Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Imagine you’re walking down the street, minding your own business, when a stranger attacks you without provocation. He rains blows upon you until finally, desperate to protect yourself, you spot an opening and give him a single crack on the jaw. Shocked, your assailant staggers back, looking hurt and offended and asks, sanctimoniously, “When did this relationship become violent?”

American politics is like that sometimes.

As long-time readers know, one of my pet peeves is when someone claims to be apolitical or non-ideological even as they prove otherwise. Today’s example comes from the letters page of the Chicago Tribune, in a letter from one Paul Owen. Mr. Owen described his “sadness” and “disgust” with the anger displayed in recent letters to the editor attacking a Tribune editorial calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment. (Actual, official repeal of the written Constitutional amendment that is, rather than the de facto repeal that is usually advocated by gun controllers.) He then said:

With terms like "you liberals" spewing out like venom, it made me realize how divided our country is.

When did this issue get so political?

From there, he goes on to advocate greater gun control.

So, apparently, the issue wasn’t “so political” when, year after year after year, gun control advocates were waging a relentless legislative, judicial, and ideological attack on the right to self defense. It isn’t even “political,” apparently, to call for abolishing part of the Bill of Rights, as the original Chicago Tribune editorial did.

It only gets “political” when people who don’t want a fundamental right stripped from them have the temerity to object.

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