Random Reflections on America’s Weekly Mass Shooting Show

There has been another mass shooting at an American school. Thus, there has inevitably been another uninterrupted news cycle focusing everyone’s rapt and mock-mournful attention on every titillating detail of the “terrible day”: The crying children, the traumatized parents, the heroic individuals who did their best to save lives, and of course every available tidbit on the killer’s identity, grievances, and personal story. All of which goes a long way to ensuring that there will be more such “terrible days” in the future. Thanks to the mass media and the moral deadness of the media’s eager consumers, these nihilistic outbursts make extraordinarily effective final statements for suicidally hopeless young men spiritually hollowed out by years of violent computer games, violent music, and various conscience-numbing drugs, whether of the prescription or illicit variety.

The President of the United States, an idiot, meanders on about how “now is the time for action.” Why? Because acting precipitously and without due consideration or the sense of proportion that time and distance bring is the right thing to do?

Should people be denied the freedom to own weapons of self-defense because a whacked-out kid occasionally snaps and commits a heinous crime? Should people be denied the right to drive vans because there has been a spate of cases, over the past several years, of deranged individuals driving vans into crowds of innocent people? If the social fabric has been worn to shreds by decades of amoral education and immoral mass entertainment, can this problem be solved by granting infinitely more power to government and stealing infinitely more natural freedoms from private citizens? Will not such a solution in fact only exacerbate the problem of social deterioration and moral dissolution? There may be an explicit decision to be made here, one which few on any side of the so-called public discussion will have the courage to address directly: Ought one to choose the path of absolute political oppression and the moral collapse of nanny state infantilism for the sake of preventing some ugly crimes, or ought one to accept the inevitability of occasional criminal outrages in the name of preserving the liberty and encouraging the adult responsibility of the non-criminal majority?

I see that Justin Amash, the former Freedom Caucus founder who has since thrown in his lot with the Libertarian Party, is out there tackling the big questions today, when his country desperately needs a principled voice of freedom:

Right. This is the day to work on the great libertarian push to make drug addiction constitutional again! Go get ’em, Justin. Perhaps he is taking his freedom-loving cues these days from another Justin operating north of the Michigan border, Prime Minister Pot Czar himself. If libertarians insist on making the defense of mindless and destructive behavior the hill they are willing to die on, then they are just going to keep dying on that hill — as well they should.

American politics has reduced itself to an argument between angry teenagers demanding the freedom to trespass and throw their empty bottles on your property, and angry grandfathers demanding the freedom to shoot trespassers on sight, with nary a sober, responsible adult in between.

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