Mass Slaughter? Whooptidoo.

Mass Slaughter? Whooptidoo. September 20, 2014

A leader in gun culture offers rationales for maintaining the status quo so tortured that even he does not undertand them and finally winds up so pretzeled in his logic that he agrees with his interlocutor:

Meanwhile, another day, another family slaughtered. The death toll is now eight, six of them children. To which gun culture says, “Whooptidoo”.

Gun culture wants *no* solutions. It wants no change whatsoever, which is why such stories are *never* met by gun culture with an active desire to seek such solutions, but instead are met with sophistries, foot dragging, and mantras of “give up, don’t try, won’t work”. It talks every time, so as to make clear that the slaughter is acceptable losses and *sneers* at “emotionalism” when normal people cry out, “Dear God, this has to change.” Gun culture is all about making sure that *nothing* ever changes. Ever.

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  • Scott

    While the same government that you bash daily for ineptitude would make the call on how the gun culture changes?

    • chezami

      Give up. Don’t try. Won’t work. Defeat. Derision. Denial. Despair. Maintain the status quo at all costs no matter what.

      • John Henry

        Sounds like you have a better solution. Let’s hear it.

        • Mr. E. (get it?)

          No. He does not. He’s man with no control of his temper, emotions, or keyboard. He feels anguish for the deaths of the children and he vents. Then he retreats to passive-aggressive mode and says “you know the answer. You know why I’m upset. But you are ignoring it. Why do you hate children.”

          Then something else shiny will show up in the media and he will vent about it ….

          • John Henry

            Bah. Mark’s a hothead, but he’s a thoughtful hothead. I want to hear what, specifically, he’s proposing.

            • This is a road that has been trod many times. I hope you have better luck than I did.

          • Mark is a man who is anguished about the deaths of these children. The children who died because mom was turned down for a gun permit or were killed during the ‘waiting period’, those he doesn’t publicly agonize about. He doesn’t acknowledge that defensive gun uses that protect innocents far outweigh criminal gun uses. He doesn’t even consider that his restrictionist position might lead to more innocents being killed.

            After this has been pointed out time after time by many people, not just me, I’ve come to the conclusion that he simply doesn’t care about those sorts of dead people.

            What I don’t care about is whether the dead get media coverage. I think that’s completely uninteresting. I want public policy in this fallen world to keep the most alive possible consistent with the dignity and free will that God gave us. Mark Shea simply does not think about keeping people alive in this way and I find this to be callous and not particularly Catholic.

            Systemic problems deserve systemic solutions. Individual problems deserve individual solutions. An individually crafted solution for keeping alive this family probably exists but I don’t know what it is. I don’t have enough information. Neither does Mark, by all appearances. Why that individually crafted solution wasn’t implemented is a question worth answering and some of the people willing to do the work answering it are deeply into the gun culture.

            When the information comes in, there might be some aspect that would reasonably lead to new laws. And if people like Mark Shea weren’t so busy poisoning the well, we might have improved legislation. But Mark and the rest of the reflexive anti-gunners have demonstrated so much bad faith over the course of decades that this stands in the way of reasonable progress.

            This is a bad faith post. This is wrong because this is helping create an atmosphere which will lead to more deaths.

  • jroberts548

    There are certain legal measures that would likely significantly reduce gun crime. These include tightening up the secondary market (by requiring all secondary buyers to get a background check), stricter background checks, and ending the war on drugs. Here, the shooter either bought a gun illegally on the secondary market, or his previous shooting didn’t show up on his background check.

    Which gun control advocates are calling for any of these things, and are being shouted down? I’ve heard a lot of people call for assault weapons bans and magazine limits, two reforms that have nothing to do with reducing gun crime or gun deaths.

  • Dave G.

    Six children killed by guns. Eight total. Terrible. I’ve seen the story all day. CNN was running with it yesterday. The media is all over it. Blogs have been talking about it, too. I’d sure say it’s a culture thing.

