Surprisingly Good 'Reflections on Newtown'
by Jonathan Goodwin
most mainstream of the mainstream – USA Today! It is an
piece written by Glenn Harlan Reynolds.
Harlan Reynolds is professor of law at the University of Tennessee.
He blogs at InstaPundit.com.
I get to the opinion piece, who is Professor Reynolds? From
is often described as conservative, but he holds "liberal"
views on social issues such as abortion, the War on Drugs
and gay marriage. He describes himself as a libertarian and
more specifically a libertarian transhumanist. He customarily
illustrates his combination of views by stating: "I'd be delighted
to live in a country where happily married gay couples had
closets full of assault weapons."
criticized government subsidies to the middle class such as
college loans and mortgage subsidies on the basis that they
undermine the middle class. According to Reynolds, college
education and homeownership are merely markers of an achieved
middle class status, rather than ingredients needed for people
to enter the middle class. He explained:
decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing
things that middle class people have: If middle class people
go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go
to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle class
people. But homeownership and college aren’t
causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing
the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to
defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and
stay in, the middle class. Subsidizing the markers
doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines
them. One might as well try to promote basketball skills by
distributing expensive sneakers.
Reynolds in the D.C. Examiner.
is a former member of the Libertarian Party.
portion offers a profound insight (emphasis added).
his editorial on Newtown. Right off the bat, he caught my attention
with a comment rarely admitted in the mainstream:
to the CNN timeline for the Sandy Hook tragedy, "Police and
other first responders arrived on scene about 20 minutes after
the first calls." Twenty minutes. Five minutes is forever
when violence is underway, but 20 minutes a third of
an hour means that the "first responders" aren't likely
to do much more than clean up the mess.
“first responders” cannot respond before those who
are actually on the scene can respond. Why aren’t those
on the scene in a position to effectively respond? Reynolds
has led to calls in Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, St.
Louis for armed officers or staff at schools. Some
object. But we have people with guns protecting airports,
hospitals and politicians. And leading anti-gun crusaders
like New York's billionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg and press
lord Rupert Murdoch are protected by armed security teams
that could probably topple some third-world governments. Why
are our children less worthy of protection?
suggests that any top-down “solution” will certainly
be a bad one. Meanwhile, the hypocrites demand that regular
citizens remain at the mercy of those who cannot respond in
time, while they remain in a position to have true first-responders
on standby, within touching distance, twenty-four hours a day.
comments on the idea of gun control in his book “For
a New Liberty.” In his comments, he quotes Don
B. Kates, Jr., also reflecting on relatively wealthy, white
liberals and their views of private security:
prohibition is the brainchild of white middle-class liberals
who are oblivious to the situation of poor and minority people
living in areas where the police have given up on crime control….
Secure in well-policed suburbs or high security apartments
guarded by Pinkertons (whom no one proposes to disarm), the
oblivious liberal derides gun ownership as “an anachronism
from the Old West.”
1975 national survey of handgun owners by the Decision Making
Information organization found that the leading subgroups
who own a gun only for self-defense include blacks,
the lowest income groups, and senior citizens. “These
are the people, “Kates eloquently warns, “it is
proposed we jail [via further gun control laws] because they
insist on keeping the only protection available for their
families in areas in which the police have given up.”
Reynolds goes on to ask if “hate” is a liberal value:
lunatic stole some guns and killed people. Who's to blame?
According to a lot of our supposedly rational and tolerant
opinion leaders, it's . . . the NRA, a civil-rights organization
whose only crime was to oppose laws banning guns.
hatred was intense. One Rhode Island professor issued a call
later deleted for NRA head Wayne LaPierre's
"head on a stick." People like author Joyce Carol Oates and
actress Marg Helgenberger wished for NRA members to be shot.
So did Texas Democratic Party official John Cobarruvias, who
also called the NRA a "terrorist organization," and Texas
Republican congressman Louis Gohmert a "terror baby."
people murderers and wishing them to be shot sits oddly with
claims to be against violence.
that while gun ownership is up, crime is down:
crime in the United States has been declining for two decades.
That's good news and shouldn't be lost in all the hype.
with another (previously) mainstream untouchable, the war on
drug war, according to many experts such as Harvard economist
Jeffrey Miron, is a major driver of violence in America. When
you leave out suicides (which make up more than half of gun
deaths) most actual murders in this country are criminals
killing other criminals….As The Atlantic noted this
week, the single best anti-gun-death policy would be ending
the drug war. It would save money, too, at a time when the
government is broke.
yes, the government is broke. And nobody seems to have a plan
to deal with it. No wonder they'd rather have us talking about
or wrongly, many people have been on edge about a second term
for Obama (as if this was to be more feared than a first term
for Romney). One of the concerns often raised was that he would
take the guns from the people.
are concerned about this, and too many are aware of the points
raised in this column by Reynolds; because of this, I don’t
anticipate much of substance will come from Biden’s task
team (and, sadly, none of the appropriate steps as outlined
by Reynolds in this editorial or by me here).
from mainstream Americans if significant government restrictions
are proposed will be overwhelming, and will overwhelm the so-called
In the meantime,
I am happy to have met Professor Reynolds.
with permission from the Bionic
© 2012 Bionic