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Charles C. W. Cooke (courtesy

“Unsatisfying as it may be to contemplate, the United States needs to come to terms with the fact that it has a problem of the heart and not of the law. The material questions here are, ‘Why do so many children in America wish to massacre and maim their schoolmates?’; ‘Why are so many teenagers obsessed with the abomination at Columbine?’; and ‘What on earth can be pushing young men to carefully plan the execution of their families?’ Spending our time debating which regulations we might impose upon the content and the law-abiding may feel good, but, in a country with this many firearms, it is ultimately futile. America has a school shooting problem, and the operative word is ‘school.'” – Charles C. W. Cooke, School Shootings and America’s Problem of the Heart [via]

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  1. Charles is very much on point. The anti’s on the other don’t want to do this because there too busy trying to push a gun control agenda than getting to the root of the problem.

    • ^ This.

      And who says that gun grabbers are honestly trying to prevent another school massacre? As far as I can tell, gun grabbers are simply capitalizing on school massacres as justification to ban firearms.

  2. No, @charlescwcooke, America has a #gunsense problem. Thare are over 300 million guns and over 90 million gun owners in this country. It’s a miracle we only have 11 thousand homicides! I mean, that’s 0.012% of all gun owners! They’re all so bloodthirsty!

    Fortunately, we at Everytown for Gun Safety™ are really not interested in firearms safety at all, as we have started a $50 million grassroots operation to outspend the #OogaBoogaNRA and fly @shannonrwatts and her 35 disciples to protest the evil #gunlobby that murders all protesters with their #OogaBooga semi fully automatic guns.

  3. I think that is the exactly heart of the issue right there. Great article.

  4. America has family problems. Bring back the family system with 2 parents in the home that actually know what the kids are doing, or care what the kids are doing, teach them values and how to respect life,liberty, and other peoples property. When this was popular prior 1900-1960’s how many school shootings happened? (Sorry for run on sentence don’t correct my Grammer I just woke up)

    • Nailed it! Sadly, two-parent families seem to be in short supply where the problems are the worst.

    • Well I reviewed again the lists of school shootings, mostly directed at teachers from suitors and ill treated students or thier parents, they happened 1-2 a year from 1860-current, but I’m sure the media didn’t turn every event into a circus like it does now.

    • I agree also included should be all the damn drugs we are giving these kids for any minute ailment . i.e ADD, ADHD, depression. in one instance as for ADD that is pharmaceutical grade speed, the purest of the pure we are giving these kids it’s better then the speed we/I was offered in my youth 30 years ago back in the 70’s …you can’t tell me that it does not play a part in this sad but true issue

      • The crazy thing is that that “high grade speed”, acts to actually slow us (people who are ADD/ADHD) down. I don’t take any ADD medicine anymore, but I did when I was a kid. I was amazed at how much it slowed down the whirlwind. To this day I am grateful that I did, as it gave me a view of what “normal-ish” was, which allowed me to achieve a similar state without drugs, which I never would have been able to do on my own. I simply had no idea that other people lived like this. It’s amazing to watch a kid on “speed” finally be able to finish a coherent sentence, and hold an idea all the way through to the end. I’ve worked with them. I’ve seen both conditions from both sides.

        • The problem with this scenario is that all too often we are medicating a symptom and ignoring the root problem. This is the nature of modern medicine.

        • Well said. ADD/ADHD are real conditions (not illnesses) and can be properly treated with—oddly enough—stimulants. The key to making it all work is having a proper diagnosis by a licensed clinician.

        • It seems that frequently the goal of achieving that state without the drugs is never set, and the brains ability to do so further atrophies.

      • Can’t speak about the ADD/ADHD, but I’ll say the problem isn’t so much kids taking anti-depressants today as kids that have stopped taking anti-depressants very recently.

        • I imagine there is a graph somewhere showing what the correlation is, and I also imagine that it is double secret for some reason, neither we nor our lawgivers will ever have access. But I think what you say has merit. With no evidence.

          • Just speaking from personal experience with Paxil about fifteen years ago. Took them for two years and abruptly quit when I decided the side effects outweighed the benefits. It was a rough two months until it was finally out out of my system. Had to keep a tight rein on impulses and emotions.

            Today, I’d rather deal with day-to-day depression than with the hassle of doctor visits and side effects. Plus, I think treatment for depression is going to be the next disqualifier for gun ownership.

    • Actually, we had one or two a year throughout the 1900s, and a slightly lesser incidence before that.

      The difference now is more one of scale, partially due to better weapons than Dad’s (or ones own) revolver, but due mostly to the instant notoriety involved. The only good news is bad news, y’know.

      There’s nothing inherrently worse about brown kids shooting up Chicago than about white kids going at it with switchblades in the ’30s, but it’s more noticeable because it’s loud.

