It’s the culture

Nobody seems to want to admit it, but it’s our culture!

School shootings aren’t new. But, Americans have owned guns aplenty for more-than 200 years of nationhood and it seems that we’ve never had school shootings as we have experienced in the past few years. Neither has the rest of the modern world, but school, church and shopping mall attacks have been occurring even in countries with the strictest gun controls (e.g., Scotland, Germany, Norway, Japan). What has changed?

How about “that which must not be named”?

The old-guard leftists of the Frankfurter and Antonio Gramsci (you can “wiki” those names) school knew that to fundamentally remake society, you first had to destroy the church, society and the family. I would say Gramsci and Frankfurter school alumnae have had a pretty good success record.

Ever since LBJ’s 1960s “War on Poverty”, families have been disintegrating. It started with the most vulnerable (inner city blacks, where now 70% of children have no fathers) and has now spread to white, non-Hispanic families (close-to 30% of children born out of wedlock). Often, children in such families are left largely unsupervised, grow up without good male role models and enjoy ready access to the most depraved pornography, graphic violence, weapons, drugs and other vices through the internet and their peers, starting at a very young and formative age. One can try to prevent their kids’ access to this at home, but how does one prevent them from going down the street to a friends’ house?

I couldn’t help but notice that the first media reports of the shooter (whom I refuse to name and help make more famous) mentioned a mother but didn’t mention a father. Sure enough, the latest reports by a British news outlet, The Daily Mail, are of a boy traumatized by a three-year old divorce. Why did he single out his mother as the first victim? We may never know, but I suspect that the divorce may have had something to do with it. We are also learning that (surprise!) the shooter was a compulsive violent-video gamer.

Youth and adolescence are a time when kids should be learning communication skills and how to interact with adults and peers. Instead, too many kids appear to be devolving into lonely social outcasts and losers (a non-PC term I use for emphasis only). Throw in mental illness, they can become dangerous (the source of much of this mental illness is a worthy topic in and of itself…but think about what hours and hours of sitting in front of a screen does to the developing brain of a young child?). These are the years when their neuro linkages are being formed.

The mass media and punditry immediately started talking about this shooter’s “obvious” mental problems, thereby anointing him a member of “victim” class and providing absolution for his sins. I don’t buy any of it. I can understand someone crazed with rage shooting their mother in the heat of the moment, but the premeditation and time the shooter needed took to travel to a school after killing his own mother and destroying young kids’ lives in psychopathic cold blood point not mental illness but a willing pact made with evil. It is evil, pure and simple, nothing less. At one point, this shooter was confronted with a choice and he chose evil. Why did he make that choice? Here’s a thought:

What are the cultural messages that get hammered into young kids’ brains today? There is no reward in elevation, but there is reward in depravity. Our mass media hammers into their developing brains, over and over again, that to be depraved is to be “famous”, a powerful siren’s song for lonely outcast kids. These kids know that the quickest way to fame and even fortune is to act depraved and to be guaranteed that their depravity will be broadcast widely over the internet and throughout the global media. Some of them grow into mega stars (I’m thinking of Rapper culture, Madonna, Lady Gaga and Jerry Springers as just a few examples), further amplifying the siren’s song. The mass media, vigilantly on the lookout for breaking news 24/7, is complicit in this, for it is the internet and mass media that provide monsters their 15 minutes of fame. Remember that the next time you look at how our TV screens extol depravity. Btw, if you doubt me about just how depraved our culture has become, then Google [game kindergarten killer].

Sorry to have to use the word “depraved” of course. In our Gramsci-Frankfurter culture, such terms are soooooo judgmental and we don’t dare to be judgmental, do we? Why, other people might not like us, a sentence worse than death for too many adults that never outgrew their adolescence.

So what do we do about it? We can start by focusing on our own kids, knowing that our obligation as parents is not just to love them but to build them spiritually into good citizens and to armor them against the bad influences in our imperfect world. We can extend support to single parents, especially those trying to work jobs simply to survive, and we help provide guidance to their kids. These are the days when wolves stalk a land in which too many people have forgotten how to recognize wolves for what they are. And, if you decide to have children, get married and stay married, so that you can nurture, protect and educate your children into solid citizens together. My very brilliant spouse, a middle-school teacher, tells me that she can tell right away when her students’ families are trouble by the way that the kids lash-out in school. She has already lost too many of her former students to drugs and suicide.

Rely on our churches? Maybe, but so many have become such weak tea. My own Episcopal church…part of the Anglican Communion that produced such great theological thinkers and moral stalwarts as C.S. Lewis (our patron saint, in my view)…has been complicit in this. It is so terrified of being perceived as “uncool” that it doesn’t dare attack popular culture or elevate its members above the culture…unless, of course, it is a soft target, such as those really uncool, nagging, square conservatives (a minority group of which I count myself a proud member). The sad fact is that my church, sadly dominated at the top by Frankfurter-Gramsci disciples, spends far too much of its time and effort huffing and puffing to keep up with the latest social trends in its frantic effort to appear cool and contemporary while pushing its “social justice” agenda. I don’t recall my church’s leadership ever raising a peep of protest against the depravity of contemporary culture. Excuses, yes. Protests, no. Quite the opposite.

