ONTD Political

by Garry Wills

(for which see Leviticus 18.21, 20.1-5). The sacrifice referred to was of living children consumed in the fires of offering to Moloch. Ever since then, worship of Moloch has been the sign of a deeply degraded culture. Ancient Romans justified the destruction of Carthage by noting that children were sacrificed to Moloch there. Milton represented Moloch as the first pagan god who joined Satan’s war on humankind:

First Moloch, horrid king, besmear’d with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents’ tears,
Though for the noise of Drums and Timbrels loud
Their children’s cries unheard, that pass’d through fire
To his grim idol. (Paradise Lost 1.392-96)

Read again those lines, with recent images seared into our brains—“besmeared with blood” and “parents’ tears.” They give the real meaning of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning. That horror cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector. Sometimes this is done by mass killings (eight this year), sometimes by private offerings to the god (thousands this year).

The gun is not a mere tool, a bit of technology, a political issue, a point of debate. It is an object of reverence. Devotion to it precludes interruption with the sacrifices it entails. Like most gods, it does what it will, and cannot be questioned. Its acolytes think it is capable only of good things. It guarantees life and safety and freedom. It even guarantees law. Law grows from it. Then how can law question it?

Its power to do good is matched by its incapacity to do anything wrong. It cannot kill. Thwarting the god is what kills. If it seems to kill, that is only because the god’s bottomless appetite for death has not been adequately fed. The answer to problems caused by guns is more guns, millions of guns, guns everywhere, carried openly, carried secretly, in bars, in churches, in offices, in government buildings. Only the lack of guns can be a curse, not their beneficent omnipresence.

Adoration of Moloch permeates the country, imposing a hushed silence as he works his will. One cannot question his rites, even as the blood is gushing through the idol’s teeth. The White House spokesman invokes the silence of traditional in religious ceremony. “It is not the time” to question Moloch. No time is right for showing disrespect for Moloch.

The fact that the gun is a reverenced god can be seen in its manifold and apparently resistless powers. How do we worship it? Let us count the ways:

1. It has the power to destroy the reasoning process. It forbids making logical connections. We are required to deny that there is any connection between the fact that we have the greatest number of guns in private hands and the greatest number of deaths from them. Denial on this scale always comes from or is protected by religious fundamentalism. Thus do we deny global warming, or evolution, or biblical errancy. Reason is helpless before such abject faith.

2. It has the power to turn all our politicians as a class into invertebrate and mute attendants at the shrine. None dare suggest that Moloch can in any way be reined in without being denounced by the pope of this religion, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre, as trying to destroy Moloch, to take away all guns. They whimper and say they never entertained such heresy. Many flourish their guns while campaigning, or boast that they have themselves hunted “vermin.” Better that the children die or their lives be blasted than that a politician should risk an election against the dread sentence of NRA excommunication.

3. It has the power to distort our constitutional thinking. It says that the right to “bear arms,” a military term, gives anyone, anywhere in our country, the power to mow down civilians with military weapons. Even the Supreme Court has been cowed, reversing its own long history of recognizing that the Second Amendment applied to militias. Now the court feels bound to guarantee that any every madman can indulge his “religion” of slaughter. Moloch brooks no dissent, even from the highest court in the land.

Though LaPierre is the pope of this religion, its most successful Peter the Hermit, preaching the crusade for Moloch, was Charlton Heston, a symbol of the Americanism of loving guns. I have often thought that we should raise a statue of Heston at each of the many sites of multiple murders around our land. We would soon have armies of statues, whole droves of Heston acolytes standing sentry at the shrines of Moloch dotting the landscape. Molochism is the one religion that can never be separated from the state. The state itself bows down to Moloch, and protects the sacrifices made to him. So let us celebrate the falling bodies and rising statues as a demonstration of our fealty, our bondage, to the great god Gun.

December 15, 2012, 5:25 p.m.


This is probably one of the most frighteningly accurate analogies ever for gun culture in the US.
deborahw37 18th-Dec-2012 07:54 pm (UTC)
just read an article in the New York Times suggesting that gun purchase be limited to one per month. One per MONTH??? How about one per lifetime? Seriously, unless you're shooting for the pot or are a farmer or sportsman ( in which case special licences could be obtained) how many guns do you need?

