Monday, December 24, 2012

A question...

I am honestly curious about this.

Neither mental illness nor magazine-fed firearms are new things in this nation (although gun control largely is.)

What kept disturbed kids in the '50s from wandering into the cafeteria with a mail-order M1 carbine and laying waste?

Discuss.

102 comments:

Stephen said...

Good and caring parents.

Tam said...

Good and caring parents don't stop scizophrenics from hearing voices, though.

Thor said...

Stephen beat me to it.

Parents is my first answer.

Family and personal accountability would be my second.

I think if you take them together, they lead us to a different "moral compass". Understanding that there are consequences to your actions, and having someone that will hold you accountable and provide those consequences.

The question becomes how do we get back to that as a culture.

Anonymous said...

Murder was unlawful then. Times have changed....

Al T.

PresterSean said...

Deinstitutionalization in the 60's.

Anonymous said...

They were committed to state hospitals, where they were medicated, shocked and/ or surgically treated to be compliant to staff wishes.

In the 1970 to 1990’s those methods was considered cruel and those practices were replaced with the current state of unsupervised self-medication without sufficient professional oversight.

It would appear the pendulum has swung way too far to the other side.

Gerry

Anonymous said...

.....waiting for the inevitable "Taking god out of our schools!" comment.

Anonymous said...

I would not diagnose this as schizophrenia. It looks more like depression, from what I have been able to glean from the news. Your roomie has a link to an article about isolation which I believe is exactly correct.


It is helpful to analyze these types of incidents as suicide-by-major-press-event. The perpetrator is wanting to end his life and become (in)famous at the same time.

The major societal response has to focus on mental health care, not weapons.

Bob said...

Charles Krauthammer discusses the probable reason here:

Monsters shall always be with us, but in earlier days they did not roam free. As a psychiatrist in Massachusetts in the 1970s, I committed people — often right out of the emergency room — as a danger to themselves or to others. I never did so lightly, but I labored under none of the crushing bureaucratic and legal constraints that make involuntary commitment infinitely more difficult today.

Why do you think we have so many homeless? Destitution? Poverty has declined since the 1950s. The majority of those sleeping on grates are mentally ill. In the name of civil liberties, we let them die with their rights on.

A tiny percentage of the mentally ill become mass killers. Just about everyone around Tucson shooter Jared Loughner sensed he was mentally ill and dangerous. But in effect, he had to kill before he could be put away — and (forcibly) treated.

Random mass killings were three times more common in the 2000s than in the 1980s, when gun laws were actually weaker. Yet a 2011 University of California at Berkeley study found that states with strong civil commitment laws have about a one-third lower homicide rate.

Vinnie said...

"Good and caring parents don't stop scizophrenics from hearing voices, though."
The voices may try to convince you of something but "dad's gunnu wop my ass good if I do that is a hard argument to beat. I was a wild teenager. I had no fear of going to jail. I was scared shitless of getting out of jail.

Alan J. said...

Simplist answer is that it would never occur to them to do so. Teenagers in the 50s were raised by parents that were raised in the 30s. And society in the 30s placed a very high value on life and high moral standards. Yes, you could argue that there was some hypocrisy about the 30s moral standards; after all, it was the era of bank-robbing gangsters, mobsters, speakeasys and whiskey runners. But look at how glaringly exceptional they stood out in contrast to the values of the rest of society.

By the 50s, you had the beginnings of the 'Rebels without a Cause' who found their 'Cause' to be tearing down every moral standard and wall of proper behavior they could find.

Now there are fewer and fewer walls left to tear down, and so our rebels today have to be more and more shocking, with the end result being crimes such as the school shootings that we're seeing in the news.

I would close by adding, 'God, please help us' but the liberals hae already kicked God out the schools, out of Hollywood, and out of our government. Now we're just reaping the whirlwind.

RHT447 said...

I agree that parenting is the lynch pin. I would also add this to the mix: Double income families with latch-key kids that spend way too much time in isolation staring at electrons, giving them access to way too much knowledge without wisdom. Imagine the lads from Lord of the Flies with internet access.

leaddog said...

I was having the same thoughts this morning. Now that ought to scare you. I posted some of them on FB in hopes of starting a discussion. I remember taking a shotgun to school for a class demonstration. I walked right through the middle of the building with it and no one said a word. Several of my classmates would do similar class demonstrations each year and no one thought anything about it. The parking lot was chock full of weapons and ammo so that we could hit the woods for a little hunting as soon as the bell rang. The only thing in danger were the rabbits, squirrels, and pheasant.

I think a lot of it has to do with the 24/7 news cycle and the publicity that these nut balls get when they "go out with a bang." Society has evolved around the TV so much that it seems many will do almost anything for a few seconds of fame, look at some of the popular shows. Paul Harvey had the right approach. He would mention the tragedy and then say something like "The shooter would want us to mention his name." and then after a moment of silence, go on to the next news item.

Parenting also has a lot to do with it. It seems that there is damn little of it happening these days. My parents were harder on me than anyone else was. What I got at school was known before I got home and it was worse for me when I arrived home. I stayed out of trouble many times more from the fear of the punishment I would receive at home than the desire to do good and right.

There also seems to be a certain pussyfication of society where we tolerate things that were intolerable in an earlier time. It is as if we do not want to admit that bullies are bullies. We want to talk to them and understand them and reason with them and maybe it is our fault because we just don't understand their feelings when they only understand a punch in the nose.

There is also a certain element that do not want to take care of themselves and be responsible for their own safety and well being. The Nanny State has fostered the growth and dependence of that element of society.

'nuff pot stirrin'

Tam said...

Anon 12:19,

...and only four minutes later...

JebTexas said...

Morals, character, honor, and all the rest of those higher values the 47% no longer possess. The loving parents are the way these are instilled, but it's the values that keep the beast contained.

I flirted with dis-enfranchising the 47%, but that is clearly unpossible. That's why I see no solution to our problems. The ONLY way to fix it is to fix our culture, but how do we instill these values in people who no longer think them worth having? Who think that pimps and whores are heroes and that they are owed a free ride through life?


Anonymous said...

I do believe the first U.S. mass murder in a school during last century took place in the 1920's, didn't it? So this is in no way a new phenomenon. The mass media just makes it sound like it is.

