Blue Force Gear Quote of the Day: The Symptom or the Problem? by Dan Zimmerman | Oct 09, 2016 | 63 comments facebook twitter linkedin email “More young men have guns than wallets.” – Demetrius Williams in Guns are Killing St. Louis [via slate.com] comments uncommon_sense says: October 9, 2016 at 08:19 I keep wondering if the masses will ever acknowledge the human condition and its propensity for chaos and violence. The root problem in St. Louis and other urban Hell holes: the nuclear family is destroyed and the children and young men do not have God in their lives. Detractors can denigrate Judeo-Christian values all they want … Judeo-Christian enclaves are NOT the Hell holes that we see in our inner cities. Attacking firearms and firearm ownership will not eliminate the suffering. Reply Mr. Woodcock says: October 9, 2016 at 08:36 +1. Well stated. Reply Nativeson says: October 9, 2016 at 09:00 +2. Well stated. It’s not merely a problem of guns and young men. After all, tens of thousands of young American men are heavily armed on a daily basis and pose no threat to public safety. They’re called police officers, soldiers and Marines. The problem is the decaying culture in the inner cities that glorifies promiscuity, violence and lawlessness. No amount of gun control will cure that problem. Reply Mac says: October 9, 2016 at 09:56 +3 & +1 Both (uncommon sense & Nativeson) have hit the nail on the head and summed up the situation & cause. Reply Tom in Oregon says: October 9, 2016 at 10:46 +4 Gov. William J Le Petomane says: October 9, 2016 at 09:09 More young men have guns than fathers. Reply uncommon_sense says: October 9, 2016 at 12:48 Now THAT is about the most succinct and profound thing that we can say. That HAS to be our LOUD response every time someone tries to say something about how many firearms people have in inner-cities. Reply Resident CT says: October 9, 2016 at 13:44 Lots of guys have money clips rather than wallets. Or does it mean to say that more men are carrying “purses” rather than wallets? Or third option, it is hyperbole pretending to be profound. Reply Kevin b says: October 9, 2016 at 15:12 To repeat: #BlackFathersMatter Reply ThomasR says: October 9, 2016 at 09:45 Yep. Some of the bloodiest and most savage people on the planet with the highest body count (over two hundred million) in the last hundred years has been those that deny the existence of G-d. Over 50 million murdered in this country alone is of the unborn. The bible is a manual based on the laws of nature; given to us by a loving G-d on how to build a society that supports and nurtures life. When people reject this truth; they are automatically embracing death. “By their fruits you will know them”. Reply junkman says: October 9, 2016 at 20:11 “By their fruits you will know them”.–Exactly Reply MouseGun says: October 9, 2016 at 10:11 I grew up without religion and I’m not robbing and raping. Quit pretending that morality is exclusive to your magical carpenter. Reply Soylent Green says: October 9, 2016 at 10:17 I’m not a religious person by any means, but the masses, especially the sheep; religion helps keep them in line, and gives them a moral standard to adhere to. Not everyone needs that, but even if you don’t beleive it’s generally a beneficial thing…at least locally. Reply ThomasR says: October 9, 2016 at 13:47 Those in power have always used the most common belief system, in the past christianity, to rally the “speople” in the need for more power, control and mass murder. For the last hundred years, the common belief system to rally the “sheople” for more power and mass murder has been a belief in no god. The current athiests and agnostics are the ones responsible for supporting the worst blood baths by power mad monsters of recent history. Stalin, Mao, and the liberal/progressives that mostly support the mass murder of the unborn. ThomasR says: October 9, 2016 at 10:50 So did I. I was an agnostic, in the Bay Area in CA. A libertarian/progressive that thought that anyone that believed in a higher was a fool, and worse. I was very ethical, honest, and true. I ran a home repair business where I gave a good service at a good price and never charged a customer for a repair that wasn’t needed. But then my eyes were opened, and I experienced a direct connection to the universal intelligence, otherwise called G-d. I was blind, and then I could see. An individual can be honest, hard working and pay their bills. They may not be a rapist or mass murderer without believing in G-d. People like you and what I once was benefited from coming from a Judeo/christian back ground. Like I said, it takes time to destroy to destroy the foundation, the roots, of what had been given us by our ancestors. But you and I don’t have the power of life