I’ve decided that I’d like to engage with more anti-gun people online. However, I’m not going to try and argue with them on the issue of actual gun ownership. That’s largely a lost cause with someone who is passionate enough about it to get into debates online. What I’ve decided to target is anti-gunners who are so extreme in their hatred of civilian gun ownership that they want to silence all who oppose them. In other words, I’m making an effort to hold them accountable for the things they are actually demanding.
If you want to make America safe, get rid of the #NRA
— Julian Easterly (@betweenbreaths) July 2, 2012
My response? “I respect your dedication to free political speech by calling for people to get rid of political opposition.” Seriously, he doesn’t want to win the debate. He doesn’t want to win an election. He wants to “get rid” of NRA members. There are more than 4 million of us, so what are his exact methods for “get[ting] rid” of us? It’s a fair question to ask him since he’s making such an extreme statement about his political opponents.
You can also look to this tweet from a Labour MP who seems distressed about a feature of the UN Arms Trade Treaty discussions:
— Kerry McCarthy MP (@KerryMP) July 2, 2012
I responded: “Is that a bad thing? Free speech should be welcome from all sides, at least I would hope it is welcome.” Is this a member of British government who is willing to say that those he disagrees with shouldn’t be recognized in a political debate? It seems like an awfully silly thing to get upset over even if he’s not an NRA supporter. He’s not challenging the arguments presented by NRA, but seemingly their mere existence as a recognized organization with a voice to represent their members.
Finally, there’s this example:
— L. Michelle (@thinkincolornow) July 2, 2012
If you click through to the article, it states that NRA said they will tell voters in the respective Congressional districts how their elected officials voted. It would seem that â€@thinkincolornow finds this to be something we should ban from politics, so I asked her for a little clarification. I posed a couple of questions: “What exactly should not be in politics? The right to petition government or right to speak to members of a political org?” She hasn’t been willing to respond at this point.
On the positive side of tracking the NRA hashtag, I did find this awesome post:
— Eryn Williamson (@williamsoneryn) July 2, 2012
I sent my congratulations to my fellow NRA member. We are winning. And we’re doing it without actually trying to restrict the free speech rights of our opponents.