Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Christian Terrorists

The tragedy at Virginia Tech reminded me that in every case of terrorism in American schools the perpetrators have been, as far as we know, atheistic nihilists.

So, that being the case, if you are a public school administrator planning a mock drill for your school to prepare your students for a terrorist assault and you want to make the exercise as realistic as possible who would you cast in the role of the murderous gunmen?

If you said nihilists, or even Muslim fanatics, then you're not thinking like some public school administrators.

The obvious selection would be a Christian conservative in that role, don't you see? That's the scenario scripted by several public schools around the nation, at any rate. Of course there have been exactly zero instances, at least that I'm aware of, where Christians have actually stormed a school and perpetrated violence, but that's a detail that seems to have escaped the notice of these administrators.

See here and here for details.

Not incidentally, there's apparently some evidence that Cho Seung-Hui hated Christianity, as did at least one of the Columbine killers. When is it going to dawn on the MSM that the problem isn't just the availabilty of guns, it's a worldview whose logic entails that life is meaningless, there is no moral value, there is no life after death, that human beings have no worth or dignity, and which hates Christianity because it holds that all of these assumptions are false?


Overly Hasty

My friend Byron writes to point out, correctly, that I overstated the case when I said that Michelle Malkin "has the goods" on Barack Obama's hypocrisy. Obama did indeed meet with the vulgar rapper Ludicris, and they evidently talked about "empowering youth", but there's no hard evidence in the story Malkin cited that Obama does anything but deplore the misogynist and violent lyrics that have made Ludicris wealthy. It may even be that Obama condemned Ludicris in their meeting for the toxic waste dump that is his "art", but the article doesn't say one way or the other, and I was overly hasty in assuming that he gave Ludicris a pass.

I thus should not have implied that Obama was hypocritical in condemning Don Imus for calling the Rutgers women "nappy-headed 'hos", and I apologize to Mr. Obama, if he's listening.


What Can We Do <i>Now</i>?

Yesterday we considered some possible causes of the school shootings that we experience every year in this country and argued that, in the long-term, we need to do two things: We need first to recover our confidence in, and commitment to, the Judeo-Christian worldview because only this provides us with a ground for valuing other human beings.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition human beings are valuable because they are made in the image of God and are loved by Him. Since we are prized by the Creator, to the point of sacrificing the life of His Son for us, we have tremendous value. Moreover, since this life is not all there is our lives have meaning. They're not just the meaningless exercise in absurdity that they would be were there no God and no immortality.

The second thing we said that we need to do is to utterly repudiate the culture of death, violence, and horror that has enthralled so many of our young people. Constant exposure to death and its accoutrements, along with video simulations of killing, coarsen and harden people, inuring them to the suffering and humanity of others.

Whether our culture ultimately turns itself around and accepts the need to do these two things or not, there are some short-term measures which have been suggested. The most common proposals are these three:

  1. We can make it illegal to manufacture, sell, or own guns, and try to eliminate guns from society.
  2. We can pass more laws restricting gun ownership.
  3. We can loosen gun regulations so that school officials and some staff can have access to firearms.

Number one would be the ideal, of course, but it is virtually impossible. If gun manufacture was banned in the U.S. manufacturers would simply move off-shore and guns, like drugs, would still be available to those who wanted them, which would be primarily thugs and other criminals.

Number two is pointless as long as criminals still have guns. It's foolish to prevent responsible gun owners from protecting themselves as long as criminals still have the means to terrorize the innocent. People have a right to defend themselves and their families, and any government that takes that right away and leaves people defenseless against armed criminals makes itself ipso facto an illegitimate government.

Number three may not be ideal but it is certainly the most practical of the three options. Last October I wrote on Viewpoint that:

[Researchers have found] that greater efforts to restrict guns leads, counter, perhaps, to conventional opinion, to more gun crime. [These researchers] make a good case that the "gun-free zones" set up around schools are a farce. Such feel-good nostrums accomplish nothing more than to assure the psychopaths who roam the halls of every large public school in the nation that if they decide to go on a killing rampage there'll be no one able to hinder them.

The allure of exerting total, unstoppable power over others is irresistable to certain twisted minds, and "gun-free zones" don't do anything to keep them from bringing weapons into schools to carry out their horrific fantasies. They only prevent school staff from being in a position to stop them once the carnage begins.

Anyone who smuggles a gun into a school can massacre students for a long time before police arrive, and despite all the precautions that schools take to prevent such tragedies there's really no practical way an unarmed staff can prevent a student who wishes to murder his fellow students from actually doing it.

As a parent of a high school student I know I would feel better if I knew that at least some appropriate school personnel had been thoroughly trained in the use of firearms, particularly in a school environment, and were allowed to keep weapons, under lock but easily accessible, in the building. If they were, the chances that someone would attempt, or succeed in an attempt, to perpetrate mass murder in the halls and lobbies of a school would be greatly diminished.

Some people will understandably blanche at the idea of having guns in school, but they're already there. Some schools have armed guards roaming their hallways and some have armed kids roaming the hallways. A lot of schools probably have both. The question is not whether we will have guns in our schools - we already do. The question is who in the school do we want to have access to them.

Public school administrators, provided they are trained and licensed, should be allowed to keep firearms under lock and key in their office and properly trained college instructors should be allowed to do likewise. Had anyone in that classroom building at Virginia Tech been armed who knows how many lives could have been saved.

Guns are probably here to stay in our culture, and as long as they are criminals and psychopaths will be able to get them. The answer is not to declare schools off-limits to guns, but to let those who would commit mayhem in a school know that they would probably not get far before they were challenged.

Virginia's legislature recently defeated a proposal that would have allowed college students as well as staff to carry arms. I think this was a ridiculous proposal and should have been defeated. I can't imagine allowing students to walk around campus armed, but I do think that staff should have quick access to weapons, if they so choose.

The deterrent effect would no doubt be substantial. It's only because most school killers know that they'll be able to have their way for at least half an hour before the police arrive to stop them that they even try it. If they knew that they'd have only a minute or two they might not think those few minutes worth the cost.

If someone had been allowed to confront Cho Seung Hui with a weapon in the halls of that classroom building on Monday it might have saved dozens of lives and prevented untold grief. That, it seems to me, is the direction in which we should move until the day comes when we need no longer fear to send our children to school.