One of my FB friends just shared an electronic ad from our church’s head bishop that includes scatological epiphets to get the message across. Soooo, soooo cool! So with it! Some churches are great builders of spiritual armor. Not this one. It prefers to be complicit with a depraved culture. It follows, it does not have the courage to lead. You may ask, of course, why I don’t leave this church, so I will answer that: because it is precisely there that I am needed. There are many good people there. I and others do speak out and try to nurture and strengthen our children with spiritual armor.

Is the solution to force honest citizens to surrender their weapons? That is thinking with the heart rather than the head. I am so, so totally against this. The solution to an outbreak of wolves is not to defang the guard dogs. In this age of the wolf, we need more guard dogs, not less.

The Connecticut school shooting could have been stopped right away had there been one or more people on premise with guns, a circumstance that today would land any would-be guard dog in jail without passing “go”. Chances are that, had the shooter known that the school was protected, he would never have dared go there. The only real defense against a gun…is a gun. Mass murderers tend to be cowards that seek out soft, undefended targets like schools and churches. Guns, like drugs, will always be available to psychopaths, criminals and terrorists. If not guns, there are always knives, automobiles, poison gas, molotov cocktails or fertilizer bombs. Taking guns away from civilians only creates a larger pool of defenseless sheep available for slaughter. One of my FB friends also suggested that only government and police should have weapons. Scary thought. Look around the world today: now, that is one very scary thought. Government and law enforcement magnets for wolves. But, then, this is how people who have never had to confront wolves perceive the world. Like the Hobbits of the Shire, content to eat, drink and be merry, free of cares. But, reality eventually intrudes and we cannot magically “wish” wolves away into oblivion.

Finally, there is one particular aspect of this that really, really bothers me: young kids for decades have been getting gunned down, knifed, beaten to death, suffocated and raped in our inner cities. But, other than perfunctory hand-wringing, we never saw an outcry against this compared to what occurred after this most recent shooting in a well-to-do middle class community. Gee, what could the reason for this be? Yup, you’re right.

We won’t change what appears to be happening with increasing frequency to our society until we decide that we will stand up and dare to speak out against the increased depravity of our culture. Definitely “uncool”, but we must do it…for all families, for the kids and for our future. Otherwise, it can only continue to get much, much worse. It is the age of the wolf.

Factual weaponry for the stalwart foot soldiers fighting on behalf of the 2nd Amendment in the cause of Common Sense

I thought it would be useful to assemble in one place factual data refuting the Left’s instinctive demand for gun control in response to the Newtown tragedy.  In no particular order, I’m setting out their arguments and the factual counter arguments:

England is the most violent country in the Western world

1.  America’s out-of-control guns make it the most violent place in the world.  False.  First of all, there are two different types of violence.  The first is violence by a government against its people.  The second is violence by a people against each other.

Thankfully, America is still way, way, way low on the list of violence by a government against its people.  I’m sure that the beleaguered citizens in North Korea, or China, or Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, or Gaza and the West Bank, Saudi Arabia, or Iran, or in any other dictatorship around the world would love to have a chance to live in America.  They would laugh at what we call “violence,” because they understand that the worst violence is always that visited by an armed government against an unarmed citizenry.

As for the people against people violence, putting aside fairly anarchic places such as Brazil or Peru or Mexico, America still doesn’t even rank near the top of the list.  The most violent place to live if you’re afraid of your fellow citizens is . . . drumroll please . . . England, a country with ferociously stiff gun control laws.  (See the chart, above.)  Incidentally, the violent crime rate in England increased dramatically from the moment the Labour government put extremely harsh gun-control laws in place.  Not only was there more gun crime, there was more of every kind of crime.  If you read the British papers, you learn that the Brits got very creative about violence, resorting with ferocity to knives, broken bottles, head stomps, drowning, choking, poisoning, etc.  People who want to kill will kill.

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Bring out your dead in Acapulco

2.  Countries with strict gun control laws don’t have mass murders along the lines of Columbine or Newtown.  False.  There are three types of mass murderers:  (1) ideological killers, who are usually Muslims with the random Timothy McVeigh thrown in for good measure; (2) insane people; and (3) professional killers, along the lines of the drug gangs Mexico.  These people are driven to kill and will do so regardless of any limitations placed upon them.

