sandy hook elementary school shooting

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As you can hear, Adams voice is very steady and calm most of the time. Zerzan himself even described it as kind of “robotic”, although I think that might me a bit exaggerated. Maybe I cant entirely judge it, because I am not a native speaker.

Well, there is one point in his call, where Adams voice is really different from the rest. If you listen to the record at 2:19- 2:21, you can hear Adam saying “Why did you do that to me, mom?”. Adam is talking about the foster-mother of Travis the Chimp, who- as Travis attacked her friend- stabbed him in the back with a knife.
“And she said that after she stabbed him, he looked at her as if to say ‘Why did you do that to me, mom?’”.
As Adams says this, his voice is shaking, shivering. To me, he almost sounds similar to when a person is trying to hide the fact, that he is about to cry while speaking. Its the only moment, where Adams voice reveals a noticeable emotion and it seems to be sadness.
If you now consider, that Adam killed his own mother before going on a rampage, reportedly had a difficult relationship with her and considered her as irrational, although she seemed to have been the person most close to him during his entire life, it is even more odd. I cant help but asking me, if Adam maybe had a similar question in his mind. Just imagine Adam asking Nancy exactly the same question and in exactly the same tone: “Why did you do that to me, mom?”

Every class was interrupted when at least one student, and usually three or four, had a breakdown after hearing an unfamiliar noise coming from upstairs, or the hallway, or the parking lot, and understandably so. When we first got to the new school, we were unaware that construction work was being done in the classroom above ours. The sound of someone dragging a box across the floor upstairs was enough to send one little boy into a fetal position. He curled up into himself, shaking and sobbing hysterically.
—  Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis describing what it was like for her first-graders returning to class after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in her book, Choosing Hope.
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We know the basic fact, that Adam Lanza was interested in Ted Kaczynski by his own statement: “I’m normally not interested in non-Kaczynski bombers”.

If we look at occasions where Adam revealed his world-view we indeed see many similarities between his philosophy and those of Ted Kaczynski. We do not know, if Adam adopted these views because he was influenced by Kaczynski or if his attraction to Kaczynski was born out of his world-view. I think a mixture of both might be most likely.

Adam repeatedly mentioned that he believed socialisation and modern society in general to be the root cause of mental illnesses, especially depression:

 

 “What is “chemical imbalance” even supposed to mean? Why don’t hunter-gatherers need

antidepressants? I swear, a psychiatrist could take a perfectly fine chimpanzee away from

its jungle, confine it in captivity, and when the chimp gets depressed, they would say,

“This chimpanzee has a chemical imbalance. What? A correlation between enculturation

and depression? But culture brings us meaning and beauty. Get out of my way, cavemanwannabe. I need to prescribe this chimp some Xanax”.”
(Adam Lanza in a post on the Shocked Beyond Belief Forum)

 

Ted Kaczynski also stated this several times and based it on his theory of Power Process, which indicates that modern civilisation lacks several of the most important requirements that humans need to have a purposeful life, which causes severe psychological problems in modern society. The theory is too complex, to lay it out in detail here. However, Kaczynski combined this theory with those of “learned helplessness” and I think his explanations towards this theory are a very good summary of his opinion towards a link between modern civilisation and depression:

 

 „Take an animal, subject it repeatedly to a painful stimulus, and each time block its efforts to escape from the stimulus. The animal becomes frustrated. Repeat the process enough times, and the state of frustration gives way to one of depression. The animal just gives up. The animal has now acquired “learned helplnessness”. If, at a later time, you subject the animal to the same painful stimulus, it will not try to escape from the stimulus even if it could easily do so. (…) An animal can be partly “immunized” to learned helplessness: If an animal is given prior experience in overcoming obstacles through effort, it will be much more resistant to learned helplessness (hence also to depression) than an animal that has not had such experience. For example, if caged pigeons are able to get food only by pushing a lever on an apparatus that gives them one grain of wheat or the like for each push of the lever, then they will later acquire learned helplessness much less easily than pigeons that have not had to work for their food. (…) the theory of learned helplessness squares very neatly with my own personal experience and my impressions of human nature gained from observation of others. The need for purposeful, successful effort implies a need for competence, or a need to be able to exercise control, because one’s goals can’t be attained if one does not have the competence, or the power to exercise control, that is necessary to reach the goals.”
(Ted Kaczynski in a letter to David Skrbina)

