Utopia, Pacifism, and Guns

Dennis Prager in a recent column examines the reasons the Left offers for derisively rejecting proposals to improve school safety by permitting teachers with firearms training to carry in the classroom. Prager points out that if claims like “we need fewer guns” and “even police officers fire inaccurately” were valid arguments against arming teachers, then they would also be valid arguments for disarming the police. He proceeds to show that, in its logical inconsistency, the Left follows its own consistent pattern of opposing armed resistance to any great evils, such as the Soviet Union, Iran, and Hamas. The title of Prager’s piece is “Why the Left Opposes Arming Teachers.”

All of Prager’s claims are factually accurate. But they do not provide an explanation of why the Left opposes arming teachers, or why, for that matter, it opposes Israeli retaliation against Hamas. The reason is important to know, and not obscure.

Those who align with the Left share a preference for a utopian society in which conflict, and above all violent conflict, is minimal if not entirely absent. I call this a preference because, while I doubt that many people really hold a concrete belief that such a society can ever exist, I am sure (because I know them, and used to be one myself) that many believe that they themselves are innocent of any temptation to violence and would flourish very well in the desired utopia were it ever somehow to arrive.

Thus, while these gentle personas are condemned to lives of continual disappointment amidst our fallen world, they accept a mission to demonstrate their superiority to their surroundings by affirming, when called upon by others of the utopian congregation, their personal commitment to the conflict-free society of the imagination. It’s all about themselves. This mission of advocating, not steps to improve the real world, but steps on a symbolic staircase toward an imaginary one, has recently acquired the label “virtue-signaling,” and the virtues signaled are those of the imaginary conflict- and violence-free utopia.

When such political narcissists think of guns they are drawn almost automatically into the role (I will not say the faith) of conscientious objectors for whom bearing arms for use against a fellow human, regardless of the circumstances, would itself make them guilty souls in the eyes of God. In the imaginary utopia that is their imaginary home, guns are unneeded and simply have no place. On the other hand, those in our country who do choose to own guns thereby mark themselves, by that choice alone, as completely alien to the utopian community; for utopians view a desire to defend oneself and one’s own not as prudent realism, but as ignorance, and symptomatic of an intellect too undeveloped to conceptualize and yearn for a day when self-defense is unnecessary.

With those benighted Yahoos (the Swiftian word for Deplorables) no civil dialogue is possible or acceptable—not possible because the benighted lack the mental equipment to understand utopia, not acceptable because the utopian cannot risk being seen socializing with Yahoos, lest he incur suspicion of a secret kinship with them.  

This scenario takes on heightened drama when acted out in schools, which even non-utopians like to imagine are in essence sheltered environments for the weak and innocent (undisturbed by bullies, sexting, drugs, or even competition), and where the native population of adults, teachers, posture before the public as indulgent rulers of a model community whose sole objective is universal beneficence. Saying, as American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten has, “Teachers don’t want to be armed, they want to teach,” isn’t like saying “Truck drivers don’t want to be armed, they want to move freight,” because teaching is special, one of the few ways of making a living whose practitioners are welcome in the imaginary utopia. Thus guns and their symbolism, foreign to the utopia, are also so foreign to the classroom that even gun-shaped pop-tarts in the hands of children may be subject to confiscation. So the mere thought of teachers bearing actual guns on their persons, for any reason whatsoever, effectively despoils teaching of its virtuous specialness. A utopian can’t be seen countenancing that, or even entertaining it for the purposes of public discussion.

It’s entirely true, as Prager says, that the Left (whom I’d rather call Utopians) won’t take up arms against evil enemies, or even raise a fist; nor will they allow others to do it on their behalf. But the reason isn’t usually that they harbor sympathy for the evil (although a minority, the ideological Marxists, sometimes do).  It’s that they consider the world’s conflicts to be in themselves a greater evil for which they, as Utopians, bear no responsibility and by which they wish to remain uncontaminated. What disturbs them about guns—including toy guns—is not that they are unsafe and perhaps need to be made safer, but that they are impurities forbidden to Utopian hands and minds, and thus entirely beyond the scope of a dialogue with moral inferiors about mere practicalities.