I believe the culture of learned helplessness and disarmament has a lot to do with it, as well. Going after little Johnny might have been a more unpalatable idea when little Johnny was on the school marksmanship team. Not that I'm implying that kids carried self-defense weapons routinely in the past - rather, that both guns were much more prevalent, as was the more important part: the will to use them. Sure, little Johnny's .22 might be kept in the principals office during school, but if someone walks in to the school and starts shooting, the principal was damn sight more likely to grab one of those .22's and put a bullet into the shooters eye than to hide under his/her desk and call for a school lockdown. And if little Johnny's .22 didn't come with ammunition, well then, time to use the .38 revolver in the desk drawer. Or the sap in the jacket pocket. Or a baseball bat, table leg, pocket knife... What ever it takes.

Attitudes and abilities, they have changed amongst the general population. And not for the better.

Tam said...

Other Anon 12:19,

"It is helpful to analyze these types of incidents as suicide-by-major-press-event."

Good turn of phrase. I've tried expressing the same thing verbally a few times over the last week, but never that succinctly. I'll be stealing that.

Alan J. said...

To anonymouse who is ".....waiting for the inevitable "Taking god out of our schools!" cliche." It isn't really about taking God out of the schools, it's about putting value on human life and the behavior patterns that follow that standard.

Believe in God or not as you will, but hopefully you'll raise your kids to act according to a higher standards. Cliches become cliches because they are so often true.

BobG said...

As someone who grew up in the fifties and early sixties (I was born in 1952) a lot of what Alan J and leaddog says sounds familiar to me. I don't go along that much with the idea that God got kicked out of the equation being a factor (I have been an atheist since about the time I hit puberty), but most of the rest sound right. My parents and those of most of the people I knew were stricter, and paid more attention to what kids were doing, and tried to spend time interacting with their children.

Jumpthestack said...

I think it's likely that mass shootings haven't really increased, but these days we just have much more information available about what happens, and a lot more analysis from the media and the Internet.

This article talks about how they haven't increased since the 80s.
http://boston.com/community/blogs/crime_punishment/2012/08/no_increase_in_mass_shootings.html

JavaMan said...

I am going to give a simple answer, that for the most part agrees with some of the comments above.

Values, meaningful consequences, and parenting.

Of course, values and parenting could be considered pretty much one and the same thing... without good parents you don't get good values.

And in large part it's the meaningful consequences (that reinforce those values) that make a large difference.

A lot of people would disagree with me on this, but when we decided that "if it feels good, do it" and "anything goes" ... and that the teenage years were some sort of excuse for bad behavior (circa the 1960's) it started going down hill. And the slope keeps getting steeper all the time.

leaddog said...

How about the active destruction of the family?

Taxes and the taxing structure have forced many families into the both mom and dad have to work category. Many more stay at home moms when I was a kid. Those moms had kaffe katches and talked about their kids and schools and were room mothers and helped with the band concert and school play. They also knew if Johnny was picking on the smaller and weaker kids. There would be social pressure on Johnny's mom to get the kid under control. If that did not work, many times Johnny would have a 'conversation' with a few of the other neighborhood boys after school.

It was the same with the Dads. They bowled, belonged to the local sportsman club, attended community club, and (gasp) drank a few beers at the corner pub together.

Dads are no longer needed, or it seems useful, for anything but a check, and the government will provide that.

At the instruction of my Dad, I never have started a fight, but I have finished a few. In every case, when I got a belly full and fought back, the problem stopped. Perhaps, that is instructive. The "tough guys" left me alone because they knew that I would maybe tolerate their crap a little, but when I was done, I was done, and it was going to be bad for them. They left my friends alone too because they knew that if they started something with my friends, I would be there to back them. How do we as a society get back to that? Oh yeah that is Tam's question. Sorry.

As far a God and prayer in schools, as long as there are final exams...

the pawnbroker said...

By and large it would seem that baby boomers suck as parents; we are responsible, to one degree or another, for every one of the societal ills discussed here.

(Hangs head in shame.)

PB

Broken Andy said...

Powerful psychotropic drugs that have side affects the medical boards refuse to acknowledge.

Paul said...

The difference is that back then there was not a 24 hour news cycle. There probably were one or two incidents back then, but they were LOCAL tragedies and LOCAL news.

It would not have occurred to mentally ill teens to do that because there was no blueprint to follow.

Every time this happens it is THE news for 24-48 hours, with talking heads vapouring away, and a re-hash at every funeral, a week later, and another orgy of re-hashing at the anniversary. Also, every previous incident is invoked and compared.

Many of these people would have remained suicidal loners, who may never otherwise have acted this out, but for getting the idea from the breathless media coverage.

"Look at all the attention, look how famous he is now". He really showed them." is what they think as they watch the news.

Some celebrity (I forget which one), commented that we know the names of the Columbine shooters, there names are now household names, but not the names of their victims.

The other thing, as already mentioned, is modern psychiatry, the difficulty of getting involuntary committal for the mentally ill, and the (over) reliance on the new drugs.

Steve C said...

I remember an article I read back in the 70's that noted that countries had a strong rise in violent crime 15 years after TV was introduced in that country. The shows weren't particularly violent, In the entire run of Dragnet, Joe Friday only fired his gun about 4 times, but the TV replaced a lot of family interaction. A little later, the air conditioner destroyed neighborhood community interaction, although the TV had already started the process. Now, people hole up behind closed doors, often in separate rooms with their own TV's, and communicate by texting others. Or by leaving notes on blogs. :)

JustSomeGuy said...

It’d be helpful if we could point to one or two things as actionable problems and go fix ‘em, wouldn’t it? But I’m not a liberal…

I think it comes down to the intersection of a myriad data points, myself.

It’s been said (a lot) that mental illness is improperly treated in the U.S., and I’d agree there’s some merit in that. I’m not sure a wild swing back toward involuntary commitments would be a positive reaction, though. Especially when one considers some of the idiocy mental health professionals have been embroiled in over the years.
My concern with the mental illness argument is that only a small portion of those committing mass murders (domestically) have been diagnosed as mentally ill. (Yeah, I know, bunch of ‘em are dead and it’s hard to diagnose the dead without a medium.) It’s easy to look back at their actions and declare “they gotta be crazy!” But that’s not necessarily mental illness, clinically. And, even in those cases where mental disturbance has been established, it needs to be established that homicidal ideations or violence was a component of the illness, and not the individual. Let me toss out a caveat now, I’ve not made a study of this, but other than the fetid meatbag from Tuscon, were any of the others known to be violent? I’m not trying to hand anybody a pass here, I’m just saying an AAR can find all kinds of things that weren’t apparent (or even true) during the course of events.
So, mental illness? I think it’s a diversion.

