A most curious phenomenon has developed in modern society that requires the suspension of rationality and logic. The problem is not so much that at the core of the phenomenon is muddle headed thinking but that so many Americans do not immediately recognize the inherent incoherence that such thinking entails.
For example, modern Americans tend to blame society’s ills, and their own, on everything but the right thing. Criminals steal not because they are social deviants but because they grew up in poverty. Racism, bigotry, and hatred toward our fellow man is not due to the evil that lurks in men’s hearts and in the world but due to politically incorrect terminology that leads the emotionally weak to unleash their verbal venom.
If only society could mandate that certain words not be used, then perhaps society could totally eradicate from men’s minds the tendency to caricature and vilify people who are not like they are.
And as for those who commit murder, if only we could understand that such actions arise out of a childhood that was rife with abuse, poverty, violence, and bullying, then perhaps we could recognize that society and not individuals is the real culprit. And if they use a firearm to unleash their mayhem, it is certainly not the fault of the criminal but of society for its failure to remove guns from availability entirely.
The problem is that inanimate objects do not rise up on their own and mysteriously commit murder. The person whose finger is on the trigger is the culprit. And people who commit cold blooded, first degree murder do so for a variety of motives, the most common of which are mental illness and pure evil. Yes, evil is very real and lurks in the hearts of men.
We as a society do not ban cars because drivers have accidents that kill people. We do not ban video games because some persons are led to violence by watching such things. We do not ban music because some musicians utilize disturbing lyrics that depict life on the street in modern America, which has led some to engage in horrific crimes after having filled their minds with such messages and images for years.
We may decide that pressure should be placed on the makers of video games, certain forms of music, and certain movies, cajoling them to tone down the rhetoric. But that is a far cry from banning them altogether.
Similarly, banning certain guns, magazines, and ammunition, and requiring universal background checks for gun and ammo purchasers targets the wrong people and fails to make any discernible difference in violent crime. These measures punish those who obey the law. Criminals by their very nature will operate under the radar and get their tools under the table, on the street, totally off the grid.
These are among the many reasons conservatives are adamant in their opposition to gun control, gun bans, ammo control and bans, universal background checks, and databases containing the names of gun owners. Criminals will find a way to get what they want apart from these measures. Only those who have never committed a crime and who obey the law will be effected by these measures.
And of course, it goes without saying that conservatives who by their very nature believe in Constitutional law oppose any restriction that violates the wording of the Second Amendment, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Thus, how do conservatives address problems related to violence in society, mass shootings in schools and public places, and so-called “gun crime?”
We do not foolhardily misplace blame on an inanimate object but look to the individuals who commit heinous acts of violence. A person who has committed a crime with a firearm should be in jail for a lengthy sentence. Parole or early release should not be an option. They should serve out the entirety of their sentence, regardless. And when released they should be so closely monitored that it would be nearly impossible for them to buy a gun without the notice of their parole officer.
As it stands, the American justice system is way too lax when it comes to these issues. Ever since the 1960s when the U.S. went soft on crime and became fixated on the “rights” and “dignity” of criminals, the country has been held in the grip of a justice system where little justice is done.
In like manner, America has failed its mentally ill. At about the same time America went soft on crime, the country also went soft on mental illness, not that the mentally ill should be punished but that they should be in treatment facilities to insure that they take their meds and stay off of the streets.
All of the mass murders that have taken place in the U.S. over the past 40 years have been perpetrated by persons who are mentally ill and who have taken psychotropic drugs for their disorders. What are these people doing out on the streets with no supervision?
Conservatives believe that all mentally ill persons who have demonstrated the propensity for violent acts should be kept locked in mental health facilities, in many cases indefinitely.
And then there is the issue of adequate school security. At one time in America when there were few gun laws and little or no school violence, security was of no concern. Today, however, in spite of a ton of gun control laws already on the books, school violence has skyrocketed. Why are we as a society reluctant to protect our young with guns, just as we do the president and his family, the gold at Fort Knox, and Hollywood stars and the super rich who have armed body guards at their side at all times?
If protecting the president is important enough to give him around the clock security by Secret Service agents who are armed with “assault weapons,” why is protecting our school children any less important? And if the Hollywood elites can afford to hire private body guards with assault weapons, then why can’t ordinary citizens be afforded the freedom to arm themselves for protection in spite of the fact that they cannot afford to spend the money for a body guard?
In short, until Americans get criminals and the severely mentally ill off the streets and into the appropriate facilities, and until school officials and/or security officers are armed, little can be done to curb the violence we often witness, which many erroneously blame on guns.
A brand new entry is now available in my regular series Musings After Midnight, which is now posted at my blog, The Liberty Sphere. The very latest is “I’ll see you in the war — Civil War II: Notes on the coming calamity to restore the Constitution.”
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