The Media, Democrats (I know: I repeat myself) and other usual suspects are asking—and answering—a single question these days: will it be different this time? After the Florida school attack and the death of 17 students, will America finally come to its collective senses and do away with that disgusting Second Amendment? The answer: Yes! Because there are several children who attended that high school—survivors! (even if they were never actually in danger)—and they are not only speaking the progressive party line (guns bad, Constitution bad, NRA bad, gun owners have blood on their hands, and it’s all Trump’s fault), they’re articulate! Very articulate! We must listen to and obey the children, the latest progressively favored victim group with absolute moral authority.
I will do what I can to persuade, to encourage Americans to do what is normally done after an infamous school attack: allow a little time to pass for unrestrained emotions to cool so rational, informed, adult choices about policy and legislation may be made. To that end, please allow me, gentle readers, to explain why I won’t be conversing with the Left on this issue.
Progressivism can never be wrong. It cannot admit error. If a progressive policy or law fails, if it is unmistakably proved to be a failure, that cannot be because progressivism was wrong. The policy obviously wasn’t progressive enough, or not enough money was spent, or there wasn’t enough time for it to work its wonders, or conservatives were allowed to exist to say mean things about the policy or to, in any way, oppose it.
A relevant example is the Clinton gun ban. Progressives got their way: they banned “assault weapons,” hundreds of different permutations, and banned magazines of more then ten round capacity. Their policy had a decade—ten years—to work its wonders, and at the end of that decade, the results were unmistakable: it accomplished absolutely nothing for public safety, and it was allowed to sunset. Democrats were faced with what they most feared: losing power. Many were unceremoniously booted out of Congress. That has not stopped them from complaining that they didn’t ban enough guns, the ban just wasn’t in effect long enough, they didn’t spend enough money, and those damned Republicans—TRUMP!!!!!!—opposed them.
They just know they can get it right this time, because they’re smarter, more evolved than all Progressives before them, and this time, they’ll not only ban all assault weapons, they’ll confiscate them and put all those gun and God clingers in jail. They just won’t admit that up front.
People are dying; we must do something! At times of maximum emotion, and minimum information, that’s precisely what we must avoid. Thus far we’ve learned the Florida killer legally purchased the rifle he used a year before the crime. We’ve also learned there were highly specific warnings, which if heeded by the FBI, local police, and the local child welfare agency, might have prevented this particular crime, if not some future crime. In other words, we know current law, if properly used, might have prevented this crime. We also know no gun control proposal would have prevented it, or any other known school shooting. Law motivated by emotion is invariably bad and harmful law. No law must ever be passed to “do something” or to “send a message.” No law that cannot accomplish what it claims to accomplish must be passed. No law that duplicates current law must be passed.
We must listen to and obey the children. I’ve been surprised, and more than a little suspicious, at how fast a small group of kids suddenly gained complete, unlimited and fawning media access, and faithfully parroted progressive, and anti-Trump, talking points. As usual, it turns out not to be a grass roots movement, but a progressive astroturf movement, and the media are taking full advantage of it. According to The Gateway Pundit, the very articulate young man in the photo heading this article, is the son of a former FBI agent. This does not mean everything he might have to say is useless, but it does explain a very great deal, as a quick click on the link will demonstrate.
As a high school teacher of long experience, I do have some insight regarding the nature of teenagers. One should not underestimate their intelligence, but one must never overestimate their information and experience. There are very good reasons why one must be at least 35 to be president or vice president, at least 30 to be a senator, and at least 25 to be a representative. If the average American—and almost all Democrats—have little or no idea of the Constitution, the law, and virtually everything relating to firearms and related policy, teenagers have, with virtually no exceptions, less. Every year, prior to discussing the media and its techniques and the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, I have to explain what Democrats and Republicans believe, because my 16-17 year old students haven’t a clue. They know far less about gun policy and law. In fact, that single lesson earned a bit of local notoriety.