 

Adam mentioned, that people in so-called “primitive” societies don’t have the same psychological problems, that are found in modern people:

“(…) but that’s even more of an indication why they should be needing antidepressants, not the opposite. And yet somehow, it’s we domesticated humans that need antidepressants while hunter-gatherers are the happy ones.“

(Adam Lanza in a post on the Shocked Beyond Belief Forum)

Although Ted Kaczynski admits, that there is little information about the psychological status of Hunter-Gatherer societies, he still can provide us with many examples that indicate, that life in primitive societies may have caused a lot less psychological stress than life in modern society. I think the most powerful might be this:

 

“Robert Wright, without citing his source, states that “when a Western anthropologist tried to study depression among the Kaluli of New Guinea, he couldn’t find any.””

(Ted Kaczynski in a letter to David Skrbina)

 

In his phone call to John Zerzan, Adam described socialisation (in form of child raising) as a form of unnatural cruelty:

 

“Civilization isn’t something which just happens to gently exist without us having

to do anything, because every newborn child — human child — is born in a chimp-like state,

and civilization is only sustained by conditioning them for years on end so that they’ll accept

it for what it is. And since we’ve gone through this conditioning, we can observe a human

family raising a human child, and I’m sure that even you have trouble intuitively seeing it

as something unnatural, but when we see a chimp in that position, we [visually?] know that

there’s something profoundly wrong with the situation.“
(Adam Lanza in his phone call to AnarchyRadio)

Although I am not aware of any remarks from Ted Kaczynski about child raising, he also wrote about autonomy as a important part of the Power Process and the fact that modern society nearly causes autonomy to cease to exist. He also conceptualized the issue of oversocialization:

 

“Oversocialization can lead to low self-esteem, a sense of

   powerlessness, defeatism, guilt, etc. One of the most important means

   by which our society socializes children is by making them feel

   ashamed of behavior or speech that is contrary to society’s

   expectations. If this is overdone, or if a particular child is

   especially susceptible to such feelings, he ends by feeling ashamed of

   HIMSELF. Moreover the thought and the behavior of the oversocialized

   person are more restricted by society’s expectations than are those of

   the lightly socialized person. The majority of people engage in a

   significant amount of naughty behavior. They lie, they commit petty

   thefts, they break traffic laws, they goof off at work, they hate

   someone, they say spiteful things or they use some underhanded trick

   to get ahead of the other guy. The oversocialized person cannot do

   these things, or if he does do them he generates in himself a sense of

   shame and self-hatred. The oversocialized person cannot even

   experience, without guilt, thoughts or feelings that are contrary to

   the accepted morality; he cannot think “unclean” thoughts. And

   socialization is not just a matter of morality; we are socialized to

   confirm to many norms of behavior that do not fall under the heading

   of morality. Thus the oversocialized person is kept on a psychological

   leash and spends his life running on rails that society has laid down

   for him. In many oversocialized people this results in a sense of

   constraint and powerlessness that can be a severe hardship. We suggest

   that oversocialization is among the more serious cruelties that human

   beings inflict on one another.”

(Ted Kaczynski in his Manifesto “Industrial Society and its Future)

 

When Adam asked why people in Hunter Gatherer societies do not need antidepressants, another User answered with: “Because they died at twenty-five.”

Adam replied with: “Only if you factor in infant mortality”. Although I can’t find the part at this moment (I might add it later) I am 100% sure, that Ted Kaczynski once used exactly the same argument. He even calculated what the usual life expectancy of people in primitive societies was, if child mortality is included and came to a much higher result.

 

Adam did not only talked about modern society as causing psychological problems, but also violence:


“(…) And when his owner’s — owner’s friend arrived, he knew that she was trying to coax

him back into his life of domestication, and he couldn’t handle that, so — he attacked her, and

anyone else who approached them. And dismissing his attack as simply being the senseless

violence and impulsiveness of a chimp, instead of a human, is wishful thinking at best. His attack can be seen entirely parallel to the attacks and random acts of violence

that you bring up on your show every week- committed by humans, which the mainstream also has no explanation for, and…actual humans — I just don’t think it would be such a stretch to say that he very well could have been a teenage mall shooter or something like that.”