    • chezami

      Of *course* it a culture thing. It’s also a “making sure guns are easily accessible to criminals, maniacs, morons, and convicted stalkers” thing. Your particular line of sophistry is one of the constant fallbacks of gun culture. “Laws are worthless unless they are 100% effective and you cannot change the human heart with them, therefore maintain the status quo no matter what” is a reliable garbage fallacy of gun culture. The guy in the video tries it too.

      • Dave G.

        No, my point is that a week ago five children were murdered by their father and stuffed in trash bags and dumped like a bunch of garbage, and you couldn’t find any comments on blogs or even a prayer request. The media covered it, but not much. For a moment the media seemed excited. There was a sign on the man’s property saying trespassers would be shot on sight. Gun maniac perhaps? But apparently not. Just five murdered kids. No agenda able to be advanced. Move on. When it was covered it was between the Midwest Storms and the latest Bieber story. Was a time when it would have been the story of the week.

        But this, why this is about Guns. And all of a sudden it’s everywhere. The culture is one of punditry over principle. Forgetting that the agenda was made for man, not man for the agenda. These six murdered children and the other victims are just as tragic as the Forgotten Five last week. Forgetting that, i’m afraid, is part of the overall problem of which the declining murder rate is simply a part. That was my point.

  • John Henry

    The problem with this debate is that no one is willing to look at the overall picture. They pick and choose the statistics that back up their preselected positions, and then act like anyone who disagrees with them is stupid. Australia is a great example: no one disagrees that mass shootings declined, but there is a lot of disagreement about what effect (if any) the Australian buyback had on the overall homicide rate, suicide rate, and violent crime rate. By some analyses, the buyback made violent crime significantly worse, just as the British handgun ban seems to have done. Look beyond that at murder rates in different countries compared to their gun laws, and the picture gets even more complicated. Sure, Japan has a low murder rate, but so do Finland and Switzerland – both countries with very high civilian firearm ownership rates. Some countries with strict gun control have low *overall* murder rates, but others (like Russia, Mexico, and South Africa) have much higher murder rates than the US. Sure, the US isn’t Mexico – but it isn’t Australia either. (And isn’t it deceptive to only focus on *gun* murder rates as opposed to overall homicide rates? After all, if banning guns can be shown to not deter murder, but only to force murderers to use other weapons, it’s not very useful is it? And why focus only on murder? If banning guns decreases murders, but at the cost of a higher rape and violent assault rate, shouldn’t that be a consideration too?)

    So, from a purely utilitarian standpoint, I think gun ban advocates are on shaky ground. But I also think there are other considerations:

    First, even if you could prove that banning guns would make us all safer, that’s not always a sufficient reason to do something. Putting surveillance cameras on every street corner might make us safer too, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to trade our privacy for more security. Ditto with preemptively locking up high risk youth, and mandatory sterilization of the poor. Yes, there are a lot of things that cod be argued would make us safer. No, that doesn’t always mean we should embrace them. Freedom involves a certain element of risk.

    Second, I think it’s worth looking at weapon ownership laws throughout history. Without any exception that I’m aware of, the primary defining difference between the peasant class and the ruling class in any society has been the right (and responsibility) to bear a weapon. (The second defining difference is labs ownership, but that’s less universal.) The nobility or citizenry can own swords; the peasants must make do with scythes and axes and tonfas. The reasons for this are as obvious as they are numerous.

    Short version: Yes, every murder is horrible. No, I’m not convinced that means it’s my Christian duty to oppose civilian gun ownership.

    • John Henry

      Stupid me for posting from my phone. Two typos:

      *could be argued, not cod be argued
      and
      *land ownership, not labs ownership

    • jroberts548

      A gun ban, legally, is right out of the question. Anyone making the argument about banning guns is not interested in having a discussion. I don’t know what they’re interested in.

      But there are small, constitutional, likely effective things we can do to lower the violent crime rate and the gun deaths rate. The question shouldn’t be whether we ought ban guns. It’s what can we do to lower the violent crime rate and the gun deaths rate, and are those measures worth the cost?

