The Progressives on my Facebook feed are in a delighted tizzy. Obama actually cried — he cried! — when he spoke of his new unilaterally enacted gun control edicts limiting law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment rights. I quote:
“Bravo, Mr. President! Thank you so much for your leadership, your clear-headed thinking and your enormous heart.”
“I agree completely with Obama – if it prevents even one death, that life is meaningful.”
“If you find yourself mocking anyone who cries over murdered children, it’s Jesus’s way of letting you know you’re a sociopath.”
This was a sentiment that several of my Progressive friends “liked.”
There are so many things wrong with these statements that it’s a little hard to know where to begin. What I won’t discuss here are the specifics of the Executive Order — which apparently range from stupid, to dangerous, to vaguely helpful, but always unconstitutional. You can find several intelligent discussions at conservative sites. A few suggestions are Ace of Spades, Larry Correia, Bearing Arms, and AWR Hawkins.
Instead, what I want to discuss are those tears. I believe they are theatrical, and it’s not just because it’s possible that Obama “onioned” his eyes as a way to make them happen. Obama doesn’t needs onions to shed fake tears as a way of cementing a con — and his gun control push is a con, one that he’s probably deliberately running on the American people, although it’s conceivable he’s running it on himself too.
My “Obama is crying hypocritical crocodile tears” argument is best made through the filter of a 2015 HBO documentary, Requiem for the Dead. Consider this argument a synecdoche, one in which to be illustrative of the whole. My experience with a Leftist and Requiem for the Dead is America’s experience with Barack Obama and his acolytes.
Requiem for the Dead relies on Facebook material, TV reports, and calls to 911 to tell the stories of a few of the 32,000 people who die from gunfire every year in America. It focuses on the 8,000 who died between March and June 2014. After denying a political agenda, one of the filmmakers nevertheless gave the game away when she described her goal:
“Of course,” Doob admits, “we want to foster dialogue. We want the film to open people to talk so that even NRA people can look at this.”
“Foster dialogue” is Leftist speak for “This is a Leftist political polemic.”
I had no intention of watching yet another HBO propaganda piece but that changed a few days ago when a Progressive, anti-gun friend of mine challenged me to watch the video. She said she sobbed her way through it and concluded that anyone who watches it should understand that the only way to save lives is to ban guns. The Second Amendment is a relic, she argued, and shouldn’t be allowed to stop this type of necessary reform. In other words, before Obama even got warmed up, I got the full Barack Obama treatment from her.
I watched the video this past weekend and can tell you a few takeaways:
First, it’s always sad when people don’t die in their beds of old age, especially when those people are good people leaving behind many loved ones. The reality is that, even in the safest, most modern society, premature death often happens, whether because of disease, accidents, or violence. And it would be foolish to deny that guns can figure in both accidental or deliberately violent deaths.
Second, with the exception of the gang shootings and the one child killing another, all of gun deaths on which the video makers focused were the types of killings that have happened since time immemorial due to human nature. As even Time Magazine acknowledged, “many of the examples in the documentary seem to highlight incidents that could have been prevented by proper gun storage or better mental health treatment.”
Thus, among the deaths highlighted in the documentary, there were crimes of passion that saw men and women kill the person they believed had scorned, insulted, or abandoned them, deaths that were often preceded by multiple calls to the police and that were often followed by the shooter turning the gun on himself (or herself).
A couple of the nastiest murders involved siblings. In one, a 12-year-old boy who was obsessed with guns sexually assaulted his sister, and then killed her and himself. There was also the psychotic, jealous younger brother who couldn’t take his older brother’s teasing one more time, and shot the older brother. The documentary left out whether either of the killers was on psychotropic drugs at the time and left me feeling that more could have been said about potential warning signs.
While each of the above cases involved a gun, none required a gun to happen. I could easily have imagined these same murders in another time or place, but with different weapons: strangulation, bats, hammers, knives, feet, fists, etc. The gun was a mere tool for passion and insanity.
