Thursday, February 15, 2018

School Shooting in Florida: Why yet another one?

Image result for Nikolas Cruz father died

So yet again we have another school shooting.
What can we say that hasn’t been said before. I could post again about tips and tactics to be used during an active shooter scenario. Hide, barricade, fight. Heck, learning disarming moves and practice them. Trying to surprise the shooter around a corner or when going through a doorway. All last resort, desperate moves when facing an insane armed attacker while being unarmed yourself.
At the end of the day there’s nothing a kid can do if while focusing on algebra someone opens a door, point an AR15 to his face and pulls the trigger.

So I thought this time we could do something different and ask ourselves, why? Why do these things happen? And no, this isn’t Liberal Survivalist, we know it’s not the guns.

America has had modern guns for a number of years and yet you didn’t have kids stealing dad’s Thompson submachine gun and rain .45 slugs down the cafeteria. Mass shootings have happened before in America, but never with the frequency and viciousness we’ve seen in the last few decades. Other countries have more than enough guns and these things don’t happen, or at least don’t happen often. They are rare, once in a decade kind of event. There’s plenty of South American hell holes flooded with illegal guns, machineguns and grenades and they STILL don’t have these problems.

So if it’s not guns, then what is it?

So what’s the difference between America and other somewhat similar developed countries with a high number of guns per capita? What’s the difference between America today and America from a few years back when kids kept their gun in their truck and went hunting after school without ever worrying about some lunatic opening fire.

Mental illness would be one of the things you think of first, and there certainly is something very much wrong in a mass murderer’s head. The healthcare situation in America is certainly fragile, especially mong poor so there’s something there for sure.

Also, we look at the families of these kids, or even the adults. They are dysfunctional, messed up families. Divorced, missing a parent, abused children. There’s always something wrong, even if in some cases you have to scratch the surface a bit to find that the picture perfect wasn’t quite so.
But you know what, there’s plenty of messed up families in other countries and they have guns and these things still don’t happen (as in not happen with the frequency seen in US).

I think we have to go even deeper and here is where the case of Latin America helps clear things up. There’s guns in Latin America, more than enough for anyone that wants to get one. There’s millions of illegal guns, meaning its even easier for criminals or unstable people that just want to get hold of one. In fact I remember well that in Argentina kids from poor neighbourhoods would often carry guns and knives to school. Every now and then there would be an accident, someone wounded, but it was always due to negligent handling of the gun (showing it to a friend, accidentally firing it).It just doesn’t happen with any given frequency that a kid goes nuts and starts shooting down fellow students, even when hundreds or more of them pack heat to school! But if Latin America has guns (mostly illegal ones) and has its fair share of broken families, then what is it, what’s different?
I think that the problem is within the family, as often seen in these mass shootings, but also within society itself. The family is the building block of society, when that starts failing everything else falls apart. When you have broken families you have a hard time building a healthy society. But there’s a point where broken or dysfunctional families becomes the norm, when society itself doesn’t care anymore. Then that’s when you have this kind of large scale social problems. Even with families where parents aren’t divorced you have too many people that are cold, distant, dysfunctional parenting and simply don’t give a damn.

For all my criticism to Argentina and Latin American countries in general, and by God I doubt many people have been as critical as I’ve been about them, I do admit that family and friendship are still very much important. In Latin America, family and friends MATTER. It’s not ok, it’s not normal not to have family or friends. I’ll give you an example, which I suppose is hard for my American friends to understand:
American Joe and Marry have two kids. They are divorced, they both work. The extended family? May as well not exist. The kids are excess baggage and no one spends much time with them and they may end up shooting a school one day.

Latin America Maria and Jose are divorced too. They also have two kids, work and spend a lot of time away from home… but they do make time for the kids when around and don’t escape being with them. They spend weekends with them. The extended family, grandparents, uncles, cousins, they are all very much involved with one another. Even if Jose becomes a violent drunk, a terrible parent, but someone in the family will care for the kids. Maybe an uncle or grandparent but within the fabric of society itself it is understood that family, friends, people in general, matter.

I think that’s what’s been lost lately in American society. And I think it wasn’t always like that, that at some point for some reason, the idea of not only family, but of relationships with people in general just wasn’t important any more. Maybe it has something to do with excessive mass consumption, with more “stuff” mattering more than human relationships. Maybe it’s that instant gratification “fix”, the idea of you and you alone being the most important person in the world and the one that matters the most because you’re a super special one of a kind snowflake and what you want must always come first.  In Latin America culture it is understood that while you’re special and unique as well, it is still very much important that you are part of something else. Either your family, your group of friends or even your neighbourhood. But you are part of something bigger than you at a social level.
This kid in Florida that killed 17 people, Nikolas Cruz, he’s a 19 year old kid that lost both parents, lost his dad when he was 6 and his mother tried to give him away to their neighbours. They didn’t want him either. He was held back in school twice, with obvious mental problems.

