Hat Tip MacDuff
There are many such phrases that qualify for placement in this essay to be sure, but time and attention spans will prevent me from hitting on them all. There is a sameness in the root of all of these expressions however, and that sameness is that they are endlessly uttered by self anointed moral superiors, who usually have reacted solely based upon their own emotions, or wish to affect changes in public policy based on eliciting an emotional response from the majority of the people they are addressing with their commentary.
We Must Ensure That This Never Happens Again.
Hearing this phrase after some tragic event is as natural as B following A in the alphabet. Offered immediately in the emotional aftermath of some event, usually one in which a very visible crime was committed with a hand gun, it is nothing more than a ploy to get Americans acting without thinking based on an emotional appeal. The major problem with it of course is that it completely ignores several dozen aspects of the given tragedy which are based in that little part of our universe called reality. We would all like to keep anything bad from ever happening in the world, ever again, but to be blunt, that will not ever be possible. To paraphrase Thomas Sowell, there are never all encompassing solutions, only trade offs.
We’ll use the latest tragedy thoughtfully provided by a famous sports figure run amok as an example. Javon Belcher recently took his pistol, shot his pregnant girl friend dead, drove himself to the Kansas City Chiefs facility, and while talking to coaches there, decided to end his own life. My heart goes out to the families of both Belcher and Perkins, as well as the other members of the Chiefs team and staff, and most assuredly the coaches who got to witness Belcher’s final act live in real time. The Bob Costas use of the aforementioned phrase however is one of the most pernicious uses of self aggrandizement to have ever been uttered over our television air waves. His statement that we can prevent tragedy from ever again darkening our national mood by simply ridding ourselves of hand guns is as evil as it is stupid.
Putting aside for the moment the absolute banality of this line of thought, that criminals who already ignore almost all of the laws of our society, will choose gun control laws as those only social guidelines to which they will adhere, why not look at the many laboratories we have for this theory around our nation today. It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that the worst of our gun violence, highest crime rates, worst civic breakdowns occur in those places with the greatest restrictions on hand gun ownership. Forcing the Washington Bullets to change the name of their Basketball team to the Washington Wizards has resulted in no fewer unsolved murders do to hand gun violence. The tighter those restrictions have become in our nation’s capital as a matter of fact, the worse that problem has become. Has anyone else noticed that those horrible mass shootings only ever occur in, “gun free zones?”
Next, let’s look at the self aggrandizing portion of the Costas rant. Javon Belcher was part of an industry that has produced a considerable amount of wealth not only for the owners and players in the NFL, but for many ancillary businesses as well. Indeed, Costas’ job and career only exist one could argue, because of the many Javon Belchers of the nation who are so eager to sacrifice their well being and physical safety in order to slash each other to pieces once per week. I’m not judging that by any stretch of the imagination, indeed I watch it as fervently as the next guy, (go Steelers!) What I am saying, is that this may have been the cause of Costas failing to ask even a single question that any first year journalism student at even the lowest cost university in our country could have come up with on the spur of the moment.
Did Javon Belcher have a history of smoking that, “harmless substance,” known as Marijuana? I have read many times over the years about my favorite football players being arrested for this, and in a society where someone literally has to be acting like a complete imbecile in order to be arrested for this speaks volumes about this issue. Was Javon Belcher using steroids? There have been many instances of professional athletes acting in reprehensible ways due to steroid use over the years, including the no longer living Lyle Alzado getting out of his car to beat up other motorists on Los Angelos’s infamously disorganized and slow moving free way system, and Chris Benoit’s murder suicide which took the lives of his wife and child as well. (The Benoit murder suicide is notable also due to its lack of gun. Benoit, pictured below, did not need a firearm to commit his crime.) Did Belcher have a history of domestic violence which may have been overlooked or swept under the NFL carpet due to the value of Belcher to other people? Dozens of people interacted with Belcher on an ongoing basis. Was there some warning sign in Belcher’s behavior that was purposefully ignored, due to that perceived value? Costas in his remarks asked none of this, but instead pointed his finger at our Constitution’s Second Amendment and laid blame squarely on the shoulders of people who believe in preserving it.
Somewhere in the task of making certain this never happens again, we need to look beyond the emotional, to see what some of the real problems are, like rampant drug use, a lifetime of people looking the other way, never having behavioral parameters established for our famous figures, and never holding politicians accountable for the consequences of the bad policies that they inflict upon us. What we get instead from the likes of Bob Costas is a sickening dose of moral superiority and arrogant pontification on a subject which he clearly has spent almost zero time in thinking through.
We Need To Affect Changes In Public Policy For The Good Of The Public, Who Aren’t Capable Of Making Good Decisions For Themselves.
