The Chicago Sun-Times is one of those odd papers whose reporting tends to lean quite conservative, but they instead stock themselves with as many bleeding liberals as featured columnists. It gets trippy if you arent used to it.
One of the more prominent liberal writers is Neil Steinberg. Neil was a gun-totin logic-thinkin hard-drinkin columnist for many years, up until 2008 when Obama got elected. Overnight, he became a Chekhov-quoting fruity-water sipping those-dirty-republicans columnist. He even updated his picture to go from glaring, clean-cut urbanite to nervous, mustachioed college professor.
In the old days, the Czar enjoyed his articles on firearms. Steinberg was an anti-gun lobbyist who one day got suckered into going to a shooting range with a gun-loving friend…and liked it. A lot. He wrote about the sheer fun of it, the safety protocols that are everywhere that makes it among the safest activities imaginable, and his discovery of the delightfully friendly gun culture. His epiphanies were enjoyable to read.
That is, again, until 2008. Now he hates guns. Loathes them. Sorta. He still cant shake the bug, but his liberal overlords ensure he toes the line. He wrote a column this past week that is so resonant with cognitive dissonance, it is stunning.
Within, he openly admits he has a FOID card but does not own a firearmimplying (or not, it is hard to tell) that the Illinois controversy about revealing names of FOID owners is counter-productive because there are more FOID holders than gun owners. But check out the weirdness of these three paragraphs:
Guns have a certain glamor, a cold murderous beauty. And a gun can be handy under certain situations — if you see bad guys in black and white striped shirts, black masks and caps, holding sacks for their loot, creeping across your lawn at midnight. And target shooting is fun.
But I don’t own firearms because — and I know I risk drawing the wrath of the National Rifle Association by saying this — guns are dangerous.
Not just dangerous in the wrong hands or dangerous unless handled properly, guns have a constant inherent danger, because of what they are: machines designed for efficient killing. And their danger is directly proportionate to their availability for use — one gun, stored in a locked box in the basement, is only a little dangerous, but also only a little useful. Many guns, loaded and sitting out around your home, are very available and also very dangerous. The more ready a gun is for the rare moments when it may be needed, the more dangerous it is every other moment.
In other words, guns are cool! Guns are neat! I like them. But you should not have them, because they are dangerous. The third paragraph is the weirdest of the three: guns are dangerous. Never mind the factual statistics that show them to be safer than the bathtub in your home…they are dangerous by themselves even if they dont do anything because I, Neil Steinberg, feel they are.
His next paragraph (omitted) says that his truth is correct, and that anyone (like the Czar) who boggles at it must clearly be a raving fool. He then takes a shot at the Second Amendment (misquoting it, no less) and creates a strawman argument that no one is actually discussing.
He also, in fairness, says there is a lot of lunacy on the gun-control side, noting with no obvious sense of irony that most gun control advocates argue from an emotional basis that skews to the irrational.
So if you cannot trust either side, whom do you trust? Steinberg choose maritime actuaries.
No, we dont follow it, either. Something about insurance companies not insuring merchant fleets if they carry weapons, even in this Age of Piracy we are experiencing for the first time in history. People in other countries hate American ships docking because of all the guns! Here is a humorous bit about shooting a cook. There. This is all the research we need.
You think the Czar is making this up, if you did not click on the supplied link. If you did skim through Steinbergs weird non sequitur, you know it is as bizarre as this and more.
What is great about this essay is how he ends it: But does it really upset your world if the magazine in that weapon holds 10 bullets instead of 30? Really? That I can’t understand. Maybe if you explain it in an angry tirade, with lots of personal insults and capital letters, it will begin to make sense. Or maybe not. Or maybe he painted his way into a corner and realized he was at his maximum word count for the day.
Why that ending is so great is that his theme seems to be that you never get a good argument out of the pro-gun or anti-gun sides due to the emotions involved. Well, Steinberg writes a column about gun-control being supported by…it still seems odd to type this…maritime actuaries. And in the end, he winds up with an essay that will make advocates and opponents of firearms sit back and ask What the hell is he talking about? First class, Steinberg. Finally, we find common ground: you.
By the way, why dont pirates attack American merchant ships?
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.