This 19 year old didn’t just turn into a mass shooter from one day to the next. There was something very much wrong with him when he was 15. There was something wrong with him when he was 10 too. You don’t just wake up one day and do something like this. You have to be VERY disturbed, for a VERY long time. This kid grew up knowing he was scum, that he had nothing and no one wanted him. There was no uncle, no grandparent, not even a neighbour or a distant family member or friend that took him under their wing while he still had a chance to become something else other than the monster he is today.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”


Anonymous said...

As a retired teacher, with 25 years in Florida schools, I urge the medical and scientific community to investigate prenatal drug use of parents. Some of these children are just "wired wrong". Parents may be the best parents in the world but when children have been adopted with unknown prenatal history, subjected to birth trauma (pharmaceuticals administered to mother and child during delivery), or victims of past parental drug usage there is often evidence of damage. I am not saying it can't be overcome or that it always happens but I suspect it has an effect. Our country has a severe problem and I believe it "blossomed" with increased drug use. I feel, the "sins of the parents" are too often visited on their children and society.

Anonymous said...

The majority of these young school shooters are on prescription SSRI medication. Many SSRI have been linked to heightened aggression.

MJX said...

Thanks for the writeup. I live here in South Florida and every day on the news there is/are robberies, murder, breaking, muggings, ect. Out of control and just a few steps away of every man for himself. If you do not already own a firearm, get one along with armour body protection. Also other defensive tools.
Don't like them myself, but best prepared.

Gabor Simon said...

Hi Fernando,

Your hypothesis about the feeling of 'belonging to a group' seems tempting, but a sane man would't start shooting around in a foreing country either, nor even on a sheep farm (so not even humans are involved). Why?

I think your other reason, the over-libertarian attitude in the U.S. has way more effect on this.

In all functioning societies people have a 'moral code', a concept of Right and Wrong, they adhere to this even when all else fails, and such a code is instilled by our upbinging and culture as 'ethical rules' or 'code of honour', or -if you prefer- as 'Commandments'.

It is important that such moral codes works way below the conscious level, for example, we don't eat humans not only because there is a law against it, but because we don't even think about it, and when it occurs, everyone agrees that it's Wrong, without needing arguments to support that.

Nor do we start shooting in schools. So what happened to these 'inner codes', that it emerges as an option for someone?

A too strict code causes frustration and a lot of psychological problems, and so in the '50s the over-libertarian idea of "infinite freedom of the individual" swept over the Western world, promising the people that they can have and do all they want, just because they have the right to it. Not mentioning that every right of someone is backed by an obligation to someone else...

The first generation still had the old code, the hippies pretty much followed the 'do no harm, be a good man' principle. Even in the '60s when a politician was caught on an outright lie, it meant the end of his career.

In the 2nd generation, the notion of 'being virtuous' slowly disappeared from the cultural background, like in more and more movies appeared an otherwise bad guy as the main protagonists ('convict does the right thing', 'fallen cop saves the world', 'business shark is cruel but funny').
Badness got tolerable, because it will turn good at the end (at least in the movies and novels).

Three generations later 'no virtues' was the norm.
Magician boy becomes the Great Wizard not because he studies and works hard, but because he is born to it. Young scientist discovers something not by study and work, but because he takes a 1-in-a-million guess and nails it. The loose-cannon cop catches the real criminal not because he collects evidence and convinces the judge, but because he recklessly follows an unsupported 'hunch' and he's lucky enough for it being correct.

"Do whatever you want, at the end miraculously you will be right."

Now, at the 4th generation the entire concept of 'Right' has been relativised away.
"Who are you to tell me what is Right or Wrong?" A repeating criminal attacks police and later he is treated as victim, because he's afro and the cop was white, and "it's the cruel society's fault".
You remember notions like 'Good guys obey the law' and 'Good guys do not attack the officers'? The majority doesn't...

The subconscious concepts of virtues have been washed out from the culture and from the education, and so they disappeared also from everyday life.

It is considered intolerant to have ideas like 'fundamentally Right' or 'Wrong', because it may hurt the feelings of those who think otherwise. Even 40 years ago such ideas were called law and common sense, and if someone though otherwise, it was his problem to be fixed.

The limits of Right and Wrong are certainly blurred, so no matter how complex a code is, there always will be unclear cases, but that doesn't mean all cases are unclear, or such a moral code is faulty or worthless.

But our Western societies have thrown our moral codes away, and now everyone is permitted his own definition of Right and Wrong, regardless of what consequences it means to us others.

IMO, that's what happened to the Western world.


Anonymous said...

There is something special going on in the US.
We also have a complete break down of family (with divorce rates close to 70% and illegitimacy around 50%, in general significantly different reproductive strategies and their outcomes than just a few generations ago) together with further atomization of society. The arrangement has been around nuclear family for centuries, so there is no tradition of a (big) extended family. Anyway, we have no mass killings at schools (by any weapon). The break down is manifested by other measures though. Like decline in PISA scores... The dysfunction also sometimes results in violence but rather targeted at closely associated people (engaging in the dysfunction directly).

