Sunday, December 16, 2012

Of Conscience and Cowards

Thus Conscience does make Cowards of us all,
And thus the Native hue of Resolution
Is sicklied o'er, with the pale cast of Thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
With this regard their Currents turn awry,
And lose the name of Action.
Hamlet Act III

We are told we are unsafe and our government is incapable of protecting us and is leading us to outrageous fortune. The offered solution is to arm ourselves against that sea of troubles . The question is whether that is a path to our own destruction.

All the evidence says something else. If government is unable to protect us it is because we have defunded it while sewing the weeds of chaos. The criminals are not the ones we imagine. Whether deliberately or by accident we are much more likely to shoot ourselves than an intruder, to kill our own family or neighbor or facilitate others to do it. In Connecticut the shooter was the disturbed son of a legal owner who not only failed to keep the guns secure but exposed him to them as recreational toys. He shot her in the face with one of them. Jovan Boelcher killed his girlfriend and then himself with his own gun and not at the hand of some “criminal” and in so doing became one.

Government cannot protect us from these events as long as that kind of amoral disconnect exists because they cannot protect us from ourselves. We must therefore police ourselves and those around us. The politicians who pour that poison in our ear will lead us to still more heart ache and a thousand shocks yet to come. In their insolence of office it is not arms they ask us to bear but ills which puzzle our conscience and makes cowards of us all.

We have the right to bear arms. But here lies the rub. Rights do not exist in a vacuum. At some point judgment must rule the day. We must have the courage to tell our family and friends and leaders that these outcomes are unacceptable and in so opposing it, end it.

1 comment:

  1. It's clearly insane magical thinking to think we can keep on ignoring this issue based on skewed priorities, a pathological view of individual freedom and liberty at the expense of the safety of the common.