Dalton Trumbo (about whom much could be said, except that it would waste time) wrote his calculatedly demoralizing and relentlessly dismal Johnny Got His Gun, in 1938. At the time, Communist Party members (Trumbo included) were devoted to keeping America out of World War Two (a position that changed diametrically the moment Hitler invaded Russia), and Trumbo was doing his bit for Stalin by reminding everyone who may not have realized it that a) World War One was a wasteful and unnecessary slaughter, and b) soldiers are often wounded in appallingly dehumanizing ways. The novel was duly serialized in the Daily Worker. Hollywood’s New Left would have been derelict had it not reissued Trumbo’s opus as a movie during the Vietnam conflict, and Trumbo supplied the script for the 1971 motion picture. In book and film it may be recalled, the horrendously disfigured Johnny yearns for the army to display him publicly in a glass cage so that everyone can see how awful war is, but the army is so mean they refuse—the rotters!
But emotionalism works well with polarities—and if the Left cannot display mangled American soldiers in glass cases (which seems inadvisable during a presidency that requires our soldiers to fight, be wounded, and die off camera), the appropriate specimen in the glass case is not a warrior, but a punk. And so we have the spectacle of one Dylann Roof. Granted, portraying this smirking, drug-addicted jackanapes as conservative requires some journalistic photoshopping. His manifesto includes the disparagement of American military members. Additionally, he declares, “I hate the sight of the American flag. Modern American patriotism is an absolute joke.” But filtered through the leftist media, rest assured, the boy in the glass case will emerge as a virtual simulacrum of Chris Kyle.
If Dylann Roof wanted martyrdom or sympathy, he went about things all wrong. He should have used pressure cooker bombs and struck in the name of Islam, or at least the whales, or perhaps the Abra Acanacu Marsupial Frog. If Roof makes the cover of the Rolling Stone, no leftist writers will call him a tussle-haired youth. He will be featured as a poster child for hate-filled racist maniacs with vacant stares and manure for brains, and justly so! The Right rightly loathes him. Nobody, for instance, is more willing to see Dylann Roof deprived of his vital signs than we at WOOF, nor more hostile toward his actions and philosophies. Like Charlie Manson, Roof sought to ignite a war over race, but were Roof not a dope-befuddled moron, he might have realized the only war he would actually rekindle would be the Progressive jihad against the second amendment. Predictably, the right to keep and bear arms has come once more under assault by numerous Americans, many of whom are sincere in their naivete. All too many, however, are invidious totalitarians eager to insist that inductive conclusions drawn from a study of Roof’s personality and behavior can usefully inform the gun debate. WOOF contends that they cannot.
True, the Left has cause, finally, to wax exultant. Shooting after shooting in the United States has been perpetrated by losers who, despite all febrile speculation to the contrary, turn out to be registered Democrats or disgruntled leftists of some stripe—or, at best, “occupy” types with more-or-less anarchical views that reliably include an abhorrence of the political Right. Not so Dylann Roof—alas!–at first glimpse he appears the poster boy for everything the anti-2nd amendment Democrat prefers to believe of conservatism: A slathering apartheidist with a .45 in his hand (okay, an assault rifle would have been ideal), and insolent, insensate hatred in his bleary eyes. Even at that, many liberal agitators took aim at secondary targets in their rush to bloviate–and some of these reactions would be side-splittingly hilarious if the circumstances were not so grave. For example, in the contest to see who could be first to blame FOX news for the killings, South Carolina State House Minority Leader Rep. J. Todd Rutherford (D) narrowly defeated second-place winner Bill Maher:
In an apparent psychic reading of Dylann Roof’s viewing habits, Rutherford insisted that the shootings occurred because Roof “watches the news, and he watches things like Fox News, where they talk about things that they call news, but they’re really not. They use that coded language, they use hate speech, they talk about the president as if he’s not the president. They talk about church-goers as if they’re really not church-goers. And that’s what this young man acted on. That’s why he could walk into a church and treat people like animals when they’re really human beings.” Obviously, Rep. Rutherford has never watched Fox News in his life, and just as obviously, the Left will now spasmodically renew efforts to control the news by eliminating conservative voices—and why not? They were amazingly successful, it may be recalled, in framing Sarah Palin for the wounding of Congresswoman Giffords back in 2011 even though the shooter was described as “”left wing, quite liberal” and the death toll included a Republican judge, not to mention the minor fact that Palin had no conceivable connection to the event.
On the other hand, Michael Moore led the stampede of those dedicated to the proposition that it was all, more or less, the fault of the confederate flag. Moore tweeted that “the terrorist Confederate flag” still flew proudly over the South Carolina State Capitol “Somebody needs 2 tear that flag down now. Today. TODAY” The filmmaker may be pleased to learn that he can cease inciting to riot. The confederate flag doesn’t fly over the South Carolina Capitol—it has not been flown over the Capitol for fifteen years, although a small version of the “stars and bars” flies adjacent to it on the grounds. Rest assured, it, too, will soon be hauled down by bevies of suddenly indignant politicians struck sanctimonious in the wake of Roof’s homicidal rampage, not so much because they’ve shared a collective epiphany with Michael Moore, but rather because Canadian sociologist Marshall Mcluhan was correct in his observation that “Americans always beat up the peanut vendor when their team loses!”
