Radical Islamic jihadists Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook were armed with enough lethal weaponry, bombs and ammunition to kill scores more than the 14 they murdered at a conference center in San Bernardino, California.
The initial, knee-jerk reaction from those on the Left was to once again blame the prevalence of firearms – the “gun crisis” – as the primary problem. As evidence emerged that this was no run-of-the-mill mass shooting, but instead one motivated and propelled by radical Islamic ideology, the lunacy inherent in the progressive perspective became not only clear but ludicrous.
The Left’s ideal gun control scheme already exists in California. Among the requirements of firearms and gun owners in the state:
-Universal background checks (which the terrorists in this case passed)
-Registration for firearms
-Extreme limits on concealed carry permits
-Lead ammunition bans
-Requirement to have a license of any firearm purchase in the state
-Waiting periods for purchase
-Limits on magazine capacity
ALL the idealized controls were in place, and yet jihadis were able to carry out their murderous plans. The fact is that regardless of what laws are in place (and California has some of the most strict), those who wish to carry out acts of horrendous violence will always be able to do so.
Further illustrating the Left’s lack of seriousness with regard to reducing or preventing gun violence, it also emerged that the neighbors of Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook reported to media afterwards that they had seen activity that seemed suspicious, but were reluctant to report the activity for fear of being labeled as racists or Islamophobes.
Given that this case was rather quickly and correctly identified as an ideological terrorist attack, it is both naïve and obtuse to claim that additional gun laws would have prevented the tragedy. Not only did the Left’s idea of responsible gun control utterly fail, but the prevailing conceit of political correctness and fear of PC retribution may have contributed to the violence.
Sunday night, President Obama appeared to the American people from the oval office to talk about the attack, and gave a speech full of the vaguest platitudes, straw men, and renewed attempts to place the blame for the attack solely at the feet of those who value the Second Amendment, and utterly devoid of any genuine plan for dealing with the problem – only more misdirection and posturing.
The only real news to emerge from the Sunday Night Lecture was the first acknowledgement from Obama that the Fort Hood Shooting in 209 was, in fact, a terrorist incident.
The only possible proposal which would eliminate all gun violence would be complete and total confiscation of all firearms. This would require either a constitutional amendment agreed to by the American people (which would never happen), or by force of a tyrannical government. For an idea of how it might be envisioned, read this excellent piece from Charles C. W. Cooke.
As neither of those proposals are conducive to finding a solution, it seems that the best possible way forward is an effort to reinforce, reinvigorate, and reestablish the values and truths that form a strong, safe, society as I’ve outlined in my original article on the roots of the gun violence crisis. Any other solution that infringes on the rights of American people is a nonstarter. Any solution that willfully ignores the danger and threat presented by radical ideology and jihad is needlessly and dangerously naïve.
As if the threat of radical Islam were not enough, compounding it is the disintegration from within. Our society has coarsened, our dialogue has become more divisive and heated and we have grown farther and farther apart on the issues. To illustrate, I offer the following data, courtesy of Truthstream Media, who compiled the data from multiple sources:
Ronald Reagan: 1981-1989 (8 years) 11 mass shootings
Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 5
George H. W. Bush: 1989-1993 (4 years) 12 mass murders
Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 3
Bill Clinton: 1993-2001 (8 years) 23 mass murders
Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 4
George W. Bush: 2001-2009 (8 years) 20 mass murders
Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 5
Barrack H. Obama: 2009-2015 (in 7th year) 162 mass murders
Incidents with 8 or more deaths = 18
Presented with the same data under any other circumstance, demonstrating that incidents sharply skyrocketed within the last eight years of a 30+ year period, any impartial observer would be either willfully obtuse or insane to conclude that nothing had changed.
Consider the following thought experiment: Imagine if a Christian walked into an Islamic holiday celebration, and killed 14 of those present, injuring over a dozen more. What possible motive would we conclude was underlying the actions? What conclusion would we draw with regard to the intent of the killer? To arrive at anything other than the logical truth – the killer was motivated by religious, ideological hatred that manifested itself as planned, deliberate murder – would be to willingly choose to ignore reality in favor of the fantasy constructed in a truly deranged mind.
Gun violence happens here because of cultural changes which have left a void of uncertainty, fear, hate and nihilistic rage in a society in which people no longer understand the meaning, significance or value of their lives. A society in which people have been taught by force to reject their own histories and identities as hateful, and shameful. Gun violence is only a symptom of that problem.
Unless and until we are prepared to address the problem before us comprehensively, we will continue to invite disaster.