When the United States was young, a person had to be 21 years old to be considered an adult. In order to vote, the person generally would have worked for 8 years (a young man would start work at age 13 and become eligible to vote at 21). This changed in the 1970s, according to Wikipedia: “After the voting age was lowered in 1971 from 21 to 18, the age of majority was lowered to 18 in many states.”
… the objections to polygamy do not come from women, for the average woman is sensible enough to prefer half or a quarter or even a tenth of a first-rate man to the whole devotion of a third-rate man.
Salvador Ramos may not have been able to calculate child support formula profits in all 50 states, but he was probably smart enough to know that a woman would be better off financially as a “single mom” who had sex with an already-married dental hygienist and harvested the child support than choosing to enter into a long-term partnership with a high-school dropout such as himself. Wikipedia says that Ramos’s mom was using drugs and having sex with at least one guy other than Ramos’s father. ABC reported that Ramos’s grandfather was a convicted criminal. Mr. Ramos was thus, at best, the “third-rate man” of Mencken’s example. See “‘Incel’ Texas school shooter Salvador Ramos’ chilling live streams reveal ‘disturbing threats to girls’” (The Sun) for how his interactions with females had gone.
Compared to the early days of the Republic, therefore, we have “adults” with 0-10% of the years in the workforce and a much higher percentage of the males recognize that they’re never going to be selected for mating.
Is it time to recognize that Americans should neither vote nor buy guns until they’ve shown some sort of evidence of adulthood, e.g., working for 8 years? It is tough to know for sure, but maybe after 8 years of W-2 labor Salvador Ramos would have become accustomed to his low status in society and incel-hood.
I’m reluctant to “fight the last war” by proposing a policy change that would have prevented a particular recent tragedy, but I don’t think Salvador Ramos is the last problem 18-year-old this nation will produce (criminality is heritable, for one thing, and the U.S. is packed with criminals).
(I don’t think it would be sufficient to use a simple age threshold, e.g., 21 or 25, because there are plenty of Americans who never take on what used to be considered adult responsibilities, e.g., by working.)
I’m particularly interested in hearing what the gun owners who read this blog have to say!
- Florida requirements to purchase a gun (must be 21; 24 if convicted of a crime while a juvenile)
- “Invoking Uvalde, Trudeau out to freeze handgun sales” (Politico) lays out Canada’s path to a society in which there is no private gun ownership (“assault rifles” banned two years ago; handguns banned this year; everything banned by 2024 if Canadians meekly submit this year?)
- “A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths” (The Atlantic, 2012): “The only guns that Japanese citizens can legally buy and use are shotguns and air rifles, and it’s not easy to do.”