My guess about the US is it has something to do with a culture of ghetto violence - conducted by young men and sometimes even children, where most people in the US are familiar with it even when not exposed to it. Plus "aping" factor, monkey see monkey do. The shooters are simply inspired by their predecessors. This can lead to a further eruption of the violence in the future. And no weapon ban can solve this. The perpetrators have a variety of weapons to use (in the seventies we had a case when a woman stole a truck and hit dozens, killing eight people).

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the statement that SSRI medication is at the root. The feminist movement is also sending the message that children have no value. My goodness... only in America do women fight for the right to kill their own kids.

Anonymous said...

You might be onto something Ferfal. It reminds me of the concept of a being a 'citizen of the world', it's logical inversion would be an 'enemy of the world'. Those who feel disconnected from everything and feel persecuted then feel justified to take it out 'on the world'. So it's not just a breakdown of family but every structure of meaning.
It reminds me of the feminine version of this, in accepting immigrants who wish you harm in great number. Just as to prove his masculine worth a man destroys, (energy directed outward) a woman to prove her feminine worth destroys 'herself' (energy directed inward), sacrifice of herself, culture and nation.
The problems seems an inability to satisfy natural male and female urges in relationships, which unsatisfied become manifest on a greater public stage. (school shootings, radical politics) The gender relativity promoted is something to blame, making relationships between men and women become more difficult. (I read the shooter brokeup with his girlfriend). But also political correctness as the young man wouldn't have been able to express himself politically.

That one guy said...

Whether it is ssri's, break down of the family, or other cause, I think step #1 is ger rid of making schools gun-free zones. Regardless of why these people cgoose to do evil, the reason they choose schools is because they know they can do there evil deeds without anyone shooting back. No need to even make govt mandated/ approved programs to make teachers into armed body guards for the kids. Just make it so it is no longer certain the scgool house is defenseless.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous "Subjected to birth trauma (pharmaceuticals administered to mother and child during delivery)"
Administrating drugs during birth has nothing to do with this. I had an emergency c-section because the umbilical cord was wrapped around my child's neck. This necessitated drugs. The alternative would have been to deliver a dead child. Many women have drugs during childbirth without any side effects.

Fefal, you have it exactly right. When my great-grandparent generation came from Europe, they did not come alone. They came with brother/sisters. Once settled, their children were born and raised in the same town. It was an industrial town with factories which meant numerous decent paying jobs right out of high school. People knew if they worked hard, they could have an apartment, and later, a home in the same community they were raised in.

Also Catholic families were large, more children than the 2.5 child families of today. Lots of uncles, aunts, and grandparents were all nearby. There were no babysitters or daycare, only family. No suburbs either.

Now, these factory jobs are gone and a high school diploma is useless. Young adults are more rootless. They leave for college. They move again for jobs opportunities. Our society thinks young adults are losers for staying close - like the guy living in his parents basement. All of this is especially true in New York and New Jersey. Young adults can not afford to live where they grew up in. It is not only student loan debt. Fifty years ago, many NY/NJ homes were affordable to a middle class family with one salary. Now many of these towns are out of reach for two salary couple. Economically, there is no way to be close to extended family.

Larry said...

No argument with anybody, except that SSRIs benefit the vast majority of people that take them. A literal handful of exceptions is no more reason to deny millions more some hope of a normal life than these spree killings are reason to deny firearms to much or most of the population. By definition, SSRIs don't take normal kids and turn them into monsters, but were prescribed to disturbed teens in attempts to help them. I suspect the kids were already monsters in human form long before being prescribed SSRIs. Dr.s without psychiatric training shouldn't be able to prescribe them, though. That's a big part of the problem with them, I think.

Also, Gabor, I think "libertine" might be a better word than "libertarian" for what you're describing. Bill Maher, for example, is certainly far more of a libertine than a libertarian, though he calls himself the latter.

Anonymous said...

The reason in anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs. Every one of these mass shooters were on some sort of mind altering drug. You mention that latin American countries don't have that problem? I also bet Latin American countries have little access to those drugs. That is why you don't see this problem there.

Anonymous said...

Dis-functional families and the drugs these shooters are put on are definitely factors. But maybe there is another factor that people are loath to consider because the implications are too horrible to contemplate. What if these shooters are being steered in the direction of being a mass murderer for a reason?

If a person were to look at the different scenario's you may begin to see a pattern. In almost all of them there are rumors of a second shooter. And how many times have we seen footage from video cameras showing the accused actually shooting? Many places had shooter drills going on the very same day. Many of these accused shooters were also receiving psychiatric help. A little research might reveal more 'coincidences'.

So what could be the reasoning that someone would want to brainwash people into becoming a mass shooter? I can think of two off the top of my head. Number one would be the push for more gun control. Number two would be to change the current narrative in the national news. With all due respect I don't see South America having to deal with those problems.