Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Shooters: They Think They’re the Victims

 

As usual, the cries for getting to the root of these terrible mass shootings are dominating the media landscape. It’s guns! It’s mental illness! It’s the lone wolf syndrome! I’m not against trying to understand the perpetrators of these horrifying events. In fact, this post is an effort to look at one other possible source of the problem—although if there’s any truth to my proposition, dealing with it may be more complex than we can imagine.

The problem? The mentality of the shooter: his victimization and our indulgence of it.

To better understand a victim mentality, I found this source:

The victim’s locus of control is likely to be external and stable. An external locus of control orientation is a belief that what happens to a person is contingent on events outside of that person’s control rather than on what one does. Stable, in this context, refers to the consistency of the out-of-control feelings of the victim vs. the belief that the outcome of events is due to luck or random events.

This essay further explained:

While the costs and suffering of victims are apparent, the benefits are much more subtle, and, for the most part, unconscious. They may include the right to empathy and pity, the lack of responsibility and accountability, righteousness, or even relief as the bad self is punished.

If we look at the latest mass shooter in south Florida, Nikolas Cruz, we see a young man who fits the typical portrait of the mass murderer. He was a loner; he had access to guns; he was angry and made threats. We also see a young man who had recently lost his remaining parent. He was expelled from school for his behavior. He was unhappy with the family who took him in after his mother died. I expect we will learn much more about him over time.

Do his circumstances justify his sick behavior? Of course not. Do other people with many more life losses plan and execute mass murders? They don’t. Should we view people who have been subject to life’s cruelties and disappointments as lifelong victims? That would be absurd. In fact, most people are victims at one point or another, and they may deserve our compassion and support.

But there is more to Nikolas Cruz’s situation that points to his exploiting, maybe even subconsciously, his possible victim’s role: society in general, and attorneys and psychotherapists (and other helping professionals) may be encouraging people to make the most of their victimhood:

We have become a nation of victims, where everyone is leapfrogging over each other, competing for the status of victim, where most people define themselves as some sort of survivor. We live in a culture where more and more people are claiming their own holocaust. While some victims are truly innocent (i.e., the child who is being molested, a victim in the other car in a drunk driving accident), most violence involves some knowledge, familiarity or intimacy between victims and victimizers. Charles Sykes, author of the widely acclaimed A Nation of Victims (1992), points out that if you add up all the groups that consider themselves to be victims or oppressed, their number adds up to almost 400 percent of the population. Exploring the psychology or the dynamic of victimhood has been suppressed and censored because it has been equated with “victim blaming.”

Essentially the victim does not take responsibility for his situation; believes he or she is right; can’t be held accountable for what has happened; and is indignant because he or she has been wronged. In response to their circumstances, we express compassion, empathy, and care. I suspect that Nikolas Cruz may see himself in this way. The paradox in this situation is our “help” only feeds the monster of victimization.

So while we are trying to understand what drives a person to murder others in an obscene and ugly episode, what can we do if our very society encourages these people to see themselves as justified to act against a repressive and alienating society?

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  1. Columbo Member

    People with “nothing to lose” (i.e. total despair), do completely irrational things. Suicide or mass killings.

    People without God (the hope of an eternal life) … have nothing to lose.

    This is what is different today. God has been evicted from too many lives.

    We are the losers. Our own worst enemies.

    • #1
    • February 15, 2018, at 5:19 PM PST
    • 15 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Columbo (View Comment):
    People with “nothing to lose” (i.e. total despair), do completely irrational things. Suicide or mass killings.

    People without God (the hope of an eternal life) … have nothing to lose.

    This is what is different today. God has been evicted from too many lives.

    We are the losers. Our own worst enemies.

    Well said, @columbo. We’ve helped to create these monsters.

    • #2
    • February 15, 2018, at 5:24 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  3. Annefy Member

    I read this early this week and it’s horrifying:

    Frontpage Mag: My sister Kate (Kate Millett)

    I think we have a lot of lost souls out there and the only answer is a literal re-boot of society, regaining ground we willingly ceded.

    I am heartened by a few snippets of news: Young women today are the most pro-life ever, and more moms are choosing to be stay-at-home moms.

    Edited to add: Also, the growing popularity of Jordan Peterson. His message is one of responsibility. There are millions of young people out there who know they have gotten a raw deal and they’re hungry for a message of how to be a responsible adult.

