Mental Illness Is the Problem

 

I lived in Japan from 1998-2002. I love that country and have had a continued interest in it since returning to the U.S. But no country is perfect. Following are some mass killings that have occurred there since 1994.

  • In two separate Sarin gas attacks, the Aum Shinrikyo cult killed 21 and injured thousands, first in 1994 (Matsumoto) and again in 1995 (the Tokyo subway).
  • In 1998, a woman spiked the curry at a public gathering with arsenic, killing 4 and making another 64 attendees seriously ill.  
  • In June of 2001, a Japanese man fatally stabbed eight elementary school children. It took all of 10 minutes.
  • In 2008, a 25-year-old Japanese man drove a truck into a crowd in Tokyo, leaped out of the cab, and stabbed to death 7 people. The man gave as his reason that he was “tired of living.”
  • On New Year’s 2019, a 21-year-old drove a car into a crowd in Tokyo, injuring eight people.

Guns are not widely available in Japan and their possession is heavily regulated. Guns were not used in the crimes listed above; the weapons of choice were poison, moving vehicle, and knife. All were perpetrated by lunatics. In this last respect, they are no different from the mass shootings committed by young American men with guns. Note also that nearly all of the crimes were committed by young men: America is not the only country with a “young man problem” (as I have heard it called).

It is certainly right to restrict the possession of firearms by people with a history of mental illness or criminal activity. We already do so for felons. And, sure, it’s a good idea to require background checks and perhaps even raise the age at which guns may be purchased, but guns alone are not the problem. If guns were the sole problem, then in a nation of 330 million people and maybe 450 million guns, it seems to me that these events would be more frequent. Instead, the majority of firearms-related killings (54%) in 2020 were suicides.

According to an analysis of the data by Pew Research, mass shootings of any kind accounted for a very small number of deaths caused by firearms. In fact, more people were killed unintentionally by firearms (535) in 2020 than were killed in mass shootings in the same year (513). As the report notes, “. . . fatalities in mass shooting incidents in the U.S. account for a small fraction of all gun murders that occur nationwide each year.”

(Aside: Note that mental illness is responsible for two different kinds of gun-related death: suicides and mass shootings. It seems to me that the former—due to the sheer number of cases—offers the greater opportunity to reduce deaths by firearm. Deaths of despair increased when COVID shut the country down, but they were on the rise before that. This is a mental health crisis that doesn’t seem to exercise the CDC nearly as much as whether five-year-olds wear paper masks to school.)

How can we reduce the odds that a boy or young man will commit a mass killing? One thing we can do, since young people are addicted to self-expression on social media, is exploit those media to identify young men at risk and treat them. Start outpatient programs that help them deal with whatever is leading them into the dark. Require them to attend. Remand them to institutions if they refuse or are so challenged by their illness that they cannot be trusted at large. We just spent trillions of dollars (and tried to spend trillions more) to deal with COVID, so our willingness to spend on a good cause is not in question. It should not take nearly that much to get to these boys and help them before they are captured by this evil compulsion. Because they were boys before they were monsters.

This is not a request to confine or punish at-risk boys and then forget about them. Everything can be done in such a way as to keep records sealed, as we already do with juvenile offenders. One commentator, whom I respect greatly, talked about the first-amendment difficulties of “policing speech” on social media. I am not suggesting we jail kids for a few weird tweets. But if a boy is killing animals, taking pot shots at the neighbors, posting disturbing comments and videos about mass murders online—in other words, if the kid is establishing a pattern of behavior that suggests something has gone seriously wrong, I see no problem with sending the police, accompanied by a social worker, to the boy’s house to speak with the guardians, and requiring the kid to sit down for a few sessions with a psychologist. And suspending the child’s right to possess firearms at the psychologist’s recommendation. Check out @BDB’s “Nut with a Gun” for context: I repeat, this is not just a matter of a few bad tweets and some outlandish behavior.

Regarding freedom of speech: if you see a wisp of smoke rising from a campground, you assume it is a campfire and go about your business. The analogy here is to a kid who posts an off-color video or a few tasteless comments: normal teenage boys can be jerks! On the other hand, if you see lots of smoke rising above a suburban neighborhood, you assume something is wrong. The Uvalde killer, the Buffalo killer, and the Highland Park killer were emitting massive, billowing clouds of psychotic smoke well before they committed their atrocities. They gave every evidence of being on a very bad path. I do not think deference to free speech rights permits us to disregard mounting evidence of dangerous psychosis.

