Guest Post: Those Adam Lanza Eyes

The following guest post is by a teacher at an American high school who has requested anonymity. As should be obvious, these opinions are not mine. In other words, I may agree with them. I may not. That’s not the point. I’m putting this here to add to the current discussion over school shootings.

A dark mentality lurks behind Adam Lanza eyes.  Something is dead in the people who take weapons to schools to shoot staff and students and we need to develop an unyielding standard about it.

Nicholas Cruz was an earthquake-in-the-making.  The burning question is why he was not stopped before that Uber ever dropped him off at Stoneman Parkland.  Adults apparently did nothing about this kid except kick him out of school.  At the expense of seventeen lives, Cruz was allowed to run amok while avoiding a criminal record.

We need the collective will to do something about these murderers-in-training.  The argument can be made that we don’t have to wait for school shooters to kill lots of kids and teachers before removing them from our midst.  It’s not a hard argument to make.  The elements of an impending bloodbath are by now well-known: persistent talk of guns, shooting, and death; holding other school shooters in high esteem.  There is no misunderstanding kids who pose with pics of guns and knives.  To read these pics of kids dabbling with weapons as child’s play is willfully to misinterpret.  There is no doubting the intentions.  Followed to its conclusion is mass murder.

There’s even a template for involuntary committal:  kill some animals, make some threats, and post disturbing pictures on instagram, and the balance has been tipped.  When people, even kids, especially these kids, are this transparent, they forfeit the right to live among us.  The consequence is proportionate to the threat.

My school has a student with Adam Lanza eyes.  Disturbing pictures show up on his instagram.  This student makes everyone nervous; however, as of yet, he has done nothing.  So administrators do what administrators typically do: shuffle his schedule and get him special education services.  He becomes untouchable.  His nonsense becomes part of his disability and we are forced to tolerate it.

Sometimes the collective good trumps the individual.  The individual cannot reign supreme when it comes to mass murder.  When it comes to mass murder, we need to be a little less careful about the rights of one person and a little more careful of accepting the dangerously anti-social and criminally insane into our communities. Things that are at odds with a conventional lifestyle always attract attention, but they don’t necessarily warrant committal.  Someone can be at odds with convention and still live among us; however, if you give yourself over to the study of mass shootings, sit in your room playing video games all day with the windows blacked out like Adam Lanza, then we are not going to tolerate you.

Toleration means the limits of what we can accept.  Mass murder of children should cross that threshold of acceptance.  We need to err on the side of caution because we don’t want another first grade class murdered.  Adults need to grasp that kids who are focused on killing present a lethal threat.  They have no claim to our toleration.

Adults need to recognize the signs of disturbing destructiveness in kids and do something about them.  Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County had said before the shooting that he would “measure his success by how many young people he kept out of jail.”  His standards were weak and ultimately catastrophic.  When you signal to people that you’re not going to put them in jail, they will think, “I’m good, I can do what I want.”

The argument that banning certain types of guns will stop school killings is alluring, but false.  In May, 2014, Maren Sanchez was fatally stabbed, nay, butchered, by classmate Christopher Plaskon at nine in the morning at Jonathan Law High School in Milford, Connecticut because she turned him down for prom. Granted, it was not a mass killing, but surely Maren’s life mattered to her and her family and Christopher Plaskon had been reported to school administrators for threatening her.  Those administrators did nothing.

We are not removing someone from our public schools because we disapprove of them; we are making the case for the rights of our school community.  We reduce to insignificance the teachers-turned-martyrs and Sandy Hook first graders when we continue to allow the criminally insane in our schools.  When your fellow students are afraid to the point that they go to their teachers and counselors about you, when you raise questions about yourself to your peers, you have not earned a prison sentence.  But you have lost the right to move freely among us.

My mother was a registered nurse and as part of her training, she worked with the criminally insane at a psychiatric hospital.  She let her guard down once, giving a patient a fork, and was almost stabbed.  It was then that she realized that some people were untreatable.  My mother hated that part of her training.  “They [the patients] were sneaky, cunning, and untrustworthy,” she said.  “They could never be let out.”

