antifa, AR-15, Benjamin Franklin, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Democrat/Socialist/Communist Left, Elizabeth Warren, gun control, human nature, Leftist Messiahs, legislating human nature, mass attacks, Newtown/Sandy Hook, Odessa/Midland, Senator Ted Cruz, Thomas Jefferson
Post Odessa/Midland, we see the usual responses to a mass attack. The anti-liberty/gun, Democrat/Socialist/Communist Left demands the banning of “assault weapons,” particularly the AR-15 family, and the usual deplorable basketful of comprehensive background checks, magazine capacity limits, red flag laws, gun buy backs, outright bans, waiting periods, age limit changes, etc. Normal Americans, including some in Congress, outrageously suggest we ought to be cautious about leaping to emotionally driven laws that not only would have no effect on people considering mass murder, but would actually violate the Constitution, as inconsequential as that might be circa 2019.
As this is written, we know the shooter—SMM generally does not publish the names of such monsters—had a substantial criminal record, and some history of recent bizarre behavior with guns that if not constituting clear red flags, should have, at the least, made him a concern of local law enforcement. As to motive, he apparently was fired from his job shortly before the traffic stop that sparked his rampage. At this point, however, that’s not a certain motive. Early reports also suggest there was nothing in his criminal history that would have prevented him from buying any firearm.
In other words, pretty much the norm for mass attacks, circa 2019.
There are also, from the Left, and to a somewhat lesser degree, from the right, calls for “dialogue,” nonpartisanship, and cooperation to “solve” the problem of mass shooters. Let us, gentle readers, consider the idea that the occasional murderous rampage by a lunatic can be prevented, “solved,” if you will by dialogue, legislation, or good intentions.
Thesis: No solution is possible, and law made fueled by emotional demands to “do something” is invariably bad law.
Those that demand bans, limitations, restrictions, infringements on a fundamental, unalienable liberty in exchange for, as Benjamin Franklin put it, “a little temporary safety,” deserve neither liberty nor safety. Their goals are not safety; they’re far more cynical and dangerous. If the D/S/C Left were truly concerned about “gun violence,” they’d be wailing weekly, if not daily, at the slaughter—virtually all committed with handguns rather than the conveniently demonized AR-15 family of rifles—in Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, and other Democrat-ruled socialist paradises.
As if to underscore the point, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, on September 2, blamed Republicans for Chicago’s criminal violence. It seems the liberty of people in neighboring free states is the cause of Chicago’s war zone-like woes.
Similarly, banning AR-15 like rifles is an exercise in futility. Violent crimes committed with rifles remain a tiny portion of all crimes, and those committed with AR-15s, a smaller portion still. Last week in France, an apparently Islamist madman murdered or seriously wounded nine people with a knife, and virtually all of the mass attacks in America—yes, they happen elsewhere too—we committed with common handguns. The school massacre with the highest body count remains one committed entirely with explosives, as does the attack resulting in the highest body count in the continental US, 9-11, which used fueled airliners as flying kinetic and incendiary bombs. And on the first day of school in China, a man murdered 8 children and injured two others. How is this possible in a Communist dictatorship with a monopoly on armed force? He reportedly used a meat cleaver. Take the link. This isn’t the first recent attack of this kind in China.
Bans of supposed “high-capacity magazines”—are likewise useless. There is no indication whatever that such magazines made the Odessa attack more deadly, and magazines of any capacity can be changed in as short a time as a single second. Smaller capacity magazines would have made no difference in any known attack, nor would they make a difference in any future attack.
That virtually every mass shooter has passed a federal background check (I’m unaware of any that did not) and with perhaps a single exception, had never been adjudicated mentally ill, suggests strongly that so-called “universal background” checks would likewise have no effect. This is particularly so because such checks promise to close non-existent loopholes, and would primarily harass and criminalize the law abiding, as when a father gives his son a rifle, or loans a handgun to a friend for a trip to the range. Certainly, we can improve the handling of pertinent data, but any such legislation has one enormous flaw: criminals don’t obey the law, particularly those contemplating mass murder.
What, then, to make of “red flag” laws? Considering the nature of virtually every mass shooter and the circumstances leading up to their attacks, they will accomplish little or nothing to stop the truly dangerous. The Newtown/Sandy Hook Elementary shooter, for example, had been the beneficiary of many years of mental health attention, and not a single mental health professional saw the slightest sign of violent tendencies in him. The commission appointed to analyze the mental health factors involved came to that conclusion, and took pains to note that no mental health professional could possibly be held liable for failing to predicate his, or anyone else’s, attack.
Red flag laws, even those carefully drawn, are highly likely to deprive the innocent of their rights and property. They are far less likely to stop a determined killer. Even if one rightly identifies such a person and seizes their weapons, they can easily obtain others, or simply run people down with their vehicle, another infernally popular, contemporary means of mass murder.
But what of waiting period laws? The premise is if someone in the heat of passion cannot immediately buy a gun, their insane rage will cool as they wait a prescribed period, and subsequently decide not to go through with it. As with other related factors, I’m unaware that such laws would have had any effect on any known mass killer. In fact, most appear to have legally purchased guns they used months, even years, later. I’m unaware of any instance in which a killer bought a gun and immediately put it to murderous use. This is such a non-factor that circa 2019, few states have a waiting period law on the books.
