What makes us special?

In Daily Kos this weekend: A Common Thread Among Young-Earth Creationists, Gun Enthusiasts, Marriage Exclusivists, and the 1%. The key point is that groups identify by what makes them “feel special.” Distilled, here are the four groups:

  • Creationists: being created by god makes humans special
  • Gun enthusiasts: their role in protecting liberty makes them special
  • Marriage exclusivists: making marriage exclusive to straight people makes them special
  • One percenters: their accumulated wealth makes them special

I was interested in seeing the author’s evaluation of what may be a motivation for (some) members of the identified groups. Is there a word for this political philosophy or interpretation? “feeling special-ism?”

The argument rather misses the point however, and it’s best seen in the treatment of “gun enthusiasts” (the term “gun enthusiasts” is the author’s own). Winkler’s history of gun control reveals guns have been recognized as more than simple property throughout much of American history. My own feelings on gun control took a sharp turn more than a decade ago and I now see the issue as a huge political distraction.

Putting history and my political views aside, imagine the second bullet of my summary read as follows:

  • First Amendment absolutists: their role in protecting liberty makes them special

Does replacing “gun enthusiasts” with “First Amendment absolutists” change your feelings about it? Would the meaning of the original text be largely the same if the group were called “Second Amendment absolutists” instead of “gun enthusiasts?”

  • Second Amendment absolutists: their role in protecting liberty makes them special

Does that connote something different?

This is all worth considering seriously because the Constitution and Bill of Rights offer specific protections that First Amendment absolutists and “gun enthusiasts” have both committed themselves to defending. Those documents offer no specific recognition for the positions of creationists, marriage exclusivists, or one percenters.

More significantly, however. Of the four named groups, three are identified by the equality they deny others. The fourth is identified by the rights they insist are shared by all. The right and wrong of these positions is best interpreted by natural law

Two special extras:

  1. First and second amendment absolutists might actually gather here.
  2. Josh Cooley’s art for Movies R Fun makes me feel special for knowing most of the references.
Josh Cooley - The Big Lebowski - You said it man. Nobody fucks with The Jesus. Said The Jesus

This scene from Josh Cooley‘s Movies R Fun is pretty much perfect for a discussion of pride and gun control

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