I had a great deal of fun with the last letter, so here is another from the Portland Press Herald. This time, we examine the frustrated prose of Steven Westra.
Let us begin. Steven opens,
Among the guiding principles of the U.S. Navy is “no excuses.”
True. Among one of their most successful recruiting campaigns ever, narrated by the invigorating voice talent of Keith David, was ‘Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of All Who Threaten It.’
Invoking a professionally violent organization for one of their pithy quotes, one related to accountability as the DoD fails another massive audit, is an interesting opening to a letter decrying violence. But go on, do not let that discourage you.
I also understand the grounding principle. I’m a Marine. ‘No excuses’, so put in the work. If it fails, the failure will not be through your lack of efforts. I understand what the invocation is trying to push for, the problem is reality.
We are all exhausted by the excuses of our elected leaders]
On many things this is true, but often divided by party lines. We are told what to be upset about without context by either red team or blue team. I cannot put partisan frustrations and genuine frustrations in the same pile of dissatisfaction, there is too much variance.
[and the excuses of the Republican Party for not ending gun violence. Enough debate already about the Second Amendment, mental illness, high-capacity magazines, assault rifles, the human heart …
Recall above the comment on “If it fails…” to the Navy’s “No excuses” proverb, can we apply it here? If it failed due to lack of efforts, we can. However cannot blame politicians for not ‘ending gun violence’ like it is daylight savings time or prohibition.
We can absolutely commiserate together about the inefficiency of the government, but you cannot blame them for not doing the truly and utterly impossible. Ending violence, something present throughout all of nature and history, something nearly as universal between competitive living beings as gravity is to a planetoid, is not possible. Putting the cute ‘gun’ qualifier in front of it merely brackets a portion of the violence, it makes it no less impossible a task.
Side note: I do blame them for not getting rid of daylight savings, it’s silly and needs to be put to bed so it stops messing up our bedtimes.
It is the job of our elected leaders to protect human life as well as our constitutional rights.]
Yes, but within the limitations of law and reality. Not what laws can or should be made but the realistic physical limitations a law allows to be imposed. Congress can unanimously outlaw gravity tomorrow, it would be (and has been) as effective as outlawing violence.
Reality Check: Violence is outlawed. Hell, that is in part of how ‘outlaw’ as a descriptor came to be. Terroristic level mass violence is the most heinous breach of the violent prohibitions. Law makers can’t ‘stop’ anything, they are not engaging in any physical preventative. They have no such absolute and binding physical authority on the world. A lawmaker can print words into the federal and state legal codes and use their imperfect enforcers within law enforcement to punish some of those people who do not follow the words. They will also, during all this, punish wrongly, punish unjustly, punish incorrectly, kill people, disfigure people, and fail.
They will fail time… and time… and time again to stop the violence that is against the law. Because it cannot be stopped by some words on a page, no matter how many words or in what order they appear. An object put into motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an equal or greater outside force. That basic law of physics can be applied to human motivations and capability pretty well too. A law, words written upon a page, applies no physical restraint to anyone. It applies pressure socially on those willing to consent to adherence to it and it allows for a physical response by agents of the state at a certain level of violation.
Aside: It is interesting what becomes, politically speaking, a ‘constitutionally protected right’ and what doesn’t along political lines. The things we increasingly like to declare ‘human rights’ instead of human responsibilities is frankly tragic. Social welfare as a encompassing concept, from infrastructure to legal systems to resource assistance programs, is a human responsibility. It is not a right.
[For the precious lives of our children and grandchildren, they must say “no” to their colleagues, who wear AR-15 lapel pins, and do their job. Enough excuses already.
Sir. Steven. These aren’t excuses, not all of them anyway. These are real rules of the real world and sometimes real laws that you happen to disagree with. So you are debating in order to argue that the debate is over?
Let’s change the demand, Steven. You and I, together.
“Enough impossible promises from politicians for votes.”
Anyone who says they are going to ‘solve’ and unsolvable buzzword, fired.
Yeeted from serious discourse.
I’m sick of hearing platitude laden plans about the ‘gun violence’ epidemic that boil down to,
“If you elect/re-elect me, I’ll try… I’ll try a thing, even more than one thing. I’ll try things that have certainly never been tried before or are demonstrably impossible. Just don’t look too hard at that last claim, please? Because you know I’m trying/going to try. I said so.” – Politician #129
I’ve said it before. I will say it again. If you truly believe that possession of firearms, just certain types or all of them it doesn’t matter, are the enabler of violence then you must abolish the Second Amendment of the US Constitution and implement a forceful and likely violent recovery of arms in the US.
That will fail. But that is the only intellectually honest position one can hold because a partial ban, a partial limit or any of these other asinine proposals are all just to make the scared, ignorant, and angry voters vote for the person who said the thing they liked about solving the thing they are scared of.
That is it.