Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Blame people, not guns

It happens with amazing predictability every time some deranged individual goes on a murder spree: opportunists seize on the public’s very legitimate sense of the tragedy of the event and twist their righteous anger from being directed at the person who committed the act to instead target the inanimate object used by the killer. They seek to blame the lawless act of one evil madman on the freedom exercised responsibly by millions of Americans, and then to use the force of law to deprive people who didn’t commit the act of their freedom, ignoring the Bill of Rights which expressly prohibits the government from taking such action.

Such efforts generally include politicians holding up scary-looking rifles, which they invariably hold with their fingers on the trigger, pointed at their colleagues who respond with mindless admiration like a bunch of bobbleheads.

The conga line of gun grabbers have a number of mantras which they repeat endlessly.

“No one NEEDS an assault weapon. They have no legitimate sporting use.” Thus the “Bill of Needs” in the US Constitution says that government can impose whatever expedient and reasonable restrictions they wish. Anyone with a lick of historical perspective knows that the Bill of Rights is not about hunting or recreational shooting, but about limiting the power of the government to ensure that it never becomes tyrannical. Military weapons are exactly the weapons which the Second Amendment is intended to protect.

“If it saves just one life it is worth doing.” Which is why Senator Kennedy’s car is still legal? Or hammers, which after all, kill more people than rifles? Or the venerable tuna fish sandwich, weapon of choice for one woman who wanted to kill her husband last year? If you go down the list of mass killings, you have to go quite a ways to find one which used one of the weapons they want to ban. The worst mass murder in American history used box cutters. The second worst mass murder used fertilizer.

“The only purpose of guns is to kill people.” This is perhaps the most asinine one coming from an ignoramus whose freedom to spout such nonsense was bought by men with guns. Police carry guns, not to kill people, but to protect themselves. The mother who last week retreated from a home invader clear into her attic and then shot him with a .38 revolver didn’t use the gun to kill, but to protect herself and her family. Maryann Watkins didn’t use her .38 revolver to kill. She used it to stop an attack, and she did it without firing a shot. Did that gun serve a purpose? Of course it did! My Sig which I am licensed to carry most places I go serves its purpose every day. It has never killed anyone. It is an inanimate object which can be used for good or for evil depending entirely on the person wielding it. You want a good person with a gun nearby if you are in danger. The laws being proposed won’t affect the bad people, only the law-abiding ones. Criminals, by definition, don’t follow the law.

“We need to have an honest national conversation about guns.” I’m bringing the coercive power of the Federal Government against you, but we’re just chatting. Pay no attention to those ATF thugs behind me. We’ll only need them if you are… unreasonable.

“Common sense gun control is not a violation of the Second Amendment.” We’ll decide which guns you need, and we’ll let you have those. Because the Bill of Rights are really just favors the government does for the people when they feel like it. How would they feel about a law which says that they can exercise their First Amendment rights so long as they only express views selected from the approved list or observe only a government sanctioned religion? Don’t you think that the British government thought that taking away the colonists means of resisting their rule was a reasonable restriction? Fortunately, the Minutemen, ordinary citizens, farmers, tradesmen, and clergy, were armed and fought back.

The push for gun control is consistent with the rest of Obama’s agenda and goals. Not only does he push his agenda by demagoguery, threatening horrible things if we don’t give him the tax revenue, borrowing authority, spending, and power over our lives that he craves, he also seeks to create dependency on his benevolence. He wants as many people as possible to feel that they would not have a place to live, a car to drive, a phone to talk on, food to eat, medical care, or protection from criminals if not for his gracious provision. This is why Obama is so popular with single moms. Obama is the ultimate sugar daddy, provider, and protector, a substitute for the father that their family doesn’t have. That can’t work if we can protect and provide for ourselves, which is why married women don’t like Obama as much. They don’t need a father figure. If you refuse to submit to his dependency and instead strive to produce for yourself prepare to be demonized as selfish and immoral. That is how he justifies taking what you produce from you and giving it to someone else who didn’t earn it. Taking away your ability to protect yourself is an integral part of his statist utopian Leviathan.

The hypocrisy of the left extends to gun control as well. The President who lectured us about needing to contribute a little bit more while he was on a three-week $7 million vacation to Hawaii on the taxpayers dime will ram through laws targeting our ability to protect ourselves just weeks after he signed a law giving himself life-long Secret Service protection. You see, armed protection is only for the ruling elite.

Gun control advocates claim that a few small restrictions on our liberty will make us safer. Let’s examine that claim. What kind of restrictions would be necessary to really make us safe? Would even the most onerous restrictions provide safety? In prison, the inmates have no freedom whatsoever. They certainly have no right to a gun, or any other kind of weapon for that matter. They are locked in small cells for most of the day, told when to get up, when to go to bed, when to eat, when to use the bathroom, what to wear, and what to do. Their every move is watched. Their communication is monitored and the items which they are allowed to possess are extremely restricted. Their property, cells, and body is subject to search at any time. Body cavity searches are part of the regular routine. They have no liberty left to restrict. In spite of that, the murder rate in US prisons is 7.2 per 100,000, a higher rate than the national average of 4.8 per 100,000. Prison riots, in which prisoners take hostages, torture, rape, mutilate, and kill people, burn buildings, and generally wreak havoc, occur in spite of the total lack of freedom. This demonstrates that no amount of restriction on people’s liberty will keep bad people from doing bad things. The promise that “we can keep you safe” in return for just a small restriction on your liberty is a fool’s bargain. When one small restriction predictably fails to deliver the safety it promised, another small restriction will be required. And then another. And another…

Inmates in prison are not murdered because they are too free. They are murdered because evil people murder them. Neither are American citizens like the kids in Sandy Brook Elementary murdered because we are too free. The killer, not the weapon, is responsible for the murder. We need to do a much better job of dealing with crime through meaningful sentencing rather than revolving door prison policies. We need better ways of treating mental illness to keep insane people from committing acts of violence. Instant background checks would help keep criminals from getting guns. But no amount of government intervention will stop all violence. The root of violence is sickness in the human heart, and government has no jurisdiction over the heart. How many of the young men who have gone on killing sprees in recent years have had a father actively playing a positive part in his life? Answer: zero. You may remember the “DC sniper”, a young kid who looked to an older man as a substitute father figure. How would things have played out differently if his own father was the father figure in his life? Government can’t make dads raise their kids with sound and loving guidance, but you can make sure that YOUR kids have that kind of guidance. In the end, it is an issue of the evil in men's heart. Government can only deal with the external. It tries to regulate the external because it can’t change what is inside. The only one who can redeem a person’s heart and purge the evil from within is Jesus Christ. Pointing people to Him is far better than passing more laws.

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