As a rule, I don’t write about guns, gun control, or shootings, mainly because I have nothing to add, and because there doesn’t seem to be much to discuss: either you support gun rights, or you don’t (in other words, you either read the Constitution literally, or you simply want to reinterpret it to fit your ideology more conveniently).
My basic take on the issue is as follows: the personal right to bear arms is constitutionally safeguarded in the Second Amendment. That right is necessary for two reasons: to protect personal property, yourself, and your family; and to protect against an overly oppressive government. To be clear, I’m not advocating any kind of violent overthrow of or resistance to the government; rather, I’m arguing that the Second Amendment is our last resort against a government that becomes so hostile to our rights, we have no other recourse but to fight it (see also: the American Revolution). I do not think we have reached that point, as we still have ample constitutional means to correct and reform the government.
As for shootings, I believe it’s a spiritual and mental issue, not a gun issue. Godlessness seems to be the real root issue of many of our social maladies, coupled with a nihilism whose logical conclusion is “if everything is meaningless, then I can do whatever I want,” and “if everything is meaningless, then life is worthless.” Connect the dots, and it’s no surprise we have nihilistic suicides and mass murders. Add in the grotesque, macabre fame such acts bring in an age of social media, and the sick motivations for violence are further heightened.
Regardless, I couldn’t help notice this piece from Pacific Standard, a far Left rag known (to the extent it is) for its radicalism and overly-earnest headlines. I get PS‘s daily e-mail of stories, and occasionally read its pieces to see what the other side is thinking (occasionally, they’re actually interesting).
I’ve been sitting on this one for awhile, but here is the context for the piece: it was written shortly after the shooting last November in California. Heads collectively exploded when word got out that progressive utopia California, with its robust gun control laws, was the site of a tragic mass shooting. Without cheapening the deaths of those unfortunate, innocent souls, the question that came to my mind was, “If gun control is so effective, then how could this happen in California?”
Of course, it’s a straw man question: gun control isn’t effective. Indeed, arming responsible, law-abiding people is far preferable to disarming them (and, in effect, arming the bad guys, who will break the new gun control laws). What struck me, then, was the head-exploding of the true believers on the Left. The subtitle of this piece says it all: “A quick look at the regulations and numbers doesn’t necessarily suggest the state’s laws are useless.”
In short, pro-gun control Leftists scrambled to explain away this shooting. For the Left, shootings are never about man’s fallen nature and capacity for sin (unless that man is a white police officer and the person shot is some kind of favored minority), but instead a technocratic problem to be solved with increasing government control—enforced, ironically, with guns.