Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I only mean that in the most 'reasonable' way.

Like many, I am weary--very weary--of the incessant use of the word "reasonable" as a cheap semantic attempt to excuse things that absolutely are not.  "Reasonable" is wielded like a literary or vocal talisman which somehow has the magic ability to...counteract whatever facile, disingenuous, or other morally unsupportable concept it is used with;  invariably something which, indefensible on its own, needs the help.  Lately, of course, the Mad Lib replacement noun is "guns" (as in "...reasonable restrictions on guns"), but it works with an ever-increasing set of both traditional "vices" (e.g., drugs, liquor, prostitution) and more modern Mencken-ian "hobgoblins" (e.g., fatty foods, raw milk, access to the Internet, free speech, privacy in general, and on and on...and on and on). 

It's often partnered with judicious use of the word "extreme" to describe anything that might cast doubt on the morally-untenable-on-its-own-but-a-surprise-winner-by-virtue-of-being-"reasonable" idea being pimped.  And for the credulous, this is apparently quite a one-two knockout punch of persuasion, because there are a whole lot of people who are so scared of appearing "extreme", and so desperate to appear "reasonable", that they just eat this shit up, and then go regurgitate it off to others, to demonstrate to be seen demonstrating their anti-extreme reasonableness.

I'll hand this to the ones who use the tactic deliberately:  right now, with the smell of the blood of those kids in the air, your efforts are working like a charm.  Congratulations.  Your ability to manipulate people's most primal fear, and steer it to the advancement of your own social goals, is not in question.  You will very likely get something you want out of this big push;  your machine may not be able to do fuckall about making anyone any safer (QED Sandy Hook, and all the other atrocities that seem to happen in "gun-free zones"), but then it's never really been about that, has it?  You've succeeded where it counts;  you sell deception and fraud like no other, and you've won friends and influenced people doing it.  A gold star for you.

Enjoy that, while it lasts.  One price of that success is that you now must either be willing to successfully maintain the illusion--indefinitely, all the time--or you must be prepared to confront the millions you have deceived when you slip and they figure out they've been had.  Now maybe you've thought about that, and maybe you haven't.  You certainly seem confident about it all, and that's probably good, given how much you have riding on the gamble.

All this brings me around to the original idea for this post.  (I'm sure others have thought of it before now, but it occurred to me just today.)  Those who pursue the "reasonable"/"extreme" tactic (or "big but" or other semantic equivalent) on purpose, also seem to be fond of dismissing certain individual-rights arguments on the idea that the individualist doesn't mean what he says;  specifically this seems very much in evidence with what might be called the "no" argument to forced disarmament.  Maybe this is just prima facie evidence of an inability to operate without projection, but given the deliberate deceptions of the disarmers, this just struck me as ironic and funny...and for whatever reason, today my brain just came up with a simple, pruriently in-kind response.


"Surely we can agree that we need reasonable restrictions on guns."
"But who really needs..."
"But high-capacity assault clips..."
"Molon labe."
"But assault weapons..."
"Cold dead hands."
"You can't be this extreme!"
"Oh, not at all.  I only mean 'no' in the most reasonable way."

Seems useful enough, and I just may have to try it out.  For a while now I've been fond of voicing the similar idea that once this whole "rule of law" thing stops protecting us from them, it also stops protecting them from us, too.  (Yes, I'm aware that humanity has advanced itself in spite of, and not because of, the rule of law in the first place, but this observation can be useful to someone who hasn't arrived in that place yet.)

Snark aside, it seems clear enough that the disarmament crowd fully intends to find out whether people do mean it or not. 

If they do push it, I suspect they will find out, one way or the other.

1 comment:

MamaLiberty said...

"If they do push it, I suspect they will find out, one way or the other."

Oh yeah...

Just like the idiots who drone on about "sustainable." As if there is some way (or some good reason) to halt the process of nature and human endeavor - to freeze everything in the pattern to which they'd like to become accustomed... their nirvana, and never allow anything to change again.

And every attempt to discuss the idiocy of all this is met with the same sort of shocked accusations gun owners get... if you want to own a gun, you must want to kill people, especially little children.

"If they do push it, I suspect they will find out, one way or the other."