    • #3
    • February 15, 2018, at 5:27 PM PST
    • 15 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I read this early this week and it’s horrifying:

    Frontpage Mag: My sister Kate (Kate Millett)

    I think we have a lot of lost souls out there and the only answer is a literal re-boot of society, regaining ground we willingly ceded.

    I am heartened by a few snippets of news: Young women today are the most pro-life ever, and more moms are choosing to be stay-at-home moms.

    Edited to add: Also, the growing popularity of Jordan Peterson. His message is one of responsibility. There are millions of young people out there who know they have gotten a raw deal and they’re hungry for a message of how to be a responsible adult.

    What a nightmare of a life, @annefy. For the whole family. It puts feminism and Leftism in a whole different perspective.

    • #4
    • February 15, 2018, at 5:45 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  5. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Columbo (View Comment):
    People with “nothing to lose” (i.e. total despair), do completely irrational things. Suicide or mass killings.

    People without God (the hope of an eternal life) … have nothing to lose.

    This is what is different today. God has been evicted from too many lives.

    We are the losers. Our own worst enemies.

    Columbo and Susan,

    One of the police investigators being interviewed early on in the reporting was asked what pattern might be correlated to the behavior. He had a response which caught my attention. He said that in a society where anything goes how can you tell what strange behavior will actually result in the shooting. He hit a nerve. Remember the Dostoyevsky quote from the Brothers Karamazov, “If there is no Gd, everything is permitted”. In a society where line drawing itself has been demonized as being judgemental and not wonderfully inclusive, how does one go about predicting any human behavior? If you can’t recognize real problems v. just more idiosyncratic “other” behavior then how could you ever handle any problem.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #5
    • February 15, 2018, at 5:46 PM PST
    • 17 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):
    People with “nothing to lose” (i.e. total despair), do completely irrational things. Suicide or mass killings.

    People without God (the hope of an eternal life) … have nothing to lose.

    This is what is different today. God has been evicted from too many lives.

    We are the losers. Our own worst enemies.

    Columbo and Susan,

    One of the police investigators being interviewed early on in the reporting was asked what pattern might be correlated to the behavior. He had a response which caught my attention. He said that in a society where anything goes how can you tell what strange behavior will actually result in the shooting. He hit a nerve. Remember the Dostoyevsky quote from the Brothers Karamazov, “If there is no Gd, everything is permitted”. In a society where line drawing itself has been demonized as being judgemental and not wonderfully inclusive, how does one go about predicting any human behavior? If you can’t recognize real problems v. just more idiosyncratic “other” behavior then how could you ever handle any problem.

    Regards,

    Jim

    My gosh, Jim . He’s right. Bullseye.

    • #6
    • February 15, 2018, at 6:01 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  7. MarciN Member

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    He had a response which caught my attention. He said that in a society where anything goes how can you tell what strange behavior will actually result in the shooting.

    Yes, he is absolutely right. Stroll around any high school for an hour.

    • #7
    • February 15, 2018, at 7:44 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: The paradox in this situation is our “help” only feeds the monster of victimization.

    And this implies involuntary commitment is the only option, and it may be for the foreseeable future.

    No one wants to give up hope, but as the liberals say, “How many of our children while be slaughtered before we do something?” Of course, that something is always gun control, and it’s frustrating because that cure won’t treat the disease.

    • #8
    • February 16, 2018, at 6:14 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Stad (View Comment):
    And this implies involuntary commitment is the only option, and it may be for the foreseeable future.

    I wasn’t implying that, Stad. In fact, it’s not clear to me what the solution is, since we have added and abetted those who feel victimized. Both sides must stop playing those roles if we are to have any positive effect at all. BTW, with all the reports on this latest shooter, it’s reported that voices told him to do it.

    • #9
    • February 16, 2018, at 6:20 AM PST
    • Like
  10. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Both sides must stop playing those roles if we are to have any positive effect at all.

    I may have to disagree a tiny bit. I think our side has the better idea, but so far, it’s been all talk and no action. I’d like to see a Republican either in Washington, or state capitals across the country, introduce a bill to give law enforcement the tools it needs. However, the devil is always in the details, and there must be some kind of check or balance to ensure involuntary examination, treatment, and commitment doesn’t lead to political abuse.

    • #10
    • February 16, 2018, at 6:27 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Both sides must stop playing those roles if we are to have any positive effect at all.

