By John F. Di Leo -
September was another month of murders in Chicago.
We have seen the murder rate – and the attempted murder rate, too – skyrocket in recent years, in Chicago, Baltimore, New York, St. Louis … all homes of half a century or more of liberal policies, all laboratories of Leftist solutions, all booming centers of the modern welfare state and the omnipresent leviathan. How could this happen, we ask ourselves? Why is the murder rate up?
Every time a murder or mass killing occurs, the Left immediately aims the focus of the investigation in the direction of the weapon. Was it a rifle or pistol? Did the shooter have spare magazines for it? Was it a scary black color? How fast can we ban it?
And the response from the Right is always to let the Left define the subject. The Left demands that we ban the weapon, so the Right talks about the many benefits of the weapon – for self-defense, for target practice, for hunting, etc... All true, the Right is correct. But it still means the Left is defining the area of debate.
Just for once, might we change the area of debate? Just for once, instead of looking at a murderer and asking what made him kill somebody (and always assuming it’s that scary handgun at fault)… could we please look at somebody who's NOT a murderer and ask what made him NOT kill somebody?
I have no research grant for this study, so, as many a scientist before me has done, I'll use myself as the test subject. Shall we begin?
Now, I have, over the course of my 52 years on this earth, met many people I didn't like, some famous and some not famous, and I have never killed anybody. Never attempted and failed, never attempted and succeeded, just never tried to. Period.
I have owned several cars and minivans, great big two or three thousand pound steel behemoths capable of running somebody over and killing them. I've never done so. Never even tried. Never wanted to. Never dreamed of it. Never even thought about it until I started working on this column. Why not?
I have in my lifetime owned a couple of firearms, either revolvers or pistols or rifles (don’t worry, I have a FOID), with firepower suitable to render a person a guaranteed Chicago Democrat vote forever (unless vote fraud in the cemeteries is ever, finally, brought under control), and yet, I've never done so. Never shot anybody, never tried. Wouldn’t dream of it. Wonder why?
I learned certain self-defense techniques in my childhood and in high school... I've never used any of them. Never needed to, and never tried to use them for any offensive purpose. With such abilities at my disposal for almost forty years, wouldn’t you think they would have taken over my mind and caused me to do so? Why didn’t they?
And of course, as a halfway decent Italian cook, I have a kitchen full of knives and cleavers and rolling pins and meat tenderizers, with which I could certainly cause a victim to breathe vacuum if I felt the urge. But I never have, you know. And I never would. As I’m sure you’ve guessed.
But why not?
The Right Question, and the Right Answer
Perhaps the government should be asking this question. Why not? Why haven’t I killed anyone?
Why is it that somebody with all these methods at his disposal to kill people doesn't do so?
It’s not that hard to understand. It’s because I was raised by good Judeo-Christian parents, and I was taught right from wrong. It’s because I know that murder is both illegal and immoral.
It’s because I was raised to know to neither break God's law nor man's on this matter.
In short... It’s because murder isn't allowed. Period. Simple as that. My mind doesn't even think of the possibility. It's not an option for me.
And all over this country, we have about 300 million people in the same situation as I. People who have cars or guns or chemicals or knives or blunt instruments or virtually unlimited other possible murder weapons, and yet, never kill people. For exactly the same reasons that I don't.
Leaving the Red Herring Behind
The fact is, the focus on the murder weapon – gun, knife, car, whatever – is now, and has always been, a red herring. The tool isn’t the important thing, it’s the intent. Why do some people kill, but the vast majority do not?
So the question of the day should be:
Instead of our government focusing all its energy on finding ways to tyrannize law-abiding citizens every time somebody else commits a murder, why doesn't government try to find a way to help the potential murderers pick up the same "anti-murdering" mentality that all of us good law-abiding citizens already have?
There are people who are raised in Godless slums, with the welfare state for a mother and the Leviathan for a father. There are decent people there too, sure… people who rise above their circumstances, go to church and library and school and try to escape that hell.
But if we look at the statistics, we find that the vast preponderance of killings in this country take place in the world of the welfare state; the crimes are committed both by and to recipients of government checks. These are people who, as children, never ran to the door to welcome a father returning home from his job at dinnertime, but who may have run to the door at midday to collect the WIC card from the mailman.
Raised amidst gangs and drug abuse, raised to be dependent on government for everything from food and housing to clothes and schooling, raised to be surrounded by so much violence that they know nothing else, can we really be shocked that each such generation commits more of it?
Were they raised to read and follow the Good Book? Were they raised to respect the Prophets, the Apostles, the Saints, and the Founding Fathers? Were they raised to study the history of the world, or only to watch television and listen to the radio?
Why don’t we stop looking at the gun, and instead look at the undeveloped soul of the human being behind the trigger finger?
How about we stop – yes, once and for all, STOP - taking the easy way out, uselessly attacking millions of tools that are harmless – or even helpful – in 300 million other people's hands?
Yes, how about we identify the real moral problem at the heart of these statistics, and focus on stopping the sickness in our inner cities and other welfare swamps that so bloodily fills our prisons and our morgues?
Copyright 2015 John F. Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicago based international trade compliance trainer. His columns are found regularly in Illinois Review.
Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the IR URL and byline are included.