Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This Week's Cartoon: Danger on Both Ends of the Political Spectrum



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18 Comments:

Blogger ULAND said...

Because guns make you feel uncomfortable does not make a 2nd amendment supporter any more violent than anyone else. In fact, the vast, VAST majority of gun crimes are committed by young black guys ( you think they voted McCain?) carrying illegal weapons.
Secondly, because lefties choose not to publicly deal with "icky" issues like crime and immigration enforcement, except to self-righteously shake their heads, doesn't make their hearts any more pure. \Again, I love the drawing, but the gag here is idiotic.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Lloyd Dangle said...

The extremists waving guns around at political rallies are ickier than the so-called extremists on the left. That's what the cartoon is about. It's the false equivalence that is ridiculous. You missed the point because you were so busy with your arguments about black guys and immigration.

2:32 PM  
Blogger ULAND said...

the point your making is that they're ikcy because they're more dangerous, which isn't true, so the premise is wrong.
I mean, of course if you're a leftist, the right looks icky, but that's does nothing to demonstrate actual ickiness ( like violence or what have you..).

3:49 PM  
Blogger john said...

Uland, do you realize that, even if a person carrying a gun does not mean to cause any harm to anyone, OF COURSE that person is inherently more dangerous than an unarmed person, if only because of the potential for unforseen events, such as accidents or some bad person coming along and taking the gun? You do realize that a gun is more dangerous than, for insance, a carton of free-range eggs? Right? Or is your gun fetish so all-consuming that you cannot even understand basic god-damned common sense?

12:45 PM  
Blogger ULAND said...

Of course a gun is more dangerous than a free range egg, but the practice of carrying a gun to a rally to signify your support for the 2nd amendment ( which I don't do)isn't something that a reasonable person would consider scary. By your logic, seeing a cop with a gun on his side is cause for fear, just cause it's a gun and it's near you. Iget that people who didn't grow up around guns are freaked out by them, but that isn't rational when you consider how few instances there are of gun violence relative to rates of gun ownership.
These other issues, like enforcing immigration law, or presenting the concept of secession ( a perfectly rational part of the constitution) are similarly rational expressions of a mainstream political perspective. They aren't comprable with advocating for going organic ( another reason the gag fails), for one thing, but secondly, the depiction of these concepts as radical/dangerous only works if you're dedicated to seeing the people presenting it as a type; as your ideological enemy, i.e; everything that is wrong with America. It has nothing to do with the validity of the issues it's ostensibly taking on, it's just another random stab at the imagined enemy in this media-created culture war we're all being subjected to ( because it's an easy way to keep manage people, really), and I don't have respect for creative people who willfully engage in that sham.
I don't agree with an absolutist view on the 2nd ammendment. I do think immigration laws should be enforced ( and I promise you, it has nothing to do with liking or disliking Mexicans). I also contribute to a food co-op and volunteer at organic farms.
I'm just saying that we should raise our game a little bit. What are the real issues here? Is it really that one side hates urban psuedo-intellectuals and the other is still pissed off at the rednecks who made fun of them in high school? Cause that's all I get from stuff like this..

5:30 PM  
Blogger ULAND said...

Of course a gun is more dangerous than a free range egg, but the practice of carrying a gun to a rally to signify your support for the 2nd amendment ( which I don't do)isn't something that a reasonable person would consider scary. By your logic, seeing a cop with a gun on his side is cause for fear, just cause it's a gun and it's near you.
These other issues, like enforcing immigration law, or presenting the concept of secession ( a perfectly rational part of the constitution. If we had another 8 years of neocon insanity, I bet ardent liberals would reconsider their position on the matter..) are similarly rational expressions of a mainstream political perspective.

5:32 PM  
Blogger ULAND said...

(cont.)

They aren't comprable with advocating for going organic ( another reason the gag fails), for one thing, but secondly, the depiction of these concepts as radical/dangerous only works if you're dedicated to seeing the people presenting it as a type; as your ideological enemy, i.e; everything that is wrong with America. It has nothing to do with the validity of the issues it's ostensibly taking on, it's just another random stab at the imagined enemy in this media-created culture war we're all being subjected to ( because it's an easy way to keep manage people, really), and I don't have respect for creative people who willfully engage in that sham.
I don't agree with an absolutist view on the 2nd ammendment. I do think immigration laws should be enforced ( and I promise you, it has nothing to do with liking or disliking Mexicans). I also contribute to a food co-op and volunteer at organic farms.
I'm just saying that we should raise our game a little bit. What are the real issues here? Is it really that one side hates urban psuedo-intellectuals and the other is still pissed off at the rednecks who made fun of them in high school? Cause that's all I get from stuff like this..

