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School Shootings: What About Internet Radicalization?

Only a few months after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, tragedy struck again at Santa Fe High School 30 miles south of Houston. A student started shooting in an art classroom with his father’s shotgun and revolver. Ten people died and 10 others were wounded before the shooter surrendered to the police.

Thus far, little is known about the motives of the shooter, making it difficult for commentators to blame something specific. He was not a jihadist (as was another high schooler who was caught before carrying out mass murder at Stonebriar Mall in Frisco, Texas); he was not mentally handicapped; he wasn’t committed to any ideology at all really. The only red flags Dimitrios Pagourtzis exhibited were some morbid posts on social media and the black trench coat he wore everyday—which, in the Texas heat, probably should have aroused more suspicion.

While New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has virtue-signaled yet another sanctimonious campaign of gun-control activism, others are discussing how to stop these troubled students before they snap. Many schools have followed that latter approach, training teachers and students to look for signs of violent behavior and intervene. In most cases, this means sitting through a PowerPoint presentation about depression, learning the number for a bullying hotline, and watching some video that dramatizes the situation (“Evan,” produced by the Sandy Hook Promise group, is a perfect example).

As practical as this strategy sounds, it fails on a few levels. First, it assumes that identifying these types of students is easy when it is not. Second, it invests too much confidence in laughably superficial training. And third, it completely ignores the limits of educators and students in successfully dissuading a psychotic young adult from committing mass murder. Rather than saving these troubled students, advocating intervention and watchfulness mostly encourages vicious paranoia (anyone can be a mass murderer), undeserved guilt (this kid went on a shooting rampage because students and teachers didn’t care enough about him), and despair (the safety of a school rests on the maturity of classmates and perceptiveness of teachers).

change_me

These three problems result from serious misunderstandings about high schools and the people who spend their days in them. To identify potential shooters, students and staff are told to look for signs of depression, like a person muttering that he hates school or that he thinks people are awful or that he wants to sleep all the time. As any teacher or student can attest, that’s pretty much every student at some point.

While a few happy exceptions exist, teenagers are, on the whole, a dark and depressing lot. They do not sleep enough, eat healthily, or bother with developing productive habits. On the contrary, they waste much of their days hunched over a screen, agonizing about their self-image, ignoring their homework, and blaming everyone and everything for their problems. These days, few of them have the luxury of two parents, good friends, or a church community to support them as they cope with the hormonal turbulence of puberty.

Given all this, who can really tell which one is “Evan,” the proverbial teenage mass murderer? Obviously, not a group of students and teachers equipped with a few hours of suicide prevention training. And yet most potential shooters usually act out in some way and have a large amount of documentation on file in the form of disciplinary referrals, behavioral intervention plans, and abysmal report cards that should serve as warnings of suicidal/homicidal tendencies. Frequently, though, this too means nothing. No heart-to-heart “come to Jesus” speech from a concerned adult will fix a broken home. No number of suspensions and “restorative practices” will help a student who is hopelessly lonely. And apparently, no legal authority, however well informed, can stop a young person from illegally acquiring a gun and making bombs. If an angry teenager wants to shoot up a school, he usually can unless he does something obviously stupid.

So if gun control and suicide prevention training can do little to change the situation, what will it take? In order to answer this, society should ask another question: why are the shootings happening in the first place? This seems like an impossible question with a million different answers. However, the only answer needed is the one that holds true for all high school shootings, so perhaps a better question would be: what do all of them have in common?

Two words: the internet. In the decades preceding Columbine, kids struggled with the same kinds of problems and had the same potential access to guns. They also attended schools that were far easier targets. Nevertheless, far fewer mass school shootings took place and none of them had the body counts that have become normal today. This is because depressed and angry teenagers never became radicalized by countless hours of online propaganda. Today, they can log in instantaneously and learn about various ideologies of hate, educate themselves on maximizing their destructive potential, and desensitize their consciences with pornography and violence. This internet radicalization is essentially the same thing that’s happened with Islamic terrorists all over the Western world.

