I had a brief exchange with a friend some time ago. It was about gun-control. He argued in its favor, while I was strongly contrary.
His main thesis was that government should prevent people to have a gun ready at hand when they are in emotional distress. At this I peacefully replied “Do you think you wouldn’t be able to restrain yourself, knowing that guns are dangerous?”
And he said yes.
Not only the argument is stupid, but the reason at its heart is ridiculous.
While I do agree that men are fallen, we have to acknowledge that there’s nothing as losing total control of your actions, at least if you haven’t gone completely mad. You do things because you want to, even when they’re evil in nature. The notions stating that you commit evil because you’ve lost control, and that by taking away dangerous objects the State can prevent you from doing them, are not only of the dumbest naivety, but also the most detached from reality visions of humanity.
Of course this comes from the Leftist idea that there’s no intrinsec evil in man, and that it’s all a fault of society and economy (nerd term for “common people living normal lives”, btw). And that’s why most people presenting that argument are Leftists. But there’s more than that.
The plagues of our time are low self-esteem, lack of control and lack of self-awareness. A healthily self-conscious and confident person (which doesn’t mean an arrogant narcisist, for Pete’s sake) can’t have this kind of problem, because he knows himself and how his own will is decisive in any matter. The self-unaware, instead, is ignorant of his own self and scared of his shadow.
But what can you do, most young people have grown up with tender and soft parenting. We’ve not been taught how to deal with risk and danger, and how to take them intelligently. It’s better to demand everything to whatever institution we have right now. How were most people supposed to gain control of their own self?
As you keep opening this matrioska of moral weakness and stupidity, eventually you’ll find the smallest doll, the heart of the problem. It’s definitely materialism.
It’s a weird vicious circle, but once you put soul and matter on the same level, subject and object on the same grade of agency, then you end up elevating the material over the spiritual, so objects above will and action. Because, why not? We’re already making a mistake, it’s better to be wrong twice!
So here that the person becomes irrelevant and all that matters is the system, or the tool. Frankly, first, it’s insulting. Second, it’s dehumanizing. Third, it only leads to terrible consequences.
The problem has long crossed the borders of the West. It’s a global matter. Not as a society, but as the human race, we can solve (rather, mend) only so much if we don’t address this. A vision which sees a man subdued by matter will only result in mass enslaving. Deny people agency and you’ll get cattle.