The knee-jerk brigade: Everything is the responsibility of someone else
After he booby-trapped his apartment with explosives, James Holmes walked into a theater Friday night and opened fire on a crowd waiting to see the first showing of the new Batman movie. He shot scores and murdered a dozen. Holmes acted for reasons unknown, but his actions were pure evil.
His actions also were his alone. It doesn’t matter if he was bullied as a kid, recently dumped or whatever else anyone comes up with as a possible motive. Nothing “caused” him to do this other than whatever evil lives inside him.
But that hasn’t stopped many progressive liberals in and out of the media from speculating wildly, and seemingly hopefully, as to his motives and his political affiliation. It hasn’t stopped them from using this event as a platform to score political points on the issue of gun control. It’s sickening … and typical.
George Stephanopoulos and Brian Ross of ABC News started the speculation with the following exchange on Good Morning America:
"GS to BR: “You found something that might be significant.” (Emphasis added)
BR: “There is a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, ah, page, ah, on the Colorado Tea Party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but this is a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.”"
The Jim Holmes Brian Ross “found” is a Hispanic man in his mid-50s, but he was associated with the Tea Party, so the story was simply too good to bother checking the facts. He’s a Tea Partier, therefore …
Ross later corrected his foolishness with a tweet saying “Earlier I reported incorrectly that the shooting suspect might be tied to the Tea Party. I apologize for the mistake.” But we still don’t know why Stephanopoulos thought this information “might be significant.”
What if he were? Does that make every Tea Party member a co-conspirator? Of course not, but that wouldn’t have stopped a lot of media members from reporting it as if it did. They’ve done it before. Who can forget that it was cross-hairs on a map on Sarah Palin’s website that caused psychopathic shooter Jerald Lee Loughner to go on his rampage in Tucson? And who can forget the media reaction when it was discovered he never saw Palin’s website and was, in fact, a Bush-hating anti-war zealot? That’s right … crickets.
On Friday, leftists immediately took to Twitter to blame Rush Limbaugh, the Tea Party, Mitt Romney and conservatives in general. Blame was being flung everywhere except where it belonged – James Holmes.
What is it about leftists that causes them to immediately assume the worst of those with whom they disagree? What does it say about them that after the dust settles, much of the time, those who commit heinous acts actually share their political philosophy?
The former exposes the desperation and lack of character that surrounds a political philosophy that seeks to make you responsible for everyone but yourself. The latter says nothing about them as a whole because individuals are responsible for their own actions.
It’s our curse that we stay true to our philosophy while they will abandon any principle at any time to score points.
Not to be outdone, film critic Roger Ebert wrote in the New York Times:
"That James Holmes is insane, few may doubt. Our gun laws are also insane, but many refuse to make the connection. The United States is one of few developed nations that accepts the notion of firearms in public hands. In theory, the citizenry needs to defend itself. Not a single person at the Aurora, Colo., theater shot back, but the theory will still be defended."
The theater in Aurora, of course, has a ban on guns, which law-abiding citizens observe. This is why no one shot back. Had someone been carrying a legal gun, who knows what would’ve happened?
But do we really need to make a case for gun control before any of the victims are buried? Salman Rushdie thinks so, tweeting that morning, “The ‘right to bear arms’ is the real Bane of America.” Mr. Rushdie, who spent years in hiding from a “fatwa” placed on him by the Ayatollah Khomeini and enjoyed the protection of armed guards during much of that time, saw no irony or lack of tact in his tweet. He simply replied, “No, thank you” when journalists emailed him for further comment.
Mr. Ebert, on the other hand, lives in Chicago, a city that’s seen 27 gun-related murders this month alone while having some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country. You’d think he’d be aware of this, but pointing it out doesn’t advance his leftist agenda. He’d rather all America become as “safe” as Chicago.
Ebert’s knee-jerk response not only expresses a complete disregard for our Constitution (nothing new for Democrats), it shows a lack of common sense and decency. Rushdie never has been known for his love of much beyond himself. The exchange between Ross and Stephanopoulos shows us just what mainstream media types think of those with whom they disagree.
But none of this left-wing exploitation of tragedy changes the fact that James Holmes acted alone, for reasons we’ll most likely never know nor understand. Even if he’d been a Tea Party member, the Tea Party would’ve been no more to blame than, say, President Obama for giving us an economy in which Holmes was unable to find work or succeed.
