Clearly, as we’re repeatedly beset with violent actions ranging from robbery, to assault, to murder, to the mind numbing mass slaughters we’ve experienced at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, a small town church in Texas, and now the sprawling high school in Parkland Florida, our society does have a problem with those who take up arms against the lives, rights and property of the rest of us. But just as clearly, confronting what the nature of that problem actually is, and why, as well as what actually can be done about it, is something that we’ve been fiercely unwilling to face up to – and that’s worth taking a closer look at.
I argued in a previous post that it is because the primary purpose of the 2nd Amendment is not about Guns, that it is able to secure our right to keep and bear the personal arms of your choice, including guns. But why is that important? If you see its purpose as being nothing more than your possessing ‘Arms’, then you’ll be easily diverted with irrelevancies, such as which arms (a .38 Special was the ‘bad’ weapon when I was young, as an AR-15 is today), or crime, or how much of that ‘right’ you actually ‘need’ – and if you don’t see the problem there, it’s that sort of perspective that would ask Rosa Parks why she needed to sit in the front of the bus. With a Utilitarian view like that, it may never occur to you that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is wedded to the rest of the Bill of Rights, in that its purpose is to secure our natural right to keep and bear arms in defense of all of our rights, and if you can manage to take that perspective, you’ll quickly see that criminals are the least and last of the threats to the 2nd Amendment’s purpose.
What most people are not thinking about when the 2nd Amendment is brought to their mind, is our willful failure to identify the nature of what our rights are, which not only prevents us from dealing effectively with those who trespass against them, but encourages the greater trespasses and the very violence which the social & legislative reformers so noisly (and usefully) decry. It is that blank spot in our thoughts, whch has brought about one of those ironies which history delights in, as the attentions that both ‘Gun Rights!‘ and ‘Gun Control‘ enthusiasts mutually focus upon particular guns, serves to push the concepts of Arms and Individual Rights ever further from our minds, so that both groups are busily weakening our understanding of what the 2nd Amendment requires us to know, in order for it to be able to preserve those rights that it was written to defend for us.
Without an adequate understanding of the concepts behind the 2nd Amendment, its revolutionary statement:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
, becomes empty words (“nonsense upon stilts” is the pragmatic and Utilitarian view) that fall easy prey to ‘what the meaning of IS is‘, making it that much easier to deny or avoid dealing with what the issue of armed violence actually is. The 2nd Amendment’s power can be no greater than our understanding of it, and those who stand to gain ever more power with its loss, are very much aware of the the possibilities that our ignorance holds for them, and they are using that power to socially and legislatively reform America, into something less than what our Constitution is capable of serving.
The role which the 2nd Amendment has in our abusive and violent society today, even today, is to provide We The People with the means of defending and preserving our individual rights, from those social & legislative reformers who justify using the power of government to infringe upon our lives through our rights, for their vision of the ‘Greater good’ – no matter how much disorder and violence those reforms might be shown to visit upon us. The role and responsibility of We The People in defending our rights through the 2nd Amendment, is to understand, and apply the concepts which its words defend us with. Those whose efforts are thwarted by it, know that, and they use every trick they can to muddle, evade, and ignore its meaning, so that such thoughts will continue to remain unthought by you, when the 2nd Amendment is brought to mind.
While the 2nd Amendment is proof that the pen is mightier than the sword (we would not still have either arms or rights without the words of our Bill of Rights), its unprotected flanks expose it to attack from those grounds it doesn’t explicitly defend. The 2nd Amendment is not about Guns, Criminals or Hunting, but in the intellectual guerrilla warfare we’re currently engaged in, those issues serve as excellent cover for snipers firing fusillades of misdirection and falsehood into our midst. If you want to defend the 2nd Amendment’s ability to defend us, you must make the effort to understand it, and to spot, and disarm those assaults upon it, or it will be rendered powerless to help us. The Pen is mightier than the sword… but only if its words – and those fired against it – are understood.
