Quote of the day—Matthew

Always will there be the cry for gun control, the weeping and gnashing of teeth to reduce the capacity of bullets capable of being fired from a gun, yet some of us seem to forget that people murdered each other long before someone thought up the rifle barrel and gun powder.

There is this resounding remark after every atrocity that invariably makes the rounds of “I don’t want to live in a world where principals and teachers have to….”

You already do.

January 22, 2014
Securing Your Six: Teacher’s Edition
[I’ve encountered this same sort of response to gun control debates, “I don’t what to live in a world where…”.

My response was, “Utopia isn’t an option. You can either ‘check out’ or you can deal with reality.”

I just don’t get why they cannot comprehend this. Evil people exist. These evil people must be defended against. The police cannot be everywhere at all times. And even the police must, in rare occasions, be defended against. It is up to individuals to defend themselves and other innocent lives. That is a self-evident, fundamental law of human existence. These people who would have us disarmed in the absurd hope of making society safer appear to be delusional. I have no other explanation for it*.—Joe]

* Yes, there exist people who want us disarmed for evil reasons as well as those with the absurd hope of creating a safer society. I’m only referring to those who really believe disarming the potential victims is a viable solution to stopping evil people as apparently delusional.


8 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Matthew

  1. Re the footnote — I’m not sure how to tell the two categories apart.
    There’s the old rule of thumb “never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by ignorance”. But how do you apply that to, say, M. Bloomberg?

    • Bloomberg is clearly evil. He has to have been informed that what he is attempting to do is counter productive to public safety as well as unconstitutional. With that high of profile and that successful he cannot be merely ignorant or stupid.

  2. “Yes, there exist people who want us disarmed for evil reasons as well as those with the absurd hope of creating a safer society. I’m only referring to those who really believe disarming the potential victims is a viable solution to stopping evil people as apparently delusional.”

    You refer to the perpetrators and the duped. In the end it is a distinction without a difference. Either you uphold the ideal of individual freedom or you don’t. You may attribute good intentions to some of the duped, and even the leaders, those at the top, speak the same language of good intentions. But how good are the intentions of anyone who reduce the individuals to the level of trash that must be disposed of? How good are the intentions of someone who would use government force to reduce people to helpless victims while criminals have free reign in gun free zones?

    No; it’s very easy to wrap one’s self in the banner of good intentions, but to do so, one must first deny reality. Good intentions do not run from reality– they embrace it.

    There is an issue, or a pattern, which we all must come to grips with, and that is our understanding and recognition of the humanity in all people. Your addendum paragraph here does just that. What you’re saying is exactly what Jesus said about his tormentors, as they were killing him; “Forgive them, Father– They know not what they do.”

    Yes; there is good in most people, regardless of just how far they may have been led astray.

    To that I say that we are not in a contest against people, not against flesh and blood but against principalities. More often than not, evil worms its way into a persom by appealing to that person’s desire to do good. Whether that person is at the top of the political food chain or a regular, largely non-political citizen just trying to make a living, you could say that they’re among the duped. Victims. Useful Idiots. I’ve made the case that, Karl Marx for example was himself a Useful Idiot.

    As I say, it makes no difference, or maybe I should say that we all should keep that in mind, as we need to understand specifically what (not who) we’re against and what (not who) we’re for.

    • It’s interesting how often you hit on this theme, and it’s one I keep seeing more and more as I learn more about Greek philosophy and old-time Jewish (and the following Christian) legal thinking. There is the law, and people are responsible for their actions and the ensuing results, NOT their intentions. Antigone breaks the law, she must die, even if what she’s trying to do is “good”, and what separated the Jews from everyone else in the old world was the idea of the LAW laid down in the THE BOOK, and free choice meant that you were to be held accountable for your choices, as opposed to the mystical/magical “god’s will” thinking that absolves the individual as a free agent. It is what separates the “western” world from most of the rest of the world, particularly the fundamentalist Islamic world.

      • Of course, the picture gets rather muddled when you examine Christianity, where some sects believe in free will and others do not. I never remember which is which — it matters a lot to the believers, or at least used to.

        • Free will is an interesting and you might say complicated subject, and no less so in Christianity. Consider the two thieves on crosses next to Jesus. They were both condemned by law, but one was mocking Jesus and the other pointed out that Jesus, unlike the two of them, was innocent. Jesus then says to the more rational thief something like “you will join me in heaven, my brother.”

          So we see that there are, for lack of a better way of putting it, two kinds of “free will” demonstrated in that story. One pertains to specific actions and the other to which side you choose to serve. A good man might stray and then be condemned by law, but he is nonetheless conscious of the difference between right and wrong and is therefore capable of seeing self guilt. The other man may simply be out after some advantage over his fellow men, and may even take pleasure in the suffering of others, and by the way it may take many years knowing someone before you know which one he is. Also one might change from one to the other. This is the sort of “free will” with which the Christians (supposedly) are concerned, and their primary tenet of course is that one may be “saved” from the Dark Side, which causes pain, frustration, confusion, anger, fear and suffering and set out on a new life serving objectivity and right reason, which they also call “God” or “Grace”.

          As for the law; we also see in the story that law can be used to serve good or evil. Though the death penalty for theft would seem far out of line from the concept that the punishment should fit the crime, it has been practiced even here in the U.S. Cattle rustling and horse theft have been grounds for hanging, though that was wrong too.

          So we can point to two systems of law. There’s the Ten Commandments (or “God’s law”) and then there’s Man’s law, which we call a system of justice. What others may call “cosmic justice” is out of our hands.

        • Paul; I think that all Christians, in a way, believe that we don’t have free will of our own, strictly speaking, except for our ability to choose which principality to serve. Even then they all believe that we are susceptible to deception in that regard. That is to say it is possible to “decide” whether to seek objectivity or to be controlled by all the various emotions. So yeah; it is a bit muddy, but life can definitely be muddy. On the other hand there is a clear delineation between serving good and serving evil, even if we don’t know it at the time for sure.

          The main difference in the practical sense is in the longing for objectivity, and for forgiveness for not always knowing where or how to find it.

          • I’ve heard it described as “the individual as an agency”. A sales representative (agent) serves the company he works for. He gets his marching orders from the company and so on, and for that he gets paid. He may not be advocating for his company every minute of every day, but generally speaking if he’s at all a faithful agent he works for the benefit of that company. If he’s a sinister agent he may selfishly and short-sightedly work to the detriment of his employer, or work for pay for the competition while accepting pay from his official employer, and so on. In either case he is working for someone else. That is the extent of “free will” in much of Christian thinking, and of course in that sense it has nothing at all to do with law and politics.

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