5:32 PM  
Blogger Sigmund said...

I live in France and we here are always puzzled by the fact that, killing spree after killing spree after killing spree..., nobody dares to oppose to the NRA and create a true and harsh control of gun possession. I know this is a constitutional right, but hey, who said that a Constitution never should be changed ? The word "amendment" itself means that something has been added, which proves that this text can be changed ! The Constitution and its amendments should be revised, changed following the evolution of the society ; you don't live in the 18th century anymore, don't you ? Far West time is over, right ? So why should people have the right to behave like centuries before ?!

12:42 AM  
Blogger Lloyd Dangle said...

Uland, if you're right that the people attending rallies with their guns pose no danger and that it's wrong to see them as thuggish and intimidating, then my gag is DOUBLE-IRONIC, making it an even better cartoon than I previously supposed.

8:54 AM  
Blogger ULAND said...

I don't understand the irony, Lloyd.

Sigmund— What can be said? The US is a giant experiment. We're a relatively new country, and, like it or not, guns played a huge role in our creation. No one would've ventured West without one. So, there is a deep connection there, but there is also some logic in the notion that a nation with access to arms is a nation that is very difficult to conquer. Most European Nations changed radically after the World Wars in terms of notions of liberty (Interestingly enough, neutral Switzerland has one gun per household for military purposes..).
When it comes to massacres, you have to keep in mind that there are many ways to kill people and a determined person will find a way. It's a delicate balance that doesn't always work out, but it's ultimately to do with the state of our culture, not our right to bear arms.
Also, I think it's worth pointing out that you never hear news reports about instances where a person with a gun stops a violent crime from occuring, simply by displaying it. It happens very often. It is our obligation to protect our lives and property, and guns help in that regard.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Sigmund said...

Thank you Uland for this interesting answer. You say that protecting lives and property with guns is an obligation. I thought that this was, in a developed country, and especially in the world's first superpover, the Army's and the police's mission. Reducing the number of gun possession can only make their work easier, allowing faster and more secure busts. As you said, someone who wants to commit a violent crime will always find a way ; so, is it necessary to give him the right to do it the easy way ?
And about the fact that a country in arms is way more difficult to conquer than another, I'm not sure it still makes a difference when millions of lives can be wiped out with a few nuclear missiles or a large-scale cyberattack. Solar flares can even be a biggest threat to your national security than the most violent and well-trained terrorist ! And that would be the Far West again.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Larsen E. Whipsnade said...

No question: The far righties are far more scary/unhinged and quite possibly psychotic.

The most aggressive the Lefties ever get is their incessant canvassing in front of the library. But they're not going to shoot anyone.

+1 Dangle.

12:41 PM  
Blogger James said...

You left a few figures out of the drawing on the right - The firebomb hurlers at the WTO conferences, the ELF tree spikers and arsonists, the club-wielding NBP Party folk at the voting site, the physical assaults on counter-protestors at anti-war and pro-immigration rallies, the burning effigies of George Bush, the protest signs that read "We Support The Troops If They Shoot Their Officers, the "Death of a President" film that depicted the assassination of a sitting President (George Bush), the "Kill Bush" t-shirts, Sandra Bernhard hoping Sarah Palin is raped by a gang of Black Muslims, just to name a few off the top of my head.

Plus, there's the entire "progressive" blogosphere that seethes with mindless, slobbering hate over all things and people conservative, and celebrates every time a prominent conservative figure dies, and expresses barely-concealed glee at the thought of an armed revolution in the U.S. (though that would be rather difficult to depict in a cartoon which, I'm certain is why you left that off, right?)

Just trying to be helpful. No thanks needed.

4:47 PM  
Blogger James said...

"The extremists waving guns around at political rallies are ickier than the so-called extremists on the left."

Perhaps the "waving guns" are symbolic of a specifically enumerated constitutional right the Left would like to erased. There is no such constitutional suppression coming from the Right. Except for possibly abortion, but that "right" is not specifically enumerated. They could wave a dead and dismembered fetus around in support of abortion, though that might not go over too well, I suppose.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Eric said...

Love the double dose of selection bias and false equivalence from James.

The right has a length history of "constitutional suppression".