Looking directly into the disinfecting sunlight
Before taking a look at how our social & legislative reformers evade reality, and the dangerous abuses that are inherent in, and will result from doing so, let’s have a look at the truth that is so painful for them to look upon. The dose of reality that our fellow citizens so desperately need, doesn’t take a lot to say:
- There are NO LAWS that would prevent these shootings.
None. David French, at NRO, is the latest to lay that out so very clearly. And if you’re one of those who are so worried about Democracy dying in darkness, the Washington Post unexpectedly found itself staring into that same truth, when they went to ‘fact check’ Marco Rubio on the matter several years ago, and unbelievably (to them) found over and over again, that: attending to facts forced them into that same conclusion just a few short years ago, that
“Analysis: No proposed laws would have prevented…”
, neither the gun purchases, nor the crimes committed with them.
And yet, the Washington Post is still haranguing us to adopt ‘gun control’ measures to do… something. Personally, I suspect there to be much more darkness, than light, in the ‘News’ that they find ‘fit to print’.
News Flash: Technology is not the problem – we do not have a technology problem, we have a Human problem. People have brains – these shooters are not the problem – they are the effects of other causes – those other causes are the problem, and if you treat the symptoms only, and treat them in a way that actually inflames the problem, then the people whose brains are ‘infected’, will find other effects for those causes to be expressed through, including but not limited to, knives, swords, acid, Home Depot Trucks, bombs, planes, etc., etc., etc.
We have a real problem with thinking that we can deal with our human problems as if we were dealing with technological problems – tighten this screw, unwind that spring, add these regulations and remove that liberty – and viola! fine tuned humanity!
Unfortunately it is that very sort of modernist materialistic approach to ‘the human question’, that everything is a matter of problem solving and ‘critical thinking’, which has put us into the situation we find ourselves in today. Those who’re practiced at looking for the ideologically easy answer, tend to focus upon what they can see, and ignore what they should understand, leaving them unable to see that the particular technological tools used to deal death in these incidents, are not the causes of those deaths, and they are blind to the fact that there is a deadly cost to pretending that they are.
No cure will be found by misidentifying what the problem is, while ever more harm will be caused by treating humanity as a technology; posting endless and futile laws intended to restrict our actions to only ‘good’ ones, which in turn spreads further misunderstanding and disrespect for humanity – down that path lies disorder, corruption and violence.
If you allow yourself to be diverted from what the role of the 2nd Amendment is, you will be unable to do what can be ‘Done!‘, to protect us from those who abuse it. Doing what can be done, requires considering what should be done – ignoring that leads to violence. And ignoring that, requires you to evade what you can and should see and understand. But at least, Legion being what it is, you’ve got lots of options available to you for denying what you see.
Deploying a Verbal Virtual Reality, to Avoid what IS
Rather than acknowledge what the 2nd Amendment is, and what it means, and honestly confronting the ramifications of that, questions about it are typically met with the verbal deployment of a virtual reality, which the politically correct expect us to follow them into. This video from a few years back, while old, is an excellent example of that technique, which is very much still in continual use today.
In this exchange from June of 2016, then President Obama, was questioned by an aggravated audience member, about his positions and actions in respect to the 2nd Amendment. Obama immediately evaded and dismissed the man’s direct questions, and boldly strode into an alternate reality where political policies (crony capitalist, BTW) were shown to reduce the death toll in traffic accidents, by bring about greater automobile safety through mandatory Car Insurance laws. That virtual reality that he verbally deployed, which the audience and moderator willingly followed him into, was different in every way from the reality he was being asked about, yet he coolly replied as if they were actually speaking of the same reality. They were not.
His verbal reskinning of reality, is an excellent illustration of how this very common approach to the issue, effectively eliminates communication from all conversations upon ‘it‘, by creating a reality where ‘it’ isn’t, but where ‘your peole’ can continue on without being disturbed by opposing views.