The arguments they condescend to make in public about banning only certain types of guns, arming only certain personnel, or selling only to those of a certain age, are all disingenuous, always. They hate the very idea of guns. That is why the Left opposes arming teachers.

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12 responses to “Utopia, Pacifism, and Guns”

  1. If the ultimate goal is “utopia” and We are mandated to adhere to a “fairness” and an “equality of outcome” sermonized and demanded nonstop by American lawmakers and the Democrat Party, then each and every student and teacher should be assigned their own personal assault rifle.
    Why should any homicidal psychopath be permitted to have a distinct unfair advantage?
    Just discovered the Democrat Party has introduced 2018 legislation that effectively declares war on all law abiding, gun owning Americans:

    • It takes balls o’ brass to propose legal language banning something based purely on styling features. In effect they’re admitting that ‘these styling features are so frightening to people like us that they cannot be allowed to be sold.’

      Let ’em get away with it this time and it’ll keep right on rolling.

      Until, of course, gun owners decide that enough is enough.

      Hey lefties? Trump’s election ISN’T our last chance: He is YOUR last chance. Grow up and get a grip!

  2. A good, thoughtful analysis. I had not considered that it went this deep, but it’s probably right on target.(Couldn’t resist) I still bet that a sizable portion of them are hoplophobes as well.

  3. “A liberal’s paradise would be a place where everybody has guaranteed employment, free comprehensive healthcare, free education, free food, free housing, free clothing, free utilities, and only law enforcement has guns. And believe it or not, such a place does indeed already exist: It’s called Prison.”

    Joe Arpaio

  4. Very well articulated. I long ago realized that everything the left does is for self-celebration. As in: The leftist says, “I vote for the black man for president. See how non-racist I am.” You respond, “Yes, but your black candidate is entirely incompetent and borderline hostile to American values.” The leftist explains, “Never mind that. What’s important is that I be seen as a non-racist for supporting him. O non-racist me, diversiphile me, wonderful me, celebrate ME!” You could substitute any one of their causes in place of their support for the Obama presidency– it’s all about deluding themselves and signaling to their comrades that they’re kind, caring, wonderful human beings, not tainted with the fall like the rest of us. The next question then springs readily to mind: Why are their souls so empty that they must convince themselves that their lives have virtue, purpose and meaning? What’s at the root of this need for this self-delusion, this craving for affirmation? Answer: Because they have turned their back on God, and must look elsewhere for virtue, purpose and meaning. And so the next question: Why have they turned their back on God? Answer: Because He makes expectations on their behavior, especially their moral and sexual behavior– and that is something they cannot abide. It boils down to pride, or in other words, enmity against God– the primal sin.

  5. The left seems to have no problem with violent groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter. In fact, over the years the left has used violence to further its cause on a regular basis. From Lenin & Stalin to Hitler to Ho Chi Minh to Castro & Che to today’s Antifa, the left has used violent fascists tactics to push its ideology of a Marxist Utopia. It’s been people with guns who have stopped them (at least up until now).

    • “The left” encompasses committed revolutionaries and “useful idiots,” the latter more numerous. While the idiots accept the violence of the revolutionaries and in that sense loosely have “no problem” with it, I think it would be more precise to say that for the idiots revolutionary violence is a problem they have had to learn to get around. They minimize or deny it, decline to accept responsibility for it, and construe its *symbolism* as not ultimately violent (“breaking eggs”). Note that the names “Antifa” and “BLM” don’t actually proclaim any kind of violence (and in BLM not even conflict), while NRA does indicate violence (in the R). To idiots of a certain kind, that symbolism matters, and it’s the trace of their problem with violence.

  6. Bruce, haven’t you noticed that this sort of thing has paralleled the rise of women in politics, business, academia, and even the clergy?

  7. “They hate the very idea of guns.”

    Let me clarify that: progs hate the very idea of guns….in anybody’s hands other than their own.”