(Adam Lanza in his phone call to AnarchyRadio)

 

Although I didn’t find anything written by Ted Kaczynski about modern civilisation causing violence per se, he always saw his own violent acts as being a response to modern civilisation. In an interview, he once talked about the point, where he started to consider violence:

 

“The best place, to me, was the largest remnant of this plateau that dates from the tertiary age. It’s kind of rolling country, not flat, and when you get to the edge of it you find these ravines that cut very steeply in to cliff-like drop-offs and there was even a waterfall there. It was about a two days hike from my cabin. That was the best spot until the summer of 1983. That summer there were too many people around my cabin so I decided I needed some peace. I went back to the plateau and when I got there I found they had put a road right through the middle of it. You just can’t imagine how upset I was. It was from that point on I decided that, rather than trying to acquire further wilderness skills, I would work on getting back at the system. Revenge. That wasn’t the first time I ever did any monkeywrenching, but at that point, that sort of thing became a priority for me… I made a conscious effort to read things that were relevant to social issues, specifically the technological problem. For one thing, my concern was to understand how societies change, and for that purpose I read anthropology, history, a little bit of sociology and psychology, but mostly anthropology and history.“

(Ted Kaczynski in an Interview with Earth First! Journal)

 

Another remarkable point is, that Adam choose the Radio show of John Zerzan for his call and described himself towards Zerzan as “a fan of your writing”. It is well known, that John Zerzan did several visits to Ted Kaczynski in prison and also wrote letters to him. I am not sure, what their personal relationship is. The press quickly jumped to the conclusion, that Zerzan and Kaczynski are friends. However, in his article “The truth about primitive life: A critique of Anarcho-primitivism”, Kaczynski criticizes Zerzan for having left-wing-“politically correctness” influences in his interpretation of primitive societies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Mother Of One of The Sandy Hook Shooting Victims Has Released A Powerful Tribute Video For The One-Year Anniversary of the Tragedy

The mother of Emilie Parker, a six-year-old who lost her life in the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, created this powerful tribute video to honor their daughter and showcase the outpouring of support they received this past year.

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Among Adam Lanzas favourite movies are some, which have noteworthy similarities with Adams life and/or mindset.

For example, the movie “Lets Scare Jessica to Death” was filmed in rural Connecticut and a large portion of the movie takes place in beautiful nature scenes. Adam did not only live in rural Connecticut, he also had an intense love for nature and loved to hike with his father from his early childhood on. However, in the last two years of his life he stopped doing anything with his father and almost never left his house. He still told the people, he met at the theatre where he played DDR, that he loved nature and hiking.
It is also interesting, that the house in “Lets Scare Jessica to Death”, where the main part of the movie takes places, looks quite similar to the Lanza house, not in details but in the overall New England look.

In general, it seems obvious that Adam had a love for older movies, especially 70s Horror Movies (the newest movie on his favourite list is from 1993). A lot of his favourites (I did not see all the movies from his list, yet) are very slow, quiet movies which do no put the focus on the storyline, but on creating a melancholic, often kind of surreal atmosphere. It could be seen as surprising that someone who was diagnosed with Asperger and therefore would be expected to focus on clear, precise messages favoured movies which were anything but that. Instead, most of these movies were hazy and mystic.

Anyway, lets take the focus on a movie which I might consider to be the most interesting of his list: Pin from 1988. The movie is about a family with the father being a doctor. This doctor has an anatomy puppet which is capable of speaking (many of the information available online interprets it that the father is doing ventriloquism and the children therefore believe that the puppet lives. In the movie itself there is only subtle indication that points toward this interpretation). The Puppet (called Pin) is almost treated like a family member by the children. Especially the boy Leon appears to have some kind of affection for him. One day, the children get caught with a pornographic magazine and sent to Pin. The Puppet then teaches them about sexual feelings and needs. As the lecture is done, the puppet asks Leon to “take the towel off my lap”. As Leon refuses to do, the girl takes that part.
I can’t help but to remember the Essay found on Adams computer, declaring a doctor touching a child as rape. Maybe, this scene in the movie makes us feel exactly how Adam perceived his contact with doctors as a child: as strange, surreal and sexual disturbing.
And another scene in the movie seems noteworthy: after having this odd encounter with Pin, the two children talk about sex. While Leon seems disturbed by what just happened, the girl Ursula is fascinated by the subject, imagines their parents sexual practises and states: “Can’t wait until I’m old enough. Think I’m really gonna like it!” The scene just appears somewhat….paedophile to me which would fit Adams (alleged but presumably) sexual orientation.

