Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Courage to Do Nothing

Louis Woodhill

As a parent with only one child, the massacre at the Sandy Hook elementary school was so horrific that I couldn’t even make myself follow the story.  But the incident raises significant-enough questions of policy that I feel that it is worth applying unconventional logic to the aftermath.
Here is what America must have the wisdom and courage to do about the Sandy Hook incident: nothing—nothing at all.
It is a progressive fantasy that the world can be made perfect if only we pass enough laws and hire enough bureaucrats.  It can’t be.  Laws can only impact the conduct of the law-abiding.  And, sane, law-abiding citizens don’t commit mass murder.
Chicago has draconian gun laws, while in Houston, any citizen with no criminal record can get a permit to carry a concealed weapon out on the street.  And, the murder rate in Chicago is 29% higher than it is in Houston.
Chicago’s strict gun control laws have had no impact on gun murders in Chicago, because the killings are being done by criminals, who don’t obey laws.
But wait a minute!  The idea of a suicidal madman walking into a school and shooting little children dead is absolutely terrifying.
Yes, exactly.
Although Adam Lanza did not yell “Allah Akbar!” as he pulled the trigger, he might as well have.  His act was a terrorist attack.  What he did was no different than hijacking an airliner and flying it into a building filled with innocent people.  His intended victims died, he died, and his act attracted a lot of media attention.
Yes, Lanza was serving a cause that existed only in his demented mind, but were the young men that perpetrated 9/11 any less insane?  What difference does it make whether homicidal/suicidal insanity is caused by religious fanaticism or by a virus that attacks the brain?
In his 1957 science fiction novel, Wasp, author Eric Frank Russell explained the essence of terrorism, with the following analogy.
Of itself, a wasp can be little more than an annoyance to a (non-allergic) human being.  The average person outweighs a wasp by a factor of 1.4 million.
However, occasionally, a wasp will fly in through the window of a speeding car, and the end result will be the death of everyone in the vehicle.  Can a single wasp kill four or five adult human beings?  No, but a human driver’s panicky reaction to a wasp can cause their deaths.
The goal of a terrorist is to provoke his target into taking defensive measures that do more damage than the terrorist is capable of inflicting on his own.
Was forcing airline passengers to perform self-service strip searches in perpetuity a logical response to 9/11?  No.  Simply reinforcing the cockpit doors of airliners and arming the pilots would have been sufficient to ensure that what happened on September 11, 2001 could never happen again.  By inflicting TSA on ourselves, we made terrorism work.
Is assigning armed guards to defend every school in the country (as suggested by the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre) a logical response to the Sandy Hook incident?  No.  All it would do would be to make Adam Lanza’s form of terrorism work.   Posting guards would be hugely expensive, and it would merely make a guard the first target for the next Adam Lanza.
Despite his nutty recommendation, Wayne LaPierre is not the problem.  The NRA is not the problem.  The threat to American society regarding Sandy Hook comes not from the political right, but from the political left.
Progressives are now seeking to exploit the Sandy Hook tragedy to further their long-standing agenda of disarming the American people.  Their first target will be high capacity magazines (e.g., clips that hold 25 rounds of ammunition), but their ultimate goal is to ban and confiscate all privately owned guns.
Would passing a ban on large bullet clips prevent the next Sandy Hook?  No.  There are already lots of such ammunition clips in circulation, and they are not hard to make.  A new law would not stop criminals and crazies that want such items from obtaining them.

The rest here.

1 comment:

jerry said...


Don't give up your right to self defense to assuage the emotional insecurities of others.