By John J. Petrolino III
New Jersey –-(Ammoland.com)- It would not be fair to start pointing fingers or saying things like “those dam liberals“….So I will not.
This is such an interesting dynamic I personally ask myself how is this all possible? Let me set the stage so I can be afforded a little latitude, though I do not believe I need to be given any such privilege.
Beyond having a day job that entails its own amount of aptitude and challenges, I am also a writer. I have written for small newspapers, I have written a lot of poetry, two books actually, several articles, reviews, essays, and now Second Amendment related articles. Look at what I just did there…I used an Oxford comma! I hate Oxford commas and my brother-in-law Larry and I have discussed at length the misuse of such punctuation with his girlfriend. I know a little about writing. Not a ton. I have lectured and done poetry readings at all kinds of schools, colleges and Universities too. I have and do walk what I call the line of freedoms.
What would you say the “line of freedoms” is?
It’s fairly simple. I am a Constitutionalist. I believe in freedom. Period. So the line, for me gets drawn between the First Amendment, the one about talking, writing and religion….and the Second Amendment, the one about guns. You know, the Second protects the First and is so important its number two on the list.
Actually, it was not initially number Two, there were other Amendments that were not adopted but when The Bill of Rights actually got ratified, the important gun information ended up in the Second Amendment and the important speaking information ended up in the First Amendment.
What have I noticed? A great many of the people that exercise the First Amendment until their little heart's content, in some cases ad nauseam, have zero respect, what-so-ever for the Second Amendment. What am I speaking about specifically? This is where we get to the finger pointing, “Those damned liberals” (should be a musical)! News flash America, it is not the “liberals” or even the explicit “liberal agenda”, but the progressive one. Sigh of relief, there are progressives on BOTH sides of the street, however, sorry gang, I have seen more progressive close mindedness in the artistic/writing community than anywhere else I have traveled through or in, in my life. The people who act like they are the most enlightened and educated seem to only have nine amendments to the Bill of Rights. Yes, I know, not all – but a great many.
I was listening to a Second Amendment podcast sometime over the last year or so. The moderator made a very interesting point, or really comment, that I took in and stowed for future reference. The co-host was talking about social media. You know #MyBoringLife'sEveryDetail – #BitchAndComplainAboutEverything – #BragThroughPicturesAboutVacation – #WoeIsMe.…you get it. Did I even use those potato labels properly? I digress, social media.
Like the “Facts of Life”, “You take the good, you take the bad, you take em' both and there you have….” Social media is what can create complete revolutions and can possibly create the destruction of society as a whole. Information that is not communicated on main stream media has this awesome potential to go viral. No, that is or can be a good thing…its a computer term, just bear with me! What the co-host mentioned was a derivation of this idea – so I (the co-host, we'll call him Anthony for argument's sake) – so, Anthony was talking about putting posts on social media that are about the Gun Amendment and he talked about how certain people, we'll call them progressives, would fire back about the evils of guns and fight until the end about their point that all guns are evil, especially the big black ones…the big black ones scare the hell outta people that don't understand them…if that is not bigotry, I do not know what is. Anthony would give the person the liberty to express themselves on what I would consider “his space” – that is a social media post on his wall, floor, tweeter board, ceiling or whatever the moniker is for “his space.” Anthony would then respectfully respond – and in my opinion, I am not sure that respectfully has to be applied here, it is “his space”, but none the less, respectfully reply. There may or may not be a game of preverbal ping pong and then, in the end, the progressive deletes Antony from his or her friend list as a final eff ewe. Time and time again, Anthony creates a post, makes a point and then gets deleted. Not the other way around. To this I said “hm” and digested.
I have since experienced this several times and was SHOCKED. Okay, I do not agree with you. You do not agree with me. Maybe we think that the other is stupid. Maybe all kinds of things. Here is the thing…psst, I did not delete you. That’s right, maybe I'm so idealistic to think that even though we don't agree about everything, we can still #CoExist in this hyper-reality of cyberspace. I was clearly mistaken, time and time again, as I continue/d to suffer the same fate as Anthony – #DeletedByAProgressive! Another friend lost! Yes this continues to happen – I make a post, I get a comment (obnoxious or not), I reply, we dance, and I get deleted by a progressive, usually a writer (sorry Larry, Oxford comma, I know). What I noticed is that there is an incredible amount of progressives complaining and campaigning left and right about a thing called freedom…always talking about the infringements of one person's or a group of person's individual freedoms. The minute I talk about my own freedoms or exercising of said freedoms, or someone else doing so, it turns into a mother may I, oh no you can't, you are wrong and some progressive freedom fighter that does not give a hoot about my personal freedoms, tells me or states how wrong the other person(s) is/are at great length.
