Same Lies, Different Day

When the powerful cannot fully control the actions of those fellow citizens they dislike, at least they can control the lies publicly told about them. Thus, we once again find ourselves, days after a tragedy, dissecting the falsehoods spewed forth to gain political ground in the midst of a terrible loss. As we have seen with disturbing regularity, the Navy Yard shooting was an event not seen so much as a tragedy by the left as it was a welcome opportunity, a gift from on high by whatever amoral deity bestows such awful things upon its faithful.

In recent months, the hyperbole and emotionalism of liberal efforts to reinstitute the Assault Weapons Ban, and other de facto infringements of the Second Amendment, have calmed in some places, and been reversed in others, giving those who seek real solutions to difficult problems a chance to be heard. Discussions regarding practical means of preventing the mentally ill from gaining access to guns have taken place among the rational, who recognize that the problem lies with the actor, and not the instrument. In some locales, commonsense measures to protect vulnerable children, including armed guards, faculty and staff in schools, have replaced the tacit invitation to violence in schools which once proudly proclaimed themselves "gun free zones." Somehow, violent and mentally-ill attackers did not recognize that status as a deterrent. Liberals are still trying to figure out the math on that one. In solving that problem, however, there are some very ugly truths that make clear why the left is so intent on blaming the gun, and not the shooter.

Contrary to liberal theology, it isn't the gun. Ever. This is something the left cannot afford to admit. As long as they can keep the conversation about the gun, they don't have to answer for the society they have promoted that makes the gun seem an acceptable tool for change. In the neighborhoods they have transformed with destructive liberal policies, use of illegally possessed guns is an everyday occurrence. They are tools of power, not a means of defense. In certain hands, a gun allows the animalistic dominance of one person over another. But only in certain hands. In the hands of people not bent on dominance, they are defensive tools, meant to protect and save lives from those who violently seek to destroy. In order to avoid discussing why almost all gun violence is practiced by those relatively few violent ones, or why it so often involves doing harm to the defenseless, or the illegality of the possession of the guns, and from what cultural deficits the inclination toward such violence flows, the left simply decries all gun ownership, as if all groups behave the same, and have guns for the same reasons. By purposeful misdirection, the left never strays from the gun.

In the real world, of course, focusing on the wrong things does not solve problems, but it does distract. When the left focuses on the gun as the common element, they don't have to focus on the depravity they have engendered as that common thread. They don't have to answer for the lies they have told to keep the poor compliant, and tethered financially, to the politicians who endlessly promise to someday save them. They don't have to answer for their utter failure and refusal to address the root causes of the violence: the fatherless homes, the drug-addicted parents, the high crime rate, the welfare addiction, the rampant poverty, the joblessness, or the propaganda that others are to blame for their situation, all of which are products of the mess the left has made of those lives. They evade accountability for the pervasive hopelessness of victimhood that is so necessary to the left's political power.

Similarly, they don't have to explain why their utopian "gun-free zones" are actually slaughter pens, in which those who are trained and prepared to use guns in self defense are purposefully prevented from doing so. As long as honest discussion is off the table, we won't talk about the utter foolishness of placing agenda over reality, or the body count that has resulted. It is alarming to recognize that on the left, a higher social value is put on being delusional than being safe. How proud are the school administrators, or theater owners, or store owners, of their gun-free zones while the funerals are under way for those whom they left defenseless? In the case of former President Clinton, who made military bases gun-free zones, how proud is he in the wake of Fort Hood, and now the Washington Navy Yard massacres? Literally in the presence of hundreds of men and women trained and trusted to use guns defensively, almost none of them were allowed to possess them.

If the problem is the gun, and not the shooter, the left does not have to account for the redirection of resources away from identifying and treating the mentally ill, whose disregard as an at-risk subset of society indirectly facilitates their involvement in such crimes. They do not have to address the need to implement a system of checks or alarms directed more to actual risk than creating a data base of all gun owners, as if all pose equal risks. They do not have to ponder the effect of political correctness on openly addressing the risks of mental illness and violent crime. Indeed, the left prefers not to talk about mental illness at all, since to do so would be to tacitly admit that the shooters are actually someone other than law-abiding gun owners acting on irrational, deep rooted prejudices and hatreds; i.e. how the left characterizes conservatives for its true believers.

By focusing on the gun, and not the user, the left does not have to address the failure of the criminal justice system to consistently punish illegal gun use. They can ignore, for example, that prior gun charges against the Navy Yard shooter were not pursued in a liberal criminal justice system that coddles criminals and ignores gun crimes. Prosecutors in liberal jurisdictions, and perhaps in many jurisdictions, are much more interested in obtaining convictions than actually punishing gun crimes. For the sake of their stats, they will accept guilty pleas to one of many lesser included charges, perhaps a second degree assault or a disorderly conduct, and dismiss the gun charges. They get credit for a conviction, and we end up with career criminals who successfully wiggle their way out of the more serious gun crimes, and are thus free to commit them again until they eventually cross the line and kill someone. Nothing is done to cure this. The liberal politicians protect their own.

Finally, if we focus on the gun, and not its user, we can justify complete bans and eventual confiscation. If each and every gun is evil, no matter its user, the solution is to take them all. Even this, however, is an exercise in misdirection. In every society in which there has been an all-powerful, authoritarian government, gun ownership has been outlawed and guns taken. If liberals succeed in making the issue about guns, rather than their misuse, they will have succeeded in disarming their political enemies, which will make complete domination vastly easier. The British knew that and tried. The descendants of patriots understand the long game being played.

So too, however, do the liberals. They recognize that time is a weapon. They have mostly failed in their concerted efforts to enact outright bans, in part because there are still enough people who reject the hysterics and illogic in which liberals couched their arguments. Every prediction made about concealed-carry laws leading to intersections and stores becoming shooting galleries has proved irrational. Every claim that allowing people to own guns for their own protection would lead to skyrocketing crime was false.

Sadly, this is why mass shootings by the mentally ill are viewed by the left as priceless opportunities. The left, through immediate and overwhelmingly false reports in the aftermath of tragedy, do not even wait until the dead have been identified before blitzing the country with their carefully honed, emotionally-charged messaging. Emotion and propaganda go hand in hand on the left. When someone is hurt or killed, it is always the gun, and never the person whose possession was prevented by sensible rules and policies. We are not allowed to discuss those solutions. It's the gun. It's always the gun. In fact, they have so fixated on this message that they even have a go-to gun, which they will claim was used even when it wasn't: the AR15. It is always about the gun.

Except, it never is. It is about power and politics. It is about enabling some, and demonizing others, to achieve a much larger objective. When there are no more guns, there is no more freedom from an out-of-control government that feels no duty or allegiance to the Constitution, or its carefully drawn limits upon vast power. The Founders anticipated this. That is the singular purpose of the Second Amendment. And the left knows it to its core.