I’ve also seen the castigation of parents frequently. And, again, there’s some merit in criticism of parental activities. (There’s always merit in criticism, it’s how we refine our natures.) But I think it’s essentially another distraction. There are millions of parents raising millions of kids, many of them with these modern methods people like to decry and all of the homicidally violent kids occupy a group well to the right of the decimal point. They’re statistical outliers. If modern parenting, latch-key kids, too much television/video games/internet/electrons was a root cause…well, we’d be back on the left side of the decimal point. And if you wanna talk about narcissism, let’s talk about the 60’s and 70’s.

It ain’t the guns, we know that.

As to God in schools, therefore all of the atheist or primarily atheist nations exceed us in the mass school shooting phenomenon, yes? No? Hm…

Individual responsibility, toughness, attitudes…

Many of these points have merit as part of the myriad data points when assessing one individual after the fact. We can also consider that the population has doubled since the 1950s. Metropolitan concentration has steadily increased. Cultural non-homogeneity has increased regionally and nationally. Authoritarianism in schools (and elsewhere) has increased. Inflation keeps inflating…

In the end, all of these points hold true for millions of other people in this nation. And millions of other people do not do…anything.

Continued...

JustSomeGuy said...

Continued from above...

So for all my bloviating…what’s my answer to Tam’s actual question? Hm.

I suspect it’s the confluence of technological, cultural and social conditions. All else aside, we’re talking about evil people (not metaphysically) and we’ve always had those. In other times and places past they’ve found outlet for their actions in other arenas. Some became conquerors, some soldiers, some priests or courtiers, some dictators. Some, as today, became serial killers. But this evil, this disregarding of all that is not self and thirst for recognition and lust for power, has always been with us. Today, as a result of those data points, and many more unidentified, they manifest in a mass homicide in a public place, at least here. One hundred years from now, they’ll still be with us, but they’ll manifest in a different fashion.

Giving in to my “fix-it” desire for a moment, I’ll say they only rational way we shift the manifestation now is recognize, as Anon 12:19 said, that this is “suicide-by-major-press-event.” Cut that source of recognition and the pattern will shift.

In the end the only way, the ONLY way to stop the evil among us is for individual’s to risk all and stand toe to toe with them. Face them, fight them, die if necessary, but deny them their power. Legislating them ain’t the same.

Thanks,
JSG

Robert Fowler said...

I'll have to work backwards. Our oldest grandson, now 19 and a L/CPL in the marines, spent his last two years of high school living with us. I got to go to the school and participate in the conferences. I noticed that nearly all of the students called their teachers by their first names.

I started school in 1960. We started each day with the pledge of allegiance and a short prayer. The greatest lesson we learned was respect. Even into the early 70's when I was in High school we never disrespected our teachers. We would have never have thought to call one of them by their first name.

If we got in trouble, we were willing to take a swat on the ass if it meant our parents wouldn't find out. Even though they did.

And yes, we had guns at school. It was nothing for someone to have their shotgun in their locker or car. We generally took care of any bullies either without the teachers knowing or with their approval. We weren't real touchy feely. One good ass whoopin and most bullies learned the error of their ways.

Somewhere along the way we have stopped teaching respect. We don't have to go back to prayer in school, everyone should be free to practice whatever religion they want, or none at all. Like one commenter said, as long as there are tests....



og said...

It didn't make as much political hay then.

Kristophr said...

To sum up:

Suicide for Infamy ( suicide by-major-press-event )

Glorifying evil behavior by Hollywierd

Parents and teachers who do not teach adult socialization skills, and let the stupid little pukes play Lord of the Flies

A healthcare system that has been so badly bitchslapped by the ACLU that they will give day passes to Hannibal Lector


Did I miss anything?

Eric said...

Robert Fowler wrote what I have been thinking as I read these comments: "We would have never have thought to call one of them by their first name."

I remember growing up as an Army brat in the 70s and being shocked when kids began addressing adults by their first name. As my Mother would say, "poor home training".

ExurbanKevin said...

A society/culture that minimizes the negative results of anti-societal behaviour, that over-emphasizes "rights" while ignoring responsibility. A culture that idolizes emotions over logic, and an increased idolization of celebrities that make mass murder seem like a quick path to immortality.

goober said...

The media didn't glorify them as a dark misunderstood antihero and give them their immortality through fame like they do now. And don't think school shootings are a new thing. Starting with Indians back in the 1700liking them as soft targets through to today schools have always been the cowards target of choice. We just hear about it now where before it was a local issue.

Anonymous said...

Kristophr, I think you did miss something. We not only allow the "little pukes" to play Lord of the Flies, but it is often actively encouraged in schools. One of the counselors at a school I worked at was fond of saying, "It is our (teachers/administrators) responsibility to make rules. It is yours (students) to break them and push the envelope." I don't thinks she was so far afield from the attitude of the bulk of her peers as one might wish...

JustSomeGuy, I think there is a flaw in your argument about parents. Only if bad parenting was a sole, absolute cause of miscreant behavior by the children would a vast increase in bad parenting (latch-key kids, missing fathers, etc.) necessarily equate to us being on "the left side of the decimal point." However, if it is a significant contributor it would demonstrate a movement in that direction. Not saying it is (though I tend to think so) because I don't have reliable data, but food for thought.

pax said...

Book recommendation: A History of Mass Murder in the United States, by Grant Duwe. Fascinating.

Mass murder isn't new, and neither are mass murder attacks in public schools.

Mass murders track very closely with the overall violent crime rate, with copycat cluster-spikes after widely reported events.

Anonymous said...

Correction: Actually, I think that counselor said, "It is your job to break the rules..." Far worse in my mind.

Ancient Woodsman said...

It is undoubtably caused all by the dramatic decrease in the global phytoplankton population in that same time; phytoplankton has decreased 40% in the same time that violent crime/school shootings have skyrocketed. Clearly, no one in the 1950s would have even dreamed of unloading a 30-round high-magzazine-clip M1 assault ammunition carbine in a school cafeteria when the global phytoplankton population was so high. Plankton population drops and...well, you can see what we have here.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=phytoplankton-population

That, and the increasing dearth of pirates and ninjas, for sure.

Mick Havoc said...

We were all at the malt shop trying to get to first base with Peggy Sue.

Stephen said...

I've been preaching this meme for years. Not just the drugs, but also the parents who shunt off responsibility for kids who need extra parenting effort to big pharma. And then as soon as you finish reading this piece we can talk about adjuvants in vaccines and autism. Personally, my tinfoil hat is fitting alot better these days.

http://www.cheeseslave.com/school-shootings-linked-to-pharmaceutical-drugs/

Matt G said...

