Thursday, February 03, 2005

Topical Insanity

There is temporary insanity as when a middle-aged man buys a motorcycle on which to ride though his midlife crisis, wisely selling the bike after the crisis subsides. But my theme is topical insanity, that species of temporary insanity that can occur when certain topics are brought to one’s attention. Someone so afflicted loses the ability to think clearly about the topic in question for the period of time that the topic is before his mind.

Try this. The next time you are at a liberal gathering, a faculty party, say, calmly state that you agree with the National Rifle Association’s position on gun control. Now observe the idiocies to flow freely from liberal mouths.

Some will say that the NRA is opposed to gun control. (False, everyone is for gun control, i.e., gun control legislation; the only question being its nature and scope. Nobody worth mentioning wants no laws relating to the use and acquisition of firearms.)

Others will say that guns have only one purpose, to kill people. (A liberal favorite, but spectacularly false for all that, and quickly counterexampled: (i) Guns can be used to save lives both by police and by ordinary citizens; (ii) Guns can be used to hunt nonhuman critters; (iii) Guns can be used for shooting at nonsentient targets; (iv) Guns can be collected without ever being fired; (v) Guns can be used to deter crime without being fired; merely ‘showing steel’ is a marvelous deterrent.)

Still others will maintain that gun ownership has no effect on crime rates. (False, see the work of John Lott.)

Here then we have an example of topical insanity, an example of a topic that completely unhinges otherwise sane people.

Now that I have provided you with the concept, your job is to find further examples of it.