They have been let out.  Society has become a mental ward.  Closing the asylums was an act of insanity.  Sociologist Rael Jean Isaac and journalist Virginia C. Arnett in Madness in the Streets (1990) insist that it is too simplistic to blame President Reagan for closing mental institutions in the 1980s and that deeper causes in the culture were at play.  Their work calumnies lawyers who worked to eliminate involuntary commitment laws as part of the 1960s civil rights movement.  These authors support the involuntary commitment of the mentally ill.  The mentally ill cannot always be treated in the community.

The road since Columbine has been a bloody one: little children from Newtown, Connecticut; a young woman from Milford, Connecticut; now teenagers in Parkland, Florida; and lots of teachers.  Banning the AR-15 will not get us out of this.  It is impossible to remove guns from American life, but it is not impossible to stop the killings.  The tale that we have been telling ourselves, that the criminally insane can be treated as outpatients, is a fairy tale.  It needs to become easier to treat someone without their consent.  Bring back the asylum.

—A Message from American Teacher

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About Ted Rall

Ted Rall is the political cartoonist at ANewDomain.net, editor-in-chief of SkewedNews.net, a graphic novelist and author of many books of art and prose, and an occasional war correspondent. He is the author of the biography "Trump," to be published in July 2016.

64 thoughts on “Guest Post: Those Adam Lanza Eyes

  1. I know that everyone has missed going back and forth with American Teacher.

    American Teacher has been sick today.

    American Teacher will return tomorrow and evaluate these posts.

  2. And this World Happiness report:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/03/14/perhaps-tired-of-winning-the-united-states-falls-in-world-happiness-rankings-again/?utm_term=.f4b3d3a45842

    What I find really interesting that despite low confidence in institutions, high crime cities, income disparities,etc, Latin America’s high happiness level is due to close family ties, and supportive social relationships—which we see a lack of in the USA. I’m sure this is a factor in our mass violence incidents.

  3. We really need to address the sociological/psychological underlying issues, namely a warped version of American masculinity. This was very obvious in the case of the Isla Vista shooter. We know men’s roles in American society have been changing a great deal the past 50 years, yet the socialization of boys has not changed all that much: limiting the range of emotions boys and men are allowed to express. The documentary “The Mask I Live In” is a valuable one which addresses these issues, as well as offering some new solutions.

    • « [I e, remembered by students] As a scholar and a gentleman who was able to laugh at himself instead of finding satisfaction in laughing at others» You do, indeed, my dear «American Teacher», exhibit your capacity to laugh at yourself, not merely in that bombastic reply above, but in all your posts to this thread. Somehow I suspect the memories of you held by your former pupils are more likely to be those I characterised earlier as of «the drunken fool who brought semi-automatic weapons to class and bragged about what a great shot he was, particularly with a few shots under his (capacious) belt»…. 😉

      Henri

    • > There won’t be any shootings

      Interesting – in your last column you were advocating ‘shutting down’ students who wanted to participate because of the threat posed by the walkout.

      Hope, freedom & solidarity once again won out over authoritarianism and fear. Maybe we should put the HS students in charge, the nominal grownups aren’t doing so good.

  4. Henri,
    And my Bibles. I have two beautiful family Bibles, one British, published during the Regency, the other Swedish, 19th century.

    I read them with a jug of moonshine.

    • No doubt your moonshine aids you in understanding these works, «American Teacher», just as it improves your understanding of the role played by firearms in the US polity. But I must confess myself surprised – if the «Viking blood» coursing through your veins helps you to read a 19th Century Swedish Bible (vilken översättning ?), why did you have such difficulty with the somewhat older verse I quoted ? In any event, perhaps that «Viking blood» will help you parse a modern translation :

      Fä dör
      Fränder dö
      Själv dör du likaledes
      Ett vet jag som aldrig dör
      Domen över död man.

      Given what you’ve posted here, there’s little doubt as to how your epitaph will read….

      Henri

      • «My name will live with my students forever» As the drunken fool who brought semi-automatic weapons to class and bragged about what a great shot he was, particularly with a few shots under his (capacious) belt ?… 😉

        Henri

  5. Henri and Crazy H,

    I am trying desperately to catch up with your comments.

