Our first reaction is to “do something.”
School shootings are a plague on the public psyche and happen not because of one single legal, moral, medical, or societal construct failing, but because of lapses of adherence to laws and the utility of common sense.
There are no easy policy solutions. You can’t eliminate evil, or insanity, or racism, or stupidity. But you can legislate to make the act of these things painful.
The Uvalde school shooting is not just a crime. It is torture and rape of the soul. I cannot fathom the rage and grief of the parents and families of the victims at this hour.
Real evil exists.
First, mass shooters of the unarmed deserve nothing more than two rounds of any caliber in the side of the head and to be buried in a shallow unmarked grave. The Buffalo monster will get off easy with life in prison. At least the Uvalde scum is good and dead.
But there are other lasting failures…
Former President Obama and unemployed Beto O’Rourke have shown themselves to be acutely insensitive in pathetic attempts to minimize the horror everyone must feel while they cast blame away from the obvious. Obama tweeted that America should think first of George Floyd, equating his death two years ago to 19 children and two adults yesterday (believe it or not), and O’Rourke tried to crash a news conference to politicize the incident in his standard hysterical screed. Both tried to paint police in general and the Texas governor in particular as the bad guys. Obama and O’Rourke needed a real villain and ironically volunteered themselves for the job. Both have hit rock bottom here. Both should slither away.
Every minute there are updates to the after-action (there is little to investigate at this point) report, and now the airwaves are telling a story of first responders waiting up to an hour before going after the monster Ramos. I don’t know if I have enough courage to ask a waitress for a clean spoon in a crappy diner, but I would like to think cops with guns and armor and training would storm a school my grandkids were being held hostage in.
There are root causes of school shooters: a fractured home life, impulse control requiring medication, detached from community, callousness to life, bullied, mocked, a loner. The killers’ histories of erratic behavior now look glaring in the carnage reported, but they are ultimately responsible.
Hollywood has always been fascinated with the darker side of mankind. We pay to view film and spend moral equity rationalizing it. Conflict is resolved at the point of a gun. Parents should use more discretion in what their children watch. At issue is the unformed value system of teenagers who still possess self-control problems. And Gendron and Ramos are/were teens at 18.
The Second Amendment guarantees the right of a person to defend himself, his loved ones, and his property, and has done more for civil rights than any government program. It is an equalizer, for defense from harm or tyranny.
But it does not confer a right to attack, which is a crime and must be dealt with swiftly, and if need be, severely. Murder, and the evil heart required, is not caused by guns.
I remain a strong proponent of the Second Amendment and am a member of the NRA.
The Second Amendment is not a license to use weapons with evil intent. Keeping and bearing is one thing, and in the modern age that could reasonably include a safety program, some form of background check and waiting period, and (this will get me in trouble) the discretion of the seller, who should be able to say, “No way, kid,” to an 18-year-old who was a legal tabula rasa the day before.
There are 15, 16, and 17-year old’s a couple of years away from legally obtaining weapons, whose minds are corroded by the cesspool of hate on social media and the proliferation of violent point-of-view video games. The last two shooters were 18, essentially hapless teenagers, mentally unbalanced, isolated loners with no effective father figure in their lives to curb violent impulses.
There are more guns than people in the USA. It’s kinda like porn – there is too much of it, easily accessed, and the world could use a lot less.
The “we must do something about guns” crowd will be tearing their garments when the next school shooting occurs with an unrestricted weapon. You can make the AR-15 in your basement, and if confiscating rifles house to house is entertained… forget it. Airplanes, cars, knives, bricks, and pencils are all weapons. Murder, and the evil heart behind it, is not caused by guns.
Legislation cannot fix everything, and frequently changes nothing of substance. The NRA supports gun legislation and the laws we already have and would support reasonable legislation going forward. The operative word is reasonable, and the debate becomes hysterical on that one thought.
Here’s a reasonable compromise: it should be illegal to sell a long gun with a detachable magazine to anyone under 21 years old. And keep the seller’s discretion in place. The dealer who legally sold the Ramos kid the two rifles is standing well within the law, but I bet he will have trouble sleeping for a night or two. “There was something in the kid’s eyes that made me wonder…”
My suggestions above won’t move the needle significantly, if at all. It would not prevent evil from exploding into the lives of children in a no-longer safe school setting. It doesn’t do anything but it does “do something.”
Notice how the MSM dropped the whole white supremacist canard?
But incremental compromises should be considered.
America, look in the mirror. No respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life is a root cause. We are a selfish, self-absorbed people, whose personal idea of identity is warped by no respect for the most fragile among us, and no respect for authority, let alone each other.
Treat others as you wish to be treated. Protect the most innocent of human life, without rationalization of an individual right of convenience. It isn’t about changing laws, but of changing hearts, minds, and values. Love your neighbor. Want to do something? Start there.
By Kevin Horgan
Kevin Horgan is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative. He is an author, retired attorney, and Marine. His work can be found on his blog Our Culture Inchoate, and his books, including his most recent novel A Face on the Flag, are available at Amazon.
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