If there's a person here who's made more of a study of this issue than me, I don't know who it is.

And I don't know what the answer is.

I can blather on about the dissociative tendencies of kids today, finding reinforcement for any inkling of sociopathy within them. I could point to lives steeped in entertainment focused on reward for destruction, without a whit of discussion about the consequences. I could point to the amazing media focus put on kids as antiheroes. I could even point to the fact that the numbers actually aren't that much higher than before; it's just that we do a much better job of marketing the crimes, now.

But none of that means that I know why. Because I don't.

pax said...

Also, immediacy: http://qz.com/37069/the-deadliest-school-massacre-in-us-history-was-in-1927-why-its-aftermath-matters-now/

Wayne said...

Standards and practices at the three networks and movie companies, i.e government censors.

Crucis said...

Read my blog posts:
http://crucis-court.com/?p=2879 and

http://crucis-court.com/?p=2932 .

This is one reason why.

staghounds said...

These killers don't want "help", usually it has been offered ad infinitum. They come from the mot psychologically served population in history.

All human behaviour is problem-solving behaviour in the mind of the person doing it.

What problem does shooting up people solve?

Suicide by press event is a great term.

Name ten people who became very famous in the 1960s.

How many murderer victims are on the list? How many of their murderers can you name?

JustSomeGuy said...

Anonymous 2:12:

I don’t disagree with that proposition. I think evaluation of all of these issues, including parenting, is valid in a study of how we want to exist as a society. I just don’t think they have any bearing on those statistical outliers.

My contention is that at any given time humanity spawns a few of these pus-pockets, and they look for an outlet for what we used to call their violent sociopathic tendencies. The society, culture and sub-culture they develop in will aim them to a specific outlet. But they originate out of the genome, if you will, not the society.

The larger picture argument is this: We (I at least) maintain that a statistical outlier as regards guns does not justify legislative response, or even cultural vilification. However, the same statistical outlier as regards parenting, mental health, respect for authority, teaching or whatever…still does not justify legislative response or cultural vilification.

I would like to see cultural pressure to remove the allure of “suicide-by-major-press-event” (I dig that turn of phrase), but not because I think it will eliminate these individuals. I just hope it’ll funnel them away from the schools and the responsible adults will stand a better chance of doing that toe to toe thing I talked about earlier.

Yours in Rambling,
JSG

NotClauswitz said...

I'm with the drugs crowd. A lot of these events have anti-depressants in common. When the batshit gets crazy the crazy go batshit.

Miguel said...

Already mentioned: desinstitutionalization.
I am reading a great book: My Brother Ron: A Personal and Social History of the Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill by Clayton Cramer.

We used to keep the really bad cases in hospitals, but desinstitutionalization became the Civil Rights movement for the White Folks in the 60s. Now we just give them pills and send them back out.

Joseph said...

I'd say parents as well. There were more two parent households and larger families with more than one sibling. If a kid had a mental issue, the family support was greater and parents/families had the good since to limit the interaction with the inflicted and the general public. Nowadays, the single parent shoves pills down their throat, sends them off to daycare and there isn't multiple siblings to beat you down when you get out of line.

This is all just supposition on my part, I wasn't brought up in that era, though I did have six siblings and both parents and you don't get by with much in that situation.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it did happen then, but it wasn't as big of a media event since people realized that bad things happen. The world is both a smaller place with modern media, and has more people so the raw numbers are up.

Old NFO said...

+1 on Alan J- As one who grew up in the 50s and 60s, we would no more have thought of doing that than anything, plus, weapons were routinely carried by folks either on their persons or in their vehicles. AND our parents were mostly war vets, so they would have charged anyone with out thinking twice... And 'problem children' were committed...

Anonymous said...

These days every young person wants to be famous eg American IDOL, Big Brother, Nobel Prize, Queens Birthday Honours, Medal of Honour; in fact they consider it their right to be famous.

If you have drawn the short straw and are ugly, dumb, clumsy, lacking totally in social skils or consider yourself to be like this then you can get your fame, as others have stated, "suicide by disgust" that is doing something so disgusting, so inhumane,,, that it means not only that you will die one way or other but also that you will never be forgotten.

If you want to massacre people, how about you do it at a gun/rifle/pistol club on a Saturday afternoon!

Mike from Oz

Skip said...

Two hundred years ago we burned 'em at the stake. Cut that shit way down...for awhile.

HerrBGone said...

Paul, that celebrity was Ben Stein.

1. Because the problem isn’t going away (and the media has only been encouraging copycat behavior) the first thing we need to do is to treat the infection with an effective antibiotic (anti-psychotic?):

Institute the Israeli model of allowing the school staff to actually protect our kids instead of hiding under their desks! That would be an effective deterrent for some and would stop those not deterred in their tracks.

2. To prevent re-infection I would prescribe the following:

As has been said by others, if more in the media would follow Paul Harvey's lead in not giving the killer the (in)fame they crave there might be fewer seeking their (in)fame this way.

Hmm… Are they misunderstanding infamy as a contraction of instant fame?

As to the root cause:

I can only surmise that a lot of it has to do with lack of respect.

– For authority (parents, teachers, employers or any others deserving of respect (IMHO: respect has to be earned. I generally give a measure as a matter of course when first meeting someone. Then it depends on the individual if that measure increases or decreases. In some cases it can be extinguished entirely. Even then that would not be an excuse for the kind of behavior we’re talking about here. But that’s me. YMMV…))

– For property (It seems that I can’t have reflectors at the end of my driveway without someone stealing and/or smashing them, and one of the homes down the street was ‘tagged’ with graffiti the other day)

– For self (have you seen the way these kids dress these days?!? [/curmudgeon voice]). Seriously, though, it seems to me that so many people, not just kids, these days really do not respect themselves. Many see their own lives as more of a PITA than they want to bother with and a select few choose the permanent solution to the temporary problem. Thankfully only a very few of those chose to take others along on their way out.

Clinical depression can be an overwhelming soul-crushing burden. It can make it seem as if there is no other way out and that one’s own life has no value. If one’s own live is without value how much less that of someone else? Based on what the media presents it would seem that much of our society is based on fame as a source of value. Some may believe the primary source of value. With the media giving instant fame to deceased mass killers with 24/7 coverage in the first days after a ‘suicide-by-major-press-event’ some may believe they can (pardon the phrase) kill two birds with one stone. They end their own lives as the culmination of the event or have it ended for them through suicide-by-cop if they can’t do the deed themselves and they posthumously get the fame they mistakenly believe will give their life meaning. By taking away the fame it eliminates a large part of the incentive. By actually defending our public places and especially our schools even if they still opt for suicide by cop or by armed citizen the number of innocents harmed will almost certainly be greatly reduced.