      There’ve always been problem kids, and while a decent home life helps, it’s not the whole of the solution. Neither should a gal stay with a wife-beater (or a guy with a husband-beater) out of some misplaced loyalty to the to-parent household.

      Looking at anything multidimensional from only one point in space simply won’t do.

      • Other than in the movies, did white kids actually go at it with switchblades in the ’30s? What would make us think so, and where was this happening?

    • Jeff makes a good point (despite just waking up) that a major contributing factor to these child/young adult perpetrated tragedies is the breakdown of our traditional family system, with 2 parents in the home that actually know what the kids are doing, and care what the kids are doing, teach them values and how to respect life, liberty, and other peoples property.

      Our modern, predominantly liberal society, in its attempt to equalize outcomes, has produced a divorce industry with huge financial incentives for women and lawyers, dis-incentivizing marital problem solving, destroying the traditional two-parent family experience for about half the children in the USA today, segregating fathers from their children. All of this in the last 30-40 years. Any wonder more kids today are confused, troubled, angry? Kids need two parents, so they can see the yin-yang of male-female relationships and learn from their parents how to resolve problems without violence. No single-mom family unit can ever be as effective as a two parent family; to evolve into mature and balanced young adults kids also need the role model and discipline of their dad (and not just every other weekend). This liberal social experiment is very effectively destroying the nuclear family, raising millions of kids who are incompletely developed, without moral compass, rejecting social norms and values. No surprise that some on the fringe of the psychopathic spectrum then act out violent scenarios oft rehearsed in realistic computer games.

      In addition to destruction of the nuclear family, contributing causes include increased urbanization, passive TV watching & computer gaming increasingly separates kids from reality and down-to-earth familiarization with what was once universally experienced: the natural environment of earth, water, tending crops and animals on a farm, hunting in the fields and woods, making your own food. And this includes killing your own meat, in the stock pen or hunting. When you grow up living closer to the cycle life, a cycle that includes killing animals for food, you develop maturity and grow to value life more dearly. You admire the fierce spirit of the rooster as you butcher it, and feel sadness as its blood drains. But you savor the meal, appreciating the life that ended to help your own continue, and you wake early to feed the chicks and check pens and fences, protecting your stock from harm. Seeing the death of animals as you prepare food for your family makes you value life more completely. This basic life experience makes you avoid any unnecessary death, especially killing you own kind.

      Not every kid can grow up on a farm, but every child should grow up with two parents in their home. We need to work with that as our goal, reduce the incentives for divorce, and spend more time raising our kids, get them out in the country more, getting them involved with 4H, scouting programs, and hiking, camping and hunting. Won’t eliminate senseless murder, but would sure help children grow up “normal”!

    • Too often in today’s split families, the children are used as weapons and fed propaganda from one or both sides about the opposing parent. The demonization of parents by opposing parents has to have an effect. More so than any video game, in which the child can readily determine that the game is a fantasy.

      Next, look to our education system and the modern media. When you are taught day in and day out that what you read doesn’t really mean what it says, how can you not be confused. Shall not be infringed doesn’t mean it, free speech isn’t, etc….. The blatant lies and misrepresentations of the press are not lost on youthful minds. The whole world seems to be telling the children to do as I say, not as I do. Those who take these dichotomies to heart cannot help but be frustrated, so early in life yet.

      Add on to this the lack of parenting time afforded the children, the use of media and video games as a substitute for parenting, and the use of pharmaceuticals as a replacement for real parenting and actual physical activity to satisfy a child’s natural curious nature and need for play, what can you expect? It is amazing that so many children make it through the ordeal unscathed.

      Nobody likes to hear it, but the stable family and a return to moral values as a nation may seem simplistic (yet oh so difficult), but they are the foundation of a return to normalcy.

      • But how disengaged were they? Were they always focusing on self, in this “It’s all about me” lifestyle?

  5. Too bad this will never make the main stream media since this truth doesn’t mesh with their desired narrative and distortion of reality for those not paying attention.

    In essence, he is spot on. The same mindset goes beyond the schools to places like the DC navy yard, Oak Creek Sikh Temple, Tuscon, and the Aurora Theater.

  6. So many??? Yes, it is heartbreaking that some small # of young children do plot & even carry out evil attacks on their schoolmates. And yes, there does seem to he an appalling lack of empathy in those “children” (gangs in some cases). But, as another response states; its still a remarkably small number.

  7. Add Charles Cooke to the list of right thinking Brits left in the world. Smart, incredibly articulate he is a pleasure to listen to.

  8. I’d like to point out that Mr. Cooke is a Brit by birth, American citizen by choice.
    A fine gentleman, whom I met at the National Young Republican convention last year.
    He is the anti-Piers Morgan.

