Cookie Notice

However, this blog is a US service and this site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services and analyze traffic. Your IP address and user-agent are shared with Google along with performance and security metrics to ensure quality of service, generate usage statistics, and to detect and address abuse.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Great Sadness

The obscenity of the violent death of so many little ones in Newtown leaves one gasping for rational explanation. This was comfortable, settled, median suburbia, utterly average. But then Dunblane also would have been the last place one expected this sort of carnage. These rampages seem to be predictable only in their unpredictability; the West is full of angry teen boys who play GTA on their computers, angry failed men such as Thomas Hamilton or Derek Bird. If they haven't got a semi-auto rifle they'll use pistols, or shotguns, or samurai swords or felling axes and billhooks. No matter what security, what precautions, what screening, what control of lethal implements one introduces, the man who has gone beyond reason and whose depth of despair drives him to such evil will always find a way to kill many. And yes, it seems it is just men. 

Is it in some way our fault? I mean the fault of all those of us who cope with what life throws at us, make the best fist of it we can and keep buggering on? Our expectation that everyone else should do the same? To understand that death, divorce and disappointment are more likely companions on the road for most of us than health, wealth and connubial bliss? Or should we just accept that rarely one individual in tens of millions just goes over the edge, can't cope and so resents the rest of us that he'll do mass murder?

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace


Anonymous said...

"And yes, it seems it is just men"

The decline in industry the rise in office work, increased female participation in the labour force leading I propose to the decline of jobs and the comaradarie once associated with such occupations avaliable to men of the 'lower' cohort, has led in part to the increase in the incidence of the'rogue male'.

Time was when a younger less 'stable' man might have been subject to the strictures of his peers, or engagement within the prevailing social circle.

With the loss of heavy industry the opportunity for such social strictures have all but gone. Office work just doesn't cut it.

Anonymous said...

"social strictures have"

.. social structures have ..

Span Ows said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Span Ows said...

I think Anon is partly right; also the lack of wars would play a part in that a large portion of young male population hasn't been culled for a while! The 2nd half of Raedwald's first paragraph is very important, especially with the new cries for gun control (as always,and expected) but evil will always find a way: the worst school killing in US history didn't involve guns.

Tom said...

On the matter of screening...

It's self evident that most of these folk with guns had sparking wires in their heads and those sparking wires had been noted by other people who knew them. I've been told by local shooters that Michael Ryan was refused membership of a local gun club as he was deemed unstable - plod still gave him a licence. There have been questions about others...

No doubt collective punishment is being orchestrated and justification for mass monitoring in it's crudest and most aggressive form is being marshalled. Crisis into opportunity.

The failures to see a nasty problem coming aren't just with our (inept) public servants - the population is guilty too and especially those close to these individuals. A man with known mental health problems or a history of aberrant behaviour with a gun/samurai sword? Yeah, like that's a good idea ...

It does just happen - but in general it certainly isn't without precursors or signs. Trouble is, like that recent survey about helping somebody being assaulted - our society / culture has been skewed away from supporting the reasonable and justified application of force by individual citizens.

A recent incident near me involved a man with a history of mental problems scampering naked along the canal towpath with a very big knife threatening rape and murder. He was subdued and restrained by boaties and the police eventually turned up and took him away - they took away his knife, gave him some clothes and let him go...

It's a rather f****d up world out there.

Anonymous said...

To understand that death, divorce and disappointment are more likely companions on the road for most of us than health, wealth and connubial bliss

This about sums it up. We (all of us) set expectations too high. We have largely lost sight of the simpler things in life like a crackling log fire, or a walk through the woods, or a family Sunday roast. Consumerism and corporatism has driven us like whipped horses ever faster and faster until some of break. And some of us break very badly.

Raedwald, thank you for the prayer at the end. I will join you in it if you don't mind.

Coney Island

Anonymous said...

If this idiot had killed 28 in an old peoples home would, should, we all be less shocked?

The taking of any human life is a tragedy but portends a desperate sickness pervading the western world.

Where, individualism and 'self' are championed above self sacrifice, temperance, empathy and restraint.
Primarily, placing the caring, concern for the thoughts and sensibilities of others above one's own - long ago was lost it in the 'din of the dung' emanating of the modern world.

Secondly human beings have been abased and trivialised, lives trashed and infantilised by the bread and circuses purposefully fed to them.

But there cannot be any excuse, for this, this was an act of the most heinous and purest evil.

The little ones who were killed do not need our prayers, already they have been welcomed.

It is to their parents and siblings and close ones that we should look to and pray for and also for the killer's immortal soul.
That he may come to reflect on and show remorse for evil of these terrible acts and how in perpetrating this abomination, he has stained all of humanity for infinity.

And before many of you start criticizing, think on and reflect yourselves for a moment - contemplative thought and reasoning has long since departed from the 'West'.

And this [blog] in not Twitter.

Anonymous said...


Saltimbamba said...

Manchurian Candidate....

DeeDee99 said...

Death, divorce and disappointment
applies to women, just as much as men. And yet women don't take revenge or take out their anger in this way.

Possibly it is because women tend to have far better (non family) support networks than men. For men, the family often IS their support network, so when something goes wrong they have nothing to fall back on. Recent tragic cases of fathers killing their own children in revenge for a failed marriage seem to bear this out.

For centuries , women were downtrodden; had very few rights; very little power and for the great majority, life was a miserable struggle. Maybe women have lower expectations in the first place.

I realise that someone intent on harming others will find a weapon if a gun isn't at hand. But I can't help asking myself why a teacher, of all people, felt the need to keep several hand guns and an assault rifle and taught her children how to use them. If they guns hand't been so readily available, maybe we would have been talking about one or two deaths - not 28.

G. Tingey said...

Death, divorce and disappointment
applies to women & Canadians & Swiss just as much as to USSAians.
And those other nations have almost as many guns, but the slaughter doesn't happen there, does it?

Something worng is that country, methinks.

BrianSJ said... relates to your point about 'men'.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"...divorce...applies to women, just as much as men. And yet women don't take revenge..."

Oh no, they're far too civilised for that:

etc etc.

Anonymous said...

DeeDee99: "And yet women don't take revenge.. "

No women never resort to physical violence.

40% of domestic violence incidents are initiated by women.

Deedee99: "life was a miserable struggle."

FFS, for centuries life was a miserable struggle for the vast majority of men too.

Deedee99: "Recent tragic cases of fathers killing their own children "

Five minutes with Google, yields quite a few instances of female infanticide.

Anonymous said...

Entered for the record:

Anonymous said...

Since gun control, in any meaningful sense, is not going to occur, the option above is attractive.

Anon 2 said...

Thank you Raedwald; I too will join in the prayer, if I may.

As to the causes of all this ... the world's a mess, and the US tends to do things on a larger scale than others.

On the 'women' thing. Ummm, they used to say that behind every great man there was a great woman. I guess nobody does "great" any more; however, every messed up lad has a mother somewhere in the works, and this one was no exception. She was the one who collected the guns.

So as 'they' also used to say: "Some mothers do 'ave 'em."

Andy said...

Instead of removing the weapons,which isnt possible in a country like the US,why not just arm and train every teacher and staff member?(after proper vetting of course)and have all classroom doors made bulletproof and lockable to make every classroom into a mini fortress?
The Israeli`s have serious armed security in their schools and they never seem to have mad gunmen running amok.