by Tom Donelson on December 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM
“What is the gun community going to do about this tragedy? I dunno, what is the gay community going to do about Penn State?”- From Ann Althouse's blog and Instapundit
Ms. Althouse's point was that the gun community or the NRA are no more responsible for what happened in Newtown than the gay community should be held responsible for Jerry Sandusky's abuse of boys. If someone would have argued that gay people or a gay lifestyle were responsible for what Jerry Sandusky did while coaching at Penn State, they would be considered repugnant and rightly so. So why should the NRA be held responsible for the multiple deaths instituted by a man affected by severe mental illness?
I could repeat all the arguments of the importance of the Second Amendment in a well reasoned, coherent fashion, but instead I will simply make one point that is truth: none of the laws being proposed would have stopped what happened. The reaction, post Newtown, has bordered on the hysteria. Consider the reaction of Professor Erik Loomis, who fumed, “I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick” and then he added, “F**k the National Rifle Association and its policies to put crazy guns into everyone’s hands” and “You are g*dd*mn right we should politicize this tragedy.” At this point, Loomis decided to declare NRA membership as a terrorist organization. This was just one example of what the left's reaction was. Writer Joyce Carol Oates tweeted that the NRA is to blame for the evil that occurred and accused those of us who believe in the liberty of owning a gun as guilty of “felony homicide.”
Rational thoughts often go out the window when discussing the Second Amendment and when a tragedy occurs, how often are these events politicized? How about every time. Within an hour of the last bullet having murdered the last of the innocent, the left and anti-Second Amendment advocates were already in full force, demanding gun control and feeling that their moment has come to eviscerate the Second Amendment. In the Obama era, the left’s motto is, “Let no crisis go to waste.” Even during the debate on the fiscal cliff, Obama brought up the massacre to seek support for his agenda.
Part of the problem is making sense of the senseless nature of this massacre and as Professor Althouse observed, “We want things to make sense. Our fervent desire for sense about what happened in the past makes us amendable to related ideas for making sense. Politicians and policymakers step forward to fulfill/manipulate this need for meaning.” What we are seeing are politicians and activists manipulating events, while we seek meaning for the unimaginable. The day that 27 children and their teachers were murdered by a mad man with several guns, The Drudge Report reported a story about a knife-wielding Chinese slashing 22 children and an adult in an elementary school, nor was this the first incident in China. Two years earlier, another Chinese man slashed 28 children, two teachers, plus a security guard. This merely shows that evil people will not be deterred by laws or society norms to bring upon their own version of hell on earth. Guns are not the only mechanism for mass murder.
The irrational can happen anywhere but to allow the emotionality of the moment to deny our rights is even more irrational. As gun owners become demonized and our constitution continues to go under siege, the irrational becomes the norm. Ann Althouse observed in her blog, “1. People believe in their rights, and it's that real belief that gives life and endurance to our rights; 2. This belief in gun rights endured over time, even as elite legalists largely believed they were just about nothing (so it's not an abstruse, academic topic but nearly the opposite); and 3. The Second Amendment doesn't "convey" rights it refers to a right and declares that it "shall not be infringed. There was a time when rights were real to liberals.”