Or we, as a society, can go on doing what we’ve been doing for the past several decades and hope for different results…

Scott J said...

I like Karl's take. We as a society have trivialized killing.

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=215222

Brad K. said...

@ Alan J.

There is a corollary to taking God out of school. It is suppressing the "watch your neighbor for deviations from God's path" busybody reflex.

Back then, many more people lived a "churched" life, they bore scrutiny from neighbors and church elders during their daily life as well as while attending services.

That habit of being aware of your neighbors and family lead to recognizing people with issues, and dealing with them in a timely fashion.

And I think there is another cultural issue. Scouting. Boy scouts, cub scouts, etc. were established, initially, to prepare boys for military service. Shooting craft was taught, the rules and ethics were laid out plainly for all.

The school kids in the '50s saw their first guns when Dad went hunting; in the '90s it was on cartoons, and cop shows and the news, and people were being shot. Without the background of "here, this is a gun, you are responsible for not shooting people", the modern shooter, especially if troubled, is less likely to consider the victims as "people".

The 50s student would have spent time learning to shoot -- and learning that there are usually other ways to achieve what a gun will do (initially with regard to hunting, but by implication in other areas, too).

Anonymous said...

All this talk of the cause being taking God out of the schools is ridiculous as all get out. Look at the timing? Folks, the reason is that we've taken the Christ out of Christmas.

Mark Alger said...

I tend to look askance at all the claims that there is THAT MUCH more insanity out there than there was forty or fifty years ago. Where did it come from? I can't see it coming from some chemical change in the general population.

When I was growing up, I recall an awareness that such a thing as the death penalty existed and that only really broken people took risks with other people's lives or individual autonomy.

And guns were more prevalent, as was a general education about firearms safety, along with graphic demonstrations of the power of the things as cautionary tales. It was, as many have said here, something you just never considered doing. And, frankly, if the thought might have occurred to you, you thought yourself a little bit off for even THINKing about it.

I'd have to go with a breakdown of the general moral worldview. You could point fingers at progressivism and the concomitant "permissive parenting," or Dr. Spock's little book and the disaster it wrought on the Baby Boomers, et sequelae.

On the other hand, there WERE all those asylums around, and they WERE really big. Maybe the number of genuine nutbars in the population hasn't changed all that much and we just see more of them..

M

Michael said...

Most of the explanation is encapsulated in the graph here on institutionalization.

The Krauthammer quote above is mostly right, although I would caution that some of the civil liberties protections for committing people against their will are vital. Locking someone up against their will when they haven't committed a crime is something we should not take lightly, as a society. It is highly subjective and can very easily be abused.

Gay_Cynic said...

There isn't one answer. And where we are today is not entirely worse.

Jim Crow has largely retired from the field. Those of us in the LGBT community don't see nearly the level of violence our community once saw. We are far more attentive to the First Amendment as a nation (I continue to hope that we will shortly respect the Second as enthusiastically...followed by recalling how to *spell* "Fourth" and "Fifth"..

Matt G. is far more studied than I am. I am, however, willing to field a WAG and suggest that - as others have - that no single cause has brought us to this pass.

Mass murder (or even any heinous act) sees far broader and louder coverage than ever before - often encouraging would-be perpetrators to "go out in a blaze of glory/infamy."

We do a poor job today of inculcating moral or civic values (or even knowledge) in many of our youth.

And our mental health system is broken.

There are few solutions when there is no single simple problem, when instead we have a complex tangle of intermingled crud.

I don't have a solution, but whatever it is - it is not going to be a simple one.

Anonymous said...

Vinnie said:

"The voices may try to convince you of something but "dad's gunnu wop my ass good if I do that is a hard argument to beat. I was a wild teenager. I had no fear of going to jail. I was scared shitless of getting out of jail."

Spoken like someone who has never personally dealt with a mental illness.

Your REASONING is the voice of sanity. Those who hear voices aren't REASONable. Almost nobody gets full-blown voices at first; they start slowly, and will tell you they're the voice(s) of G-d, Satan, your dead relative, aliens, or whatever. Voices no one else can hear. As the voices progress, they become louder, more insistent, and it's such a struggle to resist them. How would you feel if suddenly G-d started talking to you? And He kept talking to you over weeks, months, and years, revealing more and more of the secrets of the universe? And one day asks you to prove that you love Him, in much the same way that Abraham was told to sacrifice his son? It's G-d asking, and He would never allow you to do anything evil. Dad's whuppin' isn't going to stop you--Dad isn't G-d, is he?

Your inability to understand is a blessing, because if you or a loved one had been through it, you would pray for it to be cured.

neutrino-cannon said...

They used dynamite instead:

http://qz.com/37069/the-deadliest-school-massacre-in-us-history-was-in-1927-why-its-aftermath-matters-now/

Tam said...

neutrino-cannon,

Yes, I knew about the Bath incident. That's a little flippant, however.

One farmer using stump removal explosives doesn't explain why generations of kids who had access to mail-order guns did not use them to shoot up the school library.

Ken said...

Gay_Cynic's answer is pretty good. Billy Beck put it somewhat differently, but I like his quite well:

"This is a cultural problem about the existence of values. None of this is -- at this point -- a dispute over which values to hold, but about the very existence of values to begin with: what they are and why they are necessary to human life.

"Taking Adam Lanza as only one extreme example of the cultural psychosis, now: that kid was somehow brought to an adult age without ever having been taught what values are. There are teeming tens of millions of specimens like him, now, at the dead-end of a cultural procession that began long before he was born. Not all, or even many, will run to the extent that he did, but their lethality is every bit as real over the long run, in their casual nihilism."

Snarking about taking the Almighty out of schools is one thing, but one may argue that a given set of values have been largely removed from the popular culture and replaced by nothing. Literally nothing.

And to paraphrase and extend either Tolkien or Lewis (and I fully recognize that one's mileage may vary), without the One, Nothing is strong: very strong indeed.

Tam said...

Ken,

Do you have any idea how insulting that is? No, never mind, you obviously don't.

Anonymous said...

Agree-that is an apple to oranges comparison.
My belief is we are in the midst of a terrible confluence of historical events such as deinstitutionalization(and the failure of families and local communities to address/handle aberrant individuals), nearly instantaneous broadcasting of events and then the glorification, almost pornification( if that's a word) of violence by the entertainment industry and media, a legal system too slow often to react, and a substantial number of Americans who don't want to face the fact that sometimes almost unspeakable, violent evil must be met with violence. Oh, and there is also the hypocritical pontification of the political and media elite, who, with armed security all about them, deign to tell the sometimes "bitter clingers" what they can possess and how to live their lives...
Off to church in a bit, armed and aware...

