Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
In May, 2016, when the French shut down 100 mosques after a huge stash of war weapons were found, a liberal politician sent me this email: “Why can’t we just stop killing each other?”
It was an honest yet naive question, but the answer is not so simple, especially as we assess the evil of Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas killer.
Stopping mass murderers from killing people will never happen, no matter what gun laws we impose. Mass killers do their ugly work for all manner of reasons. Mental illness is one cause, as a killer becomes someone other than who he was. Another reason involves vengeance and retaliation for insults, imagined or real—revenge is a primeval part of human nature, built into our genetic and evolutionary structure that will not be eradicated because many humans perceive it as a means of self-protection. “Get him before he gets me.”
Another cause, the power of religious belief, is overwhelming and engulfing, “justifying” acts of horror and cruelty beyond imagining. Mass killing by religious terrorists has been an instrument of some religions, a tool for the religion to dominate and spread the faith by killing nonbelievers or striking fear in the hearts of enemies. Life is cheap in many religions because the high priests sermonize that a better life awaits the faithful foot soldier-killer.
But in the end, every human is capable of killing; it just depends on the circumstances and how hard they are pressed. Nearly every child in America is taught that murder is “bad” or “evil”. And yet, some children grow up to be killers. Human nature allows humans to rationalize away almost any deed as justifiable, including killing others: “They were bad people, they needed to die.”
This issue is also one of the defining differences between liberal doctrine and conservative doctrine in the deep debate over gun control. Liberals believe human nature can be changed, conservatives believe bone-deep human nature cannot. Human history comes down on the side of the conservative.
At the root of what undermines the liberal belief in gun control is a profound misunderstanding of human nature. “Progressives” believe human nature can be altered by indoctrinating humans into the “right” way of thinking. They believe this can override basic human instinct. They believe man is perfectible. So, if you take away guns, they say, humans will learn not to use them. Or something like that. Further, liberals believe that the best available tool to achieve their utopic ends is government intervention. They imagine that governments can expand into some sort of elevated state different from the one that is possible in the physical world. “If only” the government was given enough power and money, politically correct liberals say they could stamp out most of the evil in the world. Conservatives know this is false; they know man is not going to be cleansed of his irreparable imperfections just because government gets more pervasive. Instead, conservatives believe H.L. Mencken when he wrote, “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it.”
More gun laws will not solve the problem of shooting deaths. Many large American cities have extremely restrictive antigun laws, and those cities are setting records for shooting deaths—more than 500 killed in Chicago in 2017. More laws simply will be ignored by criminals, gangs and terrorists. If you are willing to commit murder, you are certainly willing to ignore gun laws. Repressive gun laws will mean the bad guys will have all the guns and the good guys won’t.
One of the clear lessons we have seen over and over with mass shootings is that the killer prefers gun-free zones for his carnage, making attacks easier because he knows no one will be there to stop him or kill him. Another lesson we have learned is that the fewer good guys with guns at the attack scene, the greater the bloodbath. This is because mass murderers seek defenseless victims— you know, the unarmed, totally vulnerable people who will be sitting ducks if the loopy leftists confiscate the good-guys’ guns.
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