    I may have to disagree a tiny bit. I think our side has the better idea, but so far, it’s been all talk and no action. I’d like to see a Republican either in Washington, or state capitals across the country, introduce a bill to give law enforcement the tools it needs. However, the devil is always in the details, and there must be some kind of check or balance to ensure involuntary examination, treatment, and commitment doesn’t lead to political abuse.

    We’re on the same page, Stad. The problem is still trying to identify who these people are; I’m not clear on whether a psychological examination would reveal specifically that the person will actually go out and kill people. As we both know, not every angry, victimized, frustrated person who fits the criteria for a mass killer will go out and do it. As you say, the devil is in the details.

    • #11
    • February 16, 2018, at 6:45 AM PST
    • 1 like
  12. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    My wife came across something this morning. It was a T-shirt with the following

    “Dear God – why do you allow so much violence in our schools?” – signed, A concerned Student

    Dear Concerned Student- I’m not allowed in schools.” God

    • #12
    • February 16, 2018, at 10:04 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    WillowSpring (View Comment):
    My wife came across something this morning. It was a T-shirt with the following

    “Dear God – why do you allow so much violence in our schools?” – signed, A concerned Student

    Dear Concerned Student- I’m not allowed in schools.” God

    WOW.

    • #13
    • February 16, 2018, at 10:11 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  14. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Columbo (View Comment):
    People with “nothing to lose” (i.e. total despair), do completely irrational things. Suicide or mass killings.

    People without God (the hope of an eternal life) … have nothing to lose.

    This is what is different today. God has been evicted from too many lives.

    We are the losers. Our own worst enemies.

    I’m not sure it is even that easy, because there are people with God who can be completely homicidal, if their belief in God tells them to it is right/necessary to kill someone. So I think the drive to kill is separate thing. That exists in varying degrees in people and then is to varying degrees suppressed and controlled, by other factors. When the trait is not properly repressed and the opportunity presents itself you get such killings.

    I think a big flaw of the lefts approach to this is that it seeks to stop the action by limiting opportunity (ie. banning guns). But that is not the underlying cause of the issue. So even if successful in banning guns and reducing the opportunity the underlying problem will manifest in different way. If conservatives want to treat the underlying problem this though will not help in the short to medium term as many cases are now already baked into the cake as it were. I guess we could do both, which would be probably mean a rather radical transformation of society. The knock on consequence thus would be greater still than either solution alone. But maybe that would be the best, or not. Hard to say. I don’t see us doing either.

    • #14
    • February 16, 2018, at 10:21 AM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    WillowSpring (View Comment):
    My wife came across something this morning. It was a T-shirt with the following

    “Dear God – why do you allow so much violence in our schools?” – signed, A concerned Student

    Dear Concerned Student- I’m not allowed in schools.” God

    WOW.

    Of course that is heretical. God is everywhere. So it really doesn’t answer anything. If we take the book of Job evil happens to us and it is not our place to judge God for it.

    • #15
    • February 16, 2018, at 10:24 AM PST
    • Like
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    I guess we could do both, which would be probably mean a rather radical transformation of society.

    @valiuth, what are your suggestions for that transformation? We certainly need one, but what components do you visualize?

    • #16
    • February 16, 2018, at 10:36 AM PST
    • 1 like
  17. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    I guess we could do both, which would be probably mean a rather radical transformation of society.

    @valiuth, what are your suggestions for that transformation? We certainly need one, but what components do you visualize?

    So, I just want to say up front that this isn’t my solution, I’m just spit balling as it were. If we think that part of the problem is that we have an alienating society in which one can easily acquire the means to do horrendous damage to people we can try to make our society be less alienating and also provide less means of harming people. So you at once build up civil and cultural institutions that provide people with a place within society and help to structure their lives, that can also serve as a system of monitoring them and thus catching early signs of anti-social behavior developing. Likewise you just remove the easy means to acquire and use deadly force thus you ban guns, and confiscate existing ones, you probably have more security pursuing people trying to acquire such means.

    If you want to be positive about it we would be a closely knit society that encourages pacifism and does not tolerate any violence. If you want to be negative about it we would turn our citizens into loyal unarmed subjects constantly monitored by the government and neighbors. Neither of those views or anything in between really sound like America as it has been up until now.

    I think the American character is basically much more accepting of the existence of violence and combating it with greater sanctioned violence. Having people ready to shoot a shooter seems much more in keeping with our character than worrying about making a society where the urge and means to kill people does not exist. Actually in a way just banning guns is also very similar to a shooter v. shooter solution, it just moves up the point of confrontation between sanctioned violence of the state and individual criminal behavior.

