Robert Meyer
Gun control and celebrating diversity won't curtail terrorism
By Robert Meyer
July 1, 2016

I have never been a firearms enthusiast, sportsman or avid hunter. I live in a rural area and when I'm outside doing yard work, I can hear the rapid discharge of firearms at the rifle range down the road from my residence. I'm not likely to join them soon. I have never condoned violent solutions as anything but a last resort. Despite my lack of natural affinity toward firearms, I view them in the context of today's culture, as an iconic symbol of liberty and self-government.

Once again, we have a violent gun incident, this time in Orlando Florida, resulting in multiple deaths. In fact, the Orlando shootings are among the worse mass killing atrocities that have occurred on American soil. Despite the fact that the perpetrator had clear terrorist motivations, the issue of terrorism is downplayed while the themes of weapons restrictions, and in this case, the disrespect for cultural diversity, are amplified to inordinate levels.

First and foremost, this tells me that the liberal constituencies within our society haven't really taken the domestic threat of terrorism seriously enough. In the same breathe that foreign terrorist ideologies are even mentioned, we hear about the possibility of a worse threat coming from some facet of right-wing extremism They are still perpetually willing to suppress or downplay the frequency to which these events are tied to the ideology of jihadist extremism, perhaps to avoid the offense taken by a cultural minority. Secondly, we see peripheral issues amplified at though they are the main problem. This is nothing short of Orwellian thinking and placing one's head in the sand.

I am opposed to any additional legal restrictions being placed on firearms, because I don't believe it will solve the issue of gun violence or curtail the incidence of terrorism significantly more than the laws that already exist do. If cultural and moral restrictions against murder do not weigh on one's conscience, why would laws restricting the purchase of "assault weapons" prevent a terrorist willing to die, from acquiring them through any means possible? So who would it harm? The law abiding citizen who might have such a weapon to counter the criminal element that already processes such firepower. That person would have to become a law-breaker to be on an equal playing field. While firearms opponents frequently argue that nobody needs high magazine rapid fire weapons for hunting, what bothers me most is the "blame firearms first" reaction that these tragic incidents seem to inspire.

Notice also, that so many of the multiple-fatality incidents occur in "gun free" zones, creating an impression for the killers that they are more likely to go unchallenged in their chosen venues. Of course, this also means they can inflict more damage against the defenseless. While gun-free zones may curtail accidental discharges, impulsive acts and intoxicated abuses of firearms, we have seen the disadvantages as well, though these disadvantages are downplayed.

To add emotional appeal, liberals frequently add in the number of suicides committed with guns to pad the statistics. Since few people take their own lives with assault rifles, it is obvious that the campaign goes far beyond "a few sensible restrictions" on firearms. See it as an incremental agenda accomplished in steps. What is going to happen the minute a terrorist action occurs after any new restrictions are put in place? We won't call for actions against terrorism, but call for more restrictions on weapons.

Those in favor of gun control dismiss the constitutional objections presented by people citing The Second Amendment. Often they will say that the Founders never anticipated the current state of gun violence and the invention of semi-automatic, rapid fire weapons. Perhaps not, but the founders accounted for the principles that undergird contemporary issues. Just because James Madison never contemplated wiretaps, does not mean there is no constitutional principles governing current technology. The argument is rather interesting considering that many Founders insisted that the Constitution would be inadequate to govern a people not responsive to the internal governance of moral and religious strictures. In spite of that, secularists want a society devoid of such mores. It can only make a thinking person wonder if we are looking in the wrong place when we assign blame for violence.

Often the point is made that countries where strict gun control exists experience less gun violence. While this may be true, it appears that parts the U.S., where stricter local gun regulations exist, there is actually more violence. What accounts for this disparity? Part of it is because the U.S. has much higher cultural diversity and dependence on self-government, than these other countries being compared, resulting in more potential inherent conflict. Other countries in Europe are beginning to see the effects of taking on large quantities of immigrants, resulting in more cultural dissonance and violence. Don't underestimate this as a factor in Britain's decision to leave the E.U.

If liberals were consistent with the libertarian affinity they apply to sexual morality and reproductive issues, as it concerns weapons rights, they might sport bumper stickers saying "If you don't believe in using firearms, then don't own one."

© Robert Meyer


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Robert Meyer

Robert Meyer is a hardy soul who hails from the Cheesehead country of the upper midwest... (more)


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