Hard to believe but apparently not a hoax – “Joe the Plumber” says your dead kids don’t trump my rights.
Adam Weinstein at Gawker has the details.
Continuing his tradition of providing answers to questions no one fucking asked him, Joe decided to post an open letter to the families of victims killed in Elliot Rodger’s murder-suicide rampage over the weekend. Just the victims who were shot, though; not the ones who were stabbed.
His message of hope and love: Stay the fuck away from my guns.
I am sorry you lost your child. I myself have a son and daughter and the one thing I never want to go through, is what you are going through now. But:
As harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.
And that’s the important thing here – that Samuel Wurzelbacher aka “Joe the Plumber” gets to keep his guns and stick to them too.
There’s something refreshingly honest in Joe’s acknowledgement that this tragedy is all about him. It’s the reductio ad absurdum of an ethos that’s obsessed with the self and the self’s freedom without a concomitant empathy for other selves and their freedoms. Joe’s rant illuminates quite starkly how the right-libertarian absolutist interpretation of individual rights comes into direct conflict with the lives of his fellow countrymen and their children. To talk of responsibilities is to water down a right, and we cannot do that, no matter what the cost! (On the other hand: “They talk about gun rights,” Martinez said in his stirring press statement about his son. “What about Chris’s right to live?”)
Doesn’t count. Trumped by Wurzelbacher’s right to have guns.
It’s part of a larger move in conservatism away from appeals to the common good and toward an antipathy for anything but the self. Where conservatives used to justify the free market, for example, in Adam Smith’s practical terms—the invisible hand provides for all, a rising tide floats every boat—they now rationalize it in Ayn Rand’s fundamentalist terms: Who gives a shit if the market is good or just? It’s right. Now get the fuck out of our way, you illogical bromide-hawking self sacrificer.
And what movement is unsettlingly full of Randian libertarians? Why, it’s the organized skepticism movement, that’s what.
I’ve got these small neodymium magnets on my fridge that were marketed under the name “Buckyballs.” There was a product recall on them, because children were placing them on their tongues to create the illusion of tongue rings. The problem is that the magnets are fairly strong, and if two or more are swallowed, they can pinch the intestines and cause serious injury. The company that sold them stop manufacturing them due to lawsuits. I kept my magnets, since I have no children and don’t plan on swallowing any. But I remember thinking, isn’t it odd how I can’t buy more because a few kids swallowed them, but an entire elementary school got shot up and I can still go buy the exact same weapons used to do it. Of course, there’s no political lobby for neodymium magnets. A few injured kids is all it takes for change. But with guns? Two dozen dead kids in one event, no changes. Thousands of dead kids, one by one, year after year. No changes. It seems like a strange set of priorities.
Blanche Quizno says
Stay classy, Joe the Plumber.
Al Dente says
But Joe the Not Licensed Plumber wants his bang-bangs. His manhood is at stake. Fuck anyone else’s right to live, JOE NEEDS HIS PENIS-SUBSTITUTES!
Bernard Bumner says
Does anyone remember when conservatives used to care about society and community? (Albeit, the community who looked and loved as they did.)
Crimson Clupeidae says
michaelraymer@1: similarly, look at how restrictive laws are in almost every state regarding knives, throwing stars, nunchucks, and similar weapons. Then compare to gun laws. Admittedly, these are all weapons with the potential to injure or kill, but the scale of possible damage is much higher with a gun.
The Second Amendment says “arms” not “guns” so why aren’t the gun fondlers talking about the right to have blades as well?
“As harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”
But he wants his fictional god to trump our Constitutional rights.
F [i'm not here, i'm gone] says
I remember when conservatives pushed for gun control, anyway.
The response to this should always be: “We intend to amend the Constitution using the constitutionally approved method for doing so.”
deepak shetty says
myself have a son and daughter and the one thing I never want to go through, is what you are going through now. But:
As harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights
He hasnt read the studies about gun ownership at home – if he truly “never wants to go through” the loss of a child then he should get rid of his guns..
Back when the Soviet Union was a going concern, conservatives were the people who warned that the USSR was a bunch of brutal thugs who wanted to take over the world, and liberals were the people who said “no enemies on the left”. After the Soviet Union collapsed, and a bunch of formerly-secret documents were exposed to the light of day, it turned out that the conservatives were right—the Soviet Union really was a bunch of brutal thugs who wanted to take over the world. And since conservatives were the ones who recognized the reality of a real enemy rather than denying it, I was quite willing to cut right-wingers a lot of slack. Sure, some people on the right were nutbars, but there were also prominent conservatives like Eisenhower, who warned about the danger of the military-industrial complex, and Barry Goldwater, who made it clear that he did not want to get any religion in his politics.
That was then. Now… well, can anybody name a sane right-winger who actually has a prayer of getting nominated for any position more important than dog-catcher? Hell, can anybody name a sane right-winger who actually has a prayer of getting nominated for any position at all?
I miss the days when conservatives got along with reality…
Jackie the wacky says
Keep talking right wing assholes.
The more people see of your horrible ideologies, the better.
Well, all that tosh about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” was only in the DoI, not the Constitution (pbui), so it isn’t legally binding.
SC (Salty Current), OM says
Anarchists were excellent critics of Communism from its earliest days and, obviously, from the Left.
Hmm. Joe the ‘Plumber’ and Elliot Rodgers = ‘a well regulated militia?’
You want to know another ‘movement’ full of Randroids and libertarians? MRA and PUA, I suspect. My only cavil being that religious fundies may be present in big numbers too.