AMAZING first grade teacher Kaitlin Riog protected her students after hearing gunfire inside her school in Newtown, according to WABC:

“She closed and locked her door and took her students into the bathroom, which is located inside the classroom. She then had them stand on the toilet and dispenser, locked them in and pulled a tall storage unit in front to block the door.
"I felt that, in the time, I tried to be very strong for my children,” she said. “I said anyone who believed in the power in the prayer, we need to pray. And those who don’t believe in prayer, think happy thoughts…I told the kids I love them and I was so happy they were my students…I didn’t think we were going to live.”
Finally, she says there was knocking from people who claimed to be police. She didn’t believe them and had them put their badges underneath the door. Still unsure, she told them that if they were cops, they could get key, which they did. The officers then hel

ped the kids out and took them to the staging area at a nearby fire department.

“‘I just want Christmas,’” she says her students told her. “'I don’t want to die, I just want to have Christmas.’ I said, you’re going to have Christmas and Hanukkah. I tried to be positive.”
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WATCH: Gun Control Group's Devastating Newtown Ad

The gun control group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America has released a searing new commercial, timed to the one-year anniversary of the Newtown school shooting on Dec. 14, that pleads with its viewers to speak out against gun violence. The ad shows a ticking clock and images of children in a classroom, and a presumed shooter entering a school building.

The gun control group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America has released a searing new commercial, timed to the one-year anniversary of the Newtown school shooting on Dec. 14, that pleads with its viewers to speak out against gun violence.

The ad shows a ticking clock and images of children in a classroom, and a presumed shooter entering a school building. A voice intones, “On December 14th, we’ll have a moment of silence for Newtown. But with 26 more school shootings since that day, ask yourself – is silence what America needs right now?”

The commercial is part of an effort by Moms Demand Action to draw attention to gun reform as the country stops to mourn Newtown’s victims. A press release spells out the organization’s mission:

Moms Demand Action will mark the one-year anniversary of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, with No More Silence, a campaign to honor the lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary, and to show our resolve never to be silent again about the epidemic of gun violence.

Join us. Participate in our week of action, create a paper bell craft, and mark the day of the anniversary with dozens of “No More Silence” events all across the country. At each of these events, we will ring bells to remember victims of gun violence, and to demonstrate our commitment to be vocal and persistent in working toward common-sense gun reform.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a nonprofit originally called One Million Moms for Gun Control, was founded by Shannon Watts, a former communications executive (and also a HuffPost blogger), in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings.

Since the Newtown massacre, support for federal gun legislation has stalled, but several states have passed stricter gun control laws.

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A former member of SCMRPG Forum/ Shocked Beyond Belief talks about his contact with Adam Lanza.

The Unbearable Invisibility of White Masculinity: Innocence In The Age of White Male Mass Shooters

I have been profiled my entire life as innocent. When disruptive in class, I was told that I was eccentric, that I needed to work on my focus. Growing up, I looked for fights and conflicts yet I never fit the profile of a juvenile delinquent. The chip on my shoulder never signified a thug; I was just a kid with a bad temper who needed to mature and grow out of it.

When I was pulled over in Emeryville, CA for speeding for several miles and asked multiple times by the police officer if there was a reason for my speeding, I told him the truth. “Officer, my ice cream is melting.”

No stop and frisk. No pretext stop. No humiliating search. No fear of how to hold my hands. No ticket. I, like Adam Lanza and James Holmes, the two most notorious mass shooters of the past year, am white male privilege personified. We are humanized and given voice and innocence over and over again.

