26 thoughts on “Let Me Ask You a Question – 5/19/18

  1. The shooter in question was yet another bullied and disenfranchised student who horribly concluded that the answer to his problems was to take Dad’s .38 caliber pistol and a sawed off shotgun, and kill people at his school.

    I’m not sure what the anti-firearms people will want to ban here since both items belonged to his Dad, and to the best of my knowledge, sawed off shotguns are already illegal in Texas.

    What’s the answer? I don’t know. If you make guns illegal across the board, then you’ll end up with an epidemic of knife attacks like they have in the UK, and that government is considering banning the carrying of knives now.

    These so called “mass shootings” were unheard of fifty years ago, and back then, it was even easier to buy a firearm. What changed? Not access to firearms. My Dad was a lifetime member of the NRA and must of owned fifty handguns, rifles, and shotguns at the time of his death. He never killed anyone in his life, so it wasn’t a matter of how many guns he had. My brother and I were raised around firearms, and it was and is unimaginable for either of us to consider shooting someone.

    So what changed? How did human life become so cheap? Study the shooters. When you find their motivation, you’ll find the answer to those questions.

      1. He doesn’t have the authority to pass a law banning anything. In the UK its illegal to carry a knife that is over 3 inches long, that has been the law for a fair few years now. There are talks about bringing in stricter laws such as Scotland have, but that article has very much misconstrued what Khan said.

    1. I’m not sure either. I believe it is a combination of video games, violent movies, the breakdown of the family unit, social media and a general desensitization to violence.

  2. I’m not American and I don’t live in the US, but I grew up in Texas and this recent shooting reminded me of a personal story. When I was in grade school, I was constantly bullied and harassed. Some people were nice to me, but the bullying was relentless. I was the only Latino student in my class (this was 30 years ago, things were very different back then), and I was teased because I spoke English with an accent, because I looked different, because I had my ears pierced, because I wore glasses, because I was chubby. I felt so ostracized, I fantasized about beating up the kids who tormented me. I was a shy little girl and I never did anything to anyone, but people must know these thoughts go through the mind of anyone who has ever experienced bullying and harassment.
    Of course there is no excuse for shooting up people, it is a heinous act. But we must get to the bottom of the motivation behind all these mass shooters. Guns are merely a means to an end. There is obviously something very wrong with society so that disenfranchised people feel the motivation to grab a gun and shoot themselves or others, or turn to drugs. Bullying and harassment is part of it, but there are many other negative issues at work. How is it that such a rich and prosperous country has bred this problem? The answer is complex, and so is the solution.
    Just like James Pyles above wonders, “why did human life become so cheap?”. That’s the heart of the problem.

    1. I agree, Fabi. Everyone either ignores or torments these disenfranchised kids until they finally snap and do something awful, and then it’s the NRA or President Trump’s fault rather than the people who tortured these kids in the first place.

      I’m not supporting the shooter. What he did was unforgiveable and he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But all of that anger had to come from somewhere. If we treated the most vulnerable kids in our schools with kindness and understanding instead of bullying them, maybe we’d have a lot less of these school shootings.

    2. The issue that I see is the “fix” is a cultural issue which will take generations to repair. We don’t have that long. I guess we are going to have to install full security forces at every school.

      1. True, but people should bear in mind that any short-term fix, like installing full security forces at school or gun control, is only a temporary solution, if at all. You can put a band-aid on the problem, but you still have start working on a long-term solution, even if it takes generations to fix.

    1. These kids are getting bullied like crazy. And social media allows the bullies to do so away from school also. The bullies push and push and push until the bullied kid breaks.

      1. That is also ways the case though, that its the kids being bullied. I would also be interested in the statistics on how many of the shooters are white. I read an interesting article about how most shooters are just entitled and many are misogynic I have it saved somewhere just so I can do some proper research on it. The person who wrote it has a very definite political angle, so its difficult for me to judge just how much their own leanings are bought into it

    1. The issue with this premise, which I agree with, is that a cultural or societal shift like this will take generations to change. In the meantime what do we do?

  3. We are awash in dehumanizing language, about racial categories, religions, ethnic categories, sexual preference and identity categories, gender categories, political labels, disabilities, and more. We hear daily of “animals”, “thugs”, “snowflakes”, and more, even from the highest office in the land. The simple truth is that when other people are not seen as deserving of respect and life, it is easier to kill them. And the young men who do these things, whatever else may be going on in their lives, keep turning out to have been soaking themselves in one or more versions of that language, that hate speech, that bitterness,and that glorification of the others who have committed these crimes. What I don’t know is how to stop it. I remember that in the genocide in Rwanda, there were few guns, but many machetes. Which is not to say that we don’t have a gun problem, we do, but we also have a deeper problem that is eroding the humanity of some in a way that guns make more and more easily deadly.

    1. And in some ways these young men doing the shooting are victims too. What doesn’t come out is how these boys are bullied relentlessly over a long period of time. The bullying through social media makes it impossible to find peace.

      1. They are also victims of a contagious idea, an infection of the mind, that this is a way to solve their problems and earn the respect of one or more on-line communities where such actions are praised.

  4. USA is unique in the world with regard to guns and mass shootings. Sandy Hook happened and nothing was done. That was it really. The killing of children continues.

  5. Firstly, a feeling of sadness for those killed and injured and their family and friends.

    Secondly, a sense of sad inevitability about the incident, for as long as Americans continue to refuse to impose real (rather than cosmetic) controls on guns, such incidents will continue to blight the United States.

    Of course its true that guns (by themselves) don’t kill people, one needs someone to pull the trigger. But, if one stopped the situation where almost anyone could own a gun from being the norm then, logically the number of shootings would reduce dramatically – this logic seems to escape Donald Trump and The National Rifle Association.

    I am, by inclination a libertarian (with a small l), by which I mean I am suspicious of attempts to impinge on the liberty of the individual unless there exist demonstrable reasons for doing so. However, in the USA it strikes me that the “right to bare arms” is being elevated to a holy cow, while the right not to be killed by a person carrying a gun is almost ignored. Ultimately liberties, rights and responsibilities need to be in balance and (on the issue of gun control in the USA) they are not.

      1. I don’t think that its just those who are prone to criminal behaviour. In a society where the ownership of firearms is restricted, those who get into a heated argument (which goes beyond words) may lash out with their fists. While a punch can kill someone it usually does not. However where guns are routinely carried and an argument develops, then a person may well use the weapon in a fit of anger. He or she may bitterly regret having done so afterwards (when it is to late). Of course (even if guns where severely restricted), given that many people already own them, it would take a very long time before their number deminished significantly. I am glad that here in the UK there exist severe restrictions on who can own firearms. Sadly they are (very occassional) shootings (and stabbings to), however there numbers are tiny due to the restrictions in place here.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: