The killer and his gun 3

Determined violent killers who cannot get guns will not refrain from killing; they’ll use less efficient weapons, such as knives or clubs, and so in all probability make the killing slower and more painful.

The answer to anti-gun fever is that it isn’t the gun that kills but the person who shoots with it. 

Here the case is well argued by Daniel Greenfield writing at his website Sultan Knish:

Every day another one of the stories comes in. A teacher panicked by a plastic gun, an army man on a cupcake, a t-shirt, a pop tart chewed into the shape of a gun or a finger gun hits the panic button. Supensions and lectures quickly follow as the latest threat to the gun-free zone, usually in the form of a little boy, is tackled to the ground and lectured to within an inch of his life.

There are some very stupid people in charge of schools!

Tellingly these incidents rarely take place in the inner city schools where teenage gang members walk through metal detectors at the start of the day. The safety officers in those schools, big weary men with eyes that look everywhere at once, don’t waste their time on toys. Not unless those toys are full-size, painted black and filed down to look like real guns.

It’s usually the schools where a shooting is wholly unlikely; where gun violence is not a daily reality, but an unlikely convergence of horror, that institutional vigilance hits an irrational peak as every school imagines that it could be the next Columbine or the next Sandy Hook.

The NRA’s initial proposal of armed school guards was met with an irrational chorus of protests. More guns aren’t the answer, was the cry. And the leading crier was the White House’s expert skeet shooter. … The problem was not the man, it was the gun. Get rid of the guns and you stop the killing. Schools across the country are banning not [only] the gun, but the idea of the gun. It is a conceptual prohibition that is meant to push away the threat of gun violence by eliminating any mention of the G word. Gun-free zones mean places where guns cannot be mentioned, depicted or even symbolized as if the refusal to concede the existence of a firearm will eliminate the threat of it being used on the premises.

This isn’t a precautionary attitude, but a pacifist one. Gun horror is not a productive emotion, but learned helplessness disguised as moral superiority. Rather than teaching children to hate killers, schools are instead teaching them to hate guns. And reducing murders to instruments rather than morals, children are left with no sense of right and wrong, only an instinctive horror of violence.

Pacifists have always demonized armies rather than invaders. …  By dealing with the object rather than the subject, they are able to avoid the question of moral responsibility. Rather than hold the Nazis, Communists or Islamists accountable for their actions, they extended a blanket condemnation over the weapons-wielders. …

While the left likes to indulge in stereotypes of gun-toting rednecks and bomb-brandishing generals, the only people who judge the worth of a man by his weapon are the pacifists, the gun-fearers and gun-hiders who mythologize weapons as black agents of evil.

To believe that there is no such thing as constructive violence is to reject free will. Without accepting the necessity of constructive violence, there is no good and evil, only armed men and unarmed men. Without constructive violence, two boys playing cops and robbers in the schoolyard are not acting out a childish morality play, they are becoming desensitized to murder …

If there is no such thing as constructive violence, then the police officer is not the solution to crime, he is part of the cycle of violence. And if that cycle of violence does not begin with a man choosing to use a gun for good or evil, then it must begin with the gun. The man becomes the object and the gun becomes the subject. American ICBMs become just as bad as Russian ballistic missiles. An Israeli soldier killing a suicide bomber is just as bad as the terrorist. There are no good guys with guns. To have a gun is to be the bad guy.

For decades the gun-control lobby has brandished assault rifles at press conferences and spent more time describing their killing power than their manufacturers have. The rifle has been upgraded to the assault rifle and now, in the latest Orwellian vernacular used by the White House and the entire media pyramid beneath it, weapons of war. …

Shootings in America are not caused by guns, they are caused by crime. Guns really do not walk off store shelves and go on killing sprees. That’s what criminals are for. But the trouble with that discussion is that it takes us into moral territory. … We have to ask the difficult question of what does kill people.

It’s a bigger question than just Adam Lanza pulling the trigger in a classroom full of children. It is a big question that encompasses the Nazi gas chambers and the Soviet gulags, the Rape of Nanking and September 11. It is a question as big as all of human history.

Pacifists once used to be able to address such questions, but they have become obsessed with the technology of violence … ,[which] is largely beside the point. Guns do not motivate people to kill. …

Some of history’s worst massacres happened long before firearms became useful for more than scaring off peasants. The heavily armed Americans of the 50s had lower per capita murder rates than medieval London. It isn’t the gun that makes the killer. It’s not the hand that kills, but the mind.

