Arguments For Another Day

I learned the hard way that denying what you know to be true cannot end well. The Truth can be brutal. Not even remotely fun to know. That doesn’t make it less Truthful. Some people won’t face hard Truth unless forced to. And even then, they’ll try to defer or postpone the argument to another day. Guns sit atop the list here in America. That’s a topic we’ve been kicking down the road for decades – even as the bodies pile up. It’s never the folks facing immediate peril who want to reschedule the argument to a more convenient time. It’s the folks either causing the peril or benefiting from it. Well, hell! Of course they want to deal with it another day!

Too soon” is a tell. If someone insisting the immediate aftermath of a school shooting is too soon to talk about guns and gun control? That person’s full of shit. Literally nothing they say has value. They think “too soon” is a good argument for not having an argument. No, it’s a good argument for never taking them seriously.

Putting off an argument is a kind of magical thinking. The problem will magically dissipate just because one of the parties refuses to worry about it. The problem here isn’t the Truth, it’s someone’s unwillingness, inability or refusal to deal with it head on like a grown up. Or, maybe, they’re unwilling because they like the problem. Rather, they like the status quo the problem causes (so long as it persists).

America has never been the level playing field it claims to be. Some people prefer it that way. That’s why they’ll put off arguments about expanding the SCOTUS or admitting Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands as states (with full representation for their tax dollars!). It’s not the actual argument they’re afraid of – they know they’ll lose it. Their problem is what happens next. After the argument.

If white people in America hadn’t spent so much time kicking argument cans down the road, there wouldn’t be so many arguments stalking them today (and deservedly so).

America has a gun problem because so many white people are afraid of Black, brown, Asian, LGBTQ and every other person who isn’t exactly like them. We can’t make guns go away because that’s an argument these terrified White people don’t want to have as they hunker down in their bunkers, armed to the teeth.

There’s immediate harm in putting off these arguments beyond the actual harm itself. The calculus itself is dangerous; it prioritizes human worth in bullshit terms. It sees money as more important than human life or experience. And it sees bullshit as an acceptable stand-in for Truth.

When all your arguments are bullshit, yeah, you’re going to want to put them off for another day. In another lifetime. On some other planet.

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