Monday, August 05, 2019

A Weekend of Killing---A Response

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America is once again shocked.

This weekend we learned 20 are dead and 20 more injured in El Paso, TX; we've also learned 9 are dead and 16 injured in Dayton, OH.

Two mass shootings have killed 29 lives and injured 36 others---all within 12 hours.

The response.

Be informed.

2 mass shootings within 12 hours

In Texas, the shooter, Patrick Crusius, 21, is said to have written a "Hispanic invasion manifesto" and is said to have posted on social media, "I will probably die today." He didn't die, the authorities captured him and his case will be treated as a domestic terrorism case according to the AG in El Paso.

In Dayton Ohio, Connor Betts, 24, was shot and killed by police after shooting and killing 9 and injuring 16 more. Police have confirmed that Betts killed his own sister, Meghan Betts, and had been suspended from high school several years earlier for writing a "hit list" on the wall of a bathroom.

The first question following a shooting massacre is, "Why?"

The simplest question---Why?---is always the hardest to answer. Especially for politicians, those running for the high office of President.

Most presidential candidates were on various news shows yesterday explaining why this kind of thing would happen in the US.

Rep. Kamala Harris (D-CA) told CNN, "These were the consequences to Presidential Trump sowing hate and division in our country."

Candidate Beto O'Rourke (D) told CNN's Jake Tapper yesterday that he believes "President Trump is a White supremacist" and he holds him responsible for the shootings.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and presidential candidate said the United States is under attack from homegrown white nationalist terrorism. He said White Nationalism is evil, coming from Trump, and must end.

Former HUD Secretary under Obama, now candidate Julian Castro told ABC that the mass shootings are a "consequence" of President Donald Trump "fanning the flames of hate."

All comments from the Left, as to "why" centered around "it's Trump's fault."

Is Trump causing mass shootings?

These shootings are no more Trump's fault than the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut in 2012 where 26 were killed, was Obama's fault.

The Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado in 1999 was not President Clinton's fault. President George H.W. Bush was not responsible for the shooting in Luby's Cafeteria in Killen, Texas where 23 were killed, and President Reagan was not responsible for the killing of 13 people in Seattle's Wah Mee club in the Louisa hotel in 1983.

Among America's 22 deadliest modern-day shootings, going as far back as 1949, you find the sitting presidents have been from both political parties, with widely different political views.

While it is politically expedient for presidential candidates to blame Trump---or any other president---and the far Left press is more than ready to publish and air their comments, it isn't true.

"Why is this happening?"

The psychological aspect.

I read and watched a lot of news coverage of the shootings in El Paso and Dayton this weekend. Those close to the shootings---family and friends--- some of whom were wounded themselves, were consistently asking "Why?" "Why is this happening?"

The Left and the press, of course, are demanding "gun control."

In May of 2018, David French, a writer for the National Review, a "Never Trumper" wrote:
"Those who advocate for gun control have an immediate answer---the prevalence of guns in the United States. Yet guns have been a part of the fabric of American life for the entire history of our Republic.. Mass shootings---especially the most deadly mass shootings---are a far more recent phenomenon."

In the article, French quotes both Malcolm Gladwell, a well-known sociologist and Stanford sociologist Mark Granovetter who say it's a mistake to look at each incident independently.

Granovetter believes that social processes are driven by our "thresholds" ---which he defines as the number of people who need to be doing some activity before we agree to join them. He says riots are started by people with a threshold of "0", then come others who are willing to throw a rock through a window at the slightest provocation. Then comes the person who is willing to throw a rock at another person, if someone else does it first. Next to him is someone with a threshold of three, who would never break windows and loot stores unless there were others who led the way.

The Threshold premise is that each occurrence of rioting or mass shootings stimulates someone else to cross another threshold, leading to our current situation where shooters make detailed plans as to how they are going to carry out a shooting and write manifestos. Thus the mass shootings are progressively getting worse.

The Gladwell thesis concludes that now the "riot" mentality, including mass shootings, has now engulfed boys who were once content to play with chemistry sets in the basement. He says the problem is not there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. It's worse than that. It's that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.

Research has discovered that a number of mass shooters who followed the Columbine School shooting, mimicked the Columbine shooters in actions, planning and even dress.

The conclusion is that even if we pass the strictest gun control laws, it will not affect this cultural phenomenon.

Video games.

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick ( R) says a lot of the violence is related to video games. He is asking how long are we going to let violent games fall into the hands of children.

He particularly pointed out the video game "Call of Duty". In his "manifesto," the El Paso shooter wrote:
"Don't attack heavily guarded areas to fulfill your super soldier COD fantasy. Attack low security targets."

In his manifesto, he talks about living out his fantasy on "Call of Duty."

Patrick says studies are showing that violent video games are consistently being found to be "the common denominator" in mass shootings.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) said yesterday:
"The idea of these video games, they dehumanize individuals to have a game of shooting individuals and others." He said "When you look at these photos of how [ the El Paso shooting] took place, you can see the actions within video games and others."

The video companies say there is no connection, even producing a "study" last year that "proves" there is no connection.

But Lt. Governor Patrick said yesterday,
"Tomorrow we won't let our kids even pray in our schools. We have to look at ourselves as a's time to look deep inside of who we are as a country where we no longer salute our flag but throw water on law enforcement."


Patrick is right. So is McCarthy. Video games are desensitizing our children to death---normalizing killing, blurring the lines between reality and make-believe.

We are a nation that has conditioned people to devalue life with our obsession to abort unwanted unborn (and sometimes born) children. We have legalized and are now advocating assisted suicide (euthanasia) for the elderly or sick.

We have told our children there is no absolute truth, but the truth is relative. Each to his own truth. "Honor diversity."

God has been marginalized---pushed out of the public market in the name of "separation" and multiculturalism.

If we really want to know "why" we are where we are in the culture today, forget the politicians, it isn't their fault, they basically follow the herd claiming to be leading.

The Christian Church has been called by God to lead in the culture, but we have chosen to remain silent for fear of losing people from our congregations, or making waves. Not being accepted.

May God forgive us and may we recommit our selves to something greater than finding acceptance and approval in a lost and needy culture.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful.