February 15, 2018
As parent, my gut instinct is to get my family out of America as soon as possible. There are lots of places this doesn’t happen. This country is fundamentally broken. If we didn’t address American males’ obsession with gun violence and the “right” to own weapons of mass carnage after the Sandy Hook massacre, we never will. That 2012 Connecticut shooting left 20 six and seven-year olds dead. Is my three-year-old safe in daycare today, or will find out on the news that some boy or man exercised his 2nd Amendment right by blowing her and her little classmates heads off?
Yesterday’s carnage in Lakeland, Florida is just the latest. Seventeen dead. People are offering the “thoughts and prayers” (accomplishes nothing) and #GunReformNow is trending on Twitter (accomplishes nothing). Pundits and presidents talk about how the shooter was “deranged” (accomplishes nothing) and it will be open season on anyone with a mental health issue (accomplishes oppression, because people suffering from mental health issues are actually less violent than the general population.) It’s the same circle jerk that will dominate the news cycle until the next “big story.” Stormy Daniels? Trump’s tweet? Another shooting? Does anybody remember the Las Vegas shooting? 2017? Hello?
When my co-authored book about suburban delinquency and gun violence, Teenage Renegades, Suburban Outlaws, came out in 2001 we were (like now) picking up the pieces of young gun casualties. The book addressed the lessons learned from the cluster of school shootings at the turn of the century that peaked with the 1999 slaughter at Columbine (13 killed). I was honored to be a part of the national discussion about toxic masculinity, bullying, and the easy availability of high powered weapons. We licked our wounds and went to work and school shootings declined.
The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School yesterday dwarfed Columbine, something young males have been promising for 19 years. We’ve averaged about one of these events a week in 2018. (I wonder how bad next week’s shooting will be.) That this teenage shooter was linked to a white supremacist group also connects the body count to the elevated racist climate in Donald Trump’s alt-right America, where violent white males have become emboldened (God, I’m sick of using that word). But while we focus on the race of the shooter, we will miss the more important discussion about the gender of the shooter.
All these mass shootings are committed by males. There was a school shooting earlier this month in Los Angeles by a 12-year-girl but it was ruled unintentional. Except for the Brenda “I don’t like Mondays” Spencer case in 1979 (2 dead), girls don’t go on shooting sprees. I’ve written endlessly about the connection between masculinity and gun violence, including in this blog. Let me bring the message home.
The same toxic masculinity that allows a boy or man to take an AR-15 to school and vent his rage at the world on some “soft targets” is displayed by our elected officials who think they are defending something by allowing that boy or man access to an AR-15 in the first place. There is a reason that women (and female politicians) are at the front of the sensible gun law cause. Women don’t need AR-15’s to make their dicks hard. Women, and men not suffering from EPE (Extreme Penis Envy), want sensible gun laws to reduce (not eliminate) the regularity of this horror. When it was black children being shot in America’s cities, their solution was just to lock everyone up (for anything possible) and put them to work in the prison labor industry. When the juvenile shooter demographic flipped to white, well, they must be crazy and you can’t really do anything about that. Do not expect men to fix this gun problem. Do not. It will be women who get this done. But they have a mountain of patriarchal bull to remove first.
I’m sick of the gun “debate.”
I’m sick of hearing about “deranged individuals.”
As parent, I’m thinking it might be time to get out while we still can. America is sinking under the weight of its own testosterone. Our male politicians, funded by the gun lobby, have gerrymandered political boundaries to such an extreme that there is no longer much hope of compromise. Districts are permanently Republican or Democratic and moderates are jumping ship. We’re in permeant deadlock with a president who only cares about his ratings and applause from his sub-moronic base. Welcome to Idiocracy. You can pick up your kid after school at the morgue.
On the bright side, the contentious Baby Boom generation is dying off. If the Millennials can put down their phones (and their guns) long enough, this country might survive to its tricentennial. Your “thoughts and prayers” make me sick, but your action plans have my full attention. In the meantime, I’m exploring my options.