What teenagers do have is a reflexively anti-authority attitude, absolute certainty about their brilliance, enormous passion about whatever they’re passionate about at the moment, boundless energy, substantial texting ability, raging hormones, crankiness rivaling the crankiest old man and the attention spans of gnats, none of which make good policy or law. But progressives/the media are pretending they’re virtual reincarnations of Solomon.
We must have a conversation. No, we must not. Progressives never give up on their anti-freedom/gun agenda, because they, like the Chinese, who they idolize, take the long view and will work toward it though it take a century. We’ve never stopped having a “conversation” about gun control, just as we can never escape “conversation” about race or immigration. The problem is, progressives have no intention of conversing. They approach such encounters demanding everyone accept their premises as unassailable truth before a single word is spoken. They accuse their opponents of wanting dead children, of having blood on their hands, of supporting mass death and destruction, of thinking guns substitutes for sexual inadequacy, of wanting criminals, the insane and the criminally insane to have guns, and of being generally stupid, immoral, evil, and worst of all, Trump supporters. Their principle conversational method is: “shut up!”
We must have “commonsense” gun control. Commonsense is defined as: “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.” Progressive common sense is not sound, prudent or based on accurate, realistic perception, nor is it factual. For proof, one need only refer to “Progressivism can never be wrong,” above. Rifles are used in only a tiny portion of all murders or suicides, and AR-15s—or similarly configured semiautomatic rifles–are used in only a miniscule portion of that tiny portion. The overwhelming number of murders and suicides in which a gun is used are done with handguns. School shootings, while enjoying virtually unlimited media coverage, remain, thankfully, rare. Far more people, including children, are killed each year by all manner of accidents, including bicycle accidents, and a wide variety of other causes than in school shootings. In the last 25 years, around 10 children per year died in school shootings, but around 100 died in bicycle accidents or while walking to school. Common sense would tell the rational, sound and prudent person gun control proposals are not only unconstitutional, destructive to the rule of law and social order, but entirely ineffective.
Conservatives are unwilling to compromise. Compromise requires each side surrender something to achieve a worthwhile end. Progressive’s idea of compromise is they get everything they demand. How does one compromise a natural, fundamental, unalienable right, a right not granted by government, and not man’s to surrender? How does one surrender the most effective means to exercise the right to self-defense and continue to exist? How does one surrender the single, express constitutional right that enables Americans to rise up and end a tyrannical government? What part of the Second Amendment may be compromised: the “keep” part, or the “bear” part? And most importantly, what will progressives compromise? What, that will support and defend the Constitution, will they surrender? They have nothing, and even if they did, would surrender nothing; their offers for conversation and compromise are always made in bad faith.
AR-15s are weapons of mass destruction. This is yet another example of the complete lack of progressive common sense. If a single small arm is a weapon of mass destruction, everything, and nothing, are weapons of mass destruction. Definitions matter. Accurate definitions reflect reality, help us avoid dangerous misunderstandings and enable us to make rational decisions. Words must have clear, unchanging meanings. To pretend otherwise is to trivialize and confuse not only our language, but our discourse and law. Progressives commonly claim the Constitution, written in the English of the late 1700s, is incomprehensible, yet my 16 year-old Texan teenagers manage to understand Shakespeare’s words, written in the late 1500’s.
All assault weapons must be banned. One cannot ban that which does not exist. “Assault weapon” is a nonsensical term invented by anti liberty/gun proponents. While it has actually been written into several state laws, it describes only semiautomatic rifles and carbines that physically resemble their military equivalents. Fully automatic weapons are available and legal, but hard to find and very expensive. One cannot walk into a gun store and walk out with one, in minutes, or a week, yet progressives try to convince the unwary machineguns are everywhere and commonly used in crime. There is a legitimate class of military arms called “assault rifles,” but those are not at all the objects of discussion, and are not the common, popular, semiautomatic rifles progressives are so desperate to ban.
