“There is a manifest, marked distinction, which ill men with ill designs, or weak men incapable of any design, will constantly be confounding,—that is, a marked distinction between change and reformation. The former alters the substance of the objects themselves, and gets rid of all their essential good as well as of all the accidental evil annexed to them. Change is novelty; and whether it is to operate any one of the effects of reformation at all, or whether it may not contradict the very principle upon which reformation is desired, cannot be known beforehand. Reform is not change in substance or in the primary modification of the object, but a direct application of a remedy to the grievance complained of. So far as that is removed, all is sure. It stops there; and if it fails, the substance which underwent the operation, at the very worst, is but where it was.” Edmund Burke
When I stumbled upon this quote, at a time when the nation reflects on the Civil Rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, as well as a beautiful essay by Peggy Noonan, I was finally able to put my finger on what it is that truly concerns me about today’s activists, both gun control and otherwise. Noonan observes that the civil rights marches were not merely peaceful, but dignified. Black and white men and women marched together peacefully looking like they were attending a serious meeting. Their preacher was one of the best orators in human history. The March for Our Lives was one that continued David Hogg’s interminable 15 minutes through endless attacks on the opposing viewpoint and hyperbolic rants about the epidemic of gun violence. The actual crime rate in America is still at “historic lows”, according to the FBI. The gun control movement is almost entirely attacks on the National Rifle Association and its members. Calling them everything from terrorists and people who like children getting killed among other unproductive vilification.
Of course, the best example of how removed today’s activists are from the King days is and has always been the anti-trump hashtag resistance army. That group first began rioting and breaking stuff for days immediately following Trump’s election. They continued this trend into the inauguration. Antifa, it should be noted, does count as the resistance in my book. They were cool for the Left for starting fights with Trump supporters (all of them Nazis, of course) until they started fights that weren’t with actual Neo-Nazis and sent journalists to the ICU.
Moreover, much of the activism now seems to see a very general, uneducated view of the issues. Gun control hasn’t learned that AR does not stand for “Assault Rifle” in the nearly 20 years since Columbine, or that a gun ban is logistically impossible and getting moreso with each threat. The “Fight for 15” crowd seems to think that all business are McDonalds and that salaries are a business expense that live in a vacuum, wholly separate from other operating costs. There hasn’t yet been an explanation of when lethal force is justified for police, although it seems to be the idea that an officer just comes to every situation fresh, optimistic and stoic until it’s time not to be either. The taser is seen as the highest point the officer should ever reach for. This shows an absurd amount of faith in a largely ineffective weapon.
The activists of today are “weak man incapable of designs”. It can be argued that the “we only want background checks” crowd that has gone for considerably more in every state those exist however, are more in line with having “ill designs”. It’s them I’d like to focus on. Partly because all I know right now about economics is that doubling the minimum wage from 7.50 to 15 is infact doubling the expenses a business has to pay. They need to make up that profit somehow. Also, we are now seeing examples of what happens when even new gun control doesn’t work.
Earlier, we talked about how the gun control movement either doesn’t know, or does not care about what the consequences of a gun ban actually would be. Disregarding the logistical nightmare of sending troops from door to door across every square inch of America confiscating privately owned rifles, there is the possibility that those people wouldn’t surrender their guns. Perhaps even some in the police and military would not obey the order for confiscation. The result of this ban could be a violent conflict. This time, I want to talk about what could happen without the violent conflict that, I would like to reiterate would ensue.
Let’s say that the gun ban passes, and the American people, in an act betraying the name, quietly surrender their guns to the government. What happens if the situation does not get better? A few years ago, as stabbings rose in gun-free New York City, mayor De Blasio said this increase in stabbings was proof that gun control worked. The logic being “gun control works, people are stabbing each other”. NYC averaged 10 attacks per day in the first six weeks of that year. De Blasio said that while there were not as many shootings “Some people, unfortunately, are turning to a different weapon”.
As a quick sidebar, it is worrying to think that some people think that when one weapon isn’t available that people with evil intentions won’t move to another more available weapon. It’s as if the weapon itself is talking to the killers, twisting their minds to carry out evil acts to satiate the weapon’s own bloodlust. Keep this in mind when they ban rifles, and people move to handguns or, as we’ll soon see when even those are banned, to knives.
So what are gun control proponents supposed to do now? The gangs don’t hand in their weapons, so cities like Chicago and Baltimore would further deteriorate. Those hundreds of thousands of self-defense gun uses every year are gone, sorted instead into robberies, assaults, rapes and murders (the only alternatives when the victim can’t defend themselves). While we may be short a mass shooting every other month, more people are being attack and/or killed over time. It wasn’t supposed to be this way and yet, here we are.
If you think I’m being facetious here, I am not. We already established that the Left hasn’t considered what follows the American Gun Ban. What I’ve done here is simply thought out the aftermath better than most, or perhaps any on the Left have. Last time, I considered what would happen if the American people stood up for themselves, and today we’re looking at what happens if they didn’t.
We may have a mirror of our potential future surfacing already. Recently London, a city which had already banned guns, has seen a spike in crime that now rivals New York City. The response to that, according to the mayor, is to implement knife control including “Stop and frisk” which the mayor previously decried as racist when it was taking place in New York.
Between the two cities, we can observe how this fanatical devotion to the unassailable premise of “gun control works” leads either to accepting crime by another means, or trying to ban that other means. The response in New York that “gun control works, but people moved to another weapon”, shows a view of evil that seriously believes the gun is evil and not the person. By extension, it seems, that the knives are “less evil” than the guns and are more acceptable. In London, they’ve banned all those evil guns, and people are now stabbing each other dead in record numbers. The response of the new “knife control” seems to imply that knives now have the capacity for evil that their banned metal brethren also had. As if the object loses its capacity for evil after it has been banned.
Either that, or they’re both wrong, and evil is a human problem. Perhaps the situation needs to be a little better thought out than “it works, at least it’s not guns” and “ban whatever is being used to kill people now.”
I’ll close on this, Let’s just go with the “Developed world” asterisk that gun control loves to use so Cuba, Venezuela, NoKo, Central America and Mexico don’t count. We now have the UK and our own New York working against the idea that gun ban will do well here because it just will.
In Consequences, we saw that the Left has not thought about or does not care about the violence that would ensue immediately after their gun ban passed. Tonight, we looked at what happens if the violence came later. It is here we see that gun control is a platform that fulfills Burke’s standard of both “weak” and “ill” people and the distinction they misunderstand. Gun control is a mindset based on change and not reform. It is a philosophy that does not allow one to think about what happens if it fails, and to see whatever failures exist as proof of the need for more controls. It destroys the essential good of self-defense and does nothing to the evil that comes with having guns in society. It is a weak and insidious design. It is conjured by weak and insidious people. Finally, it ensnares the willfully ignorant, the well-meaning idealist and those who, for some foolish reason, trust the government more than the people.