Monday, June 20, 2016

The Left’s Phony War on Guns

Kevin Williamson on guns:

This isn’t a gun-control debate. This is Kulturkampf. 

In the wake of the San Bernardino shooting, the actor Samuel L. Jackson said that he hoped it would turn out that the killer was a white man. David Sirota wrote the same thing after the Boston marathon bombing, in an article headlined “Let’s hope the Boston marathon bomber is a white American.” Jackson and Sirota were disappointed: Both atrocities were carried out by Muslims as expressions of solidarity with the worldwide Islamist enterprise. The massacre in Orlando was perpetrated by a Muslim, the son of an Afghan immigrant, a man of the sort we have been taught to call a “person of color,” I suppose. (Do Afghans count? This is never made clear.) He may or may not have been suffering from some sort of crisis of sexuality: It isn’t clear whether his earlier presence in the Florida gay club was cruising or casing.

But as a son of immigrants and a member of at least one minority group, Omar Mateen makes a poor poster-boy for the Left, which prefers that its enemies be white, male, Christian, and, if possible, middle-aged, middle-American, and overweight. Remember how, during the Tea Party rallies, so much attention was paid to the fact that some participants were obese and using mobility scooters? That wasn’t an accident. It’s loathing substituting for analysis. For much the same reason, cartoons purporting to depict gun-rights supporters after Orlando almost invariably depicted obese, aging, white, and downscale (rumpled, ill-kempt) subjects. That is whom the Left believes to be the problem when it comes to violence in these United States — and most other problems, too. The relevant psychology here is that of intellectual development arrested in adolescence. If you’ve ever heard a 50-year-old lefty raging about Middle America and thought that it sounded a lot like a 14-year-old raging about his stick-in-the-mud father, you’re not the first to whom that has occurred. 

You’ll notice that we generally have these national crises about gun control when there’s a Newtown or an Aurora, not after a typical weekend in Chicago, during the course of which several dozen people will be shot, and many killed. Part of this is because we have a tendency to worry more about shark attacks (which almost never happen) rather than lethal bee stings (which happen all the time), but part of it is that the Left is not culturally inclined to organize one of these pageants of exhibitionistic grief over the low-level criminal escapades of young black men in Chicago or Philadelphia. For the same reason, almost all of the gun-control measures that excite our progressive friends — bans on so-called assault weapons, restrictions on gun shows — are aimed at the hobbies of middle-aged white guys, rural types, Second Amendment devotees who mistrust the federal government, etc.: the enemy, in other words. These proposals have little or nothing to do with the vast majority of crime.

Read the rest here.

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