Well, to cite an example of prevention, I can come up with a plan to eliminate all traffic fatalities involving privately owned vehicles in the United States. It's very simple.
- The problem is, we can't do without cars or trucks.
Bloomberg, however, no doubt would be fine in applying this concept to firearms ownership.
Here the problem is no different. People not only have the right to defend themselves but in Western Culture, the citizen is obligated* to be equipped in a manner that provides for some degree of protection of himself, his family, and his community
The sheep mentality+ (Also ++) is one of the most terrible afflictions with which many in the Western World have allowed themselves to be affected. It is a culture that assumes that the present state of our nation or neighborhood can never change.This delusion refers both to long periods of time in the event of mass disorder, or on that one day when a bad man(men) seemingly at random picks you or your peers to be on the receiving end of violence.
I too like going about my day knowing that I will almost definitely not be attacked or witness an attack. The difference is that I am equipped, and mentally prepared for, such an event. A society that is unprepared for such an occurrence, especially when it comes to being mentally ready, is prey to all sorts of enemies. History demonstrates that societies have far more to fear from being unarmed and unprepared than from random violence acts of their own citizens.
In 410 AD the Visigothic King Alaric approached the Gates of Rome. What was left of the Roman army had been unable to challenge this march on the city. The people had long been unaccustomed to do any of their own fighting. After being giving of the terms, which included the removal of vast amounts of money and treasure, he was asked by the city's delegation what would be left of them.
Alaric replied "Your Lives"
-Others have not been as generous as Alaric when it comes to allowing people to be secure in their lives and bodies. Read the excerpts from the American Thinker article quoted below to see some examples of what can happen to unarmed peoples. (Bolded text)
The Left is so distraught at the thought of people being able and willing to take decisive action to eliminate violent threats that they would rather we be a society of pure victims. Worse still, many people have accepted this argument and called for the disarming of the entire population. I have met many an adult American man who is perfectly fine with the thought of having no effective means whatsoever of protecting even his home.
I am an intellectually convinced and practicing Catholic. I have also have made it clear that it is no secret that far too many US Catholics, especially those in leadership positions, have been on the anti-defense bandwagon for many years. In New Jersey, former Bishop Frank Rodimer of the Paterson Diocese enthusiastically endorsed the Million Mom March, which was the anti-gun movement of the 90's that modeled its name after the unrelated Million Man March. The fact that the Church itself has never indicated that people should remain defenseless, or that turning the other cheek is supposed to mean that we should become so, has never gotten in the way of many US Catholics as they, intentionally or not, have repeatedly sought to render us powerless to defend our lives, bodies, possessions, or our freedoms.
The likelihood that most if this is due to a naive assumption that governments will always be able to have sufficient cops or soldiers (Or that the State will not oppress its own people) does nothing to assuage my frustration with the American Church. Far too many American Catholics seek to turn their fellow Christian men into cowards and shirkers of duty.
The Jesuits have lead the way in the push to turn Catholics into soft Leftists:
"That is why I believe that gun control is a religious issue. It is as much of a “life issue” or a “pro-life issue,” as some religious people say, as is abortion, euthanasia or the death penalty (all of which I am against), and programs that provide the poor with the same access to basic human needs as the wealthy (which I am for). There is a “consistent ethic of life” that views all these issues as linked, because they are.
All of these issues, at their heart, are about the sanctity of all human life, no matter who that person is, no matter at what stage of life that person is passing through, and no matter whether or not we think that the person is “deserving” of life. The issues just mentioned of course are very different. To take the most obvious example, the agonizing decisions surrounding euthanasia, with which loving families are sometimes confronted, are not to be equated with the twisted decisions of a mass murderer. But they are all, in one way or another, actions that impinge on the sanctity of human life. God gives life to every person, and that life is holy.