  9. Here are some contributing factors. There is a war against boys in many schools. Boys are expected to act like girls or metro-sexuals. All male tendencies are greatly frowned upon. There is also a family war against children, wherein parents and pill pusher MD’s drug the kids up when the children act like, well, children and their brains cannot go through the normal maturation process at key moments of growth. We have a societal war against morality where down is up, left is right, and nothing makes sense and anyone (including children) with traditional values is frowned upon. We also have a war against achievement such as sports with no scores, medals for everyone, and anyone who gets ahead is frowned upon. So with confused, repressed, drugged up kids, it is no wonder we see so many problems.

    • I can definitely confirm your first point. Going to an all-male school, you’d think that would be the one last vestige of true masculine behavior left. However, just a few days ago my “Social Justice” teacher (mandatory class) had us write down stereotypical traits of men that were supposed to show how these “unrealistic” expectations of a strong, stoic, successful man were restricting and unjust, essentially saying any “male tendencies,” as you said, are bad, and even championed the traits of metrosexuals. We had an all-school seminar that essentially said the same thing. I remember looking at all the things they wrote and thinking “how are some of these bad things?”

      Funnily enough, one of the first things they said back in August was that “no one can tell you what masculinity is,” before promptly pushing their own twisted idea of “masculinity” on us.

  10. Because, like so many things, we have become a nation that would rather kick the can down the road, make believe there is no problem, and focus on things that have a 0.00080% probability of helping.

    The national way of coping with problems is to ignore them and hope they go away and instead make laws that further restrict the law abiding.

    There are real problems: Why are so many boys prescribed medication, why have we put so much focus on girls in schools that boys are steadily declining in grades, there are many inner city issue that nobody wants to address — all these problems are icky and hard and it is much easier to play make believe.

    The problem is simple, we as a nation that does not wish to face reality — that nobody wants their feelings hurt so we do things around the edge versus confronting the problem head on.

    Nobody wants to pull the band-aids off because they will hurt so we rather focus on some unreachable emotional utopia than focus on reality which may hurt.

    This is built upon years and years of progressive thinking that simply does not work. Social equality for many means taking down one group in order to elevate another group to the point that they have demonized boys while elevating girls and wondering why boys are lashing out at the same time ignoring and medicating and trying to feminize them. Gays are gay by their very nature and we accept that, but boys are boys and the social agenda is to change them from being aggressive and feminize them and we are told it is okay to change the nature of boys? As many have posted here many time, “we are creating a nation of wimps” — trying to change the nature of boys makes no sense. How does that work?

    Maybe these boys need a way to get the aggression out and society has blocks all the normal options. Maybe we have spoiled or coddled our youth to the point of being unable to cope — and in some cases we have drugged them just to make easier for the teacher to teach class without understanding all the side effects. Whatever the grand social experiments (and there have been many) they are not working — how about going back to where we started.

    The only way to face the school shooting problem and many other social problems is to actually address the problem head on.

    No, no instead we will focus on “guns” because it is easier to focus on something that is a scary image than the actual root of the social problems.

    The only thing I can say is, damn! finally someone in the MSM is finally speaking up that the current way we are doing things does not work — its about fing time!

    • We absolutely SHOULD focus on “guns”! All those boys should have opportunities to shoot regularly, and then try to convert them to wimps.

  11. The problem is the pervasive nihilism that exists in our culture that is destroying civil society and without civil society you get either anarchy or dictatorship. Our nihilistic culture mirrors that which existed in late 19th Century Russia and we saw how that all ended. Fydor Dostoevsky anticipated what society would become in his great novel The Possessed alternatively translated as The Devils. This culture has its proponents on the left and what is commonly mislabeled the right. Progressive and faux Libertarians promote the kind of culture that leads to Columbine style crimes. These two groups are really two faces of the same coin. The faux Libertarian wing is well represented here.

  12. As a Mom, seeing not only the tragedy of the victims but feeling for the young perpetrators and what must be going through their heads and lives to make them do such things have both made me very dismayed.

    Glad people are getting front & center and pointing this out. It’s about time.

  13. Modern schooling (public and most private) is based off a model of schooling that was meant to indoctrinate students to be obedient to authority and become good factory workers. Humans are naturally resistant to this kind of treatment. I too think school needs to be changed. Education and learning are great. However, how society is going about it is wrong. Not to mention, the current model of parenting is… have kids and then as soon as possible give them to the state to be raised. Often from even the ages of 3 or 4 until 18 the majority kids spend more than half of their waking hour in these shoddy institutions meant to indoctrinate governmental obedience while providing the basic knowledge to be good factory workers.

    Solutions? Read up on John Taylor Gatto, John Holt (educator), Alfie Kohn (though I dislike is anti-competition stance).

