Blood is On Our Hands When Other People Murder

Morning Joe panelist Donny Deutsch railed against members of Congress who oppose expanding background checks “because they literally have blood on their hands.”

The people who literally have blood on their hands are those who committed the murders. The gun didn’t do it. There are already laws against murder. Most if not all of the suspects in these mass shootings violated any number of gun laws.

President Obama blamed Mexican gun violence on Americans.

Vice President Biden wants to pass new gun laws regardless of the law. This seems to be a contradiction. How can new laws be passed when the law says new laws cannot be passed unless the law is followed to pass a new law?

Judges and politicians continually write laws where the ultimate consequences of their decisions are irrelevant. It’s the fact that a law is made that is most important. Laws are sold to the public on the claim that the law itself will neutralize whatever evil of the day is provoking the public.

There are thousands of gun laws on the books. Vice President Biden contends that we need a few more laws because the government doesn’t have time to enforce the laws that have already been passed.

The Boston bombers made explosive devices from parts that can be purchased legally. Will pressure cookers and toy remote controls soon be regulated?

And once these new laws are put in place, and people still ignore these laws — old and new — will additional laws be proposed ad infinitum until the only law on the books will be “You must ask permission to act”?

Dr. Gary North writes:

“When the civil government alone is believed to possess sovereignty – legal immunity from government invasion – freedom is left without institutional defenses. When the State is widely accepted as the only legitimate form of government, it will extend its power into every nook and cranny of human life. There will be nothing to stop it — no theory of countervailing authority.”

 In the heyday of judicial activism, lawyers “were like doctors in the two decades after the discovery of antibiotics. There was nothing they could not do, no problem they could not solve. Whatever ailed the country, more law was the answer,”1 and it did not matter what the consequences might be if more lawyers and bureaucrats got a hold of the new laws!

Consider the 1966 film A Man for All Seasons. Thomas More’s future son-in-law, William Roper, urges him to arrest Richard Rich, whose perjury will eventually lead to More’s execution. More answers that Rich has not broken any law. This doesn’t matter. He should be arrested anyway. He’s a dangerous man. He might one day break a law.

At this point, Rich has not broken any law. This does not matter. Sometimes is good for king and country to contravene the law.

More understands that once you go down that road, there’s no turning back. “And go he should if he was the Devil himself until he broke the law!” Roper is appalled at the idea of granting the Devil the benefit of law, but More is adamant:

“What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? … And when the law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s, and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”

The cry of the people, politicians, and pundits is “Do something! Save us. Pass a law!” Unfortunately, there are too many politicians who are ready to sign any new law no matter what the consequences. “We have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it.” Now that we know what’s in it, Harry Reid is calling for more money to fund what is being described as a fiscal “train wreck.”

More money means more laws and less freedom.

  1. David Frum, How We Got Here—The 70s: The Decade that Brought you Modern Life (For Better or Worse) (New York: Basic Books: 2000), 231. []