Conscience, Not Guns

From the moment Americans learned of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre last Friday, the entire left — editorialists, columnists, broadcasters, politicians — used the occasion to promote one idea: gun control.

For the left, the primary reason for just about all American gun murders is the availability of guns.

I have no interest in debating gun control here. I only wish to ask the left one question: We have a massive system of drug control laws. Yet, the left is the first to argue that the war on drugs has been a failure. And whether or not one deems it a failure, the war on drugs surely hasn’t prevented tens of millions of Americans, including teenagers, from obtaining drugs illegally. Why, then, does the left believe that a war on guns would be any more effective than the war on drugs?

That question aside, what matters most here is the left’s preoccupation with guns as the root of the murder problem in America.

It explains a great deal about the left’s worldview. The moral values and the conscience of nations as well as individuals seem to play almost no role in the left’s understanding of human behavior.

That is why the left wants all nations, including the United States, to destroy their nuclear weapons. The problem for the left is not the moral values nations hold, it is the weapons nations hold. American nuclear weapons were just as troubling to the left as Soviet nuclear weapons during the Cold War and just as troubling as Iran having nuclear weapons today. So, too, the problem of gun violence in America is not the moral values of gun owners, it is gun ownership.

And because leftist thinking dominates American society — from elementary through graduate school and in virtually all the print and electronic news media — there is one view that almost never gets a hearing: that the primary reason for gun violence in America is not gun ownership, but the lack of a functioning moral conscience.

Lack of conscience is the problem both for individuals and for nations. Among nations the problem is nuclear (and all other) weapons in the hands of bad regimes. And among Americans the problem is guns in the hands of bad people.

This is so obvious that one has to be propagandized his whole life by leftism not to immediately understand it. But leftism is the religion of the west, the most dynamic religion in the world for the last century. It is as hard to reject leftism in the west as it was to reject Christianity in Europe during the Middle Ages or Islam in the Arab world today.

Does one reader of this column — including individuals on the left — fear being massacred by a decent person? Of course not.

Then why isn’t our emphasis on character development and the teaching of right and wrong?

Why is this never mentioned on the left? Why are guns, not the conscience, the root issue for the left?

We are lead to believe after almost every massacre that the murderer “snapped” or had mental problems. Why? Because it implies that the murderer was not morally responsible for what he did. We are told, for example, that Adam Lanza, who by all accounts was a brilliant student, suffered from a form of autism. Even if true, why is that important? Statistically, I would bet that those with autism commit far fewer violent crimes than the rest of population. Autistic people, like everyone else, can be taught the difference between right and wrong. My stepson is autistic, and is not capable of attending regular school (much less honors classes) or driving a car, things that Adam Lanza did fully normally. But my stepson is keenly aware of right and wrong, and believes that God punishes people who commit evil.

On some rare occasions mental illness may be the only possible explanation for evil. But when American schools emphasized character development, and when nearly all Americans believed that there is a God who forbids and punishes murder, such massacres rarely took place. When people “snapped” during the Great Depression some of them did kill … themselves. Surely some European Jews who survived the Holocaust “snapped” after seeing their families murdered. Yet I know of no survivor of the Holocaust who massacred innocent Germans or Poles or Hungarians, or Frenchmen, let alone Americans. Why not?

Because until the contemporary period, religion and/or conscience development were ubiquitous.

Instead of teaching young Americans self-control, thanks to leftist influence, we now teach them self-esteem — which has been worse than morally useless. It has been morally destructive. According to professor of psychology Roy Baumeister, one of the leading criminologists in America, few Americans have the high self-esteem that violent criminals have.

Want to know a major cause of criminal violence in America? Try leftism’s denial of the importance of moral values among nations and individuals; its systematic destruction of character education; and its elimination of God as the source of moral law.

Not guns.

  • Wheels55

    So, let’s define “assault weapons” while we still try to figure out what a “Fiscal Cliff” really is and what “Fair Share” truly means. However, we now know that “man of the Year” means one who always puts his well being ahead of his country.

  • Venter

    This was a very good read because it had common sense. Bad Bad gun you have to be punished we’ll throw you away! Young man please sit down . Why did you kill so many! They were very young and kind! They didn’t know you and their innocense would have made them like you. You must not do that again! Problem solved?
    Guns are not the problem . Humans are the problem and unfortunately, males seem to be the ones doing this more. Lets get rid of males?
    Our society seems to be preventing young males to develop they can’t act like rough and tough little boys. Identity and loneliness seems to be tied together. Computer games of a violent nature helps to grow a lonely killer in his home
    Loneliness is not a mental illness however it needs to be explored and studied.
    The left wants children mainstreamed, it makes them feel good. What does it do for the child who has to please parent and teacher, they can see they are different they become lonely and angry..
    Washington is going to rush to remove the guns like they have removed theBig Gulps, Salt, Smoking , Drugs etc. aren’t they all being used. Take my water pistol and I will use the garden hose.
    This human problem needs real people to explore what has to been done and not Obama who will make the tragedy his second Hurricane Sandy…Grandparents, parents , clergy, teachers, neighbors, small business people need to be part of the discussion. Not only Washington, they are too isolated and can’t even balance a budget! How will they be able to to deal with Americans when they can’t deal with themselves. Columbine happened how many years ago?? 4 years ago Obama talked about gun laws?
    I will say Assault weapons should be Better Controlled, NOT beebe guns, water pistols etc. or fingers pointed like a gun. COMMON SENSE SHOULD RULE

  • pol_incorrect

    This is the first sane commentary I have read on the matter since the massacre. BTW, please tell Bernie, who seems to have fallen prey of the left’s obsession with gun control and the right’s obsession with mental health. Both miss the point, as you correctly point out. Plain and simple, we have 40 years of moral relativism being injected at all levels of society and now we see the results. Even in Western Europe, where they have every single liberty killing law that liberals love, we see these massacres that were unheard of decades ago.

  • Dboxman7

    A criminal commits a crime. Solution: punish the law-abiding citizens who did not commit a crime. Like killing the cow because he saw the fox that killed the chickens. As a former teacher, I can vouch for the fact that an overabundance of undeserved self-esteem permeates the school system. The “participation trophy” generation sees everything they want as their right, and no consequences for misbehavior or failure, culminates in an attitude of there being no wrong means to achieve an end. This becomes their outlook on life and since our criminal justice system is so lax, acts of violence appear reasonable to them. It’s not movies, video games, or guns to blame. It’s parenting and social culture sometimes coupled with innate mental problems, either real or manifested by a good layer and an excuse driven society.

  • RickonhisHarleyJohnson

    I’m with Maury. Amen, Dennis. Leftists do not want right or wrong taught. That would force them to alter their behavior and they’re to selfish for that.

  • Wheels55

    Even if we ban all gun ownership – without grandfathering current owners – it would take 100 years for the availability of guns and ammo to not be a factor. Besides, such a ban would be a massive job killer. However, the sales of swords and knives would go way up.

  • Maury

    Amen. The supreme law of the universe is Cause and Effect. Liberals believe the Cause for Sandy Hook is guns in America. You, I, and other thoughtful conservatives believe that the real Cause is lack of conscience development through moral/religious training. But Cause and Effect implies that a person must assume responsibility for his behavior. “What goes out must come back.” The Left either doesn’t understand that concept or rejects it outright, choosing to focus on the wrong Cause. Sandy Hook proves it is high time Cause and Effect and other natural laws of the universe be rediscovered, digested, and taught — in homes, schools, religious and civic organizations.