The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract. -
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
I get along well with most people but there are a few exceptions, and Ron Owen is one of these. Ron is in my opinion, a bumptious, opinionated, overbearing, arrogant, argumentative, bigoted, know it all, who, while he is undoubtedly smart and successful generally presents as a buffoon.
Ron is a great supporter of the right of people to gun ownership and self-defense, but while I fully agree with him on this, his way of going about it is a real turn off.
I have been appalled at the constant efforts of the government and the police to pursue a vendetta against him to try to put him out of business. They have on a number of occasions raided him, and charged him with multiple weapons offenses, once with over a hundred, and have had the lot thrown out every time.
This sort of witch-hunt is totally unjustified and should stop. Apart from appearing to use the justice system a weapon of vindictiveness, it also makes it look completely incompetent.
Now I find myself supporting him again, or not so much Ron himself as the principle of free speech: -
From ‘The Australian.’
GUN lobbyist Ron Owen has been told he is entitled to express his homophobic views, but that he went too far with the bumper sticker: "Gay Rights? Under God's law the only rights gays have is the right to die."
Queensland's Anti-Discrimination Tribunal found Mr Owen guilty of inciting hatred against homosexuals with the bumper sticker when he parked his car outside the Cooloola Shire Council officers in Gympie, north of Brisbane.
The publisher of the ultra-right-wing pro-militia magazine Lock Stock & Barrel and former local councillor was also chastised on Monday for comments he made in the ensuing public outcry that engulfed the rural community.
The former president of the National Firearm Owners of Australia was taken to the tribunal by several local lesbians, who claimed they had been offended despite only one having seen the bumper sticker.
Two of the women were awarded $5000, with a third awarded $2500 in damages.
Tribunal member Darryl Rangiah handed down a 77-page decision, which also ordered Mr Owen to publish a written apology for inciting hatred and causing offence to the homosexual community of Gympie.
While I think this is offensive behavior on the part of Ron Owen, even rather juvenile, it is rather bizarre for the law to award damages to persons who claim to have been offended, but it is ridiculous that the award should be made to people who didn’t even see the thing.
We are all aware that homosexuality exists, some find it distasteful, most of us couldn’t care less about it but some just have to mouth off. This is pointless and stupid, but they are entitled to their views, and to express those views.
People have the right also to be offended, but being offended is only an emotion, and something to get over. Deliberately offending people is childish, stupid, and likely to cause trouble for the offender, but shouldn’t be a crime.
These people do not appear, according to what I have seen, to have approached him and asked him to desist, or to apologize as would be the normal thing to do if offended. Had they done so I would have more time for them.
There is, unfortunately a tendency by governments to rush into ‘feel good’ legislation to create laws that are supposed to make people more tolerant, which only create an ‘entitlement’ syndrome and a new category of intolerance, among the supposed victims of discrimination.
Acceptance of homosexuality and many other things has advanced over the years, brought about by society generally being more tolerant, the Owens of the world are now the dinosaurs, the out of touch. This has happened without any recourse to legislation, and should have been left alone to develop of its own accord.