Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Making our society safe... How it used to be done

Newtown, Connecticut is on my mind. What a horror. What evil. The political among us have already seized upon the event to call for disarming all of those who didn't do it. Or, quoting Glen Reynolds in USA Today quoting Williams Burroughs:

"After a shooting spree," author William Burroughs once said, "they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it." Burroughs continued: "I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military."

Don't forget organized crime and other bad guys like the drug cartels in Northern Mexico who basically do not give a s**t about what is illegal or not.  They will also have guns, but you will not.
Originally Mexico had a clause in its Constitution, very similar to the Second Amendment, which guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms. Over the years, through incremental regulation, it has reached the point where only a few have such a right. They are the notoriously corrupt police, the army, the navy, the wealthy, the politicians and the criminals. Citizens are disarmed.

Long ago when I was young and traveling in Mexico, I used to worry about being shot by the only bullet in Tamaulipas, usually I fantasized that I would be shot by a Federale whom I had failed to bribe properly.  The constant was that I would simply become desaparecido... disappeared.  Gone, because the Citizens are powerless.

Have any of you read the stories as I have, about the small towns on the Mexican side of the border that wake up with hang tags on their doors, as if Fedex or UPS tried to deliver a package, but the tags inform them that they must vacate their town, abandon their homes within 24 hours, or they will be murdered along with their wives and children? These stories call to mind the plots to American movies about the frontier, about American folk heroes of the West. 

Mitt Romney's relatives in Mexico are part of a small community who have chosen to arm themselves, in violation of the law, to defend their town against attacks by the drug cartels.

Consider, if you will the cultural heritage reflected in the plots of our most cherished movies and literature even today. Ask "What is the natural order?". In movies consider, "The Magnificent Seven", "Open Range", "Shane", "Outlaw Josey Wales", "True Grit", "3:10 to Yuma" (1957 and 2007), "Pale Rider", "Torino". All of these plots revolve around a defenseless, either disarmed or ineffectual victim or victims, lacking skills in self defense, who depend on the law and good will to protect them, and are hopelessly vulnerable to the evil villain, until the hero arrives.

The hero is classically American. Usually hesitant to take up the murderous skill with which he has been gifted through hard experience, but ultimately willing to do so in the face of the uncontested murderous evil embodied by the villains in the story, the hero, not without knowledge of his own mortality,energized by outrage at the intimidation and bullying of the villain, knowledge of his own skill, and a desire to protect the innocent, takes up arms to protect them and himself even at the cost of his own life.

This willingness to fight for one's own life and that of one's compatriots against other men of evil intent is what is admirable in humans and is, in America, part of our folklore. Americans who populated the frontier were far from laws and institutional protections. They ultimately were responsible for their own safety, they could either step up, defend themselves, or die. The world may have changed somewhat, iphones, interconnectivity and so on, but Man has not changed. Man is a predator, voluntarily tamed by civilization, or not. Civilization is won and held amongst men only by armed conflict.

At a school, the police will, in the end, only arrive to assist with the dead. Any effective defense must come from within.  Jews who remember the absence of resistance to the Nazis espouse "never again" as a guiding principle.  They know the origins and growth of evil are dependent upon passivity in the face of evil.

Why then, the ongoing desire by the Left to disarm those that are law abiding and would possibly step up to defend the defenseless? In any one of these culturally iconic films, did the people in the small Kansas town, plagued by attacks from the outside, disarm themselves and allow the criminals to keep their arms? No. They stood their ground, for better or for worse, they kept their arms, practiced marksmanship, attempted to disarm the outsiders and hired skilled gun hands as sheriff when they needed to. Some died.

The answer is in the concept of Utopia.  They wish to that Man was not what he is.  They wish that God were not real and Man is good if only led in the right direction (by themselves).   In their Utopia they are God.  Whatever it is, say it and it is so.  So if I say Guns are evil and Man is not... is  it so? 


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