Anonymous said...

Apple to oranges comment was for neutrino-c.
Just wanted to add it's not a sad state of affairs, but grim sometimes...
Have a peaceful day today, and "buckle up" for the New Year!

doug galecawitz said...

all of the above have a small part of it.

higher incidence of single parenthood.

a decayed sense of morals.

de-institutionalization of the insane.

widely available 24hr news cycle that glorifies these acts.

a society that takes parents out of the lives of their children.

even as an atheist i'd say the absence of religion has had some slight effect in that once moral and ethical boundries have eroded to lots of grey area.

frenzied worship of fame as the highest social achievement.

disarmed educators and gun free zones.

even distant economic factors may in the large scale play some small roll. james holmes was an esteemed student of nueroscience but could only find a job at mcdonalds

pharmacuetical hijinks

even, yes, gun culture in some small ways has had effects on this.

there are a million contributing factors which is why it is ridiculous when talking heads pick a pet peeve and assign it all or even most of the blame




JohninMd.(help?) said...

Aannnd you were expecting? Many people's moral compass comes from religion. Mine did. (a semi-lapsed Catholic) It may not be important _where_ one gets it, as long as you _have_ one. Lack of such compass, plus the "look at me, dammit, can't you see I'm a VICTIM??" mentality fostered by the liberal statists makes these outrages much more likely, I feel. But what do I know? I'm just a maladjusted, gun-lovin' conservitive with a wife of 33.5 yrs. , 2 boys and a bunch of kwazy friends. (and you n Bobbi count among e'm)

JohninMd.(help!) said...

And it helped that that Principil might have been a surviver of Omaha beach, or Iwo or Tarawa....or like my dad, Guadalcanal.

Ken said...

Tam,

There is sorry I am, for having given offense. Rather than "try to explain," I'll just invoke the First Rule of Holes. My apologies.

RL said...

"What kept disturbed kids in the '50s from wandering into the cafeteria with a mail-order M1 carbine and laying waste?"

We did.

We all get to live in the society the dominant cultural agitprop deserves. And a polity can choose to either collectivize or decentralize blessings or rot...We've apparently chosen to centralize gangrenous rot.

To paraphrase my favorite Mal-adjusted icon of virtual liberty: 'If wishes were skittle-shitting unicorns, we'd all be eating steak.'

RL said...

...Oh, and Merry Christmas to all of good will.
;^)

Tango Juliet said...

Not enough Andy Taylor.

Robert said...

One problem is the government. You can't discipline your kids without H&HS getting involved. And I'm talking even a slap on the hand discipline, not even close to what my dad did to me (also a Guadalcanal and Chosin vet, like JohninMd's dad).

Also,the complaint that kids spend too much time indoors. Well, who do we have to thank for that? The government. Leave your kids outside to play and soon you'll have the cops banging on your door accusing you of child abuse. Playgrounds are torn down because of liability issues.

neutrino-cannon said...

The 1927 incident shows that really nasty attacks way at the edge of the bell curve have always existed, and probably always will.

As for why this wasn't commonplace when you could buy guns, or for that matter dynamite at the corner store, I have only a vague notion that is so immaterial I can scarcely verbalize it. The past was a different country, and I'm not even sure that even people who lived there understood it.

The closest I can come to explaining is a story my grandfather recounted about his high school days. He would occasionally raise hell and get into fist fights after class. Someone asked him if they carried pocket knives back then.

"Of course we did," he said, his face contorting as though the person who'd asked had suddenly developed a dire case of the Stupid, "but we never thought of using them against each other!"

Robin said...

A lack of live, national TV.

OldTexas said...

What a different world we live in from the 1950's. In 1955 my dad taught me how to shoot rabbits, he dressed my first rabbit for me and then told me that from then on it was up to me to take care of the meat when I shot a rabbit, I was ten years old. We lived in a small 5K pop town with nice farmers who let young boys roam and hunt without restrictions.

At 11 years old on a saturday morning my mom would make a couple of sandwiches for me and I would fill a canteen and be gone for the day, sometimes with my .22 single shot and sometimes with a fishing rod.

At 14 I got a job sweeping the floor in Department store in order to have money for ammo and to buy guns, yep cheap and used but they were mine. Dad did not care what I bought as long as it was not a pistol since he thought it was too easy for a kid to shoot himself with a pistol.

Ar 16 I went to work in a hardware store where we sold guns, new and used, and I would clean and do some minor repair on the used guns and then take them out to test fire them. A dream job for a kid and like lots of other comments above I always had guns in my car so I could go hunting and shooting.

First of all it would never occur to me or any of my friends to shoot another person and gun safety was drilled into me from the first time my father let me touch a gun. He has served during WWII and had firearm instruction down pretty good.

Now our society has given all sorts of mystical properties to guns and they are no longer useful tools for punching holes in targets and critters but guns are portrayed as magical evil creatures that kill.

Mix the magic killing with poorly raised, mixed up young men who are aching for something to happen and see a short cut to infamy and history and that might be a large part of the problem.

My kids were raised to respect guns as tools and the girls are married to gun guys and my son is a very knowledgeable gun guy and these skills have been and will be passed on to grandkids. How often does that happen with the killers?

My the Lord's comfort and blessings be with the poor people who do lose family to killers and may the killers experience his wrath.

Baba55 said...

It has been happening for quite a while apparently.
http://www.k12academics.com/school-shootings/history-school-shootings-united-states
(for some interesting reading scroll down and review the current Disorders/Disabilities... I never knew there were so frickin many)
Numbers. What was US population post WWII? 150-200MM? A lot of teachers were male and veterens from the wars. How many "sick" kids went to school back then as opposed to being locked up elsewhere? (dunno)
What was "cool" then vs. now?
How many guns did Dad or Grandpa own and what type were they? How much ammo was on hand? Answer varies but I know my own accumulation of both surpasses my dear departed fathers (and Dad had a lot, mostly old milsurp and lever actions, but a lot of them)
Culture has evolved, in some ways for the better, obviously some ways for the worse.
There are a lot more people now, better armed, better games, all news all the time... percentages of sickos about the same, firepower and news coverage far greater.
Immortal losers going down in flames for real or perceived enemies. If they know enough to off themselves rather than standing around reading Salinger's ode to emo's, they may know wrong from right, even if Golding's book was a better read.
But whaddaIknow?