      • John Henry

        Sure, that’s a good question.

  • Benjamin2.0

    When some people cry out “something must be done, this is something, and therefore we must do it” and others say “how about we don’t do something terrible for a good end,” that’s when the catch-phrase bumper sticker politics start to fly.

    I’m checking out for a week or so. I’ll see you all when this one’s off the feed and out of mind. Mindless hysteria and general irresponsible vilification brings out the worst in me.

  • skyjumpr

    The problem isn’t that the pro-gun side doesn’t want to debate or resolve the issue the problem is that no one wants to actually look at the real problem. Guns are only a tool used in these crimes. When a shooting occurs the anti-gun crowd jumps on “the guns are the problem” the pro-gun side goes on the defensive to say “the guns aren’t the problem” but neither side is really addressing the issue. And what is that issue? In the broader sense I’d say it’s social, but closer to the point it’s the emotional and mental state of those who commit these crimes. And this is the problem no one wants to look at because there’s no easy fix.

    We’ve as a society have become like that old cold medicine commercial where the guy or girl in the first scene is sick, takes the cold medicine and in the next scene is out skiing. The individual is still sick and needs rest to recover but the medicine has masked the symptoms and apparently that’s good enough. We’re trying to treat the symptom and not the actual problem.

    More laws won’t solve the problem of violence, gun related or not. Banning guns won’t solve the problem as criminals and those who would commit crimes can always find a way to get those tools that are outlawed or will use some other tool to commit their crime. More background checks? Perhaps you should read the joint FBI/DOJ report called “Violent Encounters – A Study of Felonious Assaults on Americas Law Enforcement Officers” from 2003 specifically the comments made by felons concerning gun laws and background checks.

    I suspect we’ll never solve this problem, we’ve had sick individuals who’ve done sick things throughout not just our own history as a country but history overall. As part of the population they’re a very very very small percentage but the impact of their crimes are often magnified to the exclusion of even greater social crimes like say abortion. Both are symptoms of a greater deeper social problem that no one is willing to really look at. I suspect it’s because to do so would force each one of us to look into our own lives and accept that each of us is at least somewhat responsible. But then we’re a cold medicine society where as long as we can so something to treat the symptom we’ll all feel better yet at the same time as a society we’re becoming weaker and sicker by the day.

    • jroberts548

      Gun crime, and crime across the board, has declined considerably since the ’70s after a peak around 1993. Our murder rate is as low as it’s been in a century.

      A lot can be done about crime without either banning guns or fixing the mystical, abstract social problems which have apparently gotten much better since the 70s.

      There are some cheap, discrete, pragmatic, completely constitutional things we could do that would likely take a significant bite out of the violent crime rate. Your position – that we shouldn’t treat symptoms unless we can treat the cause – reflects a significant misunderstanding of the relationship between the temporal and the spiritual.

      The cause is sin and fallenness. If the Papal states couldn’t temporally fix fallenness, what makes you think our government could? Should we therefore abandon efforts to fix temporal problems? No. That’s just stupid.

      • skyjumpr

        I never said we shouldn’t try but simply that we’re not going to solve the problem. Dealing with symptoms isn’t necessarily a bad thing unless it’s at the exclusion of dealing with the cause – something we refuse to look at. We want quick fixes and fixes that don’t require any real effort or sacrifice from ourselves.

        You’ll never stop the individual who seemed perfectly sane one day but for whatever reason, emotional or mental just snaps and kills his/her family the next but we can reduce the violence committed by repeat offenders. However it’ll take a change from both the prosecutors and courts side to do that. Instead of constantly plea bargaining cases just to get through the case loads prosecutors should actually do their job when it comes to repeat offenders and push for the maximum penalties for cases, no plea bargaining, no time off for good behavior. Turn our revolving door judicial system into a real judicial system. Those who are repeat offenders don’t simply get sentenced for a couple years with time off for good behavior instead they’re put away for decades (based upon the crime of course). Turn what has become a badge of honor or right of passage for some criminals and gangs into something that none of the new guys would want to take a chance at receiving. No more getting caught and out in 2-5 years. If you’re a repeat offender you’re in for 20, 30, 40 or more years. Think new gang members are going to be willing to commit a crime if they knew they would be spending a large portion of their lives behind bars if caught? Get the repeat offenders off the streets and you’ll reduce, though not completely stop, violent crime.

