3

Pensees

 

One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.

Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts has some interesting thoughts about school shootings and the reaction to them:

 

These are just musings.  They are not based on science or studies.  Just me observing the nation in which I am raising my sons, and the current topic of guns and shootings and the desire to narrowly define the problem based on a single solution.

Did Roe v. Wade have an impact?  The essence of RvW: ‘that is your definition of human life, not mine.’   Could generations raised in a nation coming to that conclusion be impacted by it?  Especially after WWII?  The entire point of legal abortion is that America has officially allowed us to define a human when we feel like it.  I can’t help but think somehow it could be connected.

Divisions.  We are in what many are now calling a Cold Civil War.  Even the Cold War had hot casualties.  My son said that the kids at Parkland will be asked to surrender their freedoms for safety.  I said no, that’s wrong.  We are a divided country.  They will be asked to surrender someone else’s freedoms for their safety.  Increasingly we don’t love our neighbors, but we fear and hate them, just as we feared or even hated the Soviets back in the day.  We’re taught that they are the problem, and whatever happens to them?  Eh.  Being taught that our neighbors are our enemies must make an impact.

Rhetoric.  In following up on the divisions, I’m hearing and seeing chilling things from the Gun Control advocates.  Kill the NRA, exterminate the NRA, Wayne LaPierre is a seriel killer,  Ban guns, Gun owners are next.  And this is from the side ostensibly all bent out of shape by the violence and death at Parkland.  And what’s worse, it’s par for the course. That level of rhetoric exists on the highest levels down about any one of a million topics today.  It’s not just gun control activists of course, nor is such rhetoric new.  Just note the irony of where some of it is coming from and how that must say something bigger about where we are versus where we might think we are.

Mental health.  After Sandy Hook, I heard a fellow on the news (can’t remember the station) say something I’ve not forgotten. He said  that mental health went through a massive overhaul between the 1950s and the 1970s, and in the 1980s, the mass shootings began.  A connection?  I think that’s a bigger elephant in the room than we’re admitting.

Isolate events as universals.  Fact is, if you manipulate any data, you can arrive at different realities. Take the most dangerous cities in America off the burners, and America sounds much safer.  Likewise, many of these school, or mass, shootings were based on specific sets of circumstances that might unpack the stats.  Broward County looks to have dropped a dozen balls.  That would be the same county where educated adults were perplexed by the unsolvable mysteries of the paper ballot.  It could be connected.

American Craftsmanship a thing of the past. Speaking of dropping balls.  Parkland is the latest case where warning signs were missed and the official safeguards that should have been triggered weren’t.  There is a decline in quality in America overall, with everything from the latest household products to the Secret Service being plagued by incompetence and a general lack of care for quality.  Could these have long range connections to any efficacy where new laws or even existing laws are concerned?  If we’re becoming bumblers in making cabinets, will we do any better with laws?

Isolation through technology.  When news came that Amazon was going to have a people-less store, one of those interviewed in the story said he was glad.  A young fellow of likely college age, he was happy not to have to deal with people when he shops.  Several of the students at Parkland guessed who the shooter was before it was announced.  Could it be that we are becoming so isolated that all notions of human interaction are collapsing, and that is a problem?

Violence for fun.  Popular culture of mass violence everywhere. I mean, look at what kids are playing at the age of 5.  I know people who let 9 year olds play first person shooters, or watch rated R blood and guts movies.  I remember seeing old black and white movies when I was little where someone died a particularity gruesome death, and it impacted me.  What do kids today experience?  Also the not so subtle Hollywood meme that people who are really bad (like people who disagree with me) have it coming.

Post-Christian.  We were told America has no right to have a particular culture and moral basis, and so jettisoned it for whatever was nearby.  Could it be that when we say people can make up their own realities those realities aren’t always going to be good?

Fortress Educationa.  If we are talking about having to turn our schools into fortresses with armed teachers and guards, what is next?  Barbed wire fences?  Could it be we’ve turned a corner if this is what we have to do?  And do we think it will really work?

