Off the Rails – Good luck legislating evil


The time has come, with a “respectful” amount of time for the modern world’s grieving process, of course, to turn yet another horrific tragedy into a political war zone. It has been just ten days since a madman, a “mucker” for those of you who will understand the Stand on Zanzibar reference, destroyed private property and with extreme forethought and inexcusable malice rained death and dismemberment upon a crowd of people in Las Vegas.

As of press time, no known motive has been presented to “justify” such an abomination to the sanctity of life, not that there could be any justification for these events. Perhaps the lack of a definitive motive is the reason that political leaders and anyone with a modicum of audience attention are clamoring for “stricter gun legislation,” the banning of “bump stocks” and a host of other “gun reform” platforms. 

I am sorry, but if you truly believe that making bump stocks, rifles, handguns or any other firearms illegal will curb mass shootings and other acts of mass murder, you are at the very least naive and at the most delusional. Every government in history has attempted to legislate evil and human nature, and every single government has failed time and time again.

It is without a doubt the most unifying philosophy in all of civilization, barring very specific instances of war and capital punishment, you do not kill another human being. The Golden Rule, the sixth commandment, the first precept of morality for Buddhism, the belief of Karma in Hinduism, 18 U.S. Code Section 1111 etc, etc. Do not kill, do not harm, do not take the life of another … and yet, this man, with more than enough time to change his mind, rented a hotel room, stockpiled weapons and ammunition, stalked his targets, broke a window, took aim and rained death upon thousands of people he did not know. He intended to harm them, he intended to kill them. He did not care about any legislation, any laws, any divine wisdom – he simply wanted to kill.

Do you, in all honesty and with every fiber of your being, truly believe that one more law would have prevented this catastrophe? Do you truly believe that this display of unadulterated evil would have been avoided if he had to go to an unscrupulous arms dealer in a back alley to avoid “paperwork” legalities? Please, tell me you are smarter and more world-aware than that. Because, I assure you that is what would have happened; criminals use criminals to gain the supplies they need.

Maybe it is my upbringing sitting around a dining room table with law enforcement officers as they discussed the criminal mentality, my adult-life of living with and aiding military personnel as they remembered the determination of terrorists or any other number of factors, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that people who want to kill will find a way to kill. You cannot legislate evil, you cannot deter someone who has set their mind to do such a thing as what happened in Las Vegas. You cannot and you will not change the mindset of “muckers” with legislation, penal codes and law reform.

“I can make a guess. There’s going to be trouble. Come to think of it, that’s a safe catch-all prophecy. Whatever happens in present circumstances there is going to be trouble.” ~ John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar


Nicole Shupe is the editor of The Examiner, serving Navasota and Grimes County since 1894.


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