But worse than the artful evasion itself, was the virtual world he created as an ideal replacement for ours, one where the fundamental questions of our individual right to bear arms, your right to defend your life rights and property against any who’re deliberately acting to harm or rob you of them, is ignored in favor of the benefits and safety that technology and good policy management, which experts can use to make your life better, which in this case requires only the artful use of social or legislative technologies to limit your life to ‘safe’ situations, thereby producing ‘happiness’ by reducing death tolls in accidental collisions.
To treat the use of government power in the serious issue of individual rights and the very real problems of human nature, as if they were a technological challenge to be solved by the oh-so-wise amongst us, is a dehumanizing, threatening, Orwellian perspective, which does nothing but confirm the fears of those it is directed against. It also serves to reinforce the fantasy world that the social and legislative reformers intend to bring us all into. Whether those of like mind with former President Obama are unable, or unwilling, to recognize the opposing point of view, and engage honestly with it, the result has, and will continue to be the same – reasonable discussions cannot even be begun, and frustration and anger will abound around it.
That too produces consequences, such as seeing those who disagree with you as being nothing more than unthinking, ‘bitter clingers’ – some of those consequences might even include your carefully laid plans being Trump’d.
The role which the 2nd Amendment has for you when faced with these evasive situations, is to act as an anchor for us to reality, but you must keep such discussions fastened to it. We cannot allow ourselves to be drawn into discussing the 2nd Amendment as if it was written to address our safety from accidental, or even criminal, injuries – it was not. The 2nd Amendment was written to serve as a means of preventing those in power over us, from weakening the safeguards upon our individual rights under our laws, and if we don’t hold fast to that, our social and legislative reformers will succeed in transforming our society into an ever more violent one that approves and encourages such abuses against our living our own lives – for the ‘greater good’.
It’s Criminal – Avoiding what IS, by focusing upon what isn’t
You know that you’re dealing with an example of evading what actually is, in favor of what so many wish it wasn’t, whenever someone reflexively derides something that is so obviously true, about something which they themselves would so obviously rather ignore. For instance:
“Criminals don’t obey laws”
Maybe it has to do with the irony poor intellectual diet that our educational system dishes out, but such people seem to be unable to digest such clear statements of fact. Rather than dealing honestly with them, they prefer to evade them, as this ‘Counter Argument‘ video does:
“What this answer [“Criminals don’t obey laws”] allows the individual who uses it to do, is to avoid addressing any specifics of the gun control being proposed. you would expect someone who is critical of a particular law, to have something to say about what’s in it.”
First of all, yes, you would expect someone who is critical of a particular law – such as the 2nd Amendment (!) – to have something to say about what that law is and what’s in it, wouldn’t you?! For them to use that logic, while failing to address what the meaning and purpose of the 2nd Amendment is, which is the existing law that their very own ‘gun control’ proposals are not only ignoring, but are ignoring in order to modify, revise, and supplant, is a priceless piece of genuine disingenuousness, and knowingly or not, an indirect assault (aka:Reform) upon us all.
And people wonder why conversations on the subject are so difficult to have?!
Not surprisingly, as most people have become accustomed to looking no further for reality, beyond what they’ve already assumed it to be, they would rather evade the obvious reality that criminals in fact do not obey laws, and they’ll typically do that, like this,
“A law which nobody breaks, has no purpose – if we only passed laws which we didn’t expect people to break, that would effectively negate the very idea of having laws in the first place.”
, which although effectively distracting, is utterly untrue (and ideologically revealing).
To the extent that people do pause to think of consequences, legitimate Laws are effective because of those consequences which violating the law will bring them. But those who don’t start by considering what is right to do, those who don’t think ahead, those who do not care about the consequences of their actions, or about the harm and wrong they might cause to others, such people (aka: Criminals) will proceed to do what they want to do, without ever pausing to give any thoughtful consideration to what some self important legislator might have written into our laws to save them from becoming criminals.
