Whelp, we’ve had another mass shooting in the US.
It is of course a tragedy, and before we go any further it needs to be said that what happened in Las Vegas shocked, saddened, and sickened me. I wish there was something we could do, and hopefully a viable solution will someday be found, but to date no clearly effective solution to this vexing problem has been put forward.
Now, the real point of this article is not to add to the cacophony of the gun control debate. That debate has been argued and re-argued on many occasions before now, and I think the simple conclusion that gun control laws do not work as promised was correct before this latest shooting and it remains correct today.
What I am writing about today is my irritation about the anti-gun left. We’re only having this conversation (again) because of them.
They are insistent that we have this conversation, despite the fact that they have done no research and have come up with no new ideas since the last shooting.
The tipping point was Jimmy Kimmel’s (much discussed) monologue about gun control, which was a nonstop parade of tired clichés, discredited tropes, debunked talking points, and outright lies.
It was a paean by the ignorant, for the ignorant.
To someone who has not spent much if any time studying the issue of gun control and gun violence, I’m sure Jimmy Kimmel’s bromides brought some measure of comfort and satisfaction.
Yeah, go Jimmy! Stick it to those evil bastards who like dead children!
Hell, his argument doesn’t even hold up under the weight of its own, easily spotted internal contradictions.
There are no “easy solutions kept just out of reach only by Republican intransigence and NRA greed,” nor is the NRA’s power simply a function of money and legal bribery (it is, rather, the very essence of democracy in action). And you don’t have to be a pro-gun ideologue to agree that gun control, even of the vaunted “Australian model,” is not a simple or effective solution; even an anti-gun person will reach that conclusion if they take an objective look at the problem.
And that’s when it hit me. This “conversation” is not, in fact, a conversation. It is simply a left-wing circle-jerk of virtue-signaling designed to make those on the left feel better about themselves and better about what happened – and it should simply be ignored.
In the wake of one of these tragedies, everyone looks for ways to explain what happened, to try to diminish the awfulness of it.
On the right, many people probably ‘hoped’ that the shooter would be a Muslim extremist, not because that would bring back the dead nor would it make their deaths okay, but simply because we can understand the event that way.
It is very hard, if not impossible, for a decent, sane person to understand why a 64 year old man with no previous criminal history or any documented mental illness might suddenly desire to slaughter dozens of people. We can’t make sense of it. By contrast, all of us can understand why a terrorist, motivated by an extremist religion or political ideology, would want to kill people, even if we regard it as insane.
On the left, however, the way they feel better about what happened, the way they make sense of it, is by demonizing their political enemies.
They are like a religious sect, who after a devastating flood or earthquake, go to pray in the temple that they be spared, for they are not the ones who sinned.
They comfort themselves by saying “This is not our fault, this is the fault of those damned Republicans and the evil NRA, for they have sinned! They have sinned by refusing to support gun control! And we will absolve ourselves of guilt by going through a cleansing ritual of condemning guns, condemning conservatives, condemning the NRA and Republicans, and praying to our God, The State, demanding gun control.
Would the laws we are proposing have prevented this latest shooting or any other shooting? No, but that’s not the point.
The point is to show everyone our piety and virtue; the point is to point the finger at those who are to blame, at least indirectly. And we do that by ritualistically proposing all the same bad ideas we proposed the last time. Yes, we will ignore the evidence that those ideas won’t work and that they are bad ideas. We didn’t study the issue the last time a mass shooting happened, and we aren’t about to start now.”
That is all this is.
This is not a real debate, or an actual conversation, since, in a real conversation, both sides have to listen to what the other is saying.
The anti-gun left has no interest in listening to what the pro-gun rights’ side is saying; the anti-gun left just wants to knock over straw-men of their own construction.
So to all my fellow libertarians, conservatives, and the increasing number of Leftists who appreciate the importance of gun rights, I say this: just ignore the pro-gun-control hysteria. It is not a serious discussion, nor is it meant to be taken seriously. It is a religious rite, a form of public prayer.
The real debate about gun laws in the US has been had.
It has played out in individual households and at the ballot box, at the Federal level but particularly at the State level, and guess what…the pro-gun rights side has carried the day.
The facts are on the pro-gun rights side of the ledger. So with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to guarantee the individual right to keep and bear arms for all individuals.
Let us ignore the anti-gun left’s public prayers so long as the anti-gun left continues to ignore reality and continues to recycle bad ideas unsupported by facts which have been debunked several times over.
Spencer Lane is a recent college graduate from the University of Kent, Canterbury UK, where he studied Military History when he wasn’t traveling. An avid shooter, he is a California native currently living in the Bay Area but dreams of moving to Idaho or New Hampshire.
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