El Paso & Beyond: It’s Not Guns, It’s Moral Ambivalence
A disclaimer condemning the wanton mass murder of people in public places shouldn’t be necessary here, yet it is, lest craven leftists seize upon the opportunity to cast this columnist and this publication as endorsing mass murder. Once upon a time in America, it was universally understood that all citizens reviled such action.
These days, I’m not so sure.
So, let me take a moment to officially condemn the actions of Patrick Crusius who, on the morning of Aug. 3, entered a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and commenced a shooting spree that left 22 dead and 24 injured.
It was inevitable that an angry white idiot would pick up a gun and seek out a bunch of Latinos to murder given the climate of racial tension that has been cultivated by the political left and the ongoing situation at our southern border. This may sound somewhat harsh, but if you look at the aggregate of mass shootings in recent decades and the motives of the perpetrators in context, it is far easier to understand.
While the 2019 influx of undocumented migrants laying claim to economic asylum (there’s no such thing) and the 2014 tsunami of undocumented migrants doing likewise both received a great deal of press, the ultimate dispositions of the migrants in question were handled quite differently by the administrations of Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama. While the latter’s policy was one of clandestine assimilation, Trump has made no bones about the fact that these people have no legitimate reason to cross our southern border, and ought to be returned from whence they came, posthaste.
This, of course, has given rise to increased charges by the left of racism and anti-immigrant sentiment on the part of the president and his supporters, despite the issue having nothing whatsoever to do with race. At present, there is a campaign underway on the part of leftists to draw a direct link between Trump’s rhetoric addressing illegal migrants and the El Paso massacre. An opinion piece from the New York Times masquerading as news on Aug. 4 and entitled “El Paso Shooting Suspect’s Manifesto Echoes Trump’s Language” essentially framed President Trump’s rhetoric as “marching orders” for Patrick Crusius. This is being echoed by far-left lawmakers, most notably Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas.
There’s little doubt that there are a whole lot of white, ordinarily law-abiding firearms owners in the Southwest who are infuriated regarding the porosity of our southern border. It is likely that some have even cultivated antipathy toward Latinos as a result of the economic and social conditions that have arisen as a result of illegal immigration in the region. It is probable, however, that nearly all of them realize the decades-long refusal of our federal government to effectively address the issue has played a far larger role in this than the desire of people to enter the country illegally, whatever their reason. Thus, they are aware that gunning down a bunch of Latinos would not only display a high degree of moral ambivalence, but it wouldn’t even address the root of the problem. Further, it would serve to validate the baseless bleating of the left about white Americans’ alleged inherent proclivity for racism.
It’s generally imprudent for people such as myself to prematurely issue commentary during the “fog of war” that immediately follows acts of mass violence, as inaccurate information abounds, some of which is intentionally crafted. Suffice it to say that Crusius’ reported statements to law enforcement and his actions following the shootings were markedly incoherent. While his manifesto, posted online prior to the shootings, is definitely racist, it smacks of a person of limited intellect who was operating far more out of anger and cognitive dissonance than an understanding of the dynamics of the border situation.
As far as the El Paso massacre representing a tide of Trump-fostered white nationalism, that argument simply has no teeth. White nationalists have zero political power in this country, and that isn’t likely to change. There were, however, 32 mass shootings during Barack Obama’s tenure as president, which included a Muslim man who killed 50 gay people in Orlando, Florida, and a Muslim couple who killed 14 people and wounded 22 others in San Bernardino, California. Muslims, as venerated by our former president and as a favored class of the left, have far more political clout than white nationalists.
Yet, violence committed by Muslims and far-left perpetrators (such as the Aug. 4 Dayton, Ohio, killings or the 2017 congressional baseball shootings) is never framed by the press or Beltway politicos as a national crisis because it does not serve their purposes.
Finally, as regards the public’s access to firearms, I would point out that there is no correlation between the accessibility of firearms and mass shootings because that accessibility has always existed. For most of our nation’s history, spree killings with firearms were unknown. If anything, firearms have become increasingly less accessible to citizens over the last 50 years due to knee-jerk legislation that invariably follows high-profile gun crimes.
There is, however, an easily drawn correlation between the increasing climate of moral ambivalence we’ve seen over the last 60 years and the proliferation of mass shootings. Much of what I’ve written in this space over the years has reflected societal dysfunction that has arisen directly from our increasing climate of moral ambivalence.
During a speech at the 2018 National Rifle Association (NRA) convention, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asserted, “The problem is not guns, it’s hearts without God.”
This may sound simplistic, but it speaks volumes.
Article posted with permission from Erik Rush