Finally, it is our duty to report to the police behavior, including social media posts, that make one suspect a person may be contemplating such a crime. This duty applies to businesses—including social media—as well as to individual citizens. Since Facebook, Twitter, et al. have taken it upon themselves to expel users who express opinions they don’t like, surely they can be trusted to report to the police disturbing posts such as those of the Uvalde and North Highland killers. We are continually encouraged to report suspicious bags sitting alone in an airport: what about suspicious posts on social media? What about an 18-year-old purchasing body armor?

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Thought provoking post, Peter. I am pessimistic about most government solutions as a rule. The primary preoccupation of social workers seems to be finding more cases requiring a social worker. It might work to find truly disturbed kids, but it seems to be a double-edged sword. 

    Once upon a time, in addition to family (which can suffer from being too close to the problem to recognize it as a problem), there used to be the additional check provided by church/synagogue/mosque. That level is useful for providing parents with an additional perspective


    As far as the links go, there are a couple of methods based on what platform you are using. If you are on a computer, you can copy the link into the clipboard, then seleect text in the post or comment, and type v while holdind down the control key. That’s hard to do on a phone, so there are also the dialog controls at the top of the editing pane.

    The circled control is the Link control. Select the text to be linked and click that control, then paste the link into the dialog that pops up. You don’t need to provide text. If so, I believe the link appears pretty much as you have it above.

    Keep posting!  

    • #1
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Restoration of families is the only long term answer to address social ills. 

    I maintain the birth control pill is the most disruptive technology of the 20th Century. It changed the relationship between sex and procreation and men and women. 

    • #2
  3. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Restoration of families is the only long term answer to address social ills.

    I maintain the birth control pill is the most disruptive technology of the 20th Century. It changed the relationship between sex and procreation and men and women.

    I agree with you about the pill, but for a different reason. It put parent-child relationships in a very historically weird place. Kids, rightfully so, think, “I  didn’t ask to be born. You owe me!” Before that, we were all on an equal footing–none of us asked to be born. We were going through life together. The pill changed that. Kids believe they have a right to expect perfection, but only 10 to 20 percent of parents are able to achieve that. In fact, to those who think parents are screwing up all the time these days, a message promulgated by the press daily, I would counter with the fact that the numbers say otherwise. Parents are today, as they always have done, doing an amazing job against impossible odds.

    This problem created by the pill and planned-pregnancy movements was coupled with the psychology movement embraced by the mass media that sought to blame all of our problems on our parents. Add to that the very small families people have been growing up in. In larger families, in the olden days, the rough and tumble of daily sibling life helped people build emotional resilience. There was no going to your room and dwelling on the slings and arrows of your outrageous fortunes.

    Whenever we see big social problems, there are always big cultural forces in play that are deep and wide.

    • #3
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Let me add on parents: No parents give their kids everything they need to grow up wound free. This has been understood throughout time. It is only recently that we have the idea that parents might be perfect. 

    • #4
  5. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I don’t think that it’s helpful to conceptualize the problem as mental illness.  Why not conceptualize it as evil?  Why seek an explanation that relieves the murderers of individual responsibility?

    I’m very skeptical of the idea that we can identify such murderers in advance.  Even if we could, I question the idea that we should “treat” them.  What does this mean, precisely?  Compulsory psychological counseling?  Mind-altering drugs?

    I like Bryan’s suggestion that we should strengthen the family.  I also think that we should punish crime.  We were doing a decent job of this, overall, until around 2015.  On the issue of crime, the big problem is Black Lives Matter and its allies, I think.

    • #5
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    On the notion of evil, I know that each one of us has the capacity for great evil and great good. I find that part of the issue is that when we refuse to recognize evil in ourselves, we cannot truly recognize it in others. 

    Dr. Jordan Peterson talks about people putting themselves into Hell on Earth, and I believe this is true. We can so seperate ourselves from God to be in Hell on Earth. Those people then can delight in the pain and suffering of others. They seek to maximize suffering. 

    • #6
  7. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Terrific post, Peter. I hope we see more from you.

    It’s tempting to conflate a few different things when discussing “America’s gun problem” — tempting, but not productive.

    Take the very concept of “mass shootings,” for example. Of the 513 deaths attributed to mass shootings in 2020, how many were the product of the kind of unhinged, random murder of Uvalde or Highland Park, versus something less obviously psychotic? If you exclude shootings that are gang related or occur during commission of some other crime, the number drops dramatically: most so-called “mass shootings” don’t fit the model of a crazy gunman shooting up a school or crowd.

