Posted by: AJ Demers | August 24, 2018

Cyber Gunfight at the Social Media Corral

Breathe-face-angry

You wouldn’t think that someone would lose their sh*t over a VOLUNTARY safety campaign geared towards getting shelter dogs adopted, but that’s exactly what happened when a video about Adopt Protection made the rounds on Facebook. For those who are unfamiliar with this initiative, it involves people swapping a gun that they weren’t using or didn’t want in the first place in exchange for reduced adoption fees to get a shelter dog.

Sounds like a win-win, right? More dogs adopted from shelters means fewer dogs waiting for homes. Fewer unwanted guns in homes where they are not used means fewer accidents at the hands of curious kids.

In any case, what happened next was a lot of, well, needless background noise.

What ensued was a classic example of someone putting blind allegiance to their ideology ahead of common reasoning. The commenter that caused the outcry conflated a voluntary exchange program with unconstitutional seizure and accused the OP of messing with their rights and “taking their guns away”.

Only a sharp rebuke from the OP made them stop their accusations. I’m told that the offending party was probably a bit humiliated by their actions because the incident was never brought up again.

What are some important takeaways from this?

Regardless of politics, efforts to reduce the number of animals killed in pounds by getting more adopted out should be commended. Injecting partisan politics into the discussion only serves as a distraction.

The animal rescue community includes those from all sides of the political aisle. If the person who decided to make it political had been willing to look at the bigger picture, they may have found some common ground with rescue advocates.

Although some would like to believe otherwise, not every person with a gun in the home A. accepts the responsibility that comes with owning a firearm or B. necessarily has one that they purchased or intend to use (some gun owners have inherited guns, for example). If a person CHOOSES to dispose of an unwanted gun in this manner, that is their prerogative. 

Accusing another person of trying to interfere with your rights or take something away from you is childish behavior that needs to be roundly condemned. Engaging in the online equivalent of shouting or screaming someone down, without paying attention to what they’re actually saying, gets us nowhere.

Maybe we can’t make everyone we encounter online BE civil, but we can take the lead in BEING civil. After all, it’s one thing to lament the political polarization that exists in America, but another to see where we’re part of the problem ourselves.


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