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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Looking For Solutions in All The Wrong Places

For John, BLUFOur problems, from drug abuse to mass murders, are being viewed through defective lenses.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Mr David P Goldman, 7 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus:

Writing in the left-wing Forward website today, Cathy Young warns the Left to take its own violence seriously:
...It has been a staple of conventional wisdom that the real danger comes almost entirely from the far right....But is that still true today? We don’t know if Connor Betts, the 24-year-old Ohio man who killed nine people (including his own sister) and wounded 27 more when he opened fire on a crowded street in Dayton on Sunday, had any involvement with Antifa. But Betts’s Twitter trail makes it clear that he was a hardcore leftist who embraced some fairly extreme ideas—and, in some cases, advocated violence toward political enemies in Antifa-style language.
Good for Ms. Young, who declines to join the chorus blaming President Trump for the last two atrocities. Never mind that the five worst mass shooting incidents took place outside the United States, or that more mass shootings occurred during the Obama presidency than under Trump. But that leaves us with the question: Why are there mass shootings?

Mass shootings are a special form of suicide. The shooter never expects to survive. But the shooter combines self-hatred with group hatred. Hate becomes so melded with the shooter's identity that he determines to take as many people as he can with him. They are of the same order as the pilot who crashed a Germanwings airliner into the Alps in 2015.

Emil Durkheim's 1897 diagnosis of "anomic suicide" describes the Columbine perpetrators as well as the 2016 San Bernardino attack by Muslim fanatics, the "right-wing" shooter in El Paso and the "left-wing" shooter in Dayton. They are individuals cut off from society, destabilized by change and despairing of their own place in the world. Such monsters always have been among us. But now we are cultivating such monsters by destroying the ties that bind us to each other, to our past and to our future.

We are looking for easy answers, or answers that don't point back to cultural failures, at least not failures in our current culture.  Blaming The Gun is foolish.  It is like The Old Gray Lady, yesterday, saying airplanes aimed at the Twin Towers.  No, People did.  To achieve an objective.  And most discussions of the El Paso and Dayton mass killings neglect the Garden Grove killings that weekend—perhaps because an edged weapon was used.

If we can't (or won't) name the problem, any solution will be partial, and by accident.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

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