In this column, A1F Daily trains its watchdog eye on “The Trace,” Michael Bloomberg’s new anti-“gun news” site.
The Trace helpfully suggests starting a new holiday tradition with your family in a November 23 feature titled “Nine Ways to Enjoy a Fact-based Gun Debate With Your Thanksgiving Bird.”
Thanksgiving, of course, is a time to be grateful for the enormous bounty with which we have been endowed, feast with family and friends, and put aside our differences long enough to remind ourselves how blessed we are for all of the above. This is plainly the worst idea for a holiday conversation starter since Seinfeld’s “Airing of Grievances.”
Into this idyllic, time-honored feast of gratitude, The Trace thinks it would be just great if we set a place for Michael Bloomberg and wage a proxy gun fight on his behalf.
Co-authors Evan Defilippis and Devin Hughes have invited themselves over, too. Their day job is to use the trappings of science in an attempt to trample inconvenient facts that don’t support their gun-control agenda; now, instead of politely taking off their boots at the door, they’re tracking their mud into the dining room on Thanksgiving Day, offering to help us “enjoy” a gun debate with our families.
Let’s take a look at their generous advice:
“Thanksgiving is a time to eat, drink and, inevitably, fall into heartburn-inducing arguments with family members over politically charged topics.” This sounds less like Thanksgiving and more like an episode of Game of Thrones. In my family, we fall into spasms of laughter while catching up on life, reminiscing about past adventures and fending off sharp, good-natured jabs. We keep all fighting over politics where it belongs: on Facebook.
“If you’re going to fight over guns this holiday season, then you’re going to want to come prepared with some hard facts.” Okay, so you’ve come to a Thanksgiving dinner and a “Red Wedding” breaks out. No doubt, a steady stream of twisted statistics will re-establish familial harmony.
“When your pro-gun aunt or uncle uncorks (such as it is) a familiar talking point, here’s your empirically supported response.” Translation: Any pro-gun relatives have surely been drinking again.
Defilippis and Hughes conveniently summarize their anti-gun faux-data into nine categories to gird you for the “inevitable” storm at the dinner table. I suppose that you could pass them ’round the table after the gravy boat, but I suspect that will get you sent to the card table with the kids next year, if not to the Red Lion Inn buffet. Besides the fact that we’ve covered all of them in past “No Trace of Truth” features, and we’re too busy ordering wine and counting our place settings to rehash them all here, this is plainly the worst idea for a holiday conversation starter since Seinfeld’s “Airing of Grievances.”
Who has time to waste prepping for a fight over the Second Amendment, when the line for cheap Wal-Mart Butterballs extends all the way to the garden center?
The Trace took a cue from Bloomberg’s Everytown For Gun Safety, who posted the first “Talking Turkey About Guns 2014” last year, cheerfully illustrated with armed Lego toys and pumpkin pie graphs. This seems a little out of place with traditions such as saying grace and mom’s dinner rolls, but I suppose there are those who would like a little froth with their cranberries. This seems a little out of place with traditions such as saying grace and mom’s dinner rolls, but I suppose there are those who would like a little froth with their cranberries.
However, that’s not a tradition that will actually bring families (with members in both camps) together. Allow me to share what our family does on holidays:
Those of us who enjoy the shooting sports, go shooting. Some in our family hunt; we might shoot sporting clays, where diabolically placed target throwers enforce parity between pros and novices, or we might head out to a private range with friends and practice shooting and moving, comparing times and sharing tips. If the weather is bad, we go to the indoor range and play Battleship with the targets we got last Christmas. When it’s over, we trade videos of each other and post them online (which, if construed as passive-aggressive behavior by our non-shooting Facebook friends … oh, well).
Those who don’t enjoy shooting can nap, watch the Lions or go shopping. Knock yourself out; just don’t eat all the leftover rolls.
Afterwards, we’ll all watch a holiday movie together. One year it was “Wolf of Wall Street”; you may want to make a different choice. (Our family has since recovered. Thank you for your concern.)
Those of us who went shooting will have created a shared memory of being together, learning new skills and enjoying the unique brand of quality humor that occurs so naturally in our family. Some of those who didn’t shoot changed their minds; all are welcome, because they’re family.
So you now have a new choice in holiday traditions: On the one hand, a kind of fascist Festivus, where dysfunctional family members belittle each other over guns, declare how disappointed they are and compete to wrestle the host to the ground.
Or you could create a lasting memory by going on a family shooting adventure.
By a show of hands: Who wants to join Bloomberg for Thanksgiving dinner?