In one easy post. Normally I try to avoid the old 'this person said stupid lies on the Internet, that proves his whole group is just as bad' arguments. It's easy, especially in the Internet age, to hunt down some radical, extreme, looney, wacked out or evil statement or position by someone, and then use it to tar and feather that group I don't like. I prefer to focus on larger trends that are found in important outlets such as mainstream media, or church leadership, or college policy and academics, or politicians or the like.
Nonetheless, the saddest thing about Mark's post isn't the misrepresentation of gun rights advocates and their positions. Nor is it the fact that it's all designed to avoid the obvious problem in our society, that a nation dedicated to turning its citizens into nihilistic, drugged up, sexed up narcissists who think the world should worship them and F-you if you don't, might have a few ill side effects along the way. After all, violence has spiked in our area over the last year and not a single gun law has changed during that time.
The saddest part is that his is par for the course for most modern gun control advocacy. Whether the national stage or here in our local neck of the woods, too many who advocate for 'sensible' gun legislation sound like Mark. Oh, they may not sound as horrible as that stream of rage and word vomit, but the essence of what they say is seldom far from his post. That makes any discourse impossible, no matter what the cause.
For instance, I'm the last one to say the 2nd Amendment is carte blanche to own your own piece of artillery or .50 caliber machine gun. I also think there should be mandatory training for gun ownership (those old militiamen of ancient days would have used their guns for survival and known how to properly handle them). In addition, I think there is nothing wrong with saying different such qualifiers should be applied based on the type of arms you want. After all, just because I have a divers license doesn't mean I can drive a semi truck or a tanker with hazardous material. In fact, I would consider anything that didn't compromise the right of lawful citizens and could be shown to curb violence.
Nonetheless, I can't have a conversation because the majority of gun control advocacy is in line with what we see in Mark's post. It is a never ending stream of bilge, often based on falsehoods or outright lies, not to mention personal attacks and endless accusation*. Often it is based on clear and obvious ignorance of the issue in question. How often do gun control advocates, including those in the media, say wrong things about the very guns they are wanting to control?
The saddest part is that Mark's rant, packed with all those false premises and misrepresenting the opposition, goes a long way toward shutting down any debate at all, even debate that could lead to solutions. If he really wanted to move forward with gun control, he would try to find those who support gun rights and find middle ground, extending the olive branch and all. I'm sure some gun rights advocates could never be reached, but others could. But not by screeds like that.
Truth be told, however, Mark's post, like many gun control arguments, appears to exist in order to avoid the herd of elephants in the room. That is, from the 1950s to the 1980s, our nation underwent a major revision of multiple aspects of our society, from mental health to morals and values, and by the 1980s, the regular mass shootings began. If all we do is say, guns, Guns, GUNS, we go a long way toward saying we don't care about the problem at all. In fact, more and more I'm convinced the focus on guns is merely a separate agenda being used in order to avoid critiquing this nation that so many supporters of gun control have spent decades building.
*Note also that Mark joins the modern poo-pooing of the idea that our nation's official rejection of God has anything to do with our nation's problems. The modern Christian notion that the Christian Gospel affords nothing special for a society goes a long way toward convincing moderns that the Gospel therefore affords nothing special for an individual either.