Let Me Explain It To You, Ruth: It Is All About Trust


Washington Post editorial writer Ruth Marcus gave us a jaw-droppingly arrogant and willfully obtuse lament yesterday. She is in despair. Why would such a sensible, unthreatening gun control measure as the Manchin-Toomey background check amendment fail to pass the Senate? Poor Ruth just can’t understand it. The Senators voting against the bill were so “impervious to logic.” It just didn’t make sense!

What is ruefully amusing and telling about Marcus’s “how dare anyone disagree with us?” rant is that her essay answers its own question.  It is stuffed full of the elements that completely justify Senators or anyone who respects gun-ownership, the Second Amendment and guns opposing any proposals at all that come out of the post-Sandy Hook exploitation campaign by Marcus and her political compadres. It all comes down to trust, Ruth, and you are one of those who is untrustworthy on the topic of guns. Your column proves it, just as President Obama’s petulant outburst of contempt against gun rights absolutists proves his untrustworthiness.

It all begins with the dishonest sentimental extortion of linking this round of gun control proposals to Newtown, when they have nothing to do with Newtown. People don’t like being bullied and extorted, nor should they, and extortion is not a proper way for a democracy to work. The consensus strategy of anti-gun advocates—disgracefully joined by the newsmedia– was “not to let a good tragedy go to waste,” and thus tar anyone opposing major new gun regulations as also anti-child and pro-child massacre. Marcus, hilariously for a writer decrying hypocrisy, continues to do this in her editorial, even as she admits the dishonesty of the tactic. “Okay,” she says, the background checks being proposed by Manchin-Toomey wouldn’t have prevented Adam Lanza from getting his guns, ergo Newtown is properly irrelevant to the debate. Yet she writes this,

“Still, it is hard to remain calm in the face of the Senate’s failure— its failure as the parents of children murdered in Newtown, Conn., looked on from the gallery — to pass the most modest of measures to curb gun violence.”

and this…

“After nearly two decades in which Democrats barely dared whisper about gun violence, the notion of new restrictions has become safe again — to broach, if not to enact. In the aftermath of Newtown, this time was different.”

But it’s not different, Ruth, or shouldn’t be, as you confessed yourself. If the facts of Newtown have no legitimate nexus to the gun-control measures being proposed, and they don’t, then the Newtown parents are irrelevant, and “this time” isn’t different in the way the public has been told for months. You can’t help yourself, though, because deep down, you believe Newtown is relevant. It is relevant because it proves that guns are just plain bad, and because they are bad, anything that makes guns harder to buy—by anyone—and that constitutes another step toward outright banning and confiscation, which you and many of your ideological allies would cheer—is a step in the right direction. You’re not fooling anybody, and thus gun supporters don’t trust you, or the President, or anything that comes out of a campaign motivated so obviously by emotional anti-gun animus. It is so obvious, and I don’t blame them at all. I blame the President, Piers Morgan, Diane Feinstein, Jim Carrey, Charlie Rangel, Mayor Bloomberg…and I blame you.

One conservative blogger explained his own distrust this way:

“…most of their arguments are based in a combination of emotionalism and ignorance. I don’t mean ignorance in the insulting sense, but the descriptive. They are ignorant about how guns work. They don’t know the history or meaning of the second amendment. They have no idea how gun sales work, whether in a store or at a show. They do not understand why people would want to own a gun, and have no understanding of what it’s like to live in rural America, where the police aren’t just minutes away. What makes it worse is that they don’t seem to want to know. They are perfectly content in their little bubble of ignorance, speaking to each other in the language of cliche and falsehood. They use phrases like “gun show loophole,” “assault weapon,” and make utterly laughable statements about what weapons are legal and which are not and they believe their parade of nonsense justifies the limit of a freedom guaranteed by the constitution. They are eager to ban something they don’t understand and have no intention of learning anything about.”

