The Thinking 

An Elementary School Shooting

December 14, 2012


JEANETTE V. writes:

Depraved liberals are already blaming the NRA for the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, never realizing it is a fact that there were more guns at schools 50 years ago and these incidents never happened. Students in some places would bring their guns to school to use after class either on public transportation or in their own vehicles. These kinds of events are a direct result of liberalism where everyone is so “free” that we have lost the ability to discern perversion and mental illness.

—- Comments —-

Nick writes:

I find it incredibly difficult to believe that kids were toting guns to class en mass during some past golden age. Maybe in rural schools. In urban and suburban schools? This strains credulity. Further, while it seems patently obvious that touchy-feely “inclusiveness” results in lowered cultural standards, I’m not grasping how it results in murdering children. I hope Jeanette has a better answer to this question than a stock response involving abortion. I love reading your website because when I don’t agree with you (which is just about as often as I do) I find you and your other posters’ arguments to be well reasoned and thoughtful. This strikes me as inflammatory and crass, though I’d love to hear why I’m wrong. It seems far too early to draw anything but the most knee-jerk and ideologically formulaic conclusions about this.

 Laura writes:

I strongly agree that it’s too early to draw any conclusions.

Regarding Jeanette’s statement, I believe she was referring to high schools in mostly rural areas. I don’t think there was a time when elementary school students would carry guns to school.

As for her final point, I think we have lost the ability to react properly to mental illness because of the lack of community and connection brought about by a radical individualism and freedom. So that one family may struggle for years with a mentally ill relative and no one else will say, “Get this person into an asylum where he won’t hurt anyone.”

But we don’t know what the story is here.

Art writes:

People have always had to deal with mentally ill family members. Before asylums there was only the sane relatives to take care of them and imprisonment if they had committed a crime.

And although elementary school students may not have have carried guns to an elementary school very often, it may have been conceivable in some circumstances.

Laura writes:

Again, we don’t know what the situation is yet in this shooting.

Yes, people have always had to deal with mental illness. But the mentally ill, especially those who were dangerous, were often separated from the community or confined in some way. And in closer communities, people had regular contact with each other. The presence of someone who was mentally ill was more obvious.

Today, they are often expected to live on medication in normal neighborhoods. It places impossible expectations on families.

Laura writes:

The shooting is much worse than expected. The latest is here.

Apparently, the shooter was a teacher who had been fired.

Roger G. writes:

During the late 50s and early 60s, in D.C.’s Virginia suburbs, rifle team members would carry their weapons and ammunition in cases on the school buses. People thought nothing of the practice. In a civilized society, this is no big deal.

Where necessary in rural and frontier areas during the 18th and 19th centuries, even young children might walk or ride to school with loaded weapons. Again, no big deal.

This discussion continues here.

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