June 07, 2008
An incident in which a 10 year old boy was suspended from school for having an empty shell casing given to him by a veteran at a Memorial Day celebration has rightfully stirred the wrath of the pro-Second Amendment community.
According to a May 29, Telegram.com article, a uniformed veteran gave the 10-year-old two empty rifle shell casings from blanks used during the town's Memorial Day celebration Monday morning. Bradley gave one of the empty casings to his grandfather and kept the other as a souvenir. The trouble began when he took his souvenir to school the next day.Yes, and they're talking about assigning the tyke a probation officer.
My initial reaction was that this was another typical example of insane anti-gunners in the school bureaucracy running amok. Which I'm sure it is. But behind every bureaucrat there's usually a law or a statute or a regulation, and when Sebastian of Snowflakes in Hell looked into the story he learned that because of the law, the situation is worse than people realize.
the problem is, if you don't have a license to have a firearm in Massachuetts, you can't even possess ammunition or ammunition components. The truth is, this kid and everyone involved in this situation is lucky that it's only resulting in a five day suspension. Under Massachusetts law, both the kid, the veteran who gave the kid the empty shell casing, and the teacher to took if from the kid could be looking at two years in prison for having ammunition components without a license.An empty shell casing is now a crime. This in a country with the right to keep and bear arms.
As a Second Amendment supporter, of course, I welcome the backlash, and I'd say "Bring it on!"
People do not like being messed with, and they sympathize with people who are messed with. Incidents like the one above can cause laws to be changed. (Or at least, not enforced out of bureaucratic fear.)
While the shell casing story involved official state action, a story in this morning's Inquirer illustrates how even private activism can produce a backlash. When a struggling adult boutique found itself under attack by a local church, the opposition created a backlash of sympathy that was like manna from heaven:
A week after opposing the permit for a downtown West Chester adult boutique, a nearby Catholic church has withdrawn its appeal and the store owner has learned that while sex sells, opposition makes it sell even better.Even a politician who had campaigned against the store was forced to utter some kind words, and admit the campaign had backfired:
Shannon Royer, a GOP candidate for the state House's 156th District who has opposed the store, said he heard McDevitt on Michael Smerconish's radio show.I suspect it occurred to Royer that there's an election in the fall, and that fueling a backlash is a risky strategy.
So, I would submit, is the war on sex. As with the war on guns, anti-sex activists tend to forget that ordinary people get pissed when activists mess with them. In fact, they even get tired of being yelled at, or even scolded.
Somewhat related to the war on sex is the war between the sexes. I in a post yesterday, I mentioned a fantastic post by Cassandra which Glenn Reynolds had linked. Because I'm intrigued by the phenomenon of backlash, I think it's worth a closer look. Cassandra observes how the two sides find each other repulsive:
....the discourse on gender is heavily influenced by political orientation. The Left, taken as a whole, seems repulsed by traditional masculinity. A series of posts by Ezra Klein brought this into particularly stark relief. His analysis of Obama's candidacy is revealingWhativer you call this phenomenon, it's clear that Cassandra is sick of both sides, just as both sides are sick of each other. And unless I'm reading her wrong, the fact that each side is sick of the other only fuels the ongoing mutual reaction. Cassandra rejects the process:
In short, I don't believe in the whole "real man/real woman" paradigm.I'd call the paradigm mutual backlash.
Interestingly, many activists are sick and tired of each other, and if you read their screeds, they almost seem to make each other ill. A driving force, perhaps? (Instead of the 70s shlocko slogan "I'm OK, You're OK," it's now "I Make You Sick, You Make Me Sick!")
Furthermore, while it is true that most ordinary people are sick and tired of the activists, if they get irritated enough or provoked enough by a perceived slight coming from one side or another, this can incline even an ordinary person to join a cause, even if that cause is against that person's (or society's) interest.
But I say all of these things as a life member in the NRA. Isn't that activism, so doesn't that make me guilty of hypocrisy? Well, it's certainly one of my numerous contradictions (of the sort I grapple with regularly in this blog). I would say that sometimes in life, you have to bite the bullet and be an activist. Even if you hate activists. Even when activists and activism have reduced you to a state of shell shock. (In this case, empty shell shock.)
Perhaps the activist-induced shell shock ought to serve as a reminder that the smart activists are the ones who don't mess with people, and let the opposition do the messin'.
posted by Eric on 06.07.08 at 09:11 AM
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