Comment: Selfish gun-rights activist content to shout from the sidelines

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Selfish gun-rights activist content to shout from the sidelines

Innocent people should not die at the hands of aggressors.
Moral people are outraged by the deaths of innocent people dying at the hands of aggressors. The more numerous and more innocent the victims, the greater the degree of outrage provoked.

This is why comparative stats about the number of innocents who die from, say, adverse drug reactions or car accidents do not provoke an equal (or even greater) sense of outrage. Driving and taking drugs are actions a victim takes that have inherent risks. Going to school has not, thus far, been a risky behavior. Thus children -- and adults -- attending school are "more innocent" and provoke more outrage.

Outrage provokes an action response. We don't like -- won't stand for -- moral outrages. We must do something; we must act. At least that's our innate desire. A righteous desire, in my opinion. Much of the time, we don't know what to do. But the folks with a lurking agenda do. All the classic sayings apply: Go with the tide; go with a fair wind. You wait until something catches with the popular mindset and ride the momentum. The momentum -- the outrage -- didn't pick gun control or preaching about the 2nd Amendment. The outrage is visceral and wants to act to do its moral part.

This is why folks like Morgan can keep beating the where's-the-sympathy-for-the-victims drum. And keep getting duckets for it. Because in the aftermath of a tragedy against numerous innocents, society is outraged toward action. This mob outrage is a blunt and indiscriminate instrument. It can be harnessed and wielded by anyone who gives it direction and justification. It is not interested in principles. Nor the discussions of historical documents. Nor toward sterile statistics. It is outraged. It wants action. It wants it now.

You can call it stupid and reactionary and evil-mob consciousness or any name you wish. But it is part of the moral fiber of humanity, and it won't go away because you don't like it. The folks who use it well don't care if it's built upon logical suppositions and leads to best-case-scenario government policies. They call it the high tide upon which they launch their agenda. They call it the fair wind behind which they position their goals.

All I've seen from the clips posted here (and I've only done a bit of searching outside the DP links), is defensiveness from the pro-gun folks. Sure there are plenty of Pratts and Shapiros, and Jones telling the mob-outrage to calm down and think. But where is the intellect that recognizes this first-flush of response from a morally outraged populous is not seeking appeals to statistics or old documents or principles? Where are the leading intellects in tune with directing the outrage?

I admire much of what Pratt and Shapiro tried to do in their interviews with Morgan. But they seem to be stubbornly refusing to deal with the actual act of communicating with their audiences. It is messy and difficult to make it your main criteria to meet people where they are and come beside them to encourage them toward a rational course of action. So much easier to only engage where you are at -- spouting stats and principles. But that's only earning them duckets with their inner circle, the already-converted. Such intellectual parochialism is fine and dandy if you just want to look good to your self-designated peers. It means nothing if you wish to engage the tide and wind of populous angst.

I've heard none of these speakers ride this tide or go with this wind. We should be morally outraged by the mass slaughter of innocent children. When leaders such as Pratt, Shapiro, and Jones fail to grieve and outrage, they fail to become part of the tide or the wind; they fail to identify and fail to lead the mob. I suspect that they feel the very act of public utterance of grief and outrage would slice away at their arguments. They set themselves on their heels, off balance, from the start. They, apparently, are more comfortable being the guy at the side of the mob shouting about logical fallacies and hanging onto the notion that, when they get done and get home, all their peers will slap them on the back and call them heroes despite their stubborn refusal to engage real people -- the mob (tide, wind) gripped by real outrage.

In short, they do not make a real difference because they are unable or unwilling to meet the mass of people where they are at -- full of moral outrage and hungering for action.

To all of you who may be in a position to speak to the public, no matter how small your segment, please think about diving to the front of the mob and directing it. Understand the outrage; identify with it. Understand the instinct toward action -- revel in it -- this is humanity at it's finest. Use it; don't run from it.

I do not believe that people are sheep. I cringe every time I reach a post with the phrase. I'm quite certain that the folks who use it most frequently are folks who've come to believe quite recently that they don't have to be sheep. A pot calling he kettle back sort of thing. If you go around calling others sheep, it's most likely because you think yourself a sheep and have just caught a whiff of what it means to be unsheep.

Not that anyone will even read to the bottom of this -- I understand that my thoughts are limited and largely for my own entertainment and discernment of my own thought process -- but... But if anyone who does and is actually engaged with media outlets, I wish to encourage you to be fully human. To fully allow yourself to engage in the impulse of outrage and desire for action. Don't waste your time denying such admirable human qualities. Don't presume your arguments are based outside such impulses. Don't be defensive; don't shout from the sidelines. Move to the front; lead. Leading means understanding the force at your backside and flanks. It means subjugating what YOU (and your pond of peers admires) to what the mob needs and deciding that you can actually understand and get in front front it of.