Salon, ever the more fashionably proclived race-baiters, blamed the shootings on “White Privilege,” which conveys that gauzy, intellectual tone befitting cyberspacial sophisticates and simultaneously defies exactitude and, thereby, confutation. But Leftists who revile white racism are wasting their energies. To whatever extent such traducements succeed, what do they accomplish? The solidification of the Black vote as reliably Democratic? Are they kidding? The Black vote will remain reliably Democratic in the next election anyway, no matter how illogically, even irrationally—and Blacks will get nothing in return—as always—except poorer and angrier. Thus, shoring up the African American base is a fool’s errand for Democrats driven by some Pavlovian urge. They would be better instructed to refocus on the more tactically momentous blatherings of their less distracted peers. Obviously, the optimal means by which this crisis can be used to advantage by the Left is as a promotion for gun control—and it is the revivification of the anti-gun effort that Dylann Roof has bestirred in the bowels of American liberalism. Some liberals get this, whereas their dopier brethren will require some reminding.
Hours after delivering a statement to the press about the tragic shooting of nine worshippers at an historic Charleston, South Carolina church, President Obama dashed to the Pacific Palisades manse of Two-and-a-Half-Men producer, Chuck Lorre, to palaver with 30 of Hollywood’s liberal elite in what his aides described as a “lengthy discussion about the roots of gun violence.” WOOF knows that any influence associated with the endless procession of carnographic Hollywood movies and TV programs fetishizing gun violence did not come up for discussion. After all, with each glittery show-biz celebrity shelling out $33,400 for the privilege of hob-knobbing with the First Marxist at this and an even larger subsequent Hollywood fundraiser at Tyler Perry’s Los Angeles digs, who wanted injured feelings? The president departed from his anti-gun theme only long enough to remark, “We should be reforming our criminal justice system in such a way that we are not incarcerating nonviolent offenders in ways that renders [sic] them incapable of getting a job after they leave office,” but nobody understood that part and the president later admitted that his teleprompter made a Freudian slip.
A White House spokesman told reporters that there had been no discussion of calling off the fundraisers in the wake of the shootings. No kidding.Addressing an audience of entertainment industry luminaries that included Kiefer Sutherland (aka Jack Bauer), Matthew Perry, Conan O’Brien, Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon, producer James Burrows, January Jones, Ted Sarandos, Jason Collins and Matthew Weiner, the President talked guns—but on this occasion he was not inclined to elaborate on his skeet-shooting exploits. Rather, as the gravity of the day’s events certainly merited, he spoke of the horrors surrounding the deaths in Charleston.
Obama described himself as “an optimist,” (and why shouldn’t he be?) but cautioned that incidents like the South Carolina shootings made it clear that much work remained to be done. “We don’t have all the facts,” he said, “but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.” No argument there. In what surely qualifies as the year’s most monumental instance of parental misjudgment, killer Dylann Roof’s father apparently gave him the .45 pistol used in the Charleston slayings for his 21st birthday. His mother, who was evidently less benighted, took it away, but Mr. Roof stole it back in order to commit his atrocities. Liberals may take some comfort in realizing that their efforts to repeal the death penalty in South Carolina have not yet succeeded.
Je suis distrait!
Obama continued by iterating a favorite argument of his, which is to say, a favorite sophistry. “At some point,” he intoned, “we as a country have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.” But of course it does. Only last January, it may be recalled, gunmen with assault rifles shot down 11 staff members at the Paris offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo, wounded eleven more, killed a policeman on their way out and proceeded to a marketplace where they killed 5 and wounded 11 more people whom they perceived to be Jewish. Obama may have forgotten this because unlike every other world leader, he chose to skip the commemorative ceremony in Paris.
Americans don’t even hold the record for worst shooting spree—that goes to Anders Behring Breivik who slaughtered eight people with a car bomb in Oslo, Norway, and proceeded to shoot 69 more people to death, most of them children. It was widely remarked at the time that the massive death toll was partially due to the leisurely pace at which the killer could proceed, knowing that Norwegians do not own firearms. The same may be said regarding the nonchalance with which nine innocents were gunned down last February in the Czech Republic.
In communist China (where citizens are forbidden to own firearms) mass stabbings occur frequently. One assailant stabbed 22 children before he was apprehended. A pair of knife wielding killers murdered 29 people at a railway station in 2014 and wounded 143 more. A mass school shooting in Erfurt, Germany left sixteen dead. In Russia a man armed with an “assault rifle” dropped six innocent victims. In England a gunmen murdered 12 and wounded eleven. On April 7, 2011, an armed man entered an elementary school in Realengo, Brazil, and opened fire, killing twelve kids and wounding a dozen others. Australia offers a prodigious history of mass shootings and stabbings too lengthy to detail here, although interested readers can confirm the point by [clicking here.]
