The terrorist attack by radical Islamists in San Bernadino is shifting to the back burner as the media continues on its drumbeat to report All Things Trump. Now they are reporting, non-stop, that Trump, of all people, is criticizing Sen. Cruz for calling out people as liars, using the term, “maniac”. Wow, as if Trump has ANY credibility whatsoever on chastising someone for what they say (and in Cruz’s case, he was RIGHT).
Then there is the upcoming Republican debate on CNN (ugh) Tuesday nigh. Once again, there are going to be a gazillion people on the stage. But the media continues to frame everyone else’s run in relation to Trump, which is problematic on a host of levels, both for the candidates, and for us.
But that is for tomorrow. Before we get too removed from the terror attack, I want to share with you a piece I read over the weekend. It was written by the brother of one of the victims, Daniel Kaufman, at his blog, Freespace: Timothy Sandefur, and reprinted in The Federalist. I recommend you read the entire post, especially as Sandefur writes about the man his brother was, how much he loved animals, how kind he was, and how very loved he was. It is powerful, and moving, a true testament to this man lost to soon for his family, and for us as a society.
But there were other parts of this piece by Sandefur, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation and the Cato Institute, that were powerful, too. That would be some of the points made about our country. From The Federalist:
[…] 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.
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, 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, 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!” 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 constitutional history and so forth—not react based on feelings.
Amen to that. No legislation should be based on emotionalism rather than taking a step back after a tragic event, and allowing reason to inform laws.
I also appreciate Sandefur’s response to the offer of prayers for him and his family over their tragic loss, even though his family are apparently atheists. That generosity is something sorely lacking from many on the Left, and too many atheists who seek to impose their religion on the rest of us (like this most recent example of a Nativity scene being removed and an atheist monument taking its place during CHRISTMASTIDE). Sandefur’s ability to accept prayers for what they are – an outpouring of love and support in a time of grief – is a lesson many could learn about graciousness.
Sandefur had more to say in the aftermath of this terror attack:
[…] Fourth, 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.
War is horrible. But it is not the worst horror. A life without freedom or law is still worse. Peace, said Churchill, 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, 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.
Danny and I watched the attacks of September 11, 2001, together on the TV in our living room. I can say with certainty that—to the extent that so kind a man was capable of understanding such evil—he believed in defying the barbarian by living just as we choose: freely, tolerantly, skeptically, joyfully, laughingly, humanly. After the (most recent) Paris attack, Danny enjoyed watching over and over again this well-known video by Andrew Neil. It expresses very well what he believed, and what our family believes. […] (Click here to read the rest.)
It is clear that neither one of these brothers underestimated what our enemies were capable of doing to this nation, and our leaders would do well to heed some of Sandefur’s advice in this regard (as well as others).
I cannot imagine how hard it was for Sandefur to write this piece after his brother was killed, and buried. I thank him for doing so, though, and yes, my prayers go out to him and his family at this difficult time, as well as the families and friends of the other victims of terrorism in CA. I hope and pray that we will learn from the mistakes made, and and stop backing down to those who seek to do us harm.
I can hope, right?
This is an Open Thread.