So why not take it away? This sounds extreme, but it falls in line with the other things society prohibits from kids: driving, drinking, voting, joining the military. Most parents don’t allow even their teenage kids to go anywhere alone. However, when it comes to the internet, a vast unregulated repository of every horrible thing imaginable, adults let their unsuspecting children roam wild and free. That so many do this betrays a pervasive kind of materialist worldview that agonizes over every physical danger while remaining completely oblivious to any spiritual or psychological one.

In order to combat the violence and bullying happening at schools, parents in all communities should take away smartphones and personal computers from their children and strictly oversee what little usage they deem appropriate (like emailing Grandma or typing up an assignment for school). Imagine the benefits in store: safer schools, happier youth, and an internet at least partially purged of the garbage produced by, and for, young people.

Those worried about taking away young people’s freedom to browse should consider the other greater freedoms at stake because of school violence. With every school shooting, no matter who or what causes it, politicians demand the end of the right to bear arms, crackdowns on hate speech, and government intrusions into child-rearing. These rights have already disappeared in Canada and Western Europe—and those places don’t even have school shootings.

Successfully defending these rights doesn’t depend on better arguments, but on real action that effectively solves the problem of school shootings. Concerned parents and those who call on others to “Do something!” should now lead the charge to take away internet access from children until they reach maturity. This could save not just their lives, but their innocence and well-being.

Auguste Meyrat is an English teacher at The Colony High School in Texas. He has an MA in Humanities and an MEd in Educational Leadership. His writing has appeared in The Federalist [1] and The Imaginative Conservative [2], among other publications.

42 Comments (Open | Close)

42 Comments To "School Shootings: What About Internet Radicalization?"

#1 Comment By GR On June 12, 2018 @ 12:08 am

I suppose the reason that no other country has the same number of school massacres as the US does is because they’ve all banned their kids from the internet then?

Oh wait, no they haven’t. So the entire premise of this article is provably tosh.

Honestly, does nobody at TAC do quality control any more.

#2 Comment By JohnC On June 12, 2018 @ 12:11 am

Pretty sure they have the internet in other countries. You know, all those countries without school shootings.

“These rights have already disappeared in Canada and Western Europe”

The right to carry a gun freely, and the right of parents to raise children, has been forcibly removed from Europeans??

That’s what you’re saying, right? Well that is total fantasy, 100% false. I have lived and raised kids in both Europe and USA and you, sir, are BS’ing.

#3 Comment By Wezz On June 12, 2018 @ 12:22 am

Many other countries have better internet than America, faster and more widespread… yet for SOME REASON, they have far, far fewer shootings.

#4 Comment By Cloud On June 12, 2018 @ 1:03 am

What did i just read? Are these people seriously blaming the internet over guns?? Even though school shootings have been around for decades, even before the internet was even created. God this article is full of sh**.

#5 Comment By Youknowho On June 12, 2018 @ 6:34 am

Never mind that other countries have Intenet and no school shootings, has the author thought what a logistical nightmare it would be to bar access to the Intenet to children? And how it interferes with the rights of parents on how to raise children?

You mean that to defend YOUR freedom to have a gun you are willing to get into your neighbor’s house and forbid them to let their child access the Internet?

Because your freedom is the only one that counts?

#6 Comment By Kent On June 12, 2018 @ 6:42 am

“Auguste Meyrat is an English teacher at The Colony High School in Texas.”

Well then, that explains what’s coming out of Texas. I will let all of the other posters here show the appropriate amount of disdain for the logic used here (not to mention the actual outright lies).

TAC editors: I come here because you have some truly brilliant writers. I don’t know how this fellow slipped through. If someone has decided to turn TAC into another Fox News, I will find other places to spend my time.