I think the truth of that statement is beyond rebuttal, when one considers the President’s careless “automatic, semi-automatic, what’s the difference?” rhetoric and the repeated gaffes of anti-gun Senators and members of Congress during the debate, as well as the whole “you don’t need ten bullets to kill a deer” meme favored by Gov. Cuomo and Joe Biden.  “They are eager to ban something they don’t understand and have no intention of learning anything about.” That accurately sums up the attitude that gun supporters have observed, and it’s an insult to them. Why were the idiotic comments of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock regarding rape so infuriating to women? They were infuriating because two men with power over something women care deeply about, their rights to an abortion, displayed absolute and inexcusable ignorance regarding the female reproductive system. This, women felt, and correctly so, signaled disrespect and incompetence at epic levels. Tell me, Ruth, would incremental, reasonable proposals to limit abortions…say, elective late term abortions where the life of a mother was not threatened…receive the support of women’s groups if they were sponsored by the likes of Akin and Mourdock? Yet the blatant and shameless ignorance most of the vocal anti-gun advocates display is just as offensive and infuriating to gun owners as the statements of Akin and Mourdock were to women (and anyone with a brain.)

I’m sure you don’t buy the comparison, because you care deeply about women’s reproductive rights, and you don’t care about guns at all, except to fear and hate them. Why would any gun supporter trust someone like you, or any proposal supported by someone like you?

Ironically, Marcus begins her indictment of the Senate by citing the failed promise of “incrementalism”…

“The way to stay sane in this city is never to expect too much. So the soothing mantras of the capital involve admonitions about the art of the possible, the perfect and the good, the zen of baby steps. Incremental, incremental, incremental. “

So obsessed is she with her self-righteous disdain for those who have dug in their heels against a coordinated, cynical, dishonest, ad hominem, emotional, manipulative assault on guns, gun ownership and those who defend them that Marcus doesn’t realize that it is the legitimate fear of incrementalism that drives opposition to seemingly minor measures like Manchin-Toomey. That wouldn’t be the end of the push, and you, Ruth Marcus, know it. The next maniac who shoots up a school, a rally or a movie theater would propel a little more regulation, and a little more. The current President is on record approving of any regulation that would save “even one” child’s life! Is it really so hard for you to imagine what that (ridiculous and irresponsible) philosophy could be used to justify after the next useful tragedy?

The democratic system is based on trust…trust that everyone has the best interests of the nation at heart, trust in the good will of one’s adversaries, trust that, in the end, we all share basic American values. From the moment the carnage at Newtown ended, the relentless advocates for as many new gun restrictions as they could get implemented began making that trust impossible with a campaign of bullying, fear-mongering, deceitful arguments, and insults. Democracy doesn’t work under those conditions, and it hasn’t worked this time. Your hatred of guns is palpable, Ruth; your denial of the Second Amendment is explicit; your disrespect for gun owners is blatant; your ultimate goal—no guns, like Great Britain and Australia—is hardly disguised. Those who care about guns and understand them don’t trust you, and should not. That is why they have refused to budge from an absolutist position, and it is, contrary to your assertions, completely rational for them to do so.

You’re not trustworthy on this issue

It’s really as simple as that.

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal helpfully explains how deceitful the complaints of Marcus and others regrading the amendment’s defeat are, here.


Sources: Ace of Spades, Washington Post

Graphic: granitegrok

13 thoughts on “Let Me Explain It To You, Ruth: It Is All About Trust

  1. To me, the remarkable thing about this whole debate is not just the willingness of supporters of more gun restrictions to repeat uninformed falsehoods about the issue, but their genuine lack of intellectual curiosity about the subject. Isn’t it a failure of one’s duty of competence, in Marcus’s case as a member of the paid commentariat, to opine strongly on an issue that they have clearly failed to research in any reasonable depth?

