I’ve had a couple of connections tonight with internet friends and internet family. (The latter being family members I am really only ever in contact with via their Facebook profile or the occasional e-mail forward.) Both were political in nature, at least to the degree that one’s personal beliefs can be affiliated with one political party’s platform or another.
The first was a statement about how Mario Cuomo has signed in new gun control laws and that my friend supports them and those likely to be proposed by the Obama administration later this week. To quote my friend in part:
Gun safety regulations are NOT an attack on the Second Amendment. They do NOT mean that someone is coming to get your guns. Those who argue such things are screaming louder and louder, spewing paranoia and even phrases like “civil war.” This is not funny, as talk like this is exactly the kind of thing that can turn deadly.
I reposted her comments on my own Facebook page. What I want people to know about gun control is that I am a gun owner who strongly supports further restricting access to firearms. If it comes that I cannot buy or sell a gun pending a background check, okey-doke. If I cannot legally own a clip that holds more than a certain number of rounds, that’s fine; I’ll turn over anything that doesn’t comply with law and thank the people on the other side of the counter for doing their job. And to tell you the truth, if guns were banned outright in America (which I really don’t believe they will be in my lifetime), I’ll bring those I have to the big hole they dig outside of town and chuck them in, and I’ll walk away with no more regret or sorrow than that they were all gifts from my father and have certain intrinsic memories about hunting and my growing up on a ranch in Idaho. Other than that, whatever. I won’t be wandering around wondering how I’ll defend myself from Al Qaeda or the crack-heads.
The next contact was with a family member of mine who sent me an e-mail forward full of statistics about how illegal immigration is driving America to bankruptcy. Some of those statistics included statements that indicated that paying for the health care and education of little brown children (of illegal immigrants) needed to stop. This family member doesn’t know me very well. She doesn’t know that my childhood best friend is the daughter of an illegal immigrant who came to America under the fence near El Paso, and who then went on to build a strong, successful business and gained his amnesty and citizenship in 1986. She doesn’t know that one of the reasons we chose a bi-lingual public school program for Junior Vox is that we believe that it will help her gain perspective, compassion, and awareness that people with different languages, countries and customs are her equals and are entitled to the same rights and liberties she is. This family member now knows these things about me and my family because I replied to her e-mail with text similar to the above and told her to not send me political e-mails again.
Yes, I tilt at windmills. Yes, I piss into the wind. But by god, I’m pissing. I am posting this here because I want some few people to hear my voice and realize that I believe these things to be true. You may agree with me or you may not, or you may have an opinion somewhere in between. Or you may not know that there are gun owners like me out there who don’t really care if “you take my guns,” or not. You may not know there are people out there who believe that illegal immigrants deserve help when they’re sick, cold or hungry just as much as I do. And I think you need to hear that.
These are the things I believe. I don’t insist you believe them too. But I am here, and I will speak.