Friday, October 6, 2017

The Debate

My expenses got paid! Woo hoo!

Meanwhile, on Facebook, I have waded into the gun control debate. Why, why, WHY did I do this? A friend from my childhood posted a pro-gun manifesto (the essence of her argument: blame people, not guns, which are merely inanimate objects not harmful by themselves). I responded that yes, we should hold shooters responsible -- and we do, when we can -- but there's also nothing wrong with limiting the available tools for people who want to do harm. After all, our society regulates inanimate objects all the time, and here in the UK, gun control has made a difference. Well, she responded, and the tone has been congenial enough, but I think I now have to extract myself from this conversation because -- let's face it -- we're not going to change each others' minds.

I feel like pro-gun people employ so many smoke-and-mirrors arguments ("Why don't we outlaw CARS, which cause so many more fatalities than guns?! Why don't we outlaw AIRPLANES?!") that it's hard to even focus on the issue. Surely they can see how a car is different from a gun.

It's all so exhausting.

I got a call from our power company yesterday wanting to install smart meters on our gas and electricity lines. They can only do it on weekdays (!) beginning in November. So I agreed to have them come over Thanksgiving morning, which is the only time we'll be off work -- but now I'm annoyed with myself because we wanted to take a trip somewhere that weekend. I may call them back and cancel or reschedule.

Meanwhile, I got another data card for the Olga-cam (the Go-Pro camera Dave got Olga for my birthday) but it still doesn't work. The camera doesn't seem to see the card, even after I've formatted it. It doesn't seem to be clicking into the slot correctly. (Yes, I tried it multiple ways!) Time to contact customer service!

(Photo: Mushrooms on a log in Petts Wood, south London.)


  1. Yes, I've done this before, arguing is like wading through syrup
    It's a no brainer,
    At least ban AUTOMATIC weapons !
    They won't listen

  2. I refused a smart meter. There have been technical problems with them and if you want to switch electricity companies the smart meter may prevent you from doing so.

    If I had an expensive food mixer I would want to use it - not leave it in its box. If I had a powerful telescope I would want to use it to see the stars. If I had a couple of guns I would want to use them. The temptation would always be there and I'm sane. Plenty of American gun owners are clearly insane as they voted for Trump. I bet Paddock voted for Trump.

  3. Using the word "outlaw" is how gun nuts re-frame the debate into something stupid. We, the sane, don't want to outlaw guns, we want to REGULATE them, the same way we already heavily regulate cars and airplanes, with permits that require that owners and operators prove some level of competence in the operation of such, inspections, periodic reviews of both, proof of insurance, etc. The NRA does a fantastic job of normalizing gun ownership with it support of concealed carry laws and its sponsorship of removing other restrictions of guns being allowed in schools and hospitals, and in whipping gun owners into a frenzy over their fantasy of gun ownership somehow being a moral choice for American values, and the Republican party is its lap dog. Don't get me started.

    But you're right, there is no changing a gun nut's opinion (and I call them gun nuts because I despise them) until someone in their own family gets shot.

    Tell the meter people to bugger off. If they want the meters installed so badly, they will have to do it on your time. How much do you want to bet that there is indeed weekend service, but they count on customers to accommodate their first request for weekday visits so they don't have to pay workers overtime for Saturday and Sunday. Hold tight and take Thanksgiving off their schedule. Make them negotiate.

    (I'm all riled up about the NRA so maybe I'm itching for a fight. But still, call the power company's bluff.)

  4. This gun debate is yet another one of the arguments which leave many of us feeling as if half our country is insane. DT support is another. No matter how logical or obvious or proven by statistics or facts, there are some people who will just not accept reality. I do not know why. And this, of course, makes those of us who do feel as if we too may be insane. And when we reach the conclusion, as you did, that there is no use in arguing, we are left feeling completely helpless.

  5. at least it remained civil. my attempts at trying to talk to gun nuts always end up with them using profanity and insults and some times threats towards me. perhaps I don't exit soon enough. I do not understand the gun nut mentality. I wonder how many times gun owners who purchase them them for 'protection' as opposed to hunting or safety out in the pastures on a ranch (rattlesnakes, wild hogs, stuff like that) have actually been threatened or mugged? my guess is almost none.

  6. Cars and airplanes are built for transportation, guns are made expressly for killing. That should explain the difference but, I know it won't. I'm actually going to see a movie tonight with a group of friends, one of whom is a "gun rights nut". I'm hoping the conversation doesn't come up. We all try to avoid her right wing tendencies. I still can't believe that it's five days later and we still have no idea what motivated that guy to do what he did.

  7. In agreement with your post and all the comments! In any argument where there are red herrings thrown in, it's generally done by the side that can't prove their point with facts . . .

    And I agree with Vivian, there must be some alternative schedule for the meter installation for those who can't be home during the week. Or maybe listen to Mr. Pudding and re-think getting it!

    I love that picture. If you stand back a bit, it looks like a monster head with one horn, a gaping maw and a few snaggle teeth :)

  8. the gun violence prevention debate is truly exhausting. the solutions seems so self-evident.

  9. I agree with all the comments here. I don't know any pro-gun advocate, so I never actually have to engage. It's too crazy to try and communicate online and have a reasonable and thoughtful conversation. So... I just avoid it altogether. Good for you for trying.

  10. I always feel that it's difficult to have a rational discussion with someone who has a gun.