Folks, the focus placed on gun control / mental health services does little more in national discourse than score rhetorical, anecdotal brownie points; and is furthermore simply a treatment of the symptoms rather than a segue to the cure.
Our society has devolved into a dialectical dissimulation of intelligence and intellectual ability. We romanticize the extremes: severe panic and fear or horror; a love of the grotesque; arbitrary acts of violence; arbitrary acts of love; the highest highs of the mythical 'love at first sight'; the lowest lows from the convoluted, self-centered, emotional brain... All this and more!
Your ability to understand reality from fiction; to discern between cause and consequence; to differentiate belief from knowledge has been handicapped.
We’re born into a world where the doctor slaps us on the back and says, “Enjoy your childhood, but you have to go to school or else you won’t be able to participate in the materialist consumer-driven society where everybody wants STUFF.” Then the parents say the same thing. Then the teachers say the same thing. And on and on it goes until we wind up grown-bodied lumps of emotional distress and perpetual cognitive dissonance because we have mushy, fickle baby brains filled with all sorts of “Either-or” horse crap.
Now I know this just looks like a crazy and angry rant, so I don’t blame anyone for stopping here, but I’m not finished. We can fix this.
We've found ourselves at the precipice of idiocy. If we go left, we fall deeper; if we go right we fall deeper. Stop walking and look up. The language is harsh because the consequences of our ambivalence are real. I’ve got to address two things before I focus on the solutions:
1. To my friends on the left: “gun control” already exists. The Second Amendment is not open to convenient interpretation. “But they had single-shot muskets back then!” That’s all ANYONE had back then. We now have a standing army, as well as a “homeland” paramilitary force – both of which have a lot more firepower than your average joe “prepper,” and neither of which is in any way answerable to “we the people.”
“But if you ban high capacity magazines and assault rifles, then the shooter won’t be able to kill as many people.” So now we are in the business of insurance policy risk management. If a shooter kills 10 people, that’s okay – just don’t make it more than that! This argument is flawed in its conception. We do not quantify acceptable levels of loss when discussing human life. Leave that to military operations and Marxists. “Gun control” is merely a treatment of the symptoms.
“Ban all guns!” Okay, you do realize that criminals are called “criminals” because they don’t comply with the laws the already exist, right? These antisocial (or worse) types aren’t going to stop just because we pass a new law.
2. To my friends on the right: Are you kidding me with the hypothetical arguments about armed teachers? “If there had been an armed teacher at that school…” Let’s stop and think before we spout these things. Leave the straw men to the material Marxist puppeteers. I love hypotheticals. We might all be race car drivers if unicorns were real. Prove me wrong!
Now, to the general issue of having armed faculty and staff in our public schools, I must offer a reasoned dissent. Larry Corriea, in a circulating, and very well-articulated piece, addresses the idea of allowing guns into schools through those people who meet all the various legal requisites to arm themselves everywhere else. His stance is that the “GUN FREE ZONE” status of educational institutions is like a big welcome mat for the cowardly degenerates who wish to immortalize themselves in a bloody legacy. Additionally, he argues, the teachers are already there in the schools, and it takes police upwards of 20 minutes to respond to these active shooter scenarios. Indeed. However, I see a fundamental flaw in Mr. Corriea’s argument.
You can read it for yourself here: http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/
The flaw comes from the assumption that our educational system should remain as is, just without the “GUN FREE ZONE” status. If we are to assume this argument, then I am not willing to send my children to school with a gun-carrying stranger staff. This is not about the individual teachers. This is about a systemic failure in our society – a failure of foresight.
Our schools are structured by adults, occupying a given time and space, who deem to know what’s best for today’s children – tomorrow’s adults. How naïve. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, nor can we accurately create the right kind of adult for tomorrow’s "reality" by forcing our projections of today’s right student into the curriculum.
The best way to prepare tomorrow’s adults for the unknowns of tomorrow is not by teaching them in terms of absolutes, or relegating their intellectual abilities to boxed-in thinking of today’s constructed “reality.” Rather, the best thing is to figuratively unchain the curriculum. If we are teaching to the test; or if we are simply worried about bull___ academic rankings systems; or if we are concerned about creating what we think an adult should be, then we are, in reality, ruining our future.
The children are already being mentally imprisoned, and my (usually) freedom-loving friends on the right want to make schools more like gulags than institutions dedicated to the endowment of knowledge? If we’re simply talking about taking down the “GUN FREE ZONE” statuses at the most local levels, then okay – fine. I can get on board with that. However, in a general and philosophical sense, I think it is societal suicide to have a national referendum on armed teachers in the classrooms. Bad people come in all shapes, sizes and career paths. Choose carefully.
Furthermore, capitulating to the incessant fear-mongering will infect the children, and we will breed new generations of Americans who are increasingly willing to give up their freedoms. Can any of you imagine what will happen if we continue further down this road toward a police state? If you institutionalize fear through the schools, then the totalitarian police state becomes an inevitable reality for tomorrow’s adults. Leave that ideology to the Marxists who believe that schools exist for the sole purpose of training future generations of citizen worker-voters. And again, arming the teachers is yet another round of treating of the symptoms. The problem, and therefore the cure, is much, much deeper.
The video below features Forensic Psychiatrist Dr. Michael Welner, from a recent appearance on the infinitely didactic show “The View.” At the six-minute mark, Dr. Welner gives some of the best advice I’ve heard yet from anyone given a national microphone on this issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyKvTn5BT5c
1. Parents: Teach kids personal responsibility. Actions have consequences. Teach them resilience. It’s not the fact that you fell down – it’s what you do next that defines you.
2. Neighbors: Model empathy. Random acts of kindness.
3. Teachers: Encourage creativity, not destruction.
It might seem ridiculous, but if you give a kid a paintbrush and let them explore the world they control, they will begin to value what grows and breathes and thinks and feels. How? Why? Because they are making something from nothing. Taking a blank page and changing it, with paint for instance, suddenly makes it something, whereas it was only a blank page before. Same with building something – even fixing something. It’s a very simple exercise.
If you give a child a video game, then they will learn the art of escape, as well as an appreciation of power through violence. They learn to destroy. News flash, folks! We’re born with that ability.
It takes work to bring out love and creativity. Juxtapose this fact with our relatively civilized society, where we try to shield our kids from reality by handicapping their intellectual capabilities, and what you get are monsters beneath the surface, waiting to explode as each incremental episode of cognitive dissonance builds until they can no longer accept the reality of a perceived failure.
Now, I’m going to add two more:
4. Stop this madness of the Rx fix for every hurt feeling and bad attitude or short attention span. Suck it the ___ up. Suck it up! Life happens. When we start medicating with mind-altering, mood-altering drugs, we form a chemical dependency in our brains because those drugs replace naturally occurring chemical reactions. Now, the doctors will tell you that you have a low level of “X” chemical. Do you have a low level of chemical X because you are depressed? Or, through your unwillingness to face reality – instead opting for “poor me” – have you suppressed that chemical yourself, thereby fudging the doctor’s “examination?” Which is cause or consequence? When you take those drugs (or if you give them to children) you create a chemical dependency because your brain stops producing those chemicals. Anyway, drug addiction stuff. No more pills, folks. Suck it up.
5. The last one. Start talking to each other about social constructs. Race, gender, religion, etc. These things do not exist. The social constructs that seem to bind us together are all myths. They are based on what people who looked like you used to do. We look like this, so we behave a certain way. We believe in this, so we behave a certain way. This is naturally repressive. If you have black skin, are you black? Is there anything fundamentally different between you and white skinned people, that isn’t also fundamentally different between you and other black-skinned people? Hell no, because every single person is different from the next.
If you are a Christian, do you have to be a Christian according to what someone else tells you? Did they make it to Heaven yet? Call me a blasphemer if you want, but think about it first – even if you take your religious marching orders from properly ordained priests or ministers, you are still making the conscious choice to listen to them or not. Yes, you are. That personal, distinct, intellectual freedom must be preserved. You, and only you, can know what is best for you.
This fundamental truth about the human being transcends all the various constructs society builds around us as we share a given time and space. You know what’s best for you. If we believe that, and if we also have empathy, then we will understand that others know what is best for them.
I distrust anyone who claims to know what’s best for everyone else, especially if they have a propensity of exempting themselves from the rules. These sort of societal leeches – like the current mayor of New York City, or the fat, Marxist, documentary film maker who has decided to “boycott” the state of Georgia – are counting on the rest of us to adhere to these social constructs and fall for their dialectical tricks. These people are idiots. You know what’s best for you. YOU KNOW. Not them.
The social constructs would have you join a group based on what others have told you is “best” for you.
Join the group of “self.” Talk about it. These mythical distinctions are barriers to growth, both for the individual and society. These constructs are the ropes that tie us to asinine dialectical arguments about treating the symptoms of societal problems. Cut the damn rope, stand up, look up.
Now, in closing, “idiocy” is not an actual place where we find a physical “precipice” on which to stand. Rather, it is a mental affliction, crippling the conscious mind and breeding intellectual fascism and societal decay. If we free our conscious minds from the dialectical controls of the world that has been arranged according to what “used to be,” then, perhaps, our children will inherit a precipice of enlightenment.
Thank you for reading.
Summary: I'm not saying it's lonely to be a movie critic, but we often find ourselves seated alone in an empty theatre when we're watching new stuff. I know people who say they won't go see anything unless they have at least one other person to go with, but I've always enjoyed having the place to myself. I'm not saying it's lonely to be a movie critic, but we often find ourselves seated alone in an empty theatre when we're watching new stuff. I know people who say they won't go see anything unless they have at least one other person to go with, but I've always enjoyed having the place to myself. read more
As you might imagine, the vast majority of the editorial cartoons available these days for publication through the syndicate which supplies cartoons to the Athens Banner-Herald/OnlineAthens are addressing the situation in Ferguson, Mo., where the fatal shooting of a black teen by a white police officer has touched off a number of demonstrations -- some peaceful, but many not at all peaceful, with tear gas fired by police officers and gunshots fired by some protester. read more
Turns out someone did.Turns out there's a lot of folks who claim to have been ripped off by this artist.
Turns out someone did.Turns out there's a lot of folks who claim to have been ripped off by this artist.