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The PJ Tatler

by
Robert Wargas

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January 22, 2013 - 3:59 am

Like so much else that passes for liberalism these days, “gun control” is based on the idea that appearances are always to be preferred to reality. In this case, the gun controller likes the appearance of being hip, modern, and progressive, regardless of the consequences–for guns are something that only beer-swilling rednecks own, and if one is to remain a member of The Club, one must stay as far away from those people as possible.

And like all pushes for “gun control,” what lurks beneath every word is a preening pacifism that, in the final analysis, would rather criminals prevail than a citizen abandon appearances and snatch up a gun for defense.

Newsday, my local daily paper, recently ran an op-ed by a Methodist pastor (who better than a man of God to urge self-immolation?) that tells the tale of Dr. Martin Luther King’s decision to get rid of his firearms because, at least according to the author, these were antithetical to King’s message of nonviolence:

“King never called for a repeal of the Second Amendment. He had no quarrel with hunters, target shooters or police officers carrying weapons. He did not command his followers to lay down their weapons. But he led by his own example. What he preached was something far more radical than gun control: rejecting violence as a way of righting wrongs, and a willingness to suffer in pursuit of justice.”

Oh, how by blood doth boil. It’s not the self-righteous tone that gets me so much as the urge to render me as helpless and neutered as the author has rendered himself. If gun control always reveals a latent pacifism, then pacifism always reveals a latent moral equivalence: Notice the glib implication that “rejecting violence” entails rejecting self-defense as well. Even a gun kept at home purely for protection is a mortal sin. You are to accept your fate at the hands of home invaders for purely cosmetic reasons. Gandhi thought the British should welcome the Nazis to their shores; these nitwits want your home to be everyone’s castle but your own.

This sort of thing was to be expected on Martin Luther King Day, an occasion when trolls show their bona-fides by invoking King on every issue of the hour, and when every word drips with the threat of being called racist for disagreeing. But rest assured that this trope will continue long after this year’s MLK Day has passed. Everyday I hear new reasons why I shouldn’t defend myself. “What if the intruder takes your gun?” “What if you shoot another member of your family by accident?” Ah, yes: much better to be killed than own a gun. Much better to be a corpse than a NASCAR-watching hick. Keep up appearances at all costs, even the cost of risking the life and health of you and your loved ones. Sorry, not for me. While they’re burying you with the Nobel Peace Prize, I’ll still be alive, at home, watching re-runs of The Honeymooners. The difference between a martyr and a redneck is that the redneck’s still breathing.

Robert Wargas is a contributor to PJ Media. A native of Long Island, he was educated at the City University of New York and Yale University, and has also written for The Daily Telegraph of London and The Weekly Standard. Outside of opinion writing, he has worked as a professional historian for a major research laboratory and university, documenting the history of biotechnology since the 1970s. He has also reported for both weekly and daily newspapers, including Newsday. He maintains a personal blog/website at robertwargas.org. Follow him on Twitter @RobertWargas
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