Now that a respectful amount of time has passed, here is my obligatory post on the Sandy Hook massacres. May God take His children to rest in His grace.
As is usual for these types of events, most seem to want a convenient scapegoat for the massacre.
Guns are easy to blame, but tools have no volition of their own.
Some blame mental illness, but only the perpetrator’s psychologist can possibly speak to that. Mental illness might explain some of it (or it might not, I’m no psychologist) but most mentally ill people do not shoot up a school.
Some blame cultural entertainment products: violent video games, movies, etc. Although, I’ve seen less of it this time around than when Columbine occurred, it’s still as silly as it was then.
Some blame the media for giving fame to losers. While achieving infamy may be a contributing reason to public violence, this again strips the perpetrator of their own volition and begs the question: why did the perpetrator choose to pursue infamy over the lives of others and continued living?
Some blame the sidelining of males, while others blame the loss of male privilege. I’ve warned about this trend in the past, but it only shows a trend; most males do not engage in such nihilistic violence.
Essentially, it seems everybody uses these kind of events to simply confirm the validity of their pre-existing bugaboos. I am guilty of this as well.
In the end, I think the most likely societal explanation is simple probability. In any society of 300+ million people, there will be some people at the nihilistic violence end of the bell-curve. This is not a societal trend, it is simply probabilistic reality.
Instead of looking for some great cause to blame, let’s put the blame where it belongs: the perpetrator.
Adam Lanza was a free individual, with his own will. and his own moral decisions to make.
He made them.
People have their own values, their own goals, their own choices to make.
They have agency, they are not simply the products of culture. People, even the mentally ill, are not empty cyphers of whatever societal trend we fear. They are human they make choices.
We should not dehumanize them.
We should not dehumanize Adam Lanza.
He made his choice.
Adam Lanza chose to shoot his mother, little Emilie Parker, baseball fan Jack Pinto, young Dylan Hockley, and 25 other individuals, may they rest in God’s peace.
Adam Lanza saw the mother who raised him and killed her. He saw the innocence of young ones and decided to snuff it out.
He chose to end dozens of young lives and destroy hundreds more.
Societal forces didn’t kill these people, Adam Lanza did.
If we look at all the great causes, no matter which it is, the “answer” is always the same: less freedom.
Guns are deadly: ban them and take them from law-abiding citizens.
The mentally ill are dangerous: lock them up against their will and drug them.
The entertainment and cultural industry is perverse and degenerate: institute content controls.
The media are vicious, amoral, parasitical vultures: regulate the press.
Males are losing their place in society: re-institute enforced patriarchy.
Males are angry at their loss of privilege: indoctrinate them further.
And on and on.
One person in 300+ million* commits a heinous act and everybody cries for the upending of society, for the expanded regulation of behaviour of other people. (Funny how it’s always other people that have to be regulated).
Because of these extreme, outside the normal events, everybody must be controlled. Somebody must do something to prevent these future black swans.
Something must be done, the government has to act. We have no idea what specific actions, but do something, anything. We have no proof any of these suggested actions will be helpful, but do them anyway. We have no rational basis for believing any of these actions will actually prevent the next nihilistic individual from committing extreme violence, but action must be taken.
Please do something, anything so that the placebo can give me back my piece of mind.
I can’t rest unless I know someone better than me is actively looking like they are doing something that vaguely resembles protecting me from extremely low-probability danger.
Fie on that.
Nothing should be done.
Shut the hell up and stop using dead children as political pawns for your anti-freedom crusades.
Shut the hell up and stop letting your mindless fear and inability to control your own peace of mind dictate society.
School massacres and other mass acts of nihilistic violence have been occurring since before there was a public school system and have occurred in many different countries and cultures. They have occurred with firearms and without. They have occurred whatever regulations may or may not have been in place. This is not a problem solely of our time and culture. It is not a problem of our regulations or lack thereof. It is not a problem of whatever other bullshit pre-existing ideological war you want to fight on the graves of dead kids.
It is a problem of individuals.
Some individuals choose to do evil things.
Adam Lanza did.
Adam Lanza was free to choose, and choose he did.
Here is the thing we must understand:
Sandy Hook was the price of freedom.
The freedom to make choices is the freedom to make bad choices, to make evil choices.
The only way to eliminate bad choices, is to eliminate freedom.
It is horrifying, but it is reality.
The only way to stop another Sandy Hook is to completely give up our freedom, to submit ourselves wholly and completely to another’s control.
The only way to stop bad choices, is to completely remove the ability to make choices.
However horrible 28 deaths is, on a societal level the loss of freedom is even worse.
Freedom is naturally a frightening thing, the comfort of giving up our right to choose, to let others choose for us, can be tempting. Do not give into the fear.
Individuals should be free to make choices, even if those choices may be frightening and may lead to suffering.
Individuals should only be punished or controlled for bad choices once they have actually made them.
Anything else is tyranny.
Sandy Hook is the price of freedom, but it is a price that must be paid; the alternative, a world without freedom and choice, is worse.
* If we include others who’ve engaged in nihilistic acts of public mass violence, it’s probably “only” on the order of one in tens of millions. I’m not going to calculate exactly, but still one person out of a few dozen million is still a very low probablility occurance.