Writing for The Federalist website, David Harsanvi made the additional point that “not that long ago advanced nations in Europe were busy throwing people into ovens or starving millions on purpose. The idea that violence is uniquely American is best left to fringe leftists on college campuses.” To anchor his point, Harsanvi notes that an analysis by the Associated Press (not normally considered an NRA appendage) suggests that mass shootings are waning in the United States. [Click here] They reached a peak in the Roaring Twenties, it seems—and a 2013 study commissioned by the Department of Justice (ironically enough) offered the statistical conclusion that gun violence has been steadily declining since the early‘90s; and this despite Attorney General Holder’s best efforts to stimulate more of it! [See for yourselves, gentle readers.]
A good idea at the time?
It must have seemed like a good idea at the time: In the immediate wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook, Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association made the point that repealing the second amendment made a lot less sense than examining the mental status of those seeking to own firearms. Speaking at a press conference convened to address the tragedy, LaPierre advocated the establishment of a national registry of the psychologically unstable, opining that mass shootings by homicidal maniacs were otherwise likely to continue “given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill!”
Mel Robbins at CNN sounded equally sensible when she wrote, “Next time there’s a mass shooting, don’t jump to blame the National Rifle Association and lax gun laws. Look first at the shooter and the mental health services he did or didn’t get, and the commitment laws in the state where the shooting took place. Strengthening gun control won’t stop the next mass shooter, but changing our attitudes, the treatment options we offer and the laws for holding the mentally unstable and mentally ill for treatment just might.”
This is presumably pretty much what Wayne LaPierre had in mind, too—but are these people dreaming? More than probably it was suggestions of this sort, aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of crazy people, that led President Obama to his latest—and most insidious–salient against the right to bear arms. The Left has always been emphatic that guns need to go, (okay, except during those zany periods of insisting that bullets need to go), but until folks like LaPierre and Robbins gave President Obama’s brain trust the inspiration for a newer, more sophisticated approach to gun grabbing, they were hopelessly doltish about it.
Whether it was Joe Biden clownishly advising Americans to respond to any hint of trouble by firing double-barreled shotguns out their windows; a nearly-hysterical Governor Cuomo reminding his fellow moonbats that “Nobody needs ten bullets to kill a deer;” Senator Feinstein taking a stance for gun control while pointing an AK-47 at the Senate–finger firmly on the trigger, or Rep. Diana DeGette assuring her voters that high-capacity magazines “are ammunition, they’re bullets,” the Left’s inability to grasp the ethos of the gun invariably (and quite satisfyingly) played them for fools again and again. One need look no further than the immortal image of Barack Obama leveling his trusty three-thousand dollar shotgun at a charging skeet to realize that as soon as Liberalism tackles the 2nd amendment, merriment ensues. Or so it seemed until that awful moment when Mr. LaPierre’s seemingly sensible suggestion treated the Left to an “aha” moment.
Probably, the words “national database” should never pass approvingly from a thinking conservative’s lips—at least not nowadays. But to appreciate that fact, one must first comprehend the progressive mindset, and many defenders of gun rights do not—Mr. LaPierre included, it seems; for although he spoke a sensible truth that few sane Americans would seek to controvert—well, therein lies the rub. What sane person could possibly object to keeping tabs on the mentally ill, or making certain that mentally diagnosed citizens are carefully scrutinized before they are allowed to purchase guns? In fact, any organization that came out against psychiatric safe-guards aimed at stopping gun violence would be widely dismissed as insufferably reactionary, wouldn’t it? But that’s exactly why WOOF is here, gentle readers– to be dismissed as insufferably reactionary while we recklessly go where our more judicious brethren refuse even to tip toe….to say to you outright, the movement to debar the mentally ill from gun ownership must be opposed!
Ignorance is no impediment!
All right, put in less nonplussing terms, the current efforts by the Obama Administration to enact laws that limit gun ownership on the basis of mental diagnoses must be halted,and the determination of who is debarred from the purchase of firearms on a psychiatric basis left to the several states, where the Kool-Aid is (generally) less intoxicating. Otherwise, the very American who now finds himself thinking, “who in his right mind could oppose keeping guns out of the hands of mental patients?” may eventually discover to his understandable bewilderment that he himself is freshly re-categorized as—a mental patient, a revelation he’ll encounter only in the event that he attempts to legally obtain a gun. How so? Let’s begin by reviewing the A-B-Cs of collectivism.
Viewed loosely, today’s Democrat party is to American progressivism what the Sinn Féin is to the Provisional IRA. It is the above-ground mouthpiece of a movement seeking to eradicate constitutional government in America and substitute a socialist workers’ collective governed, supervised, educated and policed by a predictable assortment of wealthy, self-exceptionalized elitists. To accomplish this requires, among other key factors, that the American citizen be disarmed. To this end, the operative consideration for the Left is that guns in the hands of American civilians are unacceptable and must be removed from the social equation. Once one is unalterably dedicated to this goal, it matters not a whit whether one personally knows what a magazine is, or how to hold a Kalashnikov, or how to shoulder a 12-gauge. Ignorance of weaponry is no impediment to its abolition. It matters only that the goal is pursued tenaciously and by whatever means may come to hand.
