07 June 2013
Amoklauf in Santa Monica
Six victims dead along with the gunman in Santa Monica, California; five more people wounded. The question recurs: do we want to prevent such things? If so, are we prepared to pay whatever price is set, be it material or, more likely, a psychological one? Civilization is freedom and submission at once. When we insist on one and not the other, as do those most jealous of their "natural" right of self-defense against everything, the balance of freedom and submission is endangered and civilization leans toward chaos, just as too much emphasis on submission tips us toward tyranny. Mental health and gun control are only pieces of the puzzle; neither is a cure-all in its own right. If we want to prevent amoklaufs, a more wholesale change in attitudes, as well as changes in policy, may be needed. Can it be worse than the thought of someone opening fire on you anywhere, at any time? Is this really a zero-sum trade-off of liberty for security? Isn't security of some sort a prerequisite for liberty? Is freedom really this messy? Or have we just made a mess of freedom? If someone can see today's news and worry only about his own guns being taken from him, we're definitely in a mess. If we can clean it up, that'll be less the end of our freedom than proof of it.