But the opening example from the above-linked AmCon essay deserves a bit of extra scrutiny:
Earlier this March, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors David Hogg and Cameron Kasky appeared on “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Kasky used the opportunity to respond to those like NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch who he feels have used the activists’ young age as an excuse to say they don’t know what they are talking about. Kasky boldly declared: “We’ve been locked in a classroom. We have seen our friends text their parents goodbye. We are the experts. We know exactly what we’re talking about. How dare you tell us we don’t know?” Having endured a horrific and traumatizing experience, it’s understandable that Kasky would answer critics with emotion.
The bigger problem is that such emotional arguments have become the norm in our society. As Charles C.W. Cooke recently argued in National Review, it is wrong and belittling to dismiss Hogg and the other activists from Parkland simply because they are young, just as it is wrong to say that they should be immune from criticism on account of their age. If these students want to chime in on a national debate, it is their right to speak their minds and enter the scrum. Accordingly, their ideas should be criticized and praised under the same criteria as anyone else’s. In that spirit, it is rather difficult to accept Kasky’s claim to expertise solely by his being present at the scene of a horrific crime.
This is disingenuous enough to give a bad name to concern trolling, which is saying something. Let's break down the operational phrase "NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch," shall we? The NRA lobbies on behalf of gun manufacturers, not gun owners. It's a crucial difference between customer and product -- gun owners are the product that the NRA brings to their customers, by pushing booga-booga nonsense about so-and-so coming to take your arsenal, which you totally need in case you have to fight off the eeevil gubmint you claim to revere. Something like that; it becomes increasingly difficult to parse their self-contradictory jabber.
Anyhoo, Dana Loesch is the (urp!) spokesmodel peddling said paranoid jabber to old white men who buy into such guff, and regard her as eye candy. Loesch regards herself as eye candy as well, as she has also tried to pitch a sitcom idea for herself to star in as a "hot young mom." Um, okay. Can't believe they passed on that one.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that not only is Dana Loesch delusional, she is a carny peddling gun paranoia to Dale Gribble burger-militia types between "jobs" out in BFE. Loesch's thinly veiled threats of armed insurrection may give the Cletii a chub, but the main thing is that she is making nakedly emotional appeals to the rubes she's selling to the gun manufacturers.
You see, it turns out that orange is not the new black after all -- since Fuckface Von Clownstick slithered into orifice, gun sales have tumbled, and Remington has filed for bankruptcy. The reasons have a cultural component, but it's mostly just math -- most people purchasing a gun these days already have one, or ten, or fifty, and so are not incentivized to buy more without something tickling their
So this glib chuckler walking past Loesch's role in all this really is not only inexcusable, it's the crux of the biscuit in this here argument. True, Cameron Kasky's role as victim/bystander in a tragic mass murder does not automatically confer upon him the role of "expert" in determining Second Amendment policy. His arguments can and should be scrutinized and contested where they might be flawed, just like anyone else.
But Dana Loesch is no expert either. She's a paid shill for a group that by its own inflated estimation accounts for maybe 5 million people, which is not peanuts, but is also a drop in a bucket of 320 million citizens. The NRA wraps themselves in the fucking flag and claims to represent all Americans, when in fact they represent weapons manufacturers, and count (probably falsely at that) a thin sliver of Americans as paid members. It's actually a pretty impressive racket when you think about it.
I'm not sure what the ultimate intent or endgame of the Parkland survivors will be; it's possible they don't even know for sure yet. They're probably still in "mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore" mode, and they should be. So far what they've done is impressive, and I hope they are able to accomplish more. Even if I end up disagreeing with the specifics of this or that policy proposal, I respect the fact that they've organized and mobilized and made it clear that they're not taking shit from any of these scumbags. Because that is exactly what Loesch and Wayne LaPierre and all the politicians they rent really are. Their gun fetish and the money it brings in are much more important to them than the safety of schoolchildren, every time.
We should be disgusted that not only is this the only nation on the planet that has these events occur, much less with regularity, but also that when they happen, there is always a claque of paid actors (such as Loesch, whom you can be sure does not work pro bono) who will scuttle out of the woodwork and claim that the survivors are paid actors.
Forget the false equivalences and the harrumphed pronunciamentos about arguing from emotion instead of reason: the real problem here is that when these tragedies occur, equal time and footing is given to horrible people, who are not yoked to any moral compass, who have no sense of shame or common decency, who are comfortable arguing from bad faith, peddling lies and hypocrisy.
And then you have the professional commentariat trotting out with their same tired-ass chin-stroking both-sider template. We'll see how creative they get when Loesch's calls for armed rebellion turn into bouts of domestic terrorism, because that's really the demographic she's been stoking all along, trying to gin up gun sales in a down market.
Let's cut the shit here, folks: what we've been watching here is a bunch of high-schoolers taking on one of the most powerful lobbying organizations in the country, as well as all of those rented political weasels. There's no fucking equal footing here; no one is paying any of these kids to stick their necks out on this, but every single one of the talking heads pitted against them is paid quite well, count on it.
Fuck those people, every last one of them. At this point, I don't care if gun-control advocates do start wanting full confiscation, as improbable as that might be, as impossible as it would be to carry out. Because no matter which party is power anymore, I want to see these motherfuckers lose, every time, from here on out. If they order a hot pastrami sandwich from a deli, I want them to get shit on a shingle.
Enough is enough. This nation has been held hostage by a handful of fetishists for far too long, and they need either to accept some very reasonable and modest checks on their "inalienable right," or we need to start revisiting the whole concept. The other 315 million people who are not NRA members do not owe that 1.56% sliver a goddamned thing.