Brats and narcissists.  Kids are raised today to think that if someone disagrees with them, or doesn’t talk the way they want them to talk, or give them what they want, then that person is evil, hates them, and wants them dead, since the world exists to affirm them as gods of their own creation.  Might that make an impact?  Could kids raised in that manner develop unhealthy ways to react to a world that doesn’t treat them way the way they want?

R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  What would Aretha Franklin say?  Respect, like manners, common sense and common values, went out the window decades ago.  Yes ma’am and no sir are as rare as Cuneiform word processors.  We love it when all the cool people flip the middle one to all those not-cool types who aren’t like me.  Could it be a nation almost proud to not respect anything or anyone and yet told to respect everyone (sometimes) is facing an identity crisis where dealing with people is concerned?

I don’t want to grow up!  Rush Limbaugh once pointed out that the Baby Boomers were the first generation that never had to grow up.  Hearkening back to the point about television and Boomers, could it be a generation of adult children raising more adult children who then raise another batch of children bent on staying children is not a healthy way for a society to function?  Could kids surrounded by and raised by kids have unintended consequences?

It’s the Spirit stupid.  Assuming for a minute that the Christian Faith is actually true, can we expect much from a nation that goes out of its way to purposefully and officially expel it from all corners of our public domains?  That’s what the Soviets did, and look what happened there.

Radical individualism.  In piggybacking on the narcissism above, could it be we’re seeing in individual form what the nationalism of the 20th century saw on the battlefield?  As we allow people to think they are a nation unto themselves, that there is no ‘Our country’, and sure as hell not ‘their country’ (I call it the Kaepernick syndrome), could this be a logical extension of such a view – bad countries (people) warring with their neighbors?

As long as it doesn’t impact me.  Following decades of misusing the notion of being judgmental (mainly, you can’t judge me, or obviously you’re wrong), and convincing people not to care unless it impacts them, could it be that we’ve let this go because it doesn’t impact most of us?  After all, what is our approach to Islamic terrorism (only Islamic, not domestic) but ‘as long as terrorists kill other Americans, it’s the sacrifice I’m willing to make’?  That must say something about us, and perhaps why we’re not really shaken to our foundations and willing to look at the hard realities when these tragedies strike.

The world.  Let’s face it, the world is a violent place.  It always has been.  See the last century for an example.  In the end, gun violence might simply be the logical extension of everything we’ve been doing as the world continues to change.  Change it might, but many of the old characteristics – like sin – will remain and will find a way.  Like my son says, to paraphrase Ian Malcolm, destruction will find a way.

What of legalized drugs? If, in fact, liberals insist that laws against illegal drugs haven’t helped the drug problems of our country, can we believe that more gun laws will do anything about the illegal use of guns in our country?

Car laws. Keeping with that thinking, we hear some gun owners point out that cars kill more people than guns.  But we have laws regulating cars!, is the answer.  Yes we do, and yet cars still kill more people than guns.

A little learning.  A dangerous thing, according to Pope.  We wage ideological warfare and I’m not always convinced we’re as smart about all the topics we spew about as we think we are.  Armed with undergrad degrees and a semester of history 101, we suddenly become experts in every nook and cranny of human history – whenever convenient. I don’t think this causes a society of mass shootings, but could it be what hamstrings our ability to solve the problems?  Or  worse, makes us schmucks easily manipulated by those who see shootings as a step toward some political end?

All those careless gun owners.  Guns are dangerous, look at the accidental shootings! I hear that if there is a story of an accidental shooting.  Gun accidents are, given the tens of millions of gun owners, relatively few.  Accidents happen, and you get the careless ones.  But on the whole, those isolated YouTube videos that show someone doing something stupid with a gun don’t seem to fit the stats.

Wo ist Education?  Speaking of a little learning.  My wife was a teacher, and my undergrad was in secondary education.  I had three boys go through public schools. Let me tell you, it’s a hot mess.  And not just because of STEM scores.  Half of what they teach is rubbish, the rest is based on teaching hatred and contempt for the Christian West, America, the latest designated ethnic groups, traditional values, and common sense notions like sex and babies are related or one’s genitals have something to do with gender – but we can all make up our happy worlds where everyone affirms our self-affirming affirmation of our self affirming selves!  I wouldn’t let those working within the current train wreck of educational philosophy teach a dog, much less kids.  Has to mean something.

