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by Sean Oberle

October 3, 2001 

An important lesson that responsible parents must teach their children is to guard against blatant hypocrisy. Now, I understand that none of us is perfect – we all compartmentalize our actions and sometimes do not see the little hypocrisies of daily life … you know, getting a Diet Coke with a Double Quarterpounder With Cheese and Supersize fries.

No, I’m talking about the big-H Hypocrisies like in the case of a mother who lectures her child about the evils of shoplifting while actually shoplifting in front of the child. You see, the little-h hypocrisies we all do unawares, and they prove nothing but that we are human … fallible. But a big-H Hypocrisy demonstrates a lack of moral fairness that allows people to believe that rules of ethical behavior apply not to them, but only to others.

MMM Sits in Its Own "Time Out Chair" -- again.

That is essentially what the Million Mom March has done in the wake of the World Trade Center terrorism. Take a look at the organization’s website ( You are hit with what is a mirror-site of the Brady Campaign’s website (but with crayon drawings). The lead article is a reprint of a recent Brady Campaign article calling for more gun control to be part of President Bush’s “Homeland Defense” initiative, including national registration, a permanent database of gun sales records and closing the so-called “gun show loophole.” 

Yes, there is a mental disconnect in linking the evil of September 11 to gun control. But that particular disconnect is not one of hypocrisy, but of an apples-vs.-oranges illogical fallacy. War is not crime. Crime is not war. The solutions to each are not the same, and attempting to mix the problems only confuses the two solutions, leading to less efficiency in both. But that’s not the point of this essay, and I’m sure others will expose that lack of logic as the gun grabbers increase attempts to exploit the terrorism for their own political ends (and they ARE doing that already).

No, this essay is about hypocrisy.

The MMMer’s website also contains its “Time Out Chair,” where the moms demonstrate their superiority complex by pretending to punish those whose opinions differ from theirs. (That’s not the opinion Mommy wants you to hold! Go sit in the corner until you submit to Mommy’s authority!) 

Indeed, it is the childish illusion of adult superiority behind the concept of the “Time Out Chair” that gets the MMMers into trouble now. 

Check out the “chair.” They’ve placed John Lott (of More Guns, Less Crime fame) in it: 

Mr. Lott’s no-no? “He … exploits a national tragedy … by saying our nation would be safer if more people carried hidden handguns everywhere, not just on planes” in a Wall Street Journal article.

Bad, bad, bad little Johnny Lott, exploiting the tragedy for political purposes.

Well, actually: Bad, bad, bad little Johnny Lott, exploiting the tragedy for political purposes THAT MOMMY DOESN’T AGREE WITH. But, you see, little Johnny, if you had tried to exploit the tragedy in the way that Mommy did, then that would be OK. The lesson, little Johnny? Exploiting tragedy is OK as long as you have the right opinion.

See the hypocrisy? Doesn’t it make you feel dirty?

There’s a funny thing here though. Whenever I see hypocrisy like this, I think of my own mother whose tolerance for this type of moral delusion was non-existent. She’d have told them exactly what they were doing. She’d have made them see their childish ethical disconnect by rubbing their noses in their own mess. She’d have told them to go sit in their own “Time Out Chair.”

So, in honor of my Mom – and Moms like her everywhere on Earth and in Heaven – let’s all tell the smug MMMers to go sit in their own “Time Out Chair.” 

You can reach them at: 

Here’s what I wrote them:

“I find it morally hypocritical that you criticize John Lott for exploiting the WTC bombing while yourselves exploiting the event to attempt to divert national anger behind your own cause. If John Lott exploited the bombing, you are right that he should not have. But neither should you. Shame on you. Put yourselves in your own Time Out Chair for teaching children that exploiting tragedy is OK as long as you hold the ‘right’ opinion.”

My Mom had a great sense of humor too, especially when it came to exposing such hypocrisy. I bet that if we do this, she’ll be laughing up in Heaven. Come on, give my Mom a good laugh.

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