    Remember, freedom is the solution, many pro gun people love freedom, but still send their kids to institutions that are the opposite of freedom.

    Let’s not forget some of these kids are loaded up with meds simply for being kids. These meds alter brain chemistry and the effects are very suspect.

    • I think you’re very close to the primary issue. Describing schools as being like a factory system is somewhat instructive but I think a clearer illustration is to think of them like a prison system.

      The conditions are roughly equivalent:
      Attendance is compulsory and leaving isn’t an option unless one is furloughed by the authorities.
      One doesn’t get to pick the people one associates with and avoiding a particularly troublesome person is very difficult.
      Violence is either ever present or always possible just beneath the surface. Weapons are rare and so the larger, stronger ‘inmates’ tend to control others unless they form gangs for mutual defense.
      There is a powerful us vs them situation between students and faculty. The former see the latter as ‘bulls’ who are hardly people but rather interchangeable modules in a system while the latter sees the former as some sort of product or commodity to process or deal with.

      In both prison and school there is a set period of incarceration which fosters the idea of simply adapting in whatever way necessary to survive the experience intact regardless of whether these coping mechanisms are healthy or constructive either inside or outside of the institution.

      There is a marked lack of privacy and a generalized suspension of civil rights.

      To compare a school to a factory fails in three major ways: (1) Whatever the needs may be, a job in a factory is still a voluntary condition, one may be compelled to it through poverty but never by force of authority or threat. (2) Work in a factory always results in the fulfilling of needs, namely by payment. School, while ostensibly providing a valuable education, does not offer the reward of a factory job or at least may not be perceive to do so by those compelled to attend. (3) It is difficult to imagine a factory setting in which one constantly fears physical violence from ones work mates while simultaneously fearing punishment from management for the most minor infractions.

      The third point hints at something nearly unique to schools; arbitrary and capricious application of rules (laws). Fighting is a ‘zero-tolerance’ element such that all participants, willing or not are punished equally. Contrast this to the entire rest of society in which one actor in a fight commits a felony while the unwilling victim is justified in use of force in self defense and not subject to punishment for doing so.
      The fact is that the way schools are administrated in the US creates an environment of repression coupled with extreme tension. That this occasionally leads to explosive violence is surprising only in how rare such events are.

      • 100% agreed with all that you said. Have you seen the “Josie the Outlaw” youtube video on schools? It describes school very similarly. I too am surprised at the rarity of these violent outbursts. I dislike suggestions from the pro-gun side of “armed guards”. Not that I think armed teachers are much better (given the nature of school) but I prefer that temporary solution to armed guards and of course prefer total reformation of the system (I am well aware most parents can’t home school or afford Sudbury or Montessori style schools).

        • I hear you. The idea of armed guards everywhere, with no job except to control/threaten/execute students does seem to lend itself to the idea that a child is in prison instead of school. Allowing teachers or visitors to carry openly or concealed, on the other hand, has the horrible effect of indoctrinating students in the concept of personal responsibility, self respect, and self defense. OMG! They might even graduate from High School ready to assume a place in the world as adults! How can we defeat this threat?

  14. It doesn’t help that the MSM broadcasts every school shooting on every channel for days and weeks. Every parent has had that child that would do bad things just to get attention (Well maybe not single child parents or first time parents of newborns). When the media goes crazy and broadcasts the incidents they sort of glamorize them.

    Michael Moore didn’t help with his bowling for Columbine mockumentary either.These young bad@sses see these people as heros bucking the system that is repressing them.

    Yes boys used to be able to fight and get their aggressions out and the teachers would stop it once it was clear that it was done. Now both the agressor and defender get punished, and parents bring up lawsuits to sue the other parents. it’s ridiculous.

    I think the recent turn of women to lesbianism is also part of this. Women want a partner that takes charge, makes decisions and supports them, fight for them and gives them security. Men growing up under this system cannot make decisions and leave things up to the women, so some women see other women as more secure and self confident than the men. I guess some are also just born that way.

    • Dysfunctional and/or otherwise disturbed people have been taught that schools in particular, but other “gun free zones” as well, are perfect targets for their mayhem. They know, for instance, that if they can get on the campus and shoot people, everyone will know their name. For some, that’s enough in itself. For others accomplishing or even attempting a mass killing is a way of “sending a message” because they know that mass media will descend on the school and for days or weeks there will be a feeding frenzy of attention in which they will be the center of attention. I wonder if the news producers and talking heads breathlessly chewing over every minute detail of a school shooting ever wonder if they might be helping to set the stage for the next tragedy?

  15. To solve this problem, we need to emulate CT and NY. I would start by banning and confiscating all violent video games. Any person found in possession of a banned video game becomes a felon and loses his voting rights. This would ensure for perpetuity that our side will always be in power.