Third, guns and kids are a bad combination, but the problem isn’t the moment the kid finds the gun, it’s the adult failures that led to that moment. Those adult failures happen a lot, and not just with guns.
Sadly, a surprising number of kids die every year in America. Mostly in swimming pools. Did you know that drowning is the primary cause of death of American children aged one through four? Minorities are also at terrible risk of drowning.
Also, if you have a secret, embarrassing passion for the Daily Mail, as I do, you learn that even in the “civilized” West, children die all the time from parental neglect, carelessness, or malevolence. Indeed, because children are such vulnerable little things, the tragic reality is that they even manage to die when they’re under the care of the most loving and responsible parents. Bad things happen and all the legislation in the world won’t stop that horrible moment — the one you spend the rest of your life wishing you could rewind — when something fell, burned, crashed, exploded, poisoned, rolled, etc., and killed your beloved child.
Fourth, unlike the Progressive who watched the video, I knew that the other deaths highlighted, the ones involving blacks, may have had guns as the proximate cause, but were actually political deaths. Let me quote from Daniel Greenfield:
2,995 people were shot in Chicago last year. Shootings were up, way up, in Baltimore. With an assist from Al Sharpton and #BlackLivesMatter, Baltimore beat out Detroit. But Detroit is still in the running. Chicago, Baltimore and Detroit all have something in common, they’re all run by the party of gun control which somehow can’t seem to manage to control the criminals who have the guns.
The murder rate in Washington, D.C., home of the progressive boys and girls who can solve it all, is up 54%. The capital of the national bureaucracy has also been the country’s murder capital.
These cities are the heartland of America’s real gun culture. It isn’t the bitter gun-and-bible clingers in McCain and Romney territory who are racking up a more horrifying annual kill rate than Al Qaeda; it’s Obama’s own voting base.
Gun violence is at its worst in the cities that Obama won in 2012. Places like New Orleans, Memphis, Birmingham, St. Louis, Kansas City and Philly. The Democrats are blaming Republicans for the crimes of their own voters.
Chicago, where Obama delivered his victory speech, has homicide numbers that match all of Japan and are higher than Spain, Poland and pre-war Syria. If Chicago gets any worse, it will find itself passing the number of murders for the entire country of Canada.
Chicago’s murder rate of 15.09 per 100,000 people looks nothing like the American 4.2 rate, but it does look like the murder rates in failed countries like Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. To achieve Chicago’s murder rate, African countries usually have to experience a bloody genocidal civil war.
But Chicago isn’t even all that unique. Or the worst case scenario. That would be St. Louis with 50 murders for 100,000 people. If St Louis were a country, it would have the 4th highest murder rate in the world, beating out Jamaica, El Salvador and Rwanda.
Obama won St. Louis 82 to 16 percent.
New Orleans lags behind with a 39.6 murder rate. Louisiana went red for Romney 58 to 40, but Orleans Parish went blue for Obama 80 to 17. Obama won both St. Louis and Baltimore by comfortable margins. He won Detroit’s Wayne County 73 to 26.
As Greenfield says, black on black homicides, or black on any other color homicides, aren’t a “gun” problem, they’re a Democrat problem. More specifically they are a “Democrat-run city imposing gun control strictures on inner city ghettos” problem, thereby ensuring that the law-abiding citizens trapped in those ghettos are slaughtered and terrorized (as was the case for those people highlighted in the HBO documentary). Thanks to armed thugs (because gun-control means nothing to them) and an unarmed citizenry, these inner cities look like Honduras or Somalia.
What’s worse is that the Democrat elites who impose this top down anarchy and thuggery on the inner cities live in safe white suburbs. Many of them, like Hillary, Obama, and Bloomberg, travel with world with armed guards, even as the blacks they hold captive butcher each other with bloodthirsty zeal.
