Even atheists can learn from Mike Huckabee
By Dan Nagasaki and Glenn Doi
Mike Huckabee, referring to the massacre at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school, said recently, "We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"
The former governor and preacher wasn't just referring to the gradual removal of God from our schools, but also from society in general. Although mass murderers have always been with us, people who once committed suicide alone now seem to want to kill a few others, even strangers, before they leave this world. And why shouldn't they – if there's no god or afterlife, why not make a lasting impression by putting down a few people who you hate, or who have wronged you, or well, just to make a statement? Once a person definitely decides to end it all, government certainly has no influence on him.
At the individual level, people can be good with or without a Judeo-Christian god. But because of human nature, people in society will tend to be good because they either fear and/or respect God (and the afterlife), or a government. And as religious influence and morality wanes, the populace will demand more government control. And over several decades, the United States has moved from a country where individual control, responsibility, and independence were prized, to a country where individuals seem eager to give up their power, responsibility, and independence to a very powerful government – a government run by politicians and bureaucrats who are gradually eroding our constitutional rights, e.g., guns (and the ability to defend yourself), speech (via political correctness), and by diminishing religious influence (via the courts by ignoring the original intent of our founders regarding freedom of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof) - These people, often well-meaning, wish to regiment the American people by taking over their healthcare choices (via Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare), by nationalizing K-12 education, and by diminishing parental influence, e.g., withholding student information, like birth control and abortion, from parents.
The government is acting like parents who instead of helping their children to become responsible, disciplined, and independent adults, continue to financially support the kids well into adulthood, who meddle in every aspect of their kids lives, and who believe they must show they care by showering the kids with money and other goodies. They end up with children who throw tantrums (or in the case of adult citizens – riots) when they don't get their way, who demand even more from their parents, and who can't seem to handle anything without parental assistance.
In reaction to the massacre at Newtown, liberals are calling for more gun control. This is understandable. We're all morally outraged. However, many liberals are blaming evil on inanimate objects (guns). But this is determinism gone too far. The criminal is at fault. If a drunk driver kills someone, should we blame the car, the alcohol industry for manufacturing a legal product, or should we blame society for not making prohibition successful? Another way of looking at this is to ask yourself, "Would you rather be locked in a room with a longtime law-abiding couple who are armed with guns, or would you rather be locked in a room with a couple of Charles Manson worshippers who are only armed with razor blades? In other words, are you afraid of the inanimate object, or are you really afraid of the people behind the guns?
Many liberals believe they have the upper hand, morally, on the gun control issue. But morally, shouldn't law-abiding citizens have the right to defend themselves? The government, generally, cannot directly protect your safety. After you've been raped, robbed, or killed, the police come, take notes, and then try to find the bad guys. Only you can directly protect your safety. And as John Lott has shown, crimes are constantly being prevented or thwarted by citizen ownership of guns. Right now, liberals are being cautious and only calling for restrictions on assault weapons, but this won't stop the next bloodbath, and further restrictions will be called for.
When tragedies occur, politicians understandably want to do something - so they pass laws. But in Washington D.C. and in Connecticut, many gun control laws have already been passed and NO constitutionally enforced law would have prevented this particular massacre. Sandy Hook Elementary School was naively designated a gun-free zone, and the doors were secured after the kids settled in. But there was nobody there who could enforce the rules. Adam Lanza simply broke into the school and started shooting. There were no armed guards and there were no adults with guns on school grounds. As in Benghazi, Libya, the bad guys know the rules – They just don't follow them. And the higher-ups who designed these security systems, never seemed to consider that possibility. Eliminate guns you say? Don't be naïve – This country's had a war on illegal drugs for over fifty years and today even kids can obtain illegal drugs. Even if you gave government twice as much confiscatory power, we'd still have guns, but the balance of power would be shifted away from law-abiding citizens to a combination of government officials and criminals.
One final note: The government, through its ineptitude in handling crime, has helped create a demand for guns. A general fear of crime leads to a greater need for civilian gun ownership. Now that this demand for guns has been created by government ineffectiveness, the government wants to control, restrict, or punish normally law-abiding citizens. In a similar way, politicians and bureaucrats have been mucking up the healthcare system since the 1960's. And the politician's nonsensical answer to this government ineffectiveness and inefficiency, as usual, is to take even more power away from individuals - and give it to the federal government! Unfortunately, our low-information voters don't know enough to fight this.
Dan Nagasaki is the author of a book for teens and young adults: The Beginner's Guide To Conservative Politics. Glenn Doi is a real estate broker in Los Angeles.