Proper Laws are written with the law abiding in mind, not those who will break them. They are written to provide a means for the law abiding to deal with criminality in a carefully defined manner, safely harnessing the power of government, to specific, rational purposes and rules of evidence, to fairly identify willfully criminal behavior, and to prevent those who’ve been wronged from letting appearances lure them into turning the frightful fury and power of government towards spreading vengeful violence through their community. If your education somehow missed having you consider ‘The Furies’, you should remedy that.
Once you’ve evaded the issue – What are you left with?
Naturally, spectacularly violent incidents of murder and mayhem shock us to our souls. There’s no mystery as to why these events spur us to demand ‘What is to be done?!‘. about them. But when the conversation is allowed to depart from reality, it should be no surprise that people like Jimmy Kimmel will demand ‘What is to be done?!‘, while making clear that the ‘What‘ they are demanding, will have little or nothing to do with what is, should and can, be lawfully and effectively done about it. It is precisely the fervently well meaning hotheads like Kimmel, who give no calm consideration to laws, that is likely to lead an inflamed public to lynch the unlucky stranger. Such pivots from horribly real wrongs, to relieving us of the protections of our individual rights, are implicitly an assault upon the entire population, in order to preserve the fantasy world of the indignant social and legislative reformers, and the role that the 2nd Amendment was intended to have in such situations, is to help us defend us against their assaults.
But if you allow yourself to be drawn into their fantasy, it is no easy thing to step back into what you’ve willingly evaded along with them. Once the real issue has been evaded, then the question of ‘What is to be done!‘, will have little relation to the reality we still live in, and little or no effect upon the issues which our reformers will further abuse us with. One friend of mine from the 80’s rock music scene in Las Vegas, was understandably demanding after the Mandalay Bar massacre, that he wanted ‘something to be done!‘, but he was so focused upon the targeting of guns themselves, that the reality of ‘What’, ‘Is‘, or could be ‘Done‘about such incidents, that he was blinded to what even he himself was saying. He himself noted that the shooter had,
“… 27 long guns in his hotel room AND ammonium nitrate…”[Caps are his]
, and with his attention and fury so focused upon the 27 guns as being the sole issue for us to ‘Take Action!‘ upon, that he didn’t notice that his ‘gun control’ solution was ignoring the fact that he himself raised: that the murderer had explosives on hand for the purpose of murdering even more people. The habitual evasion of those realities that have no place in his ideology, prevented him from noticing that if his ‘gun control’ had somehow miraculously succeeded (and as that is impossible, that would require a miracle) in removing those 27 guns from his bed, the murderer would still have had those explosives to murder the concert goers with. Would what they were being murdered with, have made any of their murders less horrific? Of course not. Does depriving a murderer of one weapon, prevent him from resorting to another? Of course not, not in the real world, but reality is what his own ideology directed him to evade.
Right? Neither the limiting, nor banning, of guns, or ammonium nitrate, is going to stop such incidents from occurring. Right? But by accepting the virtual reality of ‘gun control’, the actual reality we are living in, is evaded. What he and others also routinely evade, is the too commonly proven fact that if the murderer didn’t have guns, or explosives, he could easily have used a dump truck, or a plane, or ___: the human brain can, will, and does, supply an endless list of additional “or’s” to fill in that blank, in order to vent its murderous fury. There are consequences to evading that.
What is to be done, depends upon what can be done
For those who really do want to have a conversation upon the subject, you must first deal with what the subject actually is. And those who wish to defend those rights which the 2nd Amendment protects, must ensure that those making such statements don’t make it to first base in speaking about what wonders of safety and security they think their ‘gun control’ might bestow upon us, without their first acknowledging what the 2nd Amendment, and its purpose, actually is. This is not being argumentative or obstructionist, it is simply a demand for clarity and an insistence upon choosing reality, over fantasy. They must justify how their proposals are justifiable under the 2nd Amendment, before there can be any consideration of how effective their proposals might be.
