View Full Version : From A Brother Of One Killed In San Bernadino

12-12-2015, 01:06 PM
Well worth reading:



There Are a Few Things I Would Like to Clarify.

First, although Danny was gay, he was not killed for that reason. The jihadists certainly didn’t stop to ask. Danny was a human being capable of thought and love. That was enough to make him dear to us—and to make him a target for jihad. There are rumors he was Jewish. He was not.

There are also rumors that he saved some people’s lives during the attacks. I know of no evidence to support this, and rumors of this sort (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassie_Bernall) tend to circulate at such times, but it would certainly have been in character. However that may be, nobody’s life should be weighed on the basis of its last few seconds. The reason we miss Danny was his cheerfulness, compassion, and capacity for love throughout his 42 years. He was a man and a brother. (http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2008661312/)

Second, our family does not believe in the supernatural in any way; quite the contrary. But we also do not object to or resent the offers we’ve had from many kind people to pray for us. Indeed, I was shocked and disappointed that some of my fellow atheists rushed in their sadness to insult those who made such offers. As Shakespeare says (http://shakespeare.mit.edu/hamlet/hamlet.5.2.html), we receive offered love like love, and will not wrong it. We appreciate the thoughtfulness of our religious friends, and we celebrate the freedom of, and from, religion that jihadists would destroy.

Third, my family has always believed, and still believes, that all people everywhere have a fundamental right to possess guns for self-defense, against criminals as well as against the government; that this right is enshrined on an equal footing with other essential rights in our Constitution, and that all elected officials are bound by oath to respect and protect it. Efforts to disarm law-abiding people, such as are now underway (http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-terrorist-watch-list-20151207-story.html), are counterproductive and wrong. Danny shared our belief on this matter.

But we also believe that political questions should not be decided on the basis of emotion. Gun rights and other constitutional issues should be subject to rational thought, based on ethics, law, history, and politics. Emotional demands to “do something!” (https://reason.com/blog/2015/12/07/dosomething-vs-dueprocess) are just begging for irresponsible lawmaking. We also recognize that the fact that our loved one happened to believe in gun rights does not make our views either more or less credible than they were before his death. Those interested in the right to possess firearms should study the relevant (http://www.amazon.com/Founders-View-Right-Bear-Arms/dp/0962366471/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1400521582&sr=8-2&keywords=david+young+second+amendment) constitutional history (http://www.amazon.com/The-Origin-Second-Amendment-Commentaries/dp/0962366439/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400521582&sr=8-1&keywords=david+young+second+amendment) and so forth (http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/)—not react based on feelings.

Our own belief is as it has always been: that gun control laws are largely unconstitutional, and mostly ineffective. They certainly were in this case. (https://reason.com/blog/2015/12/04/how-background-checks-and-an-assault-wea) I would suggest that those who agree with us consider making a contribution to the Second Amendment Foundation, (https://www.saf.org/join-saf-or-make-a-donation-3/) the nation’s best and most effective organization devoted to protecting this crucial constitutional right.

The U.S. Needs To Defeat The EnemyFourth, I believe there is no solution to the jihadist threat short of victory against our enemies. When attacked, one has a basic choice: one can curtail one’s own behavior, in hopes that the enemy can be persuaded not to attack again—or one can accept the challenge, and defeat that enemy.

The United States has so far largely chosen the former. For years now, officials of both parties have refused to face the fact that we are targeted by theocratic totalitarian movement, funded and overseen by Saudi Arabia and Iran, among others, which is committed to the destruction of the values essential to civilization. Our current president believes that the war against Islamofascism should be “ended.” But wars are never “ended.” They are either won or lost. Unless we accept the responsibility of victory, attacks like this—like Fort Hood, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Fort_Hood_shooting) like Chattanooga, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Chattanooga_shootings) like Little Rock, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Little_Rock_recruiting_office_shooting) like Los Angeles, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Los_Angeles_International_Airport_shooting) Boston, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Marathon_bombings) Garland, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_Culwell_Center_attack) Madrid, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Madrid_train_bombings) London, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_July_2005_London_bombings) Bali, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Bali_bombings) New Delhi, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Indian_Parliament_attack) Delhi, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Delhi_bombings) Delhi again, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/13_September_2008_Delhi_bombings) Paris, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_2015_%C3%8Ele-de-France_attacks) Paris again, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_2015_Paris_attacks) and so many others, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamist_terrorist_attacks#2010s) including, of course, New York City (http://www.news.com.au/world/pictures-of-911-that-show-you-why-you-should-never-forget/story-fndir2ev-1226717187453)—will only continue.

War is horrible. But it is not the worst horror. A life without freedom or law is still worse. (http://sandefur.typepad.com/freespace/2015/01/peace-love-liberty-lets-do-it-the-other-way-around.html) Peace, said Churchill (https://books.google.com/books?id=j9RBAgAAQBAJ&lpg=PA79&dq=preserved%20by%20praising%20its%20virtues%20chu rchill&pg=PA79#v=onepage&q&f=false), cannot be “preserved by praising its virtues.” Nor by lowering flags to half-staff, reading lists of victims’ names, putting “coexist” bumper stickers on your car, having James Taylor play at your press conferences, (http://www.vox.com/2015/1/16/7555961/john-kerry-james-taylor) etc. That may feel nice, but the future of freedom, peace, and civilization requires more than hugs and hashtags. It demands that we compel the Islamist aggressor, who has warred against us since 1979, to cease making war and accept peace on civilized terms.