It is easy to be brave from a distance. - Aesop
Arkansas State Representative Nate Bell, who has never seen fit to wear the uniform of his country, nevertheless passed judgement on the courage of others when he Tweeted the following “joke” yesterday:
I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine? #2A — Nate Bell (@NateBell4AR) April 19, 2013
Despite the fact that many seemed to agree with Bell, it must have dismayed him that so many felt repulsed upon upon reading his words.
Perhaps, unlike Bell, they had actually been paying attention to the news this week, and taken in not only the memorials to the killed and injured, but the many stories of heroism, when folks who were not police or emergency personnel stayed to comfort the afflicted, and carry them to safety, even though they did not know if another bomb might go off even as they were helping their fellow human beings.
Nate Bell wasn’t there, not were most of those on the Internet who approved his message. The folks in Boston were.
Maybe Republican Bell had forgotten that a small child was among those who had been killed.
But at any rate Bell, who felt comfortable making a crude joke about the courage of others while he was chortling safely away here in Arkansas, soon felt compelled to issue an apology on Facebook . . . of sorts.
I would like to apologize to the people of Boston & Massachusetts for the poor timing of my tweet earlier this morning. As a staunch and unwavering supporter of the individual right to self defense, I expressed my point of view without thinking of its effect on those still in time of crisis. In hindsight, given the ongoing tragedy that is still unfolding, I regret the poor choice of timing. Please know that my thoughts and prayers were with the people of Boston overnight and will continue as they recover from this tragedy.
Nate Bell is sorry about the “timing” of his joke. In saying so twice, he makes sure that the grieving folks of Boston know he still feels contempt for them; he just shouldn’t have been so excited by what the voices in his head were saying that he had to share what they said with the world quite so quickly.
Like the bully in the bar, Nate Bell wasn’t “thinking” about those his stupid remarks may have offended. He was going for the cheap laugh, to get the approval of the other lurkers in the back of the bar, back there in the dark.
Perhaps Bell, who touts his involvement with the National Rifle Association, felt that this would take some of the heat away, but the damage has already been done.
Not only to Bell, but to Arkansas as a whole, which has already been suffering blows to its national reputation of late due to the hard work of the Men with Bad Haircuts in the state legislature, of which Nate Bell is a proud member.
I suppose it is sort of understandable, in a way. Prior to being elected to this office, Bell’s only other elected position were his three terms as Potter Township Constable.
And nobody pays much attention to what a constable posts on Twitter.
Still, even a former constable might know better than to make such a stupid, monstrously insensitive, joke at a time like this.
But maybe Nate Bell doesn’t know any better.
No doubt he is smarting from all of the media attention (damn media) and comments left on his Facebook page (do politicians ever actually read the comments people leave on Facebook?) but the fact that so many other folks have chortled along with the NRA supporter may have bolstered him emotionally.
He may just decide to wait this out, and read things through three or four times before actually posting them online for the foreseeable future.
If there is any cosmic justice, and if Nate Bell has a modicum of self-awareness left at this point, he should resign from the Arkansas legislature.
I’m not holding my breath, though.
Quote of the Day
Man is least himself when he talks in his own voice. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. - Oscar Wilde