Juan Cole: presumably a jackass, but definitely in favor of censorship

so what do you say we just turn this website over to janklow just bitching about totally random things that no one cares about? wait, we weren’t there already?!

now, one of the things i do on the internet is read a range of random news/current events/whatever sites and blogs for reasons i can’t really explain, since it’s not like this is required for my field of study or employment and certainly doesn’t seem to add to my quality of life; still, it happens regardless. anyway, it’s usually the case that i get turned on to said site through another and continue to read it because i find its material interesting. in this case, we’re talking about Juan Cole’s blog Informed Comment, a blog on the topic of, to quote the site, “an independent and informed perspective on Middle Eastern and American politics.”

Juan Cole
Juan Cole: noted expert on firearm technology

and i would agree with that; Cole seems to know the topic(s) in question and while i cannot recall the specific reason why i started reading his blog, i was certainly linked there by another author for some reason and enjoyed his work on the topics he purports his blog to be about. i certainly have no credentials or other standing to otherwise malign his work, but then i wouldn’t anyway. except…

so the thing is, a guy who blogs about one topic (even if it’s a HUGE topic that you can easily go down the rabbit hole on) is invariably going to discuss off-topic things of interest, and Cole does that. and one of the failings Juan Cole seems to seriously possess is to presume he is the same degree of expert on those things as he is on his topic of, well, ACTUAL knowledge. it’s a little like listening to Tom Cruise expound on psychiatry: i have no doubt that, whatever his level of natural skill, Tom Cruise could thoughtfully explain acting and his methods… but that doesn’t mean he knows as much about medical matters. now, MOST of us understand this and rein ourselves in when we’re about to lecture people on topics we lack knowledge of. but in Cole’s case…

ANYWAY, one of Cole’s pet peeves is OMG AMERICAN GUN LAWS and, as you can imagine, i have some strong opinions on this as well. now, i do not consider myself an expert, but there are many aspects of firearm ownership that i AM familiar with. but what brings us to our particular topic is this: some months ago, on one particular occasion, Cole began to opine that what the US needs is gun laws on par with Canada and other nations that do not allow the ownership of semi-automatic firearms, a statement that is, frankly, entirely false, and which someone can discover to be false with minimal effort. and frankly, this is a disappointing position from anyone with any level of education, because it seems to me that if i were to argue “let’s install this country’s series of laws,” i would first, you know, LEARN WHAT THEY ARE.

on this occasion, i pointed out, in what i assure you was the politest fashion possible, despite whatever you know about me, that this position was not correct, on the grounds that, well, you can own semi-automatic firearms in Canada. he disagreed and supported his argument on the grounds that i was wrong because… well, because he disagreed. i reiterated my point (essentially, that while Canada has more strict laws in many respects, a total ban on semi-automatics is not one of them), and he then began to delete my posts.

now, i know this is really just being Mad On The Internet on my behalf, but this is the kind of stuff that really grinds my gears. like a professor that rails against 4th Amendment violations while promoting 2nd Amendment violations or something! but more seriously, this is the result of several things:

#01. the continuing misconception by anti-gun people that “semi-automatics” means “FUCKING MILITARY-ISSUE MACHINE GUNS”;
#02. the willful efforts by these people to not bother to learn what they’re actually talking about;
#03. people’s misconception that knowing a LOT about one topic means you know a goddamn thing about another topic.

Glock 17

summation: Juan Cole sucks and i have no doubt he’d have harsh words for someone who actively censored his words. this is why i don’t read his site, which was quite informative and enjoyable when on topic, anymore. internet rant over.

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