Fair warning: Carry Life rant mode is toggled “On.”
You don’t need us to tell you about the truly bizarre notions out there that assert why you should not be able to own this, that or even any firearm. But every now and again, a particularly pernicious and predatory group of micro-philosophies comes along—capable of devouring any liberties, not just the Second Amendment—and we like to round ’em up, so to speak, so that you can see them for what they are.
Watch for the mechanists. These are the folks who only acknowledge violence as violence based on how an injury or death occurs. For the most part, they simply won’t engage in any conversations about root causes. They are only interested in blaming (and then banning) instruments. No more proof of this is needed than the continuing conflation of suicide numbers with homicides. Whenever you hear a big number (over 30,000), it’ll be labeled “gun violence.” You’ll never hear of “air deprivation violence” (number two cause, suffocation/hanging) or “poison violence” (number three, toxin/pharmaceutical). In this gruesome, dyspeptic colloid of criminal homicidal fury and (usually clinical levels of) mental illness, deserved sympathy for families of suicides is an acceptable casualty as long as blame is successfully affixed to firearms. As for the other nearly 50 percent of suicides that don’t fit the gun-hating paradigm (to say nothing of the much higher rates of suicide in gun-free societies like Japan), compassion, it seems, is as optional as it is inconvenient to the “it’s the baaaaaaaad guns” mantra.
Which brings us to the selectively compassionate. As if the suicide business weren’t an ugly enough example, these folks never want to acknowledge injuries prevented or assaults/confrontations de-escalated. It’d be one thing to simply deny this occurs, as they used to do, but now they run the other way: Only a person actually shot receives the up-in-lights sympathy, almost without respect to what repeat bad actors they often have been. Another point: Are the roughly one-third of homicide victims not killed with a firearm somehow less dead, less lost to their loved ones? The unwillingness of the selectively compassionate to look at root causes (again) clearly implies that “well, yes” would be their answer in a Pinocchio-rules world. It doesn’t fit the gun-hatred narrative to acknowledge that the will to compel through violence is the real issue, not the mechanism of that compulsion.
Uglier still is how this manifests itself in antipathy to “Stand Your Ground” laws. It never occurs to the selectively compassionate that the original, intended victim of a crime may be unable to effectively flee due to age, infirmity or other circumstance. These victims-to-be are out of other options for meaningful defense. Without Stand Your Ground, an attacker may continue to close, and the selectively compassionate won’t acknowledge they’ve cheerfully consumed the only time and space that was keeping these victims from a beating or worse, and from which they may never recover.
Those of impoverished imagination are perhaps the most paradoxical, as they often fancy themselves members of the imagination elite, at least in the John Lennon sense. Interestingly and dangerously enough, their imaginations don’t extend to post-confiscation black markets in arms (like here), where only the most violent have any arms whatsoever. Their imaginations and educations—they are frequently the most appallingly ignorant in actual firearms knowledge—don’t include the idea that firearms are “old tech” by pretty much any measure, and illicit channelswill appear no matter what, simply because there is so much money to be made.It never occurs to the selectively compassionate that the original, intended victim of a crime may be unable to effectively flee due to age, infirmity or other circumstance.
Another dangerous framework is the lawyer mentality, and we apologize to all our Juris Doctor friends up front. Simply, this is the belief that there will always be time to negotiate, and that a survivable level of concession can always be found. To some extent, this is fostered by the ubiquity of the cellular telephone. These people think that the “cavalry” can always be alerted, and that help will always arrive in time. To dispel this dangerously absurd fantasy (see impoverished imagination, above), mix equal parts of the Bureau of Justice Report on Response Time (only 28 percent arrive in under five minutes for “they’re killing me right now” calls) and YouTube videos of a properly run Tueller Drill and read/view daily for one week.
Moral of the story? If you think you have more than seconds to respond to real-world danger, you’re fooling yourself. That, by the way, is your choice. But what legal or moral precept allows you to compel me to join your suicide-by-criminal pact? Especially under the threat of—you guessed it—violence or incarceration if I won’t comply? Nice lot, these.
Retributional justice modelers chill us the worst, but aren’t difficult to understand. They think that if you’re murdered or otherwise savaged, putting the “perp” in jail constitutes justice. This appallingly self-centered “too-bad-for-you” worldview is essentially socialism got up as criminology. It’s a commentary on how safely, obliviously and fortuitously most of these folks have lived their lives, which is a good thing for them. But it also enfolds the lawyer mentality: What right do they have to compel you to accept their risk assessments when they have no skin whatsoever in your game before, during or after?
OK. Rant mode toggling “Off.”
In the end, the common denominator of these repellently selfish archetypes is the same, tired elitist notion: “You, Joe or Betty Average, simply can’t be trusted to solve your own self-defense problems. When it suits us, we’ll try to help—if we fail, tough. But under no circumstances will you be allowed to succeed on your own.” We could write columns and columns that demonstrate the absurd untruth and outright, old-fashioned wickedness of this, but that’s for later.
What’s for now, we’d argue, is this: Reinstating the law of the jungle is the goal of such philosophical malware—the biggest, meanest guy, or otherwise entitled entity, gets his way, period. However excellent our police forces, your only right-now power to resist such cultural terrorism is the Second Amendment, already constrained by you with decency, tens of thousands of existing laws, and a genuine respect for all human life that is remotely respectful of your own.
Five million NRA members, 12 million CCW holders and 100 million gun owners prove this every day. The lousy arguments we’ve outlined can be defeated, but it’s up to you.