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The most recent shooting in Newtown highlights whiteness and the ways it has been rendered invisible after every mass shooting. Described as a “nerd,” who “still wears a pocket protector,” Adam Lanza has been reimagined as a character straight out of The Revenge of the Nerds series and not a cold-blood killer. He carried a brief case, not a gun; he read The Catcher in the Rye and Of Mice and Men, not Guns and Ammo; he wore button down polos, not fatigues. His life was not extraordinary but was that of an average kid. From the reading list to the sartorial choices we have been sold a Normal Rockwell painting. The Associated Press painted a picture of Adam that imaged him as a character ripped out of a Brady Bunch script: “He was an honors student who lived in a prosperous neighborhood with his mother, a well-liked woman who enjoyed hosting dice games and decorating the house for the holidays.”

While identified as “reclusive,” and “shy,” as “quiet and reserved,” as “weird” and a “loner” outcast, Lanza has been consistently described as an average kid who had problems and difficulties. At worst, he was odd and painfully shy. “He didn’t have any friends, but he was a nice kid if you got to know him,” said Kyle Kromberg. “He didn’t fit in with the other kids. He was very, very shy.” Yet, the constant quest to figure out what caused him to snap, to speculate about the effects of his parents’ divorce or medications, all refashions Lanza as a good kid, a victim of sorts. He just snapped so there must have been a reason. Yes, he was strange, but do good (white, suburban, upper-middle class) kids shoot up an elementary school? Thus, reports the New York Post: “Bloodthirsty child killer Adam Lanza might have snapped, and carried out his unspeakable atrocities after learning that his mom wanted him thrown in the loony bin, according to published reports today.”

The narrative following Adam Lanza and Newtown might as well recycled the media coverage surrounding James Holmes and the Aurora, Colorado shooting. Described as “smart” and quiet, as “nice,” and “easy-going,” the narrative sought to not only humanize James Holmes, but also imagine him as good at his core. It worked to tell a story of a normal kid, whose life turned toward evil for some yet-to-be-explained reason.

Sympathetic and identifiable, Holmes was depicted as Beaver Cleaver for most of his life. Anthony Mai, a longtime family friend, told the Los Angeles Times: “I saw him as a normal guy, an everyday guy, doing everyday things.” Like many others in the community, he is “very shy, well-mannered young man who was heavily involved in their local Presbyterian church.” The AP similarly depicted Holmes as a cross between Norman Rockwell, Jason, and Opie. Mind you the extent of its evidence comes from someone who had a beer with him at a local bar. “We just talked about football. He had a backpack and geeky glasses and seemed like a real intelligent guy and I figured he was one of the college students.” Can you imagine having your identity reduced to a single meeting at a bar? Sure, he was quirky, and a bit of a “loner” but he was a “reserved” and “respectful” “kid.”

Because these are told as stories of individuals with specific reasons for killing others, there is no reason to talk about race, class, or gender; there is no reason to talk about society, nor is there any reason to think that Aurora, Newtown, or Columbine are becoming Chicago or Detroit.

“Stuff like this does not happen in Newtown,” Renee Burn reminded America. Stephen Delgiadice shared a similar level of shock: “It’s alarming, especially in Newtown, Connecticut, which we always thought was the safest place in America.” Reflecting a level of acceptance of violence elsewhere, bloodshed in their own white and middle-class neighborhoods, call into question the utopic fantasy promulgated by many in white suburbia. “We thought it was safe here,” reflected Mike Hajzer. “But it’s not so true. It’s as if nowhere is safe.”

Adam Lanza killed 26 people; he destroyed the lives of many, but he also put in jeopardy the dreams and fallacies that led many to the suburbs.

Adam Lanza killed 26 people; he destroyed the lives of many, but he also put in jeopardy the dreams and fallacies that led many to the suburbs. He put the allure and meaning of whiteness in jeopardy. “Is there anything more innocent than a child eating popcorn and sipping Coke with the lights of a movie screen reflecting off his face?” wrote Bert Weissafter the shooting in Aurora. “Is there any place I can feel my children are totally safe? Rather than being excited to share this movie together, now I’ll spend a considerable amount of time addressing what happened in that theater with my sons. Frankly, I wish someone could explain it to me. As a parent, I wish I could postpone the reality of conversations like this for just a little longer; keep my kids innocent for as long as possible.”

