Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
February 3, 2013
Two specific inspirations for this week’s cartoon. The first was a bill that popped up in the Michigan Senate, Senate Bill 63, which would make “firearms, ammunition or accessories that are manufactured and sold in Michigan not be subject to federal regulations.” It is difficult to imagine a more cynical piece of legislation — attempting to defend Second Amendment rights by openly declaring our state as not subject to constitutional law. Hmmm… The second was a Facebook posting that turned into a gun debate in the comments. Typically, I don’t subject myself to these. But I was taken with two guys in the thread — one who kept trying to bring the debate to a thoughtful discussion and another who was stunning in his volume of words and apparent depth of conviction. The stunning guy was arguing for guns, guns, and more guns and I found myself thinking, “Is it possible for somebody to be this ideologically passionate?” And then it occurred to me — yes, he’s full of fear. Or more specifically, fear bordering on paranoia.
Fear can drive us to do and say unreasonable things. And I don’t judge because we all have fear. But I think we would be all better off as a matter of public policy if we at some point acknowledge the fear but don’t let it drive us.