We do not blame the raped, we blame the rapist. Why? Because his actions of depraved violence sicken our conscience and we rightfully blame the criminal that committed the rape.
Furthermore, we also attack the culture that leads men to rape. We attack those who devalue women and elevate manliness as one that condones sexual violence against women. These are appropriate responses.
While the Nation expressed collective outrage at the lenient sentencing of the Stanford rapist who brutally assaulted a fellow classmate, we rightfully blamed the rapist, Brock Turner. We asked, as a Nation, how the Judge could give only six months to a man that committed such a horrific crime. Questions ranged from judicial reform on the Right to explorations into the violent male psyche on the Left.
But we rightfully never blamed the skirt that made the victim’s rape easier.
Why, therefore, do we blame guns when there is a mass shooting and not the shooter himself?
For some reason, when citizens are attacked en masse by a gun, some of our politicians and their media allies blame guns, not the murderer or in many cases, the ideology that leads to the murderous attack.
I knew within seconds of learning of the Orlando Gay Nightclub attack that the President would immediately blame guns. As usual, the media ran with the President’s anti-gun mantra. Countless news reporters and political pundits keep asking why individuals can buy “assault rifles.” Ironically, none of the mass media sources dares to ask the question: “How do we stop radical Islam?”
For the past week following Judge Aaron Persky horrifyingly lenient sentence of a rapist, pundits universally eviscerated the judge and asked, “How could a young man think this behavior is OK?” Politicians on the Right and Left both wondered aloud how we could make more young men like the two Swedish graduate students that intervened and less Brock Turners.
Yet, only one side of the political spectrum wants to tackle the issue of Radical Islam directly.
The other wants to attack guns.
Let’s go after mini-skirts while we are at it…
Or WAKE UP!
Let’s get a few things straight.
First, the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is not to protect my right to kill deer or crackheads. The purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to protect against an oppressive government should one ever arise. A government that harbors no ill-intentions has nothing to fear from an armed populace.
For those who claim that the Founding Fathers meant “muskets” not AR-15s, they are missing the point. The 2nd Amendment was an equalizer. Muskets in the 18th Century were the weapons of an oppressive regime. In the 21st Century, the government will not use muskets to suppress our civil liberties.
Second, for generations we had no issues with mass shootings. All of a sudden, in the past two decades (about the time of the Columbine Attacks), we have had a real and consistent issue with mass gun shootings. Yes, incidents like that which Charles Whitman initiated from the University of Texas in 1966 shocked the American conscience, but it was rare. Now it seems like an annual event. Why will we not begin looking into the culture that has clearly shifted to one in which mass shootings have become the norm? We should.
If we are rightfully looking into and tackling a culture of violence against women to stop rapes, why are we not looking into a culture of violence that promotes mass killings? There is no excuse.
Third, we have never, in the United States, experienced a mass shooting by an AUTOMATIC weapon that was not criminally oriented. Every mass shooting has been committed by semi-automatic weapons. The term “assault” weapon is a fictitious term that is used to make cool looking semi-automatic rifles seem more menacing. It ignores the fact that some of these guns have less firepower than your standard .308 hunting rifle.
Banning “assault rifles” will not end mass shootings. How do I know? Because France banned assault rifles. In fact, France banned almost all private gun ownership. Yet, France has experienced three horrific attacks in the past eighteen months by means of automatic rifles, not assault rifles.
The UK also banned most guns. How well did that keep the IRA contained?
Germany banned most guns. In 2009, Germany’s ban on guns did not stop the killing of 16 people in Winnenden.
Banning assault rifles is not the answer to stop mass shootings or terror attacks.
Fourth, many will assume a great compromise is a ban on individuals listed on the Terror Watch List. On the surface, that sounds reasonable. But I do not believe an individual should have their 2nd Amendment Rights to gun ownership stripped by depriving them of their 5th Amendment Rights to Due Process.
