Sunday, December 23, 2012

The False Equivalency of Mr. LaPierre and Mayor Bloomberg

("Bloomberg, LaPierre and the Void")

Mr. Douthat complains of the disappearance of the centrist viewpoint, leaving extremes to proffer opinions that radicalize and divide. I fundamentally disagree with this notion. Our discourse has moved so far right on issues like health care and the environment that what passes for liberal would a generation ago have barely even been considered conservative. What remains is watered down legislation on health, where single payer proponents never even had a voice and a nation where drill baby drill is a virtual reality. In its wake, environmental alternatives like solar and wind power lay dormant and barely a whisper of protest is heard.

But nothing is more outrageous than the discussions on gun control.  Michael Bloomberg an irrelevant voice of hubris on the extreme left? Really. We have been so indoctrinated in an avalanche of NRA led discourse, that we as a nation have abandoned even the pretense of rational conversation on gun control. We have not been debating whether it is in the best interest of our country to protect ourselves without guns instead of with them, as the statistics would clearly demonstrate. Rather, the questions posed have focused on whether we are to be nothing other than a  21st century version of the Wild West, and ask only whether we have to check our guns before we enter the bar.

Mr. Douthat's premise is the anti- Manhattan picture, one in which this sliver of land does not dominate but disappears. It is the extinction of the left and would leave a view of the world tilted extreme right on its axis. I for one believe that Mr. Bloomberg has enunciated a position that is predicated on facts and logic, and does not even go far enough in establishing the dangers of guns in our homes. But facts and logic have never stopped the right before, and sadly have not been the focus of our debate on so many issues in recent years.  The void we have witnessed as the radical fringe has instead become the voice of the Republican party, is the death of logic and reason.To equate Mr. LaPierre and the damage he and others like him have caused, with Mayor Bloomberg and the damage he attempts to prevent, is to be dishonest with the American public, and does our nation a great disservice.

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