    Whatever we do other problems will emerge.

    Like I said I haven’t synthesized a personal position on this myself. So all this is speculation rather than my own opinions.

    • #17
    • February 16, 2018, at 11:12 AM PST
    • 1 like
  18. Ontheleftcoast Member

    There are bumper stickers that say

    Don’t believe everything you think.

    That goes to the heart of the problem with loners: there is no social touchstone to determine whether the thoughts are 24 karat or fools gold.

    Unfortunately, it also goes against the immature and narcissistic way of thinking which contributed to and is now institutionalized and in a state of self reinforcement in K-12 education, higher education, much of the business world (especially HR departments,) the administrative state (ditto) and even the military.

    By this doctrine, feeling offended, or even uncomfortable, means that you have been the victim of aggression against which you are entitled to defend yourself.

    This habit of thinking is widely viewd as mainstream in Islam. (This may help explain the affinity between postmodernist/SJW/multiculti thinking and today’s violent jihadis.)

    Acknowledging western critics who believe that Islam is in a state of perpetual struggle with the non-Islamic world, [Allah Bukhsh K.] Brohi, [the former Pakistani ambassador to India] counters in a clearly dismissive tone by explaining that man is the slave to God, and defying God is treason under Islamic law. Those who defy God should be removed from humanity like a cancerous growth. Islam requires believers “to invite non-believers to the fold of Islam” by using “persuasion” and “beautiful methods.” He continues, “the first duty” of a Muslim is dawa, a proclamation to conversion by “handsome ways.” It is only after refusing dawa and the invitation to Islam that “believers have no option but in self-defense to wage a war against those threatening aggression.”

    Obviously, much turns on how threats and aggression are characterized. It is difficult to understand, however, based on the structure of his argument, that Brohi views non-believers and their states as requiring conversion over time by peaceful means; and when that fails, by force. He is echoing the doctrine of Abd al-Salam Faraj†, author of Al-Farida al-Ghaibah, better known as The Neglected Duty, a work that is widely read throughout the Muslim world.

    Put simply, “If you do not ‘listen’ to me (actually defined as submit to me because it’s not really me, I am passing along Allah’s word/on the right side of history/antifascist/ etc.) that constitutes aggression against Islam/me/the cause and I am allowed or even required to be violent.

    Wikipedia: Faraj also had very specific views on what form this jihad should take. He followed Sayyid Qutb in arguing that jihad was a fard al-ayn (an individual duty incumbent upon every Muslim). He dismissed the notion that inner spiritual struggle was the greater jihad as a fabricated tradition, and emphasised the role of armed combat.

    The primary targets for jihad should be local regimes, Faraj taught. He coined the term “near enemy” to describe such targets, in contrast to “far enemies” such as Israel. [Many jihadis disagree with this part of the analysis.]

    • #18
    • February 16, 2018, at 11:18 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I read this early this week and it’s horrifying:

    Frontpage Mag: My sister Kate (Kate Millett)

    I think we have a lot of lost souls out there and the only answer is a literal re-boot of society, regaining ground we willingly ceded.

    I am heartened by a few snippets of news: Young women today are the most pro-life ever, and more moms are choosing to be stay-at-home moms.

    Edited to add: Also, the growing popularity of Jordan Peterson. His message is one of responsibility. There are millions of young people out there who know they have gotten a raw deal and they’re hungry for a message of how to be a responsible adult.

    Mallory Millett also wrote a good piece on “gun violence.” It was written in the wake of a mass shooting in Santa Barbara a few years back.

    DO NOT start the usual vilifying of the NRA and the constant claptrap about guns. Half of the people Elliot Rodger killed last weekend were felled by the knife. What? You want to confiscate all knives? Or make people get permits to own a knife? Most of the people injured were hurt by his car. Shall we outlaw cars? Let’s start thinking straight: Do you seriously want to blame the instrument for the actions of the user? We may as well blame the keyboard for the poison pen letter or the telephone for the obscene phone call or death threat!!! Make no mistake about it. It’s not guns, not male chauvinism, not white male privilege or male rage. It was the deconstruction of the mental health system in our country achieved in the seventies and eighties by a mad little gang of meddlers led in their mischief by Kate Millett.