Most readers will be familiar with the story of the boiling frog—a memorable feat of imagery that has been attributed variously and incorrectly to numerous authors and political figures, but which retains a metaphoric significance too valuable to ignore. The idea, of course, is that a frog tossed into boiling water will react immediately and leap to safety, whereas a frog placed in tepid water and brought slowly to a boil will cook. This is apparently untrue in the strict, biological sense—but as a metaphor it precisely depicts the “Fabianist” school of socialist expansion. Fabian (besides recording suboptimal rock-and-roll hits in the late 1950s) was a Roman general (better known to friends as Quintus Fabius Maximus) famous for his tactic of avoiding direct battle in favor of infiltration, subornment, and attrition. His methods inspired a bunch of British socialists to found the Fabian Society in 1884. Fabianism, ever thence, is defined as the advancement of socialist principles through tactical gradualism. And it works, except that it wrecks economies. because, as Margaret Thatcher pointed out, “the problem with socialism is that after a while you run out of other peoples’ money!”
But the Left has no objections whatever to running out of other peoples’ guns—and thanks to the NRA’s perfectly logical but ill-timed suggestion that a central repository listing the nation’s mentally afflicted might prove useful in discouraging nuts from obtaining firearms, the Left has acquired a fresh means of disarming millions of inoffensive, legally rational Americans…and all in the name of mental health, giving objections the appearance of madness.
Can I get me a ‘high powered pistol’ here?
The Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced recently that they are launching a three pronged effort to limit gun ownership in America. The first component seeks new restrictions on “high-powered pistols,” which, like the liberal crusade against the nefarious “Saturday Night Special” and the ongoing struggle to eliminate America’s access to dread “assault rifles,” (debunked here), comes couched in so much ambiguity as to virtually demand the definitional energies of Senatorial committees packed with legally trained liberals. What, after all, is a “high powered pistol?” Are we banning Dirty Harry’s treasured Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum to get even with Clint Eastwood for mocking the Bamster; or has the Left actually discovered the .500 and .600 Magnum revolvers? And if so, who in the Justice Department is so befuddled as to believe criminals make a fetish of wielding these highly impractical, hugely expensive revolvers? Like so many liberal idiotisms, the notion would be purely comedic if the comedians weren’t wearing ties and pantsuits and controlling the executive branch and the media.
Next on the DOJ’s list is the attempt to deny gun ownership to anyone with a history of domestic violence, and again, the impulse is to see this as entirely reasonable. We don’t want wife beaters evolving into wife shooters, obviously, and it would be disingenuous to deny that such cases occur all too often. But the proposed legislation would make it illegal for all citizens convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence to own a gun…so consider the host of violations covered by this blanket terminology, from the lady who threw a glass of wine in her husband’s face because he was berating her over dinner, to the guy who was hauled off because he spanked his kid, to the man who was collared recently in Clawson, Michigan where neighbors heard what they thought was a woman begging for her life. The police dispatcher told responding officers that she heard screams in the background and loud noises. Ultimately, it turned out the man in question was repeatedly passing gas. What about soccer star Hope Solo, charged with pushing and scratching her nephew during a domestic tiff—do we strip her of her Decalogical right to own a gun? For every horrible account of some contemptible oaf committing violence against a spouse or girlfriend, there is a comparatively frivolous example, besides which, as TIME pointed out during a rare, lucid moment, “Police on the scene may not be able to determine who is the primary aggressor in a violent episode and may feel compelled to arrest both parties…”
Charles E. Corry, Ph.D. of the Equal Justice Foundation points out that “Time after time we hear from men who called the police because their wife or lover was assaulting them or the children and, when the police arrived, [the man] was the one arrested.” More than 830,000 men become domestic violence targets every year, and it would be unforgivably sexist of us if we neglected to mention that plenty of women are convicted of domestic misdemeanors every year too, often without doing anything that might prove reasonable grounds for quashing their second-amendment freedoms. Despite the seriousness of domestic violence and its statistically lopsided impact on women who are far more likely to be killed or injured in such incidents than their male counterparts, it must be borne in mind that a percentage of these cases results from false allegations that permanently stain the records of the accused because of the tendency to accept plea bargains, deferred sentences, or pleas of nolo contendere. Given each of these concerns, the NRA’s recommendation that domestic violence cases are best resolved individually when it comes to gun ownership seems the more judicious path.
The New York model
The federal Unified Agenda lists a multitude of new governmental prohibitions amassed by various agencies. [To study WOOF’s explanation of why all cabinet departments are the same department under Obama you could click here, but it’s distracting] In doing so, the Obama Administration has taken its cues in large degree from New York State’s addlepated SAFE Act, a 70 page mish-mash of liberal jabberwocky the immediate result of which was tens of thousands of New York residents waking up suddenly deprived of the right to keep or bear arms. Besides its mental-health aspects, the act banned “semiautomatic guns with detachable magazines that possess one feature commonly associated with military weapons.” (PUBLIC SERVICE WARNING: Just because the act is atrociously written, don’t go thinking that all you need is a gun that possesses more than one such feature!) And without mining the entire hodge-podge for laughs, it is probably sufficient to report that some of the newly minted strictures forbid such barbarous features as, for example, a mount for a bayonet. If New York’s criminal gangs are notorious for their signature tactic of mass bayonet charges, it’s news to us.
Surrender your grenade launchers!
