How Red Herrings Kill Our Children

For the sake of the children, stop with the idiocy! No, I’m not kidding–think of the children! All of this nonsense regarding gun control legislation, the supposedly inconsistent pro-life ethic, and the maligning of self-defense would be laughable were it not so damn pertinent and morbid.

The Error

First off, the charge that the anti-abortion folks are inconsistent in their supposed lack of outrage of murder by guns is nonsensical. Why? Well, foremost, because the corollary to banning guns in order to prevent gun-homicide is to ban the instruments of medicine. The instruments are not THE problem.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. The gun may not be THE problem, but the gun is a lynch pin. Removing the gun from the equation doesn’t solve the existence of suicidal-homicidal sociopaths, but it takes away their capacity for mass murder. (You were thinking that, right?) And you are right. You’d also be right to assert that guns are not as beneficial to society as the medical instruments utilized during infanticide. No argument from me on the validity of these ideas.

What I do object to is the infantile notion that gun control legislation to prevent the continued slaughter of already-born innocents is going to be remotely effective anytime in the next ten years. I’m not saying to not pursue it, but I am objecting to tackling one of the most contentious issues in American politics before doing something to protect our children in the immediate. That is as foolish and reckless as brandishing a handgun in a city park.

The Solution

When I was a student at the University of Cincinnati, I received frequent email notifications about local crime. One of the most frequent events was mugging. Late night, inebriated college kids walking alone make for easy targets. So, every few days, so it seemed, I would read about how a mugger, maybe three, would flash a gun (briefly remove it and then return it to his pocket) and demand some kid’s possessions. In every case, the victim gave up his/her things.

No, I’m not going to take issue with someone turning over her belongings under coercion; I’m not suggesting that they should have risked life or limb to save an cell phone or a laptop. However, I would like to praise the single individual whose response was to pull pepper spray from her pocket and use it on her mugger. That girl got away safely, and the jackass who tried to harm her (caught or not) was in a world of hurt.

Perhaps my point is not obvious, so I’ll state it outright. In the immediate, providing non-lethal force to be used as a defensive mechanism is the best course of action. And I am specifically recommending instruments that temporarily blind assailants. Save for live ammunition, there is not a more effective way to neutralize gun-wielding murderers than to blind them.

The Way Forward

So, why is the conversation not about effective, immediate means to deter this violence? Seriously, why? Realistically, even if a ban on all guns (outside of law enforcement and private security) occurred tomorrow, when would enough guns be confiscated to be reasonably confident that events like those at Sandy Hook would never happen again? Ten years? Fifteen years? Even then, you’d never be able to prevent a cop of member of the armed forces from going off the deep end (and taking a few lives with him)–something that has happened more than once in the last few years.

In the meantime, murderous rampages continue. As for me and my house, we will not waste our breath. First, give some hope of survival for when the rampages occur. Second, address the fact that mental health issues are practically ignored by the government. They are the most stigmatized and disenfranchised people in our world, and services to treat them (without pocketfuls of cash) are few and far between. Finally, only after these more immediate concerns have been addressed, then turn to gun regulations.

True religion (in the 21st Century) before God the Father is this: to care for the mentally ill and fetuses in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world (staining includes following red herrings and acting like an idiot).

God’s Grace Be on Connecticut

What happened yesterday was truly tragic, and I am not using it as an opportunity to talk about gun control. Rather, because a country full of imbeciles are using yesterday as a reason to talk about gun control laws, I’m addressing the topic that others stupidly put on the table.

First, exceptions and hard cases make bad law. Second, the city with a long experiment with the strictest gun control laws in the country, my hometown, Chicago, also suffers from the most gun violence. Again: long history of ridiculously ‘strong’ gun laws AND the most gun violence. In other words, ‘strong’ gun control does not correlate to less gun violence. This isn’t opinion; it is science and history, and it’s true beyond Chicago.

Finally, if the reports thus far are reasonably accurate, than the perpetrator of yesterday’s infamy acquired the weapons he used in a manner that no law could have prevented. (Supposedly, he stole them from his mother after killing her.)

If I had the option of sending my child to a school where each classroom was equipped with a 9mm handgun and each teacher was well-equipped to handle it, provided of course that there be strong safety measures in place, or to a school that was a ‘gun-free zone,’ I’d send my daughter to the former.

Why? Because good people with guns stop bad people with guns. Empty-handed good guys get mowed down next to children. Utopia this is not, nor can it ever be. And pragmatism trumps naivety every day.

Maria Goretti, pray for us.