Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why the RKBA movement turns off highly-educated urban dwellers.

A little speculation, spurred on by some of the remarks made at the Bill of Rights Day event held today in Phoenix:

Educated people, even highly educated people, are seemingly more prone to holding crazy positions on two topics more than any others: gun control and anthropogenic global warming. To slander scientists and make silly statements about the state of climatology is nearly a tribal trust signifier among both conservatives and libertarians; among highly educated urban dwellers--especially academics and graduate students--to oppose any and all forms of gun liberalization is a similar shibboleth. Try challenging either on facts, or asking the latter just where passage of shall-issue concealed carry has proved problematic. The answers you get will be amusing.

Both AGW deniers and hoplophobes deserve public and private shaming, as their positions are not rational. But it's worth keeping in mind that they're not rational and tailoring one's rhetoric accordingly. One cannot say that anticapitalists have dominated environmentalism, but they're screaming the loudest. To the uninitiated, that is what environmentalism is: opposition to humanity, liberty, civilization, and markets. This is why it's important to be the visible environmentalist. You want your peers to think of you, and not the unwashed, half-deranged lifestyle-activist, when they think of people who take seriously scientific studies of Man's effect on the climate (or, more generally, his fouling of the nest).

The RKBA movement has its own lifestyle-activists, who signal clearly (if incorrectly) to the uninitiated that people who advocate liberalization of firearms laws are Not Like Us. Do you know the type? Think of the person who believes that the purpose of the right to keep and bear arms is to give a universal heckler's veto over the government by means of murder. Some official isn't following your ab initio interpretation of the Constitution? Shoot him and put his "head on a pike", to borrow the phrase I heard one too many times tonight. A thousand Carl Dregas, that's the ticket. Every man, woman, and child, rightly or wrongly, can draw a line in the sand and shoot officials who cross it. Natural rights all the way!

I propose a rule. You can call it Kalafut's Rule, if you will. If you consider yourself a respectable person, do not hide your beliefs. It is better that your neighbors and colleagues think of you and not the screaming, outlandish bozo when they read of activism concerning this issue or that, or when they hear that a bill that you would support has been introduced at the legislature. If you've taken the only honest position on global warming that isn't "I don't know enough", be the visible supporter of the AGW hypothesis. And if you support RKBA, be the visible RKBA supporter.

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