Can we stop using the 33,000 killed by guns.  There are so many parts to that stat, there are so many dimensions that don’t account for the numbers that are never mentioned.  Like saying ‘Four years and 40 million dollars’, it’s a meme, not a fact, and if we care about the problem of violence, we’ll never misuse it again.

The Gun Cult!  Please define.  From what I can tell, this radical bunch of gun nuts is typically not involved in most of the mass shootings.  Same with the dreaded militia (which is the cause of terrorism done in its name).  In fact, the worst killing attributed to the dread American militia movement used a bomb, not guns.

Gun Violence versus Violence.  Do we actually care?  As horrific as they are, mass shootings account for a barely measurable number of overall murders in our country. While murder rates have gone down, they are still far too high.  And yet not only do we hardly ever dwell on it, during the 2016 campaign, I heard the press insist things were getting hunky-dory.  Well, not to those murdered and killed.  Or do they not matter?

Stop comparing the US – to anyone.  We are a unique nation.  It does no good to pick out a dozen countries that help your case while ignoring other countries that don’t.  And why don’t gun control activists ever cite nations like Mexico, but only reference decidedly white European nations to compare America to?

Raising kids.  At the end of the day, it’s not just kids raising kids, but broken homes, fatherless boys, wacked out psychological theories and science that looks common sense parenting straight in the eyes then turns around wand walks the other way.  I have no time to list the connections between broken homes and crime.  Much less screwball theories of raising kids and crime.

Exploiting vs. Memorializing.  If we are using a tragedy to advance certain solutions, then we should at least be able to demonstrate how those solutions would have prevented the tragedy in question.  To me, that’s common sense.  If not common decency.

Sucks to your thoughts and prayers.  I just can’t help but think that when we’ve come to a point where a sizable chunk of our nation now insists prayer and God are only worth a dime if put second to a singular political policy, we’ve officially shuffled off this Christian coil.  That so many Christians appear to agree only makes it that much clearer.  See my point about the truth of the Spirit above.

Those are just thoughts I’ve had over the last couple days in no particular order and with no particular weight or purpose.  Musings only.  Just the idea that maybe the problem of school shooting, that didn’t happen when I was growing up, is beyond limiting a single type of gun.  We can do that, of course.  But I think it’s foolishness to think anything will ultimately change.  The carnage might end up different, but it won’t change until other things change.

Go here to comment.  The Florida shooting has illustrated how difficult to impossible it is to get authorities to do their phony-baloney jobs when a manifestly mentally ill person is involved.  Too often law enforcement looks the other way and hopes that the problem will go away or become the problem of someone else.  Then, in the rare case when one of these nutcases goes berserk, infinite effort is put into attempting to shift blame to some scapegoat like innocent gun owners and to concealing the malfeasance of law enforcement, which was precisely the mode of operation of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Drop-the-Ball:

As to the reaction after the fact, well the Left never lets a crisis go to waste and demonization of their adversaries has become the standard mode of operation on the Left for over half a century.  It is difficult to come to a meeting of minds for effective responses to school shootings when one side is condemning the other as blood stained murderers.  Of course when the goal is political power, a meeting of minds is simply not important:

 

 
 
6

You Mean They Just Can’t Legislate the Pesky Second Amendment Away?

 

 

 

From Instapundit:

 

THEY CAN’T EVEN GET PEOPLE TO COMPLY IN CONNECTICUT: What Will Gun Controllers Do When Americans Ignore an ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban?

But since the point of gun control is to humiliate and grind down flyover people and demonstrate that the Ruling Class is ultimately the, well, Ruling Class — not to control crime — the appearance of submission is probably enough. Plus, a seldom enforced and often ignored law is ideal if you want to be able to target troublesome individuals later.

Go here to read the comments.  We have 330 million people occupying a huge, sprawling country.  If a substantial percentage of these people do not wish to obey a law, especially one regarded by large portion of the population as illegitimate, it is not going to be obeyed.  That gun confiscation control fanatics are unwilling to acknowledge this underlines what Glenn Reynolds is saying.