  16. I see some good ideas floated here.

    Unfortunately , I can’t think any of them apply. The current “War On Testosterone” has caused its share of problems in America, but school shootings have been around since the invention of the gun.Charles Whitman shot up a university from the bell tower back in the 60’s, when a man only needed money and ID to buy a gun and feminism was a fringe movement . Before there were guns, madmen used knives-and in some countries still do.

    Ultimately, I think we have to acknowledge that there are some problems which can only be solved by unconventional thinking. That’s where all tbe above issues mentioned previous apply, because by and large we are a society which has denied truth and sought to purge it from every corner of society. Convicted criminals are in executive office, schools are run like concentration camps, and employers can only count on a college grad knowing their ABCs , maybe.

    Dodging the truth about economics, gravity, the rule of law, and gender differences won’t solve the problems of social inequality, political corruption, or gender discrimination seesawing between women and men and back again. For America to discuss solutions, we have to admit there’s a problem. And no one outside of a few corners of society wants to do that.

    • I try and I try, I really do. But the ONLY thing I can imagine which will decrease or eliminate these occurrences is allowing more people to have guns, not less. I am trying hard to not be a nutbar, to actually try to imagine all possibilities. More background checks do not prevent stolen guns, including from murdered LEOs. Law after law after law against possession by felons or fruitcakes does not stop them from obtaining guns. Parachutes outside or undead inside are always a question, the ONLY defense any person can count on, ever, is what he or she is willing to provide himself/herself. When are we going to simply ALLOW it?

  17. We have psychopaths now, and we’ve had them in the past. They have committed mass murder without remorse for human life. No drug or gun laws will stop them, but a loaded gun will. Carry a loaded gun.

  18. He’s correct. We have a cultural problem, and the public school system seems to make it worse.

  19. I got the solution to his question..

    Be single
    Be out of debt
    be free

    And learn gun safety early! I was blastin as a little kid. never even thought of using that thing against anyone.


  20. Beats the heck outa’ me. Could it have anything to do with so many boys on psychoactive drugs? Two stable parents is a great start but I seem to recall the MASS high school stabber had a loving home life & dinner ’round the table every night. Meanwhile a mass drivebye shooting in Chicago’s River North neighborhood (500 Erie). Nowhere safe in Chicagoland.

  21. There are a lot of things at play in this issue. I think children and teens in many metropolitan and suburban areas are awash in contradictory messages from School, the Entertainment Media aimed at them, their peers and Parents. Many Parents just plain do not understand the power of the media and Internet to expose their youngsters to ideas and pressures they are not equipped to process correctly. Basic morality and a sense of being responsible for one’s own actions is not taught successfully at home or school. Single-parents struggle to raise children and make a living, but often have little time to provide guidance by just talking with (not “at”) their children.

    The source origin for the majority of these “inputs” to children and teens is, sadly, the “lowest common denominator” and the immature recipients are left to make whatever they can out of all this messaging and marketing with minimal Parental Guidance and a woefully inadequate sense of morality and ethics.

    So, amongst all these youngsters, it really can be no surprise that a few of them go off the proverbial “deep end” and plot or actually do horrible things. That does not mean we should accept this eventuality, but resolving it may be practicably impossible because the basic issue of the relentless marketing of ideas, self-image and goods is so deeply entwined within our Society we hardly recognize it any more.

    Reality is that “NOT Everyone is a Winner!”, but we have pretty much gone into full, institutionalized denial of that fact. The “problem of the heart” we have is that we place superficial appearances. things and social conformity over internal content and character, then we are all appalled and aghast when the ugliness we have suppressed inside the heart bursts forth in acts of unthinkable violence and evil. Then, we blame the superficial things for this perplexing, disturbing, unacceptable behavior. Our expectations are as unrealistic as the fantasy world we have created for our children and ourselves.

    Charles C.W. Cooke has nailed it.

    • Agreed. The only thing missing from your equation is the pharmaceutical cocktails.

      • Ah! Good catch! It was in my mind, as someone else mentioned that issue, but I forgot to include it. Yes, both the legal, and in many places Illegal, pharmaceuticals definitely are part of the problem. My Mother taught Grade School in the 70’s and 80’s and she said “Ritalin” was. in her experience, far more of a problem than a help in the Classroom. Thanks!

  22. As I’ve said before, if you’re looking to reduce “gun violence” by getting ride of the “gun”, you’re still left with “violence”.

  23. In point of fact we do not have “so many” boys planning to kill their families and school mates. In the U.S. today approximately 11,300,000 young people are both boys and between the age of 13 and 18. In such a vast number, the fact that 5 or 10 or 30 of the boys decide upon an murderous course of destruction is not an epidemic.

    How do the well-raised upper class behave, as a matter of human nature? Read a bit of medieval and renaissance history and you’ll find that royal brothers murdered royal brothers, princes murdered their father kings, all with remarkable frequency, and butchering the men of a neighboring jurisdiction was considered an honorable calling in most of the world.

    Economic and social life have become remarkably bureaucratized. There is, indeed, an apparent desire by everyone to regulate everyone else….to gain some perceived self-advantage or imposition of a favored constraint on others. I imagine the time will come when almost no one dies by violence, but many are starved into poverty, anathematized for unwillingness to comply with the moment’s political correctness. Many others will die young of utter boredom. Such progress!

  24. Wow! A simple, direct, factual remark void of the emotional knee jerk solutions. It’s always been far easier to blame the law abiding, the NRA and an inadement object for rare and extreme adolescent meltdowns. The idealogical gun haters can’t see beyond their own noses and want to only cure a symptom of a much larger disease. Detecting that one-in-a-million time-bomb and being able to do anything about it without violating someone’s rights: now that’s a difficult task. Limiting the amount of rounds in a magazine: easy peezy! Now the pols can say “See, we did SOMETHING!” But all they did was NOTHING again and continued to wear away the rights of good people.

    • Perhaps, but I got the impression that his position comes from a sighing resignation that the horse has already left the barn. He only considers further firearms regulations futile because this is “a country with this many firearms”, not because such regulations are immoral and unconstitutional. I bet he’d still support restrictions if they actually worked, even if they did so only marginally.

      As it turns out, he recognizes that firearms infringements are ineffective across-the-board at preventing mass murder, when mass murderers are inherently deeply disturbed people who are highly motivated to kill. They’ll just find another way if not with firearms. True enough, but that stance of his shifts the debate away from a principled protection of fundamental rights, and toward a facile squabble over practicalities and expediencies. Downshifting the firearms freedom debate is itself a degradation of firearms freedoms.

      • Need to get this straight. Immoral, unconstitutional, and totally ineffective.

  25. Not unsatisfying to contemplate, but too difficult, and when done anyway, many people do not like where the logic leads. It leads to personal responsibility, a return to less selfish values pertaining to procreation and family, improved character in ones’ self and accountability to and for ones’ human circle of influence. It also leads to an acceptance that a free society will include free people making bad choices with violent consequences. Adherence to the above traits will greatly minimize these consequences.

  26. I’m going to have to disagree with Mr. Cooke here. Given the fact that in a nation of roughly 350 million we have these incidents once every few years. I admit that I don’t have the EXACT numbers, but you’re almost certainly more likely to contract Ebola that to loose a child to a school shooter.

    That’s not say ‘we’ can’t ‘do a little better’. This entire conversation is just being used more for politics and political agendas than hanging anything to do with actual safety.

  27. 85% of the men in prison convicted for a second violent offense (2x demonstrates a repeating pattern of behavior) were raised in a single parent (read: usually a single mother led household).

    • I suspect 85% watched TV, too, it doesn’t mean anything in and of itself. There are a lot of variables tied to single-parent households that would probably be more important, including poverty.

      • Actually it does mean something in of itself. Most of the boys raised in single parent homes grew up without a father at home and the lack of a father figure in their lives. It all contributes to boys dropping out of school, joining gangs, getting girls pregnant, having an overall lower self image and more emotional problems.

    • Yeah just after the Zimmerman/Martin incident a Youtube video showed up that made those very points that really kind of laid out the whole situation. Both the actual case and a lot of the underlying problems with ‘urban culture’.

      I’m always somewhat apprehensive about comments about it, as discussions like this given how oft they degenerate into a flame war. While what has been said about 85% may be true it’s also true that there’s plenty of people that grow up in that situation that make it through life no problem.

    • Aaron,we need to figure out which one of us should modify our screen name. idk why the system allows 2 people with the same screen name, but it does.

        • oh, so you changed your name from Aaron to LarryinTX?

          Thanks, that makes it easier for me.

          Seriously, I’ll change my name if I can get Dan Zimmerman to change my name in the pocket pistol round-up. I’ll email him.

  28. Great commentary here. Some of the best I have ever seen on this blog. Food for thought. Here’s my thought on the latest prevented/preempted “columbine”. The accused was reported to be obsessed with Columbine. He did not become obsessed just last week. People around disturbed individuals like this need to wake the F up and and tell parents, teachers, pastors and possibly the police about little Timmy’s issues. Maybe the schools need an “assembly” once a year to remind students, teachers and parents what to look for in a ticking human time bomb.

    • Encouraging the reporting (anonymous or otherwise) only facilitates using such a system to bully others.

