Today???s ???dog-bites-man??? tale of unsurprising moral degeneracy is the mad scramble of gun-control zealots to use the dead of Colorado as props for political theater.
Of course they were going to do this. It???s as predictable as their utter lack of interest in high-profile stories of law-abiding gun owners using their weapons to stop crimes and save innocent lives. Just the other day, a 71-year-old man in Florida used his gun to thwart an armed robbery at an Internet café in Ocala. For that matter, as Michelle Malkin pointed out, Colorado has a history of armed citizens putting a stop to murderous rampages.
It???s also predictable that gun-control zealots serenely ignore the blood-soaked streets of ???gun-free??? utopias like Chicago. Few beliefs are held more fervently, with less evidence, than the notion of gun-control laws reducing violent crime. The only comparable fantasy that comes to mind is the Left???s refusal to accept the Laffer Curve, which demonstrates that rising tax rates do not directly correlate to increased government revenue.
So, we got CNN blowhard Piers Morgan swiftly declaring via Twitter: ???Horrendous details from this Colorado cinema shooting. America has got to do something about its gun laws. Now is the time??? More Americans will buy guns after this, to defend themselves, and so the dangerous spiral descends. When/how does it stop???? Got that, law-abiding Americans? You???re just as ???dangerous??? as the crooks in Piers Morgan???s eyes.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg quickly chimed in: ???I mean, there???s so many murders with guns every day. It???s just gotta stop. And instead of these two people, President Obama and Governor Romney talking in broad things about, they want to make the world a better place. OK. Tell us how. And this is a problem. No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right to hear from both of them, concretely, not just in generalities, specifically, what are they going to do about guns????
Hollywood actor John Leguizamo at least paused to shed a tear for the victims before demanding more gun control laws: ???My heart goes 2 all the victims families in Colorado. No one should have to go thru that. When r we gonna get guns removed in this country?!??? Note: he does not mean removing the guns from his bodyguards, or those of his Hollywood pals. Security is for big stars and top politicians, not the Little People.
Author Salman Rushdie decided to make the gun-control point with a lame pun based on the name of the villain in The Dark Knight Rises: ???The ???right to bear arms??? is the real Bane of America.??? Actually, it???s the real Constitution of America.
Something tells me the gun control plank in the Obama 2012 platform is about to grow noticeably broader, as White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters, ???I would say as you know the president believes we need to take common sense measures that protect the Second Amendment rights of Americans while ensuring that those who should not have guns under existing laws do not get them. We???re making progress in that regard in terms of improving the volume and quality of information on background checks but I have nothing additional on that for you. This is obviously a recent event.???
Senior Time correspondent Michael Grunwald strove to justify gun-control ghoulishness, as noted at NewsBusters: "There is nothing wrong with politicizing tragedy. If advocates or experts or even politicians think their policy ideas can prevent the next Aurora - by preventing potential killers from obtaining guns, by making sure potential victims can carry guns, or by some other method - then by all means, now is the time to spread the word.??? (Emphasis mine.)
This ties into a point I find myself making with increasing frequency lately: the immense growth of our government naturally means everything has become more politicized. That???s what happens when the political sphere expands. People who hate the way politics have wormed their way into every aspect of our lives had better be ready for even more of it. You can???t have Big Government without politicizing tragedy, triumph, and everything in between.
The gun control fetish is part of the Left???s general appetite for controlling everything, particularly things they perceive important to their class and political enemies. ???Gun culture??? is a term of sneering derision for them. Because gun ownership seems like an abstract right to many liberals ??? something that means little to them, but has great value among the hayseeds out in flyover country ??? gun control is an act of moral posturing for them, a cost-free way to express their superiority over the rubes. It lets them sound as if they hold all the answers to complex issues, if only the rest of us would accept their simple wisdom.
It???s also one of those childishly simple ideas liberals latch onto: no more guns = no more crime! (Other examples include more welfare = no poverty, higher taxes = no more deficits, and more government spending = more jobs.) Surely crime, like any other social problem, can be erased with greater State control! Its persistence is merely evidence that the government has not become powerful enough yet.
But most of all, gun rights have become an intolerable symbol of individuality to the Left. That includes individual responsibility. These are poisonous ideas to collectivists, who hold that no one is truly ???responsible??? for anything. Entrusting law-abiding citizens with guns is the flip side of holding criminals solely responsible for their actions, as both are profound statements of respect for personal accountability. Collectivists are not fond of the notion that certain rights cannot be stripped away because an all-knowing government no longer trusts its citizens. They don???t like the idea that responsible individuals should be trusted with control over their own lives, and held accountable for the results.
We don???t want to give maniacs veto power over how we live our lives. There have been hasty suggestions to pull The Dark Knight Rises out of theaters, for fear of copycat crimes. The debut of the film was actually canceled in Paris. The actors, director, and screenwriter of the film are no more responsible for the Colorado massacre than was the manufacturer of the guns James Holmes used??? or the manufacturers of the chemicals he mixed to create his explosives. Sane and honest people cannot be expected to live their lives according to rules written by the deranged and criminal.
There???s no guarantee of safety in this world. Could an armed citizen have taken down the Colorado maniac before he killed all those people? Could he have been disarmed with super-strict gun control laws? The answer to both questions is ???maybe.??? The former possibility has better odds ??? as the saying goes, when you need the police in seconds, they???re just minutes away ??? and it???s more consistent with the vision our Founders held for a responsible, independent citizenry, whose rights to self-defense and self-determination are deeply entwined.