    You point out via the blogger you quote, quite reasonably, that many of gun control supporters live in a bubble, a comfortable world firmly ensconced in gated communities in large cities where there is already a guard at their door, and where the police are only a 9-1-1 call and a few minutes away. They are not worried about a violent criminal shooting his way past the gate or lobby guard and running about their development or building shooting up the place.

    As such, they have no understanding of the opponents to this legislation from a rural home protection standpoint. Those who oppose gun controls on the basis of self-defense from a government that may go rogue must be even more alien to them. The phrase, “We’re from the government and we’re here to help” informs their every thought, I fear.

    Also, how is it even possible to blame an elected representative in a REPRESENTATIVE republic for voting in accordance with the wishes of his or her constituents? How can that ever be described as a “failure” is simply beyond my comprehension. We see many in the media, both left and right, cheer the concept of “diversity” … except, of course, when it interferes with one of their cherished beliefs.

    Marcus is not trustworthy because she is functionally ignorant on the issue upon which she opines, as you suggest, but also because she displays no interest in curing this deficiency. If I were to write such an ill-informed article on a consistent basis, my readers would look elsewhere. They expect me to be informed, and as a person paid to offer opinion, it is my ethical responsibility to be informed on my subject matter, and that requires a certain amount of intellectual curiosity which I feel obligated to apply, whether I want to or not.

    Apparently, the same isn’t true of the mainstream political writers, where the duty of competence seems constrained to the English language, not the subject matter.

    • Because the government needs guns to protect us. By the way, I haven’t received my Obamaphone. Why haven’t I received my Obamaphone?

      • Sharon, if you make less than 135-150% of poverty (depending on the state you live in), or if you receive other public assistance such as food stamps, SSI, or SCHIP, you may qualify for a “W-phone.” I call them that because the cell phone distribution program started under President Bush. If you really want to blame a Democrat, the land line program began under President Clinton, but the cell phones are usually cheaper. Good luck!

          • Jan’s right, though. It’s not an Obama program—he’s happy to get credit for it, since it plays to a Democratic core group, and the GOP wants to tar him with it as a needless hand-out program. But all Obama did is make people aware that they were eligible for it, and I don’t see how he can be faulted for that.

            • It may be a program started by Bush, but it one that is LOUDLY claimed by Obama and his supporters. If it is the name everyone knows it by, it is not incorrect to use that name what talking about it.

              Obama also, like so many things we could name, expanded and increase the money the program spends.

        • It doesn’t matter who started this phone program, who gets them; the issue is that there were people willing to trade their vote for the promise of a cell phone!

          • That’s the fault of the people in the program, if true, not the administration offering the program. A pledge to vote wasn’t part of the qualifications for the service. Fools will be fools.

    • This is one of the most uncomfortable issues relevant to gun ownership. Most liberals, surprisingly, see this as an almost treasonous demand. However, the events at Blair Mountain, the Colorado Labor Wars, the Ludlow Massacre, the Martian Massacre, and others show the necessity of an armed populace against tyrannical governments (or pseudo-governments) in the US. Just because most such actions by the government have been against groups and individuals that liberals think shouldn’t be allowed to exist, doesn’t mean the tables can’t be turned again. It really shows how far labor unions have strayed from their roots that they would support such issues. Immigrant groups should also read the history of the labor wars and ask themselves if they should be allied with the gun control movement.

        • You had me worried, Michael. Whenever I see that rolling nuclear powered, laser blasting juggernaut on Mars they call “Curiosity”, I’ve often wondered how it would look in the eyes of a Martian. Something like “War Of The Worlds”, I’m thinking. Good to know that there HASN’T been a Martian Massacre!

          As for this idiot woman; I suppose she’s just being true to a prevalent journalistic mindset these days which states that the truth is flexible in pursuit of “loftier” goals… such as the debasement and ultimate replacement of that archaic horror of a Constitution. In that, she has a horde of fellow travelers gathered around her.

          “We have staked the whole of our political institutions upon the capacity of Mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”- James Madison

          Journalists like Ruth must think of Madison as evil incarnate!

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