Tragedies Bring Out the Hypocrite in Us All
Now that our weekly mass shooting has taken place in San Bernardino, California, I think it's time to make some observations about how people respond to tragedies of this sort.
Depending on the type of tragedy taking place, either liberals or conservatives will inevitably accuse the other of "politicizing the tragedy," which will be correct. For example, in the aftermath of the ISIS Paris attacks Donald Trump pointed out how France has some of the strictest gun laws in the western world and they didn't stop the attacks from happening. Liberals lost their minds condemning him for so blatantly trying to score political points from the attacks. Yet now you can probably count on one hand the number of liberals condemning the likes of Matthew Yglesias for trying to score political points on the shootings in San Bernardino.
Then there's the inevitable statement from President Obama, the man with more innocent blood on his hand than any other single person on the planet right now save for perhaps George W. Bush, which no liberal will condemn for politicizing the tragedy. Who can forget Obama condemning a mass shooting a few months ago and then turning around less than a week later and blowing up a hospital full of innocent patients and doctors in Afghanistan? Where on Earth does somebody like that get off lecturing anybody about violence? The question, however, is who will hold him accountable? No one.
Also, there will naturally be endless calls for increased regulations and gun control to stop this sort of thing from happening in the future. However, the same people who want to regulate the guns of every innocent gun owner in the country were horrified when other people suggested laws that would violate the rights of innocent Muslims in the wake of the Paris attacks. Both sides want to unconstitutionally violate the rights of innocent people for the crimes of a small number of other people, but fail to see how ridiculous they are when they criticize each other for doing exactly the same thing.
Not only are these people hypocrites, but the policies they want would be completely ineffective at what the proponents claim to desire and would rather have the complete opposite effect by empowering those already inclined to violence and making criminals out of those who aren't. If history teaches us anything it's that banning or regulating things people want only ever causes more problems than it solves. Prohibition in the early 20th century and the war on drugs that continues to this day prove this beyond any reasonable doubt. Not to mention that laws regulating guns are already in place, especially in California of all places, to obviously little effect.
The simple fact is that it makes no sense to listen to hypocrites in the aftermath of a tragedy, especially in the immediate aftermath when facts regarding the tragedy are scarce, and especially when they're advocating taking away the rights of peaceful people who had nothing to do with the tragedy itself. Those people are probably nothing more than demagogues with something to sell and nothing of substance to say, or simply naive thinking that something must be done. Perpetrators of a violent crime should be brought to justice, and we should find out what could have been done to stop it from happening in the first place, but the answer has never been to make criminals out of people who had nothing to do with it. That's the lesson that both conservatives and liberals fail to learn time after time.