Pro-life religious people need to consider how it might be made more difficult for people to procure weapons that are not designed for sport or hunting or self-defense. Why would anyone be opposed to firmer gun control, or, to put it more plainly, laws that would make it more difficult for mass murders to occur? If one protests against abortions clinics because they facilitate the taking of human life, why not protest against largely unregulated suppliers of firearms because they facilitate the taking of human life as well? "
Where Eastern societies prohibited one from taking part in defense and thus left his safety to the whim or ability of the ruling despot, Western societies required the individual to own arms. Where the Eastern potentates could pretty much do as they pleased with the people who lived in their domains, their counterparts in the West had to tread cautiously.
For a person who desires to find out more about the crucial place of arms ownership in the Western world and its consequences on the societies that evolved from it, the easiest and quickest way would be to research the Roman, Greek, and early Germanic societies.
The Greeks required the individual, especially if he owned any property, to equip himself at this own expense with a minimum of arms and armor and to take an active part in the defense of his city-state. This was quite an expense as both the materials and work/craftsmanship that went in to making these items were costly. For anyone who has not seen what a Greek Hoplite wore, it consisted of a helmet, shield, armor for the torso and legs, a sword and spear. This was a right and an obligation that was not optional. Later they allowed for more lightly-armored Peltasts. The individual was also required to train exhaustively, to learn how to fight in a hoplite formation and also needed to drill/practice on a regular basis with those of his community. In times of threats to the city-state, the Hoplite, like the others noted below, did not have the option of remaining home with his family.
The Romans also required those who possessed property to equip themselves at their own expense and to train and appear with their equipment in times of crisis. Unlike the Greeks, they created early on several classes where the amount of equipment one as required to purchase was based on the amount of property they owned with the exact specifications enumerated. Those with the most property had to be the most heavily equipped, those with less assessed property would have to purchase less.
The Germanic society was the most egalitarian as far as armed individuals go. All free men could be called up at anytime. There of course were differences as to what arms certain individuals could afford to posses, but the system, which went by the label of Fyrd among the Saxons, existed throughout Germanic societies by different names and technically continued as an obligation throughout the middle ages. Interestingly, the emergence of professional troops of the nobility and the resultant lack of reliance on the Fyrd-type bodies has a direct correlation with the subjugation and suppression of the common people. The concept was employed in the defense preparations of Elizabethan England when threatened by the Spanish Armada. The decline of the nobility and relative absence of one in daughter nations such as the US brought the practice back into common use. Colonial men were required to periodically report for drill and inspections of their equipment. These militias formed the basis of the first contingents to oppose what they believed to be British tyranny.
All of these and others types not mentioned here are an integral part of Western societies. These responsibilities have continued in various forms and frequency of use into the present day. In the Heller decision, the US Supreme Court had for evidence incredible amounts of citations of those who actually made the constitution or were contemporaries of those who did. All state clearly that the Militia (Modern Fyrd) consist of all able-bodied men (I would include women if they have been familiarized with weapons). The National Guard bodies of individual states, while constituting a sort of professional core of militia, is also a part of the US Army Reserve structure and has not taken the place of the militia.
To apply the protest against such an idea to early human societies, we could use the example of cave people. In a free society, like those who banded together and lived in natural shelters like caves, what would have happened to an individual who wanted the protection of the cave and the clan but did not want to take part in the clan's defense? Well, it is guaranteed that he would be cast out to fend for himself. His lack of willingness to expose himself to the danger common to all who stood in defense of the clan or his aversion to any violence for any purpose would result in his expulsion from that society. In the caves, one would forfeit his chance to survive if he refused to take part in defense. In Greek, Roman, Germanic and other Western societies, one who refused to take part would forfeit his right to have any say in how the society is run. He could not vote, speak at assemblies, or sit in or attend a Germanic council. (Saxon – Witan) In short, he had no right to have his opinion counted if he would not fight.
