AT VFR, Lawrence Auster writes:
… This society has normalized the abnormal and the evil. In particular it has normalized, in the all-surrounding mass entertainment media, displays of extremely sensate, grotesque, and perverted violence, and no one in the society publicly opposes it. Therefore the whole society shares the guilt. And children share the guilt by association with their parents and with the whole society. (Note to reader: Before you decide I’m crazy, read on.) Societal guilt is not neat and precise and fair to individuals in the way it works out. Everyone partakes of it and everyone is liable to receive the consequences of it, even if, as is the case with children, they are personally innocent.
Our society has also destroyed norms in taking a non-judgmental and libertarian position on mentally disturbed and dangerous people who once would have been isolated from society. It would be unfair and oppressive to institutionalize the mentally ill, so we let them move about at liberty where ultimately many of them commit violent crimes.
But no one notices our systematic normalization of the normless. People seem to think that because they themselves are not bothered or harmed by this normless world of violence and madness, no one will be harmed by it. But not everyone is equally stable. Some people are more vulnerable to messages of sadism, savage violence, rampant lust, and murder than others. They need a sane and well ordered society to remain well-ordered themselves. But our society hurls everyone into moral chaos and assumes everyone will be ok, because, after all, if you don’t like perverted and violent messages in the surrounding society, you’re free to ignore them, right? Isn’t that what every libertarian and “freedom”-loving conservative like Rush Limbaugh says?
— Comments —-
Lydia Sherman writes:
Have you noticed how the press now reports the killer as a”shooter,” or “gunman” which of course is associated directly with guns? It was not so very long ago that it was reported as a murderer or a criminal.
Also, I wonder why people continue to trust that public schools are good and safe places for their children. Students and teachers are risking their lives in the public schools.
Daniel S. writes:
Lydia Sherman writes:
Have you noticed how the press now reports the killer as a “shooter,” or “gunman” which of course is associated directly with guns? It was not so very long ago that it was reported as a murderer or a criminal.
There is the anti-gun angle at play in the selection of such terms, but I think such words were chosen ultimately because they are morally ambiguous and play into the narrative that such events are random tragedies. To use a word like criminal is to introduce not only a moral element, but also point to conscious human evil as a motive.
Newspapers used the most neutral language possible to describe evil.
John Purdy writes:
Lawrence Auster writes: “They (the mentally ill) need a sane and well ordered society to remain well-ordered themselves.” I think this goes to the heart of the matter. Consider that Switzerland, which is awash in automatic rifles, has few, if any of these kinds of incidents. Japan, which has strict gun control but has enormously perverse entertainments, also has no such incidents. These are both societies and cultures that are well ordered. It is unlikely that they have fewer mentally ill people per capita than the U.S.
Also, regarding Lydia’s comment, statistically speaking schools are still very safe for children. At least, physically. Spiritually — not so much.
Though relatively few children overall die in these massacres, the impact is still enormous. As I point out in this entry, children are now subject to years of lockdown drills in which massacres are rehearsed in schools. Now think what it is to be a child and to go back in a dark closet or the corner of a classroom with your teacher and cower there with your head down. Not only does this terrorize children, but it teaches them that the adults in their lives are fearful, helpless and incapable of defending themselves. It undermines their respect for the adult world and steals their sense of security.
Mr. Purdy writes:
When I first read your comment I was in full agreement. However, as I began to think about it, I began to experience doubts. So please allow me to act as a devil’s advocate.
What if there are beneficial effects to children, even very young ones, in learning that life is not simply safe and secure. I am thinking here of Israeli children who undergo training in how to survive rocket attacks. Even if your father is a decorated war veteran in the Israeli Army, if a rocket attack comes in he can’t help you, all you can do is to run to a bomb shelter. I’m sure someone is doing longitudinal studies on the effects of all this on children but the Israelis are a very tough people. Maybe this is necessary for our children to understand, life has never been safe, however much we might wish it might be. A training program in terrorism, like fire drills, might be useful.
I’m not sure, I would prefer children have idyllic lives but maybe we have to accept that that’s how life is in the real world. Maybe it’s better if they are trained.
We don’t need to go out of our way to expose children to reality. An idyllic life is impossible — even for children. All children (except imbeciles), at a young age, learn of the fact of death. That’s when a child first realizes his vulnerability. He knows that his parents could die. He learns of fires and burglars and vicious animals. Part of the reason children are drawn to frightening stories and fairy tales, is because they already are engaged in reality and the terrible facts of life, which both frighten and fascinate them.
Nevertheless, there are enormous differences between the Israeli raids and these lockdown drills.
The most important difference is that the Israelis are defending themselves. Israeli children are fully aware, because they see them all the time, of the armed forces who are combating and protecting them from this specific enemy. Also it is reasonable, from a child’s perspective, that adults would take extreme measures and want to seek shelter in the face of a bomb.
In the case of the American schools, however, nowhere are adults pursuing or fighting this enemy. They are entirely passive. They wait for the enemy to come to them and then they cower in terror. While it is reasonable that adults would flee a bomb, it is not understandable, or should not be understandable, to a child why they would flee a single adult and why a single human being would have such power over them.
The child cannot help but sense, in a way he cannot articulate, that the world is perplexingly dangerous and out of control when dozens of adults cower before a single human being.
Children must learn that life is not safe and secure. But they must learn this in ways that they can grasp, just as they must learn mathematics in ways that they can grasp. They don’t start with quantum physics. They start with basic calculation.
I strongly believe young children are unable to handle the knowledge that the adults who are caring for them, the people who are the center of their world, are afraid. This creates confusion and distressing insecurity. Even when responsible adults are afraid, they always act, often intuitively, as if they are not afraid to protect the child’s vulnerability. But then our schools have long since abandoned the most basic intuitive knowledge about children and respect for their innocence.
I should add that I don’t believe there is any good solution to these massacres because they are a result of serious systemic problems and indicate how far our atheistic schools have fallen. But the best defensive measure for now would be to arm adults in the schools and not perform any of these drills.
James P. writes:
“I should add that I don’t believe there is any good solution to these massacres because they are a result of serious systemic problems and indicate how far our atheistic schools have fallen. But the best defensive measure for now would be to arm adults in the schools and not perform any of these drills.”
The best defensive measure would be to institutionalize the insane, who are the perpetrators of these atrocities. Right now the policy is to put the normal, sane and innocent in a fortified prison, and let the vicious animals roam free — which is nuts!
Clayton Cramer explains the pernicious effects of deinstitutionalizing the mentally ill. He notes,
“Deinstitutionalization played a substantial role in the dramatic increase in violent crime rates in America in the 1970s and 1980s. People who might have been hospitalized in 1950 or 1960 when they first exhibited evidence of serious mental illness today remain at large until they commit a serious felony. The criminal justice system then usually sends these mentally ill offenders to prison, not a mental hospital.”
Yes, I agree.