No government action ever will outlaw crazy or evil, and no ceding of liberty to government ever will stop an individual from perpetrating their sickness on innocent victims.
It just happens. And the person who does it is responsible.
The Dark Knight Movie Massacre & Why I Carry a Gun Everywhere I Go
I would venture to guess that the folks filing in to see the latest Batman installment in Aurora, Colorado last Thursday evening didn’t figure on over 70 of them getting shot before the credits rolled. The last count I received before filing this column was 12 dead and 59 wounded.
As the news starting pouring in about what happened in the theater this week when Satan’s spawn James Holmes donned Kevlar and a small battery of weapons and opened fire on an unsuspecting crowd, I kept thinking, “One fast-thinking and trained person who was armed/licensed with a concealed weapon could have stopped that SOB right in his tracks before the body count skyrocketed.”
Yep, the armed citizen could have either killed him, sent him running for cover, or at least diverted his fire away from the masses and toward their person. Some readers, no doubt, are saying, “Well that would be stupid. What if that citizen got shot trying to protect others?” To that I reply: Well, Dinky, if they would have been shot and killed at least they would have died a hero. Have you ever heard of the term “hero”?
The Aurora Dark Knight Massacre is exactly why I carry at least one gun everywhere I go—because crap always happens when you least expect it. That’s why, as responsible citizens and gun owners, we must always be ready and must always expect it because when it happens, it happens fast; if you’re not ready, you and others are screwed.
For instance, it’s a beautiful and quiet day on Miami Beach this morning. I’m drinking my coffee at an outdoor cafe, minding my own business while I work on this column and on my website. I don’t see any bath salt zombies on the prowl. There are no Trench Coat Mafia wannabes lurking around. There is no real foreseeable reason to carry a weapon. But I am. The reason? Well, I’m not omniscient. I’m just a dumb clunk living in a jacked-up world where med school students go bat crap crazy and shoot up normally peaceful places for inexplicable reasons. Therefore, I’m locked, cocked and ready to rock should some demented dill weed decide to strafe the local patrons sipping a cup of Joe.
For those who say, “Doug’s insane with all this concealed weapons crap. We should leave such affairs to the police,” allow me to point out that the theater was crawling with cops for the Batman opening to control the crowds. By the time the police got to the particular theater, it was all over. Blood was already running down the aisles and the gunman had already left the building. You, my friend, are your first responder … your first line of defense.
Look, stuff happens when and where you don’t think it’ll happen. My recommendation to you, the good citizen, is to get equipped with a gun—a fire-breathing dragon of a weapon. Get proficient with it. Make it like a cell phone: an additional appendage to your body. And then pray that you’ll never have to use it. However, should you be in line at the grocery store, or at Chili’s eating a burger, or at a park playing football with your homies, and some James Holmes wannabe shows up carting an arsenal and quoting Kafka as he shoots kids … you’ll be ready. Simply find cover if you can, draw your weapon, take a fine bead, and double tap the center mass of the murderous jackass. Should he or she have a bulletproof vest on then pull your sight picture up to the perp’s noggin and shoot him or her in the head; it’ll explode like a watermelon. You’ll feel bad for a nanosecond. But then the cops and families will show up and thank you for putting Jack the Ripper down. The end.
Obama's destructive crackdown on first jobs
What was your first job? I stuck pieces of plastic and metal together at an Evanston, Ill., assembly line. We produced photocopiers for a company called American Photocopy. I hated the work. It was hot and boring. But it was useful. It taught me to get good grades in school so I might have other choices.
Four years later, good grades got me a job as a researcher at a TV station. To my surprise, that became a career. I never planned to be a TV reporter. I hadn't even watched TV news. I never took a journalism course. But by showing up and trying stuff, I found a career.
I write about this because I'm appalled watching politicians kill off "first" jobs. (They say it's to protect us.)
First, they raise the minimum wage. Forcing employers to pay $7.25 an hour leaves them reluctant to give unskilled kids a chance -- why pay more than a worker can produce? So they offer fewer "first" jobs.
On top of that, the Obama Labor Department has issued a fact sheet that says free internships are only legal if the employer derives "no immediate advantage" from the intern.