#7 Comment By Are you serious lmao On June 12, 2018 @ 7:08 am

Americans are veritably insane. It’s amazing how they are able to spill so much ink talking about an issue while refusing to look outward and introspect for a single second.

Look at the number of school shootings in other countries. All the usual OPEC (or *western countries* if that’s more to your liking) examples have the same shared liquid interconnected internet culture an atomized teenager would be engaging in, and somehow they don’t have all these school shootings! Would you look at that!

It’s not a vague ever-shifting definition of “violent culture”. It’s not films, it’s not music, it’s not video games, it’s not religion, it’s not drugs, it’s not even the news coverage. All of these can be small catalysts, but none of them allow little Kevin to put a few bullets in the faces of his classmates.

You can argue that prosperity decreases chance of *gun violence in general*, which is fair because you can look at a country with strict gun laws like Brazil, make a state by state comparison and see how economic progress reduces violent crime far more thoroughly than blanket bans on weapons can ever hope to. This is an ok argument regarding gang violence and related issues.

But make no mistake, school shootings are an uniquely american phenomenon for a reason. You’re not hearing about semi-weekly school shootings from a place like Finland, despite the fact Pekka Eric Auvinen made himself well known by shocking the entire country. Finland, a country less religious than the US (if the argument is social cohesion), with a higher suicide rate than the US, with tons of alienated kids spending hours upon hours on the internet – just like basically any country – constantly interacting with innumerable americans and experiencing heavy cultural osmosis due to the fact America provides virtually all major platforms for socialization tied with anglophone media to boot… somehow doesn’t get the same absurd rate of school shootings as americans.

Look, Auguste. It’s guns. It’s availability of guns. There’s nothing special about the american context other than the availability of guns to civilians. You can contort yourself a billion times trying to find a magical piece of the puzzle and suppress media access to teenagers, but it’s guns.Here’s what happens: Severely depressed kid that’s feeling resentment for several different comorbid factors slowly daydreams revenge fantasies and one day raids the gun locker of his dad. It sucks, it’s terrible, and we absolutely should help these broken kids and prevent tragedies. But they’re not being executed with a laptop and a modem. It’s because they have an easily accessible gun at hand and do the deed.

Now, I’m not saying you should go ditch the 2nd Amendment or whatever, far from it. But you gotta confront this fact seriously, because it’s a reality. I don’t know how you guys can meaningfully tackle this, maybe you’ll cook up a federal strategy for intensive anti-bullying strategies that even other countries could emulate if it works. Maybe you’ll start requiring those dreaded background checks and actually monitor everything. Again, I don’t know. But please, stop and think about you’re writing here. I mean, kudos to TAC for giving a voice to people stuck in the 90s, but children are dying out there and this kind of nonsense doesn’t point you towards a solution.

#8 Comment By Are you serious lmao On June 12, 2018 @ 7:19 am

lol wrote OPEC instead of OECD

Genius stuff

#9 Comment By Blade On June 12, 2018 @ 8:02 am

The blame is on the individual. Going further it’s our culture is much different than foreign cultures as we have violent video games, violent Hollywood films, psychotropic drugs used as “chemical straight jackets” for our youth, bad parenting, etc. etc. It’s not that complicated at all.

#10 Comment By JessicaR On June 12, 2018 @ 8:35 am

While other countries have few school shootings, they do have some. It would be interesting to examine the internet habits of these shooters as individuals and do some cross-country comparisons. I don’t say the writer’s thesis is wrong, but it does lack evidence.

There may be an interaction between internet usage and easy availability of guns. I don’t know. Nor does anyone else. While the Texas shooter appears not to have been on psychiatric drugs, these may play a factor as well. (Yes, they are prescribed in Europe, too, but at lower rates.”

In any case, limiting internet and smart phone access is probably a good idea. There are good studies linking its heavy use to depression, sleep disorders, and other ills. While it is still too early to claim that internet usage causes these problems or merely correlates with them, there is enough there to counsel prudent avoidance.

