“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.” -H. L. Mencken As a people dedicated to performing Mitzvot and giving Tzedakah, Mr. Mencken’s remarks can be a bit tough to digest. But as a group of individuals dedicated to securing firearm freedoms for ourselves and our posterity, we at JPFO can tell you that Mencken was indeed a very wise old grouch.
But before we get to that, I’d like to discuss what Tzedakah really is. Don’t get me wrong. It is very noble to give a portion of one’s own harvest (now usually in the form of an envelope from H.R.), and it is nobler still since that same harvest has already been looted by Uncle Sam before it even gets to you. But, my friends, I’m here to tell you that giving this money is not going to “save the world”. And I’m also here to tell you that this is nothing to worry about.
You see, the world is not some fainting princess in the jaws of a dragon, waiting for her knight-in-shining armor to sweep her away from certain doom and into the land of happily-ever-after. Our world is a big, messy place where over six billion different individuals are trying to get through each day in one piece. In our world, there is no happily-ever-after. Nobody can make that happen by sending their kids to Hebrew school every week with an extra fiver. The best we can do is give what we can and hope that our donations can make someone’s life a little easier, a little fuller, a little bit less like the movie “Oliver!”. You can help people, sometimes in profound ways. But you can never really “save” them. Because all the giving in the world isn’t going to change the character of humanity. You can just increase the odds that they’ll find a way to save themselves, and thus be saved by G-d.
A wise person knows this, because a wise person knows that they cannot control the lives of others, and that they are not God.
So when a Jew decides that their Tzedakah should go not to the needy or to the sick, but to groups supporting gun control, what are they really trying to accomplish?
They’re not going to help anyone who’s suffering. Gun control groups are composed of wealthy dilettantes with too much free time and too little wisdom. They spend their donations on lobbyists, media campaigns, and speakers’ fees. Hardly a group in dire need of your spare canned garbanzo beans.
“But but but!” you’ll hear them say, “gun control helps make things better in the poorest neighborhoods by fighting crime!” Of course, they never heard that the Centers for Disease Control found that gun control has never been effective at all in fighting crime. (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5214a2.htm) They never stopped to consider the fact that the poorest neighborhoods in the U.S. by and large already have strict gun control, and it has not helped them.
See, when they think about crime, they think of a terrible event that MIGHT happen once in their entire lifetime. They don’t consider the inner-city merchant whose profits are wiped out by constant robberies. They don’t think about the elderly couple facing desperate poverty because their Social Security money is stolen every week. They’ll use phrases like “fighting crime” while doing everything they can to prevent people from actually, you know… FIGHTING CRIME.
Any business or institution that can afford to be serious about crime prevention does so by means of security technology and ARMED security personnel. Why, then, do these people believe that the best way to protect an individual from crime is to disarm them?
If these people were really serious about “saving” poor urban dwellers from the ravages of crime, they’d repeal their racist, ignorant gun laws and give these unfortunate people a chance to protect themselves, to stop being easy victims. But that would involve true giving. The giving of trust. And what gun-grabbing snob would ever give such a thing to a yucky poor person?
“But but but!” they’ll continue, “Gun control stops international conflicts that create desperate poverty throughout the world!” But this raises a question for the gun-grabbers. They say that gun ownership causes economic underdevelopment. But the United States has an incredibly vibrant, powerful economy, which developed from scratch over the last three centuries despite our longstanding firearm rights. The United Kingdom’s population was similarly armed to their rotten teeth all the way up to the 1920s, and their economy reigned supreme for centuries. How could we have developed into the richest nation on Earth despite our being an armed population?
Gun grabbers never think these things through. They’re the ones who also insist that America’s high (but not as high as you’d think) murder rate is the direct result of gun ownership, but internationally, gun ownership and murder rates don’t correlate at all. (See www.gunfacts.info, which has an excellent chapter on international gun control and crime.)
What makes certain nations more or less violent than others is not whether or not they are armed, but whether or not they have rights. When you disarm a population, you open the door for the true Angel of Economic Death. Bad government. Without the right to resist, populations generally lose all of their other rights. They lose their right to open discourse, which means innovation, education, and accountability disappear. They lose their right to their property, which means financial security, investment, and incentive go poof. They lose their right to due process, which means they’re only an edict away from enjoying a permanent island vacation in the Gulag Archipelago. This is why America, a nation armed to the proverbial teeth, continues to prosper. We have fundamental rights that we jealously defend with our guns.
America’s murder rate is the result not of gun ownership, but of our own form of bad government. When we outlawed Alcohol shortly after World War I, violent crime surged, only to recede when the depression forced the end of prohibition. Yes, crime actually went DOWN amidst devastating poverty, all because we were able to throw off a little bit of bad government. Now, prohibition has returned in the form of the War on Drugs, which drives crime to staggering heights previously unimagined in our great land.
And if you think our particular form of bad government has wrought havoc in our streets, just wait until you see what a truly malevolent dictatorship can do to their population. JPFO’s heart-wrenching documentary “Innocents Betrayed” will show you the horrors of government abuse in a way that no printed article ever could.
People think that donating their time and money to gun control is a form of giving. But when you disarm someone, you take from them something so precious that all the spare change and expired water chestnuts in the world can’t replace. When you disarm someone to “save” them, you take away their ability to actually save themselves. You give them the gift of helplessness, of victimization, of dependency. Instead of giving them your trust, your respect as fellow human beings with rights, you give them your contempt.
Giving the gift of gun control isn’t giving at all. It’s taking. Scratch any disarmer and you’ll find a squirming, terrified little tyrant. They don’t want gun control to save the world’s poor. They want gun control to save themselves FROM the world’s poor. This is why Diane Feinstein carries a handgun while threatening to disarm America completely. This is why Steven Spielberg, according to gun-rights champion John Milius, owns all manner of “assault weapons” while boldly stating to his friend that “John, gun control is strictly for them.” This is a man who brought us a wonderful film about disarmed Jews being slaughtered like lambs, but whose wife is an enthusiastic supporter of Handgun Control Inc. They don’t believe guns are bad. They believe people are bad, and guns give people power to do bad things to them.
So the next time you want to give charitably, think about supporting gun rights. A bag of beans and rice may feed someone for a week, but a gun can help someone hunt for food, ward off criminals, and protect their freedoms. I’d call that a fine form of giving. You won’t save the world, but you may help someone save their own life.