Mayor Daley Blames Fort Hood on Guns, Not Islam

As a number of others have already pointed out, the mainstream media are doing their best to turn a mass murder committed by someone who worshipped at the same mosque as two of the 9/11 hijackers, made repeated attempts to contact al-Qaeda-supportive clergy, and shouted “Allahu Akbar” at the start of the attack into something other than an Islamic terrorist attack.

If this wasn’t such a dreadfully serious matter, it would almost be funny watching Democrats insist that there’s no elephant in the bathtub. Perhaps the most bizarre of these claims is that of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who insists that the core problem behind Fort Hood is that “America loves guns.”

Now, as much as I think the gun control crowd is wrong to blame gun ownership, I concede that gun availability plays some part in some crimes. There are people who should not have access to guns based on past behavior and the likelihood that they will be dangerous to others. Some examples are violent felons and psychotics (those mentally ill persons who have lost touch with reality). Once upon a time, violent felons were kept behind bars for a long time so as not to be a danger to others. Until the 1960s, mentally ill people were far more likely to be hospitalized than today -- and it is no coincidence that mass murders by insane people have become depressingly common even though they used to be nearly unknown.

There’s something of a choice here. We can confine people who can’t be trusted with guns (or much of anything else deadly) to prisons or mental hospitals, where they won’t be too terribly dangerous to the larger society. Alternatively, we can make all of American society into a low-grade version of a prison, where we don’t trust anyone (except the government) with guns. Both prisons and mental hospitals have some hope of preventing the smuggling of guns to inmates, but this just isn’t practical for an entire nation -- even if it were desirable. (Anne Applebaum’s Gulag: A History (2003) describes how prisoners in the Soviet work camp system did not refer to the society outside the barbed wire as “freedom.” They called it bolshaya zona, or “the big prison zone”: “larger and less deadly” than the camps, but not fundamentally different.)