Wednesday, September 3 2003

A hard-on for queers

I like Clayton Cramer. We disagree on almost everything except guns, but since we first corresponded eleven years ago, I’ve respected his scholarship and reasoned thinking. I stop by his site every few days, and learn something about as often as I find something to argue about.

When it comes to The Pink Menace, though, I can’t follow him. Reason and reference are replaced by anecdote and Coulterish “lumping”. A German cannibal self-identifies as gay, and this is taken as evidence that gays are a danger to society?

Or try this one on for size:

“Now, I can understand why the left is so interested in doing so. Once these ideas are no longer relevant, the left thinks that one of the big obstacles to the leftist agenda–bestiality, child molestation, same sex marriage–will be out of the way.”

I like Clayton, but I won’t reference any of his excellent gun-law articles in debate, because his rabid anti-gay rhetoric seriously undermines his credibility with the sort of people who most need persuading on the subject of gun control.

Queers and Lefties are welcome to join me at the range any time. I promise, all the bullets will be going downrange. Friendly, safe, fun.

Update: After a few thoughtful emails, I thought I’d clarify my position a bit. Currently, I think the moderate position in American politics is “slightly pro-gay, slightly anti-gun”; that is, they view gays as ordinary people who are unfairly discriminated against because of their choice of partners, and private gun ownership as a contributing factor in violent crime. My goal is to convince them that the latter view is not supported by the evidence, while not getting sidetracked by potential conflict on the former.

In fact, I’m probably more pro-gay than the average moderate, but Clayton, a useful source of information on the gun debate, is so strongly opposed that there’s a real risk of guilt-by-association. Gun control supporters are for the most part using emotional rather than statistical, legal, or historical arguments, and are often quick to judge their opponents by what else they believe.

So, if Clayton is strongly pro-gun and strongly anti-gay, and I point them to one of his pro-gun articles, they may assume that gun owners as a group are prone to be anti-gay, which ain’t so.