This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, July 5, 2022:
The shooting began at 10:45 a.m. on Monday, July 4 — Independence Day in Highland Park, Illinois. The lone gunman, using what police called “a high-powered rifle,” killed six parade watchers and wounded at least 30 others, was captured eight hours later.
On cue anti-gunners polished their scripts. First was Nancy Rotering, Mayor of Highland Park:
Obviously, we have a problem in this country if we have weekly mass shootings involving these weapons of war, and it’s important for us to talk about how to provide … protection on a broader scale, whether it’s statewide … whether it’s nationally.
Right behind Rotering was Illinois Governor JP Pritzker:
If you’re angry today, I’m here to tell you, be angry. I’m furious. I’m furious that yet more innocent lives were taken by gun violence. And I’m furious that their loved ones are forever broken by what took place today.
I’m furious that children and their families have been traumatized. I’m furious that this is happening in communities all across Illinois and America. I’m furious because it does not have to be this way. And yet we as a nation, well, we continue to allow this to happen.
Pritzker then zeroed in on guns:
There are going to be people who say that today is not the day, that now is not the time to talk about guns.
I’m telling you, there is no better day and no better time than right here and right now.
It’s the Fourth of July, a day for reflection on our freedoms. Our founders carried muskets, not assault weapons. And I don’t think a single one of them would have said that you have a constitutional right to an assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine.
Behind Pritzker was the current occupant of the Oval Office whose staff posted a statement over his name on the shooting:
I recently signed the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost thirty years into law, which includes actions that will save lives.
But there is much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.
The most telling and relevant of all statements came from an attendee of the parade who survived the shooting. Said Angela Sendick: “It’s just crazy [that] no one can figure out how to put a stop to all this.”
More gun laws certainly aren’t the answer. Highland Park is a gun free zone that bans “assault weapons” and “large capacity” magazines.
Illinois, according to Mike Bloomberg’s anti-gun Everytown for Gun Safety, is the state with the most stringent gun laws in the country. It has a red flag law, a waiting period to buy a gun, a law requiring gun owner licensing, “open carry” limitations, among others.
Just purchasing a firearm in Illinois involves the following process:
• Buyer must possess a valid FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) card;
• Buyer must show knowledge of local firearm ordinance requirements;
• Buyer must display a valid FOID card to FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealer prior to handling firearm;
• Buyer must complete Federal Form ATF 4473;
• FFL notifies the Illinois State Police (ISP) to perform a background check in accordance with state and federal laws;
• FFL receives an “Approval” from the ISP to transfer the firearm;
• Buyer must abide by the State of Illinois waiting period before taking possession of the firearm (the waiting period for a long gun is 24 hours and 72 hours for a handgun);
• Upon taking possession of the firearm, the firearm must be unloaded and enclosed in a case to transport.
Police have reported that the shooter obtained his firearm legally.
Conservative Christian radio host Erick Erickson nailed it:
Evil is the absence of God. God does not cause evil. Evil is just that state wherein there is no God of all Creation. Mankind, left to his own devices, is evil….
Another young man, white, young, no real family life, lots of warning signs — another in the ongoing pattern of collapsed nuclear families and societal failures — takes a gun and fires into a crowd killing many….
In the absence of any internal moral compass or restraint, says Erickson, “the solution is to take guns away, of course, or whatever fits the political agenda of the loudest voices on television — it’s always guns, never anything else.”
The Founders knew the true nature of man. John Adams said that “our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
James Madison, the primary author of that document, concurred with Adams:
[Our Constitution requires] sufficient virtue among men for self-government. [Otherwise] nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.
Those chains are continuously being forged following every incident like this one. Without an internal moral compass or restraint the state will apply them externally, and the people will happily trade their former freedom for their newfound security. Princeton professor Robert George, who is also senior fellow at the Witherspoon Institute, put it well: :
People lacking in virtue could be counted on to trade liberty for protection, for financial or personal security, for being looked after, for being taken care of, for having their problems solved quickly. There will always be people occupying or standing for public office who will be happy to offer the deal.
Unless the foundations that originally rested upon individual responsibility and internal moral restraints are restored, then it’s just a matter of time before external tyranny replaces internal restraint.