The recent cultural madness and subsequent campaign of distortion surrounding guns in America — framed on one end by the Sandy Hook massacre and on the other end by the manhunt for murderer-turned-leftist-icon Christopher Dorner — offers a chilling example of the selective outrage and cynical manipulation employed by the cultural elites of our country, from the president and the White House to Hollywood and academia. Taking very seriously Rahm Emanuel’s candid remark that “You never let a serious crisis go to waste,” these institutions have wasted no time in exploiting both the anguish of grieving parents and the endless reservoir of manufactured racial grievance and entitlement that keeps this county hopelessly divided, to the benefit of leftist agitators.
Sandy Hook, we are told, is the product of a lawless and renegade gun culture, the logical culmination of right-wing anti-government paranoia on the part of delusional survivalist preppers, goaded on by the Tea Party and Fox News. Deftly equating conservative suspicion of ever-expanding government with the extreme mental illness that spurred the shootings, politicians and the media seize on Sandy Hook as an opportunity to simultaneously demonize conservatives and impose sweeping new laws and regulations on everything from guns and ammunition to parental rights and mental health procedures, all without regard to constitutional guarantees or even, in many instances, legislative process. The Left and their media allies engaged in similar rushes to judgment over the shooting of congresswoman Gabby Giffords and the Aurora massacre, with any number of right wing straw-men implicated before any facts were actually known.
In this fog of confusion and media-fueled misinformation, an alarming number of talkers on the Left not only fail to hold accountable the murderous and deranged Christopher Dorner and his growing horde of cultish followers and apologists, but they also excuse his brutal murders and the paranoid manifesto that justifies them, going so far as to equate his rampage with the stated aims of the social justice movement and likening him to Robin Hood and Django, the trigger-happy protagonist of Quentin Tarantino’s latest cinematic celebration of blood and slaughter. A few hours after Dorner’s manifesto was published online, numerous Chris Dorner fan-clubs appeared on Facebook, with such titles as “We are all Chris Dorner” and “We Stand with Christopher Dorner.” CNN contributor and Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill argued on television that although Dorner’s actions were “awful” and “killing people is bad,” nevertheless “as far as Dorner himself goes, he’s been like a real-life superhero to many people ... they’re rooting for somebody who was wronged to get a kind of revenge against the system. It’s almost like watching Django Unchained in real life, it’s kind of exciting.”
Of course, it shows a dangerous lack of critical thinking and good faith to seize on the Sandy Hook massacre to argue the need for sweeping and comprehensive gun control, while simultaneously lionizing a cold-blooded killer like Dorner, who’s celebrity can be attributed in part to his carefully crafted pose as racially aggrieved victim of a racist system. It also demonstrates the hypocrisy of the current anti-gun movement, an enterprise that seeks to vilify guns, except when they are in the hands of government officials and institutions, or glorified in violent movies and video games, or appropriated by anti-gun advocates like Dorner, hell-bent as he was on shooting his fellow citizens in order to draw attention to grievances real or imagined, and gun control especially.
Rather than be surprised at the brazenness of such double think, we should recognize it as a critical facet of leftist ideology, one on display in our schools and enforced on our children from the very earliest grade levels. Consider the “zero-tolerance” policies in our schools with regards to guns, and the myriad stories in the news about students being suspended or expelled for bringing toy guns to school, or for pointing their fingers and saying “bang,” or for having pictures of guns on their computers or their t-shirts, or for playing cops and robbers at recess. Rather than see these incidents as “teachable moments” that offer the opportunity to distill for students valuable lessons in moral reasoning and critical thinking, the schools’ zero-tolerance policy actually retards education, taking a complex subject that lends itself to discussion and reducing it to a simple-minded exercise in censorship and an inflexible example of hysterical prohibition. Rather than take the opportunity to teach kids independent thinking and personal responsibility when it comes to guns, the purpose and history of the Second Amendment, or the constitutionally protected rights of individual citizens, the schools opt instead for inflexible, intolerant, and utterly anti-intellectual policies that insult rather than instruct.
And yet, when it comes to teaching very young students equally controversial issues such as birth control, abortion, and homosexuality, there is nothing but tolerance — total tolerance, if you will — and no amount of protest, dissent, or collective scruple can be allowed to deter the teaching of these subjects to younger and younger students. The pattern is as clear as a bull’s eye on a target or a condom on a cucumber: total tolerance for their own views means zero tolerance for ours. Kids rendered incapable of making even basic moral distinctions in our schools are sure to grow up and become teachers or journalists unwilling to teach or report on such distinctions at all. And every now and then, they will grow up to be another Christopher Dorner, exposing folly and hypocrisy of it all. With this caveat: Fewer and fewer will be able to grasp the irony.
Photo at top: AP Images