Category Archives: Outrage

Quick, Ban Knives!

Have a look at these articles:

In summary, yet another wacko went on a spree, killing four and wounding several others.  How did he do it?  Did he use one of those terrible firearms that turn ordinary decent human beings into monsters?  No, he used a kitchen knife and a car.  This event raises two points, and I imagine that regular readers can predict what those are:

1.  When a wacko decides to commit murder, he will find a way.  New York City has some of the strictest laws in the country to regulate weapons, and yet this nutjob pulled off his spree as effectively as the one in Tucson did.  Perhaps Carolyn McCarthy, U. S. Representative from Long Island, ought to add automobiles and knives to her list of evil objects that she wants to ban.  Of course, we then will have to limit ourselves to going only to places within walking distance, and cutting steaks will be a challenge, so we’ll subsist on peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches (except that peanuts are also evil).  As I’ve written before, we can’t legislate safety.  We can make laws about responsibility.

2.  The law-abiding citizens of New York, as mentioned above, are restricted in their access to effective tools for self defense.  The state imposes its own set of burdens, and the city is worse.  The victims of this spree were apparently unarmed, as most people living in that region are by law.  At many points along the way, an armed good person could have put a stop to this.

I suppose that I’m sounding like a broken record (or scratched CD?) these days, but some things have to be repeated for enlightenment to come.

Flaws in Our Speech

The Tucson shooting has repeatedly been labelled a tragedy.  This is unfortunate, given the real meaning of that word.  A tragedy, properly understood, is a bad end that a hero suffers because of the flaws in his own character.  Oedipus begins the play, Oedipus Rex, as a king and ends up blinded and in exile because of his attempts to go against fate.  Macbeth is a nobleman who loses power and his life due to his greed.  In the movie, Heat, Vincent Hannah loses his marriage over his compulsive chasing of criminals.  By contrast, when a baby is killed by a drunk driver, that is not a tragedy, unless the child is at fault.

The correct word to use in times such as this is outrage.  The persons who died and were wounded in Tucson were the victims of someone who went beyond the pale.  They were not doing anything wrong, nor were they acting out of their own flaws.  They deserve to be honored and spoken about correctly.