Ian Landau further captures this sense of innocence lost that pervades the media coverage in the aftermath of shootings in Aurora. He laments the lost sense of security, community, and the reason to live in places like Aurora and Newtown. “Traditionally in America movie theaters are a safe, family environment where everybody goes and settles down into the dark,” notes New York Psychiatrist Alan Manevitz. “You can watch a scary movie because you know you’re safe in the movie theater and can enjoy the experience. The Aurora shooting has suddenly turned that upside down. That presumption of safety gets shattered and you feel the vulnerability at that moment.”

The “it’s suppose to happen” in inner-city communities reframe is not surprising. Places like Columbine, Aurora, and Newtown exist because of the fear-industrial complex. The white middle-class flocked from cities into the suburbs and rural communities partially due to fear of black and Latino youth, integrated schools, and urban crime. The continuously deployed the narrative of “it’s not suppose to happen in Newtown” and their neighborhoods mirroring “American family’s dream” embodies this entrenched belief. The efforts to imagine Holmes and Lanza as good kids turned evil, to scour the earth for reasons and potential solutions, works to preserve the illusion of safety, the allure of white suburbia, and the power of whiteness.

In imagining the killers as good kids who did a bad thing, who snapped because of a divorce, because of too much medication, because of inadequate mental health treatment, because of too much mental health care, because of guns, and because of who knows what, white manhood — the visible link that binds together so many of these shootings –always gets erased.

“Do you also think it’s odd that white men commit the overwhelming majority of mass murders,” wondered Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Senior Director of Advocacy for the Women’s Sports Foundation, “but that people don’t identify that as a causal factor? Instead we talk about mental illness and gun control. If it were Asian women or Jewish men or elderly African-American, it would be topic number one. But not white men.” In fact, the media response to mass shootings often reimagines white men as victims.

The national spectacle and the hyper focus on Newtown and Aurora especially in comparison to the scant coverage afforded to murders in Chicago or drone deaths in South Waziristan points to the value of whiteness. School shootings and other mass killings matter when there are white victims. Whiteness is thus reimagined as under attack. White suburban kids, white suburban families, white suburban communities and even white shooters are the victims—victims of Hollywood, victims of gun laws that don’t allow them to protect themselves in every context, victims of removal of prayer from public schools, and victims of soiling culture.

The consequences are clear in Newtown and Aurora, yet these are not the only victims. The killers themselves are reconstituted as victims. Arguing that, “maleness and whiteness are commodities in decline” and that “things are looking up” for women and people of color, Christy Wampole concludes that the Sandy Hook shooting was the consequences of the waning privileges afforded to white males:

Because resources are limited, gains for women and minorities necessarily equal losses for white males… . Can you imagine being in the shoes of the one who feels his power slipping away? Who can find nothing stable to believe in? Who feels himself becoming unnecessary? That powerlessness and fear ties a dark knot in his stomach. As this knot thickens, a centripetal hatred moves inward toward the self as a centrifugal hatred is cast outward at others: his parents, his girlfriend, his boss, his classmates, society, life.

While embodying “White delusional disorder,” and seemingly arguing that resistance to patriarchy, white supremacy, and homophobia has produced a generation of angry white males ready to shoot, Wampole yet again imagines whiteness as the default victim.

We use moments of tragedy to reassert the value in whiteness and the importance in protecting white bodies.

According to Danny Hoey, Assistant Professor of English at Indian River State College, the insatiable quest for explanation as to why the ubiquitous industry committed to uncovering motives, reasons and mitigating factors leads us to a clear conclusion: white men are victims and they are under attack: “So, naturally, we are supposed to forgive white males who commit mass murder because they feel as if they have lost their privilege? White America constructs victim narratives around itself to explain and rationalize its own failures.” The kids who died in Newtown, and in other schools are victims, but the threat to them, to society, wasn’t Adam Lanza or James Holmes.

