Paris When It Fizzles | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Paris When It Fizzles
by

A Breath of Hot Air
It was a Jerry Seinfeld conference. A conference about nothing. Nothing, that is, beyond the opportunity to tuck into some really great meals at Paris restaurants on expense account. No snail was safe in Paris last week — and there were so many toasts most of the delegates were toast well before the week was out.

On Saturday, various presidents, prime ministers, and assorted poohbahs of almost 200 countries, some of these smaller than some American truck-stops, after laboring for a week, often at pricey restaurants over really good wine, came forth with a mouse (doubtless a solar-powered one). If the ratio of expense to product for this opera buffa did not set an NCAA record, it had to be close. This junket was to international problem-solving what the Three Stooges were to cinéma vérité.

The agreement, binding on no one, that Secretary of State John Kerry eccentrically called “a victory for all of the planet and for future generations,” would, if all parties lived up to it, lower the living standard of the entire world in order to make a trifling effect on a problem that almost certainly doesn’t exist and which politicians and bureaucrats could not do anything about even if it did. Fortunately, there are no enforcement provisions in this “agreement,” which most countries without total top-down government, at least those paying the slightest attention, won’t agree to. And those that do won’t live up to it.  

The conference generated its own extravagant carbon footprint caused by jetting these self-important swells to Paris and back, along with the daily Mercedes rallies and traffic jams at lunch time when these worthies and their battalions of hangers-on bellied up to various bars and restaurant tables to restore themselves for the afternoon’s “dialogue.”

It’s difficult to discern what the real benefits of this mega-séance were. I’ve been able to isolate only three: (1) The week-long windbaggery gave journalists some easy stories to write, (2) it made the hearts of Sierra Clubbers and other enviro-fantasists go pitty-pat, and (3) it gave President Obama another week to ignore radical Islamic jihad, a real threat as opposed to the faux threat of “climate change.”

Sheriffs Call for a Well-Armed Florida
Obama insists on locating America’s main security problem not with radical Muslim jihadists who say they want to kill all infidels and then suit their actions to their words, but with the fact that so many law-abiding Americans own guns and drive SUVs. “Common-sense” gun laws, the president claims, are the answer to mass murder. This is such a transparent non-sequitur that even Deion “Primetime” Sanders, not commonly thought of as a social analyst, sees through it.

“I don’t think that guns is picking up themselves and pulling triggers on its own,” Neon Deion said after San Bernardino and Obama’s Pavlovian gun control response to it. “It says more about people than it says about guns.”

Just so, Deion. Who knew I would live so long as to see the day that a talented but flakey ex-jock would have a more nuanced take on the most critical issue of the day than the President of the United States.

Obama is getting little help in his crusade to disarm Americans from Florida sheriffs either, several of whom are calling on Floridians to arm themselves in order to be a line of defense against terrorists.

“I can tell you the probability of needing a firearm is remote,” said Polk County (Lakeland–Winter Haven–Lake Wales) Sheriff Grady Judd, no stranger to the mot juste and not a non-directive counselor. “But it’s more important to have a gun in your hand than a cop on the phone.”

In a video on his agency’s Facebook page, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Like each of you, I’ve had enough of terrorists who decide they want to target U.S. citizens because they want to make a statement or get their 15 minutes of fame.” Ivey says he wants law enforcement and citizens to be “fully prepared for an attack or an active shooter scenario with the right tools to eliminate or at least disrupt the attack.”

Marion County (Ocala) Sheriff Chris Blair said, “If you are certified to carry a gun I encourage you to do so. Those who carry firearms responsibly and are confident in their abilities can — and should — be our first line of defense in an active shooter situation.” 

That “thunk” sound you just heard was Obama landing on his fainting couch.

Other Florida sheriffs, while not calling on civilians to be part of the first line of defense against armed terrorists, but who did make supportive statements about citizens’ right to be armed, include Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County (St. Petersburg–Clearwater), David Gee of Hillsborough (Tampa), and Chris Nocco of Pasco (New Port Richey–Dade City).

And it’s not just to foil terrorists that so many Americans cherish the right to be armed. We have plenty of garden-variety, non-political villains we need to protect ourselves from.   

Owning and using a firearm is a huge responsibility. It’s not for everybody. Those who wish to do so need to know not only how to use a gun but also know the laws on gun use. The consequences of an improper shoot can be life-changing, both for the shooter and the shootee. We’re not talking about the movies here where the shot guy gets up after the take is done. Gun owners need to give serious thought ahead of time as to exactly what circumstances justify using their weapon. Those who can’t or won’t do this have no business with a gun. 

But those who don’t wish to sub out the protection of themselves and their family to the police and hope for the best need not apologize for this. Sheriff Judd is so right that a gun in the hand at a life and death moment beats a cop on the phone. If a bad guy is breaking into your home in the middle of the night intent on killing or doing great bodily harm to you and/or yours, and you don’t have a gun, you’ve only a couple of options for use of the time remaining to you. You could dial 9-1-1 and have a conversation with a civil servant. But you might better use the limited time left you by bending over and kissing your backside goodbye, because there’s no way the cops are going to get there in time to save it. And this is no rap on the cops. They’d be there if they could. But they’re a lot further away than the bad guy. Some things you just have to do for yourself.

Larry Thornberry
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Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.
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