    Look, the number of guns out there is vast, far out of proportion to the number of mass killings. Incidentally, Crazy H, you seem to have forgotten Switzerland, a heavily armed country with a low murder rate and no mass killings.

    Thanks for the scraps of poetry, Henri. I’m assuming this is from Havamal, a work I read in translation as yes, I do not know Old Norse.

    My field of expertise is nuclear deterrence. I am terribly worried about North Korea.

    Am I caught up? We’re there any typos, Henri?

    • «My field of expertise [Sic !] is nuclear deterrence. I am terribly worried about North Korea.» Precisely what I should have expected of you, «American Teacher» ; the US has nearly seven thousand nuclear warheads and unparalleled means of delivery, which it continually threatens to use («fire and fury», «no option is off the table, etc, etc»), while the DPRK is estimated to possess about 20 nuclear warheads and undeveloped means of delivery, but it is the latter about which you are «terribly worried». Similarly, you point to an example of a single murder performed by a young man with a knife, but say nothing about mass murders performed by young – and not so young – men with firearms….

      I suspect that in addition to your still and your firearms , you pride yourself on your biblical knowledge ; perhaps you might want to consider Matthew 23:24….

      Henri

      • My favorite Bible verse is Deuteronomy 19:21.

        Henri, I am afraid that you are a bigot.

      • «My favorite Bible verse is Deuteronomy 19:21.» Given what you’ve posted to this thread, «American Teacher», that hardly comes as a surprise. Nor the fact that you possess so little self-knowledge as to presume to call someone else a bigot….

        Do take care with your weapons and your still….

        Henri

  6. Henri,
    Thanks for catching the typo. Much appreciated.

    The still is deep in the woods. Only a few, trusted disciples know its whereabouts.

    • Let us hope, «American Teacher», that those few, trusted disciples are also well armed – alcohol and firearms do make for a potent mixture, particularly in the case of those in whose veins Viking blood flows (makes one wonder about the arterial side, but then again, the Vikings preceded William Harvey)….

      I don’t mean to be unkind, but perhaps one of your colleagues, with less «Viking blood» but a superior grasp of the English language, is better situated to help you with your orthography ? Or even with your reasoning ? Given your martial presence, it seems unlikely that you would be refused this aid – just keep your finger on the trigger and mutter about your «honour», and they’re sure to grasp your meaning…. 😉

      Henri

  7. Crazy H,

    You could not be more misinformed. No one is depriving the little bratlings of their rights. Even the ACLU says that they do not have the right to walk out of their high school classes.

    The first amendment does not work without the second.

    Oh and Henri, if you’re out there and I am sure that you are, would you mind serving as my proofreader today? I seem to have mislaid my glasses. You are very good at catching my typos. Thanks ever so.

    • I do hope you’re not teaching civics – (I’m guessing gym – in my day you would have had a paddle named “board of education”)

      A link to the ACLU’s statement is below, they explicitly state that students DO NOT lose the right to free speech by attending school. And you most assuredly were talking about “shutting down” that speech.

      Walking out of class is – of course – a different thing … BUT … if you want to interpret those laws that strictly then students could never participate in fire drills or field trips. Schools have a great deal of latitude in interpreting those laws, and many planned on passively escorting students or even … gasp … participating!

      Who knows, the “bratlings” might even learn something that isn’t on the corporate agenda.

      elsewhere you said, “My name will live with my students forever”

      I don’t doubt that in the least. A teacher devoted to ‘shutting down’ people he considers “bratlings” is quite likely to be remembered; but perhaps not in the way he envisions.

      https://www.aclu.org/issues/free-speech/student-speech-and-privacy/students-rights-speech-walkouts-and-other-protests

      • Sorry that I missed this comment, Crazy H.

        The ACLU, while supporting freedom of speech, has said students do not have the right to walk out of class. They can stage their protests at other times.

        The bratlings do not want to learn. They want to play on their phones. High school is adolescent day care

        I don’t care if they remember me at all. When I leave the building, I’m working on the homebrew front.

  8. “An armed society is a polite society.”

