Sunday, November 28, 2004

Goddamn Liberals

Do not adjust your monitor, it really does say that.

So, there was this shooting recently that killed six people (the article says five, but another died the next day) while they were hunting near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. The weapon of choice was an SKS assault weapon -- not your typical hunting fare (in fact, it's not legal hunting fare), but, and here's the key, not illegal to own, either pre- or post-assault weapon ban. Seriously, my dad has been eying one for years (that and the AK; just, don't ask).

There are differing accounts of what happened that day, including who fired first, and whether or not the white hunters who were killed shouted racial slurs at their assailant. Some news reports have examined the cultural tensions between Northwoods hunters, others have looked at the life of the shooter, attempting to answer the unanswerable: why?

If you look at that last linked article, you'll find some strange things. First, you'll find that Vang had isolated himself from both his neighborhood community and the Hmong community specifically. Yet his white neighbors comment on the fact that "they" keep away from "us," and that the government allows "them" to keep chickens in a zone where livestock is otherwise outlawed. Vang also served in the US military for a short time, though the article makes no mention of why that time was short (this article tells us that he was a file clerk who earned a sharpshooter's badge, and was once arrested for holding his wife at knifepoint). My point, which I have been rather slow in making, is that the entire thing is rather a mire. There are many different social and psychological aspects that we simply do not and will not ever know about.

And here's where simple-minded, single-cause liberals begin to bug the shit out of me. The particular quote that I'm most pissed off by goes something like, "there are six fewer red-state voters tonight, thanks to our failure to pass an assault weapons ban." What kind of a person can say something like that? First of all, even when we did have a ban that particular gun was not illegal. Second, how can anyone who claims a political monopoly on compassion possibly suggest that the loss of six lives is less devastating because it came from a region that voted for the other guy? The implication that they "brought this on themselves" is the most cold-hearted fuckheadedness I have heard in quite awhile. And what if that crowd of hunters was in the forty percent of Wisconsinites who voted for your guy, oh allegedly liberal asshat? Does the tragedy of the situation suddenly become important to you?

So, once again, to drag this to some kind of point: lumping people into geographic categories explains nothing. Saying, of the Hmong, that "they" aren't friendly to white people helps about as much as saying, of dead white Wisconsin hunters, that "they" brought it on themselves by not voting for Kerry. Whether you "other" people by place of origin or political association (which in this case comes back to place of origin), you are assuming that you know all you need to know to judge a person based on that one category.

So. To the East Coast liberal who made the above association (no, I doubt he'll see this): does it make you feel better that you can dismiss the entire state of Wisconsin for disagreeing with you? Because I gotta tell you, the Republicans who are dear to me tend to live there, and I guarantee you that they would be more than just "red-state voters" if they were the ones killed by a troubled ex-military man with a seemingly troubled past (you did vote, right Ryan? Because I've been refraining from deleting your political posts so far, but you will have to 'fess up eventually:-). The world doesn't sort well into black and white -- or for that matter, into red and blue. And that's certainly a piss-poor way to judge the worth of human life.


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