By ignoring what criminality is, what actually can and should be done about armed and criminal violence, is easily evaded in favor of increasingly more fantastic social and legislative proposals, no matter how ineffective at achieving their stated purposes they are proven to be. Equally unremarked, is the ever increasing power such measures give to those who seek that power over, not just criminals, but all of society.
The ridiculously obvious fact remains, that Criminals do not follow laws, including those laws that forbid them to violate other laws.
Another fact that should be obvious, but seems virtually unknown, is that Laws do not prevent crimes – if they could, they would be magical spells, not laws. Equally obvious, laws cannot prevent people from becoming criminals – but fortunately that’s not their job (that’s society’s job, yours and mine… and our schools… and churches… and believe it or not, our entertainment media). What Laws can and should do, in regards to crime, is to punish criminals for the crimes that they’ve actually committed. If Justice is what we are interested in, then our laws must be written to deal with the actual effects of a criminal’s actions – their crimes.
Failing to do so (aka: Reforms), inevitably draws us into theoretical speculations about the ‘future crime‘ which everyone of us will be presumed to be at least potentially guilty of committing, and who will then need to be ‘saved’ from that potential ‘fact’, through the magical power of ‘Laws!‘. Instead of assuming that laws are written with those who break them in mind, it would be better (though probably just as pointless), to ask those who think that we should write laws with criminals in mind, if they’ve ever taken notice of the increases in power which that criminality affords to those who are so busily reforming our laws for the criminal’s benefit?
But that too is fantasy, not reality.
Proper laws are not wizarding spells, and Just laws do not attempt to program our actions as if we were bots in a legislator’s ideological game of SimCity! If Prohibition taught us anything, it should have at least taught us that our laws do not have the power to transform us, and attempting to will lead to unintended consequences – that is not the proper roll of law. If we allow our laws to be written with that purpose, they will breed failure, corruption and lawlessness, but never Justice. Proper laws seek to justly address, and provide redress, for those actions which some have actually taken, and which have unjustly intruded upon the lives of others, so that the people can enjoy liberty and order.
As John Locke said many moons ago,
“So that, however it may be mistaken, the end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom:”
Those attempting to ‘reform’ society with laws whose effects must restrict liberty, are not seeking your well being or liberty, but are only enlarging their power over you – for what they see as ‘your own good’. These proposals which our social and legislative reformers so fervently favor, Gun Control, and other laws which restrict our individual rights, will not reduce criminal behavior, but will inflame it – haven’t even the last five decades proven exactly that? Hasn’t our society suffered these social and legislative abuses long enough?!
The role that the 2nd Amendment is supposed to play in our violent society, is to provide the means to point out another ridiculously obvious fact: that legislators writing laws which violate the most fundamental rights of its citizens, are themselves launching an assault upon their lives and rights, and are most often constitutionally unlawful acts. Such reforms that ignore reality in favor of promoting politically correct platitudes, undermine our rights and our laws, they instigate disorder and breed criminal behavior, and they most certainly will not produce citizens who are eager to respect either rights, or laws. Laws which are concerned with justice, expand and secure a people’s liberty, laws which restrict and seek to reform them, are not concerned with justice, but are by nature tyrannical.
The best societies do of course require a set of laws, as Locke went on to note, that “…for in all the states of created beings capable of laws, where there is no law, there is no freedom…“, or liberty. Yet barring misfortunate circumstances, most people needn’t ever be directly aware of their laws presence, or experience its direct affect upon their thoughts & actions. Proper laws simply define boundaries for honest people’s benefit and provide a means to the resolution of honest (or dishonest) conflicts, making its firm hand felt only by those who – intentionally or unintentionally – violate the boundaries of other people’s rights.
