My local weekly paper runs Tom Tomorrow’s “This Modern World” comic, which I enjoy very much. This week’s installment really got my attention:
I would like you to pay particular attention to the Tweet in the fourth panel, for what follows next.
On the opposite page was this letter to the editor (bolding and italics mine):
“I applaud Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan’s having the intelligence and sobriety to proceed with scheduled House business Monday (June 13). That is, rather than accommodating the emotional outbursts of a few Democratic House representatives who lost their cool over the recent Orlando shooting to demand immediate revision of America’s gun laws.
After all, as tragic as the Orlando shooting was, it pales in comparison to the 1.2 million Americans that die every year from drinking, smoking and overeating. This includes 614,000 from heart disease, 157,000 from lung cancer, 76,000 from diabetes and 31,000 from drinking. In comparison, only 11,208 Americans are killed annually with guns(this does not include suicides).
Further adding to the absurdity of these House reps’ and even President Obama’s impassioned pursuit of gun control is its lack of logic. With over 357 million guns already in circulation, stricter gun control laws would have little effect. Truly reducing not just gun violence but also other forms of violence will require eliminating the factors that inspire it—not the means by which it’s executed.
Election reform would ensure officials acted logically and truly served the people and not special interests.
If you closed the newspaper, the cartoon and the letter touched each other. It reminded me of one of those “Fold-in” features from the inside back cover of Mad Magazine, and the resulting picture was just how messed up some people in this country are about guns.
The Glib Sociopath is supposed to be satire. When I read it, I thought, “Surely there aren’t really people like that.” Then Mr. Esplanade (if that's his real name, and I don't believe it is, because it's the name of a weird street in my town, although he might that ONE person with that name in the United States, according to this site: http://forebears.io/surnames/esplanade), unless he's the cleverest and most subtle satirist since Jonathan Swift, proved that there really ARE people like that, and he is one of them.
"After all, as tragic as the Orlando shooting was, it pales in comparison to the 1.2 million Americans that die every year from drinking, smoking and overeating". First of all, when defending gun laws after a mass shooting, no sentence beginning with the words "after all" can have anything good coming next. So 49 innocent people snuffed out in a few moments by one madman is nothing compared to the millions who die from diseases related to lifestyle choices? Maybe not in terms of numbers, but there are huge social and psychological differences.
Then he says "ONLY" 11,000 and some odd people are killed by guns annually. "ONLY"! Oh, and of course this doesn't include suicides by gun, because there's no accounting for crazy people who would take their own lives, right?
He's onto something when he says that eliminating violence requires eliminating the factors that cause it, although he doesn't say HOW that might be accomplished. Then he really goes off the rails by saying that making it harder for killers to get WMS's (Weapons of Mass Shootings) is not the way. He vaguely concludes that election reform would ensure that politicians didn't serve special interests. You mean, like the NRA, Nathan? Do you even hear yourself?
I don't know where I'm going with this. It was all just so flabbergasting that I had to get it off my chest. Congratulations, Nathan Esplanade, you ARE the Glib Sociopath.