First, let me say up front and for the record that the actions of this small excuse for a man are absolutely abhorrent to every right thinking person. I had hoped that we could collectively take at least 24 hours before turning tragedy into something political. Looking around Facebook, Twitter, and the major news sites that clearly was overly optimistic. Instead of focusing on the demented actions of a single coward, many in the amateur and professional electronic media this afternoon rushed to the “guns are bad” banner.
Plenty of smart people, many of my friends included, believe that to be the case. I think they’re wrong, but today still isn’t the moment for that debate. I’ll only leave you today with a single thought: No gun law in existence here or anywhere else on the planet can prevent bad men from performing evil deeds. I’m sure to be roundly criticized for saying it, but the root of our problems isn’t an inanimate object, whether that object is a gun, or a knife, or lead pipe. Deal with the underlying causes, and the profoundly unfortunate effects will largely go away.
Though he was writing specifically about the history and use of rifles, a quote from Jeff Cooper‘s The Art of the Rifle seems particularly relevant to the inevitable discussion of what happens when people and firearms intersect. On days like today, I’m reminded that “The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”