In the wake of the Parkland shooting, President Trump put out a tweet in which he pointed out the culpability of the FBI, in that it had been made aware of the potentially imminent danger posed by the eventual killer and failed to respond. Trump went on to further suggest that the Bureau would have done well to focus on threats such as those as opposed to its infatuation with anti-Trump fan fiction such as the infamous Steele Dossier. That, in turn, led to things like the recent indictments against 13 Russian nationals for shitposting on Facebook, amongst other crimes.
Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!
That snide remark from the President was predictably picked out and ridiculed by the press and the vast majority of our betters in the ruling class, who launched into another episodic wailing of “How Dare He!” Yet, Trump’s main point was spot on. There is a certain complacency running through our much vaunted Institutions, which should be patently unacceptable given the growing amount of freedoms relinquished by the public in tolerance of them, and the growing tax burden to fund them. The founding fathers would look on aghast at the existence and theoretical capabilities of agencies such as the FBI and CIA, while the likes of Stalin and Mao in their wildest dreams could never have envisaged them in their modern iterations.
Yet the land of the free and the home of the brave not only tolerate them, but bestow upon them a rarified status as though woven into the national identity. As such, the consistency with which mass killers have slipped through their grasp (the FBI in particular) is concerning. The perpetrators of Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon, Garland, San Bernandino, the attempted New Jersey bombings, and now Parkland had all been made aware to the FBI before they carried out their acts. And while unknown to the FBI in advance, the killer in the Charleston church massacre had obtained his weapons thanks to an FBI related flaw in the background check system.
With respect to Parkland, the lackadaisical attitude filtered down to the local enforcement level, as it was reported that the police had been called some 39 times because of the killer’s misbehavior, which necessitated 23 police visits to his residence over the past few years. Some of the reasons included threatening behavior with a firearm. Yet nothing was done.
Drilling down further still, during the shooting itself, the officer stationed at the school allegedly just waited outside for over four of the six minutes of shooting. Later reports suggest that a total of four officers did the same, and it was officers from a neighboring police department which were the first to enter the school. The officers may have been ordered to stand down, or they simply lacked the fortitude to engage. In either case, nothing was done, which enabled the killer to exit alongside other evacuating students and head to multiple fast food restaurants a few blocks away before being caught.
All of this makes a mockery of the ongoing argument that Americans must turn in their guns and allow the ‘authorities,’ relatively small in number, to handle completely the task of defending us all. At Parkland, the very people who were meant to defend the innocent bottled it at nearly every turn. Beyond this, however, the abject failure on multiple levels of what is meant to be the steel in our institutional backbone is increasingly widespread, indicative of a deeper rot in society.
In a recent podcast, The Z Man referenced a situation in which he confronted some would-be car thieves with a shotgun and scared them off. He called the police anyhow, so as to alert them of the potential danger to others in the area. The response from the police was to invite him to fill out a form if anything was stolen, and to have a nice day otherwise.
The anecdote illustrates the favoring of shorter term thinking over longer term thinking, as well as a consistent drive to alleviate any pain, suffering or inconvenience in pursuit of constantly feeling good, whether it is the right thing to do or not. It is emblematic of the direction our society as a whole has gone.
The details that have come out about the Parkland killer, Nikolas de Jesus Cruz, are indeed a window into this unfortunate societal development. There are several aspects of his life story that, by themselves do not augur the making of a monster, but up the odds considerably should they simultaneously form the lattice of one’s life experience.
What is of concern here is that each of these individual elements, in a general sense, has been colored by multi-decade initiatives from our Cultural Marxist betters. The aim has been towards the dismantling of what once were societal norms in the name of TEPID (Tolerance, Equality, Progressiveness, Inclusiveness, and Diversity).
For example, right at the start of Cruz’s existence, he may have suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome. While this is not confirmed, several people have suggested that he shows telltale signs of having been affected by it. A recent report also suggested that his biological mother had been a drug addict, and that the killer and his younger brother were both products of one night stands with different men.
