Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Mandalay Bay: Some Thoughts

     By now, Gentle Reader, you know everything that I know about the massacre at Las Vegas’s Mandalay Bay hotel, and possibly more, so I’m not going to recap the news for you. I’m just going to record a few thoughts about it...thoughts you’ve probably had, as well.

     Concerts of any sort are crowd venues. A crowd is inherently more vulnerable to this sort of development than a looser distribution of the same number of persons. Ol’ Remus has been telling us for years to stay away from crowds. It’s advice we should heed, even if it diminishes our pleasures somewhat.

     Americans’ reasons for forming a crowd have been dwindling. This is a good thing for our personal security. That having been said, what non-discretionary reasons remain to become part of a crowd? Is there anything we can do to reduce them further?

     As our population grows, so will the number of persons who are seriously deranged and inclined to express themselves violently. Whether our numbers increase through immigration or procreation, the monsters will multiply.

     The population of the United States a century ago sufficed to produce only one notable monster: Albert Fish. There are at least three times as many of “us” today, and many of “us” aren’t really “of us.” To my mind, that suggests proportions even more dire, especially given the several forces attempting to recruit and energize the monstrously inclined.

     Certain things can be expected from the political class and its media enablers in the wake of an atrocity such as Mandalay Bay. The Left, to which everything is necessarily political, will politicize it. The Establishment Right, which can’t stand to be left out of the reportage, will perform ritual public gestures of sorrow. The media will do its damnedest to promote the sentiments of the former while casting doubt on the sincerity of the latter. Anyone intelligent enough to comprehend my drivel could write the script for himself.

     It’s more important than ever before to avoid being drawn into the rhetorical furball that results. There have always been atrocities, and the more humans occupy this ball of rock, the more there will be. If there’s anything constructive a common citizen could do after such an event, other than to pray for the souls of the victims, I can’t think what it might be. Accordingly, I exhort you to prefer privacy.

     There are weapons everywhere. When I look around me, I can see ways to employ at least half the items I see as weapons – lethal weapons. If your house has windows – it does, doesn’t it? – you’re surrounded by potential weapons:

     He taught her the use of weapons of all kinds, from sticks and stones to automatic firearms and explosives. He even taught her how to fashion weapons for impromptu stabbing and gouging, for slashing away a hand or head.
     "Wherever there's glass, you have potential weapons. If your opponent is any good, he'll know that too, so don't delay. Watch." He turned to face a rectangular-frame easel, on which he had mounted a pane of window glass. His right hand flattened and struck the pane near the top, a thrust too fast for the eye to follow. As the fragments of the pane fell to the mat, he opened his hand to display an oblong segment that he'd caught flat against his palm.
     "This is how you make a dagger from a window or a mirror. In a straight fight, it can be decisive."
     She looked uneasy. "How did you learn that? How do I practice it without losing both hands in the process?"
     He shook his head. "I won't permit that to happen."

     [From On Broken Wings]

     Don’t imagine that you could be made “safe” by a campaign against the private ownership of weapons. It hasn’t worked anywhere it’s been tried. Of course, the Left would prefer that you not know or ponder that highly inconvenient fact.

     There’s been an effusion of contempt for the victims from various figures on the Left, especially in the political class and the media. You’re probably aware of some of it. Those who’ve displayed their hatred for us in the Right aren’t all suffering appropriate consequences. Just as with the ongoing chastisement of the NFL for condoning displays of contempt for the national anthem, some of that must come from us.

     We can’t be sure the constituency that elected this waste of protoplasm will eject him from his seat. It would be nice, but if there’s anything in politics more reliable than the loyalty of Democrat constituencies to Democrat politicians, it escapes me for the moment.

     Niccolo de Machiavelli is one of the least well appreciated political thinkers in Western history, entirely because of his book The Prince, which he wrote to catch the eye of Lorenzo de Medici. When I decided to delve into his other work, I was surprised to discover his passionate republican sympathies and the thoroughgoing rationality of his sentiments. Yet the single most valuable sentence routinely attributed to him is one he might not have written:

     “Before all else, be armed.”

     In a world we must share with predators of every variety and magnitude, there is no more important advice one could be given. Be armed. But there are some important codicils:

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Be ready to react to adverse developments.
  • And be sensible about your ability to affect matters positively.

     Sometimes the best you can do, no matter how you’re equipped, is to run or hide. The mass slaughter at Mandalay Bay was just such an event. Which makes Ol’ Remus’s advice about crowds more imperative than ever.


JC said...

There are no dangerous things. There are only dangerous men.

1104wrhmr6r said...

Cogito, ergo armatum sum.
I think, therefore I am armed.