AM said...

This is a "complex problem" in that it doesn't have an easy answer, and even experts in the fields of sociology and criminology don't have any clear answers.

There is a cultural difference between the 50s and now. While abortion, birth control, welfare moms, corporal punishment, video games, the internet, and gun control are all relevant to the discussion, there is no single subject that gives us the "aha!" moment.

Although I believe that the largest single contributor to school shootings is the "gun free zone" sign, as the the rise in large casualty school shootings started taking place conspicuously after the passage of that bit of legislation.

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned in a list of factors "...gun culture in some small ways has had an effect on this."

Yes, maybe, in its popularly hijacked guise as a tool *of* oppression as opposed to a tool *against* oppression.

In fact, the more I consider it, the more I think that's it in a nutshell.

PB

Anonymous said...

And of course there's this:

Tango Juliet said: "Not enough Andy Taylor."

Rather, too much Andy Griffith.

PB

ben said...

Drugs, no doubt. Just like the idea that stimulus can keep an exhausted organism going indefinitely, anti-depression and anti-anxiety drugs do not treat the causes but the symptoms.

As such the organism worsens until the drugs at the current dose have a weaker than initial effect. The problem deepens, doses are increased, and the cycle continues until it cannot continue further. The patient breaks down and behavior goes beyond norms. Especially bad when they quit the drugs cold turkey.

There was a great piece on NPR of all places in which a woman was spiraling downward on the ever increasing cocktail of drugs they had her on. Just when she thought that she would be insane forever a lone psychologist weaned her off the medication slowly and her life returned to normal when she had finally eliminated all drugs from her system.

mariner said...

Anon 12:19,

...and only four minutes later...

If leandog hadn't written it I would have.

That pot needed stirrin'.

;)

Opinionated Grump (Rich in NC) said...


doug galecawitz said...
"all of the above" and listed them as I was going to ...
There's one other thing that hasn't come up in this discussion.
The people who are now having all the
( suicide by-major-press-event )
stuff are the GRAND Children and Great Grand Children of World War II Vets. People who saw WAR first hand, saw EVIL first hand and finished the war, came home and DIDN'T talk about it again. I had TWO Uncles who were WAR HEROS one at the Battle of the Bulge, and one in the Pacific, and I didn't find out till they were being eulegized at their burial. The fact that there are just plain evil people has been ignored, explained, medicated, distracted, and misdirected away over the past (how long has it been since WWII) 65 70 years has IMHO had tremendous amount to do with all the things that have been addressed here.

Thanks Tam, for stirring up this issue.

Rich in NC

Matt G said...

Actually, though I slightly disagree with Ken, I didn't find his remark insulting.

Ed said...

"O tempora o mores" - "Oh the times, oh the customs" - Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC) Roman philosopher, statesman, orator commenting on the degeneration of society.

Plenty of good reasons have remarked how society differs from sixty years ago. The major reason is how differently the dysfunctional mentally ill are now handled in a rights based dysfunctional mental health system. They have more freedom to perform horrendous acts under less supervision. The horrendous act then leads to incarceration, death by cop or suicide. It is ironic that many in government would infringe the rights of all to protect certain rights of the few. The problem mainly lies in the acknowledgement that someone is severely dysfunctional and a danger to society only happens once they do something horrendous. We have fewer mental health institutions and our jails and prisons hold many mentally ill that formerly would have been institutionalized before they performed a horrendous act. The jails and prisons essentially do nothing to alter the mental health status of their mentally ill prisoners. For a glaring example of this, see the Webster, New York ambush with firearms of firefighters this week by a felon no longer under probation:
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/25/16125861-human-remains-found-at-home-of-gunman-who-ambushed-firefighters?lite

Either that or a distinct lack of poodle sweaters since the 50's.

Buzz said...

"Wait 'til your father gets home" has been supplanted with an iPad, iPhone, and Xbox.

Vernon said...

Books like "The Fourth Turning" suggest this is part of a normal, long term social cycle. That what we are seeing fits in with a repeating pattern in society. The bad news is that their analysis suggests we are only about half way through this phase, that there is more and worse to come before the next phase of the cycle begins and things get better.

Robert Prechter (The Elliott Wave Theorist) is another proponent of the idea that social mood moves in long term patterns that affect overall social behavior. He is expecting things to not bottom out until 2016 both economically and socially.

It may be that these cycles are inherent in human behavior and that all you can do is be the best person you can be and take care of you and yours.

VJ

Unknown said...

Tam, only 2 of the recent cases have involved someone with either well confirmed Schiz (Loughner) and Seng-Hui (Suspected). Holmes is still up in the air, though there is evidence he was at least weird. Harris was a psychopath, Klebold was depressed and angry. Lanza, who knows? Certainly not normal, but nothing has been definitive.

I think when you look at this thread, you'll see all of the reasons listed, since school shooters and mass shooters have varied quite a bit. It's likely a combination of a lot of factors.

While Krauthammer wants to argue that the weakened commitment laws of today are the reason, that's ludicrous. Looking back at commitment records in our state facilities in Mo, show lots of people with severe illness not committed and being maintained at home. Certainly the facilities were bigger in Mo (I am a forensic psychologist at Mo's Max Security Mental Hospital) and had more residents, but there is no way they had even a majority of patients with just Schizophrenia. In 1960 Mo's population was around 4.2 mil, the incidence rate of Schiz was and is about 1%, that's 42,000. I don't have accurate census number for all state facilities, but estimates would place the number of residents at under 5,000. Today it is probably less than 5,000. Add in the fact that while we put less mentally ill in hospitals for long term treatment, we put many more in Prison. My guess is that in Mo, the prisons are more than adequately picking up the slack. IOW, I suspect that most of these mass shooters would not have necessarily been institutionalized (maybe Loughner would have been hospitalized).

With regards to School shooters, the Secret Service did a comprehensive study and saw no common profile. I've read the report and was impressed at its completeness. The link is here.

http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac_ssi.shtml

All the data suggests that this stuff is complicated, but I cannot honestly answer why it was different in the 1950s.

Anonymous said...

Kids are poked, prodded, and herded more these days in schools. Zero tolerance, zero effort to interact with them as people. These shooters are just practicing what they've been taught by the mentors modern schools have hired or created, or perhaps they are simply expressing their suppressed humanity.

Buzz said...

Or, it could be as simple as not being able to carry their pocket knives in school anymore, so they go full tilt in reaction.

Goober said...

