It would appear that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is taking his role as a leading liberal seriously these days. You may have heard that New York City is planning to ban the sale of sugary drinks over the size of 16 ounces like soda, juice, or coffee with sugar in it. Then after the Aurora shooting he was staunchly outspoken in his support for more gun control going as far as to say this:
“I don't understand why the police officers across this country don't stand up collectively and say, ‘We're going to go on strike. We're not going to protect you. Unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what's required to keep us safe,’”In other words, he not only believes that you and I should not have guns. He believes that it is okay for one section of the people in the United States to have guns while the rest go unarmed. He believes that the government should have all the firepower while the people live unable to defend themselves against criminals, invaders, or even their own government. Indeed he believes that the very people in this one-sided dystopia of his who would get to remain armed ought to stop protecting the innocent in order to force our hands and allow them to be the only ones who carry.
But I digress. Bloomberg now has women up in arms about a new plan to try to limit the availability of baby formula in hospitals for new mothers, as baby formula is believed to be potentially detrimental for infants (for more accurate or specific science in this area please see someone else's writing). To be fair, from what I gather he isn't pushing any sort of law that would ban the availability of baby formula for new mothers in hospitals. He just wants to make it harder for them to acquire it.
It actually seems like a pretty tame issue when you consider the fact that hospitals voluntarily undertake the actions that he requests of them, but that doesn't mean it's a great option or anything. What I find amusing is that the same media that has mostly ignored or encouraged much of the government's aspirations to put more controls on us suddenly goes into an uproar when his increased meddling appears to target a protected group, women in this case.
This leads me to some other musings. I can comfortably say that I am against all sorts of oppression. I imagine most others can say that pretty comfortably as well. But I wonder, which is worse: a man who sets out to oppress everyone, or a man who sets out to oppress a certain group or subset of people? Think about it. What evil drives a man to purposefully harm everyone?
Consider a scenario. One man decides to kill everybody in his town. Certainly these are not all the people in the world, but for all practical purposes they are because these are all the people he can reach, all the people that he has the the ability to affect change over. The other man decides that he wants to kill everyone in town over the age of 65. Ageism is one of the less socially abhorred isms, but it still is an ism and is therefore socially unacceptable (like racism, not like socialism). I believe I understand why it's so easy to stigmatize racism, sexism, ageism, religion-ism (not a real term, I know). Clearly they're bad, but to err is human. I think what's so insidious and disgusting about isms is how easy it is to pinpoint the hate that they spring from. Hitler hated the Jews. That is apparent because he tried to kill all of them. No other real explanation is needed. We watch as this kind of hate dehumanizes groups of humans in the eyes of other humans and causes them to do horrible things to one another. We watch mortified, shocked, and sure that we could never be guilty of such sinister actions. This man is evil. But the man who decides to kill everyone, how do we cope with that? Does he hate everyone? Is he a lunatic? What drives him to destroy so wantonly?
Whatever your answer, to me it's all the same. Both men are evil. They are driven by evil and what they seek to do is evil.
So it's a wonder to me that certain groups get upset when the rights of some are attacked but not when the rights of others or indeed the rights of all are laid siege against.
Some think it would be okay to block the construction of a Muslim cultural center in downtown Manhattan, while others believe it would be okay to block the addition of new Chic-Fil-A restaurants in certain cities based on the different beliefs of these two organizations (first amendment).
Some believe that even though the second amendment clearly states that, "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," it is okay for entire cities like Chicago or New York to have that right stripped from them.
And even though the fourth amendment protects us against unreasonable search and seizure except by warrant, that right has been almost completely eroded in airports, trains, our cars, and often in our own homes.
These are not the only areas where our rights have begun to disappear, but they are some of the most important. Mayor Bloomberg doesn't understand why police across this nation don't strike until guns are taken out of the hands of the populous. I don't understand why the people of this country don't stand up and demand a government that does not tread on their rights. New restrictions, new laws, new guidelines piled on top of one another year after year, they all add up to give us as Americans less choice and less freedom. It is easy for some one like Bloomberg who has the protection of the state and likely the protection of private security to be okay with everyone else losing their guns, just as it is easy for the man in the White House to be okay with having everyone x-rayed at the airport.
But why are we okay with that?