Nothing could be further from the truth for any of these cases. Numerous court decisions have ruled that police cannot be held responsible for failing to protect an individual from violent criminal activity. The military is designed to deal with threats directly against the nation or states. Arms cannot be considered as only for hunting as this activity is only for a very limited application and is not the main purpose which is ensuring that a person can take protective measures. Lastly, the rise of exceptionally violent activity and the possibility things getting worse in the future makes the responsibility of one to own and become proficient with a firearm more important than it has been in a long time.
In short, no one event or chain of events has occurred that has removed the right and obligation of the individual to protect himself, his family, and his community.
*A brief reference to Napoleon Bonaparte, who used that phrase in describing how he suppressed riots of the Sections in the tumultuous years of the early French republic. He used artillery. Grapeshot is made of bags filled with multiple projectiles. A shotgun is the closest thing to such an effective weapon that an individual may posses."
"God created man, Sam Colt made them equal."
The fact is that postmodern society has created an "artificial reality." Americans, and residents of other Western nations, live in air-conditioned buildings, eat processed foods, drive instead of walk, wait for the government check to come in the mail, and glut themselves into morbid obesity. They hire out a handful of volunteers to fight wars for them, and they hire out illegal aliens to mind their children and do their gardening. They walk around zombie-like, faces glued to iPhones; they fly around at 35,000 feet at 600 mph above the clouds where it's forty below zero -- and they get bored and bitch about the airplane food.
Evil thrives on vulnerability, and we're vulnerable because we're so detached from actual reality. After the 9/11 attacks turned the World Trade Center into an ash heap, a common reaction was "Duuude, it was just like a movie!" September 11 was the second attack on the WTC in eight years, and thousands of people a hundred stories up -- literally swaying in the breeze -- and millions of their fellow Americans still didn't "get it." I distinctly recall walking down a back-country road on a small-game hunt about a week after 9/11, rifle in hand, cognizant of the unusual quiet as all aircraft remained grounded, thinking, "Why don't you bastards try something now?" Of course, they wouldn't have -- evil avoids a confrontation. It hides from countervailing strength. It waits for the moment when you least expect it to seize its opportunity. And by failing to stand guard against it or acknowledge its presence, you, the victim, enable it.
Our forefathers hacked this nation out of a wilderness inhabited by Stone-Age tribesmen. They were in touch with reality. They fought wars, hunted their own meat, built their own homes, cleared their own forests, saddle-broke their own horses, birthed their own children, and buried their own dead. If they made a mistake, it could easily cost them their lives. "Reality" -- good, evil, pain, work, reward, suffering, joy -- was in their face 24-7. It wasn't artificially manufactured for them. They sure as hell weren't watching some Batman fantasy in a movie theater at midnight after a day eating Whoppers in the food court at the mall.
The great danger of the "Batman" shooting is that the still-deluded folks among us will believe that more government power and more gun control will solve the problem. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn't even wait for the bodies in Aurora, Colorado to cool before he began his usual braying for gun control. Well, if guns are the problem, perhaps Mayor Bloomberg could lead by example and disband the armed NYPD security detail that protects him 24-7. Perhaps someone should remind him what armed NYPD men did to Amadou Diallo and Abner Louima. Or remind him about the Happy Land Social Club fire, in which 87 people were killed not by a gun, but by $5 worth of gasoline, or the Oklahoma City Bombing, in which 168 people were killed by diesel fuel and fertilizer, or the 3,000 people killed on 9/11 by box-cutters and airplanes.
The numerous journalists who think that we need to enact "sensible gun laws" like "other countries" should be reminded that mass shootings have occurred in Germany, Norway, Australia, Canada, and Great Britain, even after gun control laws far stricter than those in the U.S. were enacted.
Anyone who thinks that only the government should have guns, or that government officials wouldn't possibly commit acts of evil with guns, ought to familiarize himself with the following: Katyn Forest, Holodomor, NKVD, Khmer Rouge, Cultural Revolution, Tianenmen Square, Dujail, Babi Yar, Nanking, Waco, and Srebrenica.
The lesson of the "Batman" shooting is this: where there is a large sheep herd, the wolves will always thrive."
Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa."
Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog."