Once more, an evil man takes an appalling number of lives. Once more the usual suspects raise their hue and cry: “Gun control!” They do this in part to further their dream of a totalitarian society, with themselves in total control. But they also do it because they cannot or will not understand evil, or admit that evil people exist.
Adam Lanza, age 20, now needs no introduction. On Friday, December 14, he shot and killed his mother, stole her weapons, traveled to the K-4 school where she taught, and murdered twenty children and six adults in cold blood. He would have killed many more, except that:
The school headmistress and two associates faced him down, though they had no weapons, just to slow him down.
Several other teachers had the presence of mind to hide their charges. Some died trying to shield them.
Police came, sirens wailing, lights flashing, and bullhorns blaring.
Facing arrest and trial, Adam Lanza killed himself.
That headmistress had installed a buzzer system to make sure no person with murderous intent could just walk in. Adam Lanza did not walk in. He barged in, shooting out a window to make it easier. The headmistress also drilled her teachers and other staff against just this sort of thing. Those drills helped—somewhat. But this episode shows several things:
You cannot stop an evil man with enough motive and means.
If all you can do is dial 911, you’re dead. But you might stop him from killing someone else.
The gun control cry
A collection of guns, including the sort of assault firearm that Bonnie Erbe complains of. Photo: user kosheahan (Flickr), CC BY 2.0 License
The usual suspects called for gun control while the bodies were still warm. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) openly called for Barack Obama to exploit those deaths. He actually spoke that word exploit, so no one could mistake him:
I think we will be there [to pass gun control] if the president exploits it, and otherwise we’ll go on to the next [time].
The national climate has to change. [And it will] when the kid in your town gets killed.
The National Rifle Association did not help their case against gun control this weekend. They ducked the media and are still ducking it. And some in Congress, especially Democrats, are more afraid of the Big Wheels than anything else. The Big Wheels, like Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), have always wanted gun control. Schumer was on the stump, saying,
I think we could be at a tipping point … a tipping point where we might actually get something done.
Like knocks on the door? “Police! Hand over your guns!” That’s the kind of gun control he wants. He made that abundantly clear in the hearings into the Waco Incident of 1993.
The senator might want to think twice before he passes any such law. So should Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who vowed to introduce gun control directly the Senate reconvenes for the 113rd Congress.
Never one to let a good crisis go to waste, Putative President Barack Obama also vowed more gun control. He didn’t say the phrase gun control out loud. But he said all the right code words and buzz phrases. And he said it at a memorial for the children. He has even less shame than does Jerrold Nadler. (And this is the same man who ran guns into Mexico to drum up support for gun control.)
News anchors said the same. CNN’s Don Lemon and MSNBC’s Ed Schultz today called not for mere gun control, but for gun confiscation. This means knocking on every door and barking orders to hand the guns over.
Does anyone suggest anything else?
Actually, yes. Dick Morris called for every school to make anyone who wishes to enter, pass through a metal detector, and to have armed police officers guard the schools. But again, that assumes the evil man will try to smuggle his guns in. Adam Lanza didn’t smuggle them in; he barged in.
Robert Leider, writing in The Wall Street Journal, suggested forbidding anyone to sell, give, or lend a gun to any person with a mental health problem. The problem with that: mental health diagnosis is far from perfect. Sometimes it means suggesting that anyone outside the mainstream of opinion must be crazy. This problem is as old as government itself:
[Marcus Porcius] Festus, [procurator of Judea], shouted out, “Paul, you’re crazy! All your book learning has driven you straight over the edge!” But Paul [of Tarsus] said, “I am not crazy, Your Excellency. I speak words of sober truth.” [Acts 26:24-25]
Libertarians know this. That’s why they never propose confining someone against his will, when no court has ever found him guilty. (But sometimes they do recommend another ancient penalty: exile.)
Is evil more common today?
John Fund, among others, suggests that such evil as we saw in Newtown, CT is no more common than it ever was. We merely hear about it sooner, that’s all.
The high point for mass killings in the U.S. was 1929, according to criminologist Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
Fund may speak the truth. In 1929 came the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago, IL, by order of the notorious “Scarface” Al Capone.
Fund also said gun-free zones do little to stop gun crime. In fact they make it worse. A gun-free zone attracts evil men like Adam Lanza like a magnet. Veteran law-enforcement officers know this. Some are starting to say it out loud. A retired sheriff said:
The suspect goes to the principal’s office while the announcements are playing, over the PA, to the whole school. Everyone in the school hears shots being fired. Had teachers or school employees been armed, instead of fleeing and allowing the killer to walk around the facility unimpeded, the school staff could have surrounded the madman and ended the attack.
That sheriff knows the score. The only sure defense against a maniac with a gun, is you with a gun, and the training to use it.
One legislator in Oregon proposed arming the teachers in Oregon schools. Sadly, too many people who should know better, did not receive his suggestion graciously.
The cold, hard facts
The facts speak for themselves. Gun control does not work as liberal politicians and media darlings say it will. But gun control can “work” in another way: leaving people defenseless against their government. By contrast:
Switzerland issues every household a gun…Switzerland’s government trains every adult they issue a rifle to. Switzerland has the lowest gun related crime rate of any civilized country in the world.
And in the USA, Kennesaw, GA, has a town ordinance saying every householder must have a gun and know how to use it. They don’t have much gun crime, either. Now that’s gun control of the good kind: a gun in the firm control of your hands, as you use it to defend yourself and others.
But any person of faith knows. Evil is part of human nature, and has been since the Fall of Man. Paul of Tarsus, whom a Roman governor called a crazy man, said it straight-out:
There is no such thing as a righteous man. Not even one.
(In fact, Paul was quoting Isaiah.)
Now John Fund could be wrong when he says such evil is no more prevalent today than yesterday. If so, one of two things is likely, and the Bible condemns both. First are the drugs that psychiatrists rely on when they don’t even know how they’re supposed to work. In this context we should mention entertainment products, like video games, that can act like drugs. John the Revelator twice mentioned drug abuse (verse 9:21) and drug dealers (verse 22:15).1 And a drug doesn’t have to be something you swallow, “snort,” or “shoot up.” It can be a sick, depraved game you play, for hours at a time. A game that gives you points merely for killing, and not for accomplishing anything useful.
Second is the Man of Lawlessness. Paul of Tarsus mentioned him, too. He also mentioned someone (or maybe several someones) who were holding that man back in his day.
Only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
Has that happened already? Are we witnessing totally unrestrained evil? Only time will tell. This much we do know: gun control cannot restrain evil. It might even be part of that evil. Don’t fall for it.
1 The Greek word pharmakeia means abuse of drugs meant to change your consciousness. It does not mean sorcery in the sense of witchcraft. Likewise, a pharmakeus is a dope pusher, not a “warlock” or “witch.”