I knew Ms. Ringler was stopping by for a visit every once in a while. I had some time tonight to explore in greater detail her visits. I put the results in an Excel spreadsheet to easier share it with you: RobynRinglerVisits.xls (36 KB)
When I wrote my Sympathy for Robyn Ringler post I actually knew a little more than I let on. I knew that she had seen my post where I called her and her ilk bigots. I also knew she was visiting Kevin’s blog at least occasionally too (it’s all in the spreadsheet).
Bigots really don’t like to be made fun of. Frequently part of the reason they are bigots is because they are unsure of themselves and feel threatened. They need to bring someone else down in order to make themselves feel powerful. This may particularly apply to anti-gun bigots because we already scare them just because we own guns. As explained by my formerly liberal friend Mike:
Back in the days when I was very anti-gun, I tended to think of “gun nuts” as drooling, knuckle-dragging morons. Cavemen. Uneducated. Beer-drinking slobs who could barely read and who probably beat up their wives a lot. Maybe they were even all closet Nazis, eh? Etc., etc., etc. It was an image that came instantly to mind. I would talk about “gun nuts” that same way with friends of like mind. It all made such perfect sense to us.
But if ever I came across a “gun nut” in person I would be silent — especially if it was someone dressed in, say, hunting cammos. Or I might see “gun nuts” on TV and make a snide comment about them, but seeing them made me feel a bit afraid (something I didn’t reveal to other people). It wasn’t rational, but it wasn’t surprising considering how I’d been raised. It wasn’t until a long time later that I realized what I’d been doing: trying to make the “gun nuts” almost into sub-humans in my mind, and paint them as ridiculous and stupid so that they shrank in stature and were less scary to me. (But as I said, this doesn’t work. No amount of sneering made me feel less afraid.)
Pointing out their total lack of factual knowledge on the subject has got to be very painful for them. For them to think of us as knuckle-draggers and then have their intellectual lunch handed to them probably will do nothing to change their minds. But what it does do in this new democracy is make them back off the topic. I believe that having them avoid the topic is the best we can hope for. When they have such a poor self-esteem and they have taken a very public stance on the issue it is simply beyond their ability to admit they are wrong. You wouldn’t expect a Klansman to admit they were wrong would you?
The best you can hope for is for them to back down. So let’s take our victory over this bigot and continue on to the next one. Conversions are too difficult, just intellectually shame them into silence and mock them as we roll on past.
Ms. Ringler, if you stop by again to read this there is something I want you to know and understand. From Clayton Cramer:
Still, her announcement that she was going to stop allowing comments doesn’t particularly upset or surprise me–this is a common response of gun control advocates, who soon discover that we knuckle-dragging Neanderthals don’t just outnumber them, but we’re smarter than they are–way smarter.