Following the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut ten days ago, I'd like to dedicate this 'Around The Blogs' issue to discussion of the aftermath by and among bloggers. Needless to say, most of their effort has been taken up with responding to hysteria and panic-mongering by politicians and the media.
Standing head and shoulders above all the other comments and opinions I've read is Larry Correia's masterful article 'An opinion on gun control'. It's one of the best pieces I've ever read on the subject, and I recommend it unreservedly. Here's just one quote out of a very long and eminently readable piece.
"... here is the nail in the coffin for Gun Free Zones. Over the last fifty years, with only one single exception (Gabby Giffords), every single mass shooting event with more than four casualties has taken place in a place where guns were supposedly not allowed."
Go read the whole thing. You can't afford not to. Thanks, Larry, for a hell of a piece of writing, and an important public service. You did good, brother.
Second only to Larry's article is an excellent piece by 'Kontra' titled 'Why Not Renew the 'Assault Weapons' Ban? Well, I’ll Tell You...'. The author goes into detail about why the various elements of the previous assault weapons ban, and those proposed after the Newtown shooting, are essentially meaningless. It's an important education in the facts of the matter, and I recommend it very highly.
Several articles highlight the essential hypocrisy of many responses to the Newtown tragedy.
- Referring to President Obama's public weeping over the dead children of Newtown, David McElroy asks 'Where are Obama’s tears when he’s the one killing innocent children?' He points out that the President has issued orders for drone strikes against alleged 'enemies' of the USA (who've not been charged, tried, or found guilty of any offense) that have killed '500 to 900' innocent civilians (including children), as well as those considered 'guilty'.
- Karl Denninger describes 'Obama's Hypocrisy Problem On Guns'. He points out: "Up until all of these people in political office disband their police forces, their Secret Service details, throw down their own arms, armored cars, body armor and other defensive means of interdicting assault they have nothing -- not even a moral argument -- behind them in their demand that you disarm and become an intentional victim -- no matter who you are."
- CenTexTim makes two excellent points. First, the NRA's call for more armed officers in schools has been vilified by the media; yet the same media supported a Justice Department program to place armed police in schools after the Columbine shootings in 1999. Second, the media has been largely silent about the Obama administration's slashing of funding for school safety programs. Media hypocrisy, anyone?
- Roberta X points out: "27 people, most of them children, are murdered in a picturesque little whitebread Connecticut town and the media and politicians are all over it, with plenty of emoting and shrill cries to 'do something'. In Chicago, over 30 people, most of them young adults and most of them nonwhite, are murdered and it's 'a typical month'."
Rev. Donald Sensing brings us his Advent sermon after the Newtown shootings. It's powerful stuff for those of us who are Christians. Here's a very brief excerpt.
Researchers say that each week American children converse with their parents for about 40 minutes but watch television about 1,500 minutes. The average teenager spends nine hundred hours in school per year and fifteen hundred hours watching television. These hours do not include the time kids may spend listening to heavy metal or “gangsta” rap, which glorifies killing cops and raping women, or playing computer games both violent and occultic, or watching violent movies on video or in theaters.
. . .
Whose voice are our kids listening to? The massacres at Sandy Hook and other schools didn't happen for no reason. We cannot pretend they are unconnected to our culture. We have to raise our voices as Christian disciples, calling to our children and our nation, offering voices of life, of hope, of peace. We have to raise our voices in judgment against death dealers who promote violence and breed despair, especially in our children.
Go read the whole thing. Recommended.
Say Uncle points out that adding more gun control laws to the existing body of legislation won't do anything to prevent more such tragedies.
A 20 year-old had a couple of handguns (illegal). And, depending on the press report, had an assault weapon (illegal), automatic rifle (illegal), or machine gun (illegal). Shot his mom in the face (illegal). Stole his mom’s vehicle (illegal). Transported the gun in the vehicle (illegal) within 1,000 feet of a school (illegal). Carried it onto school property (illegal). Broke and entered (illegal). Carried a gun in a school (illegal). Discharged a firearm (illegal). Shot at people (illegal). Killed some people (illegal). Killed himself (not sure if illegal).
And I’m sure broke other laws I’m not aware of. But, you know, one more gun law ought to do it. Right?
He's right, of course . . . but too many aren't interested in facts - only in feelings. More fools they.
