The urgently demanded SOMETHING which we must have NOW would not have prevented the Newtown massacre

In an editorial today, the New York Daily News declares:
Instead of focusing entirely on a gun’s mechanics, the U.S. should ban any rifle or pistol that can fire more than a very limited number of rounds over a finite period of time, including reloading.

Hunters would be able to shoot. Marksmen would have their sport. People who feel the need would have self-protection. And would-be mass murderers would lose killing power. Who, outside the National Rifle Association, can argue with that?

Under such a law Adam Lanza’s mother could still legally have owned a semi-automatic rifle, though with a smaller clip. Adam Lanza could still have taken his mother’s rifle and (after murdering her) murdered the two classrooms of first graders, though he would have had to change the clip more often.

If all this mob-style hysteria is about a law that would not even have stopped the mass murder that set off the hysteria, what is this whole debate about? I’ve already answered my own question: it’s about mob-style hysteria.

More specifically, it’s about liberals who have unleashed moral chaos on society, and now, instead of facing their own responsibility for that chaos and changing their ways, seek to perform a magical act that will make them feel that they are doing SOMETHING to bring about order.

And how have liberals unleashed moral chaos on society? Let us count just some of the ways:

  • They have removed God and morality and love of country from the public and private sphere.

  • They have dismantled all normal and traditional forms of authority.

  • They have demonized (white) men and (white) maleness.

  • They have instituted an anti-order of radical freedom in which divorce and illegitimacy and all kinds monstrously anti-social behavior, promoted in the mass media, are normal and approved.

  • They have thus left many millions of boys without moral authority and without fathers and subjected them to the anti-male tyranny of feminist females who regard normal boyish behavior as something bad to be suppressed.

  • Finally, they have thus rendered those boys, whom they have robbed of a normal childhood and a normal development, either “hyper-active” or “depressed,” and they “fix” the boys’ problems with a pervasive regime of psychoactive drugs which in many cases make them pathological.

That’s what liberals have done, with the cooperation of many “conservatives.”

And now what do the liberals want? To make the social disorder and the violence they have unleashed go away,—poof!—by limiting the firepower of semi-automatic rifles.

By the way, I am not necessarily opposed to limiting the fire-power of semi-automatic rifles intended for civilian use. But to think that that will solve America’s violence problem is mad.

- end of initial entry -

LA writes:

My understanding of the nightmarish regime imposed on boys in this country comes largely from conversations with Laura Wood, who has a profound understanding of this issue.

A reader writes:

You wonderfully sum up the ills of modern liberalism, what I’ve previously deemed the “anything goes generation,” in your list of bullet points. My question: how do I stop from being so darn frustrated about the insidious intent and practical and spiritual harm caused by liberalism? I know there’s a problem. I know what the problem is. And yet every single day I see these leftists pontificating from the Ivory Tower, all the while ignoring the moral attack they’ve engaged in. I just want to yell, “I have (at least most of) the answers, why won’t you idiots listen!!!” I try to stop reading the news and watching MSNBC, but I also want to be an engaged citizen. Unfortunately that means imbibing the downright insane prescriptions of modern liberalism.

Basically, how do I stay sane in a world where up is down and right is left?

LA replies:
One way is: do not engage directly with the left’s world, do not engage directly with liberals or try to debate them. They are evil liars who will make you crazy, and in any case you will not win the debate, because it’s their country now. View them—and expose their evil and falsity—from an impersonal distance.

Their lying system will ultimately collapse, and it will collapse because of the truth which they deny, but that will not happen as a result of our getting into one-on-one debates with them.

Andrew E. writes:

Here is Matt Bracken speaking, beginning at the 56-minute mark, on a radio program last weekend about the Newtown massacre and extrapolating on where the politics of the issue may go from here. He makes the point that the left will not go after the guns but rather the magazines and that this is wrong and must be resisted.

