Sleep of the Just vs the Unjust, as in Linda Tirado

“How do you sleep at night?” This is a question that gets raised in debates over any subject with moral implications and is meant to be a coup de grâce, at attempt to shut down the discussion.
“How do you sleep at night?” This is a question that gets raised in debates over any subject with moral implications and is meant to be a coup de grâce, at attempt to shut down the discussion.

Fayetteville, AR – -(“How do you sleep at night?” This is a question that gets raised in debates over any subject with moral implications and is meant to be a coup de grâce, at attempt to shut down the discussion.  And this is also an ad hominem attack, along with a red herring, since it shifts the talk from the actual argument to the personal lives of the participants.

In addition, it’s pointless to raise the question of nightly repose. Lots of decent people have trouble sleeping, while those who are deficient in conscience are undisturbed. Or as English judge Charles Bowen wrote:

The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust hath the just’s umbrella.

I mention all of that to lay the context of what I have to say about Linda Tirado’s article in The Daily Beast, titled, “Dear Dana Loesch: How Do You Sleep at Night? An open letter to the NRA’s top apologist: You are contemptible. You don’t scare me, and neither do your sick fans.”

Linda Tirado
Linda Tirado

Linda Tirado refers to her personal history of owning and firing guns to support her argument. This is a common tactic among gun control advocates, one that is impossible to verify but appears to be used to create a feeling of camaraderie with gun rights supporters. But I couldn’t possibly care less about whether a person owns or does not own firearms when the topic is the right to do so. If you’re attacking a particular right, you’ll earn no points with me by telling me that you simultaneously exercise that right.

She also attacks Loesch’s career, suggesting that selling a cause or pitching a television show concept somehow undermines the quality of the argument in favor of gun rights. Anyone who has spent time promoting creative works knows, and I speak from experience here, that a lot of the process is firing into the dark and hoping to hit something. But Tirado has committed a tactical error in her article by making things personal since her own life opens her to the same kind of criticism that she wants to level against Loesch. Tirado came onto the public stage in social media and with her book, Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, as an advocate for the poor, and yet important questions have been asked about how truthful her autobiographical claims have been. At the least, Tirado is someone who is willing to inject a degree of plasticity to the facts.

And then there are the attacks that she makes on Loesch from the perspective of religion. Tirado is certain that Loesch is not living up to the standards of the Bible, and that takes us to thorny debates of doctrine, which are beyond the scope here. What I will say is that I have had my own disagreements with Loesch regarding her claims about the “godless left,” though my point was that in a nation with a secular constitution, our rights aren’t dependent on getting one’s reading of the Bible correct in the view of anyone else, and I’ll say the same to Tirado. I’ll also add that many people read the same text and honestly arrive at radically different interpretations, and with that, I’ll move on.

Like Tirado, I have expressed my dismay over the NRA’s failure to stand up for gun rights in cases like those of Philando Castile, a legally armed person who was killed by a police officer in a traffic stop, and this gets me to my main point.

Tirado’s posing as someone who is holier, more working class, and more moral than Dana Loesch isn’t going to work—unless her goal is to allow herself and those who agree with her to feel smug.

What can achieve good results is to ask the NRA and others to be consistent with the principles that all of us on the side of gun rights agree with, namely to defend those rights for all, regardless of religion and ancestry.

But it certainly isn’t fair to say that Loesch specifically or the NRA, in general, has anything to apologize for with regard to mass shootings.

Defending gun rights does not imply approval or support of murder. Neither does opposition to gun control, especially since the claim that gun laws save lives is not verified in the data. The assumption—occasionally explicit, but so often present in any case—is that if we don’t immediately express our willingness to curtail rights, we are ghouls who revel in blood, and that is what we must combat. Not agreeing with the pet solutions of people like Tirado doesn’t mean that we want to see people killed. It means that we require any proposed solution to come with evidence that it will work and with a respect for basic rights. That is what we must keep driving home when we confront demands to impose new bans and restrictions on guns.

About Greg CampGreg Camp

Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.

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Cullen Swanson

Very, very well written, Mr. Camp. That last paragraph is gold. I couldn’t have said it better myself, and I’ll be stealing those words for myself! Great piece.


Liberals typically encourage lawlessness when it suits their agenda, versus adherence to law, by and large. And they enforce the laws that are aligned with their agenda, and create more laws to support it. This cycle wrangles citizens in like cattle, by preying on their perceptions of the Locus of Control and using laws to take away liberty in the name of security. They are always using isms to gas light their message. Nothing new, don’t get wrangled into these illogical debates and educate yourself so you don’t get conned into even considering an ideology that promises security at the… Read more »

The Revelator

@ Core There is a name for the process which eliminates lies and manipulation. Greg hints at it right before he gets it messed up. Consistency and principles. Where he got it wrong was when he stated the word “Regardless” instead of “even for those of differing” right before the words religion and ancestry. Throughout the article he makes some good points, and messes up on others. This is why consistency and principles are so important. These two things have been largely abandoned by the populace at large, and also as a result and side effect reason and logic(The act… Read more »

James Russell Bailey

Mr. Camp, Your argument that we are a secular Nation, only goes just so far until we reach the writings of the founders! I must refer you to the very first inaugural address of our very first president, President George Washington, before the very first joint session of Congress. When reading that address by President Washington, you find declarative statements by him, proclaiming that not only did God provide the impetus for the Revolutionary Army to overcome the British military, but that the very founding of the United States was predicated and enacted by God. Comparing president Washington’s inaugural address… Read more »

Wild Bill

@JRB, I think Camp means that we are not a theocracy. We the People are certainly not secular, at least those that have ever been in a tight spot.

Mike B in WI

Greg, thanks for the great article, but I must question one statement you make. It is my understanding that Philando Castile was under the influence of marijuana when he was stopped and subsequently shot. That would mean that he was NOT a “legally armed person.” I’m not arguing that the office acted inappropriately, just that I don’t think he was legally able to carry a gun.


Whether Mr. Castille was UNDER THE INFLUENCE of marijuana, and jost HOW that ‘influene” may have directed or affected his actions and judgement is a VERY comlex situation. Did ou know that, once using the stuff, residues indicating you have will remain in the blood for up to a month? Further, there is NO hard research (remembe,r ANY research involving cannabis has been illegal in this country since the CSA was passed in the 1930’s) that qualifies or quantifies a general reaction to cannabie. as there is with ethanol (booze). From what I read, he did have in his possession… Read more »

The Revelator

@Tionico The basis of your argument is so incredibly easy to tear apart, I’ll start with a quote from you first before this hole line of debate gets ended. “Since when is the mere possession of either or both a CAPITAL offense? And since when is that cop the accusor, prosecutor, judge, jury AND executioiner?” END QUOTE First, your “hypothetical” is from the idea that Castille had no inherent fault in his own death and that the officer in question executed him out of hate and intolerance. Here is where your argument falls apart. When stopped, Mr. Castille did indeed… Read more »

BillyBob Texas

Well, her choice of wearing that T-shirt says it all to me. “Don’t cast your pearls before swine.” I agree we have to meet the enemy’s arguments head-on, but to expect to change HER mind goes back to that verse, IMO……..

Ross Campbell

Think she might be a fan of Ozzie.


A Picture is worth a 1000 words(see above), and it says a lot about Linda Triado.(Exactly what color is her hair?)

VT Patriot

What color is her hair? The answer is “YES”. Typical Lib. It’s whatever you want it to be.