8

CNN: Always the Party Line

Well CNN last night had a little show trial of Republicans and the NRA, disguised as a townhall, in regard to the Florida school shooting.  However, one of the true student heroes refused to participate:

 

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Colton Haab said he was approached by CNN to ask a question at Wednesday night’s town hall but decided not to after the network gave him a “scripted question,” quashing one he wrote himself. Haab, a member of the Junior ROTC shielded students while the school was under attack from the shooter, said he was going to ask about using veterans as armed security guards.

“CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted,” Haab told WPLG-TV.

CNN aired a town hall on the Florida school shooting with Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) that included NRA’s Dana Loesch and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel that was moderated by Jake Tapper. Students and parents asked questions about gun control and school safety.

“I expected to be able to ask my questions and give my opinion on my questions,” Haab said.

“Colton Haab, a member of the Junior ROTC who shielded classmates in the midst of terror says he did not get to share his experience,” WPLG’s Janine Stanwood explained.

“Colton wrote questions about school safety, suggested using veterans as armed school security guards but claims CNN wanted him to ask a scripted question instead so he decided not to go,” Stanwood reported.

“CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted,” Haab said. “I don’t think that it’s going get anything accomplished. It’s not gonna ask the true questions that all the parents and teachers and students have.”

Go here to view the video.  CNN can always, always be depended upon to carry water for the Democrats.  Dishonest is a weak term when applied to these party hacks disguised as journalists.  If this country had honest news, the Democrats would be lucky to break forty percent in any election beyond inner city urban areas.

3

Alexander Solzhenitsyn Explains the Importance of the Second Amendment

 

 

 

(Whenever the usual suspects are in full cry for gun confiscation control, as they are now, I am going to repost this.)

 

 

 The amendment, like most other provisions in the Constitution, has a history.  It was adopted with some modification and enlargement from the English Bill of Rights of 1688, where it stood as a protest against arbitrary action of the overturned dynasty in disarming the people, and as a pledge of the new rulers that this tyrannical action should cease.  The right declared was meant to be a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and as a necessary and efficient means of regaining rights when temporarily overturned by usurpation.

Thomas Cooley, Principles of Constitutional Law (1898)

 

 

Hattip to Babalu Blog.

 

And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?

Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?

After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria [Government limo] sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur — what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked.

The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!

–Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The GULAG Archipelago

16

Gun Confiscation: Go For It Liberals

 

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.

Noah Webster, An Examination Into the Leading Principles of the Constitution (17 October 1787).

 

 

One does not have to read long on most Leftist sites before becoming aware of how popular the concept of disarming the American people is on the Left.  Charles C. W. Cooke at National Review Online has some practical suggestions for the implementation of this cherished Leftist goal:

 

Seriously, try it. Start the process. Stop whining about it on Twitter, and on HBO, and at the Daily Kos. Stop playing with some Thomas Jefferson quote you found on Google. Stop jumping on the news cycle and watching the retweets and viral shares rack up. Go out there and begin the movement in earnest. Don’t fall back on excuses. Don’t play cheap motte-and-bailey games. And don’t pretend that you’re okay with the Second Amendment in theory, but you’re just appalled by the Heller decision. You’re not. Heller recognized what was obvious to the amendment’s drafters, to the people who debated it, and to the jurists of their era and beyond: That “right of the people” means “right of the people,” as it does everywhere else in both the Bill of Rights and in the common law that preceded it. A Second Amendment without the supposedly pernicious Heller “interpretation” wouldn’t be any impediment to regulation at all. It would be a dead letter. It would be an effective repeal. It would be the end of the right itself. In other words, it would be exactly what you want! Man up. Put together a plan, and take those words out of the Constitution.

