I’m still a little overwhelmed by the events of Valentine’s Day.
People died or were injured and should not have been. It never should have happened. As with any other shooting of this type, we will have days of analysis about the drugs that this young man stopped taking, about the easy availability of the weapons he used, and why stronger measures need to be put in place to limit the availability of these weapons from unstable members of the public.
What a bunch of nonsense.
I was hit with a surprisingly poignant question from my wife after the death toll was first announced:
Can I learn to fire a gun?
Wow. That hit me like a ton of bricks.
One thing about your friendly neighborhood Conservative Reader that you should know is that 25 years ago he converted from Liberalism. One of the vestiges of that old life is that we have never had a gun in our house (and really never thought I could hurt anyone no matter what they did to me) until a few years ago when the neighborhood rabbit population needed a little discouragement (in the form of a .177 air rifle). Even then, I treat the thing like poison. I will tell you that getting married (we’re on our 22nd year) changed my views on self-defense, but I’ve always felt that having a gun in the house was dangerous and unnecessary. One sentence from my wife has completely changed my perspective.
I know I’m not alone in this, and I’m struggling to figure out why today, in 2008, we think it’s better (as a society) to avoid violence and weapons. I know it wasn’t this way 100 years ago.
Then it occurred to me: the post-WWII social experiment to pacify America has failed.
What am I talking about?
I’m talking about a sincere and noble quest to make America the safest, most prosperous place in the world by building generations of people that are more and more intellectual, productive (at work), peaceful and leisure focused (outside of work) and having all that they could want or need, would allow society to live without fear of violence, economic collapse, or dramatic political change.This is really more a set of conclusions based on the observations of the world as I’ve lived the past 47 years. I am not thoroughly versed in the realities of the public policies, or philosophical discussions that may have led us here, and because of that, I will simply state my observations (and related opinions) but caution the reader that I’m not an expert in much of anything, so do the research to ensure you know the facts. I will endeavor to do so as well.
What I see is this:
- Any form of violence is considered inappropriate in our society by most… not always illegal, but treated with clear contempt. One example, I recall much of my mother’s family were boxing fans as I was growing up. Boxing is still legal, but those that are fans tend to be treated with the sort of appreciation given a loud cell-phone user in a French restaurant. Probably the only sport that still has some element of violence and yet enjoys wide-ranging support in the US is US Football. You don’t have to convince me about the medical issues with professional boxing, I get that. Bungy-jumping isn’t much safer.
- The right of parents to discipline their children physically is now severely controlled to the point that even the slightest physical contact is considered wrong and even the suspicion of child abuse (which I in no way condone) is grounds to lose your children. I can lean on no more than anecdotal evidence, but my experience tells me that if parents do not use (what I consider to be) appropriate physical discipline during the first few years of child-rearing, those children will have problems with obedience, appropriate behavior, performance, and dealing with stressful situations.
- The domestication of animals and the background of Darwinism and emotional attachment to animals has led to concepts of humane treatment that make it harder and harder for people to be comfortable being meat eaters, or game hunters. The wearing of real animal furs is generally considered anathema.
- Inappropriate behavior by children, even in it’s most subtle forms, is now elevated to the level of criminality. From the McGruff the Crime Dog’s Blog site : “Does someone tease you, call you names, leave you out, or spread rumors about you? You may have a bully.” Yes, you might, and I will concede that the site has some good suggestions for children, but it seems we’re also communicating that every little slight should be treated as an assault. The word “bully” at one time referred to people that used violence or threats of violence to force their way on others. Better, I think, to incorporate Tai Kwon Do into the PhysEd curriculum.
- The average person in our society is unable to resist someone else who attacks with any kind of weapon. My father grew up in New York City in the 30’s and 40’s. I would hazard to say that even today, if he were attacked by someone with a knife, he would stand a chance of disarming them, with only the skills he picked up on the streets of New York and at the YMCA (oh yeah, he was a boxer in those days, too). I would probably have less of a chance, but some because I’ve thought about what I could do. 
- The picture to the right is of a statue that was a gift from Luxembourg to the United Nations in 1988. I appreciate the intended message… it sounds really nice. But unrealistic and unfortunately, too many believe that a war-free world and violence-free world are possible. No sale here.
So we are in a general state of thinking that guns are no longer necessary, and we should all just passively “get along”. The police and military will take care of protecting us.
As a result, most of us here in America live the lives of future victims. Unlike the man in the story I read  at Sister Toldjah’s site this morning.
Although I am very concerned about the continued onslaught of the left upon our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, I am even more concerned about a nation that is becoming progressively brainwashed into believing that the way to become safer is by taking weapons away from everyone (a less likely event than escorting all of the illegal immigrants out of the US) and to live lives of quiet safety. We’ve proved that this is impossible.
You are always going to have people that will try to kill others, and will have the means to do so. We need anti-victims. People that are willing to arm themselves adequately to protect themselves from the inevitable violence of others. This means hand-to-hand fighting training, the willingness to carry a weapon of some kind and be trained in it’s use, and a legal system that allows the carrying of concealed weapons.
I’m convinced this will not only reduce the number of future victims, but also the number of future incidents. There is nothing as effective as the deterrent of knowing, without a doubt, that others can and will stop you.
Getting back to my wife, if she is so strongly stirred by this event to express her own fear and a desire to do what she can to be an anti-victim, I will support her. And I will do everything I can to protect her.
What about you? Victim, or anti-victim?
I also recommend to you an excellent article written last year at the Michael Reidenbach site  (I only just discovered this as I was finishing up this posting). It’s signed by “ST”, but I have no idea if it is Sister Toldjah  or someone else entirely. However, it does express some similar thoughts at a more abstract level on this topic.