#11 Comment By Johann On June 12, 2018 @ 8:35 am

For those commenters saying we have the worst rate of mass shootings, that is simply not true on a per capita basis. We are after all a nation of 330 million people. So of course we have more mass shootings than most other countries.

Oddly enough, Snopes actually says that the fact that many countries have higher per capita mass killings than the US is misleading because mass shootings in small population countries are very rare, but when they have them, it puts their rate up because they have a low population. Well duh. That’s what per capita means. Who are these people at Snopes??? If we were to break up the US into $5M people segments, the mass shootings in each of those small groups of people would be very rare too. What idiots.

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Norway is the number one mass shooting country and will remain the highest for many years because of a guy that killed 77 people.

#12 Comment By jim smith On June 12, 2018 @ 9:13 am

Re: ” why are the shootings happening in the first place?”

These current problems with school shootings didn’t seem to exist in the 50’s and 60’s when firearms were less regulated and more prolific – so what changed? One change was prior to the late 1960’s parents, and to a lesser extent, teachers, were free to discipline their kids pretty much any way they wanted. It was not unusual for the school assistant principle to spank misbehaving kids with a paddle or have disruptive kids reprimanded in class or have them stand in a corner by themselves in the classroom or in a hallway facing a wall in view of their peers. On the home front, punishments, which could be more severe, lead to the rise of interventions by social services. Once kids realized they could bring the wrath of the government down upon anyone (parents or school) who disciplined them, efforts to punish bad behavior degenerated into cajoling and kids acknowledgement of and respect for authority vanished. Positive reinforcement over the years has now allowed this situation to morph into where even differences of opinion are considered excessive punishments to the point kids demand (and get) “safe spaces”. I don’t pretend to know if this is the only cause of today’s problems – but it does address the heart of the problem, which is lack of tolerance and respect for other people and authority.

Another change was the ACLU”s effective lawsuit against mental health hospitals in 1972 that mandated expensive reforms that eventually forced several to close down. Maybe the reforms were justified but the end result was an increased reliance on psychotropic drugs to be self medicated by potential patients who were turned loose on the streets

#13 Comment By S On June 12, 2018 @ 10:22 am

I am not sure that the author is really a teacher. Some of the assertions he makes are pure BS. Bullying for example has been around for millenia. It predates the industrial revolution not just the Internet.

#14 Comment By GregR On June 12, 2018 @ 11:08 am

Guns don’t kill people, the internet kills people!

#15 Comment By Daniel On June 12, 2018 @ 11:13 am

I wonder if other countries have high levels of civilian internet access.

#16 Comment By GreenOaks1234 On June 12, 2018 @ 11:59 am

These comments seem overly harsh. Is the Internet dangerous for kids? If not, maybe we should think harder about how to limit it instead of taking it for granted. I fully support tougher gun control, but it will be a long time before that could be achieved throughout the country.

It’s good to hear some creative thinking here.

#17 Comment By collin On June 12, 2018 @ 12:11 pm

Several Points:

1) Other nations have the internet and minimal school shootings.

2) In reality school shootings & death are down from 20 – 40 years ago without the internet despite mass shootings. In reality kids are safer today. So it is hard to say it must be the internet causing this.

3) There is good reason for the parent to curb teenage use of the internet and monitor the sites just it is the parent job to keep from taking their guns. (The Houston one is a prime example of need for parental control of their guns.)

4) I am not sure how kids are suppose to learn the internet (basic skills for modern times.)

#18 Comment By Clay Williams On June 12, 2018 @ 12:21 pm

Republican Regressives’ are eternally eager to embrace any theory and respond to mass murders in any way – as long it doesn’t threaten to knick any pennies from gun manufacturers’ profits.

Blame video games, school authorities, local police, parents, the internet – whatever. And respond with calls to arm school teachers, unfunded psych services, gated schools, armed guards – whatever – as long as it doesn’t knick those gun company profits.