“America when will we end the human war?” – Allen Ginsberg (1956).
HOW TO TALK RATIONALLY ABOUT GUN CONTROL
ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING IN AMERICA
29 thoughts on “America is eating its young. Maybe it’s time to get the hell out.”
It’s bad. Marilyn Manson did a song called “We’re From America” that sums up this mess and actually includes the line ‘where we eat our young’. I don’t know the answers but I wish the best for all.
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this post made be cry, for all the dead children and adults killed by gun violence,
no one needs guns of kind and certainly not the kind that are rigged to fire bullet after bullet into the bodies of our children. i have six great granddaughters , all but one in school. i fear for them . i fear the news flash that says their school has been targeted for mass murder. i also don’t think hugs and prayers are worth a damn. they won’t stop this, we have to do it. whatever it takes. speak up everyone and say ” enough is enough” get on the butts of the NRA . how? i don’t know, but some great mind does. we need him or her to solve this. are you out there” speak up and fire up the country as a whole and stop the sale of these guns. we are big enough to do it, but are we powerful enough to make the laws that will stop it. jail anyone that sells them. as murderers before they sell one more to anyone. i am sick to death of this bullshit. AMERICA FIX IT.
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UMMM Randy, your a baby boomer…
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LOL. Well, born in 1964. Most count that as the first year of Generation X. But I’ll take responsibility for my part of this madness. (I still put my hope in those younger than me.)
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When it comes to “gun control,” it’s a case of going from one extreme to the next. You have groups of people who want to do away with guns all together, then you have groups saying it needs to be harder for mentally ill people to have them. For someone to claim is “mentally ill,” there needs to be a formal diagnosis and needs to be documented preventing the person to buy a firearm. Washington (I believe it was Washington State) that passed a law banning bump stocks (believe it or not, I support that).
As unfortunate as it is about what happened in Florida yesterday, why doesn’t anybody ever report about what happens in the projects of L.A., Chicago, or the communities that has a high gang rate violence? These gang members are constantly shooting and killing one another because “they were disrespected.”
IF we do have tighter gun laws or if for some strange reason all firearms are done away with, what do you think would happen in these communities with gang violence? How do you think they would still get the guns? It’s not like any of them bought the guns legally anyways. This is something that is worth discussing, but nobody does.
Which do you think grabs more attention: shooting at a school killing innocent children or gang members killing other gang members? The shooting of a school would grab more attention because that’s what tugs at the hearts more.
I’m a gun owner and proud to be a gun owner. I’m also a responsible gun owner. If you were to take the firearms away or prevent people with mental illness, that would mean so many veterans who served in combat with ptsd, a woman with ptsd who was raped, or any other person with ptsd from a tragic event. Even someone with ADD is considered mentally ill. You’ve voiced before about how you tried to commit suicide in the past (thank God you didn’t), but that would disqualify you because that is considered Suicide Behavior Disorder https://www.theravive.com/therapedia/suicidal-behavior-disorder-dsm–5. There could be a case with mental illness when it comes to the DCM V.
I’m not saying though that something needs to be regulated or be made tougher, it should be something that is done wisely rather than going to the extreme. So many liberals want to do away with guns all together. That’s fine by them, but what about for people who use them for hunting or for sport? Does that make them a bad person? Does that mean they should forfeit their right to own a gun?
People can have guns. The AR-15 is a military weapon. Leave those to the experts.
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Wanting to do away with the AR-15, you might as well do away with all these firearms http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/browse/semiautomatic-centerfire-rifles/_/N-1114861/Ns-CATEGORY_SEQ_105524280. These kind of weapons are more than just a tactical use weapon. People also use it for sport shooting. The confusion these kind of weapons get is people tend to call them assault weapons. In order for it to be called an assault weapon, it has to be a fully automatic weapon.
Not only are they used for sport shooting, people even use them for hunting as well. So if you want to take the AR-15 and anything that “looks” or “shoots” like an AR-15, it should be outlawed. That’s where you begin to infringe on the rights of every American who owns these type of weapons. I own several of these type of firearms. Does that mean I shouldn’t be allowed to own them at all? All my firearms are used either for sport shooting or hunting. Just because there’s people who do these type of shootings, it doesn’t mean that everyone else is like that.
“Sport shooting.” Well, in that case…
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Have you ever seen shooting competitions at the Olympics? They have bench, target competition. Let me ask you, if this guy had shot and killed people with a Sig Sauer pistol, would you be saying to ban pistols?
I’m not talking about training for the Olympics, but my buddies and I like to shoot for fun and competition. We’re even like that at the gun club we are part of. Remember, it’s not the gun that kills people, people kill people. I can load all of my firearms and not one will ever shoot and kill someone. Why can’t people realize that?
can’t you find a less violent hobby. what feeling does having a gun in your hand bring to your body and brain. it is the element of power. isn’t it enough that most young men in this country have more power that at any other time in America. use that power for good. no one needs a gun, with the exception the military and law enforcement. . and i am beginning to believe that the police abuse their power. i have seen gun shots up close and personal. my husband was murdered by an idiot with a shot gun. if they were illegal less people would do needless killing . i have six great granddaughters. it would kill me to have any of them be a victim of a mass shooting at school. stop the violence now. put your guns away guys, we know you are a better man when unarmed. our lawmakers are useless. we “the people” need to rise up and demand some serious gun control.
I’m sorry your husband was murdered. My deepest sympathy goes out to you. It’s people like that who gives responsible gun owners a bad name. Growing up, I was always taught how to use a gun safely, but still enjoy the use of it. When I was in the army, I was always using guns. Not only do I own guns, but I have a crossbow (used to hunt in Washington state), and many knives. I can understand why you don’t like firearms, but please understand that there are responsible gun owners.
Run, don’t walk out of the United States if you can. When politicians line their pocket with NRA money, look away as our kids die, society screams their right to own guns over the lives of children, no gun law changes, it’s hard to find hope. My daughter survived a high school shooting and I scream gun control with silence as a response. It is absolutely maddening.
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Here’s something to think about. When 9/11 happened, was the plane at fault? When a suicide bomber attacked, was the bomb at fault? When Deepwater Horizon caused the oil spill in the Gulf, was the oil rig at fault? Do you know what all these have in common? It was the person, not the device. The same thing goes when it comes to these shootings. It’s not the gun at fault. A gun can’t shoot and kill people on it’s own. Yes, it’s a tragedy about what happened and my heart truly goes out to these families. I pray God can be with them in this moment of tragedy. But I’m going to be the realist and say you can’t say that it was the gun to blame so we need to ban it. It was a person. If a particular kind of pistol was used, would people be singing a different tune about what gun should be banned? Rather than telling me that a particular gun should be banned, tell me why it’s the gun to blame and not the person? Tell me that story rather singing a tune about gun control and banning guns.
Sorry if I come across a little strong, but this is the truth people don’t want to hear. Yes, I am a gun owner and no, not ONE of my guns have ever killed a person. Yes, they’ve killed animals only because they were going to be food for me, but they’ve killed another person.
I think I will keep with my own thoughts! I am a vegetarian also, so don’t need a gun for my food and actually care about sustainability on the planet and kids dying over your right to own a AR-15. Who cares about your opinion when kids are dying. You are the reason I deleted my Facebook account, I can not listen to someone as low as intellect as you and maintain my sanity. I was leaving a comment for the author, it is obvious you are part of the problem and cannot see that.
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Am I sad there are children being killed because there’s people who don’t use a firearm the right way? Of course I am. I do have compassion towards others like that. Here’s where one of the problem lies, the age difference. This kid was able to buy a rifle on his 18th birthday, but not a pistol. In order to buy a pistol, you have to be 21. Yes, I do believe if you are old enough to vote, you are old enough to have a firearm. However, I do believe that the age gap needs to be tightened. Rather than 18, you should be 21 to purchase firearms. Coming from a background being in the military and being raised in a military family, we used firearms all the time and maintained safety with them. That’s the difference between responsible and irresponsible firearm owners.
I’m not trying to get into a debate about who’s right and who’s wrong. I know you are opposed to firearms, but I’m trying to help you see the view from someone who has a safe full of firearms and maintains the safety of them. Facebook is truly one of the hardest places to have a civilized conversation. This isn’t Facebook. Here, grown people can actually have grown discussions. I’ve known Randy for 5 years now and he knows where I stand. So if you feel I’m attacking you, I’m not and that is not my objective. I would like for you to see the view from a responsible gun owner.
If you think what’s coming out of your mouth is mature or educated you are sorrily mistaken! You are no different than a voice not stopping gun violence against children, just being selfish in your perspective and your belly. I don’t care what your opinion is. I live in facts! More people killed due to gun violence than wars in the United States of ‘murica. Facts! Those people fighting our wars are trained and responsible with their guns. Your point has no facts! Also those trained people fighting our wars take those weapons they personally own and are personally trained and “responsibly”take their own lives. For example and a statistical factual number, my dad a lieutenant in special forces in Vietnam and a total gun advocate, blew his face off with four years ago. You sir are fake news, not actual numbers. Just a whining white male that doesn’t want his gun taken away. Wha!
If you would like facts or to get education, you see my blog, I write here on WordPress. I share them to president Trump on Twitter if you would like to follow me there. Tell them go back to Facebook being a troll about Clucks and white man problems.
*then* . This author- which I don’t know, wrote a book, that requires research, facts. What have you done, write an opinion about yourself and your stomach and your sport? You are everything wrong with ‘murica.
As a person who served in the military, you really need to look at facts.
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If the “leftbrains” of ‘murica would stop raping one another and killing their unborn children long enough, it may be possible to have a factual discussion about firearm ownership. If our government makes it more difficult to buy or ban firearms all together, people who want them will still be able to buy them. People who are unable to obtain firearms will drive a vehicle into a crowd, make bombs out of pressure cookers, use poison, or find other ways to kill people or themselves. All of these people who bitch and moan about “how they would move if President Trump was elected”…. PLEASE keep your word and move!!! I will reservation the uhaul for you! Now, here we have more empty threats of moving out of the country because the safety of their child or if something doesn’t happen about gun laws (LOL) please — that statement is just as empty as all of these “thoughts and prayers” postings on social media. If you’re so worried about your child’s safety, why would you leave her in daycare? Especially in Oregon http://www.kptv.com/story/37490042/state-of-oregon-ramping-up-oversight-efforts-for-daycare-facilities
There is so much to say, yet I do believe I would be wasting more words and time on a blog site on individuals who judge others regarding levels of education (just because another has a different perspective) and their superiority lifestyle eating choices versus trying to find a logical solution. Have a great time in your echo chamber — I hear it’s pretty one sided in there. If you need me to make those reservations for you to leave the country — let me know. If you don’t love this country, do us all a favor and leave! I would like to add — the next time the vagina squad marches across another bridge in Portland with your matching jogging outfits and your high dollar coffees in hand — take time out to stop under that bridge and speak with the homeless population about REAL struggles they encounter every day.
i am 81 years old. i never thought i would see the Country the way it is. it breaks my heart,i never see our the way it is Country. it is a dangerous place to be. my heart goes out to you. i wish i answers the answers to making in a better , safer place. you hit on the things that are and why they are the way they are . no prayers or hearts and flowers. save our children.
So let me ask you this then, you say guns need to be done away with because guns kill people. Then with that same note, do away with abortions. The second there’s a heartbeat in the womb, it’s not a fetal tissue. Instead, that’s a baby. SO when a mother gets an abortion, that should be considered murder. They’ll convict someone for double murder if a woman is pregnant. Scott Peterson is sitting on California death row for the death of his wife and unborn child. SO if guns kill people, then so do abortions.
