Snakes, and other slithering beasts

I have these snakes where I live, quite a few species, but the dangerous ones where I live are the ones with rattles. Specifically, Crotalus oreganus, but that’s not important.

They bite things. That’s what they do. Like all pit vipers, their skulls are specifically designed to inject venom into other animals. One of them bit my dog once. Others have tried to bite me. This typically ends with a decapitated rattlesnake and another tail in my collection.

I’m confident that there are people who would blame me for all of that. The vipers are in their natural habitat, or maybe they wouldn’t bite if we didn’t agitate them. But we are here, and the conflict will continue no matter what people kvetch about on the sidelines. Even if I simply avoided them, my dog is less safe because they’re around.

There are certain groups of people who, like these snakes, seem to have a natural inclination towards messing up other peoples’ days. We can blather on about this being a self defense mechanism if we wish (more accurate for the snakes than the people, but it really doesn’t matter). We can blame the victims for having colonized or enslaved them in the past, or try to pretend that if we didn’t arrest them so much, they wouldn’t commit so much crime.

But I think it’s more productive to point out that the people who make excuses for Africans and Muslims are often the same people who don’t want me to protect my family from literal pit vipers.

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