and death i our hands, those with power that loudly proudly and deny the existence of any higher power than their own ego, those are the ones we need to worry about. I’m sure there were honorable and honest Russians and Chinese when Stalin and Mao were killing their hundreds of millions. If a person can justify the murder of the most helpless among us for convenience, they can justify the murder of those that have survived the womb. If you no longer serve the purposes of those that have the power, do you think they might decide you no longer deserve to live? But just as a person can say that they can deny the laws of nature, like gravity, when they step off the edge of a tall building and go into free fall, so can a society deny the existence of G-d’s law, for a time. But the sudden stop at the end will show you that you can only deny the laws of nature for only so long. If you can not see the rot, like that we read every day, see every day on the TV screen, if you choose to be blind to the fact that we are reaching the point of economic collapse in the level of debt that we as a society have accumulated, if you choose to deny the level of hatred of life we embrace as a society by the tens of millions murdered of the unborn, so be it. But the laws of nature will not be denied. Those that embrace life will ultimately prosper, those that choose death, well, they will get what they choose. Reply the ruester says: October 9, 2016 at 12:24 +∞ Jonathan - Houston says: October 9, 2016 at 13:52 Sure, just as soon as you quit pretending you’re a decent human being. Maybe a little Christian religion in your upbringing would have instilled in you a little more respect for other people’s faith, you sanctimonious little prig. And the worst part is, you only express that bile on line. No WAY you’re walking up to a stranger in real life and unloading that pantload on them. Reply ThomasR says: October 9, 2016 at 16:56 Hmm, interesting response J-H. You don’t specify who you’re throwing adhominems, insults and derogatory comments at. But by the commonly accepted rules of debate, if you have no counter argument beyond what you just spewed out, the other person’s post automatically is “true”. The other person you’re attacking “wins” the debate. May be you can clarify, with a rebuttal to the actual post, and not with a character attack. Some Bloke says: October 9, 2016 at 10:42 Patently incorrect. The decline in belief in invisible, omnipresent, omnipotent (which contains an internal logical contradiction), omniscient, djinns has nothing causal to do with the continual devaluation of the nuclear family. That’s an effect, not a cause. It’s also untrue in the US at least. The decline in belief has a large number of causes at its root which can be seen as early as 1925 with the Scopes trial which demonstrated that American christians were entirely ok with defending doctrine even if doing so ignored both demonstrable reality and mainstream America. This sort of blatant ignoring if reality does nothing to help protestant churches maintain membership numbers. Catholics have fared far better in this respect in the last century due to a relatively recent willingness to accept that the scriptures are nothing more than bronze age myth, parable and fable and not a literal history of the universe. Catholics have accepted that God can be the why but can’t be assigned as the how when we can quite easily demonstrate the how without the need for magic. But, I digress. The decline of the nuclear family really started to heat up in the 50’s and early 60’s. It gained energy and societal legitimacy via a huge youth bulge that was created by the simple act of baby boomers returning from WWII to make babies and partly by the parenting failures of the boomers themselves. The youth bulge made the politics of protest the default method of the day, breaking generations old traditions of engaging in proper politics directly to achieve goals. As such, the children borne of parents who came of age in that period, and so the modern nuclear family are the ultimate victims of WWII. Their parents were scarred and in large part broken. The men suffering PTSD had no outlet which would have allowed them to learn to be involved fathers that teach their children how to be adults. Instead you get the stereotype of the detached, emotional tampon of a man sitting reading and smoking a pipe in his study while being alone rather than engaging with his kids. Men became a source of future discipline instead of real-time education and love. The idea that religiosity in the USA has declined is also questionable statistically. As a whole the ratios of religious believers to non-believers in the USA has pretty much stayed the same. Declines in membership in the old blue