    I always get a kick out conservatives quoting Heinlein – he was a ‘flaming liberal’ by the standards of his day. That particular quote is from a story he wrote in 1942. There were no mass shootings, people who used guns had been raised with them, probably for hunting (for *food* not sport), and the Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor. The NRA was still teaching gun safety and was a force *for* reasonable gun legislation.

    Let us not forget that Heinlein wrote *science fiction* – this story was set in a future time with a more mature society than we have today, and people in his societies always have higher intelligence and social awareness than the present. Most importantly, all of the George Zimmermans and other gun-makes-right types have been weeded out. 95% of today’s NRA membership didn’t survive because they were treated to their own brand of justice. (i.e. Zimmerman got shot down by one of Martin’s relatives – who would have gotten off the hook the same way Zimmerman did.) In order for that society to come about there had to have been a bloody interregnum in which a whole lot of innocents died as well.

    But let’s look at how it plays out in real life. Afghanistan is a well-armed society, but I don’t think anyone would argue that it’s a particularly polite society. In fact, all of the the Middle East is pretty well armed, you can buy grenades and rocket launchers at the bazaar – but that hasn’t led to improved etiquette. The Las Vegas shooter was well armed, and he wasn’t very polite. Odds are someone in that crowd was packing – but that didn’t stop him Paddock.

    A. Teacher has made the lame old, argument “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” – that may be true but they tend to use guns to do so. Imagine what would have happened if Stephen Paddock had been armed with a knife – would have managed to kill 58 people and wound 400?

    We can meet halfway – guns aren’t the problem, people with guns are the problem; but somehow I don’t believe that “more people with guns” is the solution.

    • Crazy H,

      I always get a kick of people who try to play critic and put someone like Heinlein in a box. He was not a flaming liberal. He hated the government.

      Exactly, there were no mass shootings and weapons were more widely available. The Second Amendment had not been violated the way it is being destroyed today because flaming liberals want to mainstream lunatics.

      Science fiction, in fact, any kind of fiction, can be used to evaluate and critique our present day; otherwise, for many, it would have no practical relevance.

      I hope that you are not arguing that certain cultures have not evolved to the point where they can handle a sophisticated bill of rights; there is a racial thread to your thinking that makes me very uncomfortable, Crazy H.

      Paddock, Lanza, Cruz. The criminally insane cannot live among us.

      I do not believe that destroying the Bill of Rights is the solution either. That Bill hinges on the second amendment.

      • > [Heinlein] was not a flaming liberal.

        Don’t take my word for it, both Isaac Asimov and Fritz Leiber described him with those very words. He had an open marriage in 1934, supported free love,
        homosexuality, & alternative marriage long before they were popular causes; promoted science over superstition and dismissed all religion as nonsense.

        Sure, he hated government – he hated the very governments conservatives love: a government which tells people who they can love, how they can express that love, who they must hate, who they can marry, what superstitions to believe in, what they can smoke, what they are allowed to do with their own bodies etc.

        > there is a racial thread to your thinking that makes me very uncomfortable, Crazy H.

        “Culture” is an altogether different thing than “race” – I find it interesting that you associate the two. I don’t.

        > I do not believe that destroying the Bill of Rights is the solution either.

        Yes, you do – you were talking about “shutting down” students’ rights to free speech, to freely assemble, and to petition their government for redress of grievances.

        The Bill of Rights includes far more than just the second half of the second amendment … and there’s a reason that the first amendment comes first.

  9. does ted even bother to read the comments anymore? is he just trolling us now with this supposed teacher? is he trying to alienate the few fans that he has left? does this guy have ted tied up in his basement? if anything, he’s the one who should be in an insane asylum.

    • I have to admit, pork, that I’m beginning to have my doubts about the figure hiding behind the pseudonym «American Teacher» – but perhaps Ted wants to toughen us up by exposing us to people who seemingly would as soon shoot us as look at us – or if not, at least seem to believe that the wide spread presence of firearms, including semi-automatic rifles among US residents is unrelated to those mass murders which we so frequently get to read about from that quarter ?…

      After all, we who believe that firearms are more dangerous than, e g, knives (thus the adage about not bringing a knife to a gun fight, which our «teacher» seems to have forgot) and should thus be more difficult to obtain perhaps need exposure to more «robust» opinions….