I’ll not bother to address things like outright confiscation or gun buy backs. Experience and logic reveal such things to be as ineffective as they are unconstitutional, and there is a large part of the problem.
D/S/Cs are far less concerned with public safety than they are with wielding absolute power over others. They continue to play up the ElPaso shooter, but are burying the Dayton shooter because he was a Leftist Antifa follower of Elizabeth Warren. Ultimately, it is law-abiding, normal Americans they seek to disarm, because they’ll never be able to impose their Leftist visions of utopia if Deplorables, God and gun clingers all, are allowed to keep arms.
There remains a huge divide between the D/S/C forces, and Normal Americans, generally pseudo-represented by Republicans, but it’s not the divide most think. D/S/Cs, gentle readers, believe that man is perfectible, and they’re the self-imagined elite, the self-chosen intellectually and morally superior that can and must do it. Left to his own devices, the normal American is racist, sexist, and prone to every moral failing and evil to which the D/S/C mind can imagine. The greatest evil, of course, is refusal to accept D/S/C doctrine and to recognize the great superiority of D/S/C leaders/messiahs. They truly believe that with the right policies and laws, enforced with ruthless brutality by armed true believers against an unarmed populace, they can change human nature, and bend the arc of history toward their inevitable D/S/C utopia
Normal Americans hold no such delusions. They don’t see any politician as a messiah, and tend not to think such people superior in any way. Above all, they know they can’t change human nature,and because of that, know the Constitution is the best instrument ever devised for self-governance. When that is lost, individual liberty is lost and so is America. Because they tend to be Christians, they believe man is fallen, and redemption–perfection if you will–is not attainable during our short time on this earthly stage. It is only possible through the saving grace of God, who they recognize as supreme. Even Normal Americans not practicing Christians can accept that man is not perfectible; the evidence of that lies strewn on the battlefields of the past, and in the ruins of empires.
There will always be violence, mental illness, psychopaths and sociopaths. There will always be people who hurt others for no reason other than that they like to hurt others. And there will always be those influenced by evil, by the author of all evil and hatred. That’s something else normal Americans believe—no, know: evil exists. It may confront any of us at anytime, anywhere. Imagining oneself to be morally and intellectually superior, holding the right policies and intentions is no defense against evil. All too often, it invites and enables it. That’s why normal Americans see the unalienable, natural right to self-defense as the most important right, the right that makes possible and secures every other right.
That’s also why they remain ever vigilant. As Thomas Jefferson said, “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” He, and the rest of the founders, knew human nature well. Even Hubert Humphrey, a Democrat who loved and was loyal to America, knew that a free nation was only possible if normal Americans retained the arms to ensure freedom from tyranny.
I’ve often written that preserving the Second Amendment is the ultimate women’s issue. Women tend to be smaller, physically weaker, and much less aggressive than men. Deprived of the most convenient, effective and modern means of self-defense, they are vulnerable to any man that decides to beat, rape or murder them. Armed, they are the equal of any man, yet D/S/Cs, while pretending to be the champion of women, would gladly leave them defenseless. Its the intellectual and moral thing to do.
Public safety is not improved by restricting the lawful exercise of self-defense, or by disarming the law-abiding. Such a society is not improved, but debased.
I do not suggest nothing be done to improve existing laws, or to make more effective their enforcement. I argue only that we recognize the real issues involved, and act in strict accordance with the Constitution, experience, logic, genuine, honest, replicable research, and with the unassailable understanding that we cannot legislate human nature. We can only deter some misbehavior, and punish the rest after the fact. Throwing away essential liberty in the emotion-driven, politically cynical haste to “do something,” saves no one, and ultimately, destroys us all.
UPDATE: 09-04-19 1840 CST. We now know more about how the killer obtained his rifle. According to Fox News:
The gunman who killed 7 and injured at least 22 others in a West Texasshooting rampage on Labor Day weekendbefore he was shot and killed by police was federally banned from owning or buying firearms after a court previously ruled he was mentally unfit to do so, authorities said.
The suspected mass shooter, [he’d like his name to appear here], 36, appeared to have taken advantage of a loophole in federal gun law by purchasing the AR-type assault rifle used in the rampage at a private person-to-person gun sale, effectively bypassing a background check. Under Texas state law, background checks are not required in private sales, according to the Texas Tribune.
The article goes on to suggest the killer was denied at a retail store, but apparently eventually bought the rifle from a private seller. This is not a “loophole.” Because owning firearms is an unalienable right acknowledged in the Constitution, only the most minimal burden should be placed on its exercise. Demanding background checks of non-merchants has, to date, been considered an excessive governmental intrusion. It’s just not the government’s business if I sell a gun to a friend or relative. Practically, it would be virtually unenforceable, and would inevitably result in the criminalization of law-abiding Americans, leaving actual criminals untouched. Many of the D/S/C Left want it just that way.
However, if this information is accurate, it merely demonstrates yet again that the criminally insane, like criminals in general, do not obey the law, particularly a low-level felony, when they’re contemplating mass murder. They may be crazy, but they’re often not stupid.