Should We Ban Farm Tools?
Mayor of Chicago and former Obama hatchet-man Rahm Emanuel famously said "you never want a serious crisis to go to waste." And when it comes to the Aurora, Colorado massacre last Friday, the left certainly hasn't let The Godfather down. Of course, people on both sides of the aisle quickly stated that it's inappropriate to politicize a tragedy, but those with the loudest voices have done their best to make sure that the twelve killed in Colorado while enjoying a night at the movies died for the cause of gun control.
Hollywood notables Michael Moore, Cher, Jason Alexander, Rob Schneider, Piers Morgan, John Leguizamo, Russell Simmons, D.L. Hughley, Martha Stewart, Henry Winkler, and Bette Midler quickly blamed the firearms. As did politicians like Jan Schakowsky and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. Longtime journalist and former White House Press Secretary Bill Moyers called Americans "bloodthirsty," "violent," and "inept." But it was New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who was the biggest demagogue of them all. He raised the specter of pulling the police officers off the streets of New York if Americans didn't renounce their guns.
Bloomberg's comments speak to the heart of the matter, which is the battle between tyranny and freedom. Bloomberg is a collectivist at heart, and firearm ownership promotes (and protects) individualism. Like a tyrant, he threatened civilians with the idea of taking away what little protection the state offers its citizens if they dare attempt to protect themselves.
So, as has become customary in this country, the discussion quickly turned to "who is to blame?" If the left wants to have that discussion, conservatives should welcome it, since the arguments are on our side. If one is persuaded by anecdotes, like our pals in Hollywood, here are a couple: First, we just passed the one year anniversary of when Anders Brevik killed 77 people in Norway -- the vast majority with his firearm -- in the country that has what may be the strictest gun control laws in the Western world. What was Hollywood's response then?
Second, another story broke last week where surveillance footage caught 71-year old Samuel Williams using his licensed, concealed handgun to stop an armed robbery in Florida.
The two masked would-be robbers were brandishing both a gun and a baseball bat when the septuagenarian stepped in to save the day. According to a report, Williams won't face repercussions. He and his gun stopped the crime. In fact, Mr. Williams should get an award, not only for his bravery, but for the entertainment value: it was an unabashed delight to watch the terrified faux tough guys fall all over themselves racing to get the heck out of there.
Third, what if the weapon of choice were not guns? That didn't stop the Hutu groups from slaughters in Rhwanda where machetes were used to chop up enough people -- estimates are 500,000 to I million -- to be deemed a genocide. Machetes are farm tools, but they also were the primary implement of killing during the Rhwandan genocide. Are farm tools next?
If you're the type of person more interested in statistics, more gun laws typically mean more crime. Pam Meister notes at FamilySecurityMatters.org:
[Gun law advocates] ignore statistics like those in the UK, where gun violence went up 40% in the first two years after a handgun ban went into effect, and was up 89% a decade later. And here in America, the recently struck-down gun ban in Chicago wasn't terribly successful in keeping violent crime down either.
In fact, Chicago's violent crime rates went through the floor when the Supreme Court removed a handgun ban. There are plenty of statistics to support the fact that more concealed weapons generally lead to less crime.
It's just common sense. If gun ownership becomes illegal, the bad guys will continue to buy guns illegally (as they do now), and the good guys will not have that self-defense option available to them.
What's more, the Aurora shootings took place in a gun-free zone. That means that even though James Holmes owned the gun legally, he was not allowed to bring it with him into the theatre. But more importantly, if a law-abiding citizen had brought a gun into the theatre to protect him/herself against the unthinkable, they would have been in violation of the law. God knows what would have happened to them if they'd fired back in self-defense. Crazy, huh? But that's an example of how upside down such gun control laws are.
It's particularly ironic that Hollywood quickly made the Aurora discussion about gun laws, since they are the greatest peddlers of violence in mainstream culture. After all, James Holmes modeled himself after the Joker! The Joker, which earned Heath Ledger a posthumous Oscar in "The Dark Knight," was a terrorist who killed everyone and anyone. He carved up people's faces, smashed a pencil through a person's eyeball, and set up an elaborate game so that people would mass-murder one another.
Here is how "The Dark Knight" is described by the film critic, Jenny McCartney:
But the greatest surprise of all - even for me, after eight years spent working as a film critic - has been the sustained level of intensely sadistic brutality throughout the film.
I will attempt to confine my plot spoilers to the opening: the film begins with a heist carried out by men in sinister clown masks. As each clown completes a task, another shoots him point-blank in the head. The scene ends with a clown - The Joker - stuffing a bomb into a wounded bank employee's mouth.
After the murderous clown heist, things slip downhill. A man's face is filleted by a knife, and another's is burned half off. A man's eye is slammed into a pencil. A bomb can be seen crudely stitched inside another man's stomach, which subsequently explodes. A trussed-up man is bound to a chair and set alight atop a pile of banknotes.
A plainly terrorized child is threatened at gunpoint by a man with a melted face. It is all intensely realistic. Oh but don't worry, folks: there isn't any nudity.
What's the problem? I can already hear some people asking. It's all a comic-book fantasy, and comic books are well known for their surreal, cartoonish bursts of violence. But the director, Christopher Nolan, hasn't sought to ramp up the cartoonish aspects of his superhero story, as other directors before him have. He has tried instead to make the violence and fear as believable as possible, and in this he has succeeded.
It's no wonder that the people who are responsible for disseminating this pornography to the public need to place the blame elsewhere when, in fact, they have no one to blame anyone but themselves. The great director Peter Bogdanovich said as much himself.
And the latest development is that James Holmes sent a chilling notebook to a psychiatrist just before the attack. The fact that this monster was seeking therapy but had not been properly treated is a failing of society. We have better access to medicine and trained mental-health professionals than ever in human history. Friends and family need to make sure that those who are troubled are getting the attention they need. Where were the parents? Where were the teachers? Why had no one seen to it that this horrifyingly dark young man had access to necessary counseling?
In this case, therapy wouldn't have been enough. Society has failed to institutionalize the most dangerous mental cases among us, in the name of "civil rights." While the left prays that this calamity will help raise awareness about the evil that is gun-ownership (their perception), I, for one, hope it wakes people up to how serious a threat the mentally unbalanced -- including those in Hollywood -- are to our once-civil society.
Only we can defend ourselves.
Carol A. Taber is president of FamilySecurityMatters.org.