      Henri

      • Good Afternoon Pork and Henri,

        Mr. Rall, and it is Mr. Rall to you both, is all right. He has simply been kind enough to give me a voice, one that too often has been silenced.

        I just got back from my still (I could get three years in a federal prison) to find myself mocked, doubted, and excoriated.

        American Teacher is real. American Teacher exists.

        Your honor, sirs! Dawn

      • «Mr. Rall, and it is Mr. Rall to you both, is all right. » I beginning to despair for the fate of your pupils, «American Teacher» ; your acquaintance with the firearms seems to be greater than your acquaintance with the nuances of the English language. On this forum, Ted refers to me as «Henri» and I refer to him as «Ted» ; that you arrogate to yourself the right to rule over this usage is risible….

        I also have to laugh at what seems to be a rather preposterous proposal for a duel on your part ; do you usually make such a arse of yourself in public ? But if you really are determined to go ahead with your proposal, as (presumably) a US citizen, you don’t require a visa for a stay of up to 90 days here in Sweden, so you are quite free to travel to Stockholm to satisfy your inflated sense of honour. (I do suggest, however, that you refrain from informing passport control at Arlanda that you have come here to fight a duel ; dueling was banned as early as 1662 here.) But if you do make it through customs, remember that as the challenged party, I have the choice of weapons ; I am considering choosing paperback copies of Starship Trooper at 10 metres. Are your seconds fully prepared ?… 😉

        Henri

      • «My students are privileged o [Sic !] sit an hour a day with a first rate mind» Is that before or after they suffer through a class with you, «»American Teacher» ? And before or after you get back from your still ?…

        Henri

    • Agreed. I have been reading this blog for years, and only just registered to comment because of how awful these American Teacher posts have been.

      • I must confess myself a tad surprised, HenryWallacesForceGhost, to see this poster on these threads. I doubt that the person posting is aware of Henry Agard Wallace was, or the role he played in US politics. Imagine if FDR had not dumped Mr Wallace for Harry S Truman ! Alas….

        Henri

  10. Henri,

    “An armed society is a polite society.”

    My apologies, it seems we have had a cultural misunderstanding. I presumed that you would have recognized the words of the great American, Robert Heinlein, soldier, author, and incidentally, proponent of dueling. Then, I thought that you were insulting me. I wanted to defend my honor.

    I am uncertain about an “inordinate” love of firearms. My father did teach me to shoot when I was quite young, out behind the shed where he made his moonshine.

    • «I presumed that you would have recognized the words of the great American, Robert Heinlein, soldier, author, and incidentally, proponent of dueling.» I did indeed, American Teacher, recognise this quote from Mr Heinlein, about whom our opinions seem to differ as much as they do with regard to the blessings of the prevalence of firearms in US society. Bullshit is bullshit, even if pronounced by the sainted Mr Heinlein….

      But I’m not surprised that you would quote such an authority. Perhaps you will be so kind as to post a photo of the arsenal in your classroom, which no doubt keeps your pupils «polite» and which will serve you well in a shoot-out with the next Nikolas Jacob Cruz to come along. We can only hope that as little as possible «collateral damage» to those pupils occurs during the event, which presumably will be recorded by a CCTV camera, to our elucidation….

      Henri

      • No need to worry about collateral damage, Henri. As Wyatt Warp, another great American said, “fast is fine, but accuracy is final.”

        All Nicholas Cruz did was dump.his magazine. Had he actually known how to use the bushmaster, he would have killed many more.

        When I pick up a rifle with the intent of going in harm’s way, my target is easy to hit.

      • «When I pick up a rifle with the intent of going in harm’s way, my target is easy to hit.»Pleasing to see someone so confident in their own abilities, «American Teacher» ; no doubt you imbue your pupils with that same self-confidence, based on the same type of objective and incontrovertible evidence….

        O wad some Power the giftie gie us
        To see oursels as ithers see us!

        Henri

    • If we duel with paperbacks, no one will die.

      On another note, you will be delighted to know that I am a Swede, on both sides of the family. Viking blood flows through my veins. I am a direct descendant of Norse warriors, something which you do not seem to be.

      Last, there is no empirical evidence to demonstrate any connection between mass shootings and the availability of guns.

