Sunday, May 25, 2014

Gun Culture or Liberal Culture and the Recent Shooting

I just watched the 6 minute YouTube video of Elliot Rodger's statement leading up to his murderous rampage, and I read parts of his manifesto.  One thing that is clear is that Rodger had become thoroughly evil.  I'm sure we're about to hear another deluge of babble about our gun culture, so this is timely:

The Problem: Gun Culture or Liberal Culture?

This is a repost, slightly redacted, from 2012 to help stem the tsunami of folderol sure to wash over us from the orifices of the mindless gun-grabbing Left in the wake of the Isla Vista rampage.
Without wanting to deny that there is a 'gun culture' in the USA, especially in the so-called red states, I would insist that the real problem is our liberal culture.  Here are four characteristics of liberal culture that contribute to violence of all kinds, including gun violence.
1. Liberals tend to have a casual attitude toward crime. 
This is well-documented by Theodore Dalrymple.  Here is a list of his articles. No Contrition, No Penalty is a short read.  See also my Crime and Punishment category.
It is interesting to note that Connecticut, the state in which the Newtown massacre occurred, has recently repealedthe death penalty, and this after the unspeakably brutal Hayes-Komisarjevsky home invasion in the same state.
One of the strongest voices against repealing the death penalty has been Dr. William Petit Jr., the lone survivor of a 2007 Cheshire home invasion that resulted in the murders of his wife and two daughters.
The wife was raped and strangled, one of the daughters was molested and both girls were left tied to their beds as the house was set on fire.
The two men convicted of the crime, Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes, are currently on death row.
Anyone who cannot appreciate that a crime like this  deserves the death penalty is morally obtuse.  But not only are liberals morally obtuse, they are contemptibly stupid in failing to understand that one of the main reasons people buy guns is to protect themselves from the criminal element, the criminal element that liberals coddle.  If liberals were serious about wanting to reduce the numbers of guns in civilian hands, they would insist on swift and sure punishment in accordance with the self-evident moral principle, "The punishment must fit the crime,"  which is of course not to be confused with lex talionis, "an eye for an eye."  Many guns are purchased not for hunting or sport shooting but for protection against criminals.  Keeping and bearing arms carries with it a grave responsibility and many if not most gun owners would rather not be so burdened.  Gun ownership among women is on the upswing, and it is a safe bet that they don't want guns to shoot Bambi.
2. Liberals tend to undermine morality with their opposition to religion. 
Many of us internalized the ethical norms that guide our lives via our childhood religious training. We were taught the Ten Commandments, for example. We were not just taught about them, we were taught them.  We learned them by heart, and we took them to heart. This early training, far from being the child abuse that A. C. Grayling and other militant atheists think it is, had a very positive effect on us in forming our consciences and making  us the basically decent human beings we are. I am not saying that moral formation is possible only within a religion; I am saying that some religions do an excellent job of transmitting and inculcating life-guiding and life-enhancing ethical standards, that moral formation outside of a religion is unlikely for the average person, and that it is nearly impossible if children are simply handed over to the pernicious influences of secular society as these influences are transmitted through television, Internet, video games, and other media.  Anyone with moral sense can see that the mass media have become an open sewer in which every manner of cultural polluter is not only tolerated but promoted.  Those of use who were properly educated way back when can dip into this cesspool without too much moral damage.  But to deliver our children over to it is the real child abuse, pace the benighted Professor Grayling.
The shysters of the ACLU, to take one particularly egregious bunch of destructive leftists, seek to remove every vestige of our Judeo-Christian ethical traditiion from the public square.  I can't begin to catalog all of their antics.  But recently there was the  Mojave cross  incident. It is absurd  that there has been any fight at all over it.  The ACLU,  whose radical lawyers  brought the original law suit, deserve contempt   and resolute opposition.  Of course, I wholeheartedly endorse the initial clause of the First Amendment, to wit, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . . ." But it is hate-America leftist extremism on stilts to think that the presence of  that very old memorial cross on a hill  in the middle of nowhere does anything to establish Christianity as the state religion.  I consider anyone who  believes that to be intellectually obtuse and morally repellent.  One has to be highly unbalanced in his thinking to torture such extremist nonsense out of the First Amendment, while missing the plain sense of the Second Amendment, one that even SCOTUS eventually got right, namely, the the right to keep and bear arms is an individual, not a collective, right.
And then there was the business of the tiny cross on the city seal of Los Angeles, a symbol that the ACLU agitated to have removed.   I could continue with the examples, and you hope I won't.
 3. Liberals tend to have low standards, glorify the worthless, and fail to present exemplary human types.
Our contemporary media dreckmeisters apparently think that the purpose of art is to degrade sensibility, impede critical thinking, glorify scumbags, and rub our noses ever deeper into sex and violence. It seems obvious that the liberal fetishization of freedom of expression without constraint or sense of responsibility is part of the problem. But I can't let a certain sort of libertarian or economic conservative off the hook. Their lust for profit is also involved.
What is it that characterizes contemporary media dreck? Among other things, the incessant presentation of  defective human beings as if there are more of them than there are, and as if there is nothing at all wrong with their way of life. Deviant behavior is presented as if it is mainstream and acceptable, if not desirable. And then lame justifications are provided for the presentation: 'this is what life is like now; we are simply telling it like it is.' It doesn't occur to the dreckmeisters that art might have an ennobling function.
The tendency of liberals and leftists is to think that any presentation of choice-worthy goals or admirable
styles of life could only be hypocritical preaching.  And to libs and lefties, nothing is worse than hypocrisy.  Indeed, a good indicator of whether someone belongs to this class of the terminally benighted is whether the person obsesses over hypocrisy and thinks it the very worst thing in the world.  See my category Hypocrisy for elaboration of this theme.
4. Liberals tend to deny or downplay free will, individual responsibility, and the reality of evil.
This is connected with point 2 above, leftist hostility to religion.  Key to our Judeo-Christian tradition is the belief that man is made in the image and likeness of God.  This image is that mysterious power in us called free will.  The secular extremist assault on religion is at the same time an assault on this mysterious power, through which evil comes into the world.
This is a large topic.  Suffice it to say for now that one clear indication of this denial is the bizarre liberal displacement of responsibility for crime onto inaminate objects, guns, as if the weapon, not the wielder, is the source of the evil for which the weapon can be only the instrument.

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