Sunday, December 15, 2013

THE COLUMBINE GENERATION

A SHOOTING GALLERY
Johann Wagener 12-15-13

We live in a society that glorifies violence. A society that entertains itself with violence. A society that views violence as a sign of strength. A society that raise their children to worship violence through the heroes they emulate. 

Still, the majority of Americans persist on holding on to their distorted (and often psychotic) perception that none of this is related to the actions and beliefs of people who act out and slaughter countless innocent Americans.

Since Columbine these mass murders are becoming routine and almost predictable. Yet, the reaction is always one of disbelief; how could this happen here? 

The rituals remain the same; flowers, memorials, parades, funerals, testimonials, congressional hearings, prayers, tears, books, documentaries, all serving to veil the reality of the role we all play in perpetuating this human tragedy. 

Those that profit continue to use the same nonsensical rhetoric that this is a "2nd. Amendment" right. That video games, movies, TV shows, football, cage fighting, bullying, hero worship have no influence or relationship to these acts of violence.

Americans are so naive that they believe these are isolated incidents committed by disturbed individuals who, in hindsight (always) showed all the warning signs that we somehow continue to miss. 
As this latest shooting spree unfolds we are again hearing the same talking points; 

 "He's a funny kid. He's smart. He's in the Eagle Scouts, a very intelligent kid. Did not like being wrong," said August Clary, who was a friend of Pierson. "If you're arguing with him, it's going to be, that's a feat if you win an argument against him."
"He would not be afraid to tell someone how he feels," said Zach Runberg, 18, a senior in Pierson's English class.
Pierson legally bought a shotgun on Dec. 6 at a local store, and he purchased ammunition the morning of the shootings. He managed to ignite a Molotov cocktail inside the school library before he killed himself as a fast-acting school security officer, a deputy sheriff, closed in, Robinson said.
As usual, politicians put a positive spin on this shooting, complementing themselves on their ability to lower the number of victims and fail to point out that this shooter was armed with a shotgun, not an assault weapon, which was most likely to determining factor for the lower causality count.
 After the Aurora, Colo., theater shootings and the Newtown, Conn., school shootings, Colorado's Democrat-led legislature this year implemented gun control measures that limited the size of ammunition magazines and instituted universal background checks. Colorado also appropriated more than $20 million for mental health hotlines and local crisis centers.
The measures were intended to address violence associated with so-called assault rifles, not shotguns that are widely owned for hunting and sport.
Hickenlooper acknowledged the latest shooting raised again questions about guns and violence. But he noted that Pierson "didn't seem to exhibit any signs of mental illness," and he cautioned that the investigation was in its early stages.
"Everyone in Colorado is asking the same questions," the governor said. "On the one hand there is a deeply held conviction for the freedoms laid out in the Second Amendment, but also a very, very strong conviction about the safety of children and the safety of the community."
As is also usual, politicians fear being held accountable, not by the voters, but the lobbyists and special interest groups, in pointing to the obvious factors that consistently play a part in this shootings, bu rather makes an absurd statement like this;
Friday's shooting, he said, "defies any explanation, and you know we are searching for some pattern."
Maybe the governor and all those who continue to deny reality should begin to connect the dots. For example, in the Newton Massacre  AN OBSESSION WITH COLUMBINE there are more than ample clues on explaining what drives these kids.

Social Impairment

Today’s report sketched a picture of a young man diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder in 2005 who, starting in seventh grade, withdrew from playing baseball, soccer and the saxophone. After showing signs of the social impairments and extreme anxiety associated with the disorder, Lanza refused medication and therapy.
In the house he shared with his mother, the windows were taped and covered with black trash bags in Lanza’s bedroom and a computer room on the second-floor, the report said.
Investigators found a spread sheet of mass shootings over the years, and materials that indicated the obsession with Columbine. That shooting on April 20, 1999, left 12 students and a teacher dead. The two student shooters also killed themselves.
On computer hard drives and memory cards, investigators found pictures of people killing themselves with guns and rifles. They also found evidence of a 
computer game titled “School Shooting” having been played. In the game, a player controls a character who enters a school and kills students.

 154 Shots

In March, Sedensky said the Bushmaster .223 caliber model XM15 rifle used by Lanza had a 30-round capacity magazine. The 20-year-old shooter used a single shot from a Glock 10mm handgun to kill himself before police arrived and had a 9mm Sig Sauer P226 handgun with him, Sedensky said.
It took Lanza less than five minutes to shoot his way into the school and fire 154 shots from the Bushmaster on his way to gunning down the children, the staff and finally himself, Sedensky said.
The guns, which also included a 12-gauge shotgun found in Lanza’s car, were all purchased by Lanza’s mother, Nancy Lanza, Sedensky said in the March statement, when warrant returns were unsealed in court. Lanza killed his mother in their home before heading to the elementary school.
 Without going into long explanations arguing either side of the debate there are 3 obvious clues that anyone with an ability to reason will see;

1) Obsession with violence  2) Violent Video Games  3) Obsession and access with guns.

Contrary to the Governor's statement these factors do not "defy explanation"  and there is a "pattern."  Time to act, not talk.