Not all white Americans in the 19th Century were Ku Klux Klan racists looking to terrorize or murder blacks.
In fact, only a tiny, wee bitty fractional minority of white Americans signed up for the KKK and went looking to terrorize or murder blacks.
Sound familiar? It should.
NUMBERS DON’T MATTER TO VICTIMS
Substitute Muslims for white Americans, substitute jihadis for KKK racists, substitute LGBTs for blacks, and it’s the narrative Hillary Clinton is chanting after the Orlando nightclub massacre:
Not all Muslims are jihadis looking to terrorize or murder gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people.
In fact, only a tiny, wee bitty fractional minority of Muslims are jihadis looking to terrorize or murder gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people.
This lesson in arithmetic, of course, offers little comfort to the families of the dead or the wounded still suffering in hospitals.
THE PRIORITY: SELF-PROTECTION
Mrs. Clinton is right, of course. And she’s talking about something far from the most important thing.
In the 19th Century and later, which mattered more to any black person: The exact percentage of white Americans who were KKK terrorists? or figuring out ways to protect themselves?
Today, which matters more to any gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered person: The exact percentage of Muslims who are jihadi terrorists? or figuring out ways to protect themselves?
Clearly, people figuring out ways to protect themselves and all they love is a much greater priority than calculating percentages of tyrants among various populations.
Within any large population, the percentage of tyrannical souls is always small. That has been true throughout all of human history, everywhere, regardless of cultural context, and remains true today. Being told that only some Muslims, not all, seek to terrorize and murder LGBTs is no original insight and not very helpful—no more helpful than telling a black man being tortured by the KKK in 1880 that only some, not all white Americans were racist Klan members.
CAN WE FOR ONCE LEARN FROM HISTORY INSTEAD OF REPEATING IT?
Here’s something Mrs. Clinton and other Americans might consider:
As the KKK grew back then, who among blacks in the United States were the safest, or least likely to be terrorized or murdered by the KKK?
Answer: American blacks who were armed and prepared at all times to protect themselves, their friends, their families, their property.
So too as the numbers of Muslim jihadis in the United States grows today (whether immigrants or natural born citizens), who among LGBT persons are least likely to be terrorized or murdered by Muslim jihadis?
Answer: LGBT people who are armed and prepared at all times to protect themselves, their friends, their families, their property.
UGLY HISTORY OF GUN CONTROL LAWS: NOT SOMETHING OF WHICH TO BE PROUD OR TO PROMOTE
American gun control laws have an ugly history inseparable from racism and the desire to use the power of government to prevent vulnerable people from becoming well-defended people who ought not be trifled with because they can protect themselves quite well.
Anyone who cares about the safety of our friends and family members who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered, as well as all other citizens, should recoil at the notion of further restricting the ability of Americans to be armed and secure.
That is why Mrs. Clinton ought to stop using every act of violence as fodder to expand the regulatory power and reach of government. The results of massive government control are always the same: individual freedom gets squeezed into smaller and smaller orbits, and unfree individuals end up less safe than they were before government took over their lives. This is not theory or speculation. It’s historical fact. It’s a fact bound up in the immutable essence of human nature.
Instead of some Americans looking to control others, let’s give this attitude a whirl: Americans should be fiercely independent. Spirited. Well-armed. And free, oh-so-free to live their lives as they please!
Let us talk openly about what needs to happen so that the mere thought of harming Americans strikes fear in the minds who contemplate such things. And if Mrs. Clinton would like to do something good, as opposed merely to expanding the power of the government of which she has been a part most of her adult life, she can join that conversation.