How Not To Handle Disagreements

Yesterday, May 28th, was supposed to be a day for people to share their abortion stories on Twitter under the #WomensHealth tag. Notice I said supposed. That’s because it didn’t turn out that way. Instead, pro-lifers took the event for themselves and made it theirs, so instead of sharing experiences, it was full of the typical arguments you hear from that side. Naturally, anyone who supported abortion was attacked. To sum it up for myself, I was called a murderer several times (stopped counting after twenty), spammed with bloody and gory pictures, told I was going to Hell, and told I have no common sense because I am an atheist. Two people also went on to make fun of my sexual orientation (that is the third time; what is it with the orientation hate when it comes to debating abortion?)

(To anyone who may want to participate in such events in the future, go ahead, but I’m warning you. It becomes the equivalent of a bar brawl. If abortion was debated out in the streets, the whole country would literally split apart, state by state. I’m sincerely surprised it’s still intact as it is.)

One person I got into a verbal struggle took to not only calling me names, but making assumptions about me. A lot of assumptions. I don’t want to go dig it up, as I’m avoiding Twitter for a while because I don’t need the heat, but after going back and forth for a while, she came to the conclusion I am:

  • Materialistic
  • Selfish (unsurprisingly)
  • An idiot
  • Unfinished with school. In fact, she came to the belief I didn’t complete elementary school.
  • Retarded. No, she didn’t directly say this, but she used every word she could to get around it.

Obviously, since we were on opposite sides, we weren’t going to agree, but what’s the point in saying things like what’s on that list? You’re not making a point. You’ve just resorted to insulting someone. That does not help your case at all.

And yes, I did attempt to end it, but even after I stopped responding for a while, she went on. On top of that, some other people joined in with this, although they cheered her on in insulting me rather than doing it directly themselves. Eventually, I got tired and went to sleep for the night. What happened when I woke up seven hours later? My notifications were blown up while I slept! I didn’t bother to read all of them, so I don’t know if they’re from the same people or different ones, but I was honestly stunned. These people were so mad, they blew up my inbox for seven hours?

You’d think I’d be mad, but I wasn’t. Even I’m a little shocked by my own reaction. All those insults would normally infuriate me, but if anything, they bored me. I was angry they wouldn’t stop bothering, but the insults really didn’t upset me as much. My only retort to this woman was that she’s presumptuous, which she is to make all of those assumptions about me because I refused to agree with her. At one point, it wasn’t even about abortion anymore. It was just about her trying to show me up and having a fit because I wouldn’t change my stance.

The more I think about this, the more I wonder if those things have to do with her. No, I am not trying to say she is stupid or such, but it seems like when people jump to conclusions like that about someone else, it has more to do with themselves than the other person. This woman knew nothing about me besides my name and face. She probably wouldn’t be able to pick me out from a group if she saw me in real life. Yet, she comes to these conclusions because I won’t take her side.

I like debating. I don’t like when it gets overheated and more explosive than TNT boxes in Crash Bash, but I admit the passion is sometimes admirable. However, this wasn’t even that. This is simply hurling a torrent of insults at someone for disagreeing with you. To put it another way, this is basically the equivalent of a child throwing a tantrum for being told they couldn’t have a piece of candy at the store. There’s no point to this. It adds nothing.

Just to make sure I am clear, I think debate and discussion is fantastic. That’s why I choose to be apart of it if the subject is something I feel strongly about. I understand people will get angry and furious. There are strong thoughts and feelings flying about. That’s to be expected. Really, I wouldn’t expect anything less. But resorting to a torrent of insults is unnecessary. As I said, it’s pointless and adds nothing meaningful. If anything, it just shows you cannot control yourself. And no, I don’t mean cursing. Cursing on its own isn’t a problem. Throw your curses at somebody, however, and that’s a problem.

Questions and a Gun

Source: Tennessee 3-year-old Shoots Himself With Handgun That Was Left Out

Yesterday, I came across the above story. As the title basically explains, a three-year-old boy from Tennessee shot himself with a gun that was left out. According to the article, the boy’s aunt left the gun out while she tended to her own son, her nephew got to it and he fatally shot himself in the head.

Let’s get the obvious question out of the way: Who leaves a gun within reach of a child?!?!

Good. Now, the only thing I know about the guns is that they’re deadly and I’d prefer to stay a thousand feet away from one. I don’t like guns because they’re used to kill. Yes, I know that’s what they’re for and that’s precisely why I don’t like them. Besides stories like this, I’m personally against hunting, which is part of the reason I’m considering being a vegetarian when I can finally support myself.

That said, I don’t think guns should be illegal. My only reason would be that I dislike them and that’s not right. However, from the little knowledge I have, the right to own a gun has come under fire due to the Sandy Hook tragedy in Connecticut that happened in December (a story that spread so fast, my friend all the way in the United Kingdom heard about it!). There are people who want to outright ban owning guns – something the UK did in 1996, apparently due to a primary school shooting that occurred that year and they haven’t had another school shooting since – and people who just want stricter regulations, the latter of which is my view.

Unfortunately, tragedies like this and others are going to happen and I don’t think taking away a right because some people are stupid (call me judgmental and whatnot) is the answer. People are killed by: vehicles, knives, heavy objects falling on them, prescription and over-the-counter medication, falling from extreme heights, alcoholism, abuse of illegal drugs, etc. Out of all those things, only one is against the law and people still get ahold of them anyway. That doesn’t mean it should be legal, of course. My point is everything cannot be banned.

Something else I want to point out is that, while I was browsing a forum, some people suggested the story could be false. Not because they believe tragedies like this don’t occur, but because it’s questionable how a small child could have the strength to pull the trigger. I have no idea how heavy a gun or the its trigger could be, but some stated that they themselves aren’t strong enough to even cock a certain gun, let alone fire it. If an adult can’t cock a gun, I also find it odd how a three-year-old could fire one, let alone fire it at his skull. As much as I’d hate to think someone might have shot this child, it’s possible. Of course, the idea of that raises more questions.

All I can say for now is I hope this woman will be more cautious of where she leaves her gun and teach her son to never go near it.