Nineteen year-olds should not be allowed to buy AR-15s. Current law requires one to be 21 to buy a handgun, and 18 to buy a rifle or shotgun. This is so in commonsense recognition that most crimes are committed with handguns, few with rifles or shotguns, and fewer yet with AR-15s or similarly configured rifles. An AR-15 is nothing more than a semiautomatic rifle firing a cartridge of intermediate—not high–power. The people making these demands are the same people that demand waiting periods for gun purchases to allow emotions to cool. Considering the Florida shooter bought his rifle a year before the crime, no possible waiting period would have made a difference, yet they demand laws be changed while emotions boil.
These are the same people who argue if kids are 18 and can serve in the military, where they safely use far more deadly weapons than any commercially available firearm, they should be able to drink and participate in a wide variety of other adult practices. These are the same people that believe children of virtually any age should be able to obtain an abortion without parental knowledge or consent. They’re also the same people that ran guns to Mexican drug cartels, guns used to kill an American Border Patrol agent, and many Mexicans, and want the vote for non-citizens illegally in the country.
If it saves even one child we must enact gun control. No, we must not. We don’t make public policy based on this consideration. If we did, we’d ban motor vehicles, bicycles, swimming pools, ladders, power tools, never allow any teenager a driver’s license or to drive a car, ban all alcohol or recreational drugs, and in general do away with anything that might be in the least dangerous, including knives and hand tools of all kinds. Anyone making such a demand is either trying to deceive, or is not grounded in reality.
We must stop gun violence. There is no need to stop something that does not and cannot exist. “Gun” is a noun, not an adjective. There is no more “gun violence” than there is knife violence, fist violence, foot violence, hammer violence, motor vehicle violence, or Guacamole violence. The formulation is a lie, just another attempt to warp language to support the unsupportable, to justify the unjustifiable. Human beings commit violence, not inanimate objects. It is very, very hard, actually impossible, to prevent humans beings from committing violence. One can’t pass laws banning human beings or parts of human beings, nor can they be easily confiscated, but one can easily pass laws doing all of that with guns, though their advocates often grossly underestimate the costs, societally, and in lost lives, in trying to confiscate guns from the law abiding.
We must keep guns out of the hands of those that shouldn’t have them. This is one area where I entirely agree, but we already have laws to do just that. It is far more a failure to enforce those laws than a lack of laws that is a problem. No rational person thinks the mentally ill or criminals should have guns, but progressives do, though they say otherwise. It was progressives that, going back to the 60s, wiped out laws that allowed the effective treatment of the genuinely mentally ill. It is they that keep the “homeless,” a great many of whom are mentally ill, on the streets because they’re a useful campaign issue with which to flog Republicans. It’s progressives attacking President Trump for daring to mention the mentally ill. It is progressives who are working assiduously to prevent criminals from serving any meaningful jail time and to release those already incarcerated, particularly drug criminals, a class infamous for its use of illegal weapons. It is they that would gladly wipe out the second and fourth amendments in this pursuit.
I won’t be having that conversation. I won’t because I know those against liberty are fundamentally dishonest. They’ll use any lie, and trick, any tactic to get their way. They’ll conceal their true intentions, and are the very definition of bad faith. Their ultimate goal is to destroy the Constitution and the rule of law and to institute rule by self-imagined experts. They would imprison and kill the law abiding to achieve their utopia. They would do this because they think me, and all who oppose them to be stupid, mentally ill, subhuman and evil, all of which makes it not only easy, but mandatory to rule us, and if we won’t be ruled, to destroy us. They can’t achieve their ultimate goal if the law-abiding are allowed to keep arms.
I’ll speak, calmly and sincerely, with anyone willing to do the same, but those that oppose liberty usually end such attempts by screaming obscenities and related insults in red-faced, spitting rage, and stomping away. When they do that, at least we know who to watch in the future.