Guns may be the ultimate tool in many of these black deaths, whether the people dying are gang warriors or innocent bystanders, but the ideology arming those blacks is the ideology my Progressive friend practices. For all her weeping, her insistence on gun-control is almost certainly what killed those people.
Fifth, and last, I knew one other thing my Progressive friend didn’t know and, when I told her this thing, she refused to accept as true: The higher the proportion of law Americans owning guns, the lower the number of deaths. No less a neutral authority than the Pew Research Center has confirmed that gun homicides in America have dropped like a stone since their peak in 1993 although Americans, like my Progressive friend, reject that reality:
National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Beneath the long-term trend, though, are big differences by decade: Violence plunged through the 1990s, but has declined less dramatically since 2000.
Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades.
Here’s a handy-dandy chart making the same point:
During the exact same period, the rate of legal gun ownership in America steadily grew:
Here’s another chart that usefully combines the two trends. It shows that more guns definitely didn’t result in more crime and it suggests that more guns might have been the reason for less crime:
In other words, as crime went down, gun ownership went up. While correlation is not causation, the reverse trends of guns (more) and homicide (fewer) indicates that the Progressive theory (that more guns equal more unnecessary deaths) is untrue. (Do I need to do a riff here on all the other untrue Progressive theories, from anthropogenically caused global warming to evil eggs and butter? Nah. I’ll just let you wonder about the credulous Progressives who cling to their ideologically no matter the facts, all the while proclaiming that they’re smarter than stupid religious people who believe in a moral God.) Indeed, as even the CDC has acknowledged, the presence of guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens may indeed contribute to the decrease in deadly gun crimes.
Armed with this information — that is, with my brain clearly fixed on facts, not the maudlin emotions swirling around my navel because of the HBO documentary — I spoke my mind to the Progressive:
“That video is a manipulative polemic. It’s got you all weepingly hysterical about guns but the reality is that, if you really cared about people’s lives, instead of taking away guns, you would make it easier for law-abiding people to get guns, you would strengthen the laws to protect people against the manifestly insane or otherwise dangerous, you would acknowledge that guns protect lives as well as take them (and statistically seem to do the former a lot more than the latter), and you would accept that bad things will happen no matter how much we try.”
I couldn’t stop myself from adding, “If you were as smart as you think you are, you’d remember that the greatest killer in the world is government.” (For more on that argument, check out this post. as well as the poster below.)
I summed it up: “The fact that you refuse to do any of these things, but instead insist on castigating as an unfeeling sociopath anyone who disdains tears but instead wants to apply proven solutions to gun violence, means that you’re a hypocrite, a moron, or a sociopath yourself.”
Okay, I have to be honest. I didn’t say that last sentence to the Progressive, because I’m a fairly nice person. Instead, I just thought it to myself.
What I did say was this: “By focusing on emotions, not realities, you are contributing to gun deaths, rather than helping to prevent them. I’m therefore singularly unimpressed when you call me a horrible, unfeeling person.” What I thought, but again didn’t add, was “The only unfeeling person here is you, wallowing in your meaningless, manipulated emotions, and pouring out your crocodile tears, while refusing to take any of the steps we know save lives.”
You can now see what I meant about saying my Requiem for the Dead story is a synecdoche for the drama Obama is playing on the national stage using the White House as his bully pulpit. The only unfeeling person there was the person acting precisely like Barack Obama, except that my friend didn’t have an Executive Order in her hand when she behaved this way.
President Obama, your Executive Order will, at best, do nothing at all or, at worst, make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to have guns. You have to know this, and you have to know that, if you are successful in restricting legal access to guns, you are consigning tens of thousands more people to death. To the extent you were ostensibly crying for the dead, the only thing I can conclude is that you’re a hypocrite, a moron, or a sociopath — and that those tears you’re crying, if they’re not “onionzied,” are almost certainly crocodile tears meant to manipulate the foolish, ill-informed, credulous, emotionally-immature, university-educated (but I repeat myself) masses.