Are you kidding me? What's the point of that? I want interns who are helpful!
The bureaucrats say they will crack down on companies that don't pay, but that's a terrible thing to do.
Unpaid internships are great. They are win-win. They let young people experiment with careers, and figure out what they'd like and what they're good at. They help employers produce better things and recruit new employees.
I've used interns all my career. They have done some of my best research. Some became journalists themselves. Many told me: "Thank you! I learned more working for you than I learned in college, and I didn't have to pay tuition!
I could have paid them, but then I would have used fewer interns. When I worked at ABC, the network decided to pay them -- $10 an hour -- but it also cut the number of internships by half. Politicians don't get it. Neither do most people. Polls show that Americans support raising the minimum wage. Most probably also support limits on unpaid internships, believing that they replace paid work. But they don't.
OK, sometimes they do. But the free exchange of labor creates so many good things that, in the long run, more jobs are created and many more people get paid work -- and we get better work.
But American politicians think they "protect" workers by limiting employers' (and workers') choices and giving handouts to the unemployed.
Outside a welfare office near Fox News, I was told that because of high unemployment, there are no jobs: "There's nothing out there. Nothing." I asked my team to check that out. They walked around for two hours, and within a few blocks of that welfare office they found lots of businesses that want to hire people. On the same block where I was told that there are no jobs, a store manager said he was desperate for applicants. "We need like two or three people all the time."
Of the 79 businesses that we asked, 40 said they would hire. Twenty-four said they would take people with no experience. All wished more people would apply.
I told German Munoz, a recent high school graduate, about one of the jobs offered, at a soul food restaurant. He went there and was hired to wash dishes for minimum wage. Within a few days, he was promoted to busboy -- then to waiter. Now, two weeks later, he makes twice the minimum wage. German doesn't want a career as a waiter, but he says it's great having a real first job.
"I meet successful people, and they give good advice and tips on how to become successful. I love it. I love going there every day and learning new stuff. It is like a stepping stone," he said. Exactly.
Low-wage first jobs are indispensable for both personal advancement and social progress. Our best hope for prosperity is the free market. Government must get out of our way and allow consenting adults to create as many "first" jobs as possible.
Republican Governors Show the Way
If we as a nation want to know what it will take to get back on track, we need look no further than what Republican Governors are doing throughout the country. The principles they are following are the key to our salvation and lead down the exact opposite road Barack Obama and the Democrats want to take to go “FORWARD.”
Bob McDonnell, Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, is a case study in the laser beam focus on two main principles that GOP chief executives are following: 1) balance the budget by cutting spending, and 2) do not raise taxes. McDonnell ran for office in 2009 during the first year of the Obama Administration seeking to succeed Governor Tim Kaine, then serving as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. In a harbinger of voter disapproval of Democratic policies taking place nationwide (as evidenced in the midterms the following year), McDonnell won his election in a 17-point landslide, though Obama won the state by 6 points in 2008—a 23 point swing.
McDonnell then proceeded to do just what he said he would. While President Obama and the Democrats were passing the $800 billion Stimulus Bill, pushing through the brand new Obamacare entitlement, adding 100,000 new employees to the already bloated 2.8 million federal government worker rolls, and racking up a record $1.5 trillion deficits, Virginia was making the tough choices, slashing spending and balancing its budget. The results speak for themselves. Unemployment in the Dominion State has dropped to 5.6%, two and half points below the national average, and Virginia ranks number three in CNBC's rankings of the top states to do business. It should be noted that eight of the top ten best states to do business are run by Republican Governors.
GOP Governors around the nation have stepped up and have been making the tough calls with a fierce determination to get their states back on a healthy fiscal footing. It’s meant taking on some of the most powerful interests in their states. Of course Scott Walker in Wisconsin is a Profile in Courage in this regard in his stand against government employee unions. Other first term Republican Governors like Chris Christie in New Jersey, John Kasich in Ohio, and Nikki Haley in South Carolina are living up to their campaign pledges, taking on the special interests and balancing their budgets, by cutting spending and not raising taxes.
As at the state level, the Republicans have a viable plan with the Ryan Budget, which passed the House and Mitt Romney supports. It follows the basic principles being implemented by Republican Governors around the nation: cut spending and do not raise taxes. The true way “FORWARD” could not be clearer.
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