Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Good Laws Will Never Abolish All Evil
Townhall.com ^ | December 19, 2012 | Jeff Jacoby

Posted on 12/20/2012 4:26:47 AM PST by Kaslin

IT IS REMARKABLE how confident so many people are that they know what causes – and just how to prevent – horrific massacres like Friday's bloodbath at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

In a TV interview over the weekend, one observer insisted that the mass-murder in Newtown was all too predictable, given America's failure to implement an obvious and desperately overdue reform. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?" this individual demanded, showing no hint of uncertainty about exactly what needs to be fixed.

Who was that?

Was it Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, amplifying his call for Congress to take a "vote of conscience" and enact a nationwide assault-weapons ban? Or the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, who excoriates "the National Rifle Association and other apologists for murder" for resisting more aggressive gun control?

Was it Connecticut's departing senator, Joe Lieberman, resurrecting his longtime warning that the brutality that pervades American entertainment "does cause vulnerable young men to be more violent"? Or presidential adviser David Axelrod, enlarging on a plea he posted on Twitter: "All for curbing weapons of war. But shouldn't we also quit marketing murder as a game?"

Was it Liza Long, whose blog post about her son's psychiatric problems -- "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" -- went viral, leading to an appearance on NBC in which she argued that the way to deal with mass shootings is to deal with madness of potential perpetrators: "It's easy to talk about guns but it's time to talk about mental illness."

Was it former Education Secretary Bill Bennett, who contended on Sunday that the most effective means to prevent Newtown-style bloodbaths might be to ensure that school employees are armed? Was it Larry Pratt, head of the 300,000-member Gun Owners of America, decrying gun-free zones as a "lethal insanity" that gives homicidal gunmen an unconscionable advantage over their victims?

In reality, it was former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who asserted within hours of the atrocity in Newtown that 26 innocent souls perished because "we've systematically removed God from our schools." If only Americans would let God in "on the front end," said Huckabee, schools ravaged by murder wouldn't need Him so often "on the back end."

It was a graceless thing to say, and Huckabee was rightly criticized for rushing to exploit a ghastly horror in order to promote his particular agenda. But Huckabee was far from the only offender. In the wake of Newtown there was no end of sanctimony from politicians and pundits who declared not just that America must do something to avert such terrible killings, but that they know precisely what that something is: More gun control. Less gun control. Better screening for mental illness. Restoration of school prayer. No media publicity for mass killers. A crackdown on hyperviolent video games. Armed guards at schools.

How can such terrible evil be thwarted? The desperate need for answers – better yet, for an answer – is always palpable after a Newtown, an Aurora, a Columbine. That urge to turn back cruelty, to find effective responses to anguish and pain, is so intensely human. The yearning for an end to suffering runs deep in our species, and at its best has been a powerful force for justice and progress. "We can't tolerate this anymore," President Obama said in Connecticut on Sunday. "These tragedies must end." At the level of heart and gut, who doesn't share that feeling?

But tragedy will always be part of the human condition. Some evils we can never hope to eliminate – not even with the best will in the world. No regulation or reform can undo all homicidal insanity. Still less can legislation guarantee universal integrity and decent character. It will always take more than law and politics to make men and women kind, honest, and moral.

None of the nostrums prescribed after this year's shooting rampages in Connecticut and Colorado would guarantee that nothing like them will ever recur. Stringent gun laws haven't prevented frightful massacres of students in Norway, Germany, and the United Kingdom. There were mass killings in America long before there were video games – and long before the Supreme Court ruled prayer in public school unconstitutional.

Nightmares like the one in Newtown are rare. Yet a free society cannot make them absolutely impossible and still remain free. Good laws can do a lot, but they will never abolish all human evil. For that, there is ultimately only one answer: the cultivation of human goodness.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: banglist; guncontrol; guns; humangoodness; mikehuckabee; safetyandsecurity; sandyhook; secondamendment; shooting

1 posted on 12/20/2012 4:26:56 AM PST by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

“Nightmares like the one in Newtown are rare. Yet a free society cannot make them absolutely impossible and still remain free. Good laws can do a lot, but they will never abolish all human evil. For that, there is ultimately only one answer: the cultivation of human goodness.”

.......Also another answer, that America must turn back to God.


2 posted on 12/20/2012 4:29:06 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

With all the insane laws already on the books, your chances of obeying one while breaking another simultaneously is 50-50.


3 posted on 12/20/2012 4:35:58 AM PST by MestaMachine (It's the !!!!TREASON!!!!, stupid!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Add to that that the worst evil in this country today is government.


4 posted on 12/20/2012 4:38:59 AM PST by MestaMachine (It's the !!!!TREASON!!!!, stupid!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

However, bad laws can allow evil that much more free reign when it is unleashed - such as gun-free school zones, which allow a madman to shoot victims without any viable counterattack possible. That is the point Jacoby misses.


5 posted on 12/20/2012 4:41:37 AM PST by dirtboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Jacoby really doesn't get it. He's a walking contradiction.

Despite what all the atheists and secular conservatives say, you cannot have "human goodness" without God.

A purely secular "morality" is by its nature entirely relative and without foundation. After all, who is the ultimate arbiter? If my "morality" tells me it's all right to slay little babies, steal other people's money, bribe public officials and voters, promote sexual license, and all the other planks in the Democratic party platform, who are you to tell me I'm wrong?

6 posted on 12/20/2012 4:55:44 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

“The cultivation of human goodness” is not the answer, either, Jeff Jacoby. The return of Jesus Christ in glory is. At that time all evil will be cast into the lake of fire, and those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will reign with Him in righteousness forever.

“He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” ~1 John 5:12


7 posted on 12/20/2012 4:57:52 AM PST by .30Carbine (God bless you with the spirit of wisdom and understanding)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
I disagree with Huckabee. It shouldn't be the job of schools or school teachers to teach God and Godly matters, that is the job of the parents. Put prayer back in school and government will tell the teachers what to teach about Him. I would not want my children bowing toward Mecca 7 times a day or learning to praise Budda or any other cult and that's exactly what would happen, government wants us to be "diverse" and "fair" to all religions.

There is absolutely nothing stopping children from praying in school now.

I attended public school for 12 years in small town, conservative, southern Missouri from 1951 to 1963 and never once heard a teacher pray in school. At graduation we had a local minister say a prayer and that's it.

Keep spoken prayer at home and church. No thanks to government approved prayer or a teacher's version of morality.

Be honest Huck, you would really want your Baptist version in schools wouldn't you? I'm Baptist but don't agree that my interpretation should be foisted on all children. Baptists teach your children at home, take them to church, same for Catholics and all others. Cultists and atheists too for that matter.

8 posted on 12/20/2012 5:25:05 AM PST by Graybeard58 ("Civil rights” leader and MSNB-Hee Haw host Al Sharpton - Larry Elder)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58

“Good Laws Will Never Abolish All Evil”.

What more needs to be said?


9 posted on 12/20/2012 5:27:27 AM PST by Progov
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

10 posted on 12/20/2012 5:28:14 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dirtboy

Unfortunately, nobody is bringing up this point. Just another example of ‘unintended consequences’ to D.C. sticking its tentacles into another area of American life.

I don’t hear ‘our side’, nor the NRA calling them out on it as well. If we followed the Constitution, there might (most probably) be a whole lot fewer bodies to bury.


11 posted on 12/20/2012 5:36:04 AM PST by i_robot73
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: i_robot73

Apparently before this tragedy, the school implemented new security measures. They really weren’t specific on what they were.

After thinking about this, I wondered; If part of their security measures included installing bullet proof glass, the perp would not have been able to shoot his way in and the admin could have called 911. This would have bought the school time and more than likely prevented the massacre.

And that would have cost all of $300.00.


12 posted on 12/20/2012 6:12:51 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (You can't bring something to its knees that refuses to stand on its own)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: EQAndyBuzz

Sorry, but how would that have saved anyone when the response time for any 911 call is ~10min.??


13 posted on 12/20/2012 7:01:56 AM PST by i_robot73
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: i_robot73

“Sorry, but how would that have saved anyone when the response time for any 911 call is ~10min.??”

He doesn’t get in. Now what?


14 posted on 12/20/2012 7:39:30 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (You can't bring something to its knees that refuses to stand on its own)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: EQAndyBuzz

What is missing from all the discussions is that the weapons in Newtown and Portland were essentially stolen. We should be discussing good gun safes.


15 posted on 12/20/2012 9:01:19 AM PST by aimhigh ( Guns do not kill people. Planned Parenthood kills people.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
I thought that Adam Lanza killed 27 innocent people instead of 26 before killing himself?
16 posted on 12/20/2012 10:56:12 AM PST by Jaded (Really? Seriously?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jaded

You forgot about his mother, who he killed first. He killed 20 children and 6 adults at the school.


17 posted on 12/20/2012 4:48:44 PM PST by Kaslin ( One Big Ass Mistake America (Make that Two))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: EQAndyBuzz

So he uses other means, rammed by truck, explosives, etc. Don’t know about you, but my school had plenty of ways IN, if you wanted/needed to....

Psycho is going to go through the front door/metal detector...w/out pulling the gun mid-process?

No. How about re-establishing the ROTC and shooting clubs. Then, at least, SOME defense is close by!


18 posted on 12/20/2012 6:55:26 PM PST by i_robot73
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Mike Huckabee, who asserted within hours of the atrocity in Newtown that 26 innocent souls perished because "we've systematically removed God from our schools." If only Americans would let God in "on the front end," said Huckabee, schools ravaged by murder wouldn't need Him so often "on the back end." It was a graceless thing to say

No, it wasn't. It was the truth.

19 posted on 12/20/2012 6:58:10 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson