Remedies for Lawlessness Proposed
No topic has for a long time so engrossed
public attention as the cowardly attempt to assassinate President
McKinley. The labor world joins with all other classes in reprobating
this act of an insane crank. He calls himself an anarchist, but
even they refuse to admit that he is one of them or that their teachings
are in any way responsible for his mad act.
It is likely that investigation will
prove the assassin simply an irresponsible crank, acting upon his
own initiative and without any connection with an organized band
of conspirators. It is to be hoped that no set of people in this
country are so lost or so blind to the real spirit of our institutions
as to believe that the murder of our chief executive by a cowardly
assassin could have any possible justification. It is more likely
that Czolgocz belongs to the ignorant and fanatical class who are
admitted so readily to our shores, without question as to their
antecedents or as to their intention to conform to both the spirit
and the letter of our institutions.
Every citizen, regardless of class
or station, felt a thrill of horror and indignation that the president
should have been attacked in the performance of one of the most
peaceful and democratic functions which fall to the lot of our chief
executive. Probably no president has ever been personally more popular
than McKinley; whether one agreed with him politically or not, it
was impossible to escape the influence of his kindly and genial
personality on meeting him.
The attack upon the president has
raised a good many puzzling problems. It is out of the question
that the ruler of a free country should seclude himself from the
public for fear of assassination. Yet it is terrible to think that
the recent attack may be duplicated in the future, at any time.
The first remedy is one that organized
labor has been advocating for years. That is, that more stringent
immigration laws shall be passed, and that they shall be strictly
enforced. The greed of certain classes of employers for cheap labor
should not be allowed to throw open our gates to every fanatic and
criminal-minded person who chooses to come here.
Next, the spirit of our free institutions
should be better observed. The vast combinations of capital should
remember that they are not the masters of the country. We must have
more education, more enlightenment, a higher conception of the duties
of citizenship, more individual responsibility among the masses
of the country.
Organized labor has tried to accomplish
this work in the past. It will not relax its efforts in the future.
It will welcome all aid from those who perhaps are just beginning
to see the necessity of such effort.