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I love Dale Price

I love Dale Price January 30, 2013

I’ve loved him for years. Clear-headed. True as a bell. Hilariously funny. A gifted writer who should really give up this whole lawyer gig and become a writer because the world needs him and, I’m guessing, appears to him in dreams in the form of a woman in rags begging him to come and rescue her with his sparkling and witty prose. He should listen to her.

Anyway, Dale is a hunter. Likes to use a gun. Has a sane man’s concern about things like protecting his family, the rise of the police state–and felt like all normal people the grief and anguish of Sandy Hook. He’s a deeply *good* man and a smart one. And he’s felt pretty marginalized by the national conversation on guns since Sandy Hook.

I have, alas, contributed to that for him, a man I would not willingly hurt for all the world. FWIW, I think guys like him are part of whatever solution we eventually arrive at. As I’ve said, I’m mostly still working through how to even frame the questions on this stuff. I come to it very much as Man in the Street, neither owning guns myself, nor wishing to take away anybody’s guns who should have one. I’m trying to hear both sides and, from where I sit, most of the hysteria seemed to be coming from people shrieking that Hitler was coming to confiscate our guns and march us into concentration camps or, as one my many sober correspondents put it:

Mr. Shea:

I hope you will come visit me in the camps.

Oh, wait, you’ll be the one in the camp. I’ll be dead. Never mind.

I’ve heard from an awful lot of these folks over the past month, yelling about Hitler and certain the mass confiscation and the camps and the three days of darkness and the prophecies of Medjugorje and Glenn Beck and Malachi Martin and Art Bell are soon to be fulfilled. They offer me sober advice about secessionism, demand to know if I have any better ideas than violent insurrection and panic, and poo poo the modest suggestions I do make as not even worth pursuing. They declare me “incapable of honesty” when I don’t share their take on something. They, well, just *yell* at me a lot and it gets hard to keep from tuning all the hysteria out.

The irony, of course, is that this is a mirror reflection of Dale’s experience. He too has heard from an awful lot of people who tell him he is the scum of the earth, is evil, won’t listen to reason, etc.. Arguments like this, involving the butchery of six year olds, evoke passion and primal emotions and call out the worst people from both ends of the bell curve to act as spokesmen for the vast majority of us in the middle who would mostly just like to wrap our arms around each other’s necks and bawl for a couple of hours when we think about what happened on December 14, 2012. That’s our common humanity and that’s where we start.

I don’t have any big answers here. But “love one another” seems like a good start, along with “No More Sandy Hooks.” I mourn those kids as he does, right down in my gut. I love Dale Price. That’s solid. That’s something I know. I wish I was better at loving more people. Your prayers to that end would be good.

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