    To get some idea of the inconsistency, take a look at the variety of numbers reported based on various classification criteria reported by Rand here.

    When one starts looking at the actual circumstances of so-called “mass shootings” — that is, of shootings in which three or four people are killed or injured (again, definitions vary) — one quickly concludes that urban gang- and drug-related violence is a huge driver of the homicide figures. That leads us away from psychiatric counseling and toward other potential solutions, including better community policing and law enforcement and, as Bryan notes above, strategies that will strengthen families and reduce the number of unparented young men on the streets.

    The anti-police/anti-law enforcement mantra of the left that President Obama fueled with his “police acted stupidly” and “could have been my son” comments and his tendency to sow racial division kicked off a lot of social decay, in my opinion. The left’s rabid cultural nihilism continues to promote that decay.

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I think one of the greatest roadblocks to your suggestions is to “force” anything on anyone. In these times, having the government take charge is an especially alarming thought. 

    • #8
  9. Joker Member
    Joker
    @Joker

    First, I have some hazy recollections of my youth and can say that every guy I knew said or did something incredibly dumb at some point (and I am grateful that there is no permanent record of those dumb things as our current youth have.) Look hard enough, and you can find a reason to deny any young guy a gun. Now, I think its important to consider juvenile arrest records, but red flag laws will snare a lot of harmless guys.

    Second, I think maybe the most important thing we can do now is get some feedback from past mass murderers. While there is understandable reluctance to publicize these guys, it would be interesting to get their thoughts about whether it was worth it, now that they’ve had a chance to experience long term incarceration. It might be a sincere warning to potential shooters if they heard how awful life is after the regret of lifetime conviction sinks in. Did that happen, but I missed it? 

    • #9
  10. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    PeterParisi: Finally, it is our duty to report to the police behavior, including social media posts, that make one suspect a person may be contemplating such a crime.

    Why?   What are cops supposed to do about posts on Reddit?  Are they going to investigate with warrants and put a notation on person’s permanent record?    Cops are hardly keeping up with real crimes like murder, rape and assault.

    It is a very hard problem to keep weapons out of the hands of nutjobs.  It will take a big solution and that big government solution might be worse than the problem.    It will take something like a comprehensive social credit score and I don’t trust the Democrats (or the Republicans or the deep state) with that kind of power.

    • #10
  11. PeterParisi Coolidge
    PeterParisi
    @PeterParisi

    Percival (View Comment):

    Thought provoking post, Peter. I am pessimistic about most government solutions as a rule. The primary preoccupation of social workers seems to be finding more cases requiring a social worker. It might work to find truly disturbed kids, but it seems to be a double-edged sword.

    Once upon a time, in addition to family (which can suffer from being too close to the problem to recognize it as a problem), there used to be the additional check provided by church/synagogue/mosque. That level is useful for providing parents with an additional perspective


    As far as the links go, there are a couple of methods based on what platform you are using. If you are on a computer, you can copy the link into the clipboard, then seleect text in the post or comment, and type v while holdind down the control key. That’s hard to do on a phone, so there are also the dialog controls at the top of the editing pane.

    The circled control is the Link control. Select the text to be linked and click that control, then paste the link into the dialog that pops up. You don’t need to provide text. If so, I believe the link appears pretty much as you have it above.

    Keep posting!

    Thank you for your response–and not least for the explanation of posting links!

    I share your pessimism with regard to government solutions, and you are spot on that the old institutions, especially religious institutions, were more effective at providing some sort of backstop for these situations. I don’t believe, however, that social workers never do any good, or that public intervention is always pointless.

    I don’t think I am recommending much more than what is current normal practice. If the police receive numerous complaints about dangerous or disturbing behavior at one address, at some point they need to recognize that a critical mass has been reached and take their visits up a notch. Where previously a couple of policemen had gone to the house to follow up on the complaints and inform the residents that there were complaints, after the fifth (or seventh or tenth) report of beyond the pale behavior, they might show up with a social worker to assess the situation.

     

     

    • #11
  12. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    PeterParisi (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Thought provoking post, Peter. I am pessimistic about most government solutions as a rule. The primary preoccupation of social workers seems to be finding more cases requiring a social worker. It might work to find truly disturbed kids, but it seems to be a double-edged sword.

