19 Dec 2012

What the Massacre in Sandy Hook Proves, and What Needs to Be Done

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The murder of first graders in Sandy Hook, Connecticut by a disturbed 20-year-old was exactly the kind of dramatic and appalling event that captures the attention of the entire country and which provokes the national commentariat into furious efforts at prescribing actions to be taken to ensure that such a tragedy can never happen again.

All this, of course, is insanity.

The shootings in Sandy Hook, though undoubtedly terrible and tragic, really constituted one of those rare, bizarre, and tremendously unlikely occurrences which can never be anticipated or successfully averted by planning, and which proves nothing beyond our own human vulnerability to irrationality, evil, and mere happenstance, to what the Ancient Greeks knew as moira, “Fate”.

There obviously exists no discernible real constituency of passionate paedophobes singlemindedly committed to the recreational shooting of small children as to represent an existing hazard at all.

The very existence of any person so defective, so angry, and so perverse as to choose herostratic self destruction is enormously unlikely. Someone of this sort comes along only exceedingly rarely, even in a population of 300 million. But the combination of the herostratic suicide (who is invariably male and post-pubescent but not mature) with an active animus against small children is orders of magnitude even more unlikely. With the death of Adam Lanza, chances are pretty good that this particular rare and hyper-exotic population is extinct.

Really, it is as if, unaccountably in a fashion no one could have anticipated or expected, a ravenous Kodiak bear suddenly appeared last Friday morning at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dickinson Drive in Sandy Hook, Connecticut where it inflicted numerous fatalities on first graders, teachers, and the school principal. How could anyone have ever been prepared for an emergency so unlikely, so intrinsically incapable of being anticipated, or even of being viewed as within the range of possibility?

Officials, legislators, police, and parents might more rationally decide to erect superstructures above elementary schools intended to intercept meteors rather than waste their time cerebrating over what to do to foil the next Adam Lanza or the next hungry Brown bear. Another century or more may go by before anything quite like this ever happens again.

The real problem we have is a deeply-embedded cultural delusion which proposes that if we simply get together a representative sampling of our best and our brightest, if we put our establishment elite to work, the calculative power of human reason applied by the agency of officialdom and the Leviathan state is omniscient and omnipotent, and planning and regulation can assuredly avert any possibility of the perverse operation of Fate. All undesirable and untoward events can be planned and regulated out of human existence. All we have to do is give our elite class of experts and government more power, and then we will perfectly safe. No more Kodiak bears, no more Adam Lanzas.

6 Feedbacks on "What the Massacre in Sandy Hook Proves, and What Needs to Be Done"


Yes, and if we declare a War on Poverty there will be greatly reduced poverty. and if we declare a War on drugs, there will be little drug use. and if we ban assault weapons and large clips as we did from 21994-2004, there will be greatly reduced gun homicides. And if we pass a large bill that is called a Stimulus, the economy will rebound. And if we double spending on education as we have over the last twenty years, then our children will be better educated. And if we subsidize wind and solar energy companies, then we will be “energy independent”. And if the population cared one whit about results rather than indulging in emotional fantasies, we would stop doing all of these things.

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The Sanity Inspector

Another century or more may go by before anything quite like this ever happens again.

I respectfully disagree with this bit. These massacres have been epidemic since the 90s at least. I don’t know what evil spirit is abroad in the land, nor what to do about it, but I’m not confident we’ve seen the last of them. If you’ll pardon the self-linkage, I invite you to look at this graph.

David Gatch

In the 70s in Cobb County Georgia, we had an elective class in high school called “Outdoor Education”. We used material that was produced by the Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources and covered areas such as conservation, outdoor skills , wildlife identification, boating/water safety, hunting, hunter safety and fishing. We had axes, knives, matches, saws and other outdoor equipment on campus. What will shock the bed-wetting demographic is we had firearm instruction and demonstrations on campus. I still remember our teacher bringing his own firearms for one class, in which he instructed us on the workings, handling and dangers. He showed us the destructive power of his 30/30 lever action rifle and that it wasn’t hard to imagine what it would do to a human if handled or used in the wrong way (no graphic 3d animation necessary). That demonstration still stays with me to this day because up to that point I had very little contact with firearms. In a later class we even shot skeet on the practice field behind our school. The reason I bring this up is what has changed? Guns haven’t changed much, a civilian AR15 then is pretty much the same as one now, a handgun is still a handgun. What has changed is our culture. We have graphic video games, graphic movies, graphic TV shows and graphic news stories, all of which desensitizes young minds to violence. Couple that with drugs, legal or otherwise, broken families, one parent households, rampant moral decline, materialism gone insane and a political system that no longer garners respect. Its been 37 years since I took that class in high school and sadly this nation no longer resembles what I grew up loving and respecting. If the liberals/progressives want to identify whats wrong with this country all they have to do is look in the mirror, the decline is squarely on their shoulders. Its policies they’ve implemented over the last 50 years that has set the stage for this tragedy. Liberals/ progressives blaming inanimate objects for what happened in Connecticut is an act of cowardice, deal with the culture you created, man up and admit you’re wrong, I’d wager the American people would be willing to forgive you. BTW I may not have said it above, but I lump progressive republicans into the above as well…..

T. Shaw

Dear Insanity Inspector:

I agree we have to stop these massacres and threats to innocent lives.

First, kill all the lawyers. Second, we go after all the Muslims: they committed 10,000 terrorist attacks since 2001. Third, we go after all the gays. Each one of them is a child molestor waiting to molest and an AIDS spreader waiting to infect the rest of us. Third, . .


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