Do you know what the difference is between an unborn child and the people who were killed in Florida? They were all innocent with their death. Both were killed at the hand of someone else. But let me guess, abortions should be allowed even though statistics have proven over and over again the mental anguish it causes a woman who had an abortion.
Anything you can do, we can do bleeding. Don’t change the gun control topic to abortion, you don’t have a uterus.
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You’re a trip. You act like ALL women feel the exact same way as you. Yes, I don’t have a uterus, however there are women who do feel the exact same way as I do. I simply used that analogy as an example showing you find guns offensive, I find abortion offensive.
Samuel L. Jackson said in a statement in 2012 after the Newtown shooting, “I don’t think it’s about more gun control. I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren’t taught the value of life.” See, the problem is never the gun. As I’ve said before, a gun can’t load itself. A gun can’t shoot by itself. A gun can’t do anything by itself unless someone else is working the weapon. This quote proves that there are people who simply don’t have a value for life. You see it with these shootings and bombings.
Do you know what the difference between me and all these other shooters? I respect the quality of life in people. Just because I own guns, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to go on a shooting spree. Just because I own guns, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to go out and hurt anybody with them. It’s the irresponsible people who give the responsible a bad rep. These gang members who can’t pass a background check, or people with mental disabilities are getting their hands on guns without ever buying one legally. Say for some hypothetical miracle that this actually does happen, but say our government passes a bill that bans all guns. What is to stop these irresponsible people from getting access to a firearm?
People act like gun control is a brand new thing and never been thought of before. Did you know that there are over 20,000 gun laws in affect? You blame the Republicans because nothing has happened as far gun control. There was a time when President Obama had full control over both the House and Senate. If people truly wanted gun control, why wasn’t anything ever done then? Oh wait, it’s best to do something after a shooting happened. That makes perfect sense.
But here’s a question I haven’t heard anybody ask: the FBI received tips about this guy, yet they did nothing. Had the FBI actually did their job and fully looked into it, this shooting wouldn’t have happened in the first place.
Here’s one thing you and I can agree on, we aren’t going to meet in the middle.
That’s a fact. Activists aren’t middle.
Ah ok. I get it now. You want things your and only your way rather than how others feel. In all things, there has to be compromise. That’s how things are worked. Whether it’s in law or business, there has to always be compromise.
If the “leftbrains” of ‘murica’ would stop raping one another and killing their unborn children long enough, it may be possible to have a factual discussion about firearm ownership. If our government makes it more difficult to buy or ban firearms all together, people who want them will still be able to buy them. People who are unable to obtain firearms will drive a vehicle into a crowd, make bombs out of pressure cookers, use poison, or find other ways to kill people or themselves. All of these people who pitch a fit and moan about “how they would move if President Trump was elected”…. PLEASE keep your word and move!!! I will reservation the uhaul for you! Now, here we have more empty threats of moving out of the country because the safety of their child or if something doesn’t happen about gun laws (LOL) please — that statement is just as empty as all of these “thoughts and prayers” postings on social media. If you’re so worried about your child’s safety, why would you leave her in daycare? Especially in Oregon
There is so much to say, yet I do believe I would be wasting more words and time on individuals who judge others regarding levels of education (just because another has a different perspective) and their superiority lifestyle eating choices versus trying to find a logical solution. Have a great time in your echo chamber — I hear it’s pretty one sided in there. If you need me to make those reservations for you to leave the country — let me know. If you don’t love this country, do us all a favor and leave! Some people fled to this country to escape their country’s rule and demeaning culture. Maybe it’s time for people to leave this country in search of a country that fits their needs/values. After all, you are free to leave. I would like to add — the next time the vagina squad marches across another bridge in Portland with your matching jogging outfits and your high dollar coffees in hand — take time out to stop under that bridge and speak with the homeless population about REAL struggles they encounter every day.