By Nathan Barton
What do the events leading up to, and the Orlando Massacre itself, teach us? Self-defense is both a right and a responsibility. Defense against violence is a need that cannot and will not be met by government. And government is both instigating and enabling such massacres. Indeed, most mass killings of this size in American history have been done by government: it is NOT the solution.
It has been several weeks since I gave up on both the Libertarian Party and my long running “Libertarian Commentary” here at the Price of Liberty. After writing nearly a thousand commentaries, it is hard to get out of the habit of looking at news stories and immediately typing out a few hundred words, but the stress is less and I don’t intend to go back to doing that anytime soon. So I didn’t and don’t intend to immediately jump into the opinion fray concerning the “worst mass killing (shooting) in US history.” At the same time, it doesn’t hurt to point out a few things.
One (as I believe Tom Knapp or Steve Trenward pointed out already in print), is the “record.” As soon as my wife and I read the first headlines, we both looked at each other and said, “no, its not.” Setting aside “acts of war,” as during the war between the States or the Texan War of Independence, or the American Revolutionary War, there have been several mass killings which involved more people. But the media’s fear of guns makes people dying from gunfire a more horrifying (and celebrated) situation. I am sure that this meme will can’t be wiped away from the public consciousness, at least not until someone else (or multiple people) are able to kill more than 49 people (plus themselves) at one time. Tom or Steve are right: we can look at Wounded Knee as well as Sand Creek for other examples of far more deaths by shooting: although many will claim those were acts of war. We can also look at various massacres and battles by and between AmerInd tribes, some only known through archeology and legend, in which many times 49 were killed. And of course, just the “fourth plane” in that field in Pennsylvania on Bloody Tuesday (9-11) saw far many more killed. All on American soil. But to the media and those who hate liberty, gunning people down with an AR-15 is FAR more hideous than everyone dying in a fiery and deliberate crash into the ground or buildings, as happened that day.
Mama’s Note: Not to mention the mass murder at Waco Texas some years ago… Over the 20th century, as we often point out, governments around the world murdered more than 200 million people, with guns and everything else they could come up with.
A second has also already been pointed out. Even a column in the New York Daily News (which in its “news story” has already blamed “too many guns on the street” for the Orlando Massacre) has published a column by Tom G. Palmer, “In the wake of Orlando, gays should arm themselves.”
His words, especially in the Daily News, are worth pondering: “There has been jubilation on the internet at the massacre of peaceful people who were killed because they were gay and they were Americans. That made them a ‘twofer’ for the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS. It’s time to fight back. No more gun-free designated massacre zones. If there had been armed people with concealed carry permits inside the Pulse nightclub, the zealot who had pledged allegiance to ISIS could have been stopped. Dozens of lives could have been saved. I say that as a gay man who has himself carried a weapon for protection. Let’s get one thing very clear. Gun control advocates disarmed the victims at that night club.”
Indeed, this may be one of the reasons that the Huffington Post published a number of pieces screaming about vigilantes shooting blindly into the darkness of the night club would have made matters worse. We’ll never know, but it is unlikely.
Mr. Palmer is right, but he doesn’t go far enough.
It is not enough that homosexuals should arm themselves: what is necessary is that ALL people arm themselves. Or at least be able to do so. For the root problem is not that homosexuals at the night club did not carry weapons (concealed or openly), it is that government and business and society all work together to PREVENT people from being armed: in churches, night clubs, public buildings, public spaces, schools, and a wide variety of businesses. Even night clubs. Yes, when people are stupidly drinking and arousing their own passions in various ways, it is more likely that some idiot will pull out a gun and try and shoot someone else. And some people will die. But just as the constant claims (that “allowing” open carry or concealed carry on the streets and roads of this or that state would result in those streets becoming rivers of blood) were disproved, it is very likely that the toll of dead and wounded from “barroom massacres” will just not happen. Yes, some people will die – mostly those stupid enough to try and gun someone down in a bar or night venue – but we cannot forget that people already DO die in these places by people who ignore the prohibitions.
One last point; once again the evidence is quickly coming out that the Orlando Massacre is not just a result of government prohibitions on bearing weapons in gunfree zones, but of government failure to do what it claims to be its job: prevent terrorism and identify and neutralize threats to people. The FBI failed to identify the threat. And then, once again (as in Columbine and other locations), the police failed to do what would have ended the massacre more quickly. Instead they held back (for fear of him killing more hostages if they attacked the killer) and allowed the killer time to kill more hostages. Which he did.
Government is NOT to solution to the Orlando Massacre or things like it.
Mama’s Note: To quote Reagan.… “Government is not the solution – it is the problem.” (Too bad he was a stopped clock that only got it right twice a day.)