"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

The Culture of Fear

I became animated and vehiment tonight in a discussion with Sam, who I am partners with in The Valhalla Theater Company. We were talking about Bowling for Columbine, which brought up the issue of gun control. Sam expressed that he was more apt to favor gun education over gun regulation. I don't disagree with the notion of mandatory education for gun owners (though the NRA does), but I was curious as to why he opposed regulation. After (beer) rambling a bit, he gave the following line:

"Given that September 11th happened and this sniper thing happened, which proves that people, based both on foreign soil and domestically, will attack Americans, imagine what else might happen, and don't people have the right to defend themselves?"

At which point I flew off the handle.

I owe the man an appology because I rhetorically beat him up a little bit. In the end we agreed that the "culture of fear" is a bad thing, and I refrained from pointing out that sighting terrorist attacks -- specifically ones in which gun ownership is not a preventative factor -- and then inviting people to "imagine what might happen" is in a sense promoting that culture. There's a point where you've got to let it drop for the sake of frienship. I know I'm an argumentative person. It's genetic. I tend to keep that part of me under wraps for lack of good opponents, so when it comes out people get a little spooked. Still, it bothers me when my friends express beliefs that I not only disagree with, but can riddle with logical holes with one hand tied behind my back.