I do not really want to go into that much more detail in this, but I will. Because I think there are important and valuable lessons that can be learned here, and it has been fascinating watching all of the aftermath play out.
And in fact, this is the only proper way to do this. Over a week since the shootings, with all the facts and a lot of information out there that can be used to form an opinion.
Lots that can be learned about here, and not rushing to judgment.
Lessons based on liberty, libertarian solutions, and based on the individual.
In fact I can think of precisely three lessons that we can learn here.
One, it is about the individual, and not the collective.
Most of the people who read this blog have read about and heard about and seen the plain vicious campaign against Conservatives and the entire right-wing of the American Body politic. Most people have seen the smears, the generalizations, and the lies.
But certain Conservatives or members of the ‘right’ have done likewise. Not exactly accusing any liberal of causing this violence or leading to the shootings and the death of six people, but still dealing in collectivist terms and not exactly helping our case.
Or helping the conservative movement.
Comments like ‘libturd’ ‘libtard’ and others that I have heard bandied about recently, the many many many others, that I have heard recently…are not helpful. And will only seek to inflame the situation more. Someone has to be the voice of reason, and there are those that have been.
It has occurred to me that no matter the personal weaknesses of ‘liberal’ ideology we still need to deal with them as the individual. Individual on individual, and on the individual issues.
Because, otherwise, all we have is a game and a shouting match of people pointing fingers at people and whole groups of people will be getting caught in the rhetorical crossfire.
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Secondly, many people and politicians have been using this for their own means, and for their own agenda and as an excuse for cracking down on freedom and liberty.
Everything from outlawing ‘violent political symbols’ to a renewed call for Fairness Doctrine 2.0, to gun control legislation.
It seems to me that many of these proposals are counter intuitive. There will still be criminals and those who will break these laws, and there will still be those that can do harm to people.
Because the law that will limit guns in the region of a political official of 1000- 3000 yards, well someone who is a really good shot can still do that.
And there is also those who would hide weapons to meet their own means.
All this will do is limit the freedoms of those who will choose to follow the laws. All this will do is limit the freedoms of the law-abiding. All this will do is limit all of our freedom. Especially in the vein of speech, and the first amendment to the Constitution.
And they will probably be ineffective in the long run.
And it has also occurred to me that there were probably laws on the books that could have checked the shooter in the first place and deal with him in the first place, if they were followed.
We do not need new laws, we need to enforce the ones we have.
Three, that politicians and certain liberal and Big Government advocates and Progressives will use this as an excuse to bridle freedom of speech through a ‘Fairness Doctrine’ ‘Net Neutrality’ or other schemes.
No matter the facts of the matter their perception is that the language (of the right) is creating a dangerous climate and more events such as these are only seconds away from becoming regular.
People will be judged by their political opinions and forced to ‘balance’ out the opinions with opposing views. And if you do not do this and you have the wrong opinion, you will be shut down.
Thus removing a vital safety valve, perhaps the most vital in our Republic, the First Amendment.
It has occurred to me that is exactly what the first amendment is to people. It lets them vent their frustrations and use their words to express their opinion and displeasure at the current situation.
Without that you are playing with fire.
That the Fairness Doctrine, passed into law in 1949, and repealed in 1987, removed that relief valve.
And several assassinations and attempted assinations blotted out the map. JFK, RFK, MLK, and Ronald Regan.
And I, myself, was very angry when Obama was elected. I was bitter, angry, and depressed.
But then I started to hear opinions and get informed by certain people. Then I started this blog. And I then had a relief valve that could turn my anger into positive action.
A relief valve that let me come to the conclusion that love, the individual, and libertarian values, is the way out of the political nightmare that we have built for ourselves.
I am not saying that the fairness doctrine or the lack of the fairness doctrine is as responsible for causing political assassinations and their attempts as Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, or Glenn Beck.
But what I am saying is that words will not here anyone, no matter how high flung, ‘violent’ and rhetorical they are. No matter how passionate or inflamed words cannot hurt or harm a single person and we can learn a lot about people by their rhetoric, who we should listen to, and who we should scorn.
But bullets do.