The shooting in Uvalde, Texas is dominating my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Here’s an example:
(Joe Biden has been in the Senate or the White House since 1973. He didn’t do anything about gun laws, common sense or otherwise, during those 49 years, but “we have to do more” today.)
From an older guy in Maskachusetts on Facebook:
Does anyone really need these kinds of guns. I think if you want to shoot these kind of weapons you can only shoot them and keep them at gun ranges. Other than that, no one, other than law enforcement should have these weapons. I am sorry. There is ZERO need for them out in society.
What has been learned about Salvador Ramos and his motivation for killing elementary school kids?
From skimming the news, it sounds as though Mr. Ramos confirms the findings in The Son Also Rises. His grandfather was unsuccessful (“[grandfather] Rolando Reyes also said he has a criminal background and cannot have a weapon in the home.” (ABC)) and Mr. Ramos was on track to be unsuccessful (“The Robb Elementary School shooter went on the deadly rampage after apparently fighting with his grandmother about his failure to graduate from his Texas high school, according to a report.” (New York Post)).
“Salvador Ramos Was Bullied for Stutter, Wearing Black Eyeliner: Friend” (Newsweek):
“He would get bullied hard, like bullied by a lot of people,” Garcia told the Washington Post. “Over social media, over gaming, over everything.”
Could this be the motivation? Plenty of teenagers in the 1970s had access to guns. Bullying in the 1970s was far worse than today and physical violence was common, as it was outside of school as well during the high-crime 1970s. In the junior high school that I attended, kids could get bullied for wearing Sears Toughskins rather than Levi’s blue jeans. I don’t think coming out as transgender or gay would have gone over well. On the other hand, 1970s bullies couldn’t follow the weak members of the herd into their own homes via social media.
What about pills? Kids weren’t medicated back in the 1970s. Psychiatrists today poke at random into a complex system that they don’t understand (the brain). Some of the most commonly prescribed medications may push pill-takers toward violence. See “Precursors to suicidality and violence on antidepressants: systematic review of trials in adult healthy volunteers” (2016): “Antidepressants double the occurrence of events in adult healthy volunteers that can lead to suicide and violence.” But there is no evidence that Salvador Ramos was taking any pills.
What has been learned that could explain this terrible crime? (other than, in a country of 330+ million, there are going to be terrible crimes periodically)
Separately… gun nut readers: How are you going to sweep this episode of gun violence under the rug? If Americans were willing to shut down schools for more than a year and be locked down at home in hopes of slightly reducing the COVID-19-tagged death rate, why aren’t these same folks willing to repeal the 2nd Amendment? (China is the dream society, I think, for about half of Americans. China has zero COVID and no private gun ownership.)
- the worst trauma is suffered by those who cower on the edge of a battle: “Amid criticism of the police response to the gunman’s hourlong rampage, including outrage among frantic parents who said that heavily armed officers stood outside the school restraining them rather than storming the building themselves, Texas officials on Thursday sought to express the difficulty facing community members and law enforcement responders alike. “It is so hard,” said Victor Escalon, regional director for the Texas Department of Public Safety. “We’re hurting inside. We’re hurting inside for the community members. We’re hurting inside for our local partners.” (NYT)