Just Laws do not seek to alter the shape or behavior of their society, or of its individual’s lives, so long as they themselves don’t forcefully alter the lives of others. An Italian philosopher and criminologist, Cesare Beccaria, wrote in an essay, what describes our present social and legislative reformers very well, from way back in 1764,
“…A principal source of errors and injustice are false ideas of utility. For example: that legislator has false ideas of utility who considers particular more than general conveniencies, who had rather command the sentiments of mankind than excite them, who dares say to reason, “Be thou a slave;” who would sacrifice a thousand real advantages to the fear of an imaginary or trifling inconvenience; who would deprive men of the use of fire for fear of their being burnt, and of water for fear of their being drowned…”
The rest of that passage, is one you might seem familiar to many, because Jefferson copied it into his ‘Legal Commonplace Book’, and is often mistakenly attributed to Jefferson himself,
“…The laws of this nature are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent. Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance? Does not the execution of this law deprive the subject of that personal liberty, so dear to mankind and to the wise legislator? and does it not subject the innocent to all the disagreeable circumstances that should only fall on the guilty? It certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse, and of the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack unarmed than armed persons…”
Restraining our laws to addressing those actions that have actually been committed, isn’t simply a legalistic nicety, but one which if overstepped, soon turns good Intentions, into evil results, encouraging violence and despair upon a population. Such ‘laws’ which social and legislative reformers seek to foist upon us, are exactly those actions which our 2nd Amendment was written to provide us the means of protecting ourselves against – that is its role. Your role, is to recognize that, and to deploy your own words and actions in defense of it.
Because our social and legislative reformers don’t begin with a respect for reality, but only with the barest Utilitarian enthusiasms for ‘taking action!‘ in order to ‘fix society‘, they place themselves in opposition to the rights which the 2nd Amendment protects (and in implicit opposition to all of our other rights as well). Such a stance requires that they promote a disconnect between what is, and what is to be done, and what is not, and what should not be done. That disconnection so thoroughly infects their ‘common sense‘ proposals, that what they amount to is a legislative fantasy world of counter-productive laws, and vital to those measures, is a social viewpoint that values the ideology of political correctness, above reality and justice – only that can provide such an amazing ability to live in denial of what actually does happen, daily, all around them.
You must refuse to accept what isn’t, and insist that your conversations deal with what is – that is what the real meaning of is, is dependent upon, and the 2nd Amendment cannot long stand, if you do not stand for that yourself.
What can be done? And what shouldn’t be done
Still, there’s nothing wrong with the question itself, so let’s ask it: What is to be done? Good question. But first, what do we mean by ‘Done‘? Does it mean any one or more of the dictionary entries for the definition of ‘Done’?:
1. Having been carried out or accomplished; finished: a done deed.
2. Cooked adequately.
3. Socially acceptable‘
Conveniently, when we’ve disregarded what the issue actually is, and we aren’t too picky about what qualifies as ‘Done!‘, we tend to incline towards that third instance of ‘Done’, where our intentions are more limited to what is ‘socially acceptable‘, than with taking those actions that are consistent with what we wish to accomplish.
If we intend it to mean that something has been effectively accomplished, in such a way as what actually results from our actions, is expected to be consistent with what we intended to carry out, then happily our goals will align with what the 2nd Amendment is about (see the previous post). And having done that, we can face up to the reality that what our government is to do, is constrained by what our Govt is able to do. Given that, it becomes clear that the question of how we should respond to these massacres isn’t simply a question about the guns involved, or any other arms – which We The People have rendered our govt powerless to act upon – it is instead about responding to the criminal use of those arms – guns or otherwise.
If you ignore that, then you are not asking an honest, serious, question – you are only indulging your passions, at best, but more likely are ideologically manipulating others in their weakest moments. The question open to us isn’t about somehow asking our government to do what our govt is powerless to do, but about finding something that it is lawfully able to do, about the criminal use of arms in the commission of crimes.