Better yet many Republican Regressive “solutions” would actually encourage more gun sales. Thou shalt not toy with theories or actions that are an affront to God Money.

Money is power, political power in particular.

More guns > more shootings > more fear > more demand for guns as protection against more shootings > more profits for gun companies > more cash contribution from gun companies to politicians who support lax gun regulations > makes it easier for anyone to buy more guns > more guns on the street, in homes, in schools, on college campuses, in theaters, everywhere more guns… (and repeat)

It’s a perfect, self-sustaining circle of carnage and stupidity.

Among Western democracies it’s a system that is indeed…exceptional.

#19 Comment By Olga On June 12, 2018 @ 12:36 pm

Look up school shootings before 1995, we had a lot of school schootings in the US before most teenagers had access to the internet. About 1995 AOL reached One Million members. While the internet existed before 1995 it wasn’t widely used and children and teenagers did not have regular access in their homes or at school.

Now the internet makes it possible for individuals with fringe beliefs to find each other — Neo Nazis, Incels, militia members and others, so the internet can radicalize people. However, there is a huge difference between access to a knife, machete and automatic weapon in the amount of damage any individual or group can do.

#20 Comment By Andy On June 12, 2018 @ 1:02 pm

Cut the guy some slack. Yes they have the internet in Europe and no, they don’t have the access to heavy weaponry that we have here. What he likely should have said, is that there is something unique to the combination of the internet, guns and the changing American psyche that is behind all of these tragedies. And for what it’s worth, we’ve restricted access to the internet for our kids…and no smart phones. As far as I’m concerned the negatives of the internet outweigh the positives.

#21 Comment By bbkingfish On June 12, 2018 @ 1:30 pm

Try as I might, I can’t see gun massacres in schools as a problem separate from all the many more routine gun massacres committed in the US by adults.

Do you think the internet enabled/motivated Stephen Paddock to commit his crimes in Las Vegas, or were his efforts aided more by having the ability to easily and legally build a private arsenal for his purposes?

#22 Comment By Steve Naidamast On June 12, 2018 @ 1:36 pm

Despite the negative comments here towards the author’s article, the author’s points are rather spot on. However, they appear to be formulated around a “sweeping generalization” than specifics.

I am a senior software engineer who retired from corporate development in 2014 but still is involved with the field technically. As a result, I keep abreast of the many sociological and technical trends that are sweeping my profession.

Within the profession there are quite a number of papers that directly apply to the author’s points, especially regarding the non-stop addictive use of smart devices on a constant basis. One scientific article even demonstrated studies showing that people who spend inordinate amounts of time on their smart phones are having their brains reshaped to become significantly smaller on the average of around 14%. This is similar to what smoking does to the brain which also reshapes it by creating dead brain cells.

The statistics from such studies are horrifying and they do not bold well for the futures of America’s younger generations.

The author however, has failed to note that it is not just the Internet that is causing so many underlying problems but the society in which these problems are occurring.

If one were to review much of the cinema and television that is aimed towards young people and even young adults, all of it to a production, are promoting violence and perverse sexuality with a non-stop rant about heroes and “just being me”.

Everything targeting the younger generations is a non-stop show of “me too” and how everyone is a star in their own lives.

Children today are for the most part infantilized by their parents to unheard of degrees that were never present when I grew up in the 50s and 60s. Back then, children and young people were expected to show varying levels of independence for their ages. Today, older teens cannot even walk down a suburban street on their own without parents freaking out that their child will be abducted. Statistics on such crimes have actually gone down in the past several decades, which were higher when I was a child, yet parents appear more threatened than ever.

A lot of this has to do with incompetent parenting where children’s every waking moment is supervised to some degree disallowing children to simply go out and be kids.

Today, in the more affluent areas, children are bottled up in non-stop after school activities that often take the place of serious study and homework, stressing out kids to unheard of levels.

