We know at least one of the priorities of the Biden administration in the remaining weeks that Democrats control the House of Representatives.
President Biden says he would try to “get rid of assault weapons.” Speaking to reporters at his Nantucket, Massachusetts, holiday house, Mr. Biden said: “The idea [that] we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick. Just sick. It has no, no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers.”
His statement followed a shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs. The gunman used an AR-15-style semi-automatic weapon. He also had a handgun that a hero used to beat and subdue him.
Another shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, involved a handgun. The attacker killed six people and then himself. Did laws already on the books deter these men from murdering others? How would more laws achieve compliance?
Then there are the unsolved murders of four college students in Moscow, Idaho, in which a knife was used. No one is calling for knives to be banned. Someone intent on murder will find a way to kill no matter how many laws are passed.
Banning a so-called assault weapon (which neither the president nor few other gun control advocates have defined) would not have deterred the Virginia and Colorado shooters. Laws against murder did not stop the Idaho stabber.
What has been missing in the continuing debate about guns is a focus on the declining value our culture places on life, as well as any notion of personal responsibility and accountability for one’s actions. From the continued advocacy by some for no restrictions on abortion to states that have passed assisted suicide legislation, the value of human life “endowed by our Creator” has eroded like sand on the seashore. Perhaps this is in part due to the increasing number of us who no longer listen to the Creator’s voice, choosing instead to live as we please. If we see ourselves only as evolutionary accidents in a meaningless universe, then some will believe they can live with no restraints, even to the point of killing fellow humans. This also helps explain the crime wave and disregard for human lives in some of our major cities where people now fear going out at night.
What difference might it make if instead of imposing the latest fads and trends in our schools and universities, students were taught what matters most — honor, integrity, a moral code that has been accepted by most Americans for generations, along with the previously mentioned personal responsibility and accountability for one’s actions? But don’t people have different views on such things? One might ask how those different views are working out and advise a return to the values that once promoted the general welfare.
The buzzwords “diversity,” “inclusion” and “equity” have replaced right and wrong, and we are suffering the consequences.
C.S. Lewis had it right when he wrote on moral values: “Really great moral teachers never do introduce new moralities: it is quacks and cranks who do that. … The real job of every moral teacher is to keep on bringing us back, time after time, to the old simple principles which we are all so anxious not to see; like bringing a horse back and back to the fence it has refused to jump or bringing a child back and back to the bit in its lesson that it wants to shirk.”
Instead of focusing on passing more gun laws when those on the books haven’t worked, perhaps Mr. Biden should spend some time reading Lewis.
• Readers may email Cal Thomas at [email protected] Look for Cal Thomas’ latest book, “America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires and Superpowers and the Future of the United States” (HarperCollins/Zondervan).