Also, muzzle compensators became illegal overnight—they being devices at the end of a gun barrel designed to reduce vertical movement resulting from recoil. It is difficult to imagine why such devices should excite the particular antipathy of liberals, except that they look kind of cool and military, so they probably had to go. The SAFE act is so vaguely worded that it apparently bans flash hiders and muzzle brakes too, more or less by accident. Heck, they all look pretty much the same. Oh, and grenade launchers are specifically banned, leaving us to wonder —how many residents owned them previously?
New Yorkers were also expected to eschew any pistol that features “a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned.” Huh? On careful and repeated reading this seems a maladroit attempt to describe the perforated cowling that wraps around the barrel of derpy gangsta guns like the Tech 9. (The gun that New York Senator Schumer enjoys taking to the range, by the way…WOOF is not making this up.) This is properly called a barrel jacket, and is usually reserved for machine guns, but barrel jackets look dangerously military and the Tech 9 features them on certain models. The SAFE Act language is so mushy, however, the ban could be construed as making any semi-automatic pistol with a slide covering the barrel illegal.
Were the new rules effective? Yes!, if you count the fact that since their issuance, thirty-three New Yorkers have been charged with having more than seven bullets inside a 10-round magazine while an additional twenty citizens were captured while unlawfully possessing “a large capacity ammunition feeding device,” (meaning, we guess, a magazine that houses more than sufficient ammo to kill a deer) and seven citizens have been charged with failing to register an “assault weapon,” even though the assault weapon provision of SAFE is not yet in effect—kind of like The Minority Report, right? Why wait? In the midst of all this, by the way, the aforementioned NRA president Wayne Lapierre had the temerity to suggest that someone might be trying to take guns away from gun owners, causing Dean Obeidallah (no White Album jokes, please) of the Daily Beast to wonder aloud, “Will Wayne Lapierre ever stop telling lies?” to which was appended the author’s assurance that “No one in the Obama administration or any Democratic administration has ever tried to take law-abiding citizens guns away.” Unfortunately, Mr. Obeidallah does not come with a laugh track.
The Entirely Indecipherable Acts
With so much good being done, it seems tragic, in a way, that common sense members of the judiciary ultimately caught up with and severely crippled the SAFE act. Much of it has been overturned as unconstitutional and several other portions dismissed because, as Judge William M. Skretny of the US District Court for the Western District of New York pointed out, they are “entirely indecipherable.” Besides Skretny, 52 of New York State’s 62 county legislatures oppose Andrew Cuomo’s SAFE Act, and they are joined by the attorney generals of 22 other states who filed a friend-of-the-court brief challenging the entire act’s constitutionality. Meanwhile, citizens arrested after police officers went to the considerable effort of adding up the bullets in their respective magazines and arriving at totals larger than seven have seen their convictions overturned on the grounds of unreasonable search and seizure. Clearly the liberals of New York State and their dedicated constabularies were up against a bunch of right-wing Neanderthals in the judiciary—never previously considered a breeding ground of reaction! Fortunately, at the national level, there remained one man who never wavered over such trifling concerns as the Bill of Rights or the separation of powers—a man who even now marches confidently toward this nation’s Utopian future. He is our leader, he is our collective will, he is our Lenin! And that man, gentle readers, is Barack Hussein Obama.
Our young president seems not in the least dismayed by constitutional objections to New York’s “entirely indecipherable” act, nor by its incomprehensible verbiage. As is his habit when devoting himself to the destruction of American principles, Obama spoke first in praise of the principle to be dismantled, and then elided into a cheerful discussion of how we might best annihilate it. “We can respect the Second Amendment,” he insisted, but added, “If America worked harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities…. ” And who are those dangerous, irresponsible people? It must be assumed that in this matter, too, Slow Rappin’ Preezy concurs with his friend and ally, Screamin’ Andy Cuomo, who recently bellowed: “Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay…and if that’s who they are and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.” Obama seeks only to apply Governor Cuomo’s dictum to “bitter clingers” on a national level; and toward this end his latest initiative “invests in programs to identify mental health issues early…” often, one suspects, before they have even officially appeared.
One man’s psycho…
Psychology, as the lovely lady on Bones likes to remind us, is a soft science; and at times even that stipulation seems charitable. Ask a population sample “should crazy people be allowed to purchase guns?” and the overwhelming majority will answer “no!” No contest. But the same population, asked to define “crazy” would be hard pressed. For the most part, Democrat politicians have no more idea how to diagnose the insane than they have of how to define an assault rifle, and for the reasons already given, they could care less. The mission now before them, especially now that President Obama has rallied them to the pursuit, is not to weed out psychotics, but rather to deprive the maximum number of Americans of the right to keep and bear the most expansive possible list of freshly proscribed arms. After all, one man’s psycho is another man’s moody uncle—so why take chances? Isn’t it best to err on the side of caution? Well…?
What is madness?
The American Psychiatric Association stated in 2012 that a mental disorder is “a behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual,” so we ask you, gentle readers, does this help you comprehend the term? Put another way, can you think of anyone who, given the above definition, doesn’t have a mental disorder? It may gratify readers to learn that nobody else liked that definition either, so by the time the APA published the notorious 5th edition of its ever-controversial Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM) the definition had evolved into a bloated paragraph of ambiguous psychoblab located on page 20. This longer version met with even more criticism, presumably because there was more to criticize. “People are just as confused about the question, what is madness?” remarked Paul McHugh, a former chief psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins, who also complained that the DSM-5 ignores causation and eschews prognoses, making it, he said, the psychiatric equivalent of “a field guide to the birds.”
