wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost2

Most Read: Opinions

direct signup

Today’s Opinions poll

Will Rep. Paul Ryan's anti-poverty proposal help the poor?

Submit
Next
Review your answers and share
ComPost
About Petri |  Get Updates: On Twitter ComPost on Twitter |  On Facebook Petri on Facebook |  RSS RSS
Posted at 06:02 PM ET, 06/19/2012

Joe the Plumber’s absurd ad

Well, this is absurd.

I love America too.

I love it because we can, among other things, institute some gun controls without its resulting in genocide.

I also like that he is shooting fruit. Nothing is more dangerous to our society than fruit.

This ad is a self-parody. Then again, this man goes by Joe the Plumber, so maybe we have arrived at the land beyond parody.

I hope his next ad is something like: “In 313, Emperor Constantine proclaimed religious tolerance for Christians. In 476, Rome fell. I’m not saying that will happen here, I’m just saying we should think about it.” It’s similar logic. “Here is a historical situation that is vastly, vastly different than ours,” it says. “One thing happened! Then another, terrible thing happened! Now, I will shoot some fruit.”

“In 1993, there was Waco. In 1994, Justin Bieber was born. I love America.”

A plus B equals Holocaust is generally a faulty equation, especially when it comes in a thirty-second sound-bite. The facts in the case of the Nazis are considerably more complex: Gun control in Germany had been around since the Treaty of Versailles in various forms; it was not a Nazi innovation.

Still, the idea that gun control is the first step down the path to genocide has gained a fair amount of traction in certain corners of the Internet, mainly occupied by ardent gun owners. Scratch the Internet and you will find dozens of quotations from Hitler on the importance of gun control, some non-apocryphal, in increasingly alarmed fonts.

To say that the historical situation in these two cases and the state of things here today is widely different would be an understatement on par with, “Gee, those Hindenburg passengers probably wanted a refund.” We do not have an oppressed minority whose arms are being seized by a hostile conqueror. We have a constitution and a melting pot and the founding proposition that all men are created equal. Does Joe the Plumber actually think that the Second Amendment is all that’s standing between us and two of history’s most horrible genocides? What a sad opinion of America that is. What a--

Then you remember that you are responding to a man who has spent the last 30 seconds shooting at fruit.

By  |  06:02 PM ET, 06/19/2012

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company