blooded churches of episcopals, baptists, methodists are in large part due to the fact that those sects have become very open and inclusive (aka, they’re not interpreting the scriptures as literally or with as authoritarian a bent), especially of social taboos like homosexuality. Those losses though have been largely offset by dramatic increases in membership in new paradigm churches that preach corrupt interpretations of the scriptures such as the “prosperity doctrine”. These new paradigm churches are generally lacking in acceptance of outsiders, highly literal in their interpretations. They are the new fundamentalists. These new paradigm fundamentalist churches are not as much spiritual organizations as political ones though and that’s helped to erode their legitimacy in the eyes of the young. The interpretations of scripture made by these new entrants are destined to destroy the last ounce of credibility that protestant christian religion in the USA has left and good riddance to bad rubbish. Reply JasonM says: October 9, 2016 at 13:24 Also you forgot the welfare state. Thomas Sowell (a black economist/social theorist) has written volumes about how LBJ’s welfare state destroyed the black family and community. But it did buy lots of votes for democrats, which in the end is the most important thing. Reply uncommon_sense says: October 9, 2016 at 13:29 Some Bloke, You are patently incorrect. History demonstrates amply that mankind is absolutely predisposed to murder, rape, pillage, and plunder … individually, communally, tribally, and nationally. The ONLY thing that stops such carnal behavior is a personal commitment to honorable living … and that only happens in large numbers when an entire tribe, society, or nation embraces honorable living and impresses it upon their families and community. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any example where that has happened outside of a Judeo-Christian context. Looking at it from another angle, if an entire region rejects Judeo-Christian underpinnings, there is absolutely no reason not to murder, rape, pillage, and plunder because there are no absolutes that transcend whims and current Earthly power structures. Or are you going to try and tell me that “morality” is whatever a majority of society declares? If that is your position, then you have to tell me how slavery in 1800 United States was a good institution. Reply ThomasR says: October 10, 2016 at 10:06 Yep. The Progressives get all misty eyed about the American indian tribes before the europeans arrived and how they were living with nature and each each other in peace and harmony. Umm, no. Think Sons of Anarchy, with a lot more rape, pillage , plunder and torture thrown in. The Indian tribes had what was described as a Retributive culture. You raid my tribe, taking material, food and slaves, I raid your tribe, but we hit you even harder and kill even more of your tribe. An eye for an eye and tooth for,a tooth, literally. The current outlaw biker gangs, like the Hells Angels and Bandito’s are light weights in comparison. Me says: October 9, 2016 at 13:32 Rise and fall of Marxism. Reply Jonathan - Houston says: October 9, 2016 at 13:55 Blah blah blah…..hate hate hate…..from some nobody who has nothing better to do than trash people’s religion, and who offers no better idea as to the origin of existence. Reply DaveL says: October 9, 2016 at 12:36 Nonsense. Religion or the lack thereof has nothing to do with it. You don’t see this kind of thing in highly secular communities, which tend to be affluent in this country. You do see it in communities with three churches to every block. Reply uncommon_sense says: October 9, 2016 at 13:41 Sources? More to the point, I will argue that you see just as much destructive behavior in affluent secular communities as you do in urban ghettos. The only difference is the form of destructive behavior … and how obvious the destructiveness of the behavior is. And even that is questionable. I can easily see that illegal narcotic use would be even more prolific in affluent secular communities because they have more disposable income to purchase more narcotics. And we could say the same for sexual promiscuity. Corruption and white-collar crime are certainly much more common in affluent secular communities than in destitute urban ghettos. The point is, if there is no internal mechanism (e.g. a conscience informed of timeless standards of honorable conduct) to restrain someone’s actions, then they will not restrain their actions. And I don’t see affluent secular communities doing anything to discourage plenty of destructive activity. I DO see Judeo-Christian communities discouraging destructive activity. Reply DaveL says: October 10, 2016 at 05:45 Sources? I don’t remember anyone providing sources for the original claim. Funny how that works, eh? How about we start with this, follow up with a little on divorce rates, and round it out with a little of this. By contrast, all you have to offer in rebuttal are more of the same assumptions based on the same prejudice. Have you ever bothered to actually check whether these assumptions were true? Do you even care whether they’re true or not, as long as they make you feel better about yourself? Furthermore, it’s insultingly stupid to believe secular parents don’t inculcate their children with timeless moral teachings. Did you not realize that the history of secular ethics predates the Christian gospels, or the Koran? Cliff H says: October 9, 2016 at 19:23 Way to start out the thread on a strong note, however, for those of us not inclined to the religious aspect, the concept of a well-armed populace would be the equivalent of the Mighty Hand of God, as in when the sinner (Bad Guy/Terrorist) reveals him/herself they are immediately struck down by the lightning of return fire. Guns in the hands of the people should be omnipresent and omnipotent. Remember, “God helps those who help themselves.” And that doesn’t mean those who help themselves to other people’s stuff. Reply barnbwt says: October 9, 2016 at 08:20 They still have more wallets than holsters, I’d wager Reply 2004done says: October 9, 2016 at 11:37 It’s so hard to argue when you unfairly use facts instead of “feelings” for your basis. And you’re being very unfair to all unicorns and utopias. (sarcasm end) Reply derfel cadarn says: October 9, 2016 at 08:24 Have no doubts that if guns were to disappear tomorrow that the killings would continue. Guns being inanimate objects require human intervention to do any killing, so lets be honest here and speak the truth, thugs are killing St Louis. Reply Chip Bennett says: October 9, 2016 at 08:37 That’s because it’s impossible to carry a wallet when the waist of one’s pants is sagging down to one’s knees – whereas a stolen pistol can still be carried in the waistband of one’s drawers. In other words: the observed condition, if true, is the result of personal decisions and actions. Those who wish to carry a wallet – and to have hard-earned money to keep in it – manage to find a way to do so. Those who do not, find excuses to justify their condition. Reply neiowa says: October 9, 2016 at 08:40 Don’t need a wallet when everyone else has one (with money in it). Reply Cliff H says: October 9, 2016 at 19:28 Keeping the wallet or purse you just stole would be evidence of your crime. It’s bad enough you have to keep the credit and debit cards with the sucker’s name on them. Reply TyrannyOfEvilMen says: October 9, 2016 at 08:48 The poor in the United States have more today than they have ever had. The problem is not in the wallet or in the holster, but in the hearts of men and women who would do evil. Reply former water walker says: October 9, 2016 at 08:57 Them boyz are just plain evil. They ne ed Jesus. Oh and a $2 wallet from rhe dollar store… Reply John L. says: October 9, 2016 at 08:58 Hyperbole aside… The real problem is that these “young men” have no prospects, no real education, and no real future. And they’re embedded within a culture that demands no personal accountability for their actions, encourages the “thug life” and denigrates and humiliates anyone who tries to better their lot through actually working at their education. But there are three obstacles to addressing all of that. One, it will be hard work. Two, it will take a long time. And three, it requires admitting there is a problem with the culture and not the fault of some other “keeping them down.” Re the last point, yes, there are circumstances when groups of people are deliberately kept down. In the US that had pretty much officially ended with the 60’s civil rights victories. Anyone can get an education *if* they choose to, and *if* their parents and community support them doing so. If you have a smart phone or can get to a library with internet access, you have access to most of the accumulated knowledge of the human race. But you have to want to use it. I guess it’s easier to blame guns. So, two questions. What do you plan on blaming when all the guns are gone and the young men are still thugs? What do you plan to do when you’ve run out of other things to blame? Reply 16V says: October 9, 2016 at 09:50 Agreed. The reality is that at this point, it is the black choice to live like this, nothing more. This is what they want on the Northside of STL. If they want to have hope, a future, be rewarded for working, not live in a crime-ridden ‘hood, they only have to move, and get away from “black culture”. I have black friends who left the ‘hood, I’ve had black employees who’ve left the ‘hood. They were smart enough to actually take advantage of the myriad of handouts and jobs that were available to them simply for being black. Some got into colleges they were underqualified for, others filled a quota, some were actually competitive, but being black gets you the job. Uncle Sugar has been making it rain for 30+ years. Blacks smart enough to tie their shoes, and willing to leave “black culture” behind have their ticket already punched. All they have to do is pick it up. But most don’t want to. They prefer their way of life, despite the inevitable consequences. They actively choose to live like this. There are doors open everywhere, they choose not to walk through them, instead standing in place and whining that we aren’t carrying them. Reply Quasimofo says: October 9, 2016 at 11:02 +1, and I write that with sadness. I wonder how much different/better things would be for the African-American community if Washington’s approach had won over DuBois’. Reply 2004done says: October 9, 2016 at 11:49 Thank you, I had completely “forgotten” about the early 20th century divide (I’m not old enough to have more than only read it). 16V says: October 9, 2016 at 22:02 I wholeheartedly agree, it is a shame. But for black Americans, the choice really is simple – pick your life. If you wish to live like an animal the system will accept that, and deal with you accordingly. If you want to play by the rules of our civilization, our system will grant you gifts beyond measure. You get to jump to the head of the line despite your lack of qualifications, despite the fact that no laws are in your disfavor, and have not been in your lifetime. ThomasR says: October 9, 2016 at 10:07 Like the young man that was in the article at the link. He was living the thug life, getting shot and getting jail time along the way. So deciding to take responsibility for his life; he cuts his dreads, gets rid of his gold teeth, pulls his pants up and starts a landscaping business. As an aside. I was self-employed for 15 years. If you don’t want to be wage slave, get an advanced degree, or start a business. Reply Sam I Am says: October 9, 2016 at 10:41 “Re the last point, yes, there are circumstances when groups of people are deliberately kept down. In the US that had pretty much officially ended with the 60’s civil rights victories.” Oddly, conditions were better during the period prior to 1960. Just thought I’d leave this here from Professor Walter Williams (who is not a “real balckman” because he didn’t stay in the inner city): http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1261 Reply Mk10108 says: October 9, 2016 at 11:55 “And they’re embedded within a culture that demands no personal accountability” Its government that embeds no professional or personal accountability when it makes a mockery of law. Reply Gov. William J Le Petomane says: October 9, 2016 at 09:12 I can only speak for myself, but I have more guns than wallets. I don’t really have a need for more than one wallet. Reply Dyspeptic Gunsmith says: October 9, 2016 at 13:03 Yea, I was about to say the same thing. That, and I can buy a damn fine wallet (made of high grade leather) for under $100. A Glock, which seems to be all the fashion rage in that community, costs at least four Franklins. So… what’s their excuse for not having a wallet? Reply strych9 says: October 9, 2016 at 14:02 Their excuse? Why buy a wallet when the gun makes other people into walking ATM’s? Besides, large stacks of bills from street sales of whatever they’re selling don’t fit in a wallet. You just rubber band the bills together and toss them in your pocket. Reply Geoff PR says: October 9, 2016 at 14:21 “So… what’s their excuse for not having a wallet?” Money in a wallet doesn’t impress their peers when they pull it out to ‘flash’ their cash… Reply Andrew Lias says: October 9, 2016 at 09:26 Perhaps they have money clips instead? Seriously though, symptom. I’ve been saying that for a long time. An individual of poor character is still an individual of poor character regardless of having a fire arm or not. Reply B says: October 9, 2016 at 09:43 Their culture is toxic and their lives do not matter. They bring nothing to this world and will leave it worse than it was when they were born. I award him no points, and may god have mercy on his soul. Reply Hasdrubal says: October 9, 2016 at 09:56 Wait, their own wallets, or other people’s wallets? Probably makes a big difference here. Reply Louis Marschalko says: October 9, 2016 at 10:03 They have the $$$ to buy the illegal guns on the black market. People were poor during the Great Depression, too. Many jobs in large cities are performed by immigrants, legal and illegal, because native born Americans won’t take them. Reply C.S. says: October 9, 2016 at 10:12 … cuz we don’t like our cash stolen… Reply Joe R. says: October 9, 2016 at 11:39 That kind of guns problem could be cured, CURED, with chemically induced infertility (beating the evil POS Planne(D) Parenthoo(D) to (scissor) punch so to speak. We’ve tried everything else, $ for schools, churches, midnight basketball, cash for staying out of trouble. Nope. Funny how, the problem doesn’t follow “GUNS”. It follows a certain set of people (you guess the diversity of demographic). Pound your “We’re F’d up, we need to fix the rest of you” sh_t up your a_ _. Reply Mike says: October 9, 2016 at 13:11 It would be nice, if slate had included the fact that the Democratic Mayor and Democratic Alderman of the city has reduced the number of police, after school programs, blight clean up , and Instituted “gun courts” which do nothing to punish gun crime. As an aside the only gun store in the city of Saint Louis, closed this week. Reply strych9 says: October 9, 2016 at 13:12 This is the typical easy solution to a complex problem. Personally, I don’t see religion playing a big part in this. The fact is that governmental policies have incentivized bad behavior. The lack of a father in the home is a direct result of the way that the welfare state has been set up. The lack of educational opportunities for many of these young men is a direct result of government education policy, policy that would seem to a casual observer to be designed to destroy the school system while providing a slush fund for politicians and their cronies in the teacher’s unions. Even further, many cities seem to be run with an eye towards enhancing the lives of the people who run the city rather than enhancing opportunities for the average citizen of that city. Combine this with a concerted effort to convince these folks that they’re being held down by systemic racism and you end up with a bunch of fatherless young men with a poor education, no real direction in life, a resentment towards “the system” and what they view, somewhat rightly, as a total lack of opportunities. That type of young man is easy prey for gangs which offer him the sense of structure and direction that he wants along with the lure of “quick and easy” money. I hate act like TV has all the answers but this kinda nails it: Reply Ralph says: October 9, 2016 at 13:52 “More young (black) men have guns than wallets.” No problem. Whichever they’re holding in their hand, the cops will shoot them just the same. Reply Jonathan - Houston says: October 9, 2016 at 14:01 Those people’s problem is that they’re still waiting around for, in their words, “the powers that be”, to do something about their condition. Nobody gives a damn about anybody else. Get off your butts and do for yourself. That those idiots keep expecting help and keep lining up to vote for people who promise, but never deliver, is all that the powers that be care about. They encourage dependency and despondency and convert these idiots’ lives of misery into their own lifelong privilege of power. Want to break the cycle? Move out of the ‘hood, stay away from drugs/gangs/crime, get an education, get a job, get married, and don’t have kids until you’re ready. Reject that formula at your own peril. Reply Ing says: October 10, 2016 at 01:56 What kind of idiot walks around without a wallet? Answer this question, and you’ll solve the world’s crime problem. For hell’s sake, where does Slate FIND all these morons who are so slick with words and so empty-headed? Reply Kaban says: October 10, 2016 at 02:55 There is ample evidence that just having a wallet is often not enough to obtain, let alone carry, a gun legally. Does that mean that those fine young men obtain their guns *gasp* illegally? Golly, gun control is really good at solving that! (oh, and I’ve been to places with murder rate 50% more than St.Louis, where crime with either legal or illegal handgun is virtually unheard of. Religion or not.) Reply Docduracoat says: October 10, 2016 at 11:10 I don’t have a wallet I carry my drivers license, debit card and ccw in my shirt pocket My car keys go right front pocket Cell phone is carried in right hand I always have my Sig 938 in an Uncle Mikes size 3 IWB left appendix Spare magazine is loose in left front pocket That’s it Every day, even in gun free zones Reply PeterK says: October 10, 2016 at 13:16 As easy as guns are supposedly to make. I’m pretty sure making my own wallet was easier. And yes I really did. It’s an ultralight ripstop model. Super nice. Reply Henry says: October 15, 2016 at 06:23 Of course this is true, and for obvious reasons. If you have a gun, you can always get a wallet. Conversely, if you have a wallet, you can’t always get a gun. Reply Write a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.