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Las Vegas, Progressives and Gun Control

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

In Las Vegas we saw great love, as innumerable men—and women–selflessly risked it all, and in some cases, gave it all, that others might live, not only their loved ones and friends, but strangers. Americans did what Americans do: they rose to the occasion and helped those in need, without concern for reward or politics.

As is always the case when such attacks happen, many are obsessed with why? Why did the shooter do it? Was he a terrorist? Was he mad at the government? Was he a white supremacist? A racist? A global warming denier? A Republican? Worse, a Trump supporter? What did our corrupt society do to him to force him to kill so many? Perhaps if we understand his motivations, we can prevent the next attack. Perhaps we can somehow change our schools, our attitudes, our beliefs, our politics so this need never happen again.

We search and ponder and fret, but we avoid the most obvious reason. We avoid it because it reminds us that we are not in control, and there is nothing we can do to prevent such madness. The shooter very well may have done it for no other reason than that he wanted to do it, and he enjoyed it. But that’s sick! That’s crazy! Yes. Yes it is. It’s also, as President Trump said, pure evil.

There is, gentle readers, a primary difference between conservatives and progressives. There are, of course, a great many, but the one that matters most, that affects every facet of politics, of existence, is one’s view of the eternal battle between good and evil.

Conservatives, as a whole, have no doubt evil exists, and Satan is its embodiment and author. They believe the battle between good and evil is fought among us, and Satan whispers to even the best of us, urging us to evil in ways great and small. There are those particularly susceptible to his urgings, and in them, he finds some of his greatest victories. This is, in part, why conservatives tend to care about social issues and policy. They understand the fallen nature of human nature and accept it cannot be changed, except by reliance on God and his grace to change the human heart. This does not relieve them of the necessity of striving to do good, quite the opposite, but they know heaven—utopia—will never exist on Earth.

Progressives, on the other hand, often deny the existence of evil because they deny the existence of God, considering such concepts primitive, non-elite mumbo jumbo. Progressives that practice a faith—beyond progressivism—usually transform that faith to reflect progressive doctrine rather than accepting the idea—and moral guidance–of a power greater than themselves, than progressivism, than their latest maximum leader. To such people, the only true evil in the world is found in opposition to their policies, and because they embody those policies, to them. They truly believe they can change human nature—or at least beat it into submission–and through that, the world. They can create utopia in their image. If only they can, through regulation, legislation, ever burgeoning government, force non-believers to think, act and speak in the right—progressive—ways, they can perfect mankind.

Conservatives believe mankind is essentially fallible. Progressives think themselves infallible. Progressive doctrine/policy is non-falsifiable and can never fail. If it appears to fail, that is only because not enough money has been spent, there has not been enough time for the policy to work its wonders, the policy isn’t restrictive enough, or conservatives have been allowed to exist to oppose it.

When progressives accuse conservatives of being against science, they engage in classic projection, for conservatives tend not to think with their emotions, relying on experience, fact and logic. It is progressives that fly into a rage when their beliefs are challenged, and whose default response to debate is “shut up,” or “shut up you racist!”

Therefore, when an attack like that in Las Vegas occurs, the reaction of the Lleftists is predictable. They immediately resort to politics, but a politics of emotion, outrage, indignation and hatred. They blame President Trump because Trump. They blame conservatives because shut up. They blame law-abiding gun owners because guns. They blame the NRA because it ably represents and defends the Constitution, which they see as an unfortunate and outdated impediment to their policy desires. They blame guns, the Second Amendment, the NRA, and all law abiding gun owners because they cannot conceive of evil except in those that oppose them.

Thus does Hillary Clinton blame “silencers” and castigate those who would make them more easily available to protect the hearing of lawful gun owners. Suppressors are already legal, but ownership requires a $200 tax, and filling out voluminous federal paperwork, which takes the BATF months, even years, to process. There are millions already in circulation. The proposed law before Congress would merely remove the unnecessary tax and bureaucratic harassment of the law-abiding.