      So if little Bobby has a beef with little Timmy, all he has to do is whip out his cell phone and tentatively suggest that “he’s planning something”. Suddenly, police everywhere, and little Timmy has just found himself in a shitstorm of Biblical proportions, while Bobby looks on with an evil grin.

      This is an actual, real problem that has actually happened to real, actual people.

      If there’s a report, people need to be accountable for their actions, at least.

      In a lesser note, you know what I imagine those “assemblies” would sound like? (I’ve been to a few)

      “Alright, kiddos, if you know a quiet person who might have an interest in the shooting sports or possibly own any weapons, don’t hesitate to call the local PD and have them come out and investigate. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly anonymous and you’ll be a hero!”

      Sorry if this came across as abrasive or crass, but this whole Orwellian reporting/identifying theme really grinds my gears.

      I do, however, agree that people, especially parents, need to “wake the F up” and figure out what the hell their kid is doing when they’re not around, but I don’t think it should be put into the hands of common schoolchildren to report “suspicious behavior” anonymously. If there’s a serious threat, a real cause for concern, they should go to the principal or the PD in person and notify them.

      I believe that accountability is the main concern here. Too often these days are kids raised without learning how to effectively deal with their problems, most of which comes down (as you stated) to the parents and the lack of an effective “support system” (parents, teachers, other adults, etc.).

      Seems like people nowadays think that kids are “fire and forget” autonomous things. What they don’t realize is that when you’ve made the decision to procreate, you’re a parent for life. Not until 5, 10, or even 18- you’ve gotta be there forever.

      Anyway, straight shootin’.

  29. As long as schools and teachers hate boys and treat them like dirt, boys will hate schools and teachers right back. Some of those boys will hate enough to kill.

    This isn’t a gun problem, a bad parenting problem, a publicity problem or a video game problem. This is a problem created by the education system. Teachers and administrators are reaping what they have been sewing.

    • While I agree with a LOT on this, again the factor that ties it all together is the pharmaceutical cocktails these shooter are inevitably on. I cannot find a single exception. And even if I did, such an exception fails to explain the rule.

      Boys mistreated and marginalized and horribly frustrated by the school system’s neglect of their needs. Severe sense of injustice which defies solution.

      Add a handful of SSRI drugs, which warp them even further and imbue a sense of unreality. The result is not hard to predict at all.

      • I found plenty of exceptions to your SSRI hypothesis, but that’s not the point. SSRIs are wildly overprescribed for no other purpose than to keep boys from acting like boys.

        The geniuses who run the schools and teach the students have already tried feminization and emasculation through drugs. I suppose that castration will be next on their list of things to do.

        • Correct me if I am wrong, teachers are overwhelmingly female. No one has taught them how to deal with someone who is not female. Those individuals, then, must be drugged until they act as though they are female.

        • I think stronger teachers who aren’t afraid to lay down the law could sit in for the drugs, no?

      • @William Burke, The more I think about what you are saying about the biochemical component of this matter, the more I am convinced you have pointed-out a major Key (if not the major key) to understanding it. Although not very satisfying to contemplate, there is ample strong evidence that “Mental States” in people are largely biochemical. Supposedly psycho-active drugs are aimed at symptoms, but may actually make the source imbalance in brain chemistry worse (hence the warnings about “possible side-effects may include worsening depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide….”). For example, I have known several sets of parents who have a child who has emotional/mental/attention challenges where the child experienced a miraculous improvement bordering on complete reversal of the “illness” just by being placed on a “gluten-free” diet.
        The source of these issues may be the individual’s brain chemistry. pushed over the edge by drugs that further imbalance the brain’s functions resulting in these extreme acts of violence. There are, no doubt, genetic factors that predispose a child to one form of psychological disorder or another. but there is growing evidence that dietary habits and the quality and purity of the food we consume has as much affect on the brain and mental balance as it does on blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. While the organ affects may kill their owner, unfortunately the brain affects may be killing other people.

    • Agree. And I note that elite private schools avoided co-education as long as economically and socially possible. Many still do, including the two academically best in my area, one for girls, one for boys. I note the same is true in Washington, with St. Albans for boys and the Cathedral School for Girls. Public school teachers inevitably incline to the most manageable students. In public schools that usually means girls.

      It does not go unnoticed that a remarkable percentage of women very successful in government and business have either no children, one child, or are lesbian. Those arrangements help careers by freeing up time and focus, but are an ill for the society over the long run. I can say that three out of three of my closest female friends in law school went on to become the childless second wives of very successful attorneys who already had children. I would also note that these women do not mind it in the least when their husbands are assertively male in the offices or when socializing and, I assume, at home. Men are allowed to be very male…but only if they are both successful and rich. Ask Jack Kennedy when you get to heaven. Men, for their part, tolerate offensive behavior from beautiful women that would never be tolerated from the plain, and men promote attractive women more readily.