How about you can buy one gun for personal use/ protection and if you want to upgrade it or whatever you have to hand that one in before you can take another one home? Combine that with a recall / amnesty/ compensation for/ destruction of existing weapons and with keeping proper records from here on in.
Oh and, just as you have to licence and register and insure a car and pass a test and maintain a license to drive one so should it be with guns. There should also be the equivalent of the UK system of unannounced checks on condition and storage of guns and ammo.

I keep reading elsewhere on the net that guns are banned in the UK. That isn't true . I was discussing this at a community project on Sunday, of the ten volunteers there, six are gun owners. There are guns in this village, there are guns on this farm. Licensed, regulated, regularly checked and there for the purposes of farming, shooting for the pot and vermin control and sport ( clay pigeon shooting mostly).

After much head scratching the oldest member of the team recalled one gun related accident ( non fatal) and, sadly, one suicide by gun in living memory.

Oh and one armed hold up of the post office in a nearby village some years ago... the weapon wasn't fired.

So, even in a tightly regulated society guns can be an issue but mostly we feel pretty safe simply because there are less of them and they tend to be rifles or shotguns rather than hand guns or military grade rapid fire weapons.

The idea of needing guards at our schools, a lock down drill for our children or guns for self protection is simply unthinkable!! For one thing " going armed" is an offence in itself. For another we have pretty clear " reasonable force" laws covering all aspects of self defence.

This isn't about a ban, this is about sensible regulation.

And the hysteria and influence of the gun lobby is preventing a sensible debate.

Edited at 2012-12-18 07:55 pm (UTC)
romp 19th-Dec-2012 03:38 am (UTC)
Right, regulation =/= inability to access a gun. According to the last Inspector Banks novel I read, possession of an unregistered gun results in a mandatory prison sentence. That sounds serious! But who other than a criminal would want one?
deborahw37 19th-Dec-2012 07:28 am (UTC)
Correct, unregistered guns carry mandatory prison time,

Misuse of registered guns ( including, incorrect storage or possesion of ammunition not licensed for sporting use) carries loss of gun licence for life, fines and seizure of guns.

In our village one guy lost his licence for putting up a notice warning would be burglars that there was a gun on the premises.

Pointing a gun in the direction of any person carries loss of licence... in a recent court case a farmer fired a shot to scare a trespasser.. that trespasser was an off duty policeman, that farmer will never hold a gun licence again and has a hefty fine and court costs to pay.
peace_piper 19th-Dec-2012 07:52 am (UTC)
Limit to one per MONTH, what the shit.

When I read recently about another plan to shoot up something and the wannabe killer had over $100,000 worth of guns, I just.... how many do you need!? And that much? How much does your average gun cost? For a hundred grand, you could've bought my house, two working cars and one semester at college and you spent it on GUNS instead?
deborahw37 19th-Dec-2012 07:55 am (UTC)
My sentiments entirely!
betray802 20th-Dec-2012 12:42 am (UTC)
After the Institute for Broken Minds told my father he was no longer necessary or useful for their purposes, his mother (a hateful wretch of the first water, I'm not arguing that point) loaned him $500. He promptly went out and bought himself another hunting rifle, despite the fact that it had to that date been ten full years since he'd come home successful from hunting season.

I was 15, and had no shame at flipping shit on my mother. "Electric lights! Hot running water! FOOD!" She starts whining that if she and dad had spent that $500 on the running and upkeep of the household, Grandma "will start thinking she has the right to tell us how to run our lives!"

"We won't have lives if we starve to death to suit your pride!"
thenakedcat 19th-Dec-2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
I suspect the "1 per month" rule (which I agree points up the utter absurdity of our overall attitude toward guns) is aimed at "straw purchasing" for drug cartels, the stuff that Operation Fast and Furious was investigating. (Often Mexican) cartels bankroll US citizens with no criminal record to go buy dozens of guns at a time (in loosely regulated states like Arizona) and then immediately turn around and hand the guns to the cartel. Reducing the number of guns available to 1 per person per month would make this a much less desirable option.
deborahw37 19th-Dec-2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
Good grief! Dozens at a time and that's legal?

America's lack of sensible firearm legislation is boggling my mind
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