If We’re Going To Be A Nation of Equals, We Need To Be A Nation of Equalizers

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2017/06/14/if-were-going-to-be-a-nation-of-equals-we-need-to-be-a-nation-of-equalizers/

The shooting of a Republican leader in Congress and others by a disturbed left-wing attacker at a baseball practice in northern Virginia early Wednesday morning brings to mind all sorts of problems in America:  the viciousness of our politics, the absurdity of our public rhetoric, the prevalence of violence.

It’d be easy for conservatives to play the same game so many liberals have played in comparable events — to play up the shooter’s work as a Bernie Sanders-for-president volunteer, that he was a fan of MSNBC and CNN, that he hated President Donald Trump and hated Republicans and wanted higher taxes on rich people. His actions weren’t really an attack on Congress; they were an attack on Republicans.

All those things are true. But it doesn’t mean that people he agreed with on certain political matters are responsible for what he did.

It’s also easy — and necessary — to applaud the U.S. Capitol Police, who prevented the shooter from killing everyone there and took casualties while doing it. Police are all too frequently underappreciated until disaster happens.

But why were the U.S. Capitol Police at an early-morning baseball practice at a suburban playing field?

Because members of Congress were there. The Capitol Police protect members of Congress. So they were on hand, at the ready, and acted swiftly.

Police can’t protect the rest of us that way, however. That’s why we need to protect ourselves.

If there’s a public policy point to be made from this attack, it’s that everybody in this country needs the ability to protect himself with a firearm, just as the Second Amendment provides.

Gun control and gun-free zones are themselves a form of violence, because they leave everyone who abides by them defenseless. We go from confident citizens to waiting victims.

Murder, unfortunately, we will always have with us. It’s impossible to stymie every individual act of violence.

But mass shootings don’t happen in places where people are packing.