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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

You say you'd die for something, but would you kill?

This morning I was reading my blog list as I do every morning when I clicked on: This Ain't Hell, which is a military blog with a conservative point of view. A gentleman named "Claymore"—I assume he's a gentleman—had posted a selection of links from Democratic Underground. I clicked a few to see what they were about and what do you know, it was all about gun control and doing away with the 2nd Amendment. It was about the evil of guns and if you want a mental picture which summarizes the gestalt it is this:

The first link was from a substitute teacher who—after the Newtown massacre—was filling in as a substitute teacher—subbing—and she found herself looking around in the classroom, trying to identify hiding places to stash children in case the worst were to happen. Here's the one salient point this teacher makes:
Because, see, those are the first thoughts of the vast majority of teachers, including my parents before they retired. How to shield, protect and save their students. Putting the children first, not themselves. Even if it means directly confronting gunmen while keeping your kids safe and hidden, and even if it means being gunned down yourself while those same young children are waiting terrified inside the closets and cabinets, safe to live their lives because of your sacrifice.
I had a friend once who used to say "Man, I'd take a bullet for you." Luckily perhaps for him—but probably for me—neither of us ever had to find out whether that was true or not. Today I'd like to ask both my old friend Randy and this substitute teacher at Democratic Underground the same question. It's a question I'd like to ask every American. It's a question that separates the wheat from the chaff, and yes, the conservative from the liberal. It's where the work is either done today or left for someone else tomorrow. It's where the rubber meets the road.

You say you would sacrifice your own life doing what you believe is right, and I think we can all agree that that is an admirable and noble commitment for you to make, but what is needed most of the time in a situation like this is not another martyr. What is needed is a hero. You say you'd hide the children in a cabinet and then confront the gunman? When he shoots you—and he will shoot you—what do you suppose happens next? Come on this is horror-show 101...a classroom full of terrified kids hiding in cabinets hears their teacher confront a gunman, then they hear the thunder of a gunshot. Do they all remain as quiet as little church-mice? Do none of them cry?

You say you want to "shield, protect, and save" those in your care? You've looked in cabinets and shelves and closets. There is only one place you have not looked for the answer and it is there, only there, where you shall find the hero.

For me, the answer is childishly simple. It's an intuitive answer that just wants to leap out of my throat. If we were truly a nation of cattle, if we were content to chew on grass all the live long day, if thinking or making decisions was unnecessary—or impossible—and all that was ever required was finding a fresh patch of grass, then I could begin to understand why this concept might be hard for people to grasp. But last time I checked, we aren't in fact a nation of cattle, sheep, deer, or any other multi-stomached herbivore. Humans are the deadliest predators on the planet by an order of magnitude, if not more.

Now the following part should be in all caps, but I'm channeling my mother today. There was a day long ago when she protected me from my raging stepfather who was screaming the things he was going to do to me. On that day she whispered in a voice of ice-cold fire the promise of certain death into his ear, and I can assure you, he believed her. She was my hero that day, because she stopped him. She didn't hunt for places for me to hide. She didn't suggest that I run. She became a stone-cold killer in her heart and she let my step-father see his death in her eyes. So like her on that day long ago, to all you conservatives, to all you liberals, to all you who call yourselves Americans, I whisper this fundamentally simple question:

You'd say you'd sacrifice your life for someone else, but don't you see, another dead body doesn't help us? I want to know if you'd kill for someone else. The answer to gun-control is found in that answer. If you'd kill to save another then you already understand that the number of rounds in the clip, or whether it's a semi-auto or bolt-action weapon is immaterial, as is the shape of the bullet or length of the barrel. The reason that the argument is pointless and immaterial is because the ones who are killed by however tightly controlled the weapon, are no longer able to care about the ones who aren't.

You took God out of the classroom, America. You sowed the wind on that fateful day. All the killings, childhood pregnancies, drugs, drop-outs, welfare, foodstamps, ghettoes, and lives filled with hardship are the result. We've not yet seen the whirlwind, but I greatly fear it's coming.

h/t This Ain't Hell.

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