Your crazed or professional killers will always get guns and bombs, as Anders Breivik did when he killed 77 people, mostly children, in strict-gun-control Norway.  They will use fertilizer and box cutters to turn trucks and airplanes into bombs, as Timothy McVeigh did in Oklahoma and Al Qaeda did on 9/11.  They will turn cities into charnel houses, as the Mexico drug gangs have done in Mexico, despite Mexico having some of the strictest gun control laws in the world.  (Of course, the interesting twist to the Mexico murders is that Attorney General Eric Holder ignored Mexican law and ran hundreds of illegal weapons into Mexico, courtesy of Operation Fast and Furious.)  They will blow up buses and subways, as Muslim extremists did in London; and trains, as Muslim extremists did in Spain.  They will slaughter school children, as one madman did in Scotland.  Islamic extremists in Mumbai were not slowed down even a little bit by India’s strict gun control laws.  Germany, another country in love with strict gun control, also couldn’t stop a mass murder at a school.  Gun control does not stop mass murder.

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Widowed teen mother shoots home intruder

3.  Gun control in America will lower the number of gun related murdersFalse.  Even if one concedes that ideological killers, insane people, and professional killers are in a class by themselves, and operate outside of gun control laws, won’t gun control laws stop garden-variety criminals, suicides, and impulse killers?  No.  Emphatically no.  Guns are a very useful deterrent, especially for women.  Men have a physical advantage over women, but they don’t have any advantage over a trained and armed woman.  (The picture above is of Sarah McKinley, an 18-year-old widow and mother of a small child, who killed home intruders seeking drugs.) Homeowners are sitting ducks if robbers know that they are unable to defend themselves.  If you doubt these assertions, just look at the statistics.

Howard Nemorov kindly assembled some statistics and they show definitively what the NRA has always claimed:  when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns:

Collating gun ownership rates with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) homicide data underscores the above conclusions:

* States with the lowest firearms ownership average the highest firearm and non-firearm homicide rates.
* As firearms ownership rates increase, homicide rates generally decrease.
* States with the highest gun ownership have the lowest firearms homicide rates.

[UPDATE: I've also been reminded that Switzerland and Israel, both of which arm their citizens, have amongst the lowest violent crime rates in the world.]

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Fort Hood shooter

4.  At the very least, gun free zones are safe placesFalse.  Gun free zones are barrels and those in the zone are the fish.  Gun free zones are the one place in the world the mass murderer knows that he cannot be stopped.  This is true whether the gun free zone is an army base, a school in Columbine, or a university in Virginia.  In each of these locations, mass murderers took advantage of everyone else’s unarmed status to go on gleeful killing sprees.  (Glenn Reynolds has more here.)

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Second Amendment

5.  Congress should outlaw gunsFalse.  Even if you think Congress should, it can’t.  Like it or not, the Second Amendment stands in the way, stating as a matter of contract between government and people that the American people the right to bear arms.  There is only one mechanism to bypass the Second Amendment — more amendment.  Or, as Article 5 of the Constitution says:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Funnily enough, gun control advocates seem disinclined to attempt either of the options the Constitution provides for its amendment.

[UPDATE: In the comments, Wolf Howling noted that, while Congress can't do anything, an activist Supreme Court can. This raises an interesting question. Since the beginning of the 19th century the Supreme Court has granted itself the power to interpret a law's constitutionality. Does that same power give it the right to interpret the Second Amendment out of existence? In other words, can the Supreme Court effectively nullify a Constitutional Amendment?]

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Pulp Fiction

6.  America’s culture is violentSort of true, but let’s figure out where to place the blame.  I say “sort of true” because, while America certainly isn’t up there with Britain or certain other European countries when it comes to violence, we’re certainly a more violent country than Iceland or Japan.  (Although Japan has an insanely high suicide rate, so lack of both violence and guns doesn’t mean lack of suffering.)  Because we are a ginormous, heterogeneous country with a huge influx of immigrants, both legal and illegal, we are never going to have the social unanimity that other countries use as a counter to violence.  We cannot mimic Iceland or Japan because our population is too differently constituted.  In this regard, it’s worth noting that Nordic countries such as Sweden, Norway, and Denmark that have opened their Leftist hearts to a vast influx of Muslim immigrants who don’t subscribe to Nordic social norms have seen a huge increase in one very specific type of violence:  rape.

There’s another reason America has a violent culture:  our entertainment industry celebrates it.  Movies, TV shows, video games, and music are all blood-soaked.  They are also all the product of a dominant Progressive industry.  Yup — the people who are selling American disarmament are also the same people glorifying an extraordinarily violent culture.  My suggestion is that, before the Progressives take away my Constitutional right to bear arms, they give some thought to changing the message they sell to America and the rest of the world.

[UPDATE:  USMaleSF had the courage in the comments to speak the unspeakable:  America's violent culture tends to cluster around blacks and, more than that, it clusters around ghettos, with the greatest number of gun crimes being black on black crime.  Stating this fact honestly should be seen as the opposite of racism.  I, safe in my little suburban enclave, am far removed from this scourge.  The ones at risk are blacks themselves, especially women, children, and adolescent males.  The political correctness that silences our tongues makes us morally complicit in a violent subculture that preys upon itself.]