Now let’s throw every other right out the window, and go toe to toe, single issue voter, I am talking about guns.
Two recent cases come to mind.
The first, an April's fools mock up post from the NRA about a membership drive. I posted about discounted NRA memberships. Not a bad thing? I mean, I think I maybe doing several services here 1) Possibly trumping up NRA membership 2) Saving potential members a little money, maybe the right amount to get someone onboard.
Two solid benefits from my sharing of this event. I got several thumbs ups (okay two lol), and pokes, and peeks, and likes, and whatevers that happen in cyberspace.
And then I get one glaringly negative comment from a writer out of Long Island, NY “Fat chance!” I simply turned the conversation politely to the Amendment about words and worship and whatnot and how that it may – I'm saying MAY – may be a little hypocritical to kick and scream and exercise the Amendment about praying and talking and things but not appreciate my own personal affinity to the one about big black scary things.
We did not go back and forth, she just deleted me immediately….and it was only after that, that I expressed myself privately to her directly in a manner which would not be gentlemanly. #DeletedByAProgressive.
The next instance I am going to cite, that is there are others, but not as jarring as these two. For that matter, there were other situations where full out arguments developed with straight up liberals – not progressive liberals – that did not result in my deletion, just a deletion of our conversation. We're still friends, Hallelujah! #CoExistance. Anyhow, I recently posted a link about an article talking about cars and guns. That would be the Amendment about the guns and the Amendment – wait a second, there is no right concerning cars – okay so maybe a bad example, but none-the-less, the amendment about guns and the privilege about driving. The article spun a nice picture about how a progressive liberal, in this case they happen to be presumed liberal, had a picture go viral – in that computer way – about how gun owners constantly draw the parallel that overall cars are generally more dangerous than guns….and the “point” of the picture talked about the regulation of guns in a similar manner to cars. In many instances of the point, there are already laws on the books that do what is proposed.
In other instances, what is proposed would give “us” (the big black scary gun people) more freedoms.
Hence, my comment on my ‘ceiling’ was:
Then came the comment from the progressive. Now this fellla was just complaining on his own platform about a woman using religious freedom as her springboard to not issue any marriage licenses to people, particularly because of the resent SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage.
Let the record show the following, before I go forward….I am personally happy for all the people in the homosexual community that can now be legally recognized in all 50 states of the Union. A great many of people I know personally now are having their rights recognized. This, IMHO, is a ‘good' thing.
Now, there is a woman, good – bad – or – indifferent that feels she is being put in a situation that violates her rights, right or wrong. And guess what America, since it is her feeling on her own personal rights, no one can say a damned thing. She may be right. She may be wrong. I think she was recently released from jail, right now (at the time of this event she certainly was in jail). It does not matter because she expressed something that is actually within her actual rights – the one about writing and praying – and I want to know this, how can the preverbal “you” lash out against anyone that is screaming for justice for their own rights, when “you“, yourself, are a so called freedom fighter, protester of rights, arm chair activist about everything under the sun right up until it disagrees with your own ideology.
Holy shit! So not everyone's rights actually matter?
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Call me a romantic but I kinda feel that we need to take into consideration everyone's rights and how one affects another. Something I can say for certain about something I learned from the world of literature is best summed up by a quote from Blake, from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell ~ “One law for the lion and ox is oppression.” Take from that what you will – I can just undeniably state I am appalled by the gross number of academics and intellectuals that may teach or come across this precept and not actually execute it in actuality. The self realization that no matter how hard we try and no matter how important every single one of our individual liberties are, there will undoubtedly be someone walking away trampled and or defeated – violated. In the microcosm of social media I do not know who the actual victor is, however I can say what happens #DeletedByAProgressive
So what was his response? He being a retired teacher, writer and a person who went back to school for his Masters in Creative Writing….his comment to my post and what I consider a dignified (maybe a bit tongue in cheek) response from me is as follows:
And then it ended. He ended all that was us. He did not think that we could, I dare say #CoExisit. And in a final utterance, he said:
And then I found myself subject to a progressive hate beyond disagreement. An ignorance beyond not seeing eye to eye. A statement that, no, we cannot #CoExisit. I found myself brutally #DeletedByAProgressive….
Arguments and rhetoric being what they are, what is the message that we should all take away from this situation? Am I so base to think the statement is that there is nothing for either party to learn from another? Are the arguments too strong or perhaps too weak? Why would “these people” feel so compelled to just end it, like that? Sand undoubtedly gets tossed about the sand box, but why the complete exile from said grounds? All I can say is that I, personally, am willing to #Coexist.
John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use and NRA certified pistol, rifle and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii