The Unserious ‘Serious’ Discussion About Guns
George Neumayr
by

The philosophy underlying liberalism is at once totalitarian and relativistic. It proposes more government and less morality. It laughs at the mustiness of the Ten Commandments, then demands respect for a flurry of new laws. It scoffs at old codes of self-control, then presses for “gun control” and greater state controls on this or that freedom.

From this ethos, regnant for decades in elite circles, has come an out-of-control society in which pols reflexively respond to unspeakable tragedy by advocating more and more laws for a people whose gradual loss of virtue guarantees that they will violate them. The terminus of this toxic admixture of totalitarianism and relativism is the transformation of society into a kind of prison: an endless number of laws and deprivation of freedoms imposed on an increasingly soulless citizenry. Of course, the people running such a system, the totalitarian elite, make sure to exempt themselves from the confines of the prison even as they boast of its glorious benefits. Recall the Soviet thugs who would impress Western visitors with stats proving the Soviet Union’s “low crime rate,” or Fidel Castro showing visiting dignitaries “how safe Havana is.”

That is the utopia to which gun-control liberals hope to lead America. They clamor for a tragedy-proof America in which “nothing bad ever happens to anyone,” except the massive loss of their freedom. The gun control lobby’s “solution” to crime isn’t the recovery of a civil society that teaches virtue but the granting of more and more power to a state that treats everyone like a criminal.

Conspicuously absent from all the sanctimonious lectures on gun control this week was any grappling with America’s cultural meltdown, which is the most comprehensible explanation for a spike in mass shootings even as laws and restrictions multiply. Indeed, the loudest voices for gun control come from the degenerate cultural forces most responsible for that meltdown. They demand that America “get serious about gun control,” even as they get less and less serious about the values and institutions most essential to the preservation of civilization. Educrats who have decimated America’s public schools profess shock at an increase in “school shootings”; late-night hosts who roll out the red carpet for blood-and-gore stars wonder at the “glamour of violence”; an elite that prides itself on destroying the traditional family is aghast at the rise of so many mass-shooting misfits who come from “broken families.”

All of the hasty calls for more gun control from these preening frauds conveniently ignored that the Las Vegas shooter used illegal guns. If anything, the tragedy is an indictment of their exclusive focus upon legislation as a solution to criminal pathology. That they would politicize it so quickly, without bothering to engage any of the facts of the tragedy, underscores the opportunistic totalitarianism always lurking beneath their demagoguery. They never let a crisis or a mass shooting go to waste.

According to the media, late-night comedy talk show hosts now serve as the “conscience of the nation” at these fraught moments, which sounds about right for a democracy as fatuous as ours. In between showing clips from the latest demented, violence-drenched Hollywood movie, they are going to lead the nation towards “sensible gun control,” apparently. “Sensible gun control” is the elite’s euphemism for making sure that everyone except their bodyguards is deprived of guns.

Beware of the word “sensible” in the mouth of statists. It is what they say right before they violate a right. Obama’s call for “sensible conscience protections” foreshadowed his fiat violating the consciences of all employers by forcing them to cover the abortifacients and contraceptives of their employees. “Sensible gun control” foreshadows the destruction of the Second Amendment.

The left is neither sensible nor serious about controlling wicked behavior. If it were, it would seek to shore up the foundations of civilization, without which the multiplication of laws is useless, to which the tragedy in Las Vegas attests. It is insensible to think that good laws can protect the innocent without a functioning civil society that reinforces them. It is precisely the fruit of that civil society, a culture of self-control, that the liberal elite has done the most to poison. Liberals favor “gun control” without self-control. In the end, this just means more and more government control — an endless cycle of relativism leading to totalitarianism.

George Neumayr
George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author of No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.
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