In response to some hoplophobe's snotty list of twenty questions, designed to illustrate just how obviously we all need to submit to more authoritarian intrusions to solve any of our problems, one of Joel's readers began a response with this:
The answer to all twenty questions is the same:Okay, that sounds great but I've heard a lot of folks start with that and never go anywhere.
You and I are different. I will not use violence to achieve my personal goals...
Not this time, brother. This is brilliant.
You and your ilk use violence to get what you want. Whether it is market outcomes that displease you or tools you fear and loathe violence is your first and only tool. It's quite pathetic really, how limited your imaginations have become. You can't even imagine solutions to most problems that don't involve violence. I typically have to choose from a myriad of options when negotiating a solution to a problem that troubles me; all you can ever do is demand new laws.Unh. And just in case Miss Snottypants is unaware of the mechanics of how "laws" translate into violence:
You're also a coward, and unwilling to do the dirty work required by your reliance on violence. So you rely on others to pass "laws," hire men armed with the very same guns that so terrify you, give them costumes and costume jewelry, steal the money to pay for these parasites from their victims, and then set them upon me.Unh. So much said in so little space. Why can't I manage to be that compact?
And then, the wrap. Whoever this reader may be, he--or she--nails it:
There's your answer. There is no frontier here, only a bleeding edge. Because you will try to have me killed if you can't make me agree with you, while I will go my peaceful way and do my best to ignore and shun you. I have trades to make and a life to live. There's really no point to further discussion with you, since the outcome has already been decided. By you.Unh. While nobody "speaks for me", I sure do wish I had said that, 'cause it's near-effin'-perfect.
Oh, and Miss Snottypants? How's this for Supporting Exhibit A? (Full disclosure: I did not first run across this example at Joel's site, but he did have a link to it right there... :-)
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