      • As you pointed out, there was a time in American life when guns were more readily available and there were no mass shootings.

      • «Viking blood flows through my veins.

        ….

        Last, there is no empirical evidence to demonstrate any connection between mass shootings and the availability of guns.» Ah yes :
        Deyr fé,
        deyja frændur,
        deyr sjálfur ið sama.
        En orðstír
        deyr aldregi
        hveim er sér góðan getur.

        Your understanding of blood seems to be on a par with your understanding of the consequences easy availability to firearms has had on the prevalence of mass murders in the US, «American Teacher». Can’t but wonder in what subjects you are considered qualified to teach – certainly neither biology nor sociology (and I suspect not Old Norse either)…. 😉

        Henri

    • > Last, there is no empirical evidence to demonstrate any connection between mass shootings and the availability of guns.

      Really? What percentage of mass shootings have been perpetrated by people who were not able to obtain guns? I’m going to go with “zero percent” but maybe you have documentation to the contrary.

  11. Unfortunately, Henri, I have too much insight into Christopher Plaskon. Once he had finished slicing open Ms. Sanchez, he dropped his knife and told the police to arrest him. He had one target, if you will, in his crosshairs. Had he had more targets, it would not have been difficult, as you are aware, for him to get a firearm and shoot up the school.

    I am sincerely sorry about the attack that took place near your home. Although you still have not indicated from where you hail, I am truly sorry that there are people in your country who would do such a heinous thing.

    The world is awash with people who have an axe to grind, but an armed society is a polite society.

    • You may be an expert on this Mr Plaskon, American Teacher, and if that indeed be the case, I apologise for doubting you. But when you claim that « an armed society is a polite society», I can only suggest that while your experience of an armed society may be extensive, the same cannot be said of your knowledge of a polite society….

      By all means, issue semiautomatic rifles to all residents of the United States if you feel that will render them «polite», but please wait until Mr Trump has built a wall around the whole country (i e, not merely its southern border with Mexico) and see to it than none of those polite people are allowed to come out….

      Henri

      • I like keeping things real, Henri. Polite society, at least the kind to which I presume you refer, is so phony.

        And, alas, we must keep the northern border open so that our illegal guests, who have long overstayed their visas, oops, I meant welcome, can flee to Trudeau’s Canada.

        Stay woke.

      • «I like keeping things real, Henri. Polite society, at least the kind to which I presume you refer, is so phony.» American teacher, I don’t wish to discuss your professional qualifications, but if you don’t realise that you, not I, were the person who injected the irrelevant meme «polite society» into this conversation, than it would seem that there are other reasons than your inordinate love for firearms to fear for your pupils….

        Henri

  12. Henri,

    The perpetrator was threatening the student. American students, unlike European children, have a very difficult time with the word ‘no.’ It may make them crazy. Plaskon threatened this girl because she rejected him. Administrators need to engage more thoroughly with students who make threats, invoking, if necessary, the Baker Act to have them involuntarily committed for up to seventy two hours.

    The number of Americans who own assault rifles is huge. If they were such a problem, there would be a rampage every day.

    “My own experience treating offenders in psychiatric institutions.” That’s precisely where the criminally insane belong, in an institution.

    • «The number of Americans who own assault rifles is huge. If they were such a problem, there would be a rampage every day.» May I suggest, American Teacher, that the number of young male suitors who are rejected by the respective objects of their affections is almost as large as the number of US residents who own assault rifles and that therefore if such persons were, in general, unable to take a «No», there would be, in your words, «a rampage every day» ?…

      I was not arguing against the notion that «[a]dministrators need to engage more thoroughly with students who make threats» – quite the contrary ; I certainly think that they need to take such threats very seriously indeed, in particular in a country where access to weapons of all types, not least firearms, is as great as it is in the US. My argument was rather that in this particular case, the damage done was much less than it could have been had this rejected young man been armed with an AR-15 rather than a knife. Do you disagree ?…

      Henri

      • I am afraid that your question is of no practical value since Plaskon was only after one person; whether knife or rifle, what difference would it have made?

