I am just back from an agonizingly long airplane trip from IAD to LAX. We had powerful headwinds and the flight, normally about 5 and a half hours, was more like 7. Plus, we had a long wait at IAD to board. Luckily, I was able to have a hot dog from Five Guys. It was great, as is everything they sell.
Anyway, I had a long time to think on the plane and this is a little bit of what I thought about:
Of course, like every other human being, I am horrified by the murders of innocent children and adults at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. The tragedy is overwhelming.
I have read a lot of nonsense about the subject since the murders. The most startling was an article by a medical doctor that said that only a small percentage of premeditated mass murders were done by mentally ill people — and a really tiny percentage of all murders were done by mentally ill people.
How can that possibly be? Doesn?t the act of murdering a fellow human being by itself define the killer as mentally ill? It reminds me of a conversation I once had with a man who had, as a young man, interviewed Adolf Hitler. I asked the interviewer if it were obvious right away that the F�hrer was mentally ill.
The man said that Hitler was not at all mentally ill. He was just a clever politician.
?But, sir,? I asked him, calling him ?sir? since this man was a very, very high ranking official in government, and a longtime pal and classmate of my Pop, ?doesn?t the historical truth that Hitler ordered the murder of six million innocent Jews by itself show that he was insane??
The man looked at his salad and said nothing. He was famous for keeping his own counsel, one might say.
Anyway, let?s assume that all murderers are insane and there are a great many of them out there. Let?s assume that we will not knowingly sell any kind of gun to a mentally ill person. And let?s for certain sure swear we will never allow another mass murder at a school. How do we do it? How do we keep the kids safe at school?
In my mind, a clear answer comes out: hire guards, and lots of them, at schools, assign them bulletproof jackets and guns, and there you are. If there are armed guards all over a school, there cannot be any more Sandy Hooks or Virginia Techs. Why don?t we do this? Guards are not expensive and even if they were, they are worth the money. They may be intrusive to look at, but we?ll get used to them. We have accustomed ourselves to armies of TSA agents at airports.
Whatever it costs, let?s get on the job. We cannot track down all mentally ill men. There are too many of them. There are already 200 million firearms floating around the nation. Very hard to control. That ship has sailed. Plus, it really is true: guns don?t kill people. People kill people.
But guards at the doors and in the halls — guards like the TSA at the airports only armed — that?s simple and direct. We just have to do something and this seems like the most direct route to safer children and schools.
What do we have to lose? Newtown cannot ever happen again. Gun control is not the answer, unless they can make a weapon that cannot be fired by someone who has failed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory — and is not in uniform. So, guards are the simple answer and I like simple answers.
But there is a lot more to be said. We talk a lot about how much we love our children and how much we want them to be safe and loved. At least some of us talk a lot about that.
But, do we really love our children?
If we really loved our children, would we bring three out of four of our black children into single parent homes, where their chances of a happy, fulfilled life without incarceration are greatly reduced? If we really loved out children, would we bring about one third of all white children into single parent homes?
If we really loved our children, would we kill roughly three thousand a day of our children in the womb, as totally innocent souls?
Most of the members of my family and many of my closest friends are liberal Democrats. They talk a great deal about how much they love their kids and kids in general. They spend immense amounts to send them to private schools and psychiatrists. We buy them psychoactive meds to keep them from flipping out. Believe me, I know a lot about that one.
But then why do our liberal friends and relatives think it?s imperative to allow unlimited abortion, which by definition is the killing of an innocent child? Where did that immense dichotomy, that Orwellian doublethink, come from in the minds of the pro-abortion crowd?
I keep thinking that at least half of all of the unborn babies aborted are little women. That means at least 525,000 women killed each year by abortion. And the pro-aborts complain about a GOP ?War on Women?? Isn?t there a ?War on Children? going on right now? Isn?t it being waged by the very same people who talk the loudest about wanting to protect children?
It is all extremely disturbing. But then I am very tired so maybe I am just confused.
Hey, I see that the NRA has just come out for armed guards at all schools and now the gun control people are mocking them for it. But why is it a bad idea? Maybe it is a bad idea because the liberals say it?s a bad idea.
Bad, bad news.
I was staggered to read in the newspapers this morning about the passing of Robert Bork. He was a great thinker, a great patriot, and a great friend of the Steins.
I was immensely privileged to have had him as a teacher of Constitutional Law at Yale in 1967-68. Frankly, I was too stupid to ?get? quite what he was explaining to us about how the evil Warren Court had just made up a ?right? of privacy by looking at ?penumbras and emanations,? as Mr. Bork contemptuously called them from earlier cases.
He ripped to shreds a Connecticut case, Griswold v. Ct., which created a ?right? to a zone of privacy and thus invalidated a Ct. Law against birth control devices. He said it was pure fantasy created by the Supreme Court?s political and social views.
He said what we needed was legal reasoning that was based on ?neutral principles? which could be applied no matter what the political slant of the case or the court.
He stood there, like a big smart Irish pixie, just spitting out genius as he smoked cigarettes. His usual arguing opponent was my dear pal, Duncan Kennedy, a true genius who has gone on to great renown as a law professor and a founder of Critical Legal Studies, a school of legal thought that shows amazing insights.
I have to say, I was almost always on Duncan?s side, not that it matters much.
But later on in life, when Mr. Bork became solicitor general for RN and a close pal of my parents, I came to love him. He called me, ?Benjy? and was affectionate to me.
He stood up for the Constitution and against the elite corps of impudent snobs (Agnew?s phrase) and got rid of that arch snob, Elliot Richardson. Then he became a distinguished judge of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
Then, when Ronald Reagan appointed him to the Supreme Court, he was attacked by the left and the media and the academy. The charges were that he was anti-woman, anti-black, pro-life. All lies and smears. Naturally, the truth came down to this: Bob Bork was genius of original intent legal thinking. He would have curbed the Court in its efforts to write laws from the bench. He would have stood up for the Constitution and against attempts at a court that thought of itself as legislator, executive, and supreme court.
You bet he would have voted to repeal Roe v. Wade. He would have voted to save the Constitution and save innocent lives. That was his crime. He loved the Constitution.
The charge against him was led by Senator Edward Kennedy, a truly wicked man. To think that Ted Kennedy, another snob, but also a man of simply horrible characteristics of contempt for human life, especially the life of Mary Jo Kopechne, a man with no respect at all for truth, a man who had never shown anything but disdain for law, to think that he stood in moral judgment over Bob Bork? well, that?s art. Ted Kennedy judging Bob Bork. It takes my breath away. He killed that nomination, just as he killed RN?s proposal for a sensible universal health care law.
My mother, God rest her soul, kept a list of all of the senators who voted against Bob Bork on her refrigerator door all of her life. I think she held a hatred against them all of her days.
She was very close friends with Mrs. Bork (Mary Ellen) and fiercely loyal to him and to her as she was to all her friends and anyone on RN?s side.
When I saw him at events, usually at Chris DeMuth’s glorious AEI, he called me ?Benjy.? That?s how he heard my parents call me. So, that?s what he called me. Original intent.
Now, he is gone. To think that the nation was deprived of his service on the high court because of the mischief of the likes of Ted Kennedy. Unbelievable.
Well, it was an evil day. Now, he is in a better place and God bless him. But men like Bob Bork come along seldom. We must value them when the Lord gives them to us. We didn?t in the case of Bob Bork, and what a mistake we made.