In the aftermath of the latest school massacre, the Democrats have brought up what they always bring up – gun control. You know the usual: universal background checks, things like that. Nobody, as far as I can tell, has even asked whether the shooter would have passed the background check (my bet: he would have). It is all so patently ridiculous – performative theater, though Democrats are looking here to goose their base for November. Don’t know if it will work – they tried it with Roe but the bottom line is that people care far more about what it costs to fill the tank than a theoretical end to abortion.
But people were killed, does that make a difference? Perhaps, but probably not. I think that we’ve become rather numb to this, and that is sad in itself. But it is what we asked for.
Earlier today, I came across a Tweet which said that it may be that the cops didn’t charge into the building but instead isolated it before moving. I don’t know if that is 100% accurate but I think that would be in keeping with normal police procedure. You don’t know what’s out there and until you’ve got some intel, any move you make might make things worse. But the point of the Tweet was that the cops should have just charged in supreme disregard for their own lives. To which, you answer: yeah. But.
And the “but” is that by what standard should a cop selflessly sacrifice himself? I mean, I know the standard. John 15:13, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” But there’s a problem here – that’s a Christian standard. It is, to be sure, shared to some extent by other faiths, but the highest expression of it is Christian. To go to certain death for the benefit of others is something Christ did, and all Christians are supposed to follow the example of Christ as far as they are able. But this standard isn’t shared by people with no faith – and keep in mind that “no faith” runs from the most irritating atheist you’ve ever met all the way up to the weekly Church-goer who lives the other six days of the week as a practical pagan. The chances that any particular person – let alone any particular cop – will be a Christian hero are rather small these days. I’d guess that its about one in four Americans who actually take a stab at living a Christian life these days.
And as I said, this is what we wanted. Not like we specifically voted on it, but we passed in silence as it happened. I mean that as a people, of course: some of us objected vigorously and we were told to shut up. But a school shooting is a bum defecating on the street is a child being sex trafficked is a starlet being used as a sex toy is an activist getting rich off tragedy is a corporation turning a blind eye to his Chinese supplier’s slave laborers is a twelve year old being told he’s genderfluid by his teacher and so on. You get the picture. The shootings gather more notice because they are dramatic (and the Democrats hope to wring political advantage out of each corpse), but the rest of it is just going on right in front of us…and in the course of a year causes vastly more deaths than all the gun violence combined.
As I’ve said before, there is a cure for this. It is the same cure used the last time barbarians inundated the West: extreme violence. What we call cruelty these days because, not being Christian (or any sort of faith, really), we have lost sight of what real cruelty is. Civilization is not innate to humanity. The normal course of humanity is to grab whatever it can with no thought to others or the future. To be a person who cares about others and takes a thought for the morrow is a learned quality. We, as a people, learned it over a thousand year period and via the lash, the branding iron, the headsman’s axe and the gallows. We were forced, by those who wanted civilization, to knuckle under to required norms of behavior. And we became so used to this that we forgot that our custom of being decent was force reduced to routine and hiding it’s claws. We began to believe that decency was the norm and that we could release our instincts and everything would work out not just as well as we had it, but much better.
We believed this because people can be very, very stupid.
So, we’re now getting to the point where we’ll have to choose and I believe we will choose incorrectly. That is, we will refuse to apply the violence necessary to restore decent behavior. And because we make this choice, we’ll then find a small group of people who will make it for us and so we’ll get the same result. Civilization will not completely die – it can’t. People will want to eat in safety. Right now, they don’t see how large the threat is but a day will come when they do, and then those who threaten the safety will find things starting to go very badly for them.
But, meanwhile, we’ll just keep going on – stepping around the sh** on the sidewalk as we walk from one mass shooting to another.