-Gun control. This one sorely tries my patience on Facebook. I have a lot of friends who seem to be concerned that the government is going to take away everyone's guns. We are so far from that happening that the idea completely distracts them from the much more important point that guns are far too unregulated in the US and too many people are dying because of that. There is a vast gulf between what we have now and taking away all the guns. We already have a lot of laws that inconvenience us to help make us safer. Owning a gun should be no different. Please talk about this, President Obama. Please politicize this.
-I know that a lot of people think that everyone gets offended now and taking offense all the time is a problem. And yes, there are times when people get irritatingly offended about all the things. But I don't like it when people try shift the blame for their mistakes to someone else because someone else got offended. Sometimes you actually did something wrong.
The latest example I noticed of this was when the creators of a website took it down because they said people were offended by it. For some background, the LDS Church had its twice-a-year conference this weekend where a number of people speak to the entire church. It's a large audience of people. One of the speakers used a made-up word* throughout his talk which got a lot of attention. It turned out that a close relative of the speaker had created merchandise using that word and a website to sell it before the talk was given.
There is a big difference between someone, any random person, quickly creating a t-shirt using a catchy phrase they first hear in conference and someone who is a close relative of a speaker who uses a unique word creating a website before the talk was given to sell merchandise with the word. I don't love the first idea, but the second is definitely troubling. Quite a few people pointed this out and after the website owners switched between selling the shirts at cost and donating the profits, they took the website down, saying that people were offended.
I don't think the creators of the website were trying to make a huge amount of money off the talk and I do think their basic intention was good. T-shirts are a good way to get your message out. But I also think it was inappropriate for these particular people to create this particular website right now and it is okay for people to point that out. The website owners made a mistake and it's okay to accept responsibility for that instead of shifting the blame to others because they told you your actions were inappropriate.
-Technically I am one of Jason Chaffetz's constituents and I really hope he isn't elected as Speaker of the House. I send him emails periodically to tell him what I think of his ideas. I am not surprised he is giving it a shot. He does have a very nice person working in his office who is helping us get White House tickets.
*I imagine that translating this one was difficult. Do you make up a new word in other languages too? It's fairly complicated to make this talk work well in 100 other languages.