When Solutions Become the Problem
Imagine you're experiencing serious chest pain, shortness of breath, and all the traumatic signs of a heart attack.
You dial 9-1-1, and the ambulance arrives. Once inside the ambulance, the paramedics stabilize you, check your vitals, and verify your symptoms. Upon arriving at the hospital, you are ushered to the emergency room because the paramedics confirm you show all the signs of a heart attack.
Once you're assigned to a room in comes the doctor who will determine the most prudent and immediate course of action to save your life. However, the doctor seems distracted. While you continue to struggle to breathe and the chest pain worsens, the doctor seems to be fixated on some swelling in your knee.
"How long has your knee been this swollen," the doctor asks.
Because the pain in your chest is so great and you fear dying without saying a proper goodbye to your loved ones, you are becoming increasingly disoriented. You thought you heard the doctor ask you about your knee, but you aren't sure and can't believe he'd ask you about your knee given the cardiac arrest that threatens your life this very instant.
"I'm sorry, what did you say," you manage to ask the doctor through your shortness of breath.
"Your knee," he repeats. "Your knee is really swollen. How long has it been like this? Do you have some fluid in there that needs drained? You know, you're going to have a hard time maintaining an active lifestyle at your age with a knee that bad. Sure, you're in great shape now, but if you don't get that knee checked out you'll be overweight on the BMI chart in no time."
"Doctor, please...I...can't...breathe," you plead.
"No really, this knee is something else," he continues, seemingly oblivious to the life and death situation you're currently faced with. As he checks your knee's structural integrity he adds, "I don't think you have any torn ligaments, but at the very least your knee is out of alignment and that can affect your posture as well. In fact, if you start exercising to lose weight a knee this out of alignment could cause hip and back issues. Come to think of it, your knee problems may stem from a back and hip issue. Do you have frequent lower back pain or weakness in your hips?"
You're sweating profusely now, and the pain is overwhelming. You're trying to pray to God for deliverance and ask for your family as well before it's too late, but it's hard to stay focused on anything other than the pain, let alone the doctor's pestering questions about your knee. You're a middle-aged man in good shape, you exercise often, and as you get older that puts more tread on your tires so to speak. Hence, the swollen knee. You agree people ought to take good care of themselves, which is why you take responsibility for yourself and eat right (except on special occasions) and work out. You didn't contribute to this heart attack. Sometimes bad things just happen in a fallen world no matter how hard you try to prevent them. Nobody lives forever.
To get this doctor to prevent your looming death, you try to scream for another doctor or a nurse to intervene on your behalf, but the pain is just too great.
"This is why I'm so concerned about the obesity epidemic in our country right now," the doctor continues, as he also continues examining your lower body all the while ignoring what's currently threatening your life. "Have I told you about the 'Healthy Lifestyle Healthy Hearts' organization that I serve on the board of? Our mission is to try and prevent heart attacks from happening by taking away the fatty foods and lazy lifestyles that lead to heart attacks in the first place."
Now you can't keep your eyes open. Consciousness is slipping away. The pain is so great you want to black out, but you fear blacking out may really mean dying so you try to fight it with all you have. Alas, you muster the energy to make one last attempt to get the doctor to help you before it's too late.
"Doc...tor...plleeasse....my chest...heertt...atttaacckkk," you wail with your last breath of life.
The doctor responds by giving you a referral card to the 'Healthy Lifestyle Healthy Hearts' organization, and then tells the nurse to refer you to an orthopedic surgeon. Those are the last words you ever hear.
This parable perfectly describes the Left's approach to the Second Amendment and gun violence in this country. For example:
ESPN's Rick Reilly tweets: "The lead Boston bomber was on a terror watch list, but in the U.S. that doesn't stop you from buying semi-automatic rifles. Congrats, Congress."
Fact: All of the guns possessed by the alleged Boston bombers were already illegal.
Actor, comedian, talk show shot Jay Mohr says Boston bombing means we need to get rid of the Second Amendment. Al Sharpton echoes those sentiments by saying the events in Boston call for more gun control.
Fact: It was called the Boston Bombing, not the Boston Shooting. Nobody died from gun violence in the Boston Bombing, except one heroic cop and one of the bombers. All other casualties came from a bomb, not a gun.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, the Left says we need more gun control.
Fact: The architects of the Toomey-Manchin anti-Second Amendment bill admit that it wouldn't have prevented Sandy Hook. Prior to Sandy Hook, Connecticut already ranked among the top five states in the country with the toughest gun laws. Chicago and Washington, D.C. rank among the toughest gun control cities in the country, and they're also two of the places you're most likely to be murdered by a gun.
Is the patient's knee in the parable worth having a doctor look at? Absolutely, but would treating that knee prevent him from dying from a heart attack, or prevent any heart attacks in the future? Absolutely not.
So why the focus on the patient's knee, when the real issue is his heart? It's because the doctor has his own agenda, and an organization to advance that agenda that must justify its existence. That doctor may really care about people, which is why he wants to help them via his organization, but he's so myopically focused on his agenda that he pushes it at the expense of helping people.
That's exactly what some well-intentioned people on the Left are doing with the Second Amendment (and healthcare, and broken families, and poverty, etc.).