Friday was a terrible day for the residents of Newtown, Connecticut, as families discovered with horror the fate of their children at Sandy Hook elementary school.
The story, as best as it has currently been pieced together, consists of a disturbed young man name Adam Lanza, and his strained relationship with his mother- both trying to cope with his Asberger’s. We all know what happened- he busted through the security measures at the elementary school and started shooting. From some reports, it even looks as though he was intentionally seeking out the children. We learned this from the story of the young teacher who lied about where her children where as the shooter came through, and then launched herself in front of the children as the shooter began to fire on those who ran out from their hiding place.
He killed 20 children, 5 school workers, and then turned the gun on himself. That last part is particularly interesting to note, especially in light of all those who believe his mental condition inhibited him from distinguishing right from wrong. If he had no concept of the evil he was carrying out, why did he feel the need to shoot himself at the end of his rampage, other than for a definite sense of wrongdoing? What people rushing to understand this horror just can’t seem to wrap their heads around, is that there is evil in this world. Pure, unabashed, inexplicable evil in this world, and this was a manifestation of it. But, however, I’ve digressed.
Not surprisingly, gun control is now the soap box du jour. And, as always, we can count on Michael Moore for a few morsels of wisdom in the face of such horror:
His other asinine remarks aside, I want to hone on one part of his rant- “Because, let’s face it, America believes in killing.”
No, Mr. Moore- bad people believe in killing. Violent gang members believe in killing. Bashar al Assad believes in killing. Ahmadinejad believes in killing. Kim Jung-il believed in killing. Hitler believed in killing. Saddam Hussein believed in killing. The Taliban believes in killing. Al Qaeda believes in killing. America, on the other hand, has, for most of its modern existence, spent great deals of its resources to stop these genocides and prevent them from encroaching upon our shores. That, however, is a topic for another day.
Evil exists in this world. Laws, as well-meaning as they may be, cannot legislate morality, and frankly, only work with the moral in this society. The law-abiding are the only ones that the law curbs. Who respects the speed limit? Law-abiding citizens. Who respects a stop sign? Law-abiding citizens. Who respects the drinking limit? Law-abiding citizens. Who visits a legal gun shop, purchases a gun, purchases a license, and attends training? Law-abiding people. Those who are punished to the full extent of the law are those who BREAK the law. The very existence of the law does not prevent the crime from happening. It simply punishes the law-breaker when the deed is done. You cannot legislate morality.
Rush made a great point this morning when he referred back to his New York days, and told his audience of a dinner party during which gun control was being discussed. One gentleman adamantly advocated for far stricter gun laws, to which Rush responded with the following [paraphrased] “Ok- I’ll buy that if you can assure me that when I walk out into Central Park after this dinner party, the bad guys aren’t going to have a gun either.”
The point is simple- it wouldn’t matter if the U.S. purged the second amendment from the pages of our Constitution. . . the “bad guys” will still find a way to get the guns. One need only look at our southern neighbor to see how well strict gun laws function. Mexico’s gun laws are extremely restrictive, yet the violent drug war resulting in tens of thousands of causalities still rages. Back stateside, here’s where it gets particularly interesting- aside from having some of the strictest gun laws in the country, Connecticut is now home to the second worst school shooting in American history, perpetrated by a young man who, according to those laws, shouldn’t have had the gun in the first place.
Adam Lanza was 20. Oops.
You cannot legislate morality. These laws were supposed to prevent such a crime, yet low and behold, it took place anyway. There is evil in the world, and the driving force behind the Founders’ articulation of the Second Amendment was so that good, law-abiding citizens could protect themselves from those who would do them harm. As John Lott points out, “guns are the great equalizer between the weak and the vicious.”
I saw this picture shortly after the attack took place, and it’s an interesting concept to ponder:
I’m not advocating that our teachers run around with rifles at school- I realize that Israel’s predicament is far different than our own. . . but isn’t it ironic that so often these horrible mass shootings take place in places where guns are specifically banned? I.E. schools, malls, theaters, to name a few; all places where it is advertised that those inside are unarmed and unprepared to deal with an attacker. It’s practically an engraved invitation. It’s something to think about.
Without getting too morbid, the human body can be killed in many, many ways. As our world’s (at times graphic) history has shown us, evil in mankind has been quite creative in coming up with ways to end a life. It just so happens that a gunshot is one of them. Consider this:
That was the same day as the Sandy Hook shooting. My point is simply this- if Adam Lanza’s modus operandi was to end as many innocent lives as he could that day, he would have found a way to do it regardless of the weapon. Though guns are not banned (yet), he somehow found a way to get one illegally and use it. If guns were banned, he could have used a knife, or a bomb, or a gas, or any number of other weapons. Consider 9/11. Not a shot was fired on the planes or in the buildings. Those terrorists gained control of the plane with fear and a few box cutters, and used them as human-packed missiles as they flew into New York’s skyline.
Gun control does not end evil. It does, however, take away the ability of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from that very evil.
Gun laws typically have the adverse affect. They do not end violence, but conversely, gun ownership does. Consider Lott’s fascinating study on crime levels and gun laws: “Our most conservative estimates show that by adopting shall-issue laws, states reduce murders by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7%, and robbery by 3%. If those states that did not permit concealed handguns in 1992 had permitted them back then, citizens might have been spared approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults and 12,000 robberies. To put it even more simply, criminals, we found, respond rationally to deterrence threats.”
One only need turn to Chicago to witness the effectiveness of gun laws in a major, crime-ridden city. It isn’t pretty.
So, Michael- if you can give me substantiated, fact-based evidence that strict gun control has EVER worked, then we’ll talk. Until then, go back to making crappy movies funded by the taxpayer dollars (i.e. corporate welfare) you so scathingly criticize.