For that matter, the term “mental illness” is not actually used in the DSM and remains utterly conjecturable. We might expect something authoritative from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, for example, but they offer merely that “a mental illness is a condition that impacts a person’s thinking, feeling or mood and may affect his or her ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis.” So, gentle readers, are you beginning to grasp our point? Are you beginning to understand how readily Progressivism may traverse the aether between Wayne Lapierre’s well-intended suggestion and that point at which you will be denied the ownership of a gun because you are perceived to suffer from a condition that impacts your thinking, feeling or mood and may affect your ability to relate to others? Like, maybe, being alive?
Pausing to condescend….
Naturally the skeptical moderate will pause here to smile condescendingly and say half aloud, “Yes, but all this is ridiculous—when they talk about keeping mentally ill people from buying guns, they are talking about the truly insane—not people with Binge Eating Disorder, or Internet Disorder!” (WOOF is not making those up, by the way.) WOOF understands the moderate’s skepticism—just as we understood his former confidence that if he liked his doctor he could keep his doctor, that Internet neutrality was intended to bring about more equitable Internet availabilities, that the President was post-racial, or for that matter that the federal income tax was just to pay for World War One. The moderate expects situations to evolve the way they did when grownups were running things, but hasn’t yet cognicized that today’s leaders dress similarly to those grownups only because they are in costume. To our moderate readers (we know there are at least three of you) we say, consider the Left’s own language in this regard.
One can go on line (which presumably one already is) and check out Whitehouse.gov for President Obama’s plan to reign in gun violence in America and one will encounter a carbon copy of the New York SAFE Act. Truly, not a single bone-headed proscription is left unplagiarized! One will also encounter the helpful assurance that:“The background check system is the most efficient and effective way to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals, but we need to make sure it has access to complete information about these individuals. For example, although the number of mental health records available to the system has increased by 800 percent…a recent report by the Government Accountability Office found that there are still 17 states that have made fewer than 10 mental health records available.”
Indeed, “Some states have cited concerns about restrictions under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as a reason not to share relevant information…” [duh.] But, undaunted, Whitehouse.gov promises, “The Administration will begin the regulatory process to remove any needless barriers, starting by gathering information about the scope and extent of the problem.” In fact, deep within the murky bowels of the Affordable Care Act, the mechanisms already reside to quash Americans’ HIPAA rights—how else can the IRS oversee our health care? But we digress.
Say, are you dangerous or untrustworthy?
Under New York’s SAFE Act as originally configured, hundreds of Americans lost their 2nd amendment rights (whether in theory or by dint of interdiction) because they were known to have sought counseling for anxiety or depression, or received prescriptions for anti-depressants. It is Barack Obama’s plan to generate a similar list on a nationwide level, and in Obamacare he has exactly the right tool for the job. WOOF knows that as you read this, the ATF is hard at work generating new sets of recommendations potentially prohibiting anyone who has received psychological counseling for any mood or personality disorder or been prescribed any sort of psycho-pharmaceutical medication, from purchasing a gun. This would debar millions upon millions of law abiding American citizens from firearm ownership and the sagacious reader will trust us when we aver: This is only the beginning!
“Whitehouse.gov cannot seem to emphasize the point too often or too strongly. Again and again it exhorts concerned supporters of the president to “make sure dangerous people are prohibited from having guns…we need to make sure our laws are effective at identifying the dangerous or untrustworthy individuals that should not have access to guns.” And to this end, “the President will direct the Attorney General, in consultation with other relevant agencies, to review the laws governing who is prohibited from having guns and make legislative and executive recommendations to ensure dangerous people aren’t slipping through the cracks.” Can you not see this coming, gentle readers?
Who are these dangerous and untrustworthy people? Besides the president and the Attorney General, that is. We already have the list, thanks (somewhat ironically) to the emotional instability of the labile Governor Cuomo. The list includes“… these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay…” and everyone else to the approximate political right of, say, Bernie Sanders. In fact, you don’t have to be any of these things to qualify, you only have to be called these things by the government. Consider the precedent!
The craziest psychiatrist!
Comedian David Steinberg used to do a routine about a crazy psychiatrist who romped into treatment sessions wearing a sombrero, babbling incoherently, and hallucinating vividly. The trope was obvious—what’s funnier than a crazy psychiatrist? But not all crazy psychiatrists are so amusing. Take Andrei Vladimirovich Snezhnevsky, for instance. Snezhnevsky made himself indispensable to the cause of mental health in Soviet Russia by pioneering an entirely new school of diagnostics, widely called “punitive psychiatry.” During the tenure of Leonid Brezhnev, at the behest of the Communist Party and the KGB, crazy old Dr. Snezhnevsky discovered a whole passel of previously undetected mental illnesses including “sluggish schizophrenia,” which transpired to afflict thousands of previously undiagnosed Soviet citizens. The main symptom of sluggish schizophrenia was resistance to Soviet Communism, or any of its officials, or any of its decrees or laws. Snezhnevsky explained that any refusal to adhere to the official Party line, any hint of dissent from the Soviet lifestyle, was a form of insanity, explicable only as a longitudinally accretive schizophrenic condition. Symptoms on this “negative axis” included pessimism about the state of the nation, inability to adapt comfortably to the socialist cause, and conflict with authorities. Handily, no further symptoms of psychosis were necessary to diagnose the new mental disease, which quickly soared to epidemic proportions in Russia.