Thus do progressives demand an “assault weapon” ban and a law limiting magazine capacity, despite the fact there is no such thing as an assault weapon, and a Clinton-era ban on semi-automatic rifles that superficially resembled actual assault rifles, and on magazines of greater than 10 round capacity were in effect for ten years, yet accomplished absolutely nothing for public safety.

Thus do progressives demand “smart” guns, closing the “gun show loophole,” “universal” background checks, and a wide variety of other measures aimed at eating out the substance of the law-abiding, despite the irrefutable fact such laws would have done nothing to stop or even hinder the Las Vegas shooter, or any other mass killer in American history. Those planning mass murder, particularly if they plan to shoot themselves or commit suicide by cop, are not deterred by gun laws, nor, obviously, are they deterred by eternal damnation.

Reportedly, the Las Vegas shooter had in his hotel room two rifles converted to fully automatic fire, or several rifles with bump fire devices. If fully automatic weapons were used, it is unlikely these were lawfully purchased. Almost certainly, they were acquired, or altered, illegally, acts already federal felonies.

Rather than focusing on the tools used by a killer, conservatives focus the blame where it belongs: on the killer and any accomplices. Guns are not capable of evil. They cannot compel action in their owner, and have no agency. Only people are capable of evil intent and evil actions, and even if progressives could wave a magic wand and make every gun in the world vanish, the slaughter evil joyously causes would scarcely abate.

Even in the ancient world, tens of thousands fell on battlefields in a single day, killed by weapons that can be manufactured by common hand tools, indeed, more efficiently, because we have access to power tools. Deprived of firearms, the Las Vegas killer could have killed and wounded as many by driving a truck through the tightly packed crowd, a tactic terrorists have used to good effect in Europe.

Conservatives recognize and acknowledge the presence of evil, and its inevitability, and so recognize the unalienable right to self-defense as fundamental to the preservation of the individual. This is the ultimate women’s issue, for if we are reduced to ancient weapons and hand to hand combat, virtually any woman is at the mercy of virtually any man, as are her children. This is also an important distinction: conservatives recognize the sovereignty of the individual, while progressives demand sovereignty for themselves—the self-imagined elite—but governmental primacy over all others. Thus is self-defense not only unnecessary, but offensive, and dangerous to governmental control of the non-elite.

Progressives acknowledge only the evil of those that oppose them, and eternally seek to disarm them so they may be brought to heel by the right progressive regulations and laws, such adherence affected by a government monopoly on modern arms.

How can it be otherwise? If progressives acknowledge the existence of evil, how can their ultimate aim be the disarmament of the law-abiding, the good? How can their never-ending desire be rendering the preferred targets of evil helpless to oppose and overcome it?

Ultimately, progressive designs on the means of lawful self-defense raise a horrifying question–who will do evil: individuals, or government?

Conservatives accept the inevitability of individual evil, of those that choose to hear and obey the demonic whispers in their ears. They do not accept the inevitable path of despotic government, and that is why we have the Constitution, and the Second Amendment, which secures every other right. Individuals may kill tens or hundreds, but governments kill millions. Communism, which is the ultimate progressive destination, killed more than 100 million—mostly their own people—in the last century, and continues to kill thousands around the world today. They want to restore their previous glory, because this time, this time, they’ll do communism right where all before them failed, because they’re smarter and better and more virtuous.

The Las Vegas killer—pure evil—was not stopped by good intentions or progressive policies. He was ultimately stopped by men with guns, men, that had he not chosen to kill himself, would surely have killed him. That is not, however, an argument for a police/governmental monopoly on arms.

Evil strikes on its terms, where and when it prefers, and when it does, it takes pains to ensure the police are not around, or cannot respond until enormous damage is done. In virtually no school shooting have the police had an active role in stopping the killer.

Will we be better off if those motivated to express the greatest love are, because they are denied the most effective means of self-defense, forced to lay down their lives, or if they have, at least, a chance to destroy evil instead? And are those trying to disarm the good, evil in and of themselves, or at the very least, accomplices?

Satan–evil–wins when he convinces us he doesn’t exist, when we ascribe evil to the good, or to inanimate objects, when we accept guilt for opposing evil.  When we do that, love dies.