Thursday, May 26, 2022

The Uvalde Massacre; For Want of a Father

If outrage were the solution to gun violence we would not have a problem. If grandiose public displays of empathy were the solution to gun violence we would not have a problem. If gun control laws were the solution to gun violence we would also not have a problem.

Think of the irony of it all. Serious public officials, from Barack Obama on down, call for action. They insist that we must do something. By that they mean, the government must do something more to stop the violence. They also mean, vote for Democrats who will make a conspicuous public display of their deep feelings about the issue.

Given that there are more guns than people in America today, removing them all seems like a pipe dream, a way of pretending to do something while doing nothing. 

But, consider this, as something of a sidelight, this call to do something is precisely what the therapy culture has been telling us not to do. Therapy culture, with its mavens and mavenettes, has been telling us, when faced with emotional distress, to feel the pain, to be empathetic, to sit and listen quietly and compassionately. But, above all, the therapy culture tells us that we must not, under any circumstances, offer any suggestions for consequential actions to solve a problem.

If Republicans were the problem, today, at a time when Democrats are largely in power, from the halls of Congress to the federal bureaucracy, we would not have a problem. When these actions happen on a Democrat’s watch, the problem is Republicans who have not voted for enough gun control measures. When they happen on a Republican’s watch, it’s the Republicans, stupid.

Republicans defend the second amendment and Democrats defend those who commit the daily quota of gun violence. The war on the police, having begun two years ago and now being celebrated by progressive officials, produced a massive increase in gun violence, directed against blacks, produced by blacks. 

Democrat district attorneys have made a habit of not prosecuting or jailing people who commit gun violence. It is not hard to imagine that someone would have gotten the idea that gun violence can be OK, depending on who is doing it.

Look around America. Over the past two years we have seen a spike in gun violence. In America’s great blue cities gun violence is completely out of control. The gangs rule the streets and the subways. Public officials allow criminals to walk free. 

If we cannot tamp down gun violence in Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York, what makes you think that we can do so anywhere else.

Bari Weiss put it well:

Sixteen cities, including Philadelphia, Austin, Jackson, Columbus, Baton Rouge, New Haven and Portland, saw record high homicide rates in 2021. In the nation’s capital, more people under the age of 50 were gunned down than died from Covid.

And, of course, if people feel that the police are not doing enough policing, if they feel that marauding criminals are in charge of the streets, they will feel that much more desirous of owning guns.

Background checks might have helped, except that the president’s crack addict son, Hunter, lied on a background check, and was never prosecuted. Selective enforcement of laws is part of the problem.

Prosecuting all gun violence, especially the kind that inflicts our major cities, would be a good place to start. Enforcing the laws about gun control already on the books would also help.

As for where we got the idea that it was OK to kill children, keep in mind that the fourth graders who were killed could have been medically mutilated if they had declared themselves to be transgendered.

How many of these shooters were known to the police or had been in the mental health system? Even if Ramos was not part of the mental health system, there were many good reasons why he should have been. Given that we no longer accept involuntary commitment to psychiatric facilities, the one action that would have stopped most school shooters, we should stop whining about gun control. On this blog I have called for involuntary commitment, over and over and over again.

For those who are interested in how America manages to produce so many dysfunctional young men, the first point to emphasize is that the shooters are all young males. In the case of Salvador Ramos, we have a young man whose father had disappeared from his life, whose addict mother threw him out of the house, and who ended up living with his grandparents.

Now, his pathetic excuse for a mother is out explaining that she never saw any signs of violence. She is obviously a fraud. In principle, mothers are supposed to offer children unconditional love. When your mother rejects you, when your father has abandoned you, you will be in serious psychological distress.

One understands that the culture systematically derides the male presumption of being a breadwinner, but examine the life of a child whose father takes up and leaves.

The Victory Girls blog seems to be unique in identifying this issue:

If a neighbor was the only father figure, where the hell was the shooter’s father?? Keep in mind, the Parkland and Sandy Hook shooters had a lack of a father in their lives as well.

Then you add in a mother supposedly on drugs, elderly grandparents, a shooter who enjoyed firing a BB gun at people while driving around town, getting into fights, and it’s either a recipe for disaster or that person manages to persevere. Except it was evident that the shooter wasn’t going to thrive. 

A teenage loner with a disruptive family life. Bullied as a child because of a speech impediment. Immersed in video games and other virtual reality. Ramos, who was killed amid his massacre, had fought with his mother and hinted at violent ambitions. He shot his grandmother before he drove to the school and murdered children with a rifle in a fourth-grade classroom.

So, as America routinely denounces men for their toxic masculinity, just as it used to attack males for being chauvinist pigs, what’s a young man to do? How can he see himself becoming a man in a culture that derides, defames and derogates all forms of manly behavior. Given a therapy culture that glorifies feminine values, like empathy and vulnerability, what is a young man to do?

The same applies to broken homes, to fatherless homes, to unstructured homes, to homes lacking in routines and in discipline. And, let’s not forget, in homes where no one exercises authority. One understands that the national culture is up in arms against authoritarian governments, but where were the authority figures on Salvador Ramos’s life? Authority figures impose discipline. Look at what happens when a child is undisciplined.

In part Bari Weiss is right:

Here’s where I think they are right, if inadvertently: the social rot that’s come over America, the nihilism and hatred of each other, is part of the cause here. The dissolution of our social ties — and with them the accountability and responsibility that an actual community demands — has allowed insanity to fester unnoticed.

But, let’s understand that broken homes, fatherless children, are intrinsic to the social rot. Lacking structure at home, being barraged by messages about toxic masculinity, certain boys, from the inner cities and the projects form gangs to commit violence, to loot, to pillage, to commit mayhem, and to assault and murder. It might be a caricature of masculinity, but it's the only masculinity they can access.

It’s the result of our constant attacks on manly behavior. It’s the result of children living in fatherless homes-- which includes nearly half of America’s children. It’s the result of what Christina Hoff Sommers called a war against boys. Whatever made you think that the boys would not fight back.

This ought not to be news. See my post from four years ago. which quotes Doris Lessing from over two decades ago. Readers of this blog are not surprised to see what is happening across America.


hayek said...

Your link goes to Bari Weiss's commentary on her Substack blog. Please correct this as I would like to read your earlier contribution.

Stuart Schneiderman said...


IamDevo said...

Dear Stuart,
I hope I am not being presumptuous in my salutation, but I feel as if I know you on a personal level, being a long time follower of your blog and an admirer of your very astute observations and commentary. Perhaps because of this, I feel I must caution you against noticing so much and, even more dangerously, making your observations public. Are you not aware of what generally happens to those who do so? I would genuinely hate to see you pilloried by the twitterati for simply publishing what you, and anyone else whose eyes and mind are open and in good working order might agree with. One simply must not swim against the current "thing," don't you know.
Yours in the Utmost of Political Correctness,
Steve (retired/recovering lawyer)

Anonymous said...

One of the things that make me happy is that I live in a rural area. No crazy people near by.