Reader replies to LA

I’ve resolved to do this - avoiding personal, direct arguments with liberals. Unfortunately though, doing so is not sufficient for escaping the Twilight Zone of modern liberalism. Every time I open the paper, visit a website, turn on the TV, the insanity of liberalism is there; liberalism has seeped into every single institution. Even the Mormon Church is slowly becoming adulterated by feminism. And how can I (we) maintain an “impersonal” stance when liberalism is destroying the very society in which I live, perverting the minds of those around us into hating men, whites, and traditionalism?

LA replies:

Well, I was trying to offer whatever useful advice I could; I don’t have a solution to the fact that we live in a leftist-dominated society.

Max P. writes:

The amount of energy and attention being expended by liberals in the wake of this shooting clearly shows they are irrational and do not recognize reality. As tragic as this massacre and the others that have preceded it over the past eighty years were, the cumulative number of those killed is probably no greater than five hundred people. As a comparison five hundred people will be murdered, mostly by guns, this year alone in Chicago.

Yet to bring up the annual murder rate in Chicago, or any other big city, and attempt to define it for what it is, black and Hispanic dysfunction, will jeopardize one’s career. To liberals it doesn’t exist, is no threat, and must not be discussed. However, when a shooting spree takes place, usually in a white area with white victims, they will discuss it endlessly and use it to push for tighter gun control legislation. They would have people believe that we are all in imminent danger of being killed in a similar event unless we enact their gun laws.

Are they that ignorant of mathematics to believe that five hundred tragic deaths over eighty years somehow equates to a higher probability of being a murder victim than the hundreds of deaths per city per year in the USA? Or are they, to use one of their favorite charges, just racist for focusing on crimes that affect whites disproportionately while largely ignoring the daily grind of black and Hispanic murder victims?

Laurence B. writes:

It begins with the smaller regulations—they know they can’t ban guns wholesale, just as they know that won’t solve the problem.

But next year when there’s another shooting, like the one in Tucson when the crazed shooter is just using pistols (with extra large magazines), they can say, “Look! We haven’t regulated enough!”

Then, in a hysterical state, we regulate further, and then next year further again …

Thanks for all your hard work.

David G. writes:

You wrote:

Adam Lanza could still have taken his mother’s rifle and (after murdering her) murdered the two classrooms of first graders, though he would have had to change the clip more often.

Clips feed rounds into magazines and are not changed, they are totally unrelated to the firing of the gun itself. A magazine can be either external or internal and holds the rounds, or bullets, that will be fired by the shooter. Either type of magazine can be loaded by hand or with the aid of a clip which is a metal guide that feeds rounds into the magazine in order to load the weapon. Much of the debate about assault weapons revolve around the capacity of the magazine, not the clip. For example, I own a 9mm Beretta and I have two magazines for it. One holds ten rounds and one holds fifteen rounds. The ten round magazine is blocked by the manufacturer although it it is the exact same size as the fifteen round magazine. If a magazine for a semi-automatic weapon holds a maximum of ten rounds then having a fifteen round clip means there are five rounds left on that clip after the magazine has been loaded. Here is short video that clearly explains the difference between a clip and a magazine.

Michael S. writes:

A reader writes:

You wonderfully sum up the ills of modern liberalism, what I’ve previously deemed the “anything goes generation,” in your list of bullet points.

Uh-oh. Bullet points. They’ll have to be limited, too.

December 21

Ken Hechtman writes:

It should be harder but not impossible to buy the kind of guns designed to kill large numbers of people at once. It should be easier but not completely trivial to lock up crazy people. And yes, we’d have fewer crazy adults to lock up if we didn’t create so many in childhood. It should be impossible for schools to put boys in the chemical straitjacket just for acting like boys. And last, we shouldn’t expect perfect safety in this area. We don’t expect it in any other. We could get car accident deaths down to zero if we banned private cars and forced everyone to ride the bus. But we don’t and we’re not going to.

I want to fact-check a claim made in the left press. If any of the readers have owned guns for over 30 years or know anyone who has, is there a difference between what people were buying in the 1980s and before and what they’re buying now?

James N. writes:

Ken Hechtman writes: “Is there a difference between what people were buying in the 1980s and now?”

Yes, I think so.