        Anything can be weaponized, really. I am not sure from which part of the world you hail, but aren’t trucks used in Europe to mow people down? Don’t Christmas markets have concrete barriers to stop these lethal trucks?

        It takes restraint to bear arms. Thankfully, most gun owners practice that virtue.

      • «I am afraid that your question is of no practical value since Plaskon was only after one person; whether knife or rifle, what difference would it have made?» I am afraid, American Teacher, that your comment above reveals an unfortunate lack of insight in the processes which lead to mass murders, not least of the type school shootings. I suggest that while neither you nor I can know how this particular young man would have acted had he brought a semiautomatic rifle to school that day, rather than a knife, but the consequences of the former could have been far worse….

        Indeed, a lorry was recently used by a disgruntled man with a quasi-religious motive to mow down people on a pedestrian street but a few kilometres from my home, killing five and injuring many more. Are you arguing that the situation would have been improved if this man had had access to a semiautomatic weapon and an extensive arsenal which he could have employed after the lorry crashed into a department store, rather than a home-made bomb, which failed to explode ?…

        Wake up and see the current situation in your country, which seems to be awash with weapons which people with grudges, political, religious, romantic, or whatever, use to murder others in an attention-grabbing and effective manner. Murder existed before firearms were invented and no doubt would continue to exist were these latter to disappear, but maintaining that they play no or little role in these frequent massacres is hardly in accordance with the facts….

        Henri

  13. The argument that banning certain types of guns will stop school killings is alluring, but false. In May, 2014, Maren Sanchez was fatally stabbed, nay, butchered, by classmate Christopher Plaskon at nine in the morning at Jonathan Law High School in Milford, Connecticut because she turned him down for prom.

    But did the perpetrator one fulfill what the author calls «[t]he elements of an impending bloodbath», i e, persistent talk of guns, shooting, and death; holding other school shooters in high esteem.» Did he «post disturbing pictures on instagram» ?…

    «[B]anning certain types of guns» may not stop all school killings, but it does seem likely that they would reduce both their number and their scope. To dismiss such measures out of hand strikes me as absurd….

    Henri

    • Plaskon’s lawyer himself said that the kid was psychotic and was prepared to mount a criminally insane defense if the plea was not accepted.

      What does “banning certain types of guns” do for women like Maren Sanchez?

      • «Plaskon’s lawyer himself said that the kid was psychotic and was prepared to mount a criminally insane defense if the plea was not accepted.» Which is quite possibly the case, «American Teacher» ; I am certainly in no position to dispute that allegation. My question was rather what signals had this young man been sending to his school, his peers, and other events prior to the murder and how had they acted on them. And while it’s quite true that his not possessing/using g a firearm didn’t suffice to save the life of Ms Sanchez, as many mass murders in your country have demonstrated, that fact probably did save the life of many others at her school. Or do you think that fewer would have been murdered had he been armed with an AR-15, rather than a knife ?…

        My own experience treating offenders in forensic psychiatric institutions hardly leads me to the conclusion that it would be best for them to have easy access to firearms….

        Henri

  14. Actually, Crazy H, the majority of gun owners in this country are white men and they do not go on rampages. You are not being racist, are you?

  15. > Sometimes the collective good trumps the individual.

    That is true in general, but man that is a slippery slope. Do we give the government the ability to say, “This one is a bad egg. Lock him up even though he hasn’t done anything.”?

    If the men in black come along and ask *you* to step into the black van – do you go quietly? Remember, you gave them that power and it’s too late to complain now. It’s always easy to posit laws for the other guy, but remember we [theoretically] have equal justice under the law. Whatever powers we grant the government apply just as much to us as they do to the bad guys.

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

    Rather than accept this as the new normal, we should work towards fixing the underlying problems rather than locking up the symptoms.

      • > I feel the same way about gun restrictions.

        I understand. You favor an authoritarian, preemptive approach to students you deem suspicious-looking; and you feel the same way about gun restrictions.

        Ergo, since most mass shootings are perpetrated by young, white, male, Christian, gun owners – you obviously favor pre-emptively sequestering all young, white, male, Christian, gun owners.

        That sounds a little harsh to me, but if that’s what it takes to keep our children safe … I could reluctantly agree to it.

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