The Blue Review describes itself as 'a journal of popular scholarship published by the Boise State University College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs'. It's not the sort of Web site I'd normally choose to visit, but I was led to an outstanding blog article there by a woman whose son exhibits destructive mental tendencies not unlike those that appear to have driven the Newtown murderer. She says simply 'I am Adam Lanza's mother'.
Right before we turned into his school parking lot, he said, “Look, Mom, I’m really sorry. Can I have video games back today?”
“No way,” I told him. “You cannot act the way you acted this morning and think you can get your electronic privileges back that quickly.”
His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage. “Then I’m going to kill myself,” he said. “I’m going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself.”
That was it. After the knife incident, I told him that if he ever said those words again, I would take him straight to the mental hospital, no ifs, ands, or buts. I did not respond, except to pull the car into the opposite lane, turning left instead of right.
“Where are you taking me?” he said, suddenly worried. “Where are we going?”
“You know where we are going,” I replied.
“No! You can’t do that to me! You’re sending me to hell! You’re sending me straight to hell!”
I pulled up in front of the hospital, frantically waving for one of the clinicians who happened to be standing outside. “Call the police,” I said. “Hurry.”
Michael was in a full-blown fit by then, screaming and hitting. I hugged him close so he couldn’t escape from the car. He bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. I’m still stronger than he is, but I won’t be for much longer.
The police came quickly and carried my son screaming and kicking into the bowels of the hospital. I started to shake, and tears filled my eyes as I filled out the paperwork—“Were there any difficulties with... at what age did your child... were there any problems with... has your child ever experienced... does your child have...”
There's more at the link. Very important reading, IMHO, and highly recommended. I'd like to thank Liza Long for having the courage to share so intimate and traumatic a burden with us. Perhaps only by vicariously sharing her experiences can we understand what it's like to have to live with this problem.
Matthew of 'Straight Forward In A Crooked World' responds to an accusatory e-mail accusing him of having blood on his hands because he's a member of the NRA.
I own chainsaws, I am not to blame for the deforestation of the rain forests.
I own a car, I am not to blame for the drunk drivers of this world.
I hunt wild game, I am not blame for those who slaughter wild dolphins in Taiji.
More at the link. He's right, of course - not that his accuser is likely to be mollified by facts . . .
My friend Matt G., who's a police officer, shares his thoughts on violence, including this one:
If guns are the problem, why is my life not steeped in violence? Even though I literally am dispatched to every call involving violence in my jurisdiction for half of every other day, I have seen very little in the way of gun violence in the last 12 years of service. I've never been shot at. I've never shot at anyone. I've never arrested anyone for intentionally shooting at another person (true story!). I've only a handful of times arrested people for pointing guns at others. This is in Texas, where private ownership of firearms is almost unrestricted...
More at the link. Good stuff.
Blackfive makes some very important points concerning mental health and gun control. Thought-provoking.
Sarah Hoyt brings her own school experience as a student and mother to the debate.
I remember the bad ideas in the wake of Columbine. I’m afraid what they will be now. School shootings aren’t that common, but they are, of course, horrible and attention grabbers. And because the media amplifies them, they seem to be MORE common.
Which means people hungry for power love to use them to get the ability to pound all those square pegs into round holes, and to make all those goats into sheep.
It won’t help, but it will give them power. And you see, in the end, that’s what it is.
More at the link. Highly recommended reading.
Patrick, one of the contributors to Popehat, examines the First Amendment in the same terms that are currently being applied to the Second Amendment by those wanting to impose more gun control. It's a very interesting and illuminating approach. Recommended.
Borepatch points out that the logical result of calls for 'more police in schools' is an endless turning of the official screw.
We've seen this game before, played out by the TSA: terrorists take guns onto planes and so we have metal detectors. Then they put bombs in suitcases and so all our luggage gets X-Ray'ed. Then they take bombs in their shoes and we have to take our shoes off in security. Then they use liquids and mothers can't take bottles of breast milk.
It's a stupid game and we should stop playing. There literally is no end, either to the TSA's idiocy or to Wayne LaPierre's. Actually I just lied - there is an end, and it's called a Police State. No thanks.
More at the link.
Finally, although they're not blogs, I recommend two newspaper opinion pieces dealing with this tragedy.
- David Kopel, writing in the Wall Street Journal, examines 'Guns, Mental Illness and Newtown'.
- Charles Krauthammer, writing in the Washington Post, discusses 'The roots of mass murder'.
Both articles are very sober, pertinent analyses.
That's all for this week. More from the blogosphere in the New Year.