The gun-free society has little interest in individuals. Its technocratic philosopher-kings want big and comprehensive solutions. Their answer to gun violence is to feed a horror of guns. Their answer to obesity is to ban sodas. Their solutions invariably miss the point by treating people like objects and objects like people.

In the Middle Ages, rats were put on trial for eating crops. Today we put guns on trial for killing people.

The left has tried to reduce people to economics, to class and then race, gender and sexual orientation. It has done its best to reduce people to the sum of their parts and then to tinker with those parts and it has failed badly. The best testimony of its … failure is that the worst pockets of gun violence are in urban areas that have been under the influence of their sociologists, urban planners, psychologists, social justice activists, community organizers and political rope-pullers for generations. And what have those areas brought forth except malaise, despair, blight and murder?

Banning guns will do as much for those areas as banning drugs did. …

The gun-control activists drew the wrong lesson from [the murder of children at Sandy Hook school in] Newtown as they drew the wrong lessons from WW2 and September 11. The lesson is not that weapons are bad, the lesson is that people in the grip of evil ideas are capable of unimaginable horrors regardless of the tools at their disposal. A single man can kill a classroom full of children with a gun and a few men can kill thousands with a few box cutters. It isn’t the tool that matters. It’s the man.

Unwishing the gun brings us back to the sword. Unwishing the sword brings us back to the spear. Unwishing the spear brings us back to the stone club. And what then? When every weapon that ever existed or will exist is undone, all that remains is the deadliest weapon of all. The mind of man.

The gun, the sword, the spear and the club took countless lives and saved countless lives. Civilization has always balanced on a future made possible by little boys playing cops and robbers and playing with little green army men. They can either grow up to be the protectors of the future or the frightened men who will stand aside and do nothing when they hear the screams begin to come because they have been told that all violence is evil.

Dreams of his mother 2

Obama has assured America’s enemies that they don’t have to fear nuclear retaliation if they attack the US, even if they use chemical and biological weapons. He’s pursuing his childish dream – one that his mother probably dreamt  in the late 1960s while she participated in the New Left’s drug-hazy pacifist love-in – of America teaching the world by example to throw away all those nasty nuclear weapons. (See the report of Obama’s new ‘posture’ on nuclear arms use in the New York Times.)

John Hinderaker writes at Power Line:

On its face, that is unbelievably stupid. A country attacks us with biological weapons, and we stay our hand because they are “in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty”? That is too dumb even for Barack Obama. The administration hedged its commitment with qualifications suggesting that if there actually were a successful biological or chemical attack, it would rethink its position. The Times puts its finger on what is wrong with the administration’s announcement:

It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war.

That’s exactly right. The cardinal rule, when it comes to nuclear weapons, is keep ’em guessing. We want our enemies to believe that we may well be crazy enough to vaporize them, given sufficient provocation; one just can’t tell. There is a reason why that ambiguity has been the American government’s policy for more than 50 years. Obama cheerfully tosses overboard the strategic consensus of two generations.

Or pretends to, anyway. Does anyone doubt that the administration would use nukes in a heartbeat if it considered such measures necessary? I don’t. The problem is that when the time comes to actually use nuclear weapons, it is too late. The danger here is not that the Obama administration has really gone pacifist. On the contrary, the significance of today’s announcement appears to be entirely symbolic–just one more chance to preen. The problem is that our enemies understand symbolism and maybe take it too seriously. To them, today’s announcement is another sign that our government has gone soft, and one more inducement to undertake aggressive action against the United States. [All emphases are ours]

We are usually in agreement with the good guys at Power Line. And we agree that Obama is offering an inducement to America’s enemies to “undertake aggressive action”  (the part we have emphasized in bold).

But with those parts that we have italicized we disagree. We don’t think Obama is dumb, even though he is not exceptionally intelligent and is capable of acting stupidly and naively. We think he is ignorant and evil. Because we believe he is full of bad intent and deeply anti-American, we do indeed doubt that  his administration would use nukes, no matter what the circumstances. If he has his way there’ll be no American nukes to use. We don’t think he is just preening, preener though he is.

Could it be any more obvious that he is content to see Iran armed with nukes, but not America?

Could the implications of this be any more frightening?

Post Script: It should be noted that he excepts from his promise  of indulgence countries which are not in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Two countries that have refused to sign it are India and Israel. This means that for as long as America still has nuclear weapons, however few, however old, however degraded, if usable at all they could be used against those two erstwhile allies.

The Dalai Lama in Jurassic Park 0

Lydia Aran, a specialist in Buddhism, wrote an illuminating article on Tibet, published in Commentary magazine in January 2009.  Inventing Tibet needs to be read in full to be fully appreciated. Here we quote parts of it to support our comments on the shock and anger of the Dalai Lama’s admirers on learning that he is not to be received at the White House by its present incumbent.

In the 1960s and 70’s a new Tibet was born, not so much a country as a mental construct. Its progenitor was the Diaspora establishment headed by the Dalai Lama, centered in the Himalayan hill station of Dharamsala in North India. There, the leaders of a small community comprising no more that 5 percent of the Tibetan people as a whole undertook to construct a wholly new idea of Tibetan identity – and hugely succeeded. …

They did so by incorporating into Tibetan Buddhism [traditionally a cult of magic] a number of concepts and ideas that had never been part of Tibetan culture. These include the espousal of non-violence, concern with the environment, human rights, world peace, feminism, and the like …

This kind of Buddhist modernism [which also includes reconciliation with Western scientific thought], unknown in Tibet, was adopted by the Dalai Lama more or less simultaneously with his adoption of a philosophy of non-violence derived from Tolstoy, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. To this he eventually added the rhetoric of world peace, ecology, human rights, and the rest of the amorphous agenda that informs the liberal Western conscience. …

[But] nonviolence has never been a traditional Tibetan practice, or a societal norm, or, for that matter, a teaching of Tibetan Buddhism. …

She goes on to tell us of the maintenance of private armies to fight internal wars, and the frequent settlement of political rivalries by assassination in Tibetan history. Before 1960, Dalai Lamas did not preach or practice nonviolence.

Yet here is Robert Thurman, the well-known professor of Tibetan studies at Columbia University … declaring that the great 5th. Dalai Lama (1617-1682) was “a compassionate and peace-loving ruler who created in Tibet a unilaterally disarmed society.” And here, by way of contrast, are the instructions of the 5th. Dalai Lama himself to his commanders, who had been ordered to subdue a rebellion in Tsang in 1660:

‘Make their male line like trees that have had their roots cut; make the female lines like brooks that have dried up in winter; make the children and grandchildren like eggs smashed against rocks; make the servants and followers like heaps of grass consumed by fire; make their dominion like a lamp whose oil has been exhausted: in short, annihilate any traces of them, even their names.’

Until the incorporation of Tibet into the People’s Republic of China in 1950, and the subsequent flight of the 14th. Dalai Lama to India, Tibet had ‘barely registered in the West’s consciousness’.  The Dalai Lama has made it his life’s mission to preserve ‘the Tibetan cultural heritage’. But what is being preserved is ‘an idealized and hybridized image of his culture for Western consumption’ – at which, the author concedes, he has been ‘spectacularly successful’.

That idealized image … has indeed succeeded in gathering much enthusiastic support, thereby keeping alive both the Tibetan issue [of its annexation by China] and the diaspora community embodying it [our italics].

It is not the real Tibet, but this idealized version of it, made to measure for them by the Dalai Lama and his esoteric circle, that Westerners are emotionally exercized about. To them Tibet is Shangri-La, the fictitious Himalayan community of James Hilton’s Lost Horizon, where unique spiritual wisdom is being preserved for the future benefit of the whole world. And they see this Tibet, ‘vague enough to serve as a kind of screen on which to project their own dreams and fantasies’, as ‘highly endangered, in need of urgent support and rescue by the West.’

It is almost as if the Dalai Lama has become for these pacifists and one-worlders, these New Agers and greens, these schizophrenics of the left, the personification of their dreams and fantasies, a living, breathing, symbol of all that they hold dear. As such, he is a thorn in the flesh, or at least a stone in the shoe, of China.

For their almost equally adored President Obama who, they trust, shares their dreams, to refuse to receive the Dalai Lama is incomprehensible even more than it is shocking. It does not compute. They grope for understanding. Yet it isn’t hard to find the reason why. Obama is confronted by China as a child in Jurassic Park is confronted by Tyrannosaurus Rex. ‘The Dalai Lama?’ he stammers at it. ‘No, no, he’s no friend of mine!’

To us, Communist China is an abomination, however economically successful it has become by allowing a degree of economic freedom. We would be happy to see such a regime thwarted by having territory wrested from its grasp. But we do not share the Shangri-La illusion, or believe that Tibet is the guardian of a ‘spiritual wisdom’ that will ultimately save the world. Whether Obama entertains the smiling gentleman or not, does not concern us. What we care about is that the West should continue to be prosperous, free, strong, and rational. The Dalai Lama, Barack Obama, New Agers, Greens, leftists, pacifists, feminists, environmentalists, and one-worlders do not. We watch with a cold eye to see how they fare in the Jurassic Park of international political and economic realities.