Whether Cruz did suffer from it or not, the discussion of FAS in our society has been increasingly couched in terms of individual female freedom. Calls from the medical community for women to curtail their drinking to avoid birth disorders is now considered to be sexist, a form of female control. And of course to question the wisdom of unlimited female sexual liberation is to speak blasphemes against the TEPID religion.
In other words, the short term, feel-goodism of my body, my choice (in this case to drink like a fish, use drugs and sleep around consequences be damned) supersedes the longer term impact it could have in the shape of permanent physical and mental defects for a future child.
Then there is the fatherlessness. Cruz spent most of his life without his adoptive father, who died when Cruz was under 5 years old. His biological father is completely unknown. According to most reports, most of Cruz’s life was spent with no real father figure. His adoptive mother had also died months before the shooting, which meant he grew up with a hodge podge of parental figures.
In this regard Cruz is not alone among perpetrators of mass killings, the adolescent and young adult male perpetrators in particular. Buried among their stories are often references to a family history broken by the divorce, death or absence of a father. This is a fact that is buried in the discussions of these sort of incidents because it serves as an under the breath riposte to the desires of our Cultural Marxist betters to legitimize the ‘Modern Family’ and ‘alternative lifestyles.’
More specifically, the charge to combat societal norms with regard to stable families is most often intended to assuage the short term feeling of happiness of ‘empowered’ women (who initiate a comfortable majority of divorces) over the longer term well-being of their kids, to whom several disadvantages are generally accrued in a divorce.
Then there are the drugs. It’s been reported that Cruz had been taking medication in the past for ADHD and possibly other disorders. Again, this puts Cruz in the company of other doped up mass killers, regardless of their age. And again, the matter is kept on the periphery of discussion because it is a tricky subject for Big Pharma to address, and, perhaps more broadly, it caters to the immediate desire to avoid pain and struggle which comes with dealing with an unruly youngster. It is far easier to drug the kid than invest more time and energy in him.
Consider this 2000 interview with psychiatrist Peter Breggin, who made a name for himself at the turn of the century at the forefront of the movement to stop the trend of doping kids up the first time he (it’s boys we’re really talking about here) acts out. The interview was with PBS Frontline. Here’s a choice passage:
Interviewer: How do you respond to the parents who give glowing testimonies about how that drug has helped their child?
Breggin: In America today, it’s easy to go out and get glowing testimony from parents about how wonderfully their children have been doing on Ritalin. There was a caged animal, a polar bear, in the zoo in Toronto, who was pacing up and down and looking uncomfortable, and looking like he’d really like to go back to the Arctic or the Antarctic. And they put him on Prozac, and he stopped pacing. His name was Snowball. He sat quietly and looked happy. And animal rights people gathered to the zoo and protested the drugging of a polar bear to make him into a good caged animal, and he was taken off the drug.
We have lost track of what childhood is about, of what parenthood and teaching is about. We now think it’s about having good quiet children who make it easy for us to go to work. It’s about having submissive children who will sit in a boring classroom of 30, often with teachers who don’t know how to use visual aids and all the other exciting technologies that kids are used to. Or there are teachers who are forced to pressure their children to get grades on standardized tests, and don’t have the time to pay individual attention to them. We’re in a situation in America in which the personal growth and development and happiness of our children is not the priority; it’s rather the smooth functioning of overstressed families and schools. …
There are no miracle drugs. Speed–these drugs are forms of speed–don’t improve human life. They reduce human life. And if you want less of a child, these drugs are very effective. These parents have also been lied to: flat-out lied to. They’ve been told that children have a neurobiological disorder. They’ve been told their children have biochemical imbalances and genetic defects. On what basis? That they fit into a checklist of attention deficit disorder, which is just a list of behaviors that teachers would like to see stopped in a classroom? That’s all it is. …
Interviewer: Why isn’t the drug, in your view, a useful tool in some circumstances–let’s say, in extreme circumstances?
Breggin: One of the questions that comes up a great deal is, what about the extreme child? In effect, what about the monster child? What about the bad seed child? What about the child that nobody can control? Once you define some children in that category, you open up exactly the Pandora’s Box we have now. … How we treat our most distressed children ultimately will define how we’re really going to treat all of our kids. And yes, it’s very convenient, with a very distressed child, to drug them into submission, to stop the signals. But it’s not only a crime against that individual child; it sets a paradigm, which we have now unleashed on all of our children.
In my practice, I have never had a child brought to me who couldn’t calm down in one hour in my office. The most extremely out-of-control children that I’ve had, you can watch the interaction between the child and the parents. The kid is poking the parent, the parent is poking the kid. The kid is insulting the parent, the parent is insulting the kid. And you can see it. …
I’m actually seeing two tragic phenomena now on a regular basis. One is where there is a divorce, the parents split up, the children go with the mother, and the mom can’t control the boy. Why can’t a mom control a boy as readily as the father? In our culture, little boys aren’t taught a lot of respect for women, and that big booming voice often gains a certain amount of power that mom’s gentleness might not produce. So we have moms who are having trouble controlling their children, and who are giving them drugs. And when the child is with the dad on the weekend, then the child doesn’t need any medication, and mom goes to court and sues to make dad give medication to the child on weekends.
But an even more common problem is that mom brings in the child wanting to get some help, and dad is nowhere to be seen. In fact, I can’t get dad to come to the office, even though he lives down the block. Because in our culture, dads are not putting their children on a high enough priority. …
Interviewer: You’re going to be saying these things on television, and you’re going to make enormous numbers of parents feel enormously guilty and terrible.
Breggin: One of the really obscene things that has happened is that psychiatry has sold the idea that if you criticize drugs, you’re making parents feel guilty. What an obscenity that is. We are supposed to be responsible for our children. . . . If we’re not responsible for raising our children, what are we responsible for? If children aren’t entrusted to us for the specific purpose of our turning ourselves inside-out to be good parents, what is life about? It is a disgrace that my profession has pandered to the guilt of parents by saying, “We’ll relieve you of guilt. We’ll tell you your child has a brain disease, and that the problem can be treated by a drug.”
That’s pandering to the worst desires that we have as parents–all of us–which is to say, “I’m not guilty of this problem.” … I’d rather be guilty as a parent, and say, “I did wrong,” than say, “Son, you have a brain disease.” Sure, we’re all tempted. We’re all tempted, when we’re in conflict with our children, to hold them responsible. And how much easier it is if we don’t even have to hold them responsible.
Interviewer: You’ve been accused of having something to do with Scientology. Is that true?
A few things to note. First, Breggin cites the aforementioned fatherlessness problem. But more pertinent to this particular line, note that the interviewer counters Breggin’s mountainous, logic-laden argument with a one liner asking him to consider the feelings of parents who might ‘feel enormously guilty and terrible’ when confronted with Breggin’s realtalk on television. The interviewer’s reasoning is indicative of the primacy of the short run, and feeling good over a longer term stability which may be accompanied by difficulty.
In today’s culture, to ask one to take personal responsibility is to infringe upon their ‘right’ to feel good, and thus cannot be tolerated. Breggin’s further dismantling of the interviewer’s premise causes him to lash out intellectually, with that last question about scientology. It is an attempt to put Breggin off guard as well as call into dispute everything he said before, by way of an alleged association with a wacky cult. The whole episode is instructive, and the full interview is worth a read.
Returning to Cruz, and the aforementioned dozens of police interactions he had, a striking piece of information has come out with regards to how juvenile crime in is dealt with in some parts of the country. Reports indicate that Broward County, where Parkland is located, instituted a policy a few years ago aimed at reducing juvenile detentions. The policy was to simply not arrest minors for certain classes of crime, but rather subject them to a less stringent form of discipline, that I can only imagine involved stern lectures and perhaps some hand wagging:
Take Broward County, the Florida county that used to rank No. 1 at sending students to their state’s juvenile justice system.
The stats troubled Broward County leaders, and they responded with a bold solution: Lower arrests by not making arrests.
