Coming to the defense of

Coming to the defense of Minutemen
University of Massachusetts officials want to dump the Minuteman mascot in favor of “Gray Wolves.” The Revolutionary War hero is male and carries a gun in the logo. Eugene Volokh gets this exactly right. Why is it a “concern” that the Minuteman is carrying a gun?

The Minutemen were soldiers, soldiers fighting in defense of liberty and independence. One needs guns for that sort of thing. We should celebrate those who fought on America’s behalf, and we shouldn’t hide the fact that to do that, they required deadly weapons.

The problem here, it seems to me, is a moral blindness, a failure to draw significant moral distinctions. Some gun use is evil; some violence is evil; some gun use is good; some violence is good; there’s nothing inherently worthy of concern in a person being depicted as carrying a firearm, or a person being depicted for his morally praiseworthy use of violence. I’ve actually objected to the casual glamorization, including in team names, of Pirates and Buccaneers, evil users of violence. But it’s the evil that’s the problem, not the Minutemen or their firearms.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Furthermore, the Minutemen are worthy heroes for Americans “of both sexes and all ethnicities.”

Yes, the women aren’t literally “men,” at least under one definition of “man.” But they aren’t gray wolves either, are they?

Yes! That is, no! They’re not gray wolves.

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