Closely related to the above statement, this one may actually be worse, because those who make it are setting themselves up as a defacto superior, someone who, for our own good will take it upon themselves to tell the rest of us how to live. For an example of this one in action, look no further than the war on cigarettes and soda pop. I am not a smoker myself, but I also find it reprehensible that cigarette smoking has been banned almost everywhere in our society. After forcing cigarette smokers to fund stadiums all across the fruited plains through sin taxes and such, we then told those members of our society who actually paid for those marvelous stadiums that they were not allowed to partake of their habits there. Because Mayor Bloomberg knows more about my life and how I should lead it than I do, I can no longer buy a soda pop beyond 16oz. in his city. Not that I need to by sodas of that size, and always request the small size at any restaurant, I would still prefer that decision to be a private transaction between myself and the vendor. Government has no business being involved in such.
The danger here is that there is no end in sight as to what will be considered too important a decision to allow me to make on my own. At what point will any of this end, having others looking out for our own well being. We have not only had school kids complaining that the Michelle Obama dietary rules for school lunches are leaving kids hungry, and have indeed created black markets for chocolate syrup, Oreo Cookies, and Oscar Mayer’s supposedly meat products, but also intruded themselves into the world of packed lunches with teams of nosy bureaucrats inspecting the brown bags carried from home. At what point will we call baloney on these self anointed supremely arrogant busybodies and note that number one, they themselves seldom follow their own rules, and number two, their rules are nonsense. They will not be satisfied with our collective safety until we are all living in rubber rooms with no sharp edges and no laces with which to tie our shoes. Before anyone tells me about how that’s hyperbole, I visited an Outback Steak House recently, and discovered that they’ve drastically reduced their menu, serving sizes, and seasonings for their formerly delicious bill of fair in order to satisfy the Nutrition Nazi’s. For those who want to subsist on food pellets approved of by bureaucrats who have appointed themselves as our protectors, enjoy the lives you have determined for yourselves, leave me and my arteries alone, it’s not your concern.
The sad fact is that there is inherent risk in everyday life, and a life with zero risk would drive anyone worth hanging around with irretrievably insane, myself included. So, if you are one of those who would wish that for your own existence, have fun. If your are one of those people who would wish that for others while you enjoy a more fulfilling existence, than you are the evil that must be purged from society, and society’s memory, as the unwanted cancer that you are. I notice that the Obama’s have once again placed themselves above the lifestyle they advocate for others with their $4 Million 20 day vacation junket to Hawaii funded at tax payer expense. My guess is that they won’t be subsisting on food pellets while in our Pacific Paradise. Maybe we can get the White House to accurately keep count of Michelle’s caloric intake on this one.
Social Or Economic Justice
When you hear this one uttered, what follows will be the farthest thing from justice that any human being would be able to imagine. Somehow, the progenitors of this particular phrase are capable of twisting their logic into a form where people who work productively are considered greedy evil pigs for not giving enough of their fruits over to others in our society who contribute nothing and spend their days as takers. We all know that Welfare was originally established as a means to help people get back on their feet in order to support themselves, and as such, I can find precious few people who disagree with that particular function. However, the entire system has become a lifestyle for far too many Americans, and an administrative nightmare which is overseen by an army of bureaucrats who also benefit from a system that pays a handsome wage to many who benefit from its ongoing existence. Rather than those who receive the fruits of the labors of others saying thank you America for supporting me, we get an endless stream of people who demand more and more free goodies from the public largess. This warped sense of justice has now found its way past our borders and actually sees our government advertising how to get American Foodstamps on Mexican Radio.
Those people who advocate for Social Justice have invariably succeeded in exempting their own personal property rights from the virtues of redistribution, or any discussion of such. Invariably, the discussion of who’s rich is either those who possess one more dollar than who gets to make that determination, or depends on someone who is so wealthy that they will be automatically exempted from the consequences of the policies they advocate for the rest of us. When Will Ferrell, Bruce Springsteen, or Demi Moore need medical attention one decade from now, they won’t be subjected to the same rationing of care and unavailability of medical professionals as the rest of us, they’ll have the money necessary to pay for their own private care. Those concerns never had an impact on their decision making process when they used social justice as an excuse to destroy our medical services industry. Consequences are only something for us little people to worry about. Some may call them foolish or stupid, but I’ll stick with evil. I’ve watched my last movie and listened to my last piece of music from any of them. As more of these dolts pontificate on subjects that they have zero knowledge or credibility, my list of banned entertainers grows. I don’t mind that they have an opinion, just that they cheer lead for things where they have no skin in the game, that they use their celebrity status to make my life harder.
Here’s someone who can counter this nonsense far better than I ever could.