The Terror Watch List is a bureaucratic list in which individuals are placed on a list by means of Administrative assumptions that a person may constitute a terror threat. It is too easy to get on that list. The very Administration officials who compose the Terror Watch List are fed its contents by others who have now broadened the definition of the threat to include conservative political leanings. Let me give you an example.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), one of the contributing authors of the Terror Watch List, has determined political Conservatives are “hate groups” and “hate mongers” who need to be watched. They do not just list groups like the Ku Klux Klan or the Nation of Islam (neither of whom, in my opinion, should have their weapons denied, either). Rather, the SPLC lists groups like “The Spirit of Chartres Committee” for taking ultra-conservative views on traditional marriage and the Catholic faith, including the Latin Mass… Americans for Legal Immigration, who advocate the deportation of illegal immigrants… and the League of the South, which advocates Southern culture and a separate Southern homeland (and within which I am a member).
None of the three groups I just listed advocate violence. None of the members of these groups specifically seek the exclusion of any law abiding citizens. Yet, its members are considered hate mongers and the organizations are considered hate groups.
In other words, if Obama and his media allies get their way, you can have your 2nd Amendment Rights deprived because you enjoy the Latin Mass and believe in traditional marriage.
Finally, the President and his allies point to the lack of systemic background checks as a reason for gun violence. That argument holds the least water of all. We already have federal background checks and they work… at keeping guns in the hands of law abiding citizens.
But background checks did not work for the Sandy Hook shooter because his mother bought the guns. Background checks did not stop Columbine because their parents owned the guns. As it pertained to the San Bernadino shooters, their neighbor bought the weapons on their behalf.
In the case of Dylann Roof the Federal Background check system failed. He was convicted of a misdemeanor for the use of opioids earlier that year, which automatically disqualifies an individual from gun ownership. The Federal system failed to record the conviction.
In other cases, the Background check system does not work because individuals just seem to snap. Vester Lee Flanagan II, the homosexual Black man that killed his two white colleagues on live television, did not have a criminal background. Mainak Sarkar, the UCLA shooter had no record. Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech Shooter, also had no criminal or psychological record.
Omar Mateen, the Orlando Gay Nightclub shooter, had the highest level of state issued gun ownership and licensure; he cleared every Federal and State background check.
None of these men would have been deprived a gun in the systems that Obama and his media allies are advocating, but a traditional Catholic or a proud Son of the Confederacy would be.
It seems to me that the real goal, therefore, is to deprive Conservatives of the ability to defend their liberties – not prevent terrorists or psychotic killers.
And therein lies the problem in its totality.
While a significant segment of our political class attempts to tackle guns they are failing to attack the societal and ideological issues that lead some individuals to murder.
We should be taking on a culture that is divorced from human interaction and a respect for life. Everywhere in the 21st Century, we devalue life. We live in a country within which some parents take their sons off of football fields because it is too violent, only to hand them a video game console from which their children can play Grand Theft Auto. Our kids watch more shows like “The Walking Dead” instead of shows like “I Love Lucy.” That is a problem.
Worse, we have an entire political class that says Life is a choice. I do not want this piece to be one that delves into the morality of abortion. It is important, however, to note that both sides of the political spectrum once viewed abortion as something horrible, regardless of where they fell on a woman’s right to have one. Today, the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL), a Leftwing organization with close ties to the Democrat Party, hosts Abortion Celebration Days and Marches.
How do we ask children to value human life when we continually teach them that life is cheap and disposable?
Finally, how do we ask our citizens to respect the rules of law, life,and property, when our own political leadership does not respect them, beginning with the President of the United Sates? Obama has openly embraced criminals like Michael Brown to the exclusion of law enforcement. The Mayor of Baltimore told her citizens that they have the right to destroy and gave them “the space” they needed to do so. The media sympathized with the Ferguson rioters and denounced the “heavy-handedness” of the police attempting to restore order.
Why value human society when we have leaders from the top down who do not?
This is the real reason we have a shooting problem. It is not the gun. A gun cannot shoot itself. It is the mentality that makes an individual point an otherwise innocuous tool at another human being and pull the trigger.
Just like we must address the dehumanizing mentality of a rapist who uses his male physiological advantages to violate a woman, so too must we attack the dehumanizing mentality of the killer that uses a gun to satisfy his psychological or ideological goals.
Until we tackle the real issues – a culture that devalues human life, a political class that refuses to even name the threat of “radical Islam,” a President that demagogues law enforcement, and an education system that attempts to make a moral equivalency between the 11th Century Christian Crusaders and the 21st Century Islamists – we will continue to suffer more shootings and more Americans dead.
We need a change of political leadership immediately in order for us to attack the real threats to the American public: a political culture that blames guns for its own moral failings.