Throughout history, people have misunderstood cause and effect.
When George Washington suffered from a painful throat, his doctors bled him, a common medical practice in those days. After draining about 5 pints of blood, rather than get better, Washington died. Gee, who could have seen that coming?
When the era’s best ship-building minds developed an “unsinkable” ocean liner, the captain of the Titanic was so emboldened he ignored repeated warnings of icebergs. After 1,517 passengers and crew members drown, it probably occurred to someone that icebergs sink even big boats, even the ones considered unsinkable.
After whipping Germany and its allies into submission in World War I, the victors thought it would be good idea to kick the losers while they were down, so they imposed punitive sanctions. What could go wrong? Well, a ticked off German army corporal capitalized on the subsequent economic devastation and national humiliation to whip Germany into a vindictive frenzy. Voila! World War II.
Sometimes it’s difficult for people to connect the dots. At least some people.
Hindsight today helps us understand that draining a lot of blood out of a sick person without replacing what’s removed, probably will kill him. We suspect few ocean liners today play chicken with icebergs. As for the lessons of World War I, after World War II the victors didn’t dance on the graves of the vanquished. Instead, post-war recovery was rapid and stunning thanks to measures like the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild a devastated Western Europe, turning enemies into allies.
Alas, other lessons seem more difficult to learn from. Some dots just don’t get connected. Take for example Tom Brokaw, whom you may remember as a television news anchor.
“…everything seems to get settled by a gun for whatever reasons,” Brokaw complained on ABC Sunday.
Brokaw was commenting on yet another mass murder by yet another avowed Muslim radical, this time targeting homosexuals in a “gay” Orlando, Fla., night club.
In the wake of a shooting that took 50 lives and wounded 53 others, Brokaw complained that the bad guy had used a gun to “settle” his grievance.
This is a shallow understanding of reality. Brokaw seems oblivious to the fact that it also was guns – wielded by police responding to the scene – that “settled” the issue for the good guys.
Brokaw conceded that, “we deserve to know what the motivation may have been before we can engage in a debate that may lead us to some kind of a resolution.”
Nevertheless, as is so common with mainstream media, Brokaw finds mass murders indicative of something other than evil people intent on murder.
Perhaps we should bleed the nation to make it well. Should we punish gun owners, despite the fact almost all of them don’t murder anyone?
Allow yours truly to offer a suggestion as obvious as a looming iceberg: radical Muslim extremism is responsible for the vast majority of the world’s – not just the U.S.A.’s – mass murder in the 21st century.
And to reiterate the obvious, without guns how do you think the good guys would fare when the bad guys descend?
Brokaw was merely soft-peddling the standard anti-gun meme. President Barack Obama wasn’t as diplomatic, never missing an opportunity to exercise his passion for disarming law-abiding people.
“This massacre,” Obama said, “is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, in a house of worship, or in a movie theater or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. To actively do nothing is a decision as well.”
In case you missed the message: Obama wants to make it difficult (the opposite of “easy”) to get your hands on a gun.
Like the ignorant doctors of Washington’s era who connected the wrong cause-and-effect dots and probably bled the first president to death, Obama connects the wrong cause-and-effect dots to conclude that guns, not radical Islamists bent on murder, are the problem.
It’s just a hunch, but had any of the 1.3 million Floridians with licenses to carry concealed handguns been inside that night club, the Islamist murderer may well have been stopped dead, literally, saving countless lives.
But the president continues to demand gun control, and exploits every shooting, mass or otherwise, as contrived evidence that guns are the problem.
More thoughtful people connect the obvious dots to conclude it is radical Islamic murderers who need to be controlled.
But we can’t even get Obama to call them what they are. He’d rather disparage your right to protect yourself against them and disarm the innocent, making them even more vulnerable.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.