It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture amid liberal noise over the Parkland massacre and other mass shootings. But rational people seeking debate about solutions often find themselves in the quagmire of defending untenable positions against accusations along the lines of, “Oh, so you are pro-school shootings?”
Focusing on firearms allows us to deflect our American psyche from the harsher realities of evil within our society and the many ways our culture tacitly condones it.
In truth, it isn’t the National Rifle Association we need to worry about. It is the Constitution. As gun-control advocates continue to argue for the document’s obsolescence (“well, uh, the founding fathers never intended that“), conservative minds worry about minor details like the precedent it sets when we circumvent our most sacred of national documents.
The only solution is to turn the argument of gun control advocates on itself. If they are so happy to toss out elements of the Bill of Rights that they disagree with, why not do something that will actually solve the problem?
I put it to you, America: The biggest hindrance in deterring acts of mass violence is the Eighth Amendment, the amendment that prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment” (and excessive bails and fines).
Schools and courts are so bogged down with trying to meet the needs of every student entitled to a “free and appropriate education” that there is little they could do to prevent a deranged sociopath from walking their halls. Even our law-enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and police, are now so politicized as to refuse—or be incapable of fulfilling—their duty to protect and serve.
However, if we were to suspend Eighth Amendment rights in cases of mass violence, the impact would likely be profound.
Why not tar and feather the next school shooter and drag him through the streets so he can think about what he did? Why not hang terrorists — upside-down in the public square, Mussolini-style? Other terrorists might think twice about terrorizing then.
Surely, when they put the current protections in place, our founding fathers never imagined that media outlets might be weaponized against U.S. citizens to undermine those very freedoms. Although they knew the dangers of our own government turning against its people (hence, the need for a well-armed militia), they never dreamed that a publication like Rolling Stone might give rock-star treatment to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or that The New York Times and others might declare North Korea’s Kim Yo-jong the “it” girl of the Olympics.
Those desperate enough to commit acts of mass violence don’t live in a vacuum. They relish in the notoriety, knowing that the consequences will be minimal — at worst, a glorious and dignified death when the appeals process has played out at massive public expense. It’s a small price to pay for the havoc they wreak and the empowerment they gain while terrorizing their victims.
Since the actions of a psychotic lunatic have mobilized leftist radicals toward forgoing their inconveniently afforded constitutional rights, why not at least abolish one that might actually make a difference, while holding the guilty accountable instead of the innocent? #EnoughWithTheEighth
Ben Sellers is a journalist and educator based in Virginia.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.