Wineke: Will Nihilism Prevail?

Can Journalists And Grieving Communities Coexist In Tragedy?
Eric Gay - staff, AP

FILE - Law enforcement personnel look on as the caskets for Irma Garcia and husband Joe Garcia are carried by pallbearers following a joint service at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, June 1, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. Irma Garcia was killed in the elementary school shooting on May 24. Joe Garcia died two days later.

Our country seems to be experiencing a wave of nihilism that poses a greater threat than anything Donald Trump or “woke” Democrats could ever think up.

There are a lot of definitions of nihilism, mainly holding that values are pointless and that “winning” is everything.

Today, it is expressed most clearly in the gun debate.

If we were to frame it in terms of values, we would be comparing the value of a 10-year-old child waking up tomorrow with the value of an 18-year-old purchasing a combat rifle and ammunition capable of tearing the child apart.

It is hard to imagine that, in any moral society, this debate would even be contemplated. In a nihilistic society, it is not only contemplated but the result will almost surely be resolved in favor of the rifle. Democrats and some Republicans are working hard to find some compromise that might, possibly, with fingers crossed, hinder the sale of such murder weapons but I’ll be surprised if they are successful.

And even the most liberal Democrat bends over backward to assure the public that he has no intention of taking away guns from legitimate owners.

Well, why not? What purpose do these rifles have?

The best answer I have heard is that people use them to kill feral pigs.

So, on the one hand, we have 10-year-old kids in Texas and grocery shoppers in Buffalo, New York, and, on the other hand, we have feral pigs.

Is this a serious discussion?

The other value is the United States Constitution, which guarantees the right of the people to bear arms because a “well-regulated militia being necessary being necessary to the security of a free state. . .” In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled for the first time that the amendment protects the rights of individuals to bear arms.

Fine. Does that ruling apply to assault weapons? If it does, perhaps it should be reversed. Justice Scalia, for one, seems to have no trouble overturning precedent when it comes to abortions, how about when it comes to protecting the lives of 10-year-old kids?

The thing is, if the lives of these kids were meaningless, well, then, the “value” we’re talking about is which side can muster the most votes in Congress.

If their lives did have meaning, then perhaps we ought to stop the crap and engage in meaningful reform.