David Mamet, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, has long been a darling of America's cultural elite. However, Mamet may be a little less loved today, after he published a column for Newsweek defending gun ownership and calling President Obama's gun control proposals Marxist.
The column, entitled "Gun laws and the Fools of Chelm," Mamet destroys, point by point, the Obama initiative to have government regulate and control more aspects of American life. "Rule by bureaucrats and functionaries is an example of the first part of the Marxist equation," he said. He took specific aim at gun control, arguing that private citizens, not the government, should determine how best to protect and defend themselves.
Mamet also touched on the "armed guards in schools" issue, pointing out that armed guards at most American business establishments are rarely involved in accidental shootings. He argued that concealed weapons at schools would deter shooters from entering. He cited the hypocrisy of the President and government offcials to choose armed protection for themselves, but yet attempt to deny private citizens the same opportunity.
Among the observations by Mamet in the column:
"President Obama, in his reelection campaign, referred frequently to the 'needs' of himself and his opponent, alleging that each has more money than he 'needs.' But where in the Constitution is it written that the Government is in charge of determining 'needs'? And note that the president did not say 'I have more money than I need,' but 'You and I have more than we need.' Who elected him to speak for another citizen?
"The Founders recognized that Government is quite literally a necessary evil, that there must be opposition, between its various branches, and between political parties, for these are the only ways to temper the individual’s greed for power and the electorates’ desires for peace by submission to coercion or blandishment. Healthy government, as that based upon our Constitution, is strife.
"The Left loves a phantom statistic that a firearm in the hands of a citizen is X times more likely to cause accidental damage than to be used in the prevention of crime, but what is there about criminals that ensures that their gun use is accident-free? If, indeed, a firearm were more dangerous to its possessors than to potential aggressors, would it not make sense for the government to arm all criminals, and let them accidentally shoot themselves? Is this absurd? Yes, and yet the government, of course, is arming criminals. Violence by firearms is most prevalent in big cities with the strictest gun laws. In Chicago and Washington, D.C., for example, it is only the criminals who have guns, the law-abiding populace having been disarmed, and so crime runs riot.
"(President Obama) has just passed a bill that extends to him and his family protection, around the clock and for life, by the Secret Service. He, evidently, feels that he is best qualified to determine his needs, and, of course, he is. As I am best qualified to determine mine. For it is, again, only the Marxists who assert that the government, which is to say the busy, corrupted, and hypocritical fools most elected officials are (have you ever had lunch with one?) should regulate gun ownership based on its assessment of needs.
"My grandmother came from Russian Poland, near the Polish city of Chelm. Chelm was celebrated, by the Ashkenazi Jews, as the place where the fools dwelt. And my grandmother loved to tell the traditional stories of Chelm. Its residents, for example, once decided that there was no point in having the sun shine during the day, when it was light out—it would be better should it shine at night, when it was dark. Similarly, we modern Solons delight in passing gun laws that, in their entirety, amount to 'making crime illegal.'
"We individuals are guaranteed by the Constitution the right to self-defense. This right is not the Government’s to 'award' us. They have never been granted it. The individual is not only best qualified to provide his own personal defense, he is the only one qualified to do so: and his right to do so is guaranteed by the Constitution.
"President Obama seems to understand the Constitution as a 'set of suggestions.' I cannot endorse his performance in office, but he wins my respect for taking those steps he deems necessary to ensure the safety of his family. Why would he want to prohibit me from doing the same?"
The response from liberal critics was immediate. Newsweek's own Michael Tomasky called the column "bizarre and inaacurate." Wonkette's Jesse Taylor accused Mamet of being racist, saying the writer of Glengarry Glen Ross, The Untouchables, American Buffalo, and Ronin had a "break from reality" after "the black guy was elected President." He said Mamet supports gun ownership because of "affirmative action and such." Mamet never mentioned race or affirmative action in his column.
Victor Medina writes for Yahoo News and his political blog WhenLiberalsAttack.com. His other writing credits include The Dallas Morning News and SportsIllustrated.com. He has served as a Dallas County election judge and on the Board of Directors of The Sixth Floor Museum. You can follow him on his blog, VictorMedina.com or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To be notified of future stories by Victor Medina, click the SIGN UP or SUBSCRIBE button at the top of this page.