Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

In dangerous times

Written By: Bob - Jan• 17•13

Lost amid all the hysteria, hyperbole, and political opportunism of the past weeks since the murders of innocent schoolchildren and their teachers in a small Connecticut town, are calls for true wisdom and somber reflection.

We all make bad decisions when we’re emotional, a fact that only the serially dishonest or dangerously opportunistic would dispute. We tend to make our best decisions when we consider as many perspectives as possible of a given situation, weigh the intended consequences of a solution, and as much as we can, attempt to manage the risks of unintended consequences.

If we’re clever, we also build into the proposed solution mechanisms to rectify mistakes quickly, or provisions to roll back to a previous state immediately if the harm created by the proposed solution proves to be too great.

If we are truly, truly wise, we learn not to tamper with systems that have achieved a level of homeostasis, or balance, without very careful consideration and all due diligence.

The results of tampering with such delicately balanced systems in nature have been biblical in scale, from the “rivers of blood” in the Old Testament that may have been spectacularly vivid and toxic examples of “red tide” algae blooms, to the literal streams of human bodily fluids resulting from mankind’s most brutal battles. We must, as I’ve held out repeatedly in recent weeks, “tread carefully.”

After Sandy Hook, of course, we’ve been anything but reasonable. How could we be? An emotional, visceral response to such senseless violence is the sign of a sane and functioning human being.

No mother or father should be able to look into the eyes of the parents of those murdered children, and feel anything other than a deep and abiding compassion for their loss. I pray for them. I ache for them. I cry for them. I cry for the kisses that will never come, the graduations that will never be, the weddings, the births, and the christenings that have now been forever locked away in 20 small caskets and committed to the earth.

My God… how can you not be unmoved, and shaken to your core, by such loss?

That this tragedy was orchestrated by an odd, reclusive, dangerously ill young man largely forgotten and ultimately failed by a society in which he didn’t belong, simply compounds the loss.

Yes, Adam Lanza was a callous mass murderer who shot 26 innocent people repeatedly, and some may claim he is an example of evil. After all, we know that evil manifests in this world through the hearts of men. Try as I might, I cannot make that claim against him. He was failed, by us. Well-intentioned but misguided souls made it difficult for him to get the mental health treatment he so clearly, desperately, needed.

There are rumors that the byzantine laws regarding involuntary commitment to mental health facilities gave Lanza both the warning that his freedom was ending, and the time to lash out angrily against a world he must have felt was punishing him. Though I’m sure it won’t be popular to say so, I weep for Adam Lanza as well. Instead of getting him the help he deserved, we failed him. Our society, so worried about the superficial appearance of rights, created a situation that took away all his tomorrows as well.

We must grieve. We must cry and console one another. But we must remember that now they are beyond pain, and in the arms of an ever-loving, all-embracing and forgiving God.

* * *

My fellow Americans, we like the idea of “solutions.” We like the idea that if we declare we’ve found an answer, impose a new step, or tweak a process, that we can manufacture a smoothy functioning device. And when it comes to machines, that works… to a point.

But no answer is universal. There are never enough steps to take into account all variables. There are never perfect processes, and never perfect machines. Perhaps it’s a good thing, too, or most of us would be out of a job.

One thing every doctor, mechanic, computer programmer or priest can tell you, however, without reservation, is that elegant simplicity is usually best.

Doctors prefer bodies that are in optimal working condition, and deplore “complications” as one of the most dangerous words in their vocabulary.

Mechanics curse the needlessly complex, and admire the sublimely functional part that is easy to use, reliable, and simple to replace. Computer programmers—the better ones, at least—take great delight in refining their code into the most essential, lightest and elegant deployments possible, with no extraneous or unnecessary functions. No priest or minister alive asks for more of us than to simply give our souls to God.

Simplicity, more than cleanliness, is next to Godliness. Call it “intelligent design,” if you must.

Lawmakers in this nation, particularly in recent times, are particularly resistant to the thought of elegant simplicity.

One might guess that this is the result of the kind of warped and narcissistic personality that would expose him or herself to the perversely intrusive, maniacal, and vicious treatment of a thoroughly “modern” political campaign. To be deranged enough to want such a job means that almost by default you think of yourself as better than your fellow man, superior in most ways, and certainly far more intellectually capable that the voters you would represent.

