most state carry statutes. Interestingly, since he’s out of his employing jurisdiction, he would have no greater law enforcement powers than me. Which, in NC are NONE, since there is no provision for a citizen to effect an arrest in this state. Yet he can provide greater security for himself and his family than I can. I agree with the concept of HR218 since it puts more armed citizens on the street, but that’s all it does. But I would really like to be equal to those citizens, and be afforded the same opportunity to be able to protect myself and my family if absolutely necessary.

  5. Sebastian you nailed it. The underlying issue is that public doesn’t really believe emotionally that they are capable of self-rule and trust their fellow members. The cops are authority and we have been trained to respect authority and follow their lead.

    How many in the Trade Center followed orders and went back up when they were told to. They died. Those people who decided to follow their own judgment and went down and out mostly survived.

    So we trust a cop but not our next-door neighbor. Considering that we see many neighbors be idiots and jerks that is not surprising.

    Per the 1776 book, George Washington had problems that the Mass militia was not good about accepting the superiority of the officers.

    But when George needed to move across at night in Boston to get the height advantage with the cannon those anti authoritarian farmers did it quickly and competently. Howe said he could never have done that with his troops who were trained to follow orders.
    When competent people work together without major oversight they can do remarkable things. They self organized and get the job done. Read about the battle of Bunker Hill or Breeds Hill. That incident even though the British won, scared them so they never wanted to face that again. After Washington managed to get the cannon on the heights at Boston Harbor the British had no choice but to leave and take to the loyalists with them

    It is a matter of culture and training. Those Mass farmers were used to having to figure out for themselves and working with equals. They did not accept the idea that anyone has an innate superiority.

    Leading people like that is like herding cats, very hard. But once you get them to decided to do the task they are almost unstoppable. That aspect of the American psyche is disappearing but is what makes America so superior.

    Many pro gun people have accepted the idea that they are the sole arbiter of what to do and do not accept authority blindly.

    I follow rules when I decide they are a good idea, not because they are the rules.

    So though I don’t trust a lot of the jerks and morons that make up my fellow neighbors. I can trust myself to handle the risk they may pose.

    That is where we realize that another carry a gun may not be as well self-controlled but if they go off then at least I have the ability to stop them. It is a matter of handling risks.

  6. Doesn’t anyone point out to the legislators who are against carrying in a restaurant that serves alcohol, that other states such as Texas (where I am) and FL (according to the comment above) have for some years allowed it with no problems whatsoever? If the anti-gun-in-alcohol-serving-restaurants legislators have been given this tidbit of data, how have they responded?

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