    Once upon a time, in addition to family (which can suffer from being too close to the problem to recognize it as a problem), there used to be the additional check provided by church/synagogue/mosque. That level is useful for providing parents with an additional perspective


    As far as the links go, there are a couple of methods based on what platform you are using. If you are on a computer, you can copy the link into the clipboard, then seleect text in the post or comment, and type v while holdind down the control key. That’s hard to do on a phone, so there are also the dialog controls at the top of the editing pane.

    The circled control is the Link control. Select the text to be linked and click that control, then paste the link into the dialog that pops up. You don’t need to provide text. If so, I believe the link appears pretty much as you have it above.

    Keep posting!

    Thank you for your response–and not least for the explanation of posting links!

    I share your pessimism with regard to government solutions, and you are spot on that the old institutions, especially religious institutions, were more effective at providing some sort of backstop for these situations. I don’t believe, however, that social workers never do any good, or that public intervention is always pointless.

    I don’t think I am recommending much more than what is current normal practice. If the police receive numerous complaints about dangerous or disturbing behavior at one address, at some point they need to recognize that a critical mass has been reached and take their visits up a notch. Where previously a couple of policemen had gone to the house to follow up on the complaints and inform the residents that there were complaints, after the fifth (or seventh or tenth) report of beyond the pale behavior, they might show up with a social worker to assess the situation.

     

     

    The news has reported that the Highland Park dweeb had been interviewed by a “crisis counsellor” a few years back. All that I caught is that he told the counsellor that he was depressed and using drugs.

    • #12
  13. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Let me add on parents: No parents give their kids everything they need to grow up wound free. This has been understood throughout time. It is only recently that we have the idea that parents might be perfect.

    This may be part of the problem.  We have isolated our children from problems to the point that they feel problems are the end of the world.  So by the time they get to be adult the first real problems they run across they act like children.

    • #13
  14. TheRightNurse, radiant figure of feminine kindness Member
    TheRightNurse, radiant figure of feminine kindness
    @TheRightNurse

    On mental illness, one point that is not commonly discussed when talking about a “young man problem” is the vast depression and search for meaning. 

    The 26 year old that sought to kill Kavanaugh was hoping to commit suicide by cop after completing what he hoped would be his life’s most meaningful act.  The young man in Uvalde.  Hell, there’s theories about a certain member of my family choosing suicide by cop.

    Many of these events have that in common.

    These are suicidal young men.  They simply want to take down other people first or ensure that they will get the death penalty and die sooner.

    No one is addressing this.  Why do they feel there is no future?  Why are they so depressed and suicidal?

    Maybe we can focus on having fewer people feel like isolated outcasts?  Maybe we can focus on making social media more social and less media?  Maybe we can focus on resilience training in school, punishing kids (and their parents) when they bully, and focus on better social connections for those who have little/no family structure? 

    Maybe that is the meaning.  These are people without social purpose and they know it.

    • #14
  15. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    Good post.

    PeterParisi: Instead, the majority of firearms-related killings (54%) in 2020 were suicides .

    Guns are commonly blamed for suicides.  But Japan is famous for it’s high suicide rate despite private ownership of guns being rare.  The most common method, worldwide, is using poison, often agricultural pesticides.

    The World Health Organization states: “Ingestion of pesticide, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally.”  When I looked at their web site a couple years ago, firearms were not in the top 3 methods, so either the trends have changed or their data collection is slanted.

     

    • #15
  16. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    TheRightNurse, radiant figure … (View Comment): No one is addressing this. Why do they feel there is no future? Why are they so depressed and suicidal?

    Because human civilization is past its prime. We’ve solved all the solvable problems. We’ve discovered all that’s discoverable. We’ve built all that’s buildable. What’s left? Most Americans have nothing worthwhile to pour their time and energy into — it’s all one form of entertainment or another. Bread and circuses. Porn and video games.

    And even if you manage to set the right goals for yourself, you still have to contend with the fact that the whole social ecosystem is broken, so nothing works the way it should, and even the basic tasks of social life become a laborious slog. Just imagine how difficult it must be for someone who isn’t blessed with the perfect family or a high IQ or a good education.

    • #16
  17. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Let me add on parents: No parents give their kids everything they need to grow up wound free. This has been understood throughout time. It is only recently that we have the idea that parents might be perfect.

    This may be part of the problem. We have isolated our children from problems to the point that they feel problems are the end of the world. So by the time they get to be adult the first real problems they run across they act like children.

    Some hardships build character; some hardships destroy it. People are facing the wrong kind of hardships.

