For a short while, the thing called “gun violence” was uppermost in the minds of the blabbering class. Two lovely young people, Alison Parker (news reporter) and Adam Ward (photojournalist), of Roanoke, Virginia, were gunned-down on live TV, is a scene reminiscent of the film “15 Minutes,” in which an anchor’s drive for ratings and a murderer’s quest for his 15 Minutes of Fame result in … gun, fist, and other gratuitous, on-air violence.
A week on, CNN’s Poppy Harlow was using the language of George Orwell’s Oceania to describe the entity, “gun violence,” that “took” the life of poor Deputy Darren Goforth, of Harris County, TX. Shortly thereafter, the same inchoate culprit claimed Lt. Joe Gliniewicz of Fox Lake, Illinois.
Ambush assaults on police are, indubitably, up. And so is Orwellian newsspeak.
In Roanoke and Harris County, black men were implicated in directing the guns at Parker, Ward and Goforth. The killers acted on a tip from their mentors in media. That’s right: Do not be so hard on the “Black Lives Matter” movement. The movement is in its infancy. Most people are unfamiliar with it. “Black Lives Matter,” moreover, is not nearly as innervating and enervating as the meme disseminated, year-in and year-out, by media, academia, by the pedagogy and the politicians; over the airwaves, on the teli, in classrooms, in the halls of power; in textbooks, film, music and in every other cultural outlet and product.
For decades has this “Racial-Industrial Complex” been schooling Americans in the fiction of systemic black oppression by white America. The threshold for oppression is remarkably low. To be white is to oppress The Other; to be black is to be oppressed.
Concomitantly, there has been an epidemic of citizen fatalities at the hands of police officers. Combine the latter with the ritualistic, imbecilic, systemic and baseless drumbeat about oppression of blacks by whites—and you have your catalysts (not causes) for why so many blacks imagine they’ve been wronged, and how some individuals are encouraged, inadvertently, to act on their anger.
As to the former catalyst: In 2014 alone, attests activist William B. Scott, police “gun-violence” dispatched 1,100 people, an average of three every day of the year. Scott’s son, Erik, a decorated ex-Army officer, West-Point graduate, and Duke Univ. MBA, was shot to death by a slob of a cop in Las Vegas. Erik’s BlackBerry was mistaken for a firearm. (Excellence runs in this family. Senior is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.)
One can’t help but wonder at the incongruous specter of black leaders and advocates (media, pols, pedagogues) complaining when those they consider incorrigibly racist—cops—make themselves scarce in black neighborhoods. The “Racial Industrial Complex” conflates higher arrest and incarceration rates among blacks (rather than lawbreaking and too many laws), with “scientific” proof of systemic racism. Surely, then, police presence in black communities will only increase arrests and bolster these “racist” statistics. Surely a lack of police presence in black communities is to be celebrated.
As kids, we knew our local policeman by name. He patrolled our neighborhoods regularly and joshed around with us. He lived among us. Community policing, however, is a thing of the past. Former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson—notorious for shooting Michael Brown—gave a clue as to why. Wilson told The New Yorker that while he didn’t want to work in a white area, liked the black community and had fun there—he had experienced “culture shock.” Wilson described venturing into a “different culture”: a “pre-gang culture where you’re just running in the streets, not worried about working in the morning, just worried about your immediate gratification.” For his candor about an alien culture, Wilson was called racist by CNN’s Boris Sanchez and Kate Bolduan.
“To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely,” said Edmund Burke, in his “Reflections on the Revolution in France.” Darren Wilson’s words suggest a variation on Burke’s theme: To make cops love the communities they police, the communities they police ought to be lovely.
Burke further reminded us in 1790 that, “To love the little platoon we belong to is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections.” But what happens when those little platoons are not so little and not so lovely?
A country that is without a modicum of cultural cohesion and is, by D.C. design, comprised of ever-accreting, competing factions—this kind of country cannot be lovely in the Burkean sense. In fairness to law-enforcement, communities in America must be damn difficult to police.
Ultimately, thinking logically about crime and the criminals who commit it is likelier to lead to solutions than irrational thinking.
Repeat after me: It was not an inanimate object or an abstraction—“gun violence”—that murdered innocent cops and cub reporters, but malevolent men with murder on their minds and weapons in their hands.
Columnist Jack Kerwick’s reductio ad absurdum illustrates the absurdity of “gun violence” speak:
Imagine if, while discussing the Holocaust, we spoke about ‘gas chamber violence,’ or while discussing Islamic State mass beheadings, we talked instead of ‘machete violence.’ Or suppose that discussions of the lynching of blacks were peppered with references to ‘rope violence.’ None of this would sit well with decent human beings, for it is clear, or at least it is thought that it should be clear, that such descriptions miss entirely that which is fundamental to the phenomena being described—the perpetrators responsible for these wicked deeds.
Let us speak, then, of “goon violence.” For to grasp the distinction between goons with moral agency, on the one hand, and inanimate guns with no such thing, on the other, is to come to grips with reality. (Of course, it would help a lot if stupid liberals quit their litany of lies about eternal, never-ending black oppression.)
We’ve covered the catalysts. Let us address the causes:
Guns are not the root cause of man’s evil actions. Neither are the multiplying categories of the psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Evil is part of the human condition, always has been, always will be. Evil can’t be wished away, treated away, medicated away or legislated away. Evil is here to stay.
Bad people do bad things. Deal, as they say in the hood.
Ilana Mercer is a paleolibertarian writer, based in the U.S. She is a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies. Her latest book is “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Her website is www.IlanaMercer.com. Follow her on Twitter. “Friend” her on Facebook.