Care to explain the various right wing law suits against the 'Ground Zero Mosque'? Going so far as to submit bills to congress.

Also - how about suspending Habeas Corpus and all the other assorted nastiness enacted through the Patriot Act and the founding of DHS? Obama has taken a lot of leftwing heat for not repealing these things started under a Republican congress and Bush.

How about the firebombs and vandalism on mosques & synagogues throughout the country?

Oh, how about the broken windows & threats toward Democratic leaders?

Racist threats towards a Black congressman, a veteran of the Civil rights era?

And I love the listing of all the violent extremists of the left. The problem there is that most of the left condemns those acts pretty loudly. They are outliers - not condoned at all.

The same isn't true on the right. The violence enacted by the right is usually met with tacit approval, victim blaming or rationalizations. "When we said shoot them, we didn't mean shoot them!"

Two words: "Surveyor's symbols."

Guns, whether they're constitutionally protected or not, are for one thing - violence. They inherently imply a willingness use violence. And the rightwing rhetoric of late has shown, at least a verbal willingness, to use violence to get what the rightwing can't get at the ballot.

And their appearance at political rallies is problematic in a democracy. The only enemy in a democracy are other citizens. The democrats winning is not a sign of tyranny. As Jon Stewart said, losing is supposed to taste like a shit taco - but it's not tyranny or reason to threaten secession.


So, in the end, the cartoon is dead on. Both sides have extremist nutballs but only the right seems to hug them & cherish them.

11:51 AM  
Blogger ULAND said...

Eric—

1. I don't think the Mosque lawsuits represent "The Right" in any real way, and certainly are not being presented as appeals to the Constitution. I don't know what grounds those suits are claiming, but I don't imagine they're making claims re: Constitutionality.

2. Because , say, George Bush was in office while a policy or law was passed doesn't make that policy "right wing" , just as the examples you cite can't be called "leftist" simply because Obama hasn't repealed them. This mode of argument has nothing to do with actual political or philosophic distinctions, it's just a matter of who's in power and who's not. It's about embracing a party because you like the list of enemies they've accrued.
I really shouldn't have to point out how both of the parties lack principles, which is why it's so insane for people to be all consumed with joining in with one team against others.

3. The secession stuff isn't just about losing an election. It's about the real distinction between how a Progressive views the citizens relationship to the State vs. how a Traditionalist or a Classical Liberal might view it. The latter is simply saying that they view things like Obamacare as an over-extension of that relationship. That relationship is the basis of the contract between the governed and the State, so let's not recognize the contract anymore. You need the consent of the governed, in other words. Without things like Secession being available, the State could simply extend itself at will and wouldn't have to seek the consent of its citizens any longer. That's tyranny. Even if the State is issuing mandatory lollipops and pony rides, without the consent of the governed ( in this case coercing citizens to buy a private product/service), you're living in tyranny. It's not just how it might make you feel. It's not just legal-ese designed to make sure everybody feels good about themselves. It's about principles.

4. Who are these murderers the Right has embraced?

5. Guns do ostensibly display a willingness to use them, but you must recognize that there are legitimate uses of violence, no? Self defense, defending others from fraud, coercion, or random violence. To imagine that removing the object from the equation— the gun— will somehow make the issue of violence and the concomitant need to defend ourselves from— is simply blind, wishful thinking. Worse, it's an affront to civilized notions of justice, innocence and guilt.

Ultimately I think you're a pretty perfect example of what's wrong with political discourse in this country, Eric. You're clearly unwilling to understand "the other side" in the terms that they state they must be understood by. You can disagree with it in the end, but you must extend at least some good faith in hearing them out. It's that, or we can all devolve to huffy, obnoxious xenophobia, with the talking heads on each side giving marching orders. Meanwhile, Wall street and other Global mafias continue their plundering.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Baldr Odinson said...

An excellent cartoon. The worst that we can say about pro-gun extremists is that they prepare themselves to kill, are armed, and often support overthrowing our democratic government. The worst that they can say about pro-control extremists is that we don't stretch the definition of the second amendment to their extreme. Which extremist would YOU fear in a dark alley?

My blog for gun control: http//newtrajectory.blogspot.com

12:46 AM  
Blogger ULAND said...

I wouldn't fear either. I'd fear the criminal who already carries an illegal weapon or the government that tortures and murders in support of "democracy"; exactly why we need to defend ourselves.

6:43 AM  

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