The media does hysteria well. It’s about the only thing it does well.
It hysterically accused Palin and Beck and Limbaugh and the Tea Partiers of being complicit in mass murder despite a few readily known and very salient facts: (1) the absence of a single quotation that can be attributed to any of those people or groups that can reasonably be interpreted as an incitement to violence; (2) the fact that Loughner’s political tendencies, if any existed in that damaged mind, hewed Left; (3) the fact that Loughner had been stalking Giffords since 2007, long before Palin, Beck and the Tea Partiers were twinkles in conservatives’ eyes; and (4) Loughner’s manifest stark, raving insanity.
When the American people rightly rejected this particular brand of hysteria, the media launched a new, two-pronged attack. The first was to try, once again, for gun control. I was once a gun control advocate (that was back in my Democrat days). I soured on it when I figured out a few facts: (1) Totalitarian governments always disarm their citizens. The Nazis disarmed the Germans, the Soviets disarmed the Russians, Castro disarmed the Cubans, etc. (2) Outside of totalitarian states, where the only ones allowed to commit violence belong to the government, gun bans result in higher crime. The NRA was right: in a moderately free society (because it’s not truly free if only the government is armed) when guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns. (3) As Katrina graphically demonstrated, with the best will in the world, police are usually there after the crime, not during the crime.
Let’s hope the Second Amendment survives this next round of attacks — but to those who refused to vote for McCain, let it be on your head if Obama somehow gets lucky and is able to replace a conservative Supreme Court justice with a liberal one. I hope it won’t happen, but it can.
The other attack hysterics are mounting is the one that seeks to wrap our elected representatives in bullet proof bubbles. As to that, John Stossel offers the following bracing, cold common sense (emphasis mine):
This week’s endless media coverage of the Arizona shooting implies that members of Congress are more important than “ordinary” citizens. They are not. All lives are equally valuable.
In other words, “Hey, if s/he gets a body guard and security system, I want one too. And indeed, if I’m unlucky enough to live in South Central or some other crime hot spot, I deserve it more than s/he does.”