May 27, 2008

Million Mom March

I spent some time chatting with my mom about the "Million" Mom March (MMM) and came up with a new motto: "Never Underestimate the Power of Ignorance En Masse." Please note there is a big difference between ignorance and raw stupidity. Everyone is ignorant about something. The MMMers area of ignorance happens to revolve around firearms.

The group certainly deserves credit for standing up and making an effort, especially in this Age of Spectators. The problem is the effort made is pure knee-jerk reaction and ignores the fact that both the FBI and National Safety Council have reported a decline of shootings and negligent discharges (erroneously referred to as "accidents") nationwide. It's also been found more kids are killed participating in high school football than in all the school shootings combined. Never mind all that. We need to "do something."

Fanaticism has been defined as the redoubling of one's efforts long after losing sight of the original goal. These well-meaning but misguided moms take fanaticism to a whole new level. Hint: It's impossible to define a goal when you can't even handle the vocabulary. If a person doesn't know the difference between a bullet and a cartridge or can't define the difference between a clip and a magazine, do they have any business telling America about this technology? You'd expect a computer expert to be able to distinguish between hardware and software, or RAM and ROM. Should this issue be any different?

I suppose the gun prohibitionists feel themselves to be above the language of "those gun nuts." And therein lies the heart of the problem, emotions ruling over logic. Wanting to prevent the tragedy that took a loved one is noble but can't be effective unless backed by sufficient knowledge. If I had a family member who lost an appendage in a circular saw incident I am not automatically qualified as an expert on carpentry tools.

People who lack the self-discipline to get basic terminology straight shouldn't waste the public's time trying to influence policy. Ignorance is a curable disease. Go to the library and medicate thyself. "Read two of these and call me in the morning."

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