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Almost the last advocate

This is a page from the original version of Pagan Vigil. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at

It's not a right unless everyone else has it too. Otherwise it's a privilege taken at someone else's expense.

Online and offline I find myself defending unpopular groups and ideas more and more.

Not mine. And not because I agree with them. But because my own personal morality won't allow me to do anything else.

Live and let live works mostly. When that doesn't work, KYFHO comes through. But usually there is no one else willing to make a stand. Unpopular religions? I'll defend them to the end until they impose on someone else. Same with political groups. Or rights groups.

The one thing I insist on is that free choice is a cornerstone. Including the rights of the members to walk away if they choose. As long as they do that and don't force themselves on any others, I believe that they are free to do what they want.

ARE, not should be.

Because that is the right I expect for myself, and it's not a right unless everyone else has it too. Otherwise it's a privilege taken at someone else's expense.

Even though it means that I end up defending ideas and practices that I find questionable at best, I can't do anything else and stay true to myself.

It also makes me sound morally pretentious. I know that, and I would rather keep my mouth shut mostly. After all, it's not my ideals that I am passionately defending. Well, yes it is, but not directly. And certainly not in a way that most people recognize.

Gun rights are the classic example.

I loathe guns. If I could, I would not only destroy all existing guns but I would eradicate the memory of anything associated with guns. Even though I am a Red-Blooded American Male® and I like watching things go boom, I despise guns with a burning hate that I can't even begin to describe.

But aside from some people feeling threatened by the mere presence of guns, there are two and only two groups that benefit from an unarmed but law-abiding populace.

The first are criminals. The second are politicos and the law-enforcement officers that act against freedom.

That's it. Try as I might, I can't find any other groups that benefit from an unarmed populace.

Now with an armed populace, the entire equation changes. To start with, criminals grow nervous, which reduces the need for a militaristic police force.

Amazing how that works, isn't it?

The only reason I am a reluctant gun advocate is because I can't be anything else without threatening your freedom.

I still don't own a gun.

Posted: Thu - August 13, 2009 at 06:58 AM

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