But I can still hear those asking from their virtual reality – headquartered with the GOP financiers perhaps – asking oh so reasonably,
‘What does it matter if the law abiding should have to suffer some inconveniences, before getting their precious guns?‘
Would you, as Beccaria said above, “subject the innocent to all the disagreeable circumstances that should only fall on the guilty?” Or will you refuse the invitation to enter into that virtual reality with them? If you instead pay reasonable attention to the real world, such ‘inconveniences‘ do matter a great deal. All such ‘well intentioned‘ rules which our social and legislative reformers masquerade as being ‘Laws’, are not harmless at all, not even if they somehow ‘save just one life!‘, because such exhibitions of power are imposed upon all, and they indirectly ensure further abuse, in seemingly small ways, which have ever greater and greater effects over time.
This is not a new concept. Beccaria pointed it out in 1764, and Thomas Jefferson noted it in his Commonplace book, with the simple comment “False utility ideas“. James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, member of the Constitutional Convention, a Supreme Court Justice, and whose works on the Law helped to law the foundations of American Jurisprudence, pointed out this very issue, in his formative Lectures on Law, that:
—the following great and important political maxim:—Every wanton, or causeless, or unnecessary act of authority, exerted, or authorized, or encouraged by the legislature over the citizens, is wrong, and unjustifiable, and tyrannical: for every citizen is, of right, entitled to liberty, personal as well as mental, in the highest possible degree, which can consist with the safety and welfare of the state.
Such tyrannical behavior, even when dressed up and identifying as a kindly Nanny State, produces disorder and hostility and powerlessness, which unavoidably leads us directly down a path to violence. The very thing that lifts Man above the animal, is his ability to rely upon reasoned actions, rather than resorting only to instinct and power. If you prevent men from taking those actions that their own reasoning urges them to take, then you are hamstringing their ability to reason, and they can not help but sense that the actions you are forcibly making them take, are in conflict with what they understand they should take – you turn men against themselves. That has consequences. Such intrusive and unjustified rules, especially as piled one regulation atop the other, deprive men of their confidence in reason and ethics, reducing them back down towards the status of animals who are able to rely upon nothing more than feelings and their own exhibitions of power, which for human beings, means violence.
That understanding and identification of the unintended roots of Tyranny, was picked up on 150 years latter, by Hannah Arendt, author of “The Origins of Totalitarianism“, who differentiated between Power and Violence,
“…“…politically speaking, it is insufficient to say that power and violence are not the same. Power and violence are opposites; where the one rules absolutely, the other is absent. Violence appears where power is in jeopardy, but left to its own course it ends in power’s disappearance.”…”
and that, in her ‘Reflections on Violence‘ (H/T “Why Are There So Many Mass Shootings Today?“),
“…“The greater the bureaucratization of public life, the greater will be the attraction of violence. In a fully developed bureaucracy there is nobody left with whom one could argue, to whom one could present grievances, on whom the pressures of power could be exerted. Bureaucracy is the form of government in which everybody is deprived of political freedom, of the power to act; for the rule by Nobody is not no-rule, and where all are equally powerless we have a tyranny without a tyrant.”…”
If you’re dealing with a population that is deeply informed with the tools of understanding and morality, such as was common in our Founding Father’s era, then that people who after having taken the repeated abuses against them by their own laws, might turn around and organize themselves for a revolution, and in such a society, they might then devise the likes of our 2nd Amendment, as a means of preventing such a violent state ‘for their own good‘ from ever abusing them again.
But if you’re dealing with a population who has not yet learned, or even who has been made to forget, and having discarded their means of grasping reality through such insidious notions as it ‘depending upon what the meaning of IS, is’, a people who’ve dis-empowered themselves through their abandonment of a morality to guide their actions, and what you’re very likely going to be dealing with then, are random explosions of violence from those who’ve lost the capacity to govern even themselves, directed outwards at whatever target is most easily at hand.
So I ask again, having defined the situation as a human one, rather than a technological one, one rooted in reality over any verbal virtual reality, and cognizant of the scope of actions open to us under our laws, what do you mean by ‘Done!’?
