I can’t describe the shock I felt when I did my daily audit of our Message Board and found the very new, very active thread which arose from a Soapbox that had been posted over a month earlier. You’ll have seen the number of comments which were left below the original post – four. Add to those the direct emails I received – five – and I thought that Soapbox had probably been overlooked by just about everyone, as I often feel. Usually my Soapboxes don’t deserve much comment. The current thread suggests otherwise in this case.
I am very sorry about some of the things I said, and not at all sorry about most others. I am very sorry about the harsh language I used in an attempt to make a point. I strongly believe in the point about promoting vaccinations, but I am very disappointed in myself for the unnecessarily inflammatory words I used in an attempt to make it and the disrespect it showed. How I expressed myself was rude and embarrassing. What hurts most is the respect I’ve deservedly lost amongst so many. I’ve spent the past 30 years attempting to earn it, and I understand the reaction from those who felt insulted by some of the language of my rant. I knew at the outset that I risked alienating some, to the degree that it would cost NAA some sales. That’s OK. I applaud those who express themselves with their wallet; I’ve done the same. But I am very sorry to those I insulted. It was unforgivable and I am profoundly sorry. I was rude and I apologize.
I’m not at all sorry about the debate between the exercise of individual freedoms, which I embrace, and personal/societal responsibility which I believe in. While I believe in freedom of speech, I understand, too, that I am constrained from yelling “Fire” in a crowded movie theater. While I believe in freedom of behavior, including swinging my fists freely, that freedom ends when my body is in close proximity to another. If you want to stand naked in the rain, knock yourself out, but if you want to do something that increases a threat to someone other than yourself, that’s a different matter. I believe in freedom but freedom is not without its limits. My views notwithstanding, you should note that I have not attempted to create a vaccination mandate at NAA. People who suggest that I don’t understand or appreciate individual freedoms are simply wrong.
I believe that I am largely protected from the risk of serious illness and death by having been vaccinated, and while breakthroughs continue to occur (infrequently), my bigger concern going forward is the likelihood of new, more threatening variants being spawned because we have failed to reduce the susceptible population when/while we had a chance. That is my ongoing beef with the unvaccinated.
As far as no longer buying mini-revolvers because you don’t like me, that’s your choice. I don’t think anyone ever made a purchase because they did like me. My suspicion is that most purchases are made because the product satisfied a purchaser’s wants/needs, which has nothing to do with my politics or intemperate language, for which I again apologize.
Reasoned discourse is how the “game” should be played. The ability to agree (or disagree) without resorting to “uncivilized” tactics is what allows society to function smoothly. Facts can be pesky little things that often get in the way of passion and opinions. As with ANY topic, an educated viewpoint (and not just rampant emotion) will prevail and ultimately rule the day.