The Two Michaels (Bloomberg and Moore): Fixation On Gun Control Can Come From Dark Places


No one can see into another’s heart, so it’s not right to say that Michael Bloomberg was waiting, with enthusiasm, for another mass shooting to claim American lives.

But after last summer’s Aurora, Colo., movie theater murders, the New York mayor had an anti-gun PR plan in place and ready to go live when the next mad-gunman killing sensation hit TV screens.

There’s a pathology to the eagerness with which gun control advocates fixate on mass killings and their scarlet horror; the spear-tipped acuity of their nauseating pain; the total Grand Guignol of it all, so pornographic in its theatrical celebration of electrifying, lurid violence.

Michael Moore bathes his own imagination in the blood of innocents in his March 13 reverie over what an AR-15 blast will do to the chest of a small child:

As horrifying as this is, there’s more; much more. Dr. Cyril Wecht, past president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, told me this:

The kind of ammunition used by the Newtown killer would have produced very extensive, severe and mutilating injuries of the head and face in these small victims. Depending on the number of shots striking a child’s head, substantial portions of the head would be literally blasted away. The underlying brain tissue would be extensively lacerated with portions of hemorrhagic brain tissue protruding through the fractured calvarium and basilar skull, some of which would remain on portions of the face…actual physical identification of each child would have been extremely difficult, and in many instances impossible, even by the parents of any particular child.

We also know this, according to Dr. Wecht:

In one case, the parents have commented publicly upon the damage to their child, reporting that his chin and left hand were missing. Most probably, this child had brought his hand up to his face in shock and for protection and had the hand blasted away along with the lower part of his face.

Veronique Pozner, the mother of Noah, the six-year-old boy described by Dr. Wecht, insisted that the Governor of Connecticut look at Noah in an open casket. “I needed it to be real to him,” she said. The Governor wept.

Like so many zealots who forget that spectacular and unjust violence is, and always had been, endemic to humanity, Moore wants the public to see what his eyes — apparently recently opened to an age-old grief — have seen. Why? Because he believes such a visual feast will effect a mass epiphany of public opinion over the Evil Guns Do; one he longs for — since, he naively predicts, it would cause everyone, in an instant, to revile the National Rifle Association.

One who harbors the requisite zeal to share such vividly macabre reality-fantasies would understandably find emotional allies among the activists who picket abortion clinics with their colorful, bloody posters.

But not all gun grabbers who awkwardly fetishize their hated weapons fixate on the viscera.

A piece in the New York Observer indicates Bloomberg’s pathological obsession over guns in society is of a different, more obsessive-compulsive kind: He’s driven by numbers.

In his years building the business empire that made him a billionaire, Mr. Bloomberg developed a unique fluency for numbers and learned to view the world through a statistical prism. Multiple people close to Mr. Bloomberg have said that the figure he’s most preoccupied with is the number people in his city who die of preventable causes. This obsession with bringing down the death rate has driven the mayor’s notorious crusades against smoking and sugar, and according to John Feinblatt, the mayor’s chief adviser, it was a major factor behind his decision to step into the national gun control debate several years ago…

… Mr. Bloomberg’s anti-gun battle plan would be driven by data and paid for largely with the mayor’s vast personal fortune, allowing him to fuel the national conversation on gun control. Mr. Wolfson said this strategy “didn’t really crystallize until after Aurora” and stemmed from the mayor’s “real disappointment with the lack of focus last fall on this issue and the sense that the NRA had the field to itself.”

Like all liberal crusaders for social equality, Moore sees only the momentary poignancy and pathos of violent impact, too great a simpleton to see the scale of violence, over much time and in many places, that proceeds from the oppressiveness of liberal policy.

He sees only the individual tyranny of a fist to the face, a bullet to the heart. He is a fool. He does not see the slow, insidious tyranny of the coiling constrictor’s slow crush; of the State’s sterile, incremental co-opting of its free people’s self-will. Forgive him.

Bloomberg’s absurd obsession with such an unmovable stat — “preventable death” — is equally naïve. The mayor’s preoccupation with chasing down a number that relies so heavily on the bending of human nature explains why his policies on soft drinks, guns, cigarettes and painkillers take the legislative end-run approach. Forestalling the Reaper with legislative fiat requires a Nero-like hubris and a megalomaniacal madness. Forgive him.

Historical figures who’ve set their obsessive sights on some elusive Teumessian Fox running through their own minds typically don’t fare so well. They also, typically, make life — and death — very hard for many others. Forgive them.

That men such as these still inspire loyalty from citizen constituencies, that there are a sufficient number of moron followers who surrender up their powers in exchange for the suffocating lie of protection from mankind — it is an amazement, during this so-called Information Age.

For that, there’s no excuse.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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