To demonstrate their presumed superiority, our political betters seem ever-more driven to impose larger, more convoluted, self-referential and absurd laws and regulations. Perhaps they think a piece of legislation several hundred or several thousands of pages long demonstrates the complexity of their thinking, or their capacity to take a God’s eye view.

It actually serves to show the opposite. It means they lack the capacity for refinement and discernment.

* * *

The “answers” proposed in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School are in  no way related to the crime or the loses experienced there.

Instead, what we have seen in New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Iowa, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere is a cynical attempt to use these senseless deaths to promote the long-standing beliefs of a political class of narcissists that think they are the solution to each and every problem.

Certainly, they’re using proposals to ban one sort of mechanical device or another, but what they’re actually advocating is the idea that they are smarter than you, smarter than the Founding Fathers of this Republic, and that if you simply impose to their ideas—poorly-formed, long-winded, inelegant, and self-serving in every instance—that the world will be “better.”

They cloak their arrogance, of course, the best they can, even though it inevitably shines through.

These political beings use buzzwords like “common sense” to describe those things that will benefit them personally the most.

To convince you that their best interests are your own, they hide their self-serving, opportunistic intentions behind phrase like “for the children” and “for the public safety.” Few things could be further from the truth.

If politicians in the 50 states and the nation’s capitol wanted to stop the next Sandy Hook, the next Aurora, the next Virginia Tech, the next Columbine, then they would focus like a laser on the true problem at hand, which is the legislative-imposed roadblocks to treat potentially violent mentally ill, and/or streamline the process to remove them from society before they can act.

It really is that simple.

Had the mental health professionals that had been aware of Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Seung-Hui Cho, etc been able to commit them to mental health treatment facilities without having to machete their way through a maze of ill-considered legislation, hundreds would still be alive.

The warning signs for each of these mass killers was there all along. In hindsight, each one was an obvious threat to society. But laws created by those who imagine themselves smarter and more complex than the citizenry at large left them on the streets to kill.

And yet some of you would consider listening to these same legislators, as they propose a new “solution,” blaming mechanical devices instead of their own murderously flawed reasoning and reams of logic-strangling laws.

We like to imagine ourselves advanced and sophisticated compared to previous generations. In some regards we are. In others, we are woefully, shamefully ignorant.

More than 230 years ago, the men who were to form the United States of America, were without a doubt, the most brilliant and forward-thinking minds of their day, and arguably, of all time.

They were imperfect—many believed slavery was an acceptable practice—but intellectually, they were the best and brightest that this continent has ever produced, unequaled to this day with their grasp of history and deep understanding of the ways of men, and many ways corruption can affect a culture, eventually bringing it to its knees.

Their masterworks, from the well-known documents such as the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, to soaring speeches and lesser known newspaper articles and letters of correspondence between peers, portray a rare meeting and consolidation of beautiful minds at a time and place chosen by providence, unique in history.

Were you to tell them that 230 years later, after the trials and tribulations and the wars, that the ideals they espoused are still the most revered, I wonder… would they be relieved that their thoughts and ideals endured, or ashamed of us, that we’ve been largely unable to improve, despite all our unrealized potential?

Our political class in this nation, arguably beginning with Abraham Lincoln himself, determined that the Federal state was more important than the states themselves, and we have trod a shared path to destruction in the Gomorrah on the Potomac ever since. An ever-growing, ever-creeping federal government has been exalted over the states, the individual, and the Divine alike. It intends, in the end, to be the master of us all. It can serve no other purpose.

The tragedy in Newtown is just a reminder of the flaws and evils of government. Government created the conditions that led to this massacre. In response, government is responding by attempting to pass more laws not to prevent future tragedies, but intended to protect the government from a people just starting to awaken to the fact that the federal leviathan and many state government tread a dangerous path towards tyranny. government isn’t trying to protect the people. It’s trying to protect the government, from the people.

Such is history.

In the last century alone, we saw governments take the lives of more than one hundred million of their own citizens. This is more than both World Wars and all the small wars of that century, combined. Each life snuffed out was as precious and blameless as those in Newtown. Try to wrap your mind around the enormity of that loss. I can’t.

If ancient purges and modern genocides have colluded to teach us one unimpeachable truth, it is that their is no greater threat to the citizenry than its own government, grown too large, too self-important, too in love with its own existence for existence’s sake, and too arrogantly certain it is “too big to fail.”

We live in dangerous times.

The only rational response to such dangerous times and a rogue government is for a people to arm itself against the creeping tyranny, as Americans have done in the past four years, and especially these recent weeks as petty tyrants seek to squelch the greatest threat threats to their existence, and desires.

In 1799, Founding Father Tenche Coxe wrote in the Philadelphia Aurora as tensions rose between Federalists and Republicans:

Do you wish to preserve your rights? Arm yourselves. Do you desire to secure your dwellings? Arm yourselves. Do you wish your wives and daughters protected? Arm yourselves. Do you wish to be defended against assassins or the Bully Rocks of faction? Arm yourselves. Do you desire to assemble in security to consult for your own good or the good of your country? Arm yourselves. To arms, to arms, and you may then sit down contented, each man under his own vine and his own fig-tree and have no one to make him afraid….If you are desirous to counteract a design pregnant with misery and ruin, then arm yourselves; for in a firm, imposing and dignified attitude, will consist your own security and that of your families. To arms, then to arms.

No man wants war, but only a man blind to human nature and the history of nations would not prepare himself for it now.

Tyranny approaches.

We live in dangerous times.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

13 Comments

  1. Klingonwork says:

    Thank You Bob for a well written piece, it expresses what I think far more eloquently than I could.

    There is danger, and indeed, tyranny approaches. But as long as the general populace can still get their Starbucks, still have food on the shelves at the supermarkets, and in general their lives are unaffected, they will not listen to the well thought out reason above, nor will they take action. Sometimes in life you warn and warn and warn…then get blamed when the event happens. Recently a close family member said to me, I’ll just come to you. I told this person please do not, I will turn you away and it breaks my heart to say that. Certainly the old phrase, “evil triumphs when good men do nothing”…and right now many many good men are unaffected, so they do nothing.

    Sadly, as I’ve said before, another tragedy will happen and the “enlighted” politicians you mention will go beserk feeding the narcotic of kneejerk reactionism to the unaffected. There has never been and never will be any government that does not turn inward to feed on their own narcissism, and this government regardless of party in charge, is not an exception. That is why at some point, we will fall, the unaffected and career politicians will be culled from the herd, and we start over IF we can.

    A massive globlal train wreck with the name tyranny approaches, and there is nothing anyone can do about it but pray and ask for wisdom.

    • RanchHand says:

      Klingonwork, I just want to give you one isolated incident that may give you hope against the Starbuck’s drinking, unconcerned masses.

      For myself, I’m from a military family. I’m a veteran of a decade of military service, including a war, and I’m rabidly pro 2nd. And, I legally carry a handgun everywhere I go..always.

      My girlfriend, a suburban mom of 55 years old, had never fired a gun in her life. She had lived alone for a little while, and although she had a Colt Mustang .380 (sweet little piece), she had no idea if it was loaded or how to use it. She, seeing that I always had my Springfield .45 on, wanted me to teach her a little about her pistol. We had a good little ‘ground school’ in the kitchen and headed to a range. She was scared at first, but she rapidly overcame that and felt (by her own admission) empowered by her new gun knowledge. That was this last summer. Now, she shoots regularly and is good at it. She loves to take her new Browning Buckmark target .22 out. Her favorite turned out to be my single action Ruger. Regardless, she now has her concealed carry license, and a good pistol to carry. She has gotten her grown daughter into shooting. The daughter got a small Ruger automatic pistol for Christmas from her husband. My girlfriend also now carries a knife..I love that. Plus, just yesterday, she called to tell me she had joined the NRA.

      Now, this lady is a common, city dwelling, good job-in-an-office having, luxury SUV driving woman. She saw the light. I can’t help but think that more like her are seeing the light too. There is hope, man. We don’t need to go out and force guns down the throat of those who actually don’t want them, but if someone shows some interest in them, let’s teach them. And yes, SAFETY is at the top of my lesson to anyone new to guns.

