“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams
I was a little more than a month away from graduating high school when the first modern mass school shooting happened in Columbine, Colorado, in April of 1999. Since that time there has been a drastic decline in the American culture, and we’ve seen similar school shootings repeat at least once every few years as a result. Record high suicide rates and opioid overdoses, as well as record-low birth rates, marriage rates, and church attendance, highlight a general collapse of the family and America’s cultural centers.
Last week saw yet another mass school shooting, this time in Uvalde, Texas. Before the scope of the tragedy had been identified, pundits and politicians were out in full force selling their legislative remedies to our continued cultural decline. Perrenial Texas political candidate Beto O’Rourke intruded on a press conference with Governor Greg Abbott to score political points, juxtaposing his opponent’s position on gun control. Amidst the chaos and confusion, politicians once again danced on the graves of the dead.
I am of the mindset that the second amendment is non-negotiable, and for myself, I have moved beyond this debate. I refuse to dignify arguments that the state is here in our best interest and I only need to submit my sovereignty to them. Gun control advocates know that opponents have both statistics as well as the moral high ground on their side, and so proponents must rely on exploiting the tragedies of the few to enact their control schemes on the many.
International government responses to COVID offer a foretaste of what is to come for those who acquiesce their arms to governments. Australia’s forced quarantine camps, and Canada’s seizure of peaceful protestor’s assets demonstrate what awaits America as the last gun ownership holdout in western society. This is not new. James Madison boasted of the advantages that an armed America held over every other nation of the world.
Proponents of gun control often suggest that our founders couldn’t have envisioned the types of weaponry we have today, which is both false and also a red herring. Fully automatic weapons like the puckle gun existed at the time of the founding, and the Continental Army relied heavily on privateers to lend their heavy weaponry like cannons to the cause. This suggestion itself fails the purpose of the second amendment entirely.
James Madison fully explained the rationale of the second amendment in his Federalist Paper No. 46, where he illustrates an armed populace opposing every standing army of the world and outnumbering them by many factors. Today, if you only armed every eligible man in the United States, they outnumber the US Army by a factor of 50 to 1. That is the purpose of the second amendment.
Where the public consistently fails in debates about gun violence or any other number of side effects of our cultural decay, is introspection. Recently, the press caught up with the parents of the Uvalde shooter, who unsurprisingly came from a broken home. Both parents pleaded with the press in defense of their mass-murdering son that he “had his reasons” and was “not a monster.” I’m not sure what planet these folks came from but attempting to garner sympathy for your deranged child days after they slaughter innocent children is exactly the kind of deflection we’d expect to see in an immoral society. Whatever image they’ve built up in their head of their offspring, they raised a monster.
A recent article from a local news publication highlighted one law enforcement agency’s adoption of less-stringent dress code requirements such as allowing tattoos and piercings to attract much-needed labor. The social media comments that followed identified a flurry of law enforcement failings: we need to defund the police, we need better training, a better focus on mental health, better pay to attract better labor, etc. Perhaps there is some truth to all of these things, but what part do the commenters play in all of this? How should the general population interact with law enforcement and live their daily lives to lessen the demand for law enforcement?
I can’t think of any reason that a rational human being would sign up to be a cop right now. In many locales, criminals act with impunity while those who attempt to enforce the law operate with zero room for error. They’re dealing with an increasingly immoral population, under an increasingly hostile microscope, and I believe as a result are attracting lesser qualified candidates for the job. That may begin to explain why in each of these mass casualty scenarios, law enforcement is consistently delaying action that results in more death.
As far back as Columbine, law enforcement was criticized for a failure to act, which resulted in the creation of Immediate Action Rapid Deployment tactics precisely for these school shooting scenarios. More than twenty years later in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, law enforcement and resource officers sat idly outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while another deranged shooter made victims of fellow students. Now it has come out that the shooter in Uvalde was unimpeded for the better part of an hour as he murdered students and teachers, while law enforcement handcuffed parents in the parking lot who attempted to run in to save their own children.
Gun control proponents often suggest that the general population doesn’t need firearms because it’s the job of law enforcement to do what they are consistently failing to do: protect the public. This failure demonstrates precisely why we should never cede the rights to firearms, and the courts have only reinforced that law enforcement has no obligation to the safety of the public. In 2018, a group of students sued Broward County, Florida, for its failure to protect the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The courts held that the government had no obligation to protect the students because they weren’t considered to be in the custody of the state. This mirrored a similar ruling from a disparate suit in Colorado, in 2005.
John Adams famously wrote that our Constitution was written for a moral and religious society, and critics would suggest that our moral decay demands revocation of our Constitutional rights until a future point when we have returned to our moral state. I would argue that the Constitution exists so that, God willing, we have the freedom to pursue a moral and religious state. Historical examples have shown that the Godless state views the Church as competition for the allegiance of its people, and not a purveyor of the morality required to maintain a moral society.