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Gun Control Or Self-Control?

March 12, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

The recent massacre of students in Parkland, Fla., has justifiably generated a generous flow of commentary. Sifting through the myths for the most prominent arguments, it becomes clear that the American left has stuck to its guns, so to speak, demanding more government power — in this case, the federal regulation of guns and those permitted to possess them.
“Gun Control” has long been a central plank in the platform of the American left, where it resides in comfortable cohabitation with the left’s celebration of the sexual revolution in all of its constantly mutating forms. After all, leftists want to show the world that they can control something! Of course, such a contradiction can exist only in the foggy realm of what George Orwell calls Doublethink. Psychologists call it “cognitive dissonance,” while Marxists and neoconservatives call it the “dialectic.” In this case, “gun control” is required because “self-control” is passé, an antiquated relic of patriarchy trumpeted by dead white males who probably owned slaves.
Antiquated or not, some traditional institutions are careening out of control. Take the family. A massive proportion of violent criminals grew up in fatherless homes. Justice Department statistics indicate that a child raised by a single mother with a live-in boyfriend is some 34 times more likely to be abused than a child raised until the age of 17 by a father and mother living in an intact marriage (in other words, in what used to be called a “normal” family).
Cause and effect. Cause and effect. Paul Kengor recently noted Suzanne Venker’s finding that 26 of the 27 killers on CNN’s list of the deadliest mass shooters in American history were raised without a biological father in the home. (But the CNN “analysis” did not include that powerful fact.)
Today, to borrow a phrase from the first Duke of Wellington, it’s a “close-run thing” among children of all races to know whether the majority were even born legitimately. We know that, among African-American babies who survive to the maternity ward, over 70 percent are born to single mothers. Among all Americans, the figure is now above 40 percent, and steadily rising.
It doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to anticipate what will become of those boys born into “diverse” non-families: Compared to boys raised in intact families, they are much more likely to fail in school, to fail in life, and to wind up in jail. Dr. Patrick Fagan’s research reveals that the conditions under which a child is raised are much more predictive of his future success in life than his race.
Moreover, once all other factors are taken into account, race actually “norms out” — a startling conclusion that implies that black children, Hispanic children, and white children raised in intact (again, in what used to be called “normal”) families, are equally likely to succeed in school, in life, and in obeying the law.

“What Did You Learn At Home Today, Adam?”

In the widespread conversation addressing school shootings like those at Sandy Hook in 2012, a central fact has simply been ignored: Adam Lanza, the Newtown killer, was a fatherless child. His father, Peter, a senior executive with GE Capital, and his wife separated when Adam was nine years old and Peter moved away. Adam’s parents filed for divorce in 2008, when Adam was 16. Peter reportedly had started to “get serious” with his girlfriend by 2010, and Adam then cut off contact with him. The affair, say reports, began in 2009 and the couple married three years later, before the shooting took place.
Adam would have killed me “in a heartbeat,” Peter Lanza later told reporters, adding that “I wish he had never been born.”
No one bothered to ask the follow-up: “Why would he have done that, Peter? Maybe because you abandoned him and his mother?”
Well, we know what happened. Adam took out his anger on innocent children in a gun-free zone. And all we hear from the left-wing echo chamber is “gun control” — a convenient and deceptive deflection from the nagging truth. When it comes to violent crime, “Gun-Free” is the easy answer that doesn’t work. Scientifically, “father-free” is much more reliable.
For years the subject of fatherless children has qualified as what philosopher Eric Voegelin called a “forbidden question.” But why is it forbidden? Because the question, “where’s dad,” shifts the blame from “guns” and irresponsible trigger-happy rednecks to the left-wing supporters of the sexual revolution that spawned the fatherless-child syndrome, a revolution which the left celebrates while refusing to acknowledge any of its indelible and inescapable consequences.
They always blame somebody else. In this case, us.
So while freedom to do the right thing should be curtailed by government diktat, freedom to do the wrong thing — the left’s mélange of abortion, sodomy, fornication, and bizarre categories of new “genders” — should be enforced by government diktat.
Like The Left, Bishops Are Often Not Very Original

Where do our bishops stand on all this? Well they don’t spend much time condemning objective evils of sodomy or contraception. Consider their moral language: legalizing same-sex unions offends “the dignity of marriage,” not the natural and divine law. The HHS Mandate violates “religious freedom,” not Humanae Vitae.
But bishops are remarkably firm about one issue: racism. They call it the “original sin” of white America. (Meanwhile, human sacrifice flourished in Mexico and beyond before the Conquistadores. Curiously, our bishops never refer to that vile practice as the “original sin” of our beloved Hispanic brothers and sisters.)
For bishops, the racism door swings only one way. When a black criminal is killed by a white victim in Florida, or a white policeman in Missouri, bishops bemoan the country’s “racial divide.” But when five policemen are killed by a black sniper in Dallas, the local bishop doesn’t mention race, but bemoans the “cycle of violence.”
And what about America’s real original sin — abortion? Well, occasionally a bishop will bravely point out that unborn black babies are much more likely to be aborted than those of any other race in America. In 2008, Bishop Martin Holley, now ordinary of the Memphis Diocese, did just that, calling on African Americans to “rededicate themselves to family, prayer and the dignity of the human person.”
Bishop Holley, fully cognizant of the law of cause and effect, was “responding to information from the Guttmacher Institute reporting that black women have abortions at five times the rate of white women” — some 900 a day, as Fr. Peter West observes.
But to make such an inconvenient truth a centerpiece of the bishops’ desultory pro-life efforts would create dissonance with their campaign against racism, a sin of which “most” whites (and no one else) are guilty, although it’s so subtle that most of us don’t know it. Their public priorities thus harmonize nicely with the agenda of their pro-abortion allies in the Democrat Party, an agenda which bishops resonate, with more than a whiff of nostalgia for the Obama years.
In a word, bishops are much more comfortable blaring the myths of Trayvon, Ferguson, and Black Lives Matter than in focusing on the unlovely truth of the massacre that abortion is purveying among unborn black children.
Yes, for our bishops there are many “forbidden questions.” Must we embrace global warming, the welfare state, and amnesty for illegal aliens with the same “religious submission of the intellect and will” as we must embrace Humanae Vitae? (viz. Code of Canon Law, n. 752).
They will never answer. But if the Pope won’t answer the Dubia — five simple questions submitted by four cardinals — why should our bishops answer the pesky questions of the laity? Perhaps because in their view we are, after all, only sheep.

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