July 04, 2016

If I could change the past

If I could change the past, I wouldn't.

Oh, I would like to. There are an infinite number of points in my life, and in history, that I would love to go back and nudge a tiny bit in a more favorable direction. Everyone wants to kill Hitler, but Hitler is a direct product of the Habsburg Empire which arose out of the aftermath of the American Revolution when Prussian mercenaries returned to their native land with new ideas about how a society should be organized. Hitler, believe it or not, would never have risen to power if the American colonies had not rebelled against the British Empire. Even if someone succeeds in going back in time and killing Hitler, it won't make a difference. Another member of his inner circle will simply rise to take his place. Europe will still fall into war while six million Jews, Romani, and homosexuals will die in internment camps.

Killing Hitler would not change the flow of history because the flow of history very seldom rests on the behavior of a single individual. And yet, at the same time, the flow of history is wholly dependent on the choices made by every individual. This is the great dichotomy of human movement through time. One person can change the entire flow, but the flow itself is not dependent on any given person. Time travel paradoxes are nothing more than silly thought games because none of them can overcome the core paradox built right into the very fabric of history itself: human freedom of choice.

What I can do, what I have been trying to do since I was fourteen years old, and what I hope every person out there is trying to do, is influence how humanity moves into the future. If you are not focused on how your decisions and choices will impact the future of humanity, then quite frankly, you are a wasted life. Yes, that's harsh, but true. If your entire life revolves around your personal needs, wants, and desires, then your life will have no impact on the flow of humanity from this point forward. I know that's cruel, but life itself is cruel. Life is the product of unthinking forces repelling, attracting, converging, and consolidating until consciousness emerges. Life itself is defined both by what it carries forward and what it leaves behind. The direction of life, however, is wholly dependent on what it carries forward into the next moment, the next hour, the next eternity.

Your life can be important, but only if you choose to make it important. The only way you can make your life important is to keep your thoughts focused on the consequences of your choices and behaviors. The video above is intended to show the complete uselessness of "gun-free" zones. A gun-free zone neither deters nor slows someone intent on doing harm. The Aurora Century 16 Movie Theater, the Sandy Hook Elementary School, the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center, and the Pulse Nightclub have all four been gun-free zones for as long as they have existed. Each one also has the unfortunate distinction of recently being chosen by a mass murderer for one of the worst shootings in history. Clearly, a "gun-free" zone does absolutely nothing to prevent someone from bringing in a firearm and killing people. "Gun-free" zones are worthless, their creation is a worthless law, the time and money spent developing and implementing the law have all been wasted. Every life focused on thinking up the gun-free zone law, all the time they spent arguing for it, and all the money spent advertising its benefits, have all been wasted. It was a useless idea that has clearly been proven to have no impact whatsoever on reducing mass murder. If anything, it made the murderer's task easier, which implicates every single supporter of gun-free zones as accessories to mass murder.

Yes, I mean you. Whoever you are. If you believe a gun-free zone saves lives than you are an accessory to murder. Your responsibility for those deaths is far more direct and immediate than mine as a gun owner. So why is it the news media has managed to convince millions of people that I, as a gun owner, am somehow both complicit in and approving of mass murder? This makes no sense to me whatsoever. If I am an accessory to mass murder, than so is everyone who advocates for gun-free zones, background checks for private transactions, and other forms of gun control. All of those laws have done nothing but make it easier for criminals to ply their trade. As an example, consider public housing. Honest people in public housing projects all across the United States are prohibited from owning firearms and keeping them at home. As a result, every single public housing project in the United States is a hotbed of gang activity and a focal point for gun violence. The only people in American public housing who have guns are the criminals! Prohibiting honest people from owning guns has helped increase the scope of violence, the amount of murder, the number of rapes, and the volume of illegal drugs flowing through American public housing. Gun control laws clearly and obviously empower criminals by disarming honest citizens, so why do people keep advocating for them? Are all these people who want American gun owners to lose their freedom to own and train with firearms really on the side of the criminals, or are they just delusional?

I can't go back in time and prevent any of the mass murders that have occurred over the course of my lifetime. I can't go back and stop terrorists from using commercial airliners to destroy the World Trade Center. I can't go back and prevent the Pulse Nightclub from becoming just as famous for homegrown Islamic terror as it is for being a favorite hangout for Orlando's LGBT community. I cannot change the past. No one can.

Please stop thinking, "if only someone could go back in time and stop "so-and-so" from getting a gun in the first place!"

Such thinking is foolish and delusional. Instead, we need to focus on what will happen the next time someone tries to commit mass murder because the one thing that we do have the power to influence is the future.

Sooner or later, and probably sooner, someone is going to walk into a crowded building and try to shoot everyone in the place. It's going to happen over and over and over again. I'm sorry. That's reality. The next one will probably be somewhere in the United States, because we do have a disproportionate number of mass murderers for some reason, but it could just as easily be Sydney, Shanghai, Moscow, or Berlin. Mass murderers don't care about geography and they don't care about gun laws. They only care about body count.

No one could have prevented any of the mass murders of the past twenty years. Neither you nor I can prevent the next one. Instead, we need to be focused on what happens the next time a mass murderer pulls out a firearm and starts shooting. How can they be stopped before they empty their first magazine? The only way I know of to make that happen is for as many people in the crowd as possible to have their own firearms. True, this will dramatically increase the likelihood that someone will be shot accidentally. So which is worse, 49 helpless people shot down by a radical Islamic terrorist or two innocent people killed in the crossfire when half the crowd returns fire? I don't know about you, but I would greatly prefer two innocent deaths to fifty. Zero would be ideal, but realistically, it is virtually impossible to achieve.

Next time a mass shooting occurs don't ask, "Why couldn't this be stopped?"

Instead, the next time a mass shooting occurs the question you should ask is, "Why weren't the victims able to shoot back?"