One of my favorite books on my shelf is Violent crime – The challenge to our cities. This is The Report of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence .
There is an introduction by Daniel P. Moynihan. The book is a thin thing of eighty-two pages, straightforward and uncomplicated. The emphasis is on urban policy. Being a little urban myself, having worked South Central Los Angeles, I think their conclusions are mistaken.
For the last three decades, I have believed that gun control is the advance force which paves the way for larger government and that the repeal of all guns laws will begin to unwind big government to make it a healthier executive than a self-appointed leader.
Moynihan's political life was different from those of most democrats in terms of wielding the power of his party, but his views were just as mistaken. He believed that crime was a function of poverty and that if we have the national will to declare war on poverty, we will wage war on crime.
But this is not where crime is fought.
J. Edgar Hoover said this: The cure for crime is not the electric chair, but the high chair.
Crime does not come from poverty, or the poor would be in jail. All of them. Crime comes from anger and other anti-social behaviors, expressing itself in ways other than violence and crime.
Over the years, I began to believe that leftism was not another legitimate viewpoint, but a force hostile to the United States. One can easily see how liberals in every field are doing their small part to undermine the safeguards which really protect our nation. Adherence to these is the path back to smaller government and our independence by sharing, teaching and showing how these values cannot be replaced by government attitudes, values or even force of the State.
And since they cannot be replaced as the optimal safeguard of the nation, they are high value targets.
Gun control was among the first forces of the State to substitute itself for the armed citizen who fights crime better because the armed citizen is present and the policy absent. In past articles, I have said that where the armed citizen is, the law is there also. This is not to say that there is no need for police: it is to say how needed the armed citizen is where there are no police. Talk about a national will, America is starting to muster the national will that police have their job and we as armed citizens have our job. The two co-exist in the optimal equilibrium which cannot be replaced.
But Moynihan and others convinced colleagues that poverty creates crime. From the listings of poverty factors of criminals apprehended [page 48], it is certain that there is an anger among many of the poor, no mistake about it. But a look at other criminals – some of whom are more sophisticated and more than wealthy – there is that same element in common and it is distinctly in the absence of poverty: Anger.
It is not poverty that FBI Director Hoover brings to light more than once; Hoover also remarked: No amount of law enforcement can solve a problem that goes back to the family.
Law enforcement's missions are to keep the peace and to enforce the law. This is done by crime detection, investigation, apprehension, evidence collection, high visibility presence for deterrence, administration of justice and other tasks. Where the armed citizen comes in is where police are not. It is not that police cannot be everywhere – it is that it is not their task to protect individuals from the criminal acts of others to begin with.
Like the assumption that crime comes from poverty, the lay public believes that it is the job of police to protect citizens from the criminal acts of others. Hence, good citizens feel they are cooperating when adhering to unreasonable gun laws. Or surrendering their guns. Or worse, surrendering the guns of others.
When it comes to violence then, there is only one way to stop it, and that is at the moment it strikes. You may be able to avoid the psychos by cultivating healthier families, better values, and even punishing bullying, but these are systematically being short-circuited. Think easy-out divorce, think zero tolerance, think erasure of United States History. The system works best when the system is worked by the citizens, but it seems to disappoint us when it is sabotaged and short-circuited and the system itself blamed. The way back to smaller government is going to be a lot of faith in the system of due process and fair play, and to summon officials to their duty and integrity. Hopefully, with a change of Congress now, this will be possible.
Gun control is one of those places where our system is sabotaged. Undermine the place where violent crime is fought best – at the scene of the crime during the crime – and you then create a void which was tailor-fitted for further disarmament and the increase in the size of government.
Here is an excerpt which says it all. From the Report:: "Warring on poverty, inadequate housing, and unemployment is warring on crime. A civil rights law is a law against crime. Money for schools is money against crime. Medical, psychiatric and family - counseling services are services against crime. More broadly and most importantly [sic] every effort to improve life in America's ‘inner cities' is an effort against crime."
Belief system or expanding government? If you were looking for a smoking gun . . .
It is easier and easier now for non-gun owners to solve the puzzle of how we got this far in abuses of due process and largess. Gun control was one of the earlysmoking guns in growing government by blaming violence instead of meeting it.
It is easier to see now the gun control / big government connection. It's easier to see how violent crime is essential as an adjunct excuse to proceed with a host of programs and policies costing billions, and which really go against our better judgment. Our instincts, I believe, would have handled it differently and done one vital thing big largess cannot do: preserve the dignity of people in independence and refusing dependency.
It can still work that way. It will require a national will to refuse big government subsitutions for our values as safeguards of our society. It will require a national will to delete existing substitutions of our values as safeguards which went against our better judgment.
The repeal of gun laws will begin a process of unwinding unneeded programs which had promised to take the place of the armed citizen. Violent Crime has been used as an excuse to disarm the public first so that crime can be used as an excuse to grow billions in costly programs next.
Understanding the second amendment is encyclopedic. For some writers, the beat is economic. For others it is U.S History and civil rights. Others write about self-defense, and others write about the plain old truth of how wrong and even neurotic gun control is. My own beat has been that big government could not exist without gun control first. It is not a matter of violent resistance of tyranny at the point of a gun, it is a matter of impeaching or discrediting tyranny as unneeded when the armed citizen is already the best possible safeguard against crime.
Let us hope and pray [not to mention write, phone and fax] that our executives now in Congress are sincere about reducing the size of government. For them to do this, they have to understand that the armed citizen is essential to keeping the peace in the absence of first responders. Crime can no longer be cited as an excuse to create more and more programs. The ubiquitous armed citizen is not a concept of anarchy and disregard, it is a concept of the law on scene.
This is my last article here. I wish you the very best in sovereign liberty and safety. For those who would would like to stay in touch, please opt-in to my Safer Streets Newsletter and Commentary.