Politico (VIDEO): http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/01/the-deport-piers-morgan-creator-blows-up-on-cnn-153577.html
CNN (VIDEO): http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/07/us/piers-morgan-guns-debate/index.html
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/08/alex-jones-piers-morgan-guns_n_2429161.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003
First, let me be clear: I'm an ardent supporter of the right of Americans to own firearms. I believe, uphold, and as a veteran, defend(ed) the Constitution in its entirety. I think the Second Amendment is necessary to ensure the citizens of this country remain free from any and all forms of government persecution. I know many that oppose this view think the Second Amendment is antiquated, but they have the luxury of saying that because the Second Amendment, in our history, has always existed. It's difficult to imagine an America without it, but without it, I do believe we would be living in an entirely different America. With respect to gun control, I've written about this before, and in spite of all the "feel good" but pragmatically irrational gun control noise that exists after a tragedy, I don't believe that any of the magazine-restricting, "assault" weapon-prohibiting potential legislation being debated will stop evil people from carrying out evil acts. I think more legislation is a waste of time, and given the sheer amount of guns that exist in society, both legally and illegally, I don't think laws of these types will do anything. I think the only thing more laws would do is deter law-abiding citizens who wish to defend themselves from doing so. I'd even beg the question: Do we really have a gun violence problem? I know you probably just gasped and thought, "how could he even ask this question," especially since 26 people just lost their lives in the most heinous way, but when you think about the gun death rate compared to the number of guns that exist in this country (approximately 12,000 deaths versus 350,000,000 - 400,000,000 guns - a rate of 0.00003 deaths per gun), we, as a society, use guns to kill people quite rarely. So yes, I understand that when a tragedy like the Sandy Hook shooting occurs, we want to react and pass more laws to "prevent" this from happening again, but realistically, and again, pragmatically, gun violence is incredibly rare, and sometimes over exaggerated. Regardless, I'm sensitive to the tragedy, and I think we, as a country, can grow from it. I just don't think the government should grow, too.
That being said, I also believe, firmly, in CIVIL debate. There always exists two sides to every story, and the reason for debate isn't always to simply "win" by getting your adversary to agree with you. Debate exists so we can learn something from someone with whom we disagree. Through calm, clear, and concise communication, backed and upheld by facts, this learning can be accomplished. In my opinion, though Alex Jones certainly had many facts on his side, and while I do agree with the position he takes, I strongly disagree with the method in which he communicates it.
As someone who pays attention to political discourse closely, it seems like the left usually tends to be more, for lack of a better phrase, intolerant, uncivil, and obtuse when it comes to political differences and debate. From Occupy Wall Street, to Code Pink, to eco-terrorists, to union thugs, to violent protests, the left seems to employ a tactic of "if you don't agree with us, we will be loud, invasive, violent, and intolerant to get our point across." I don't support these types of behaviors whatsoever, and I believe the right should abstain from these practices altogether. Simply, if we engage in similar behavior, we are no better than they are. To me, Alex Jones crossed that line. I vehemently disagree with Piers Morgan's position on guns, and I think he is way off the map. I think he is being self-promoting in his "look at me and what I support" notions while nothing he believes would truly help anything. I also despise his handling of his opponents on this issue, and I cringe when I see this happening more and more often.
But why stoop to his level? If Piers Morgan is going to act like a petulant child and verbally assault an opponent with whom he doesn't agree, let him! Don't get down in the mud and act the same way. Jones' shouting, demeaning, and boorish behavior does nothing to help his position or the good standing of those who share his beliefs. His interview last night was divisive, violent, counter-productive, sometimes incoherent, and frankly, gives teeth to the phrase "right-wing nut job." I don't believe Jones is, but this behavior is difficult to defend. In all honestly, my blood boils when liberals say, "conservatives are nothing but bible-touting, mullet wearing, uneducated hillbillies from the South who only warship Jesus and guns," (clearly, they have never met me :-) ), and as ignorant as that very statement is, we should not add stock to these types of statements. It's clear that media in this country is strongly one-sided. Why would we do anything to give the left and its media coalition a shot in the arm? Why would we act in a way that emboldens them and allows them to go, "see, look at them - I told you so?"
The fact is, the left and the right, and from that, democrats and republicans, should be viewed, in a sense, as products. Third parties aside, for the most part, you can either buy in to or "purchase" being a democrat or a republican. Our job on the right is to sell our product. If someone walks into the political party "store," they're going to (most likely) buy into one or the other. In all honesty, we have a wonderful product, but sometimes, we are HORRIBLE salesmen/women. Now granted, sometimes the perception of conservatism and the republican party is over-exaggerated in a negative way by an agenda-based liberal media, and most of the time, we're not as bad as they make us out to be, but when we behave in the manner that Alex Jones did, we, for lack of a better phrase, shoot ourselves in the foot. I believe, as I've written before, we need to be educators and stalwarts of conservatism and our party. As the write-up says, if we ever want to win another election, we need more people to be conservatives/republicans. We need to attract people to our side. We need to show people, through clear, calm, and fact-based teaching and education, that in spite of the media's and the democrat party's caricatures of us as "racist," "misogynistic," "out of touch," "gun-toting," "obstructionist" belligerents that hate the poor and want to shoot everyone that disagrees with us, we are a great party with great ideas. We need to show them that we're highly educated, freedom-loving, free-thinking, limited government espousing individuals. To do this, we just need to stop and think about our message and how it's being broadcast. I know Alex Jones is a passionate man who is passionate about his views, but to him and all like him: Leave the violence, screaming, protests, ranting and chanting up to the left; our case resides in being "right." Those who speak clearer speak louder.
What do you think? Do you support Alex Jones' message? What about his delivery? Please share your thoughts below.