Not Really My Area

As I write this column, information, accusations and political diatribes are flying in from all quarters. People are lining up to voice their opinions on what happened in Las Vegas and how we can prevent it from ever happening again.

Sadly, we cannot prevent it from ever happening again. It is also important to note that the elements leading to certain members of our society acting out in such horrible ways and the methods we could use to stop them doing so are on completely opposite sides of the spectrum and, for the most part, should not be discussed at the same time.

So let’s just talk about one side of this equation: stopping all mass murders. Gun-haters on the left will soon be talking about legislation that will prevent such actions. They will call such legislation “common-sense” measures needed to prevent such horrors. In reality, such legislation is part and parcel to the incremental destruction of freedom in this country. Freedom is nearly always restricted in the face of fear. Fear mongers will say we must restrict magazine capacity; we must have mandatory background checks; we must give up something in order to “be safe.”

I disagree. We will not be safer if we give up freedom. There are places in this country where the government provides everything and only those in power have weapons. Those places are called prisons. Do you really think there is no violence inside prisons? A world without guns will most certainly be ruled with ruthless violence by the young, the strong or the many. Firearms are truly the great equalizer.

What Now?

When all the facts of this case come to light (if they are all ever released), gun-haters will say that we must restrict “assault weapons” in order to stop these sorts of attacks. But think about the type of country in which we would live if such a law were put in place.

Let’s just for the sake of argument say that a law banning all semi-automatic rifles was passed. Do you think EVERY American would turn in his or her semi-automatic rifles? Many would remain in circulation and the next time a mass murderer struck, calls for another law would be made. The only way to collect up ALL the guns would be door-to-door searches. Would such searches require warrants? Could we protect our Fourth Amendment rights as we give up our Second Amendment rights?

And as I mention door-to-door searches and gun confiscation, are some of you thinking about resistance? Are you thinking about armed resistance? Do you know people who would resist? Even if confiscation did not trigger a full-on civil war, you can bet there would be pockets of violent armed resistance. You can also bet that such resistance would cause politicians to ask for even further restrictions. Maybe those restrictions would be the spark that lights a conflagration. I don’t want to risk that.

The horrible attack in Las Vegas, or any other subsequent attacks, should not be used as a springboard to further restrictions on American freedom. I really fear that such restrictions could spark far more violent and deadly actions within this country.

The mainstream media says the country is more polarized than ever. I disagree. Most people seem to have forgotten what happens when this nation truly takes sides and digs in. From the 1870s through the 1930s, the battle against unions routinely included violent clashes between workers demanding better wages and working conditions and forces sent in to break the strikes.  How many reading this have heard of the Battle of Blair Mountain? Here is a Wikipedia link. I hope we aren’t on the verge of seeing another such battle.

We are in the midst of a very dangerous time. That danger comes not only from madmen with guns but from the paths the opposing sides appear to be taking in an effort to stop such madness.

I wish I had an easy answer.