A Note on Guns and Violence
by

Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to gun regulations. We have gun regulations. We always have had gun regulations, gun control if you want to use the despised term. When Wyatt Earp told Ike Clanton to leave his guns at the town line and, while he was as it, to drive his dern herd of cattle around Tombstone instead of right down Main Street, that was gun control. Earp did not imply no-guns, concealed or otherwise, or law and order might have perished.

And note a side effect of Ike’s, not Wyatt’s, negligence: Billy Clanton was a kid, not out of his teens, and he was killed in cold blood by one of the Earp brothers, when he was disarmed and wounded.

Guns don’t kill people, criminals, etc. And cops don’t kill kids, or minority Americans — that would include Jews and Koreans and Puerto Ricans, often targeted by urban malefactors who find enough bitterness in themselves to envy these hardworking people’s long hours and hard work keeping little convenience stores open.

Ted Nugent is right: mush-brained kids are not in a strong position to tell anybody what to do. We (courteously) objected to Miss Laura Ingraham the other day, she should have responded like Mr. Nugent, not like a corporate stooge beholden to young Murdochs who give the impression they are embarrassed by their patriarch’s Aussie straight-shooting gumption.

Appeasement never works, neither with teenagers nor with cowboy gunmen nor with Koreans (not ours, the bad ones) nor with terrorists hiding behind children, as they are doing, again, on Israel’s front line.

Kids are kids, and with occasional exceptions they simply cannot help themselves when tempted to act and speak without thinking. I do not mean to generalize, and I note that adults are adults and with occasional exceptions they simply cannot help themselves when tempted to act and speak without thinking. When adults are the actors, the consequence is serious damage and a victory for evil, whereas with kids, the damage they do is to themselves.

Heartbreaking, wasteful, awful. Go to any diner and put a dime in the jukebox, you’ll hear a load of it. Combine the two, adults and kids, adults manipulating kids or is it the other way, it turns to real poison.

The solipsistic nihilism that accompanies the modern age denies this, avoids its implications. It always finds support in unholy alliances of false adult pipers and mush-head teens.

That children are sacrificed by wicked or misguided adults for false causes is not something that this or any other generation is the first to discover. Every war in history proves it. Farther along, maybe, we’ll know all about it.

This is the Passover season, and on Easter day we — I use the first person plural — in Westerndom again celebrated a tremendous victory snatched from the jaws of total defeat.

This is something that must endure, lest we all perish. No less than Europe, as a place and a civilization, cannot survive without Jews, nor can the Jewish people long last without their younger brothers.

Heavy thinking we have always; in matters of public policy, however, we can get away from it and ponder practical measures, at least in our free society, where policies can be debated and tested, adapted, rejected.

Debates on gun violence recur regularly, and invariably land in an intellectual ditch, because one side insists on ignoring the two most important questions: One, who pulls a trigger, the gun, or the human in whose hand it lodges? And, two, is inner city, or for that matter outer city, gun violence primarily a result of crazy desperate people shooting one another, or of policemen hunting down prey chosen on the basis of skin color, mother tongue, or whether they are riding bicycles?

The Earps functioned in a regime of gun control. Today’s lawmen operate in one that is stricter, many or them want it to be even more strict, and also in a regime of accountability the Earps would not have thought realistic, though they would have readily enough understood the principle.

When cops today make a mistake, they almost always pay a heavy price; it often seems unfair, because these mistakes can happen in terrible split seconds of apparent, or even real, danger. They chose the job and were taught the rules.

It has become common in pop psychobabble to refer to “enablers” of sick or wicked souls. Conservatives regularly accuse liberal feminists, for example, of being “enablers” of sex maniacs when these share their political agenda, by finding excuses for their crimes or simply denying them. We know, more broadly, about enablers of alcoholics and other addicts.

It is a sad day for journalism when a large media firm acts as an enabler to the debasing of a so important a public issue as gun violence. Miss Ingraham is reported to be off the air for a week or two. Perhaps her bosses are sweating out the cyber bullies. We might suggest they get a life. Get an Earp.

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