Viral: This has been semi-viral in the wake of the recent shootings in Connecticut.
While touching and evocative (and capable of once again affirming why I never risked reproducing), it seems to me this mother's struggle with a truly crazy, obviously dangerous, unpredictably fucked-up kid (her carrying around a container for impounding the sharp objects in the house, just in case, DOESN'T sound to me too dissimilar to "gun control," but that's probably just me) is not of the same sort of crazy as Adam Lanza's situation.
The killer Lanza (apparently) had previously never presented with obvious violence, at least not that has been reported--other than that apparently he was an obsessive violent "gamer." He doesn't seem to have any record of counseling or therapy.
Lanza's mother, otoh, was apparently also a loon: a "prepper," one of that group of obsessives determined to "prepare" to survive thaa social apocalypse they anticipate (and it seems to me, to relish, in quite an unseemly manner).
I betcha she was terrified of scary black people too, cuz she lived where there apparently aren't ANY.
Woody'z a bit puzzled. The alleged reason/rationale for an armed populace is to present a sufficient threat to deter the "totalitarian usurpers" who wanna fuck with us, limit our freedoms, an restrict our liberties, etc...Right?
But that seems to me, anyway, what many of the same folks who proclaim the necessity of an armed citizenry proclaim is ALREADY happening. DESPITE an already fanatically, obsessively armed citizenry.
Which suggest to me, prima facie, the "usurpers" aren't all that worried worried about "our" armaments, if they're already busily and apparently uninterruptedly at work doing what our armaments are supposed to prevent.
I mean: We've already got a ferociously armed citizenry, but it doesn't seem to deter the "gummint" from fucking with us.
So it appears to me that the "gummint" isn't all that worried about an armed citizenry, if it is already taking from us what our guns are supposed to protect....
That is: If our guns are supposed to protect our liberties, it ain't fucking working.
Or am I missing something?
"Gun-lust"--the total, almost erotic obsession with firearms--is enshrined as a mainly a white, male obsession. This stems from colonial times, when the greatest (and only) threats against which the colonists were unable to adequately defend were raids by the "indians," and the possibility of a slave revolt.
Guns in our culture begin (and apparently end) as instruments and icons of our dominant ethnic, imperial, "Machismo/masculinity." The prevailing ethos then as now was the responsibility to protect your children, your genes. But, until the end of the 19th century, anyway, that was a difficult task especially on the "frontier," one at which those husbands and fathers often, embarrassingly, failed.
But superior fire-power was what gave 'em a chance. Meanwhile, because of social and technological change, according equal status to their former enemies, the white american male psyche is still beset with those demons,. and gun-lust is its manifestation and the 'security binkie' of choice. Susan Falludi wrote an interesting book about it, called "The Terror Dream."
Health-care, schmealth-care. The usual, thunderous, thumping chorus of national breast-beating once again echoes across the land. ANOTHER 28 innocents slaughtered by a madman with a high-tech arsenal. Cries and moans of mourning, loss and grief arise like clouds of dark birds from the carcass of a recent kill.
And because this is America, we immediately look for ways to absolve the system. This means blaming the individual(s), either victim(s) or the perp(s). Of course, if the cops/law spent HALF the time and resources controlling/suppressing ILLEGAL firearms/weapons transactions--just enforcing the EXISTING laws, across the board--as they/it do tracking down cannabis users and dealers, this would be a much safer place. But you see, pretty soon they start busting "decent, law-abiding" (i.e., "white") people with guns they shouldn't have, and that would NEVER do.
So the anguished call goes out, again for better mental health. And probably the kid was bat-shit crazy; his mother certainly was.
But without semi-automatic firearms (which his mother apparently owned, illegally), Lanza wouldn't have been able to kill 28 people before the cops arrived to stop him. Possibly that mightn't have prevented the killing spree, but it would have kept the body count down...
Why does anyone think free mental health clinics would have prevented this?
Did he ever present violent symptoms? Did he have a history? Counciling? Therapy?
Apparently nobody noticed he really, really, really, really hated his mother: according to reports, he emptied at least one clip into her head before setting off for school.
If you don't notice, then there's no reason to interrupt, is there?
And then there's the wealth part. His family had the bucks. Kids from families whose families really have the bucks don't get scrutinized as closely as other folks do. They get away with more of life's little eccentricities.
Sure, available mental health facilities are a good idea. No doubt about it. I think it's dubious that that would have prevented this situation, however, if the shooter was never "in the system.".
Good Families: Here's a provocative essay from last summer after the Aurora, CO, massacre. Why ARE apparently so many of our mass-murderers, our berserkers, our slaughterers of innocents, privileged, white, males? (There have been over 60 such incidents in the last 30 years--since Raygun, that is; though surely THAT's a coincidence, right?)...Here's one of many "money quotes:
Perhaps the greatest asset that unearned privilege conveys is the sense that public spaces “belong” to you. If you are—like James Holmes (in Colorado) last week, or Charles Whitman, who killed 16 people on the University of Texas, Austin campus in 1966—an American-born, college-educated white man from a prosperous family, you don’t have a sense that any place worth being is off-limits to the likes of you.White men from upper middle-class backgrounds expect to be both welcomed and heard wherever they go.
When that sense of entitlement gets frustrated, as it can for a host of complex psychological reasons, it is those same hyper-privileged men who are the most likely to react with violent, rage-filled indignation. For white male murderers from “nice” families, the fact that they chose public spaces like schools, university campuses, or movie theaters as their targets suggests that they saw these places as legitimately theirs.
The vast majority of white men from comfortable backgrounds don’t commit mass murder, of course. Our entitlement doesn’t manifest in the sense that public spaces are ours to terrorize, but it does show up in the confidence with which we move in those spaces. The certainty of belonging is at the core of our privilege.~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~