This will involve hard work, of course. You can’t just sit online and preen to those who already agree with you. No siree. Instead, you’ll have to go around the states — traveling and preaching until the soles of your shoes are thin as paper. You’ll have to lobby Congress, over and over and over again. You’ll have to make ads and shake hands and twist arms and cut deals and suffer all the slings and arrows that will be thrown in your direction. You’ll have to tell anybody who will listen to you that they need to support you; that if they disagree, they’re childish and beholden to the “gun lobby”; that they don’t care enough about children; that their reverence for the Founders is mistaken; that they have blood on their goddamn hands; that they want to own firearms only because their penises are small and they’re not “real men.” And remember, you can’t half-ass it this time. You’re not going out there to tell these people that you want “reform” or that “enough is enough.” You’re going there to solicit their support for removing one of the articles within the Bill of Rights. Make no mistake: It’ll be unpleasant strolling into Pittsburgh or Youngstown or Pueblo and telling blue-collar Democrat after blue-collar Democrat that he only has his guns because he’s not as well endowed as he’d like to be. It’ll be tough explaining to suburban families that their established conception of American liberty is wrong. You might even suffer at the polls because of it. But that’s what it’s going to take. So do it. Start now. Off you go.

And don’t stop there. No, no. There’ll still be a lot of work to be done. As anybody with a passing understanding of America’s constitutional system knows, repealing the Second Amendment won’t in and of itself lead to the end of gun ownership in America. Rather, it will merely free up the federal government to regulate the area, should it wish to do so. Next, you’ll need to craft the laws that bring about change — think of them as modern Volstead Acts — and you’ll need to get them past the opposition. And, if the federal government doesn’t immediately go the whole hog, you’ll need to replicate your efforts in the states, too, 45 of which have their own constitutional protections. Maybe New Jersey and California will go quietly. Maybe. But Idaho won’t. Louisiana won’t. Kentucky won’t. Maine won’t. You’ll need to persuade those sovereignties not to sue and drag their heels, but to do what’s right as defined by you. Unfortunately, that won’t involve vague talk of holding “national conversations” and “doing something” and “fighting back against the NRA.” It’ll mean going to all sorts of groups — unions, churches, PTAs, political meetings, bowling leagues — and telling them not that you want “common-sense reforms,” but that you want their guns, as in Australia or Britain or Japan. Obviously, the Republicans aren’t going to help in this, so you’ll need to commandeer the Democratic party to do it. That means you’ll need their presidential candidates on board. That means you’ll need to make full abolition the stated policy of the Senate and House caucuses. That means you’ll need the state parties to sign pledges promising not to back away if it gets tough. And if they won’t, you’ll need to start a third party and accept all that that entails.

And when you’ve done all that and your vision is inked onto parchment, you’ll need to enforce it. No, not in the namby-pamby, eh-we-don’t-really-want-to-fund-it way that Prohibition was enforced. I mean enforce it — with force. When Australia took its decision to Do Something, the Australian citizenry owned between 2 and 3 million guns. Despite the compliance of the people and the lack of an entrenched gun culture, the government got maybe three-quarters of a million of them — somewhere between a fifth and a third of the total. That wouldn’t be good enough here, of course. There are around 350 million privately owned guns in America, which means that if you picked up one in three, you’d only be returning the stock to where it was in 1994. Does that sound difficult? Sure! After all, this is a country of 330 million people spread out across 3.8 million square miles, and if we know one thing about the American people, it’s that they do not go quietly into the night. But the government has to have their guns. It has to. The Second Amendment has to go.

You’re going to need a plan. A state-by-state, county-by-county, street-by-street, door-to door plan. A detailed roadmap to abolition that involves the military and the police and a whole host of informants — and, probably, a hell of a lot of blood, too. Sure, the ACLU won’t like it, especially when you start going around poorer neighborhoods. Sure, there are probably between 20 and 30 million Americans who would rather fight a civil war than let you into their houses. Sure, there is no historical precedent in America for the mass confiscation of a commonly owned item — let alone one that was until recently constitutionally protected. Sure, it’s slightly odd that you think that we can’t deport 11 million people but we can search 123 million homes. But that’s just the price we have to pay. Times have changed. It has to be done: For the children; for America; for the future. Hey hey, ho ho, the Second Amendment has to go. Let’s do this thing.

Go here to read the rest.  Reality based community?  Sure!