Readers are, I’m sure, aware of the latest controversy over Republican Presidential Candidate, retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson. What outlandish gaffe did Carson make? Did he tell a wheelchair-bound supporter to stand up like Joe Biden? Did he visit all 57 states, like Barack Obama? In speaking about the Oregon community college attack, he said he:
would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me but he can’t get us all.’
The outcry from the media has been immediate and loud indeed (google “carson rush shooters” for a deluge of politically correct faux-outrage and metrosexual cowardice). This is so not only because Carson is a Republican running for president—and doing surprisingly well—and not only because he poses a threat to Hillary Clinton, but because he dared suggest that people act rather than cower and meekly accept their fate and progressively sainted victim status. This would, to rational people, tend to suggest that progressive’s indignant demands for “common sense gun safety” measures have nothing whatever to do with common sense or safety. Depending on the mercy of madmen for one’s safety or life seems somehow to defy common sense, to say nothing of rationality and courage.
The invaluable Mark Steyn writes on this issue:
I defended Ben Carson, who I thought gave the only practical response to the latest school shooting, advising people to be prepared to rush the shooter. For this he’s been pilloried as ‘insensitive’, etc. In fact, in these situations around the world, how you act in the first few moments generally determines the outcome:
We tell our children all the time, to worry about the sea level in the Maldives, but we don’t teach them to worry about things that are unlikely, but happen all the time. You have to move fast before a gunman takes control of the room, before he’s figured out the landscape. That’s what Ben Carson was talking about. That’s when you have to act.
It’s “insensitive” to encourage people to fight against those that would brutally kill them? Apparently so, as the pansy-boys of the left express faux-outrage over Carson’s supposed insensitivity to those that died in Oregon. Steyn again:
Listener Bud Harton responds:
How dare you!
Ben Carson would piss his pants if someone pointed a loaded gun to his head! So would you.
You have no idea what was going through the minds of those young people at the moment that lunatic was terrorizing them. No idea at all! do you think they might have been scared?
I am so bored by the dimestore ersatz empathy peddled by the likes of Bud Harton. Even the macho panty-pissing line is just the third-rate brain-dead reflex response of the unthinking. From page 186 of my international bestseller After America, discussing the mass murder at the École Polytechnique de Montréal:
Whenever I’ve written about these issues, I get a lot of e-mails from guys scoffing, ‘Oh, right, Steyn. Like you’d be taking a bullet. You’d be pissing your little girlie panties,’ etc. Well, maybe I would. But as the Toronto blogger Kathy Shaidle put it:
‘When we say ‘we don’t know what we’d do under the same circumstances’, we make cowardice the default position.’
I prefer the word passivity – a terrible, corrosive passivity. Even if I’m wetting my panties, it’s better to have the social norm of the Titanic and fail to live up to it than to have the social norm of the Polytechnique and sink with it.
Americans who had no problem crowing about how their three brave young men showed those Euro-fairies how it’s done rushing an armed man on that French train the other week suddenly think it’s bad form for Ben Carson to commend the necessity of the same approach on the home front. Let’s stipulate we’re all terrified, we’re all panty-pissers. But some actions are more likely than others to end the terror sooner, and with less bloodshed. And Ben Carson is right to promote them.
Human beings, surprised, suddenly confronted with deadly danger, often hesitate for fractions of a second, or seconds. Then they respond, or do not. Some invariably freeze, unable to do anything, stuck in a denial loop. Others overthink things, wasting valuable time. Others take the “flight” part of the “fight or flight” response. But fortunately, some attack.
Those that attack often experience tachypsychia, tunneling, and a massive adrenaline dump. Tachypsychia is time distortion. Events that actually take mere seconds often seem to take much longer. A sense of experiencing events in slow motion is often a component. Tunneling is a narrowing of the visual field, an involuntary focusing only on a small portion of what is visible, as in people who, confronted with a gun, often report that they could only see the muzzle, which looked enormous. An adrenaline dump enables efficient use of the large muscles, while simultaneously making small muscle use less efficient.
It is hardly surprising that progressives—some 90% of mainstream media employees self-report as progressives—would look on ordinary Americans resisting armed criminals with horror. Such people are not behaving properly by waiting for government to save them. Their unreasonable and dangerous actions could cause harm to others–particularly the notion that government is all powerful and all caring! This is partially why they react to the idea of armed citizens—particularly teachers and college students—with such anger and hatred. Having armed citizens around when a madman attacks could only cause greater harm! Such people would only shoot the innocent, but in crisis situations, everyone—as Bud Harton asserted—pisses their pants. The common man cannot be counted upon not to make everything worse, particularly if they demonstrate that they do not have an appropriately progressive mindset by carrying guns and trying to do the government’s job of appearing to stop criminals, but in reality, doing little or nothing to punish them.
Reality, as is usually the case with the media, is, thankfully, quite different.
Pinning on a badge does not confer magical powers unavailable to non-police officers. In fact, most police officers are not good shots, and some are decidedly poor in handling a crisis, though such people are commonly not relieved of duty. Many are promoted to get them off the street where they will be likely to cause less damage.
As many as two million common, everyday, Americans use firearms each year to stop criminals, usually without having to fire a shot. When shooting is necessary, they often do better than police officers. Clearly, people somehow manage to respond effectively to deadly danger. Perhaps some of them, following in the soggy footsteps of people like Mr. Harton, piss their pants, but they manage to prevail over their attackers and live. Many even save the lives of others in the process.
Anyone can prepare for danger by developing and practicing situational awareness. They can develop skill with firearms and even in unarmed combat. They can adopt and develop a positive, indomitable mindset, conditioning themself to respond to an attack with immediate and effective aggression. This is not an abstraction possibility; it is accomplished by “average” Americans every day.
Progressives must deny that successfully fighting evil is possible. Many can only imagine that fighting back against criminals, or trying to stop an armed killer intent on mass murder, will somehow make things worse. At this point, the rational person would be asking themself: “worse than what? Being killed without mercy by a criminal or madman?”
This is not only a matter of projection–weak, fearful people that can’t fathom anyone that doesn’t think or fail to act as they do–but a progressive article of faith. Such people tend to deny the existence of evil, or at best, think evil only the denial of the ultimate truth of progressivism. Others are simply horrified by the very idea of anyone using violence for good purposes.
The kinds of Americans progressives despise somehow manage to protect themselves and those they love every day, making those situations much, much better, not worse. Clearly, attacking predators is, in many situations, the only rational thing to do, the only course of action that provides even the possibility of survival.
Ben Carson was not, in any way, so much as making a negative implication about the people killed and injured in Oregon. The media and their progressive allies and masters seized on this idea, regardless of the context and what Carson actually said, as they always do. He was, instead, saying what he would do, what he would, by example, suggest others do in the future. In effect, Carson was describing something else horrifying to Progressives: a very different view of America.
Those that agree with Carson, those that have acted in the face of great danger, have demonstrated their character, nobility, courage, altruism, and a decided lack of narcissism and self-absorption. Above all, they have demonstrated the most meaningful definition of love, the willingness to give one’s life for another.
The question for all Americans is whether these qualities will define and reflect the American character, or whether those of the mainstream media and fellow progressives will serve the same function. Considering that the current progressive leader, and the woman progressives seem to still want to elect, fail miserably in character, nobility, courage, altruism and narcissistic self-absorption, in a very real sense, the coming presidential election will answer that question.
Who are we? Who do we want to be? The kind of person described by Ben Carson, or the embodiment of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and every stereotypical progressive metrosexual pajama boy one might imagine?