Liberalism’s Phony Solution to Gun Violence - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Liberalism’s Phony Solution to Gun Violence

In the wake of every mass shooting, the liberal response is always the same: the proposal of new laws. But even as liberals push new laws, they support prosecutors, such as the now-recalled Chesa Boudin in San Francisco, who refuse to enforce existing laws. Liberals also support an undisciplined culture that renders the populace increasingly incapable of following the law.

But if government won’t enforce the law, and the people are too corrupt to obey it, what possible good would new legislation achieve? Under liberalism’s feckless approach to crime, only the law-abiding end up as criminals. The terminus of liberalism is the transformation of American society into a kind of detention camp where criminals go free while the law-abiding are smothered under a multiplicity of unconstitutional decrees.

The law-abiding must give up their Second Amendment freedoms for the sake of a supposed collective good.

All the demagogic appeals that we have heard in recent days are essentially totalitarian and boil down to saying: the law-abiding must give up their Second Amendment freedoms for the sake of a supposed collective good. Implicit in this claim is that low crime rates can only be achieved by treating everyone, except the actual ones, like a criminal. This mindset is completely contrary to the letter and spirit of a Constitution formed for a free and self-governing people.

The dystopia to which liberals are driving America is a reinforcing hybrid of libertinism and totalitarianism: the more out of control people get, the more “gun control” and government controls liberals demand. “Gun control” without a culture of self-control will never work and can only result in tyranny, giving demagogues a pretext to deprive the people of legitimate freedoms in the name of protecting them.

America is not suffering from a paucity of laws but from a culture of lawlessness, the very culture that liberals have done so much to advance. The one common denominator in all mass shootings is that the shooter comes from a broken family. This is the obvious “root cause” of gun violence, yet liberals will never address it. They have insisted for decades that children do not need a mother and a father — that any arrangement will do. No lie of liberalism has harmed society more than that one. But even at this late date, even as the carnage of broken families comes catastrophically into focus, liberals still cling to their anti-family ideology. They babble on about “mental issues” without ever acknowledging the moral problem from which they principally arise: the breakdown of the family.

Liberalism has corrupted all the institutions of civil society that once inculcated the virtue necessary for people to observe the law. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, liberals laughed at the Ten Commandments, and are shocked to find lawbreakers in their midst.

It speaks volumes about the unseriousness of gun-control liberals that they turn to Hollywood for answers — an industry that glamorizes violence and the destruction of the traditional family. The Biden administration trotted out actor Matthew McConaughey on Tuesday to make the case for new gun laws. McConaughey put a moderate-sounding spin on “responsible gun ownership.” His heavily emotional presentation, while certainly more adroit than anything Biden can produce, was designed to make us all feel better about unconstitutional gun-grabbing. The implication of his remarks — “this time is different” and so forth — is that the right to gun ownership turns on external events, as if the Second Amendment applied to 18-year-olds at the time of the founding (many of whom were married and had wives and children to protect) but no longer applies in an age of mass shootings.

Such ad hoc treatment of the Second Amendment can only kill it. The Founding Fathers would have been astonished to learn that a large swath of legal adults should no longer have an effective right to self-defense owing to the perceived immaturity of their peers.

Imagine if a Hollywood star proposed an age restriction on abortion. The cries of outrage from liberal elites would be deafening. Hollywood’s infantilizing of young legal adults is nothing if not selective. Hollywood usually insists on their maturity and autonomy. (READ MORE: The Media’s Holiday Narrative: All Guns, No Abortion)

In the end, the only real solution to gun violence is the enforcement of existing laws and the revival of a civil society that buttresses them. Liberalism sabotages both. Its “real conversation” about guns is nothing more than an excuse to turn America into a servile state where the powerful alone possess guns and constitutional freedoms shrivel in proportion to “security” claims.

“Bipartisanship” in such a state is just collusion against the Constitution. Instead of cowering before this week’s gun-control demagoguery, the Republicans should point out that a liberalism unwilling to enforce the law or foster a culture of respect for it is in no position to propose new ones.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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