“Mike seems to suggest…. Mike seems to assume…” Poor Mike! But anybody trying to know what Mike thinks would be better off reading what Mike actually wrote instead of relying on Jonah’s rhetorical summary. I nowhere said, or suggested, that saying things was cost-free; I merely said that I would protect the right of people to say things. And I nowhere came close to suggesting that Jonah was happy about whatever victories the gay-rights advocates have won. Indeed, I viewed Jonah’s column as magnanimous–and thus thanked him for it–precisely because I understand him to be troubled by the possible social consequences of the gay-rights victories. Thus far my fraternal correction of Jonah. Now, as for friend Derbyshire: Fashions in opinion come and go, and not every opinion is guaranteed never to fall below a certain minimum level of popularity. But we are not living in Noam Chomsky’s fantasy world, in which one centrally controlled set of media outlets determines what can be thought and said. I disagree with some of the famed recent comments by Rick Santorum, just as I disagreed with the equally famed recent comments by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks. But Rick–and the Chicks–had no problem getting heard. Long may it be thus, in the land of the free.
To understand the American gun-control debate, you have to understand the fundamentally different starting positions of the two sides. Among conservatives, there is the broad belief that the right to own a weapon for self-defense is every bit as inherent and unalienable as the right to speak freely or practice ... Read More