What do you think is going to happen when we spend a child’s entire youth telling them what a wonderful unique snowflake they are, and how they’re special and good just for being them, and that they should have good self-esteem just because they exist, and then unceremoniously dump them into the real world where they find out that all of that is bullshit? Your only measure of worth for 99.999% of the people that you meet is what you can do for them. Your value as a human is not measured based upon your unique snowflakeyness in the real world. It is measured by what you provide, produce, procure, or provision for the people around you. The only people that care about you for you are the folks that always have – your family. No one else gives a shit unless you are useful to them in some way or another.

It’s been that way since the dawn of time. It hasn’t changed since Adam and Eve. Yet for some reason, we’ve seen fit to teach our kids just the opposite for their entire youth, and then stare in wonder and astonishment when the less mentally fit among them lash out violently at the idea that the world doesn’t really give a hot shit about them, despite what they’ve been told their entire life. Why are we surprised?

The biggest difference between now and the 1950’s? You’ve got it. The self-esteem movement. In the 1950s, we didn’t spend any time telling shiftless, lazy kids how great they were. We told them that they were shiftless and lazy and booted them in the ass until they got up and started doing something worthwhile. THAT’S how you build self-esteem in a kid – have him EARN it by doing something worthwhile.

Want to solve the problem? First, teach kids the truth: if you want to be respected and worthwhile, then be respectable and worthwhile. You have to do something to earn it. They’ll appreciate learning that early rather than discovering it after 18 years of being lied to.

Second, stop giving these folks the recognition that they think they deserve for being the dark anti-hero in black trenchcoats. They are lashing out because they aren’t getting the attention that they think their station in life as a unique snowflake should have given them by birthright, as he has been taught since day one. Every time we put the guy’s face on TV with sinister music, every time we say his name on the news, we are just reinforcing to the next guy that he, too, can get the recognition that he deserves, and get back at the unfair world in the process. So just stop. Bury unceremoniously in an unmarked grave and never mention his name again. If you want to fill the news hour, spend it talking about the victims and humanizing their suffering. Don’t humanize the criminal, or worse, give him immorality as an anti-hero in a black trenchcoat.

Those two steps would solve most of this problem.

Justin said...

The amount of inanity in this discussion would be astounding if not for the fact that it happens so regularly in online discussions.

I mean, blaming video games, lack of God, bad parenting, etc. is one thing, but did I really see someone upthread try to implicate air conditioning?

Seriously, what planet are some of you from?

The one common thread among these shooters is a mental issue of one sort or another, and to a lesser extent, above-average intelligence.

Guess what? Harris and Klebold both came from stable, upper-middle class two-parent homes. Harris's father was an ex-military disciplinarian. It didn't change the fact that Eric was a textbook example of a psychopath, all charm and deceit on the outside, but homicidal rage on the inside.

Klebold was suicidally depressed and more or less in thrall to Harris' charisma, which is why he largely went along with him.

For anyone who's actually interested in finding out what went into pulling the Columbine shooting off, I strongly recommend you read Dave Cullen's book about the incident.

I'm not finished working my way through the official report from the VT mass shooting incident, but so far the background they give on Cho is one of a stable, two-parent home. In fact, his parents were so concerned for their children's future and education that it is given as the primary reason behind why they immigrated to the US. Furthermore, Cho's mother is a devout Korean Christian who implored Cho to attend church services with her.

So right there, in the two biggest examples of school shooter shit heads, there's proof that the majority of the scapegoats people blame for these incidents are absolutely wrong.

Isaac PC said...

Might as well toss in my two coppers. There has been a lot of talk about the media influence in children's lives in modern times.

I refer, of course, to the prevelance of violent TV series, movies, and M-rated games of all types.

I will state for the record that I do not agree this to be the case. When I was an innocent child of 9 or 10, I was playing the original DOOM. I read violent comic books, and read through Tom Clancy novels while in my mid-teens.

I am now almost 30, with a decent collection of firearms. By some people's logic, I should be a candidate for mental health or emotional development issues.

I do not believe this to be the case. My point? I DID have two relatively stable parents, a great school, and a great church. These things did not change throughout my childhood.

Kids need that stability. With my generation, most of them had it. With the current generation, perhaps most do not.

Justin said...

For the longest time, I thought that the argument that the news media shouldn't show pictures of or name the killer was a terrible idea.

Even aside from the fact that such a blackout would either be voluntarily unworkable, or an outright violation of the First Amendment, there didn't seem to be much of a point to it.

However, it's interesting to note that a lot of the subsequent shooters list Columbine as an inspiration. Cho name-dropped Harris and Klebold, and I believe some other mass shooters have as well.

That has caused me some pause, as I think there is a possibility that Columbine was a watershed moment, much like 9/11.

It showed that certain things could be successfully done, and as a result, those who are bent on harm use Columbine as a sort of template.

Anonymous said...

I would add compulsory education and mandatory inclusive classes as possible contributing factors. It is part of the mental health aspect, but not one that is discussed very often.

markm said...

That's an awful lot of explanations without any evidence that there is anything to explain. A couple of other posters already posted the actual statistics - there is no trend that school mass murders are increasing faster than the population.

Justthisguy said...

In my case, I think it was Jews.

I attended K-12 in Dade County, FL, in the fifties and sixties. The Jews were very heavily represented in the School Board, the PTA, the teachers, and the pupils. They did not put up with any bullying of their nerdy kids, and as a Gentile nerdy kid, I caught the collateral effect of that.

Rowdy kids who were mean to nerdy kids had the admin. come down on them like a ton of bricks.

It worked. We had the best high-school football team in the state of FL, State champions twice while I was there, winning crushing 80-0 victories after putting in the third team, played on by the band I was in, also the best in the State of FL, and about 40% Jews.

Jews can be annoying, but I thank the Lord I had so many in school with me.

Justthisguy said...

P.s. We also had about a dozen National Merit Finalists. Of them, Bill S. the Finn and I were the only Gentiles.

Justthisguy said...

P.p.s. Oh, and further: My High School Latin teacher, an old Southern lady, was famous for bringing a briefcase to school with exactly three items in it, to wit:

1. A brown bag, with her lunch in it.

2. A Manila folder, with our corrected work in it.

3. A revolver.

Being a Classical Scholar, she knew what evil lurked in the hearts of men.

Justthisguy said...

P.p.p.s. Damn, I've gotten Harold Covington mad at me again, for saying good things about Jews!

I really do prefer New Dixie to the Northwest Republic, if the USA is coming apart. There are entirely too many brown people I would welcome into my Republic. Not the one in the Oval Office, of course.