Some of you may have read an earlier comment of mine mentioning that Newtown Connecticut is my home town. I left to go to college, and it’s been quite a long time since I lived there, but we all have a home town, don’t we? I am in a bit of a state of shock, and have been trying to collect my thoughts all day, and feel the need to say something. Let’s see if this makes any sense.
Once again, as the loudest voices always seem to do, there will be calls for new and more laws for gun control on the heels of this horrific tragedy. Once more, we will furiously fail to learn anything that is actually useful from this event. Instead, we will choose to think with our feelings and attack the symptoms while ignoring, and in fact aggravating the causes.
By one estimate, there are 310 million firearms in the United States. Guns have been a part of our culture since its very beginning, and they are everywhere. Gun control advocates are forced to ignore this simple fact while constructing their arguments. Forget for a moment that the 20 year old shooter was breaking laws already on the books in Connecticut by possessing those weapons on his person. There is literally no way that legislation can be conceived which could come anywhere near having the desired result of removing access to firearms from those willing to break the law to own them. This also ignores the fact that the manufacture of a firearm has become a relatively trivial exercise, and this trend will only continue as a consequence of the advance of materials technology. I read recently that someone had actually ‘printed’ a working firearm with a $15,000 3D printer. People wise enough to lead on this issue must concede the reality – firearms are here to stay; will only be driven underground by tighter legislation, and the solutions we consider must accept the truth of that.
This is a very serious matter for our society. Violence tears at the fabric of civilization. But we must be in possession of the facts if we are to succeed at this. We must acknowledge that gun free zones have only ever exposed their occupants to risk. The history of events like these make this case in an overwhelming fashion. As a society, we must also come to grips with the fact that generations of glorifying violence in media and entertainment while federal policies destroy families and self-loathing progressives teach moral relativism in our schools has not been without consequence. The idea that a new law will be a fix for this is a profoundly irresponsible proposal, made by a fool or a demagogue.
If we truly seek to understand before acting, we would be taking a very careful look at how, for example, the Swiss have managed to make firearms a peaceful part of their culture’s foundation. Our national crisis with violence is not a consequence of too few regulations, but of an epic cultural failure that is manifesting itself in virtually every part of our society, from the music our children listen to, the games they play, the designer drugs they blithely risk their lives on, the corrupt and bloated government that preaches the message of indifference to personal accountability, and the masses too fearful to stand and demand better from everyone around them.
Those who understand this realize that the events of today are an integral part of the ‘new normal’. We are witnessing the death march of the American Dream, dipped in batter and deep fried, and delivered to your cellphone in HD for your viewing pleasure while the party brownshirts softly whisper the language of the victim’s revenge into your ear.
Meanwhile, we elect leaders who lack the capacity to see the irony in their position on this issue:
Americans need to gather the courage to make systemic changes if we wish to address what it is about our culture that could produce a person capable of killing his own mother and a classroom full of young children on the way to ending his own life. Gun laws do nothing about the hell on earth that is the reality of these deeply emotionally disturbed individuals who somehow manage to evade the concern and attention of those around them and wind up perpetrating these unspeakably evil acts. Is it possible that our public schools have become this bad and our parents this detached? Are we so corrupt, so selfish, so self-centered that these damaged souls can walk among us unaided until the pain of living becomes unbearable? Seek your answers here, America.