        • jroberts548

          Given the many problems in our criminal justice system, it takes a bold thinker to come up with under-incarceration as a problem.

          We’re 5% of the world’s population, and we have 25% of the world’s prisoners.

          I also like how your alternative to a quick fix that doesn’t require any real effort or sacrifice from yourself consists of just sticking more people in prison in life. I think you’ve misplaced the effort and sacrifice required there.

          • skyjumpr

            You made the statement that I didn’t want to treat the symptoms unless we treat the cause. I didn’t say we don’t abandon treating symptoms but that we need to focus on the cause. You wouldn’t go to a doctor who only treated your symptoms but did nothing for what was causing them yet we approach our societal issues this way. Am I wrong? Then I gave you what I believe is a better method of dealing with one of the symptoms as the current method is a failure.

            As to your statement concerning my solution and the prison population issue: this isn’t just putting more people into prison it’s keeping repeat offenders in prison with sentences more appropriate to their crimes. Like I previously stated do you think some new gang member (and I only use them as an example because according to the FBI the majority of violent crimes are committed by a small % of gang members who are repeat offenders) is going to be willing to commit some crime if they know they’ll no longer will get by with a 2-3 year sentence but rather 20-30 years? I think you’ll see a drastic reduction in this type of violent crime not just because you’ve put away the repeat offenders who are the ones committing the majority of these crimes but now you’ve created a very real deterrent for others. That ends up reducing not increasing the prison population.

            There is no quick fix, no single thing we can do to resolve the underlying issues that lead to violent crime. Is the problem both spiritual and temporal sure. Will we vanquish violent crime – no not unless by some miracle there is a massive conversion of all peoples which I don’t ever see happening. So what do we do? We look at and deal with the societal issues that brought us to this point. We start in the home and work outward. We didn’t become anti-life overnight. It happened over time and it’ll take time to change the hearts and minds of the people. In the mean time we can still deal with symptoms but always with the cause in mind.

            As to my “quick fix” not requiring any real effort of personal sacrifice: I’ve stated that there is no quick fix. I only posted one step we can take but it’s not a fix it’s only a step. As to personal sacrifice and effort: I’ve worked to instill in my own family and in the kids I’ve taught a deep love and respect for their fellow man. I’ve taught them that we can and must love the person but can hate their actions. I’ve taught them personal responsibility and that actions have consequences. And I try to live that out with Gods grace every day of my life. That may be small but it’s a good start at changing the mindset of the future generations and instilling in them the foundation that can help reverse the dehumanizing and violent anti-life view this world current has which.

          • cmfe

            Much of that prison population is for minor drug offenses rather than violence.

        • cmfe

          Nobody “just snaps” and kills their family. There is always a pattern of power and control. We just don’t take domestic violence seriously enough to penalize it, so it doesn’t get reported often and is brushed off when it is. Then everyone is so shocked when they’re carrying out the bodies.

          • skyjumpr

            It’s not so much that we don’t take domestic violence seriously it’s that we don’t often see the signs in an individual or family that lead up to someone snapping. It’s afterwards that neighbors and/or family remember things that have happened that make them realize there was a problem. Then there are those for whom neighbors or friends never saw any signs and can’t understand how such a nice kid or dad or whatever could ever do something so horrendous. Yes there are many cases where violence is present and known and nothing is done about it but there are a lot where the individual simply keeps it all bottled up until the day the can no longer do so.

