If your social media environment includes friends and family who aren’t necessarily big supporters of the Second Amendment, eventually someone in your Circles/Friends List will say something about guns that absolutely drives you crazy. I’ve had a lot of friends and relatives who weren’t lucky enough to grow up as I did. Few of these folk own guns, and some of them would prefer very strict regulation of firearm ownership and use. I don’t think it’s my duty to constantly debate them, although I like to think I’ve softened some of their opinions after taking them shooting . . .
But I recently reached the breaking point with one Facebook friend. He’d been my younger brothers’ best friend for a few years in the early 1980s, and it was fun to hear about his adult life after he’d moved to New Zealand.
He’d turned into an extreme ‘progressive liberal’ in the last thirty years, falling somewhere on the statist/collectivist spectrum between Rachel Maddow and Thom Hartmann. And sprinkle in a penchant for conspiracy theories about corporations and conservatives and anyone with any religious beliefs whatsoever.
He occasionally turned his ire toward guns and violence in America, and vented his Kiwi spleen on American gun owners in particular. I politely offered him a different perspective, supported by current and historical facts, to which he never directly responded.
Listening to opposing viewpoints is the price of free speech, I’ve always thought, and I gradually disengaged from his anti-gun rants. He’s lived overseas for many years, and it was a bit surprising to me that his anti-2A opinions were so violently expressed.
He has chosen to live in New Zealand, an island nation with none of the geographic, ethnic, or historical challenges that America faces. New Zealand is largely homogeneous, with only one populous non-English ethnic group. Thousands of miles of open ocean mean there is very little illegal immigration to deal with. New Zealand doesn’t have the fiscal challenges we do, because it hasn’t been militarily and financially responsible for the security of Western Europe for the last 69 years.
In a nutshell, American domestic politics have no impact on his life in New Zealand, and he forfeited his right to complain about them when he moved there. I don’t have any more regard for his opinion about the Second Amendment than a Japanese salaryman should have for my opinion about Emperor Akhito’s hairstyle or the dominance of the Liberal Democratic Party.
So I ignored his rants. But when he cut loose with an invective-filled diatribe about the bloody hands and hate-filled hearts of every single American who believes in the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms (ending with the words ‘YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE!’ in all-caps) I had enough.
How many times should I be expected to tolerate being called a bigot, moron, second-hand murderer and ‘ASSHOLE’? I was tired of hearing some variation of “present company excepted” when I politely voiced a different viewpoint, so I left just a single comment.
I’m sorry you feel that way. You won’t be hearing from me again.
Blocked, deleted, and un-friended. Hasta la vista, buddy.
Have you ever dropped someone from your social media because of guns? And if you have, what was the anti-gun straw that broke your camel’s back? . . .