Lingamfelter: Mad Hatter Thinking
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a crime wave occurring in America. Some people want to assign the problem to gun control. It’s a convenient rally place for people who are more ready to blame an inanimate object than the person using it to wreak havoc on people. “There are too many guns on the streets,” is their cry. Never mind that we have many laws governing the use, acquisition, and possession of firearms. Background checking is not new and it’s widespread — now even covering gun shows where few criminals gather to purchase a gun in broad daylight while standing there as the seller calls the police to do a background check on the buyer. Nope. Criminals are dumb, but they are not that dumb.
They acquire their weapons in the same manner that they acquire other things: they steal them or conduct an exchange in a darkened alley. Not many background checks happen in dark alleys. The gun control argument is an empty one. The people control argument is better.
So how do we control people? Well, we do that through the law, you know, that process by which elected representatives pass statutes that criminalize certain things. That would include acts made illegal like murder, theft, bodily assault, and so forth. Those laws matter. And when they are broken—and they are with greater frequency these days—people are controlled by being arrested, tried, and if convicted, imprisoned. That is a very good way to control people who do bad things.
And who are the frontline forces that do the controlling? Well that of course would be the police. But they’re increasingly literally under attack in America. By whom? The criminals. The loss of life among police officers in America is atrociously high these days. Only this week, two police officers were gunned down at Bridgewater College, an idyllically peaceful campus. It was a senseless act committed by a man who may well have a mental illness. But many other policemen die in our country these days at the hands of despicable criminals, who are not in the least mentally ill. They are just as mean and dangerous as vipers.
One would hope they would be arrested, tried, and punished expeditiously. But in America today, these criminals now have more than defense attorneys to help them escape justice. Now they have prosecutors who tell the rest of us—law-abiding citizens—that the criminals are the victims while the true victims are unfortunately innocents who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. These prosecutors are now “woke” and see the criminals as simply acting out justified anger that inspires their crimes against people and communities who have suppressed them in any number of ways. Social justice—as they call it—has supplanted criminal justice. The victims are now the oppressors and the criminals, the victims.
This is the sort of illogic that could be lifted from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland when Lewis Carroll puts these words in the mouth of the Mad Hatter.
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”
No words penned by man could be more suitable in describing who we are as a nation. We now make excuses for criminals, place responsibility on inanimate objects for the acts of quite animate lawbreakers, attack and murder the very people who serve to protect us, and then effortlessly transpose victims and criminals in an outlandish fashion to suggest that social justice should be substituted for criminal justice. The Mad Hatter himself would stare at us cross-eyed.
That the root of our problem is a collapsing civilization and the illogic that underpins it is self-evident. There are few things we can do to mandate virtue, but encouraging a world view based on higher, enduring truths like the Judeo-Christian ethic is a start, thank God. That can’t be accomplished by human statutes. It must arise voluntarily from the heart. And that won’t occur over night, particularly given the long march away from virtue by our society over the past two generations. It will take time.
But here is what can happen and soon. Vote. Vote for people to represent us who have a world view that inspires and organizes a civilized nation, worthy of self-governance. That means a society led by men and women who have no difficulty distinguishing a good and a bad person, a criminal from a victim, a police officer from a murderer, and a prosecutor from a mollycoddling advocate who believes that criminals should be let out on the streets the day they are arrested. Mad Hatter indeed.