Monday, June 13, 2016

Terror and Tragedy

I had planned to report on the Ninth Circuit’s en banc decision in Peruta v. San Diego … but then came the horrific events in Orlando. The appellate court denied the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms in public … while a Muslim terrorist simply ignored such prohibitions in order to murder dozens of people whose homosexuality offended his religion. If you don’t understand why both of these things were constitutionally and morally wrong, then you are a self-deluding fool … or an Islamic terrorist.

Even in shall-issue Florida, the killing still took place in a gun-free zone. Firearms are prohibited in bars and other drinking establishments. Now, given the clientele involved, the victims in this incident were reasonably unlikely to be armed even if weapons weren’t prohibited, but the prohibition certainly did nothing to stop the murderer. Moreover, as he was apparently a licensed security guard, the killer knew full well that his intended victims would be “legally” disarmed.

The outcome might have been different … but probably not.

This isn’t about tactics, political or otherwise. It’s about fundamental principles and natural rights. What we saw both in California and Florida were violations of principles and attempts to suppress rights. Both events should be seen as abhorrent to their own degrees in what was supposed to be an enlightened, egalitarian culture—but I know they won’t.

The American experience came so close to that egalitarian dream, but now that light will fade. Our divisions will widen, our misguided envy and misplaced jealousy will fester, and we will slowly but surely tear ourselves apart. The only real question at this point is the magnitude of our fall.

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