The perception of persons who believe that there is such a thing as the righteous use of force as to the possibility of civil conflict has increased tremendously in the past 20 years. The type and quantity of personal arms necessary in such situation are quite different than what is needed from a home robbery or one on one street situation. And, of course, maintaining the security of a Free State has nothing to do with hunting, and little to do with target practice.

That having been said, I am glad that Mr. Hechtman has joined the conversation. I’d like to pose a question to him, if I may.

In discussions with teachers over the past week, I have discovered that not only are most of them horrified and even disgusted by the thought of carrying firearms in school, or having them available in school in the event of need, but many are also strongly opposed to thinking about other forms of non-lethal force (violence) that could be used in a situation such as that which developed in Newtown a week ago. [LA replies: what sort of non-lethal force are you speaking of? You also referred to non-lethal force in your introduction to your letter to school principals, but didn’t explain what you meant.] That is to say, an overwhelmingly female and overwhelmingly leftist group does not even want to think about how to stop the next Adam Lanza when he shows up at their school.

If they are personally suicidal, that’s regrettable. If they do not want to defend little children from lethal attack, that’s outrageous.

As a generalization, people like me answer the question, “How could Adam Lanza have been stopped” along the lines of “a 9mm round right between the eyes.” Leftists appear to have great difficulty accessing and articulating this simple truth.

Does Mr. Hechtman think that the refusal of leftist teachers and others to answer a simple question is tactical (their wish to disarm the population is so great that they avoid the obvious), or does he think that his comrades are simply unable to think in a realistic way about how to protect children?

James N. replies to LA’s question:

Hitting with a club or bat. Throwing trashcans. Discharging a fire extinguisher in the face. Throwing books. Pepper spray. Etc.

Stewart W. writes:

In response to Ken Hechtman’s inquiry about gun purchases from the 1980s as compared to today, I would say that the differences are quantitative, but not qualitative. In the 1980s, civilians could purchase an AR 15-pattern rifle (or similar, such as a Ruger Mini-14), and they could purchase a “wonder nine” pistol such as a Browning Hi-Power (which has a similar capacity to the Glocks and Sigs of today), but at that point, the majority of sales were of bolt-action rifles and double-action revolvers.

The change was largely driven by a change in demand, not by the civilian market, but by the police and military markets. For the most part, civilians in the U.S. purchase what the police purchase. As the police switched from revolvers to “high capacity” 9 mm semi-autos, so did the civilians, with only a short delay. As the police added AR 15-style patrol rifles, the popularity of such rifles soared in the civilian market. In fact, one could say that the civilian market responded properly according to the original intent of the Second Amendment, keeping up with the police and military markets and thus maintaining a credible balance.

Of course, the change in the police market was largely driven by a change in the criminal market, which I suppose could be classed as a part of the civilian market, but that doesn’t change the essential point. If our society is dangerous enough for the police to need high-capacity handguns and semi-automatic rifles, it’s dangerous enough for civilians to need them. Anyone confused on the matter can reference the 1992 LA riots and the Korean shopkeepers.

Ian M. writes:

The recent and predictable hysteria over guns brought about by the Sandy Hook massacre brought to mind Kristor’s reference recently to an exchange you and he had about liberals hating uncertainty and wanting control more than anything else.

Liberals simply have a visceral reaction against the thought of a gun. The thought of a gun instantly conjures up images of how accidents might happen, and liberals can’t stand anything that might be messy or might cause an accident. An accident is unpredictable. Not to mention that an accident of course might harm somebody unequally, and that is unfair. They would prefer something they can control and wrap their minds around (a one-size-fits-all policy of the government banning guns), rather than something they cannot control (private citizens owning guns), even if the former ultimately leads to more deaths. The former “solution” is easier for their gnostic minds to understand and is more predictable … except of course when it isn’t.

By the way, both your commentary and Laura Woods’ commentary on the Sandy Hook massacre has been outstanding.

LA replies:
Thank you.

That is a very interesting explanation of the liberal phobia of guns. I don’t think I’ve heard it before.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 20, 2012 06:09 PM | Send

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