    Stop saying the warning signs were missed. They were not missed. The Rodger family was begging, pleading for help from therapists, the police; just as did my own family, my mother, my sister, Sally, my cousins, nephews and I intervened our guts out to absolutely no avail. There is no system left in this country to deal with these traumas. This is a mental health issue and no more. We are surrounded by phony bleeding hearts who can coolly step over the sacred bodies of the wretchedly ill lying about our streets and sashay into a shop to eat a sandwich. Shame on all of you and may an huge share of the blame fall upon the shoulders of the perpetrators of this mercilessness, my sister, Kate Millett, and her fawning, ghoulish band of “liberating” acolytes. These people are the ones responsible for this chaos in our world.

    • #19
    • February 16, 2018, at 11:23 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I read this early this week and it’s horrifying:

    Frontpage Mag: My sister Kate (Kate Millett)

    I think we have a lot of lost souls out there and the only answer is a literal re-boot of society, regaining ground we willingly ceded.

    I am heartened by a few snippets of news: Young women today are the most pro-life ever, and more moms are choosing to be stay-at-home moms.

    Edited to add: Also, the growing popularity of Jordan Peterson. His message is one of responsibility. There are millions of young people out there who know they have gotten a raw deal and they’re hungry for a message of how to be a responsible adult.

    Wow, what a powerful voice! She pushed all the right buttons.

    • #20
    • February 16, 2018, at 11:29 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    (This may help explain the affinity between postmodernist/SJW/multiculti thinking and today’s violent jihadis.)

    I can’t believe I didn’t see where the connection was made. Of course: for all these groups, it’s a struggle against the dhimmi regimes. The SJW’s feel connected to jihadis because they’re all fighting against the state–our state. I need to think that one over! Thanks, otlc.

    • #21
    • February 16, 2018, at 11:37 AM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    I guess we could do both, which would be probably mean a rather radical transformation of society.

    @valiuth, what are your suggestions for that transformation? We certainly need one, but what components do you visualize?

    So, I just want to say up front that this isn’t my solution, I’m just spit balling as it were. If we think that part of the problem is that we have an alienating society in which one can easily acquire the means to do horrendous damage to people we can try to make our society be less alienating and also provide less means of harming people. So you at once build up civil and cultural institutions that provide people with a place within society and help to structure their lives, that can also serve as a system of monitoring them and thus catching early signs of anti-social behavior developing. Likewise you just remove the easy means to acquire and use deadly force thus you ban guns, and confiscate existing ones, you probably have more security pursuing people trying to acquire such means.

    If you want to be positive about it we would be a closely knit society that encourages pacifism and does not tolerate any violence. If you want to be negative about it we would turn our citizens into loyal unarmed subjects constantly monitored by the government and neighbors. Neither of those views or anything in between really sound like America as it has been up until now.

    I think the American character is basically much more accepting of the existence of violence and combating it with greater sanctioned violence. Having people ready to shoot a shooter seems much more in keeping with our character than worrying about making a society where the urge and means to kill people does not exist. Actually in a way just banning guns is also very similar to a shooter v. shooter solution, it just moves up the point of confrontation between sanctioned violence of the state and individual criminal behavior.

    Whatever we do other problems will emerge.

    Like I said I haven’t synthesized a personal position on this myself. So all this is speculation rather than my own opinions.

    I appreciate your taking a crack at it, @valiuth. I disagree on several fronts but don’t have time right now to go into detail. Thanks.

    • #22
    • February 16, 2018, at 11:38 AM PST
    • 1 like
  23. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    The SJW’s feel connected to jihadis because their all fighting against the state–our state. I need to think that one over! Thanks, otlc.

    That too. Both are anti-nation state and both get to kill you if you don’t submit.

    • #23
    • February 16, 2018, at 11:42 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I appreciate your taking a crack at it, @valiuth. I disagree on several fronts but don’t have time right now to go into detail. Thanks.

    It’s okay, I don’t much agree with it either.

    • #24
    • February 16, 2018, at 12:02 PM PST
    • 1 like
  25. Hypatia Inactive

    Yeah , I’ve already heard people say of Cruz, “we failed this young man”.

    But that doesn’t help us to know what he  was thinking. I’ve always been sorry the Columbine shooters didn’t survive. It would have been great if they had lived long enough to reflect on their behavior. Were they both just junior Charles Mansons? (Another guy “we” “failed”.) Look at Leopold and Loeb: we know they did their murder inspired by Nietzsche, cuz at least one of them lived long enough to tell the tale.