Needless to say, thousands of Soviet dissidents were hauled off to mental hospitals after Snezhnevsky’s “Moscow School” of psychiatry recognized their symptoms. Once incarcerated, these unfortunates were repeatedly medicated until their “symptoms” were subdued. But while Snezhnevsky’s theories became mandatory teachings in Russia, they raised hackles in the west. Noting that even the slightest tendency to protest Communist policy in the USSR was now interpreted by Soviet psychiatrists as evidence of mental disease and treated with institutional commitment followed by debilitating drug regimens, many professionals took issue. Ukrainian psychiatrist and human-rights activist Semyon Gluzman summarized matters concisely when he observed that the “psychiatric paradigm of a totalitarian state is culpable for its expansion into spheres which are not initially those of psychiatric competence,” resulting in “psychiatric repression of people showing political or ideological dissent.” Of course, as our three-or-so skeptically moderate readers will wish us to emphasize at this point, that couldn’t happen here.
It’s happening here.
Appearing before Joe Biden’s annoying task force on gun violence in 2013, American Psychiatric Association representative Dr. Paul Appelbaum got the ball rolling by calling for the development of “sensible, nondiscriminatory approaches to keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous people.” How, precisely, Dr. Appelbaum intended to single out dangerous people without being at least a tiny bit discriminatory was not explained.
Meanwhile, the newly minted president of the American Medical Association, Dr. Richard F. Corlin, devoted not a portion, but rather the entirety of his recent inaugural address to the topic of guns, a manifestly lopsided focus that proved all the more puzzling inasmuch as Corlin was clearly discussing a topic about which he knew absolutely nothing. But as we mentioned earlier in this screed, ignorance is no impediment to liberal activism, and Corlin proves our point. He promised to initiate a study of the “epidemiology” of gun violence, which he called a public health crisis. Think about this. True, it is unhealthy to get shot—but epidemiology? Getting shot is not a disease any more than getting hit by a truck is a disease, gentle readers, it’s an event. But according to the new head of the AMA it is also a “uniquely American epidemic,” which he actually likened to Polio. Corlin may, in fact, be delusional, since he solemnly assured his constituents that he “grew up in a world without guns,” whereas, in reality, he grew up in America. He has now dedicated the American Medical Association to the priority of returning an entire nation to the factitious idyll of his childhood, and he made the first steps clear when he concluded that, “the greatest risk factor…is access to firearms.” So how would he limit that access, do you suppose? Maybe he’s working on a vaccine.
Not to be outdone, the American Psychological Association issued a report demanding that criminal penalties be levied against gun owners who practice “unsafe storage” of firearms and in support of expanding “gun free zones,” because those always work so well. These demands lead a substantial laundry list of recommendations united by their lack of any association with the expertise of psychology.
Sometimes, these explosions of liberal bombast are irresistibly amusing. Motivational guru Ray Williams, for instance, writes in Psychology Today that mass killings must be seen in the context of America’s “history of…military activity on a large scale.” Before the reader can perform a respectable double take, Williams lurches forward, insisting that the American military, the CIA, and the sale of American military weaponry abroad play a major roll in provoking gun violence on Main Street. “The U.S. has somewhere between 700-800 formal military bases around the world, not counting covert operations,” gasps Williams, who also lists professional football and the film Zero-Dark Thirty as likely contributors to illegal shootings. But then he refocuses and paves the way for generations of gun-grabbers to come, opining “the real root cause is in the minds of Americans who may feel that a gun gives them a feeling of empowerment, and that they are entitled to have the power over life and death as well as the belief that if they want to they can take a life if they have been wronged (or imagined they have) in some way.” Thanks, Ray Williams. The message is plain enough—if you own a gun, you’re probably Dylann Roof—so you must be nuts. Somewhere in Hell, Andrei Vladimirovich Snezhnevsky is smiling fraternally.
Worse, the language of the new DOJ regulations, first devised during the tenure of gun-running crime lord Eric Holder, would revise the definition of “adjudicated as a mental defective” to include “persons who are found incompetent ….by reason of mental disease or defect; persons lacking mental responsibility or deemed insane….regardless of whether these determinations are made by a state, local, federal or military court.”
If it saves even one life…!
Thus long before a method is formulated (and promulgated by the media) allowing gun ownership itself to be written off as a mental affliction, it becomes an attractive first option to seek out quirks or infirmities that can be ruled (at the state, federal, or local level) to constitute grounds for depriving Americans of their second-amendment protections. With the abandonment of medical confidentiality inherent in the takeover of our healthcare system by the IRS (which has more than adequately proved itself a militant extension of the DNC), Obama has the pieces on the board necessary to checkmate citizens whose mental-health histories in any respect cause the state to suspect they may be dangerous or untrustworthy. Leftists, including pro-abortion leftists, we can’t resist noting, will take up Obama’s paralogistical chant: “If it saves even one life!” and demand citizens surrender their arms because they take Lexapro, or Librium–and with one in five Americans on psych meds, we can’t take chances! Or do you want Dylann Roof shooting up your church?