    • cmfe

      There have been a handful of states that have been able to pass restrictions on gun ownership for persons convicted of domestic abuse and/or have restraining orders filed against them. A modest gain, true, but there has been some movement on the issue. I believe the NRA has lost the high ground in public discourse. Massing outside of restaurants where mothers groups were meeting to discuss limiting guns was a PR disaster for them.

      • skyjumpr

        A restraining order is simply a piece of paper. It has about as much affect at stopping someone who’s bent on committing a crime as an actual law does. Law’s only restrict those who are willing to abide by them. As to restricting those who can’t legally purchase a gun from getting one you can’t. According to the criminals that were part of the joint FBI/DOJ report I referenced elsewhere in this thread they can get them on the streets as easily as they can get drugs.

        As to the NRA losing the high ground I disagree. The majority of the individuals that mass around restaurants and other places are not representatives of the NRA but simply individuals (though they may be NRA members). And though I support the rights of those who wish to open carry I think most are idiots and are doing more harm than good when it comes to the issue of firearms and our right to bear them. I carry all the time but you wouldn’t know if you saw me. Because of that I can hold a civilized discussion with others concerning guns without them fearing the gun I’m carrying.

  • Paul Pfaffenberger

    How about having a national debate, with pros & cons … Discuss possible consequences, both intended and un- …. About gun & ammunition restrictions. Limits. Time limits, or limits on types of weapons & ammo systems, or registration, or something, anything. I dont believe our NRA lobbied legislators will allow that.

    If this “all or nothing” approach continues to be the strategy … Using the second ammendment as a club to beat all supporters of ~any~ gun limits …. I expect a groundswell of support in the next 10-20 years to repeal the 2nd amendment.

    • Dave G.

      Part of the problem, of course, is that there is reason to believe that for some, at least, the whole Gun Debate is simply a means to the end of abolishing the 2nd Amendment (with others soon to follow). The trick is getting people of good will on both sides to admit there are people of not good will on both sides. Perhaps then a debate could be had since both sides would be assured the extremes on both sides would be accounted for and acknowledged.

  • KM

    One big reason why not much gets resolved nationally about this issue — or any issue that matters to most Americans — was encapsulated in one word at the 20 second mark on that video: lobbyist. That one word describes the warped, dysfunctional, rigged and amoral system that is our government.

  • Caroline

    Is the desirable solution no legally owned guns for anyone except police (local, state, or federal) ? Whenever one of these tragedies occurs, I hear nothing but cries for more gun control. In each case I want to know precisely what the gun control laws in the location where the crime occurred were and exactly how the shooter got around them if that was what he needed to do; otherwise what new twist to gun control laws might have held that gun out of his hands? Then, if one must, advocate for that specific gap in the control laws, and, of course, find a way to enforce it.

  • Morris
  • the rein man

    Gun
    control is a dead issue, regardless of what laws may or may not be passed,
    because there is absolutely no faith or trust that legislators are motivated by
    good intentions towards the citizenry. Given the state of things, this
    lack of trust is obviously justified. It’s also a dead issue because
    most Americans refuse to comply with gun laws.
    (See the afore mentioned lack of trust issue.) In even the extreme
    left leaning people’s republic of Connecticut, for example, a whopping 94% of
    gun owners refused to comply with new gun laws by choosing not
    to register their “assault” weapons and magazines. The math puts it at over 100,000 newly minted felons in Connecticut alone. In NY there
    are even more. Perhaps gun owners are the moral cellar dwellers that some
    seem to think they are, but it is becoming increasingly evident that they are
    right when they say that it “won’t work, don’t try” because it is they
    themselves that refuse to comply with any legislation that they believe can
    potentially undermine their well being and liberty. They are merely stating a fact. It might be time to stop complaining aboutthis fact and for all of us to begin making a real effort of attacking the
    *real* and underlying cause of the rotting moral state of our nation and world. After all, if gun owners don’t care about new
    gun laws, they certainly don’t care if you whine about them.

  • D.T. McCameron

    This seems like a case where even the limits of ID locks and fingerprint scanners would fall short.