Indignant and self-righteous activists argued that the real problem underlying the shootings at Virginia Tech, the D.C. Naval Yard, Newtown, Tucson and elsewhere—other than the Second Amendment, of course– was the failure of the health care system and the government to apprehend and stop emotional disturbed citizens before they start shooting.
This might have some validity, if it were not for a fact that Big Brother worshipers know but refuse to acknowledge. The health care system and the government are operated by people, many of them dedicated and competent, but a lot of them fearful, lazy, irresponsible and stupid. When we place power over the lives and liberty of others in the hands of such people, bad things happen.
They just happened to my family, and I am furious—both at the immediate fools who have abused us, but also the smug social architects who always think a new law and more government control over our lives is the solution to every problem.
At this moment, be warned:
I hate you people.
Stay out of my way.
Almost a year ago, my teenage son was stopped and ticketed for speeding on the highway in the classic BMW that he has largely rebuilt. A passenger and friend had brought pot and drug paraphernalia into the car, and he was on probation; my son decided to declare that both were his, since he had a clean record—an arguably ethical move, but a costly one. My son ended up having the drug charges dropped, but his license was suspended, and he was required to attend meetings of ASAP, a state government counseling program.
My son is almost done with the sessions, which he detests, of course. He has his license back. Over the weekend, he was being prodded to “open up”—he is seldom gregarious to strangers—and really share what was going on his his life. He finally told the group that he had recently broken up with his long-time girlfriend, and was very depressed when moving out of the house they lived in together until two weeks ago. “I felt like killing myself, ” he told them. The counselor recalled that my son had mentioned at another meeting that he was an NRA member, and just like that, he found himself being taken to a hospital for emergency observation as someone who was an imminent danger to himself or others.
My son is not depressed. He has lived with us since his move; he has a new job that he loves, and has many friends. Never mind: a “health care professional” spoke with him at the hospital for all of 15 minutes and determined that he was, in her professional view, dangerous. This raised the possibility of my son being forcibly committed to another facility for a week or more. NOW he really was depressed, as well as worried. This could cost him his job.
This was all being done in the wake of the classic barn door locking exercise after the deadly shooting rampage of an insane student at Virginia Tech a couple of years ago. New laws were quickly passed allowing even an incident that was as much as two weeks old to justify the kind of strong-arm institutionalization my son was subjected to, and being “depressed,” especially for a legal gun owner (which of course makes you a threat to everyone) was a sufficient “incident” to threaten his liberty.
I spoke to the health care professional who had presumed to screw up my son’s existence. Her name is Dee Hearn. I would not normally make this personal, but I do not appreciate being lied to, spoken to like I am an idiot, or being subjected to bureaucratic, ass-covering double talk.
I asked her if they were confining my son against his will. Oh, no, said Dee, who has one of those chirpy, lunch lady ways of speaking that makes you feel like you are back in the 7th Grade. He could leave whenever he wanted to.
“Really?” I said.
“Yes, but since I have determined that he may be a danger to himself and others, a police order might be processed that would authorize law emforcement to bring him back here,” chirped Dee.
“Then he can’t leave, and he is being confined against his will,” I said.
“This isn’t how we look at it, sir.”
“Listen,” I said. “I know my son. I’ve spoken with him and been with him every day since he moved back home. He is fine. He is making plans; he is on the way to a career. He has a good job. He is going to be a lot more depressed if he loses his job because you stop him from working.”
“It isn’t my responsibility if he loses his job, sir. My responsibility is to do what my training tells me, and ensure his safety.”
“If actions taken by you result in my son losing his job, I will hold you responsible, because you will in fact be responsible.”
“That is your decision, but we are not responsible, sir.”
Of course people like Dee aren’t responsible. In their little bureaucratic pea brains, they are only responsible for doing all they can to avoid liability for the next shooting, and if it means sacrificing one, six or a hundred young men like my son to do that, that’s all they care about.
This is emblematic of what big government progressives and big-hearted liberals simply refuse to accept, because their whole philosophy crumbles under its weight. Yes, the government could solve many, many problems, if only there were only sufficiently competent people employed by the government. But from top to bottom, there are corrupt people, dumb people, mean people, dishonest people, uncaring people, arrogant people, incompetent people. There are Lois Lerners and Eric Sheshinskis, Eric Holders and worse at the top, and Dee Hearns and god knows what at the bottom. There are plenty of good, dedicated government employees too, but the sheer weight of the system makes their impact minimal, and the power of the others to screw it up massive. I honestly don’t understand why everyone doesn’t comprehend this. Maybe they need to spend ten minutes trying to make Dee speak sense.
This means that it is absolute folly to trust your welfare, your autonomy, your health, your finances, your secrets and your ability to run your own life to anyone holding any kind of official power, unless you absolutely have to, and even then, you should so so carefully and with great trepidation and reluctance. You cannot trust them. Most of them are cowards. Most of them do not care about you. Most of them will sacrifice your welfare for theirs in a heartbeat.
An independent professional just cleared my son for release, and I am waiting to see him and give him a hug. We will go over some life lessons at dinner tonight, including…
- Don’t confide in strangers…
- Don’t assume that the person you are talking to is not phobic about guns…
- Don’t get involved in the justice system…
- Don’t trust bureaucrats, because they really don’t care about you, just about finding the path of least resistance…
- If you do find a government employee who actually cares and is competent as well, shake his or her hand, be profuse in your praise, and understand that you were lucky this time….
- Be self-sufficient, be your own worst critic, solve your own problems, and do all you can to help other people solve theirs.
My son just lost two days of his life because everyone wanted the government to do “something” about a crazed killer at Virginia Tech.
I’m not going to forget it, and I know he won’t.