Buckling under the pressures of Newtown
Tough times make for tough challenges. Standing up for difficult truths is hard when the world seems tilted the other way.
So I suppose I am not so deeply surprised to hear surrender from some intermittent conservatives when they say the Connecticut school shooting has them “rethinking” their thoughts on stricter gun control.
Joe Scarborough used his MSNBC perch to reveal how the tragedy has opened his eyes sufficiently to surrender the focus he once had– on liberty and personal responsibility.
He has now been worn down by events, and one guesses, peers, to join the ranks of those who seek the supposed quick fix of merely removing gun ownership options.
There is a reason pro-gun rights guests were hard to find on Sunday talk shows. It was not media bias denying them the invitation. Quite the opposite, most of those shows would have loved the chance to browbeat a second amendment supporter as an accomplice to mass murder.
Real conservatives know that the weekend environment would have been predatory, so they took a pass. I wish they had not. This is a time for courage and clarity. God bless Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, who told a Fox News Sunday audience that his greatest wish would have been for someone at Sandy Hook school to have been armed, to perhaps take out the gunman before he reached the classrooms.
This makes liberal heads spin, as does the discussion of human failing which is the real cause of such tragedies. You should have seen some of the juvenile attacks leveled at the essay I posted before the Monday morning show, and I mean from people who write for a living!
For the record, I am always open to on-air dialogue with folks in and out of the biz who think I am dead wrong on this or any other issue.
In fact, I will throw a bone to the haters: I have an easier time understanding their down-the-line revulsion for my focus on rights and responsibilities than the turncoats who lose their proper devotion to liberty when the going gets tough.
If you were bonded to the moral clarity that we do not have a gun problem but instead a people problem, but this changed your mind, your moorings were weak. You were a pretend conservative, ripe for the plucking by the emotional pull of a tragedy like this and the desire to hang with the popular crowd.
Those children deserve better. They deserve at least one side devoted to what really robbed them of their brief yet precious lives, and it was not the hardware of guns.
It was the depravity of the soul of Adam Lanza, who, like other recent mass murderers, was a troubled young man left to stew in his own soup of of dysfunction while those nearby did too little.
But fixing that requires some heavy lifting. Actually putting society and ourselves up to the mirror requires tough admissions and definitive action.
Passing new laws achieves nothing, except the empowerment of gun-bashers seeking further reach into our lives. I want real people empowered by the epiphany of what it really takes to curb future massacres: loving outreach.
Other than the faith-based solutions I have already outlined, there are some policies that actually do need scrutiny– the issues involving mental health.
It is no accident that the litany of killers seems culled from the ranks of disturbed, disaffected young men. If there is anything that has eroded dangerously in recent generations, it is the environment in which our boys are raised.
The relative likelihood of an intact family has been replaced by fatherless homes with no man as a role model for boys to follow. Childhoods filled with active days of playing ball and riding bikes have been mortgaged for long hours in the dark hunched over screens playing violent video games.
And we wonder why some of our young men are head cases.
This is the world we have made for our boys, crafted from our inability to keep our families together and our unwillingness to give them the positive reinforcement they need to become functional, vital young men.
When we decide to address THAT problem, we will know we have become serious about solutions and not just cheap politics.