    I think Cruz did this for the notoriety. He looks calm and happy to me, standing there before the judge with his PD’s arm around his shoulders….

    • #25
    • February 16, 2018, at 12:12 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. Hypatia Inactive

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    I guess we could do both, which would be probably mean a rather radical transformation of society.

    @valiuth, what are your suggestions for that transformation? We certainly need one, but what components do you visualize?

    So, I just want to say up front that this isn’t my solution, I’m just spit balling as it were. If we think that part of the problem is that we have an alienating society in which one can easily acquire the means to do horrendous damage to people we can try to make our society be less alienating and also provide less means of harming people. So you at once build up civil and cultural institutions that provide people with a place within society and help to structure their lives, that can also serve as a system of monitoring them and thus catching early signs of anti-social behavior developing. Likewise you just remove the easy means to acquire and use deadly force thus you ban guns, and confiscate existing ones, you probably have more security pursuing people trying to acquire such means.

    If you want to be positive about it we would be a closely knit society that encourages pacifism and does not tolerate any violence. If you want to be negative about it we would turn our citizens into loyal unarmed subjects constantly monitored by the government and neighbors. Neither of those views or anything in between really sound like America as it has been up until now.

    I think the American character is basically much more accepting of the existence of violence and combating it with greater sanctioned violence. Having people ready to shoot a shooter seems much more in keeping with our character than worrying about making a society where the urge and means to kill people does not exist. ******Actually in a way just banning guns is also very similar to a shooter v. shooter solution, it just moves up the point of confrontation between sanctioned violence of the state and individual criminal behavior.

    Whatever we do other problems will emerge.

    Like I said I haven’t synthesized a personal position on this myself. So all this is speculation rather than my own opinions.

    *****Dont. You. DARE.

    blame this on “the American character”.

    Just. Don’t.

    That anyone would even mention this shopworn cliché bears out the OP’s point. Whyncha curl up with a soundtrack,of West Side Story? This man’s murderous action is not the fault of “society”.

    • #26
    • February 16, 2018, at 12:15 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  27. barbara lydick Coolidge

    Susan Quinn: . Charles Sykes, author of the widely acclaimed A Nation of Victims (1992), points out that if you add up all the groups that consider themselves to be victims or oppressed, their number adds up to almost 400 percent of the population.

    That percentage number has risen significantly. Back when I wrote on this issue (oped), the number was 280%. The Progs have been very busy

    • #27
    • February 16, 2018, at 12:19 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  28. Hypatia Inactive

    Crucial facts we don’t know:

    where did this killer get his money? An orphan, living on some unrelated family’s charity: did you see the pictures of his gun collection? Guns aren’t cheap.

    And: what has he been doing since he got expelled from high school?

    • #28
    • February 16, 2018, at 1:14 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  29. Stad Thatcher

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    So I think the drive to kill is separate thing.

    Good point. Motive can be anything – religion (“God made me do it”), violent video games, gun culture, lack of inclusion in social settings . . . the list is endless. However, the solution for progessives (and some on the right) is to ban the motive. The problem is these motives can also drive us to do good things.

    Religion also drives us to help the poor, do works of charity, go to sh*th*ole countries and help make their lives better.

    Violent video games allow us to vent our feelings and take it out on digital victims rather than real ones (I play a lot of these games, and I doubt anyone who’s met me thinks I’ll commit mass murder).

    Gun culture is really a love of and fascination with guns. 99.99% of people who use guns do so responsibly. You can a “gun nut” without being a mass murdering in training.

    Social media gets a lot of blame, and it may be unjustified. The two-edged sword is anonymity. Hiding behind an icon can allow us to 1) socialize without fear because we are shy and introverted, or 2) vent our rage at real or perceived injustice and demand action, up to and including violence. (BTW, it’s this latter item that I believe is where the solution is)

    My bottom line is there are some people, even with all drivers (motives) prohibited or removed, will find some reason to kill.

    • #29
    • February 16, 2018, at 1:43 PM PST
    • 1 like
  30. Stad Thatcher

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    Crucial facts we don’t know:

    where did this killer get his money? An orphan, living on some unrelated family’s charity: did you see the pictures of his gun collection? Guns aren’t cheap.

    And: what has he been doing since he got expelled from high school?

    You can count on the MSM not making public the results of answering your questions if they point to liberal policies or laws . . .

    • #30
    • February 16, 2018, at 1:53 PM PST
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