We’re fresh off of another man-made atrocity, and right on schedule, all the usual suspects are demanding government save us all from one boogie man or another.
Jimmy Kimmel’s tear filled tirade against the NRA, gun laws, Republicans, and firearms that have been banned since the 1980’s contained a demand that the government do something.
Democrats — never ones to let a tragedy go to waste — immediately began pushing the gun control narrative before the bodies were cold. And why not? People just witnessed the largest mass shooting in modern American history. The atmosphere is rife with fear and anxiety, and the need to do something to make us all feel safer is on the lips and at the fingertips of everyone with an outlet.
The mob is ready to move, or so too many in the business of restriction and regulation hope. They’ll stand on the graves of the slain, wheel out the family members of victims willing to cooperate with their narrative, and talk about how their woke kids are asking poignant questions about today’s society.
Those who resist the mob in order to keep their freedom will be accused of having the blood of the innocents on their hands. They will make super-villains out of anyone who speaks against the buzzword of “common sense” reforms or gun laws.
But a large swath of us are not in this mob. We want our freedoms more than we want this “safety.” We cherish free will and liberty over restriction and regulation.
We do this in full understanding that freedom comes with risks, and no guarantees. Freedom is being able to possess available firearms for self-defense, while also meaning someone else can legitimately, or illegitimately get it for nefarious purposes.
We want to be able to buy that sugary drink because we want to enjoy a treat, or smoke that cigarette because we want to relax, knowing that it’s not good for us, but are willing to accept the consequences anyway. It’s our right to do so.
We want to allow our kids to explore the neighborhood freely, and gain a sense of independence and life experience, knowing full well that there are those out there who would do them harm.
We accept that freedom is dangerous. We accept that misfortune may befall us. That our decisions may hurt us.
We accept that people, maybe me, maybe you, maybe someone we love, will die.
But we accept these freedoms because we know the benefits of freedom vastly outweigh the dangers.
Yes, firearms are sometimes used to go great evil, but they are also used to do great good. They protect women from rape and robbery, they stop violent criminals from causing harm, and they make criminals think twice before committing acts of crime. This is widely understood, and why there are more gun owners than ever.
Is a gun dangerous? Absolutely. But being dangerous makes you a hard target to overcome. It makes people cautious about doing wrong to you. Being dangerous keeps you safer.
Being so concerned with safety that you adopt no methods of being dangerous, however, makes you a soft and easy target. This is evidenced in the fact that 98 percent of mass shootings have occurred in gun-free zones. The non-dangerous man is a man ready for domination.
And domination is just what we ask for when we turn to the government to keep us safe. For instance, because terrorists hijacked a plane and tragically killed thousands, we’ve passively subjected ourselves to security theater at our airports. The TSA looks into our luggage, and peers through our clothing — sometimes far too intimately — in order to make us feel safe.
I say “make us feel safe” because the TSA is useless when it comes to saving us from terrorists with a 95 percent failure rate. The TSA is largely there to inconvenience you, and possibly make you late for your flight.
Has the government’s expensive and largely failed war on drugs made this country any safer? Has punishing our boys for acting out battles with firearms stopped the shootings? Did Obama’s title IX decree stop campus rapes?
The answer to those questions is a loud, and demonstrable NO.
Many innocents are currently sitting in jail cells with ruined lives because of a non-violent offense. Boys are being taught that their natural instincts to fight, protect, and win are wrong. College men are are being kicked out of college with ruined reputations and lives, having committed no crimes, and rapes aren’t any more common than they were before the highly exaggerated numbers about campus rapes were touted by politicians and the media.
Freedom is dangerous, but the solution of regulation and restriction are far worse. Any resident within a communist or socialist country, both past and present, can tell you that.
If you’re looking for a magical solution that gives you total safety, you’re in the wrong reality. This is a dangerous world filled with evil, well intended choices made in ignorance, and variables that oft throw awry the best-laid plans of mice and men. People will make decisions that harm others. People are going to suffer, and die.
But restricting freedoms will not make you any safer. Banning guns, or making them harder to get legally will not stop events like the Las Vegas shooting, or the Pulse Nightclub shooting, or Sandy Hook, or San Bernardino. It’ll only make those who wish to do harm seek alternative ways of hurting people. All you’re doing when you demand government intervene is asking them to come down hard on the people who follow the rules they set.
Choose instead to risk life on your own terms, and leave your neighbor alone. You may need the freedom to come to each other’s aid one day.
And should you or I die — as we inevitably will one day, regardless of any choices we make — at least we will have died on our feet, instead of on our knees.