I posted on Facebook the other night about this, but figured I’d blog it anyway. Basically, what I wish could happen was that every one of us with strong beliefs could go through a door into the future, where all of those beliefs had been followed through on, so that we could see what that future would look like. Me? I know mine wouldn’t be Utopia. Far from it. But then, I understand Utopia is a fantasy, and to exist in it would be to exist in a largely rights-free world. My feeling is, I’d be okay in my future. Others, though, especially the knee-jerking types and SJWs of the world? I honestly believe they’d come back through their door screaming.
In my future world? People would still die over stupid stuff. Without a doubt. And, I can live with that, because I don’t think you can legislate stupid out of people. Certainly not by attempting to ban society’s way out of its problems-something that I think happens all too often when people don’t think things through. For instance. My future world would still have people dying in drunk driving accidents. Know why? Because in my future, some all-seeing all-knowing government bureaucracy hadn’t banned cars because they kill people. That government overlord hadn’t outlawed beer and wine and liquor, either. I know-people are waving their fist because they understand that this is eventually going to get to guns and things like that, and it will. But you can’t deny the logic. 30 people die every day due to drunk driving. Hundreds more are injured. That’s not a once-every-couple-of-years thing like the Vegas shooting. That’s every single.day. The cost to taxpayers? Over $52 billion dollars a year. That’s billion, with a B. The number of people permanently disabled is in the thousands. But despite outrage, no group of celebrities or politicians goes on TV after someone famous dies and tells the law abiding people of the country to ban alcohol and cars. “Access to guns makes this easy!” we hear after an incident like Vegas. Oh? How many gun shops are there in comparison with bars and liquor stores? How many gun shops are open until 4am daily? How many bars and restaurants and supermarkets do a background check on you before you drive?
In my future world, we’re still free. Or, at least, freer than most of the planet. In my future world, you can still smoke if that’s your thing. You can still drink if that’s your thing. You can still drive whatever vehicle you want. Sure, there’ll be laws. There’ll be drunk driving laws and selling-Marlboros-to-underage-kids laws and speeding tickets. But folks’ll still speed, because in my world the government won’t come to take away your cars because driving is dangerous and tens of thousands-that’s right, tens of thousands-die annually in automobile accidents. Just like planes sometimes crash. That’s the nature of tragedy-it’s something everyone wants to prevent, but which can’t be.
But in my world we don’t have to cross the country only in trains because planes haven’t been banned. In my future we will still fly even if some terrorist figures a way how to beat the system and gets something on board that blows up in the bathroom. Will those deaths be tragic? Except for the scumbag in the john, yes. And people will mourn, and others will investigate and the media will report on the 12-year-old who was going to the National Spelling Bee, or the couple heading to their honeymoon destination.
But we’ll still have planes.
And yes, we’ll still have guns. And yes, there will be the occasional mass shooting. And yes, there will still be scumbags who do things, like this lowlife did, to take perfectly legal guns and modify them to mimic machine guns. I watched half a dozen videos on YouTube today showing just how easy this is to do. A drill and some decent drill bits and a tape measure was all it took. $20 bucks worth of screws and washers and metal and rubber at Lowes was how one guy described it. Step-by-step instructions. About a 2 hour investment in time. In my future world, yeah. It will happen again. Because you can’t legislate good behavior into people who want to do terrible things. Those who are committed? They’re going to do things like this. Those who are single-minded about wreaking havoc? They’ll find a way. Claiming that adding laws that wouldn’t have prevented this shooting will somehow make it harder going forward is nonsense. Well-intentioned nonsense, but nonsense nevertheless.
Laws are great for punishing people that get caught. That’s the bottom line. And by then? By then it’s too late. If you’re a monster like Paddock who doesn’t care? The law is worthless. New laws? To those bent on doing something like this, they’ll be equally worthless.
Consider this. Every state has numerous laws against sexual assault. Just like every state has laws barring drunk driving. Yet, we still have plenty of rape. We have an outrageous number of drunk driving arrests every year. Thousands killed. So yeah, the laws are nice, after the deed is done, and if your loser survives to be charged.
I listened to the Jimmy Kimmel monologue the other night. I really, really appreciate his passion. It’s heartbreaking that a guy who only wants to come on every night and entertain people and spread laughter has to open his show like that. But while folks like Kimmel and a lot of politicians deny they want to take away peoples’ guns, they come on like a house on fire whenever something like this happens and demand new laws.without ever stopping to acknowledge that the current laws already banning automatic weapons? Wouldn’t have stopped this. In fact, no law would have stopped this. It’s easy to focus on guns and violence and demand something be done. But yet, these very same people? If 59 people killed and 300+ hurt generates this kind of reaction, where’s their outrage over drunk drivers when over 11 thousand people are killed annually? Where’s the call to ban alcohol and cars and SUVs and trucks? There’s nothing difficult about getting a case of beer or bottle of whiskey then getting ripped and hopping behind the wheel. That’s far, far easier than getting guns. That’s just a fact. But nope, there’s no outrage and call for banning cars or booze, because cars and booze do not terrify this group of people. Guns do. And the only thing they have to lean on when you bring this up is, “But guns make it easier!”
That’s it. That’s the whole of the debate – if you can call it a debate. And, in my future, there wouldn’t be any. People could complain, sure. I don’t mind listening to Jimmy Kimmel because I think he’s a good guy who was affected emotionally by this incident, just like we all were. So in my future world? Jimmy Kimmel could still give that monologue. But, the government wouldn’t swoop in and punish the innocent for the actions of the guilty. In my future world we wouldn’t be discussing gun control or alcohol control or vehicle control beyond the laws that exist right now. We wouldn’t be talking plane control because 9/11 happened or train control because an Amtrak ran through a crossing and totaled a train station killing a number of people, or because hundreds were killed in a derailment. We’d look into it, sure. We’d try to make things safer moving forward, absolutely. But banning things because of the actions of criminals would not be part of the equation. I don’t want to live in a government imposed cotton ball where overlords decide how I can get from point A to point B and whether or not I can buy more than one six pack per day or where you can smoke a joint because you have cancer but you can’t smoke a cigarette because it’ll make you unhealthy. I’ll choose to live in a world where bad things sometimes happen, but I can still go skydiving even though it’s dangerous, because it hasn’t been banned. I’ll choose to live in the world where the bars and restaurants can stay open ’til 4am and serve, because they won’t have been banned from selling alcohol at ten pm because of what criminals do. I will choose to live in a world where there are laws, and government involvement in taking care of the people who break them, but that government won’t be able to take away my rights in an attempt to protect me from myself. The college kid who dies of alcohol poisoning will still wind up in the ground because his or her stupidity isn’t going to prevent my fellow legal-age friends from having wine at my next house party. Me and my law-abiding friends won’t be forced to suffer or give up our rights because of losers. Nor because of hand-wringers who think banning things and violating others’ rights makes for a better country.
I’ll wrap it with this. Think it was comedian D.L. Hughley who tweeted the other night about how a guy like Paddock could get dozens of guns, but he can’t buy 2 boxes of Sudafed. That tweet went viral. I totally understand where he’s coming from. But, like Kimmel, I’d like someone to point out to D.L. that, hey, you know all those restrictions on Sudafed the government imposed because drug dealers use it to make meth? Well, how’d that work in terms of eliminating the meth problem, huh? Have you checked the stats on meth use lately? For those who haven’t, it’s like rape and drunk driving. It hasn’t gone away. It’s as bad as ever, Sudafed laws or not. That’s what I hope folks would see in their future. That banning things the overwhelming percentage of the country uses legally is ridiculous. Punishing the innocent for the actions of a minority is never a good idea. We know how insane it is on its face because no one is willing to go public and say “Ban beer!” or “Ban cars!” or “Ban knives!” even though in comparison to mass shootings, the death toll is staggering.
So, yeah, in my world there would still be problems. But I’d be happy living there because of the freedom that went with it. In the world others wanted, though, I believe freedom would be severely compromised and Utopia just as out of reach, because no matter how many rights they take away or how many laws they pass, they’d still have the very same problems.
If only we could all see for ourselves.