I'm sorry to be Eeyore on this day of our nation's birthday, but I don't feel much like celebrating. The news that US and UK resources have gone to funding torture/murder facilities very much like those of Saddam
has dampened my spirit. Wasn't Bush's seventh explanation of why we invaded Iraq that we had to stop the torture?
I picked up my copy of Imprimis
hoping to brighten my day, but ended up more sober than ever.
Who besides the Los Angeles Times still publishes anything by our official national obfuscator, John Lott
Why Hillsdale College, of course.
Lott is emblematic of much that is wrong with this nation. Setting aside his ridiculous episode of impersonating a female student in order to influence opinion in an internet discussion, he is widely believed to have fabricated the data for a study.
And so it is especially telling that a "Christian" institution would devote the entire September issue of Imprimis
to him. You can learn all about it while cruising with Midge Decter and Bill Sammon (not to mention Winston Churchill III) on the Panama Canal.
There is a divide in how city dwellers and rural people view guns. If you grew up in an area where a major recreation was stepping out the back door for a little plinking, or if you went hunting every year, you don't think of guns as threatening. They're a tool, dangerous if misused, but then so is a chain saw. If you live in an apartment building, you may worry about what would happen if your neighbor drops his gun while cleaning it, while not seeing much of an upside to gun ownership.
There's also an unspoken element to attitudes toward guns. Many people, perhaps especially men, see guns as an escape hatch. If you have cancer and the cost of treating it would cause your family to be forced into the streets or if someone does something unspeakable to your family and escapes the law, a gun gives you recourse in doing violence either to yourself or to the one who has harmed your loved ones. Of course, if the person who feels at the end of his tether is your 15 year old son, you'd rather keep the escape hatches closed long enough for a better day to dawn.
These are some of the reasons that Americans talk past one another on gun issues.
That said, the decision by Imprimis
to spend an entire issue promoting that most Christian of issues, weapon ownership, leaves one wondering whether America will ever recover from a terminal case of hypocrisy.
It was at Hillsdale that Lissa Roche died, apparently a suicide, on October 17th, 1999 in response to the stress of an affair she was having with Hillsdale president and her father in law, James C. Roche III.
She died of a gunshot wound.