Back in mid-December, comedian Alison Leiby sent out a tweet to her 10,000 followers on Twitter. Here it is:
As a woman, I just hope that one day I have as many rights as a gun does.
— Alison Leiby (@AlisonLeiby) December 17, 2015
I’d say in today’s America, that’s a fair statement for any woman to make. Republicans at the state and federal level have consistently attempted to limit a woman’s right to family planning services, even going to far as to try and slag Planned Parenthood because they disagree with them.
No big deal about the tweet, right? Leiby is merely expressing her opinion, and right wingers are always saying that’s a good thing. Of course, they mean as long as they’re the ones doing all the talking. But the reaction to this one tweet was swift and incredibly disturbing, as Lieby told Medium:
“Somewhere along the way an account with a large and conservative following retweeted it, an action that flooded my notifications page with people calling me ‘stupid’ or a ‘moron’ or, one of my personal favorites, a ‘retarded liberal.’ Fine.
“Last Monday evening, however, the replies went from annoying and insulting to violent and threatening. Men were replying to me and taking my joke to a horrific, new place. Some said they wanted to ban me from public places and silence me. Others said they wanted to lock me in their closet when they’re done with me. A few choice gentlemen suggested I, like their gun, have a ‘rough brush clean my holes.'”
This is, to put it mildly, totally inexcusable. If you disagree with another person’s beliefs or politics, then have a fair debate and realize that you will probably never convince your adversary to agree with you. We can all respect one another and accept each other in love and friendship, no matter our differences.
But to threaten another person’s life or to threaten to sexually harm them because you are too cowardly and ignorant to engage in a real discussion is over the line in the worst possible way.
Some gun advocates are fond of saying that guns don’t kill people, people do. That’s true enough, but what about the people who use guns and their support of gun rights in order to threaten another person? What does that say about the entire pro-gun contingency?
It says they need to get a freaking sense of humor and learn to respect opinions outside of their own NRA-funded echo chamber.