      It is the asymmetry of behavioral rights that is, too me, offensive at its core. And known. And ignored as if it were not physical law.

  30. When you teach kids that they are only animals they behave like animals.

    When you strip away the father figure and replace it with a “cater to the mob” they will behave like a mob.

    When you replace a divine moral authority with relative truth, then what we have now is really just man worshiping his creator.

    In a materialist humanism world, this shouldn’t surprise anyone. It’s man reverting to his natural state.

    • Lacking the proper brainwashing, that sounds like, um, gibberish. Maybe MAGIC gibberish, but gibberish nonetheless.

  31. Maybe not 100% on point but . . .

    My grand-unified-theory-of-everything explanation of what ails this country is this: the most powerful thing in this nation (its government) is dedicated to the un-making of reality.

    No, it’s not the only problem, and doesn’t explain everything in full, but it is the single most pervasive problem.

    As to the topic at hand, our government has taken over child rearing, claiming possession of our children for most of their waking lives. Having done so, it then fails to equip them with even the most basic of life skills and even tries to undo what ethical and practical guidance parents have given them.

    To put it another way, (a very small minority of) kids kill because the institution which governs them has given them no reason not to.

  32. This quote reminds me of an old riddle.

    You wake up in the morning, your paint’s peeling, your curtains are gone, and the water is boiling. Which problem do you deal with first?

    Their narrative constantly ignores the root of the problem, focusing only on surface issues.

  33. I would say he is correct. There was a time in 1998 maybe 1999 where I sat down with a person who told me a story of his life and how he came very close to something very similar in 1996. The goal was for me to write the story so other troubled teens could read it and find inspiration that they were not alone and however after reading what I wrote I was concerned it would inspire/do more harm then do good and then Columbine happened and I scratched the whole thing not wanting to try and cash in on a tragedy.

    I really feel I came as close to one of these monsters as one really could and at the center of it he really did lack heart from the stories he told me. From 6th grade to being kicked out of school his junior year he clicked or identified with the video imagery from Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” and the movie “Natural Born Killers” as well as had lots to say about the book “Helter Skelter”. He saw the irony of these things, how these people were villains yet America ate it up and for a long time he wanted part of it until a “nosy” person saved his life literally minutes from him executing his sick desires.

    The thing is, and what he could not explain and what I will never understand is,
    And that is really what Charles is touching on here. While this person told me a pretty messed up story of his upbringing including spending several years chained and beaten in a basement he couldn’t make me understand why he wanted to take it out on strangers that never did him wrong.

    What is sickening is there are websites out there, forums, that discuss these events, protected by the 1st admendment, that continue to glorify these people and rate the performances of mass killers and how many “points” they should get and the rules. I forgot where it was, someone showed it to me I think after Virginia Tech and they were arguing over if points should be given for the knife kills. Whatever, it makes me sick to think about it and at the end of the day it is true America has a heart problem, if these sites can wrangle it thousands of people to openly discuss that they too have similar desires how can we not?

    On a closing note this kid I interviewed back in the late 90’s was from Chicago and a good portion of his plan was explosive related. Homemade napalm and IEDs so it’s not the guns stupid, its the people or the culture.

  34. Well guns sure as hell can’t be the problem. ‘Til 1968 they could be mail ordered to your door or bought at the local hardware store like any other item. High school students kept guns in their lockers and then college dorms without incident. The proliferation of firearms in society was greater and didn’t come with a real stigma ’til the 90’s. So what happened?

    Too many people in this country chose to be lazy parents. They jump to blame an inanimate object for someone’s behavior and then turn around and let inanimate objects act as substitute parents for their kids. When you have a generation or two refuse to take on a personal responsibility that crucial, the blame game mentality eventually infiltrates all levels of society. You also get the lumbering monstrosity of a public-school system we have today.

    The cleverly named “war on testosterone” has also taken its toll. Young boys are brainwashed to believe that acting like a typical boy, being their natural selves, is wrong. Their masculine role models have been all but purged from society. I grew up on Clint Eastwood and Johnny Cash and I haven’t seen men like them in today’s pop-culture, have you? Too many boys have been left socially castrated, stranded, and upset all without strong parental figures to guide them through the whole mess. Drugs, video games, and tv can certainly have an effect, but I believe it’s all rooted in a consistent lack of good parenting.

  35. The crazy nuts are bullies, they are bullies who shoot children that can’t fight back and they are bullies that shoot law biding unarmed people in theaters. Point a gun back and most of them and they would shit there pants or maybe even kill themselves. They are just plain chicken shits and don’t have any cahonies (spl). The slimeballs are also trying to get some attention. Take them behind the barn and well, ya get the drift. Be safe out there and watch them closely.

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