I haven't been this upset about something I saw online for quite a while. The other day, on the first anniversary of the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a friend - someone whom I, frankly, have always had enormous respect and good feelings toward, chose to mark the occasion by putting on a status update so egregiously distasteful and disrespectful to the senator's memory that I, who have seen so many repugnant things in my day, was shocked and revolted.
The status update made mocking reference to the disease that killed Mr. Kennedy, to his publicly acknowledged and long-ago-victorious battle with alcoholism, and here was the payoff:
"I'll be keeping my second ammendment (sic) freedoms, pal."
The man who wrote this is a young man, perhaps too young to remember when the senator's older brothers, President John Kennedy and presidential candidate, Senator and former Attorney General Robert Kennedy were killed by guns. Not to mention his other older brother Joe, who was killed fighting for his country in World War II. Surely had he known of the tragedies suffered by the Kennedy family, he never would have written such hurtful words.
And - here's the part that always stirs this pot - while I wait to see which well-regulated militia my friend plans to join in order to take full advantage of his Second Amendment rights, I will inform him that, of all the Democrats who have served so nobly in our Congress, the name of Edward Moore Kennedy is certainly high on any list of solons who were willing to reach across party lines and compromise with the Republicans. When he died last August, Teddy was eulogized fondly by countless Republicans who spoke glowingly of his willingness to stand for his principles while respecting those of others, and his love of people that enabled him to befriend any member of any political stance.
Even someone who would use such ungracious words, he would still have called a friend.
And to think, all this rancor, this unseemly incivility, over a damned gun.