On Monday, after a horrific mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in which 26 people including over a dozen children were murdered, The Washington Post released a piece explaining just who to blame: guns and men. Here was their headline:
This is asinine, for some obvious reasons: men represent half the population, and there are hundreds of millions of guns in the United States. How do you profile for either, practically and morally?
The Post does recognize the problem with their analysis:
If the goal is to prevent future mass shootings, it’s tricky to see where to apply leverage. The only overwhelmingly common characteristic is that the perpetrators were men — but neither gender nor race could form the basis of a ban on gun ownership.
And why should it? The fact is that the vast majority of people who stop mass shootings are likely men with guns; in this case, two separate civilians grabbed their guns and tried to take down the shooter. Soldiers are disproportionately men with guns — should that be the crowd we target?
Herein lies the problem: the Left sees the problem of mass shootings as a problem of instruments rather than a problem with people. They believe that individual human beings are naturally good unless perverted by weapons or social conditions; therefore, we need only change social conditions more broadly and ban weapons, and all will be well. The Right, by contrast, believes that sin resides in individuals, that human beings are capable of both good and evil, and that we ought to single out those who perform prior evil acts while leaving free those who have acted well. If the Left saw two men from Sutherland Springs, Texas, both carrying guns, the Left would say that both should be disarmed; the Right would ask who they are, and then leave the shooter weaponless and weapons in the hands of the man who stopped the shooter.
It’s this fundamental disconnect regarding human nature that seems to drive so much ire about gun control. The Left simply can’t understand why the Right wouldn’t go along with disarming more Americans — after all, that would change conditions on the ground and magically make things better. The Right simply can’t understand why the Left refuses to acknowledge that evil people do evil things.
Only one side can be right.
And only one side is.