In his article “Police State Progressives,” Jack Donovan echoes so many of my own thoughts on the post-Newtown American Zeitgeist that I am tempted to quip that he stole my gunfire on the subject. Liberals, he finds, don’t really care for the notion of power being granted to “the people”—they have learned to stop worrying and love the state. Of course, were the face of Big Brother still revealed in the smirking frat-boy features of George W. Bush instead of the shining, godlike countenance of mulatto rainbow wonderboy Barack Obama, chances are the libs would have a far harder time carrying on their love affair. (Even though the policies of the two men aren’t markedly different, image is indeed everything when it comes to today’s facile state-smitten progressives.)
Pointing out the smelly hypocrisy of liberal-left rhetoric, of course, is a full-time job, and I am already gainfully employed, so I won’t delve too deeply into the bogus and tiresome invitations to take part in a “national conversation” on guns. Suffice to say that I respectfully decline the offer to join this so-called “dialogue,” because I know specious, disingenuous blather when I hear it. When media and academic elites wish to conduct town hall meetings in some quaint invocation of populist democracy, it’s easy enough to catch a whiff of the ubiquitous, proverbial rat. Liberals don’t want a “dialogue” on guns any more than they have ever really wanted to engage in a “dialogue” on race. Rather, they want to lecture us benighted ones (be we gun owners or race realists) on the error of our ways, and help us to see the light that they so graciously carry for our benefit.
In short, were the standard liberal more prone to enter into this “dialogue” with an open mind—i.e., with the idea that maybe, just maybe, he might learn something from the non-liberal, rather than merely entering the fray with the aim of being a “consciousness-raiser,” a conduit through which his enemy, whom he loathes and smugly regards as a stupid gun-toting racist redneck-- finally gets enlightened, then the prospect of engaging in a dialogue with said liberal would seem slightly more enticing. Until such time, I’d just as soon engage in “dialogue” with one of my gun range targets.
It is in the psychology of the self-righteous to be prone to rhetorical overreach. The Newtown massacre has brought out the human tendency towards scapegoating and witch-hunting which gets freely and hyperbolically indulged after a horrifying and traumatic event takes place. In a way, such reactions are understandable, and as a parent myself, I am willing to cut fellow raisers of children some slack on this front. No one wants to feel helpless, and everyone wants to “do something,” to “demand a plan,” particularly when we fear for the safety of the most vulnerable among us. Thus, when a upstate New York newspaper recently published the names and addresses of state-registered gun-owning residents in the area, it probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Why not shame these law-abiding people for being part of America’s “gun culture,” and thus complicit in the mass murder of 20 children by a deranged psychopath at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut? We have to “do something,” after all!
It probably surprised the originators of this idea when they discerned the massive backlash they’d provoked, and the likely harm they did to their cause, by treating gun owners as if they were vile people to be shunned and ostracized, something like child molesters. Reports on the story afterwards from other news outlets were a display in damage control: perhaps it was an error in judgment to run the report “outing” area gun owners, we were told, but after all, the news outlet meant well, so please forgive them!
We see a case-in-point here of hysterical sanctimony run amok, but of course as usual the controversy generates more heat than light. Much as this news station attempted to shame and vilify its “targets,” they probably did these people a service.
After all, for all of the tired talk of American “gun culture” being to blame for the random violent acts of lunatics, chances are that in a society experiencing upheaval, tumult, and chaos, having a gun handy in fact enhances one’s security a good deal. And I strongly suspect that, deep down, even the most vociferous gun-control advocates know that bad men, be they disreputable outlaws or tyrannical agents of the state, are far more likely to victimize and oppress the unarmed than those with a means of protecting themselves and their families from attack. Thus, in outing the dastardly possessors of firearms and attempting to tar them with an aura of ignominy, the overzealous New York newsmen inadvertently gave word to the criminal element: if you’re a ruthless, amoral creep with a yen to break into someone’s house to rob, rape, or otherwise wreak havoc, then for heaven’s sake don’t visit any of these addresses. You might, after all, get shot before you can carry out your depredations!
But perhaps I am wrong on this score. Maybe, in fact, those most zealous to disarm and render vulnerable their fellow citizens truly believe that being defenseless makes them safer. If this is so, I’d like to issue an open invitation to all gun-control enthusiasts. Stand up and be counted, oh annointed ones! Lead by example! If you wish to bring about universal disarmament, then in the comment section below, please let the world know who you are, where you live, and a full list of the valuables you store in your home. Please make it absolutely clear that you have no guns whatsoever anywhere on your person or your property... Surely you have nothing to fear in speaking up thusly, if, as you constantly tell us, the presence of guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens only makes the world more unsafe, and the absence of guns discourages the commission of violent crime!