Paying for college in Virginia

Tuition: $7,400

Bullet Proof Jacket: $900

Gun Safety Training: $0, several year delay before starting college

Armaments: $575

Life insurance: $200

Any how, today I put my money where my mouth is and sent a check to the Brady Campaign. A good number of months after Virginia Tech and the DC snipers, I’m pissed off and radicalized.

Pro-gun comments will be deleted. I’ve heard the arguments and am convinced that the dialog is not about public policy but cultural imperialism–the drive of the rural red necks to impose their culture upon urban society through cultural legislation. The pro-gun agenda is not so much as a debate as propaganda. You can’t debate propaganda–it isn’t an assertion of fact as much as it is an assertion of cultural power. To even debate the gun culture is to give it legitimacy as a public policy instead of an irrational cultural phenomena, like religion, diet, language, dress and other things that we don’t actually expect people to agree on and don’t expect to be subject to objective reason. However the pro-gun issue leads to people dying and the rest of the cultural wars tend to stick to heated words on an editorial page.

I trust the Marines with guns. Everyone else is just a Marine wanna be.

2 thoughts on “Paying for college in Virginia

  1. Kind of hard to comment without yelling yee-haw!, but I’ll try to couch my arguments without talking about guns.

    “the drive of the rural red necks to impose their culture upon urban society through cultural legislation. ”

    – American society is not urban. Just because you happen to live in an urban or suburban environment does not mean the rest of America does. I would suggest that the majority of the land of the free is still a rural society, and that your drive to impose your restrictions on them is viewed in an equivalent manner.

    Cultural imperialism is about forcing everyone to think and act as you do. Instead, I believe the rednecks are just saying ‘leave me alone’. No one is forcing you to arm up to go to school. There are probably 10-20 dangers that you walk past each day, each one just as likely (or more likely) to kill you as a psycho redneck on a killing spree.

    What I think we disagree on (besides just how close to caveman we should be) is the level of culpability the federal government takes in the actions of its populace and their required level of responsibility to protect me from common, natural dangers.

    Then there’s the argument of federal vs. local government, as to which of these can more properly determine the level of risk versus local needs and desires.

    There’s not enough room on a blog to properly discuss the complex issue that you’ve brought up. I get the feeling from your post that you have a personal stake in this particular event, and there’s probably not much I can do to convince you but I hope that I’ve contributed usefully to the debate.

  2. Rich, I know you IRL so I’m letting your comment stand. Probably what I need to do is figure out how disable comments on individual posts.

    Re the extent of the rural/urban split in the US. The split is real and dramatic–I see it most clearly when I visit my relatives in the country side and compare them against my relatives elsewhere. We ain’t the same any more.

    Re pyschos on a kiling spree: I still think the arguments posed here are based on fatalism, which is a cultural value and world outlook. A rational argument isn’t going to move anyone’s opinion on if the world is governed primarily by fate or by choice.

    Re red necks just want to be left alone: Short of partition, that isn’t going to happen. A cultural preference for certain public policies in the sticks has consequences in the cities. Votes and dollars will determine who gets left alone.

    Re imposing restrictions. I like the way the economists look at this. Every right has a flip side to it. The text book example is pollution– to exert my right to breath clean air, we must abrogate someones right to pollute. The right to carry guns abrogates my right to not have to deal with the costs of widespread gun ownership, e.g. the necessity to engage in the arms race, to live with the increased risk of death by gun, etc. The relative weights put on these costs are based on preferences and even the economists tend to explain preferences as individual quirks and cultural conditions.

    The issue on who should make the laws is something of a red herring. Shifting jurisdiction for a policy among federal, state and local levels is a tool for weakening or strengthening enforcement of a preferred policy. If an advocacy group can’t remove a law it doesn’t like directly, then move it to the county level and unfund it. States rights and tax cutting is just a smokescreen to confuse the issue.