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    TheRightNurse, radiant figure … (View Comment):

    These are suicidal young men.  They simply want to take down other people first or ensure that they will get the death penalty and die sooner.

    No one is addressing this.  Why do they feel there is no future?  Why are they so depressed and suicidal?

    I believe this is due to the breakdown of the family, religion and the education system. The family, which used to provide an emotional and learning support system doesn’t work. Kids flounder trying to find direction; religions aren’t taught to inspire and encourage curiosity. Re the education system, kids are taught to memorize and follow instructions; they have no idea how to innovate or develop new ideas. And then, they also do not understand the value of importance of relationships. In the schoolroom, they only care about satisfying the teacher, not working with others and problem-solving together.

    So there is nowhere to make connections, and no one to tell them how to do it. 

     

    • #18
  19. TheRightNurse, radiant figure of feminine kindness Member
    TheRightNurse, radiant figure of feminine kindness
    @TheRightNurse

    What is your opinion on the thwarted Richmond plot and the men who intended to commit mass murder?

    Their ages are 52 and 38.

    • #19
  20. PeterParisi Coolidge
    PeterParisi
    @PeterParisi

    TheRightNurse, radiant figure … (View Comment):

    What is your opinion on the thwarted Richmond plot and the men who intended to commit mass murder?

    Their ages are 52 and 38.

    I read about that and it was pretty much the best news I’ve heard all week! It is nice to know that not every lunatic slips through the net. As for the age, craziness is not the monopoly of 18-22-year old boys.

    • #20
  21. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    TheRightNurse, radiant figure … (View Comment):

    What is your opinion on the thwarted Richmond plot and the men who intended to commit mass murder?

    Their ages are 52 and 38.

    I will need more info.  

    So far all I see is two non citizens arrested because somebody claimed something and they had two rifles, a handgun and and some ammo.  Being a non citizen does not make one unable to own a gun in many places.  The gun count or ammo does not seem out of line for a couple of guys.  

    • #21
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Joker (View Comment):
    Second, I think maybe the most important thing we can do now is get some feedback from past mass murderers. While there is understandable reluctance to publicize these guys, it would be interesting to get their thoughts about whether it was worth it, now that they’ve had a chance to experience long term incarceration. It might be a sincere warning to potential shooters if they heard how awful life is after the regret of lifetime conviction sinks in. Did that happen, but I missed it? 

    I’m not sure how that squares with the idea that it’s best for those people to never be mentioned or heard from again, for their names and/or agendas to never be published, etc.

    • #22
  23. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    PeterParisi (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Thought provoking post, Peter. I am pessimistic about most government solutions as a rule. The primary preoccupation of social workers seems to be finding more cases requiring a social worker. It might work to find truly disturbed kids, but it seems to be a double-edged sword.

    Once upon a time, in addition to family (which can suffer from being too close to the problem to recognize it as a problem), there used to be the additional check provided by church/synagogue/mosque. That level is useful for providing parents with an additional perspective


    As far as the links go, there are a couple of methods based on what platform you are using. If you are on a computer, you can copy the link into the clipboard, then seleect text in the post or comment, and type v while holdind down the control key. That’s hard to do on a phone, so there are also the dialog controls at the top of the editing pane.

    The circled control is the Link control. Select the text to be linked and click that control, then paste the link into the dialog that pops up. You don’t need to provide text. If so, I believe the link appears pretty much as you have it above.

    Keep posting!

    Thank you for your response–and not least for the explanation of posting links!

    I share your pessimism with regard to government solutions, and you are spot on that the old institutions, especially religious institutions, were more effective at providing some sort of backstop for these situations. I don’t believe, however, that social workers never do any good, or that public intervention is always pointless.

    I don’t think I am recommending much more than what is current normal practice. If the police receive numerous complaints about dangerous or disturbing behavior at one address, at some point they need to recognize that a critical mass has been reached and take their visits up a notch. Where previously a couple of policemen had gone to the house to follow up on the complaints and inform the residents that there were complaints, after the fifth (or seventh or tenth) report of beyond the pale behavior, they might show up with a social worker to assess the situation.

    Next problem:  How many social workers do you need to monitor 300+ million people, and then how many social workers to monitor the social workers, etc etc.

    • #23
  24. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Let me add on parents: No parents give their kids everything they need to grow up wound free. This has been understood throughout time. It is only recently that we have the idea that parents might be perfect.