      • Klingonwork says:

        That does offer hope that some are seeing the light. I’ve been studying/reading economics for years and see a collapse coming, we cannot sustain the debt even not counting Obamacare. I’ve been prepping for several years and admonished this relative to at least start buying as anybody in suburban earthquake country should do. Water, emergency candles, 1st aid, MRE’s, etc….forget guns, but the attitude from them and those whose lives are relatively un-interrupted at this point is…oh I’ll just find you. I have had to make several family members aware that they will turned away, children excepted. Of course, I live in suburban L.A. in a middle class neighborhood where the biggest concern is the neighbor’s dog crapping on the lawn. It’s almost like the old Roddy Piper movie “They Live”…as long as they are consuming people gradually acquire aqueousence.

  2. Comrade X says:

    One man with a gun can control 100 without one.
    – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie.
    – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

  3. Gayle says:

    Hah!

    “Gunsmiths 3D-Print High Capacity Ammo Clips To Thwart Proposed Gun Laws

    Five months ago, the group of homemade gun enthusiasts known as Defense Distributed set out to create a lethal firearm that could be downloaded and 3D-printed entirely from scratch, circumventing all gun control laws. But as new gun bills have been proposed in the wake of recent shootings, creating a bootleg weapon with digital pieces may soon be far easier: As simple as printing a spring-loaded plastic box.

    Over the past weekend, Defense Distributed successfully 3D-printed and tested an ammunition magazine for an AR semi-automatic rifle, loading and firing 86 rounds from the 30-round clip.

    ….

    “We want to preempt Feinstein, to eat their lunch,” says Wilson. “This isn’t 1994. The Internet happened since the last assault weapons ban. This is a fledgling tech, but look what we’re able to do. We printed that magazine out.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/01/14/gunsmiths-3d-print-high-capacity-ammo-clips-to-thwart-proposed-gun-laws/

  4. Todd AF Vet says:

    Love the article. May I share and reprint? Thanks Todd

  5. Viktor says:

    “There are rumors that the byzantine laws regarding involuntary commitment to mental health facilities gave Lanza both the warning that his freedom was ending, and the time to lash out angrily against a world he must have felt was punishing him.”

    Can’t speak to Connecticut law, but in most states the law is pretty straightforward.
    [[NEW YORK: N.Y. MENTAL HYG. LAW § 9.37(a) The director of a hospital ... may receive and care for ... any person who ... has a mental illness ... which is likely to result in serious harm to himself ... or others.]]

    Either way, if “we failed” Lanza; then it must be something at which “we” COULD have succeeded — i.e., a problem with a “solution”.

    In this case, there IS a solution. It involves indefinitely imprisoning American citizens who have committed no crime.

    Now, THAT would really be “doing something”.

    I would prefer you do the Chicken Dance.

  6. A says:

    we must try to expand the ranks of law abiding gun owners and NRA members. The politicians only understand money and power. Try to recruit those you think will be open minded.

  7. twolaneflash says:

    A man who won’t defend the 2nd Amendment can’t be trusted to protect the rest.
    Locked. Loaded. Powder dry, patriots. Tyranny is on the prowl in America. Be ready to march.

  8. Jaynie59 says:

    I fear for all the “loner” kids out there. This gun grab is a blatant political move to take away our Second Amendment rights, but I have no doubt that every public school in this country will become a tyrannical torture place for the kids who are introverts. I know because it happened to my daughter.

    After Columbine, “socialization skills” became the most important thing to the powers-that-be in the schools. Every school has a social worker. Teachers no longer make any attempt to get to know their students and send any “problem kid” to the office for the social worker to deal with.

    To be told from kindergarten on that there is something wrong with you because you don’t make friends easily, or because you “look sad all the time”, is a terrible way to grow up. My daugther had me, so I knew what she was going through. I took her out of school when she was 12 and paid for an online distance learning program. She turned 20 last week is doing great.

    If you can afford it, please take your kid out of the public school and home school them. I don’t know enough about Adam Lanza to know what his mental problem were, all I know is that my daughter went thru hell so I can’t imagine how they treat boys who are introverts.

    Being a loner is not a mental illness.

  9. D.O.M says:

    @RanchHand: great work with introducing people to safe (and fun) gun handling! Yes, it can be done! I volunteer for an organization that does just that. Last December we instructed over 800 people in the mentals of rifle marksmanship. These fine Americans also heard the history of April 19th, 1775. Yes, I volunteer for Project Appleseed. Please consider joining me and many other volunteers as we work to save the country by involving people in a truly American tradition.