A bomb goes off in Israel; hundreds are injured and killed. A rabbi solemnly walks to the microphone and reminds his country's people that evil exists in the world, and resistance to evil means not succumbing to it.
The next day people go on about their lives.
Each day people are killed or injured throughout the world due to the reckless actions of those that become inebriated, and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle. We scorn them, we prosecute them, but we don’t abandon our vehicles, for to do so, would fundamentally alter our way of life as a result of the actions of a minority.
Each day throughout our country defendants are let out of courtrooms as free people. Not that they did not commit the crime, but rather the actions of the State in collecting evidence violated their Fourth Amendment rights…. yet we seldom engage in a debate to abrogate the Fourth, and allow unfettered police powers.
The First Amendment kills.
It kills both as a result of speech and religion. From the Branch Davidians, to Jones Town, to those poor souls waiting for salvation from Hale Bop, to even the desperate soul seeking spiritual salvation as a means of curing a terminal disease through the medium of a big-haired televangelist.
Yet, we do not cry in mass for repeal of the First Amendment.
The Bill of Rights can be abused. It happens all the time. But these foundational principles of the nature of humanity, and the rights infused from our Creator, cannot be revoked through legislative fiat… regardless of how popular it might be to do so at any given time.
This last week we saw, again, evil manifest.
This time Loki touched the mind of a monster in Florida, and children died as a result.
These children were, by law, required to be in a confined space without the adequate protection necessary to be protected from a foreseeable act. A great debate has ensued since Newtown as to whether teachers should be armed. There are many that feel the mere presence… even the potential presence… of a gun in a classroom is too traumatizing for a student, or parent, to bear. Reluctantly, they acquiesce to the presence of school resource officers… but even they are limited in numbers, and their effectiveness is put into question.
It is sad, but standard fair. When these tragedies occur, the Antis immediately talk about “common sense gun control.” This usually means an outright banning of the AR-15 and standard capacity magazines…. as though this has any bearing on the evil manifest in the heart of the murderer.
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Senator Bill Nelson (D) from Florida was interviewed the night of the event, and was boasting about his Second Amendment credentials. “I’ve been a hunter all my life… I own guns… but an AR-15 shoots high caliber ammunition from a high caliber clip! Senator Feinstein and I tried to get these things banned, but were unsuccessful… we need to revisit this… no one needs a weapon whose sole function is to kill hundreds of people.”
What the hell?!?!
Senator Nelson’s protestations aside… No one who is a law-abiding citizen needs the protection of the Fourth Amendment. No one who is not a member of a cult needs the protections of the First Amendment. And let’s be frank…. who really needs that pesky antiquated Third Amendment thing anyhow? (Sorry, Cosmo… I know you feel that the purpose of the Third Amendment was to avoid placing an agent of the State in someone’s home… someone that could enforce the rules of the Crown against the Colonists… In modern day, this might very well take the form of wire-tapping, or warrantless monitoring… but come on… if you have nothing to hide… who should be concerned?)
The point is… and it is the most germane point… what the hell has happened since the 1970s?
We have had weapons that expend projectiles through the use of gunpowder for over 500 years. We have had weapons that were capable of repeated fire as early as the Revolutionary War, and in mass production since the late 1800s. Children… (yes, children) could order a gun from the Sears and Roebuck catalog right up to the 1950s… yet, there were no mass shootings.
Our first mass shooting occurred in the early 1970s just a few years after the 1968 gun control act. After that event… well, all bets were off.
To deny that something is “happening” out there would be folly. Something clearly is… but, what is it?
Colonel Dave Grossman puts this squarely on violent video games, which he describes as a toxic training tool that desensitizes youths towards violence, and makes violence the goal.
Perhaps… Not all players of video games become school shooters… but all school shooters played violent video games.
Modern pharmacology may also play a role.
More people are under the influence of behavior-controlling drugs than at anytime in human history.
What is not at issue is the tool used by the assailants. As we have seen repeatedly now through the use of vehicles, knives and acid… when there is a will to create carnage, there is a way.
So let’s ban guns. Let’s tear out the Second Amendment. Is that too draconian? Then let’s limit it to only the guns that were in service at the time of ratification… (no wait, they had a repeating rifle way back then, too). Ok… let’s specifically ban semi-automatic rifles, as “they have no practical value for self defense.” (Let’s just pretend that the church shooting in Texas never happened, ok?)
What is to prevent a murderer from going to Home Depot and making a gun from scratch… it ain’t that hard, folks.
Well…. we will make that action illegal!
Isn’t murder already illegal?