After examining juvenile data, a local task force compiled 12 misdemeanor offenses that would no longer be considered police matters. Criminal mischief and vandalism, for example.
The results were quickly positive.
In 2011-12, Broward County officers made 1,062 school-related arrests. That dropped to 392 in 2015-16, putting the rate of school-related arrests among the lowest in the state.
The importance of this in relation to Cruz is that for years, he had been in contact with the authorities for assaulting his mother, threatening to kill other students, holding a gun to a classmates head and bringing bullets and knives to school, and abusing animals, among other offenses. Yet he was never arrested.
More on the Broward County initiative, ironically titled PROMISE, can be found here (here, here, and here). [As an aside, in keeping with the theme of this post, in a sane world the Conservative Treehouse would have received a Pulitzer for the incredible investigative work it has done over the years. Yet it remains a relatively unknown blog outside of those of a dissident right political persuasion, while the likes of the NYT and WaPo shovel out excrement by the ton on a regular basis.]
The police record Cruz most certainly warranted would have precluded him from passing the background check and thus barring him from purchasing the gun with which he committed the shooting. In other words, the laws we already have on the books would have stopped this guy had they been implemented properly, rubbishing the claims of the ‘sensible gun laws’ crowd. We already have sensible gun laws.
But again, we find that policies placating the short term feel good factor, superseded in this case the long term well-being of Cruz as an individual and society as a whole.
In days gone by, Cruz would have been placed in a juvenile detention center or in a mental institution long before he was able to kill. Today, the laws and regulations which were put in place with the long term in mind were circumvented by ‘fresh initiatives’ meant to please the all mighty TEPID. Today, the credentialist strivers who infest our institutions, such as Broward County School Superintendent Robert Runcie and Sheriff Scott Israel are handsomely rewarded for perpetuating the rot, while the likes of Dana Loesch and President Trump are criticized for accurately referring to Cruz in a disparaging manner.
The basis for such criticism is that speaking too poorly of Cruz might vilify mental illness generally. Over forty years on from the cultural push to de-stigmatize mental institutions (think One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), society now feels sanguine about having the mentally ill roam the streets to repeatedly threaten others in a grave manner. Even after the threats had been carried out in devastating manner, feel goodism still reigns supreme.
Cruz’s life was seemingly a blueprint for creating a mentally unstable monster. From his possible FAS, to fatherless upbringing to the alteration of his developing brain via medication to the authorities continually sweeping his misdeeds under the rug, letting them fester, a perfect storm was created which rained down upon the unwitting and innocent students and teachers on that fateful afternoon.
And yet, in a twisted way, it is just as society as it is currently constructed would have it. As mentioned before, each of those individual breakdowns are in a general sense held as above reproach in polite society. Even after the fact, we cannot refer to Cruz in too disparaging of terms. The pussification of America, if it wasn’t evident before, surely must be bellowing loud and clear in this moment.
But what of the guns? The Parkland shooting has predictably opened the door for the gun debate, with those who have always wanted the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution to be shredded coming out in full force to demand ‘sensible gun laws.’
Their screeching is easily countered by the simple facts of the Parkland shooting. As mentioned before, the ‘sensible gun laws’ already on the books would have stopped Cruz from buying a gun had local Broward County policy on juvenile delinquents not been altered to deliberately prevent troublesome kids like Cruz from having a criminal record, so as to produce more favorable crime statistics.
More fundamentally than this, the anti-2A crowd is seemingly forgetful of the origins of United States of America. The country was founded on a revolt from a tyrannical government and having secured its freedom, vowed to maintain it by ensuring that its people could always keep its government in check.
The first and second amendments are the basis of that check. No other country in the world employs the combination of freedom of speech and freedom to bear arms, which is why no other country in the world rose to the heights the US did in the shortness of time that it did.
The US has gun totin’ permanently etched into its soul. By most accounts, there are more guns in the US than there are people. This creates a constant standoff, as it were, in which The People form an implicit militia to keep the government in check. The system recognizes the intricacies of human nature as it relates power and corruption. While not perfect, it did represent a forward step in political history. The United States will never rid itself of its gun culture, for without it the United States and all the greatness that comes with it, ceases to exist.
With respect to high schools and guns, as late as the 1960s and 1970s, it would be a regular occurrence for students to actually bring rifles to school, the same way band kids would bring their trumpets and clarinets, as many schools had shooting teams. Indeed, many older high schools still have shooting ranges right in the basement or somewhere else on campus.
Yet these mass shootings, particularly in schools, didn’t happen with anywhere near the frequency in the past. This begs the question, what has changed between then, when no one batted an eyelid at a kid bringing a rifle to school for target practice, and now, when the square root symbol on a chalkboard can be considered dangerous for its vague resemblance to a gun? One can point to the 1990s as the decade in which this sort of thing became more and more common.
The timing is of interest considering that the fundamental shift towards a TEPID style ‘whatever feels good is good’ basis of constructing new social norms was instituted in the 1960s and 70s. Meaning that the 1990s would mark a time when the longer term, downstream effects on society as a whole of phenomena such as exploding divorce rates could more easily be seen.
Unfortunately, the same short term thinking and a concomitant deficit in basic cause and effect analysis which dominates our age has led to a tragedy-influenced public discourse focusing on acute factors in the tragedy such as guns and masculinity when seeking to problem.
Comedian Michael Ian Black gained notoriety for his take on the Parkland shooting in which he declared that boys were broken in a few tweets, which blossomed into an opinion piece in the New York Times. Here’s the money quote:
Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasculated, where manliness is about having power over others. They are trapped, and they don’t even have the language to talk about how they feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine.
Black is right that boys are increasingly broken, but in keeping with the myopia of the current age he cannot work out the point in the past when the fracturing began. The nod to an ‘outdated model of masculinity’ is to conform to the TEPID-fuelled demotion of masculinity in general in favor of the feminine. The future is female, after all. In this construct, men must get in touch with their feminine side, which in turn reduces the need for a father figure for example.
Indeed, society has gone so far down the androgyny/trans/lowT/soy boy path that it’s difficult to fathom from where all of this masculine ‘suffocating’ emanates.
Rather, it is the suppression of masculinity that is the problem. From a rise in single motherhood to being taught by mostly female teachers, boys are increasingly getting a heavy dose of the feminine. And increasingly they are considered somehow faulty if they don’t behave like girls. As per the Breggin passage above, one of the issues he had begun to note was the frequency of cases in which a single mother could not control her son and thus had him put on drugs. An increasing percentage of young boys are in fact put on drugs such Ritalin simply because they are behaving like normal boys, whereas our TEPID culture would much rather the docility found in their female peers.
The fact of the matter is that boys need to be tested by the environment, and to build confidence by coming through those tests, even if there is initial failure. To borrow from Jordan Peterson, dominance hierarches are fundamental to the male existence.
The increased push to tamp down the competitive environment in schools, to the point where even seemingly harmless things like dodge ball, gym class and recess are seen as problematic, further denies boys the chance to express their combative natures in a controlled way. Even widespread anti-bullying campaigns are probably detrimental to boys in the long run.
Boys also need their fathers, and desperately so. As boys grow older, through adolescence, the positive father figure is necessary to help the boy deal with the newfound surge in ‘masculine energy.’ Masculinity is not about power and strength per se. it is about power and strength tempered, and channeled in the right way. This is the ultimate role of the father. In the Bible it says that the meek shall inherit the earth. When further clarified, that meekness refers to this ability to temper strength and power.
Women, no matter how good they can be as mothers, are not equipped to instill these lessons on boys. This is why, absent fathers, or other rigid structural influences, boys are at risk of going wayward. The only time this is given serious thought in contemporary politics is when the subject of black crime is brought up. Indeed, one is liable to be killed in certain ‘urban’ neighborhoods for an offense as minor as accidentally stepping on someone’s Air Jordans. This is what happens when you combine a distinctly female hysteria over a slightly disfigured vanity object with male rage. The worst of both worlds.
And on that score, while the Parkland inspired discussion has focused on gun crime generally, a more dispassionate analysis reveals that the more pertinent issue is violent crime among the black and Hispanic populations. To the extent these school/mass shooters are an issue of white male violence and ‘assault style rifles,’ it is a small subset embedded within another comparatively small segment of the total crime picture.
To this point, I’ve written extensively about that focused issue, but that should not detract from that bigger issue. As this Conservative Review post points out:
Focusing on AR-15s and school shootings is the equivalent of Democrats seeking to define the broader immigration/border issue by illegal immigrants who are valedictorians or serve in the military. Yet anyone with half a brain understands that the broader issue of immigration is a crisis of crime, gangs, poverty, welfare, and drugs that is killing Americans.
Ultimately, if the problem exposed at Parkland (whatever you believe it to be) is to move toward a solution, it will have to come via a reprisal of the traditional mores prevalent before the Cultural Marxists took over in earnest in the 1960s and demanded a hyper focus on TEPID in all arenas. Such a reprisal would lead to violent crime for both whites and non-whites coming down.
To the extent that innate racial differences are a cause of outsized violent crime rates in the black community, for example, the return to traditional mores, in conjunction with an eradication of welfare will help enormously. It is the abundance of resources via welfare that perhaps supports and exacerbates the tendency towards an r-selected, low parental investment culture, which in turn leads to a tendency towards more violence.
The removal of these underlying conditions in effect ‘imposes’ more Heritage American values upon those non-white segments of the population, in turn herding them into behaving more like Heritage Americans, albeit not exactly. Indeed, this was the trend before the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. There is an argument to be made that blacks as a whole fared better then in a relative sense, owing to a greater sense of community, personal agency and family stability, than they do today, though they may be better off in absolute terms.
In the same manner, the abundance of resources accruing to the various bureaucracies has enabled corruption, graft and sloth which have caused the public more harm than good. As a result, the once feared steely image of the “G-Men” of the FBI has now devolved to a whiny sounding teenager with a cell phone. The image of the honorable, pillar-like Sherriff is now just a hyper-politicized operative who wilts at the sight of a wimpy Jake Tapper. A realization is setting in that a drastic reversal in attitude is needed to restore American greatness. Hence Trump.
Of course, none of this will be present in any mainstream discussion of what ails us as a nation, particularly in terms of crime. The line of reasoning I’ve gone on here is totally verboten. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t resonate. And with the tactics of the Marxists, shamelessly weaponizing a select few photogenic, but whiny kids in a pathetic attempt to guilt trip the rest of country to turn in their guns, they’ve further highlighted their designs for the destruction of what is left of heritage, traditional America.
The CNN town hall which followed the Parkland shooting was a 90 minute distillation of some of the aforementioned cultural decay. It featured 16 year old children berating US lawmakers who agree with the 2nd Amendment as morally on the same plane as the killer Cruz, accusing a 2A-supporting mother of two of being a bad mother, all the while being applauded for it by a salivating mob of an audience.
That such teenage insolence was put forth as evidence that 16 year olds should be afforded the right to vote even further highlights the warped values of our age. The lowlight of the event was perhaps the cowardly display of Sheriff Scott Israel, who had the cheek to deflect and dodge the very legitimate criticisms which were thrown his way. His performance was an avatar for the general dereliction of duty, and failure to accept responsibility which, again, helps defines our age.
The absurdity was made complete in the aftermath as David Hogg, media darling, and the face of the child ‘resistance,’ chose to defend Sheriff Israel, and indeed the cowering officers, while laying blame the feet of Governor Rick Scott.
May God help us should our Cultural Marxist betters get their way and eradicate the last vestiges of heritage America. The bottom line is that no amount of gun control, no ban on bump stocks, restriction of cartridge sizes, ban on ‘assault rifles,’ or the reformation of mental health procedures, censorship of video games and movies can fix a broken culture fixated on short termism and pleasure seeking above all else. Such a culture will rot slowly from within, then all at once. Brace yourself.