Eventually, this will be about teaching: specifically, reading and discussion
On a recommendation from a friend, I was listening to an episode of Dan Carlin's Common Sense podcast in the car yesterday. From what I gathered, the show consists entirely of Carlin's commentary on current events. He began the episode with a story in Newsweek about a demand by Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director general of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE), for all European governments to alter their gun laws so that Jews could legally carry guns, in order to protect themselves from terrorist attacks.
Carlin was presenting this as a case study about why European attitudes to guns are too rigid, and he was making a case that the right to protect yourself is a "human right".
Now, on one level I just want to write a post about how wrongheaded Carlin's premise is, but I'm not going to write that blog post. All I'll say on this subject is that based on Rabbi Margolin's reasoning (that gun laws should be relaxed for groups of people who are in danger of attack based on their religion), then the only people in Europe who need this exemption more than Jews need it are Muslims, and I doubt Margolin would be receptive to a deal in which Jews & Muslims were both exempt from European gun laws.
OK, enough of that. I don't want to write my reaction to Carlin's argument - I want to write about my reaction to Carlin's argument. First, a confession: I turned it off before he was finished. I'm not proud of this, but I became aware that I was so frustrated by the podcast that it was ruining my mood, and I was on the way to visit a student at his internship site, so I didn't want to carry my frustration to my meeting with the student. Since then, I keep thinking about the podcast - so much so so that I brought it up with two different people afterwards. This got me thinking about why I was thinking about it so much, and here's what I think it boils down to:
I get incredibly frustrated by listening to an argument in which...
- I care about what's being discussed
- I'm unable to contribute, and
- I can see an obvious point that is not being articulated