In the mean time the schools themselves are being forced by state and federal policies to become factories for dumb people where courses are being taught to pass standardized tests instead of teaching young people to think critically. And much of this is very much opposed to by teachers across the board but they have been subordinated to the whims of stupid parents who think they know better.

When we had a “bad” kid in school and he cut up continuously he was simply thrown out unless the teacher could see that the child could use help to get him or her through the issues they may be facing. But the “thugs” and “bums” were mostly gone as soon as they reached their 16th birthdays and they could quit the school system.

For the most part, today’s young are stupid, rude, and unintelligent. I see it in my own profession with the younger professionals who think they know it all compared to those who have spent many years doing such work. And people I have spoken to in the education profession have remarked to the same.

And many analysts outside of education have seen the same and written papers on the subject.

Though I completely agree with the author’s contentions there are legitimate compromises that can be made that will still allow young people to access every day technologies without the deleterious effects that they have incurred on the nation’s youth.

In terms of the Internet, there are many sophisticated blocking programs that can be put on young people’s devices that allow parents to control what content their children are able to view.

If they somehow break into a site that is not approved; ground the brat by taking his or her computer away from them. If they need a machine, set a family machine up in a common area in the house or apartment where parents can see what they are viewing or working with.

GET RID OF THESE STUPID, BLOODY SMART PHONES!!!

No one anywhere needs them for anything. They are nothing but distractions that are being produced and supported by vendors whose very purpose is to use them to extract personal data while addicting people to all the garbage that are provided on them.

Yet, it has always been a necessity to be able to communicate quickly if the need arises. The standard flip-phone will do the trick nicely. And if a child’s usage is too high in a month, take the phone away and smash it. If the child still wants a phone tell him or her that they can get some after school work to pay for a new one.

Television… There is still some fine drama to be found on the proverbial “boob tube”. Ensure that children are watching it instead of the violence that seemingly so attracts them.

When I was a kid we watched adult shows with our parents as there weren’t all that many shows devoted to kids except in the afternoons or on Saturday mornings. However, we were in school so we rarely saw the weekday shows.

And finally, parents should be forcing their children to read books! Not this electronic nonsense but real books. They should be taught how to use a library and how to do real research, not simply be able to look it up on the Internet as most information that can be easily found on the Net is completely inaccurate or biased in favor of the supporting ideologies of the group hosting the site.

YOU CAN’T HACK A BOOK!!! You have to read several to understand what one author may be attempting to convey.

So the author has some very valid points to which it appears that every commentator here has very little understanding of.

And because other countries have deeper layers of traditional values, they do not experience the extremes that are found in the United States; a culture which is completely predicated on consumerism and the propaganda that goes with it.

Of course this all appears to be too drastic to accommodate. Well, as they would have said back in my day “Boo-hoo… Too f**king bad!!!”

#23 Comment By I Don’t Matter On June 12, 2018 @ 1:42 pm

“Concerned parents and those who call on others to “Do something!” should now lead the charge to take away internet access from children until they reach maturity.”

How? Or is it not a coincidence that no proposal is offered?

Because I have a better one: make all teenagers happy and well-adjusted. I offer the same amount of detail as the author of this dreck.

#24 Comment By mrscracker On June 12, 2018 @ 2:16 pm

The internet certainly plays a part in it.

#25 Comment By sglover On June 12, 2018 @ 2:24 pm

I don’t see this article and its loopy premise as a departure from TAC’s “standards” at all. If you don’t believe me, just dip into any of Buchanan’s fever sweats. They go back years. I’m just waiting for the TAC “Grand Unification” magnum opus, definitively proving how the internet is the spawn of “cultural Marxists”.

When it comes to talent, TAC has Larison, and that’s about it. Mostly it seems to be a place where cranky old men can get published.

