Another nutcase has shot up a college again, killing nine people, before turning his gun on himself, as so many mass murderers are wont to do. As with most of these mass murders, everyone seems to have a theory as to why the killer did what he did. Every environmental factor is being ferreted out and put under a microscope to detect the source of the killer's murderous rage, perhaps in the hopes of preventing a future massacre.
Obama and many others are busy sneering at American gun owners, as if we, in our gluttonous love of firepower (maybe our desire to defend ourselves against crazies, criminals and government itself?), somehow have an indirect hand in enabling psychotics to gain access to firearms and thereby are complicit in the ensuing carnage. The killer's militant atheism, isolation, misanthropy, and social media history have been made the object of blame as well.
Amidst this post-massacre analysis, however, too few people are pointing out the obvious yet emotionally unsatisfying and politically unpopular truth: that everyone who is looking for meaning, or some sign that could have been discerned in advance to prevent the murders, are in search of a phantom.
When something tragic like this happens, we tend to look for solutions, even when a solution doesn't exist. A solution, some definite action that can be taken to prevent this from ever happening again, gives us a sense of closure. We feel better when elected leaders seem to know just what piece of legislation will patch up the societal ill that led to the cataclysm.
But the true danger lies in this type of politicized response to a tragedy that has no solution. It is a reality that life in any environment will bring with it some risk. This includes the occasional mad bomber or mass shooter who takes out a crowd of people. Yet after tragedies like the one in Oregon, a chorus of voices rise exclaiming a solution to the problem of mass murder, and it always requires granting more power to government and a restriction of liberty for the citizen.
Authoritarians plead with the public to finally have a "sane conversation" about gun control, or a "civilized" discussion about American "gun culture." Stephen Colbert opened his show the other night with just such. We want someone to blame when things go bad. We want to point a finger at some aspect of our culture that is absolutely, 100% certain, creating an "epidemic" of mass murder.
But if there is anything blameworthy in these events, might it not be the inherent "crazy" of each murderer? Are we to lock up everyone who has a history of mental health issues or who might be deemed a loner?
The War on Terror has been one gigantic exercise in giving the government the money and the power to engage a phantom. The years after 9/11 saw an explosion of growth in the Warfare State as a fearful populace, their paranoia fueled by a war-hungry media, silently consented to the construction of a massive surveillance apparatus, as well as a never-ending drone war, to combat "terrorism." But "terrorism" is a tactic, not a target, and granting government authority to pursue it means granting government authority to wage an endless war on behavior that it determines to be dangerous. The War on Terror has been bureaucratized, it has now become a jobs program, and its employees have a vested interest in the War on Terror continuing.
For all Obama's holier-than-thou posturing, he doesn't really care about the lives of innocents. A quick look at the mountain of innocent dead from his drone war on the Arabian Peninsula should convince one of that. No, he's doing the Deep State a favor, by attacking the institution that it fears the most: an armed populace. We are going to be subjected to an endless campaign of anti-gun propaganda until he gets his way.
It's already been said in many other outlets, but it's worth pointing out again that Obama conveniently ignores the nightly murder sprees in the city-wide gun-free zone of Chicago, his hometown. There were 60 murders in September alone, the highest monthly murder rate since 2002. Some killing sprees seem to lend themselves to politicization more than others.
The only lesson to be learned from this tragedy is that, and I can't believe I'm quoting Jeb Bush, "stuff happens." The unpredictable can't be contained or prevented by legislative decree. Laws against guns only disarm the law-abiding. An army of secret police snooping through citizens' private lives, in the hopes of finding a would-be killer, ends up doing nothing but ruining the lives of innocents.
Perfect security will only be ours in the grave, and attempting it among the living will very quickly lead to a prison planet. That Obama and many others appear so willing to become the benevolent jailers of such a society should give us pause before we buy into the hype that surrounds their "solutions" to tragedies that have no solution.
Shane Smith is an accountant living in Norman, Oklahoma. He writes for Red Dirt Report. Liberty is his religion.