TAMPA, Fl, December 26, 2012 ― Perhaps 21st century Americans are not worthy of liberty. Reason is a prequalification of liberty, and Americans don’t demonstrate the ability to exercise it at all, at least not in a political context. It may be time to admit that a century of “progressive” education has transformed Americans into a herd of dependent, unthinking sheep.
Any person capable of even the most elementary reasoning would immediately conclude that not only shouldn’t the Newtown tragedy prompt a national discussion, but that there is no such thing as a “national discussion” in the first place.
Do Americans really believe that the 300 million people occupying this nation are actually participating in a discussion?
During the Republican primaries, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich often referred to “having a conversation with the country.” I assumed that I was not alone in rolling my eyes. Any lucid person would assume that Gingrich was either delusional, insincere or both to even suggest that any “conversation” he could participate in actually involved the wishes or interests of every individual in the country.
If most Americans believe there is a “national conversation” going on about guns, a reason to have one or even the possibility that one could be had, we’re in deep trouble. This is all just a well-orchestrated show to herd Americans to a place where they will accept being disarmed without raising too much fuss.
The debate is already framed. “Something must be done.” Now “we’re” just bickering about what that will be.
Think for a moment how idiotic this is. It is suggested that we pass a law that affects 300 million people because of the actions of a solitary lunatic. It’s happened before? So what? You could fit every person that has committed a similar crime during the past fifty years into the kitchen of a Greenwich Village apartment. Somehow we’re to believe that the actions of these few have some relevance to the rights of hundreds of millions.
The math doesn’t work.
Yet, this is only a secondary and utilitarian argument for rejecting gun control. The most important is that keeping and bearing whatever arms one wishes is a right, not a privilege. It is not granted by the 2nd Amendment. That amendment merely attempts to ensure that the right it refers to is not violated by the government.
Rights do not change based upon the results of any discussion, national or otherwise. Rights cannot be voted away, not even if 99 percent of the people wish them to be. The only question is whether they are respected or violated.
The liberal tradition recognizes three basic human rights: life, liberty and property. As flawed as it was, the U.S. Constitution once protected these better than any statist institution in history.
Governments have always attacked these basic rights. The American government has been no different. From the moment the Constitution was ratified, forces were at work to erode the very modest limits on government power it contained. Today, they are all but eliminated.
The “progressive” movement has been an all-out war on life, liberty and property. Property was exterminated first, as far as being recognized as a “right” in the minds of most Americans. Once no longer so recognized, divesting the population of it was a relatively minor undertaking.
Liberty was next. If Americans were deluded enough to think that they could still exercise this right after rulers in a distant capitol pronounced on the number of gallons of water they were allowed in their toilets, then all doubt that liberty is dead in America should be erased with one trip to the airport. Watching grinning idiots laughing and joking with TSA goons as they are investigated for a crime without probable cause and while their children are molested and terrorized leaves no doubt.
Finally, we have the right to life. It is logical that this right is more easily violated when people have become accustomed to violations of liberty and property. Having accepted dependence on government economically and being told what they can and cannot do, it is a much smaller step for such a morally and intellectually bankrupt populace to give up responsibility for their lives.
That is the American population today. They are unable to reason sufficiently to deserve the liberty they supposedly cherish. As Butler Shaffer once said, they are unable “to identify causal connections between actions undertaken by political systems and the consequences thereof,” such as how minimum wage laws cause unemployment.
Worse yet, they imagine cause and effect relationships that do not exist. They believe that a law banning guns will keep guns out of the hands of criminals, even though they are perfectly aware that anyone in American can obtain banned drugs within 20 minutes of a phone call on any night of the week. They believe that a policeman a mile away can cause one’s life to be preserved when one is attacked by an armed criminal. How? The question is irrelevant for those incapable of reason.
It is tragic indeed to watch this spectacle play out to its inevitable end. When the last nail is hammered into the coffin of American liberty, one can only wonder where and when it will emerge again.
Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.