#26 Comment By Myron Hudson On June 12, 2018 @ 2:27 pm

I agree with the other comments here. This writer is grasping at straws. We are not the only country with teenagers, and the internet. We are the only country with mass shootings at schools and – face it – that says a lot for the availability and efficacy of guns.

#27 Comment By Lewis Toland On June 12, 2018 @ 2:55 pm

The respondents overreact to the article. Its main strength lies in advocating closer parental supervision of the sometimes malignant sites on the Internet. Part of character formation includes self-restraint about guns and the potentially addictive Internet.

#28 Comment By Dale McNamee On June 12, 2018 @ 3:05 pm

The Internet and the so-called “social media” can provide “encouragement” to and create “celebrities” of kids who would think of shooting up schools, their fellow students, etc. by the almost continuous media coverage…

To a kid with a “case of the punies” doing something horrific is thinkable… ( “Everybody will know my name !”, “And all eyes will be on me !” )

And the possibility of their death isn’t a deterrent…

Also, look at David Hogg… If he didn’t have the coverage…

In the Psalms, David mentioned not looking at worthless things and Philippians 4:8 gives great guidelines that can be used in approaching the Internet for both adults and children…

BTW, Ever notice how many of ( if not all ) of the shooters have no religious beliefs and are nihilistic ?

#29 Comment By grumpy realist On June 12, 2018 @ 3:34 pm

Before we get rid of the internet, why don’t we get rid of the guns first?

#30 Comment By John On June 12, 2018 @ 3:39 pm

The column feels a bit like parody, but there is probably also some wisdom in removing online access from teens and preteens. The internet has become a “Skinner Box” of sorts, where stimulation of all sorts exists all out of proportion to what the immature, or even mature, brain can handle.

The giants of the tech industry understand the effects on the developing mind and limit their children’s exposure to it, even while making billions off of it from the children of parents who don’t. Honestly, the interest has become a sewer in the past decade and a half, and only approaching it with an agenda or some preset notions of what it represents in a person’s life will argue otherwise. TAC is one of the few things I visit anymore, after having participated in it from the early days.

I don’t need a fake endorphin hit from getting some likes on a post. The real world is far more interesting and vibrant than the digital version.

#31 Comment By Roger Chylla On June 12, 2018 @ 3:45 pm

I agree that the premise of this article is false but why do I keep hearing this nonsense about school shootings not being present in other countries. Can we agree to stop repeating this utter falsehood (common in the Obama administration) that the U.S. is the only country to have these types of crimes. Please educate yourselves.
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#32 Comment By BobS On June 12, 2018 @ 4:04 pm

Great analysis, Auguste.
If you’re one of those Texas teachers packing heat, start thinking about retirement. Soon.
However, on second thought, I’m not sure we want you with more time to yell at the kids to get off your lawn.

#33 Comment By Raul duke On June 12, 2018 @ 7:15 pm

It’s both and a almost complete lack of proper mental health resources except for the wealthy

#34 Comment By jim smith On June 13, 2018 @ 8:23 am

Several people say let’s just get rid of the guns. The sad fact is you can’t stop every lone wolf who is a first time offender. Even if all the guns could be banned, there are plenty of other methods available to kill a lot of people thanks to the internet – i.e things like pipe bombs (San Bernardino, pressure cooker bombs (Boston), propane tank bombs (Columbine), truck bombs (Oklahoma City), exotic battery bombs (Austin, TX), gasoline cans and a match (Happy Land fire on 3/25/90), heavy truck crashing in to a crowd of people (Nice, France), home made flame throwers made from plumbing parts and gasoline (nowhere – yet) and any pressure vessel filled with shrapnel and gun powder manufactured the same way it has been since the 6th century that will momentarily confine an explosive pressure wave.

#35 Comment By mrscracker On June 13, 2018 @ 9:55 am

I don’t know why folk’s first reaction seems to be to ridicule this article. I think it brings up good questions.

Before Columbine & before the internet & smartphones our rural high school parking lot would be full of pickups with loaded rifles in the gun racks. It was perfectly normal for students & teachers to do a little hunting before or after school.

My oldest son got his first .22 rifle when he was 7 years old. His little friend, Jacob, got the same gift for his 7th birthday. Everyone hunted with their daddies & knew gun safety rules.

Something in the culture has changed & I don’t see why it’s ridiculous to look for reasons or common factors.

#36 Comment By Michael On June 13, 2018 @ 1:00 pm

This is for all you commenters that are so negative: Why don’t we just try it? How would it hurt? We might just get some positive results from it. Why are you so against it? What are YOUR suggestions?

#37 Comment By rt66paul On June 13, 2018 @ 2:49 pm

I believe that it is the media making a forum for the shooter. If their names and purposes were not made public, I think the “PROBLEM” would be a non-issue.
These kids are ignored or they feel ignored by the people they go to for help. This is how they get people to listen to them. Not giving them a forum by ending their life as they know it might get to to use constructive means.

#38 Comment By mrscracker On June 13, 2018 @ 3:22 pm

Raul duke says:

“It’s both and a almost complete lack of proper mental health resources except for the wealthy”
***************
Those seem to be inadequate even for the affluent. We knew someone in the state govt. who couldn’t find a psychiatric facility to take his son on an emergency basis.

The father had no choice but to take his son back home with him. Later that evening the son had a psychotic break, critically injured his daddy & then killed himself.

#39 Comment By Steve S. On June 13, 2018 @ 3:37 pm

Switzerland…
Switzerland has guns and the internet. I don’t look into Swiss news much but if there were school shootings there, you would likely hear about it, non?

Look, the people of Europe have been marinating in their culture for millennia. They ‘get it’ that we’re all in this society together. The people of the US have just gotten started with our culture and most of it has to do with consumption in the corporate marketplace. For hundreds of years, we have been primarily chasing material wealth on this continent and crowing about it in our popular media.

If you’re a materially poor teenager and have no spiritual, social nor family life, then you’re already officially dead. For a teenager in that position, a long, miserable life ahead of them must look like a life sentence. It’s a surprise to me that there aren’t more shootings. No wonder movies and television about zombies are popular. People can relate to being ‘undead’.

Like many posters, I grew up seeing deer rifles in trucks in the high school parking lot. We believed that we had futures and wouldn’t DREAM of breaking the hearts of our family by doing something monstrous. What we need to talk about is that we are literally creating MONSTERS in this country and what we can do about it. We should start, as the author does, by asking ‘Cui Bono?’

I believe these gun-grabbers either lack critical thinking skills or they serve an agenda that has nothing to do with saving children.

#40 Comment By BobS On June 13, 2018 @ 5:19 pm

“Something in the culture has changed…”
For instance, the fetishization of firearms in the US, as exemplified by the devolution of the NRA in my lifetime.

“What are YOUR suggestions?”
Making firearms less available to children.

#41 Comment By mrscracker On June 13, 2018 @ 9:58 pm

BobS,
I belong to the NRA. I don’t know anyone who turns guns into a “fetish.” I know folks who collect guns but people collect all sorts of things.

Rural kids in America have always had access to firearms and most were trained to use them safely. Something else has changed.

#42 Comment By Joanna Darcy On June 16, 2018 @ 12:40 pm

Auguste obviously stirred up a hornets’ nest. I read this op-ed after reading Jonah Goldberg’s letter, I’ll call it, the Right Path. So thought-provoking & inspiring. I mention this because so many of the negative commenters have no clue about constructive debate which is the big point of JB’s ending. This is what conservatism is about, in order to arrive at better solutions as we find the problems of the day & work through them for our betterment. It’s not name calling, or insults, or disingenuous arguments. I notice so many posts are “one issue.” This one was loaded on “gun control.” Yes, there were several who “got it”…….thankfully! A big thank-you to Steve N, a techie insider who knows firsthand the evils of THE INTERNET.