Do we want laws of objective and identifiable substance, or showy displays that some can feel good about, no matter their expense to everyone else? I’m all for efforts to curb the unlawful use of any arms – if we are in fact talking about establishing consequences for the use of arms in the commission of crimes. And I’m also all for having laws that remove such criminals from our midst in our common society. Given that, we should be for pruning, updating, or more effectively applying existing laws, which will do what actually can be effectively done, such as tripling the penalties for those crimes committed with arms, as well as for creating stiff penalties for those ‘brandishing arms‘ in order to upset or intimidate people. But most of all, I’m for laws which punish those crimes which some among us actually commit, rather than punishing everyone of us, for our potential to commit those crimes that some of us, believe that all of us, are always on the verge of committing.
IOW, we should be for Justice – for the guilty and for the innocent – and not for the violent social engineering that our social and legislative reformers would visit upon us. Not surprisingly, ‘gun control‘ advocates tend to take a dim view of responses such as mine, preferring the Artificial Intelligence of the ideological technologist, to the discomforting prospect of taking responsibility for your thoughts and actions – for being Human, as opposed to being merely human.
Why? Not because we have differences over the use of arms in the commission of crimes, but because of our differences over what the meaning of ‘IS‘ is, and of what ‘Done’, can and should be taken to mean. Because the ‘IS‘ of what is the problem, is that they wish to substitute a witch’s brew of news headlines and empty laws, to sway popular passions upon what the meaning of IS is, for what they want to fantasize about doing, rather than to think, and so ‘make it all go away!‘, and to gather and exercise the power which the peddling of such fantasies invests them with.
However appealing such fantasies might sound, there are no recipes to tell us how to concoct incantations by mixing 1 part news headlines, with one part empty laws, that will affect the behavior of criminals who do not first think of what is right to do! Relying upon such measures succeeds only in weakening and unjustly violating the rights of those the criminals didn’t manage to abuse themselves.
Laws need to be clear, defined and actionable, if they’re not, then making proposals that fly in the face of their power, to use their power, is either an unsightly fantasy, or a cry for subversion, if not a form of treason against society.
Informed supporters of the 2nd Amendment aren’t willing to ‘make a deal’, partly because they understand that will not accomplish what the deal makers profess to seek, and they understand that the wrongful violence which such measures impose upon us all, will have disturbingly unforeseeable consequences to us all – eventually. The problem with the ‘Gun Control‘ people’s positions, is that they implicitly dismiss, and deny the reality that they supposedly want to do something about, and they do so with a smugness that says doing so is both modern and smart, whereas the views of those who support what the 2nd Amendment protects, are neither. The truth is, it is that who are pro-regressively seeking to return society to a time when a favored few ruled the mass of men simply because they had the power to do ‘what they thought best‘ for them.
The truth is, that those who are in opposition to the 2nd Amendment, can’t handle the truth, and especially not when that truth reveals that:
- Proposing to do, what is unlawful to be done – such as violating those rights which our 2nd Amendment renders our government powerless to do – is not making ‘common sense‘ proposals, it is a deliberate evasion of reality.
- Proposing laws that limit access to things, when the problem is people, not things, is not only not dealing with reality, it is but a pretext for usurping powers that have historically been proven dangerous for governments to have over their people.
- Seeking to deal with human problems, as if any such solutions can be found for them through political policies and technological ‘solutions’, is delusionary at best, and reveals a soul that is tone deaf to the human heart.
All of which can be summed up as deliberately seeking to evade what IS, through proposing the doing of what not only cannot be done, but which would be pointless to even attempt, except as a means to power and evasion.
Will these measures stop school shootings, or any other horrific massacres? No, of course not – that’s not the Law’s job! The job of The Law is to punish those wrongs that have actually been committed. If you want to end these horrific shootings, running over of pedestrians, bombings, etc., then you have to teach respect for what is real and true, you have to teach a respect for life, and for living a virtuous life that’s worth living. Fortunately, that is your job – whoever you are, or whatever your ‘line of work’ is – that is always in your job description – did you really not know that?
You want to fix society? Have you fixed yourself yet? No? How about you get back to me on that then, and I’ll keep working on that myself.
To be continued….