It’s time we talk. The debate over gun control is not about guns, it’s about culture, and here is how it works: You point to school shootings and other violence and say that it’s my fault because I support the right to keep and bear arms. I point to violent video games and sociopathic teenagers, and I say the problem is your fault, thanks to inadequately internalized values and morals.
But here’s the thing: Between guns and culture, only one thing has changed. Weapons have been in the hands of man since time immemorial. There is nothing special about semi-automatic “assault weapons.” In fact, until 1934 people could go out and buy fully automatic Thompson submachine guns, hand grenades or just about any other implement of destruction they could afford.
Admittedly, there were a limited number of mafia “hits” in which those weapons were used by unsavory characters to snuff out other unsavory characters. But I defy you to find a single instance in which a child of the 1930s took Daddy’s “Tommy Gun” to school and shot up his classroom.
We can debate merits of the 1960s another time (with pleasure), but I think we can both agree that, as a cultural standard, the innocence of “Leave It to Beaver” pretty much went the way of the dinosaur by the time of the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Now that the flower children are all grown up (sort of) and produced self-esteem-dependent, atheistic children of their own, we are shocked to discover them to be inadequately socialized. Then, inevitably, they encounter a setback. It could be a romance gone wrong, perhaps rejection by an attractive social group. Whatever the catalyst, equipped with “my” weapons and “your” values, they cut loose on some campus somewhere.
Now, we could go the way of the Brits who, after the Dunblane massacre, banned everything in sight. Unfortunately, in this most perfect of gun control laboratories – an island nation with strict laws and tight borders – the result has been an explosion in crime…and yes, that especially includes gun crime.
It has also led their inadequately socialized post-60s kiddies to stab each other with such alarming regularity that the British have now begun to ban knives, leading us to the sad but inescapable conclusion that Brits can no longer be trusted with sharp objects.
On their present path, the nation of Winston Churchill and the “stiff upper lip” will soon ban running with scissors (if they are allowed scissors at all), and kitchen matches will be the stuff of museums, quite probably under surveillance cameras and armed guard.
Unfortunately, because you are liberal, and because liberalism seems to manifest itself as a pathological obsession to run my life, I can’t reason with you. Therefore, my only choice is to beat you. (Stop cowering: I mean metaphorically, not literally.)
My sole recourse is to marginalize you and reclaim my culture, and that is what I have set about doing. If not me, then my children. If not them, their children. We will make the Thirty Years’ War look like a trifle.
There. We’ve cleared the air. Don’t we all feel just a little better?