What would Mitt do?
Ultimately, the Right may wish to get ahead of this curve, more or less in the way that Romney advised getting ahead of the illegal immigration curve, except that was a really bad idea, and this may be a good one! It is possible to construct legislation barring authentically psychotic individuals from owning firearms, and phrasing the law so as to impinge on no one’s rights save the genuinely insane. It will be sensibly argued that such a law is unnecessary insofar as federal and state laws already proscribe the sale of firearms to those whose histories include involuntary mental commitment or to persons having been adjudicated insane by a court. So why bother? Why, to seize the initiative and make a show of passing legislation responsive to the faux-crisis before the Left can concoct something vastly more subversive. Too Machiavellian? We’re just thinking out loud here.
The liberal answer is distressingly simple—you take away everyone’s gun. But as all good Fabianists know, you get there a little bit at a time. and the next step will involve the circumscription of anyone’s rights who so much as confessed to depression or anxiety in the presence of the family physician, lest such persons obtain firearms and suddenly metamorphose into Dylann Roof, like David Banner breaking bad under stress. The NRA’s solution, on the other hand, is a vigilantly armed citizenry. This suffers the distinct disadvantage of sending chills up the spines of our (above referenced) moderate readers, and affronting their legendarily tender sensibilities to the breaking point; but it has the advantage of practicality, which has won a lot more gunfights than self-righteousness.
Assertions that the Charleston shootings could have been prevented or abbreviated by an armed parishioner have met with explosions of liberal outrage—but what doesn’t? Slate’s “The Slatest” blog went into conniptions when NRA member Charles Cotton told the Washington Post “If armed citizens are in there, they have a chance to defend themselves and other citizens.” Cotton went on to lament the slain Reverend/Senator Clementa Pinckney’s anti-gun politics, which virtually guaranteed an unarmed flock. The Slatest cites an FBI report that “guns are rarely used to kill criminals or stop crimes.” Statistically, this is true, of course, and The Slatest calls this “evidence” that “contradicts” the NRA position, conveniently forgetting that the NRA consistently laments the unpreparedness of average Americans to defend themselves or their loved ones, and the concomitant tendency to depend instead on an overworked, thinly spread constabulary that is rarely on the scene in time to defend anybody. In fact, when an armed citizen is on hand, the statistics improve dramatically.
Example: On December 9th, 2007, 24-year-old Matthew Murray started shooting at parishioners of the New Life Church of Colorado Springs. Parishioner Jeanne Assam drew her concealed handgun, crouched and waited. As Murray approached her position she revealed herself and fired several times at the killer. After stopping several of Assam’s bullets, Murray was gracious enough to finish the job by committing suicide. At the time of his death, he was carrying an assault rifle, two pistols, and over 1000 rounds of ammo. Major networks ignored the event.
Example: On Sunday, 24, April, 2012, Kiarron Parker rammed his car into the parking lot of Destiny Christian Center in Aurora Colorado, and exited his vehicle gun in hand. He immediately shot and killed Josephine Echols, 67, and then opened fire on multiple church members. “He pulled out the gun and started chasing us,” one member reported, “he pulled the gun…and just began to shoot!” Fortunately, the nephew of the murdered woman held a concealed carry permit. The armed church member drew his handgun and shot Parker, killing him and preventing mass slaughter. “Thank God for him because if it wasn’t for him there’s no telling what would have happened,” one parishioner told reporters. Major networks ignored the event.
The gun-less idyll
A truly disarmed America—that fairy-tale realm in which the AMA’s newly elected president fantasizes spending his childhood– is unobtainable, of course—no matter what unconstitutional measures are taken against the lawful populace, criminals will always have guns, and keep and bear them despite declining to submit to mental health exams. But criminals do not stand against governmental tyranny nor threaten to resist the tide of socialist expansion in their respective cities or towns—nor will they form a well regulated militia if necessary to oppose the presumptions of a tyrant. But criminals will always enjoy liberal favor. As Solzhenitsyn points out in The Gulag Archipelago, common criminals enjoyed superior treatment in the Soviet labor camps because ideologically they were deemed better prospects for re-education. Political prisoners were tools of the bourgeoisie, and converting them was a chore, whereas Marxism taught that common criminals were the result “anomie” resulting, the communists reasoned, from class struggle against the dehumanizing weight of industrial Capitalism. Criminals could be made into modern Soviet men. This attitude of special dispensation to the criminal caste is constantly on display among American liberals, even though most have never considered its source —surely you’ve noticed!
On the other extreme, for the liberal elitist there is no perceptual downside to the elimination of an armed American citizenry. The Leftists who seek to disarm us, after all, are invariably surrounded by heavily armed bodyguards, and have no cause to fear for their own persons, nor inclination to fear for anyone else’s. It is only the hope of eliminating the militia referenced in the 2nd amendment that excites their energies, for as George Mason, father of the Bill of Rights, quoth long ago: