I was just on a forum where someone posted a "meme" in support of gun rights that was historically inaccurate. I pointed out the historic inaccuracy and corrected it - with something that was ridiculously easy to Google search - and two things happened. One person tried to justify why it was still OK, and someone else called me a snowflake. I responded to the name caller by referring to him as a history denier. Because let's face it, he was. The owner of the forum chastised me for name calling and threatened me with a ban from the forum. The other guy was alright. So I voluntarily left the forum.
Yeah, there's a reason I am mentioning this here.
We all make mistakes. No one is immune. Bad quotes. Quotes taken out of context. Historical inaccuracies. Really good photoshops. Mistakes can be forgiven, especially if the mistake is removed and/or corrected.
What can't be forgiven is trying to justify why it's still OK, refusing to find out if the inaccuracy is true and then acting on it. being so blinded by "hero worship" that you can't admit facts and tear down those who know them, etc.
We're the ones who are paying attention to what's going on in the world. We're the ones taking a side and fighting for what we believe in. And if we want to win that fight, a clean fight is still the best way. When you continue to pass around false information as though it were true and try to silence those who point out that it isn't instead of fixing the problem, we lose. Bad information can be easily proven and used against your side. Bad information, especially when the one passing it on refuses to fix it, weakens our argument.
You are never the smartest person anywhere, always remember that. If you can, your argument will only grow stronger. You have a better chance at winning if you listen to others and consider them to be at least as smart as you are.
I run a Facebook group and am all over social media. If I block or ban you anywhere, you can bet you did something horrible. I don't even chastise people in these places. When someone picks a fight with one of my commenters, I monitor it, but assume the original person can take care of themselves. When someone attacks me, I hear them out and we may go back and forth until I get bored. But I still don't block them. I have blocked people, but it was usually because they were threatening or harassing my readers/viewers. And I've had people come in who were just saying some terrible things, leftists who weren't willing to hear a different opinion and were just there to fight. They go away on their own when they realize no one is really engaging them or banning them for saying things. And if they don't go away, sometimes they calm down and join the conversation as rational adults.
Because we're adults. Some folks still need to reach that point. But I'm not going to chastise anyone for correcting a mistake. I'm not going to threaten people with exile because they aren't hanging on my every word and agreeing with me no matter what.
And when I make a mistake, I take it down instead of continuing to pass it around as real. Because I want to win the fight with a solid, honest win instead of BSing my way there and prancing around like I did something when I actually lost the fight.
Do the same. Take a correction graciously. If you look into it and are right, show your evidence (don't tell people to Google it. Present your own evidence if you are right. Vice versa. If you say someone is wrong, prove it). Continuing to push false information makes the fight harder for everyone else.
I doubt it will do any good, but the ATF has opened formal comments on new regulations regarding "bump stock type devices." If you want to read what they have planned and leave a formal comment, click here.
OK, we're going to play a little game. I want you to look at the below image and read it before you move on to the rest of this. Jot down your initial thoughts as soon as you are done, then continue with the article. But please read the entire article before getting offended.
Now, what if I told you the guy above is pro-gun? Did you come to that conclusion on your own? Please tell me you did.
I saw this image this morning and thought it was probably the greatest sign I'd ever read. And because I enjoyed it so much, I shared it to our Instagram page. Within two hours I was ready to delete Instagram. After sharing it on Facebook I was ready to unplug and become Amish.
Honestly, I thought people would get it. But the vial spew that came out of people on Instagram - which isn't new, to be honest - was astounding. People were calling this guy all kinds of things, insulting his parents, insulting his education. People really went to town on this guy. By the time I couldn't take it anymore and just deleted the damn image, I wondered to myself how this guy survived any protest anywhere with this sign without getting thrown into traffic.
When I posted it on Facebook I included a message at the top about how the image was a joke, but the same insults were slung at the guy anyway.
Between Instagram and Facebook, this image got almost 100 comments. One guy got it. One.
I'm not trying to be mean to anyone here, but we need a lesson in sarcasm. Because I am an extremely sarcastic person, and if you aren't fluent, we're not going to get along. And, frankly, we spend a lot of time complaining about how the USA has lost her sense of humor. Yeah, we have. So let's start fixing it.
Let's start by toning down the outrage. If you are a member of groups on Facebook, especially political ones, you need to know that we sometimes throw in humor posts just to lighten things up a little. When the news is hot and heavy and everything makes it seem like the world is burning, I'll toss in a funny video or image just to help my readers recharge. It usually works. Always read the comments above the image, article, or video. Sometimes they clarify things. Then, sit back and take the whole thing in before deciding if this is a laughing post or an outrage post. Don't walk in assuming everything is an outrage. Some of the stuff you see is good news! Some of it really does warrant outrage. And some is meant to be funny. But if you walk in expecting everything to be an outrage, you'll find something to be angry about.
Let's take in this image. His sign starts out with the following:
Reasons "for" gun control.
That line alone is the tip off that the sign you are about to read is not serious. He put quotes on "for."
The rest of the sign purposely contradicts itself.
He's not calling for a gun ban. He's trolling the crap out of the gun ban protesters. He's making fun of them. And this photo is the nail. Look at his face. Yes, he looks like he just ate a detergent pod! ON PURPOSE! The sign and the face are all mocking the anti-freedom protesters.
If you need further proof, read point number 2 on the sign. Don't forget the item in parenthesis. If you notice, he's actually telling you why that statement is horse manure. Point 3 contradicts itself. And number 4 contradicts number 5. Number 1 is just silly.
Again, I'm not trying to be mean. But I would like to post things like this in the future without the need to go through every comment and tell them he's joking. This was very frustrating all day long today. I couldn't grasp why this was so obvious to me and to literally no one else. Then I realized why.
Look, I know the world is crazy right now and has been for a while. And I know a lot of the stuff I post is very serious stuff that really makes your blood boil. But because I know that, I also want to destress myself and take everyone with me. I want to make people laugh, because laughter really is the best medicine. I also understand that stress causes us to miss obvious humor sometimes. I've posted things that were doctored photos that were meant to be funny and people attacked me for being stupid because they thought I believed the image was real. People misread humorous posts and get angry. I get it. But we need a reminder every now and again to take each and every story as an individual story. Because somewhere in all the craziness is something funny buried deep within.
Everyone gets offended by everything these days, and that is also a cause for stress. What we need to be aware of is what we, ourselves, are getting offended about. Because we're not immune, as much as we think we are. I have gotten offended by things and then later realized it was dumb to get offended by it. No harm was meant.
We need to remember how to laugh. Now, I apologize, because, like I said, I am a very sarcastic person. My sense of humor is very dry, so if you met me in person, odds are you'd get a joke from me that came across as serious. I am also sarcastic, and you need to be fluent. I do anger a lot of people, but again, it requires the listener to sit back and take in what I actually said. People who really know me know my humor now. I don't plan to stop because that's my personality. But come in to everything you see anywhere, especially online, with an openness that holds no emotion. Then you can see things like this guy and his sign more clearly instead of seeing it through perceived outrage.