Las Vegas horror preceded by a long list of “If Only”

October 8, 2017
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As of deadline, the carnage count from the Las Vegas, Route 91 festival shooting is 58.  (59 if you count the shooter, but I refuse to include him alongside his victims.)

58 human souls no longer living, breathing, laughing, loving.  It is America’s worst mass shooting and it was perpetrated by what at this time can at best be described as a ghost.  He appeared on no watch lists, he passed background checks, heck he had even worked for the IRS and the United States Postal Service.

There were no flags to alert government to stop his evil before unleashed.  But since his chosen weapon was a gun, every political hack able to stand in front of camera this past week is on record demanding “common sense” gun reform.  A catchy slogan shrouding the “give us what we demand or else” true meaning.

Defense exhibit A is one  Hillary Clinton who within hours could no longer control herself and tweeted out perhaps two of the most ignorant statements ever tweeted in all of twitterland:

“The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get,” and followed that up with  “Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.”

Never mind that a silencer does not work as in the Hollywood movies who’s producers and stars shower Hillary with money, or that the “put politics aside” while swimming in the deep end of the cesspool of partisan politics was low even for her.

Why the kneejerk to attack the NRA and the gun?

Because the gun is tangible; Something we can grasp, we can see, we can blame.

If only he hadn’t had the gun.  If only evil Republicans hadn’t stopped “common sense” gun reform.  If only there weren’t millions of rednecks insisting the Constitution keep its 2nd Amendment.

If only……………..

If only there hadn’t been airplanes to hijack and fly into buildings.

If only the rental company hadn’t handed over the keys to that truck.

If only pressure cookers had a terrorist in waiting detector.

If only ammonium nitrate did not exist.

Only when mass death is caused by a gun, does the rush to ban begin again.

Where are the “If only’s” that could have actually helped?

If only defense department brass hadn’t been blinded by political correctness and open its eyes to what Nidal Hasan was up to.

If only the FBI had taken the warnings on the Tsarnaev brothers seriously.

If only Homeland Security would have screened the social media of Tashfeen Malik.

If only Chicago politicians cared as much for the innocents trapped in nightly violence as they do for protecting illegals.

If only we had not let our society devolve into a self-absorbed sewer of Facebook likes, Twitter retweets and Kardashian Karma clicks.

President Trump’s S.O.B. attack on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem may have been crass, but he exposed our greatest weakness.

We have become but a collection of victims in a cauldron of grievance, each screaming for this, demanding that.  And we have brought ourselves to the brink of throwing away the greatest gift known to mortal man:  our own freedoms.

All I ask is that before you rush off to join the marches against the evil NRA take a moment to imagine yourself in any other country other than America.

And then ask that self, are you really willing to destroy the one nation that’s done more good for the world than any nation in human history?

Some of you will unfortunately say yes and you will justify it with “if it saves just one life”.  And you won’t even understand that it wasn’t mortal life the Founders were protecting.

It was the right to live that life, however long or short it may be, in freedom.

Because after decades of living under the boot of the British Crown they knew full well that a life without freedom was no life at all.

That to live from birth to grave in the all regulating, all controlling shadow of government isn’t life, it’s tyranny.

And yes, it can return.  There are hundreds of millions living in Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela et al who at this very moment are testimony to that very fact.

PUBLISHER NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the October 8, 2017 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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