    This may be part of the problem. We have isolated our children from problems to the point that they feel problems are the end of the world. So by the time they get to be adult the first real problems they run across they act like children.

    Some hardships build character; some hardships destroy it. People are facing the wrong kind of hardships.

    Smaller “hardships” early on – set bed times, etc – can start to build character.  If early “hardships” are avoided, they have no character to deal with sudden actual (or even other imagined) hardships.

    • #24
  25. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Okay, let’s take the explanation to the next step.  The Pill, family breakdown, male depression, fatherless families, can all basically be laid at the feet of an overarching cause.  That would be Feminism, reflected in the 1960s slogan:

    A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.  [they are still selling t-shirts with this slogan]

    I wrote about this on my personal blog in 2012, and updated it slightly today.

    https://rushbabe49.com/2012/07/20/the-single-most-destructive-slogan-in-recent-memory/

     

    • #25
  26. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    I appreciate your post.  This is a topic on everyone’s mind.  I think it’s a combo of the following and not guns:

    1. If you look at the mother of the latest shooter, she was off the rails – a self-proclaimed energy healer.  The school had to call the parents to pick up the kids from school and activities. The parents did not live together. The younger lived with the dad.  Neighbors said the mother’s house looked like it should be condemned. They thought about calling social services to check on the kids.  There was an older sister.  Neglect is just the beginning of that story –
    2. Social media – he found (and many kids) his identity by being validated on social media – a poison – in place of stable parents, family and community involvement. I feel like this is also fueling the Trans movement among the very young and distorting their sense of who they are.  Very disturbing.
    3. This will continue as social media, politics etc. continues to separate the family, as many in this generation do not know faith and the church, and poisonous ideologies across social media and the schools fuel a sense of non-belonging in a healthy, well-balanced sense, and point to disturbing and distorted world views and personal itentity..
    • #26
  27. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Nobody is going to come up with government policy to develop human capital better. The solution is more concealed carry. Suppressing fire in Highland Park would have helped a great deal.

    Regarding Buffalo, everything I’ve seen, New York has the most draconian red flag system possible. It didn’t do anything. 

    I forget why this is, but you can’t force the responsible parties to even fill up the NICS system as it should be. 

    It’s impossible to get the justice system to prosecute straw purchasers enough. 

    The solution is more concealed carry.

    • #27
  28. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    I thought this was excellent. 

     

     

     

    • #28
  29. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Related to what everybody is talking about here, I really like interviews of Rep Dave Brat and Deirdre McCloskey. The systems and the personal value systems that create good human capital and expand it. 

    • #29
  30. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    Percival (View Comment):

    PeterParisi (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Thought provoking post, Peter. I am pessimistic about most government solutions as a rule. The primary preoccupation of social workers seems to be finding more cases requiring a social worker. It might work to find truly disturbed kids, but it seems to be a double-edged sword.

    Once upon a time, in addition to family (which can suffer from being too close to the problem to recognize it as a problem), there used to be the additional check provided by church/synagogue/mosque. That level is useful for providing parents with an additional perspective. [snip]

    Keep posting!

    Thank you for your response–and not least for the explanation of posting links!

    I share your pessimism with regard to government solutions, and you are spot on that the old institutions, especially religious institutions, were more effective at providing some sort of backstop for these situations. I don’t believe, however, that social workers never do any good, or that public intervention is always pointless.

    I don’t think I am recommending much more than what is current normal practice. If the police receive numerous complaints about dangerous or disturbing behavior at one address, at some point they need to recognize that a critical mass has been reached and take their visits up a notch. Where previously a couple of policemen had gone to the house to follow up on the complaints and inform the residents that there were complaints, after the fifth (or seventh or tenth) report of beyond the pale behavior, they might show up with a social worker to assess the situation.

    The news has reported that the Highland Park dweeb had been interviewed by a “crisis counsellor” a few years back. All that I caught is that he told the counsellor that he was depressed and using drugs.

    It looks like I didn’t post my comment on social workers after all.  I cut it down from 500 words.  Here’s my brief take:

    Social workers are good-hearted but everything they do is dictated and mediated by laws, regulations, courts, top-down standards of practice, and evolved local procedures, rather than expert knowledge of, say, law, finance, neurology, or medicine.

    It’s not their fault, they just want to help people, but functionally, social workers are first and foremost bureaucrats who work in a purely bureaucratic world of government regulations, services and agencies; this includes mandatory reporting, and all of which they take to heart because the regulations are often black and white in the extreme.

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