I lived abroad for 12 years. Or more. Who remembers? One thing I do remember: how much worse all the other countries were compared to the United States. Of course, there was plenty to enjoy and admire. Try to find a bad meal in France (outside of Paris). Or a funnier person than a Brit. Thailand really is the land of smiles. The speed-unlimited stretches of Germany’s autobahns are awesome. Israeli women? You know how I feel about that. Anyway, no country I ever visited offered its citizens the individual liberty you find here. America is still – far and away – the land of the free. And that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. I tried telling that to . . .
foreigners. Ethnocentrism prevented that message from getting through. But I also had that “debate” with my fellow American ex-pats. Surprisingly, or not, they were just as deaf to any discussion of relative liberty. In fact, they hated America. They saw us as bullies, boors and ballistic boobs. We were the problem, not the solution. They apologized for America at every turn.
As the son of a Holocaust survivor whose only post-War goal was to GET TO AMERICA, as someone who didn’t hang with champagne socialists, I had a hard time holding my tongue with these idiots. OK, I have a hard time with that generally. But I tried to open their eyes to the economic suffering and lack of human rights all around them. No dice. So when I see a Tweet like the one above, it makes me angry.
We are far, far from being the “craziest country in the world.” Crazy, in this case, meaning the country with the worst gun laws. The exact opposite is true. We are the only country in the world whose citizens are [relatively] free to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Which has – since America’s inception – protected all our natural, civil and Constitutionally enumerated rights.
Are Renata & Mike aware of what’s happening in the “gun free” paradise of China ahead of the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protest? “In recent weeks, a dozen prominent scholars and activists have been arrested or criminally detained,” nytimes.com reports, “and even seemingly harmless gestures, like posting a selfie while flashing a V for victory, have led to detentions.” Detentions. Sounds like fun! Or not. Meanwhile, how are human rights doing in Nigeria? Somalia? Mexico? And anywhere else where the government has disarmed its populace.
I’m not even going to begin to talk about the government-sponsored genocides – millions of unarmed people slaughtered – perpetuated by evil regimes since the Holocaust. I’ll just say this: those 68 percent of homicides didn’t “come from a gun.” They came from people intent on murder. Would Renata & Mike have preferred them to “come from” a knife? A baseball bat? A black BMW sedan? Or are they the type of people who think “easy access” to firearms somehow entices people to murder or murder more efficiently?
Actually, I will say it: government was, is and always will be the world’s most efficient and lethal murderer. Not crazy 22-year-olds with a pair of SIGs, a GLOCK and 40 California-legal 10-round ammunition magazines. Or teenage gang bangers. Or domestic abusers. You can call me callous for celebrating the fact that America “only” had 12,664 murders in 2011. Or dismissing the fact that 8,583 killers of that total used a firearm. But as horrible as these deaths are (many of which could be eliminated by removing barriers to firearms ownership), they are a small price to pay for our freedom and protection from mankind’s greatest evil.
You know what’s really crazy? Hating the very thing that saves your life.