Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Violence? What violence?

The defensive response from many on the right that their rhetoric is not violent or doesn't incite violence is just offensive. Here is a great example of what passes for humor on the political right. It's a hunting license for killing Democrats. You can buy one at the "patriot shop" (the name of course implying that if you don't like what they sell you must not be a patriot).

UPDATE: Dr. Strangelove pointed out that the product linked above has been taken down since I first posted this. But I found several other products at the same website that are nearly as indicative of the pervasive violent subtexts of the American right. Here, Here, Here and Here.


Dr. Strangelove said...

Looks like they pulled it already. Apparently they realized it looked bad.

A Lopez said...

I just wanted to note that this item appears to have been resurrected as a "Liberal Hunting License" with the disclaimer that it is sold for novelty purposes only. It appears they have no reservations against making jokes about murdering people, as long as they make it clear that it shouldn't be taken as an actual license to murder. Because apparently the people who patronize the Patriot Shop might be confused on that point.

Raised By Republicans said...

It also seems like they thought what made it offensive was that it targeted people for their party affiliation. So now they just target people for their political views.

The Law Talking Guy said...

There are two parts to this. One is cultural. Rednecks talk in certain ways that metropolitan suburbanites don't. In short, some of this is just a matter of the metaphors you choose. But there's also the political aspect of this. The heritage of the right wing is the deliberate use of political violence and intimidation to leverage their power as a minority. That is not just a metaphor. Most people buying this stuff are just using military metaphors in ways that you and I would consider inappropriate. But a small number do believe they have a right under the Second Amendment to use guns to threaten and intimiddate agents of a tyrannical government, which they define as Democrats and Obama. That is the problem.

USwest said...

I don't think I would use "redneck" cultural differences to excuse such things. It's one thing to joke around privately, but to post it publicly is another thing.

All of this reminds me of the lists pro-lifers posted with the names of 'targeted' doctors. It's inciting violence. It starts out as innocent fun, then a few nut jobs fall for it, and then grows beyond. It's like when I was a kid and my brother and I would wrestle. My mother would warn us, "That's just fine kids until someone gets hurt." And sure enough . .

Where do you draw the line between "inciting violence" and free speech? I ask this because we had a pretty lively debate over it went the Dutch cartoons were published.

Considering the current trend of anti-bullying laws, and zero-tolerance laws, what's the difference between innocent teasing and bullying or sexual harassment? We seem to find ways to enforce these rather subjective laws. And the price we pay is fun . . . a little less fun and color and character than before. And we also reduce civility by turning it into a legal argument rather than respect for others. Now if anyone compliments anyone else, it could be harassment. So better to say nothing. We loose something then.

Is it really different types of gun laws we need? Is it fewer shock jocks and a return to a neutral media? A return to sanity? Is it some combination of all of these? Is this conversation just a flash in the pan. It too will die back in a year.

It ultimately comes down to the principle of civility and tact. But good luck managing civility in the era of Facebook where lines between private and public are constantly blurred. It's just fine kids, until someone gets hurt.

Raised By Republicans said...

As you said, US West, the problem is free access to guns+politicized shock jocks.

I do think though that the Republican leadership has not done enough to reign in or marginalize the more radical and irresponsible factions of their base. Indeed, they've done next to nothing to limit their influence.

LTG is right that there is a long standing tradition of the right using violence to intimidate (or even kill off) their opposition. It goes back to the KKK and even further back.

LTG may also be on to something that there is a cultural dimension to this (or at least appears to be). But I think it is a symptom of the concentration of the American right in rural and Southern geographical areas. The cultural differences may be a side effect of the Republican Party's "Southern Strategy."