A reasonable blog on atheism, religion, science and skepticism
Follow Patheos Atheist:
I’m just going to let this tweet speak for itself.
What. The. FUCK.
If only his own father had gone to a Christian school…
I wouldn’t recommend looking through the tweets of the people who have retweeted this. Some of them are disgusting. “Maybe if some of the teachers had concealed carry licenses this wouldn’t happen”.
W. T. F.
I actually tweeted him back to ask if he was happy that bin Laden grew up WITH God. Probably for nothing, but it sure felt good to say …
What. A. Prick.
All those people that were killed, especially the little kids, must have been really eeevil for God to smite them like that, or at least to watch them being slaughtered and do nothing. Oh, wait…Pat Robertson and the WBC will have an explanation for us soon.
These people are desperate to make a case.
Because school shootings are happening all the time in godless Scandinavia and Western Europe and in most decidedly non-Christian Japan. God is obviously *such* the deciding factor in whether or not there’s violence.
Have you forgotten about the godless heathen Anders Breivik?
Well, there’s one incident. In the US, the Connecticut shooting almost wasn’t the only mass school shooting on Dec 14:
Oklahoma teen arrested in school shooting plot
Every time I think these a$$holes have hit rock bottom I find them drilling further down.
This has quickly become a meme in right wing land today, and I can’t help but feel that it is a cynical and concerted effort to divert the conversation away from gun control and gun culture with the smokescreen of “did you really just say that bullshit?” These self-righteous, vindictive authoritarians are at their core cowards and incapable of standing their ground in an intellectual discussion, which is why they’d rather rile people up and bleat about god than try to explain how shit like this should still not invite action and debate about guns.
I think an equally important area to discuss is the pathetic mental health system we have today. I spent 25 years of my life working in mental health programs, most working with teens and kids but some adult programs too. I’ve been out of that field for a decade now and not a single one of the facilities I worked for still exists and this includes 2 large state hospitals. Right now its rare that a patient is kept for more than two weeks and over a month is unheard of. There is no way to check up on whether or not the person continues to take their meds and many of them end up living on the streets because they don’t have the people skills to keep a job which means they can’t keep an apartment either.
Guns are an easy target though gun culture is an area that only gets lip service. I was raised around guns and taught that they were tools like anything else. My grandfather hunted all his life. I learned to shoot early on but more importantly I was taught about how and when guns were to be used. If you went into town you saw that almost every pickup truck had the triple rifle rack that grandpa’s had with a 22, a deer rifle and a shotgun. Most of the trucks weren’t locked up and nobody messed with them and you didn’t hear stories about mass murders, serial killers, spree killers or any of the rest. That was 50 years ago and I am sure a lot of that has changed but there still aren’t the stories of mass killings.
It is the culture that has changed. The news give them nifty, catchy names like “unabomber” (ok, it was the fbi that created that one), the hillside strangler, zodiac, the green river killer, the son of sam. they become celebrities and it keeps the cycle going. It reminds me of the line from Deacon Blues – “they have a name for the winners in the world and I want a name when I lose, they call Alabama the crimson tide, call me Deacon Blues”. I would love to see the media, in cases like today where they know the killer is dead, ignore the name of the killer and ignore his back story and speak only about the victims and their grieving families.
Here in Atlanta we had a serial killer who racked up a large number of victims without using guns, but the culture of instant fame I think was a part of what drove him especially once the police realized they had a serial killer rather than several unconnected homicides.
One of the local radio news guys here grew up near where this latest tragedy occurred. In the last decade there had only been one killing with a gun before today. None of this justifies or diminishes what this guy did today but it is something we need to think about as a culture. New gun laws usually have little effect on crime and many of the cities with the most restrictive gun laws have the highest gun crime rates. Criminals go on and break the gun laws because it makes breaking the other laws where they hope to make a profit easier. I often have thought that putting enormous penalties on the possession of a gun while committing a crime would have a better chance of success and I think with older criminals it might work but when you are talking about teens and young adults they think they are immune to such things and go ahead and break the gun laws too.
All that being said (and I did enjoy the rant) how do we change the culture?
Automatic life with no parole for possession of or carrying an illegally acquired firearm, and automatic life with no parole for possession of or carrying any firearm without proper, state mandated and controlled training, licensing and registration. You know how drink driving used to be something people just did sometimes, but now it’s something that turns you into a social pariah, and for which every police within ten miles will chase you down for? We need that to happen for gun crime. You could pay for it by easing up America’s Draconian drug laws and letting the harmless dope growers and smokers out.
I’d rather not trade one bad policy for another, thanks.
I think it’s important to know about the killers. I hope a lot of people are asking themselves right now if it’s really a good idea to have firearms in the home with a disturbed family member. Frankly, I think Jared Loughner’s parents should be held partially responsible for the murders he committed. They knew for a long time that he had serious mental health problems, but apparently did nothing to remove his weapons or alert authorities that he was armed and unstable. I don’t think that we should go back to the days when people were sent to institutions merely on the word of relatives, but interventions and mandatory supervision and treatment should be up for discussion.
Here in Atlanta we had a serial killer who racked up a large number of victims without using guns…
One can differentiate between serial killing and spree killing.
Sorry to make a philosophical issue of it, but when I heard that women and children had been killed, I thought, “Well, gee, that’s nothing that the Israelites didn’t (supposedly) do. Numbers 31:15-18 says they slaughtered the mothers and boys in the fight against the Midianites, ’cause they were so evil, but it was okay to rape the daughters (ahem–allow them to marry their conquerors) at their leisure.
Even Dr. Phil says that the slaughter of innocent children is EVIL. (From video I saw yesterday.) Wonder if he has the same opinion of Numbers 31:15-18.
Sorry. Ranting. Bad week (though of course not as bad as for those poor parents in CT.)
Follow Patheos on
Copyright 2008-2014, Patheos. All rights reserved.