The Rittenhouse and McMichael-Bryan killings are the result of decades of NRA propaganda and lobbying that encourages white people, especially white men to think it's somehow "self-defense" to go out looking for fights. salon.com/2021/11/18/the…
One thing is absolutely certain: If Rittenhouse, the McMichaels, and Bryan had acted like sensible people instead of indulging their cowboy fantasies of going out and looking for trouble, the men they shot would be alive today.
The law only addresses the "in the moment" concept of self-defense. But the larger cultural problem is right wing propaganda and the NRA encourage people to instigate or escalate violent conflict, even though the smart and moral thing to do would be to avoid it.
We see this in the NRA advocating for "stand your ground" laws, which are about seeding the idea that a gun owner is entitled to start or escalate a conflict to the point of killing, instead of sensibly walking away.
The right wing definition of "self-defense" has expanded to the point where openly aggressing at people who are doing nothing but walking down the street is called "self-defense".
Here is the problem when you invoke "self-defense" after killing someone in a fight you actively sought out: The dead person cannot testify. For all we know, they also have even more of a right to claim self-defense, but they can't say, due to being dead.
This is the classic problem in the George Zimmerman trial. He was absolutely the guy who started the conflict, by chasing down a teenager who was minding his own business. But we can never know who *technically* struck first, because the only witness is dead.
This macho vigilante crap just leads to more chaos and violence. But that’s how the gun lobby wants it, because that means selling more guns.
Guns are basically useless as real methods of self-defense. Which is why the gun industry wants to expand the definition of "self-defense" to include situations where the shooter started or escalated a fight, instead of avoiding violence to begin with.

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More from @AmandaMarcotte

17 Nov
The weirdest part about people losing their shit over this entirely correct tweet is nowhere in it do I actually, as accused, blame Biden or the Democrats. I know they're hamstrung.
That, I would argue, is only adding to the tune out and fade away reaction among Democratic voters. If they vote in Democrats, but those Democrats are utterly helpless to make change even if they win, then it seems pretty pointless.
Republicans win when they win and win when they lose. Soon their power will be beyond even the already ineffectual efforts of the people to get rid of them. That's why I use the term "learned helplessness." It's what happens to people when nothing they do changes anything.
Read 8 tweets
17 Nov
Joe Manchin's latest excuse to try to kill Build Back Better is "inflation". But that's total nonsense, as the green energy provisions are one of the best tools we have to stabilize the economy and prevent inflation. salon.com/2021/11/17/inf…
What's driving inflation? Why it appears to be largely due to demand for oil dramatically outstripping supply. Gosh, if there was only a way to reduce demand for oil....oh wait, there is: Build Back Better.
Clean energy is inherently a more stable form of energy, and that means it's less likely to cause inflation shocks. Or, put more simply, if price swings at the gas pump are ruinous for you, an electric car might be the solution.
Read 4 tweets
17 Nov
I think this is right. People are checking out because they busted their ass to elect Democrats and the only real change they see is slightly less Trump in the news. It’s learned helplessness and it’s the best friend of fascism. slate.com/news-and-polit…
I don’t blame people for checking out. Yes, fascism is on the march and consuming our democracy. But all options to stop that have been ruled out by Manchin and Sinema. So now it’s just about waiting to see if the coup organizes well enough to succeed or not.
“Three years we’ll know if we are as doomed or whether some miracle saves us, but in the meantime, no action you take can affect the outcome” is not the formula to get people engaged.
Read 13 tweets
16 Nov
More reflections on Rittenhouse, the "critical race theory" censorship campaign, and the Texas abortion ban: It's becoming quite clear that Republicans want a vigilante-driven American version of the Stasi. salon.com/2021/11/16/the…
The misnamed group Moms for Liberty is offering a $500 bounty for those who snitch on teachers teaching "critical race theory" — which the group defines so broadly that it would forbid teaching kids about the March on Washington or Brown vs. Board of Education. Image
The reason Rittenhouse is a folk hero on the right is not mysterious. As with past movements like the KKK, it's all about using vigilante violence to cow people from speaking out against racism. Image
Read 6 tweets
12 Nov
In 2016 "grab 'em by the pussy" embarrassed Republicans. Now it's basically the party's motto, as evidenced by the murderer's row of abusers and pigs that are running for higher office. salon.com/2021/11/12/202…
Trump-endorsed PA Senate candidate Sean Parnell is accused of strangling his wife and punching a door into his child's face. And on Fox Nation, he let loose with a misogynist rant that sounds an awful lot like justifying such behavior because of "high maintenance" women.
Indeed, Trump is backing multiple candidates accused of beating or threatening to kill women. No surprise, as he also reportedly nicknamed Steve Bannon "Bam Bam," in reference to Bannon's own domestic abuse allegations.
Read 6 tweets
8 Nov
Hawley is leaning on the old "submit to men, or they will abandon you" threat, of course. But such threats have lost their teeth now that being single, for women, no longer means being destitute or cast out of society.
The audience Hawley is trying to appeal to is not Men of Courage, but whiny babies who are so goddamn useless that they throw a fit if women expect them to make their own sandwiches. And I don't think such men are going to be keen on all his "responsibility" talk.
Nah, what Hawley is defending is sexism, and men who feel entitled to dominate, humiliate, and even hurt women. He's not here for the loving husband who supports his wife, but the shitty husband demanding he's waited on by a long-suffering wife.
Read 4 tweets

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