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Adherents of the Repeated Meme

December 23, 2012

It’s fascinating to watch people so deliberately miss the point.

So I made this a few days ago.

Families Guns

and plastered it to hell and back because I think it’s a good image.

Apparently I was right, in that it was picked up by one of the many popular Facebook groups I’m a member of and it has led to about 2000 and roughly 400 shares as of this writing.

Imma pause for a moment to congratulate myself. A thing that I made out of my brain is fostering thoughts and debate in other humans. That right there? Is the thing that I love doing more than anything else in the universe.

I appear to have struck a nerve, which was pretty much my goal, so job well done.

A lot of people don’t get it, which I will cop to. If my message doesn’t hit, then it’s my fault. I will plead the medium. It’s hard to be precise with a limited amount of space such as one has with a picture that is meant to go online. That said, a large part of the reason that I embrace the medium. if you’ve read this blog at all, you know I can write a book length entry complete with the internet equivalent of footnotes. Memes require the maker to work with as few words as possible. However, I do take responsibility to for any aspect in which the picture fails.

What I find interesting about the reactions to this picture is the number of people who first talk about their feelings and then angrily capslock their way through some variation of “YOU CAN’T VOTE TO TAKE AWAY MY GUNS! I HAVE RIGHTS!”

I can’t help but analyze the reaction, because I am nerd and that’s what I do.

For other people, pictures are far more likely to evoke feelings that words. That is not the case for me, but A- has explained to me that visual stimulus is extremely evocative. For me, because my life is far more auditory than visual, that happens through music. So I sympathize but don’t empathize with the responses that first move toward feelings.

It never occurred to me that feelings would be the first place that people would go. What I was trying to do was make people think. What’s interesting is, some of them did but many of them didn’t.

Over and over again, people asked “how am I supposed to feel?”

In this case, I have no idea how people are supposed to feel. Sorry, can’t answer that question. What are you supposed to think? That I can answer. What you’re supposed to think is “Gee aren’t the huge number of people who think it’s perfectly OK to vote on marriage rights but an abomination unto the Constitution to vote on gun rights massive hypocrites?” If you thought that, or some variation of that, give yourself a gold star.

Many people don’t think that. Many people refuse to think it even after that specific logical path is pointed out to them. Instead, they continue to talk about how they don’t know how to feel or they claim that the picture hurt their feelings. Many of them have subsequently demanded that the page pull the picture. Props to the page managers in that their response has been roughly “Ha ha! No.”

Most people think that the 2nd Amendment evolved automatically to include modern guns. A subset of that group deny that the marriage rights evolved the same way; to include equality for the LGBTQ community. (Why yes Justice Scalia, I am looking at you right now.)

I’ve written before about the fundamental failure of morality and humanity in those who respond to the gun violence with jerked knee toward protecting their guns. But the consistent hypocrisy in this reaction, the automatic turn toward “stay away from my gun rights,” and the subsequent sprint toward government protection is baffling in its blindness.

The pro-gun answer will always be “YOU CAN’T VOTE ON MY GUNS! YOU CAN’T VOTE TO TAKE AWAY MY RIGHTS!”

The equality response should be “Exactly.”


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