Yet, we look elsewhere. We look for excuses and make moves to reposition whiteness as victim needing protection. We use moments of tragedy to reassert the value in whiteness and the importance in protecting white bodies. We work to ‘blame’ something or someone other than Mr. Holmes, Mr. Lanza, Mr. Klebold, and countless others? With a narrative about” good kids” in hand and an insatiable need to ask, “Why?” and “How could he have done such a thing?” we continually imagine violence, barbarism, and terror elsewhere. White Americans like to think of this kind of violence as an anathema to who we are as a country and as a culture and are reluctant to think that someone like those all American kids, like our kids, like us, could be mass murdering monsters living in our midst. In reality, this kind of violence is in many ways a part of our violent history and culture. We have to accept that there is a “typical” face of mass murder in the United States - it is not the black kid killing people in gang shootings, the Mexican cartel member, or the “Muslim terrorist.” It can be, often is, will probably remain the innocent, white, suburban boy next door.

I was the boy next door, schooled in America’s pedagogy of racial stereotypes, fear, and racism. Dropping off my friend in East Los Angeles, or visiting another friend in Gardena, CA often resulted in family members and white friends telling me “to be safe.” I recall one instance where I dropped my friend off, only to ask him to watch me to drive off to make sure I was safe. I wanted him to make sure that I was safe. Privilege, stereotypes and irrational fear were on full display. I fear, I profiled, and I lived within America’s racial logic. Yet, the danger to white America, to the nation, then and now, was not the black or Latino gangster, or the Muslim terrorist, but the white man who is capable of unimaginable death and destruction, the white man, who we will go to all lengths to embrace as our own, who we will continually aid and abet with innocence.

David J. Leonard is associate professor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman. He is the author of “Screens Fade to Black: Contemporary African American Cinema” and “After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on Blackness (SUNY Press).”

This piece includes parts of a previously published piece from The Grio and builds on work that appeared on Huffington Post.

This was a letter from a kid who thought he might loose his life at the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. No kid should ever have to experience this, it truly breaks my heart. Please can everyone take a moment if silence for the 20 lost souls of kids that passed away and to the other 8 adults who suffered along with them. My condolences to the families who are suffering, no words can easy their pain :(

RIP to everyone who passed away🙏

anonymous asked:

so, i've often wondered what music Adam liked besides the Beatles possibly and Japanese techno, lol. the sandy hook lighthouse blog discovered that there's a bunch of Flogging Molly CD's in Adam's closet in the crime scene photos. Also a band called The Dickies. Definitely not my type of music but interesting nonetheless //colgam01

I really did not expect Adam to listen to Punk, honestly. Seems so….lighthearted for him. Also, where did you hear of the Beatles?
Fuckcomments commented one “Angel of Death”-Video of Slayer if I remember correctly (something to the effect of “real psychotics listen to metal without looking like it” or so). 
But Im also curious about the Japanese techno. The only japanese electronic project I listen to is N-qia and I actually dont know any other. He seemed to bit of a weeabo as well, huh? Makes me also curious about his taste in Animes.

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Very thoroughly debunking the Sandy Hook Conspiracy.

Newtown Anniversary: Daily Drumbeat Of Child Homicides Gets Little Notice, With 170 Children Under The Age of 12 Dying From Gun Homicide In America Since The Sandy Hook Shooting

ABOVE: Just in the year since the Newtown school shooting, at least 173 children under age 12 have died from gunshots in the U.S., according to original reporting and research by NBC News. Click on the photo for a timeline of the 173 deaths. From left to right, from top: Alton and Ashton Perry, Leonard J. Smith Jr., Aaron Vu; Middle: Trashawn Jaylen Macklin, Tiana Ricks, Mia Lopez; Bottom: Antonio Santiago, Jaidon Dixon, Madison Dolford. 

To mourn the 20 children and six educators killed a year ago at Sandy Hook elementary, residents of the Connecticut suburb of Newtown will take a quiet action on Saturday: placing candles in windows to remember the lives lost.

But who will put a candle in the window for the hundreds of American children each year killed in everyday violence, closer to home, usually by someone they knew?

The nightmare gripped parents across the nation after the pop-pop-pop of gunfire on a crisp December morning: a stranger in a school with guns. Although mass killings are watersheds in the American consciousness, it’s easy to forget that more than 900 children in the U.S. die in homicides each year. And most of them perish at the hands of a relative, according to an NBC News analysis of 25 years of homicide reports submitted by police to the FBI. Only seven of every 100 child homicides are committed by strangers. See the patterns in child homicides.

“The high profile tragedies that glue us to the TV screen are a very small part of the overall problem, and they’re not representative of it,” said Garen Wintemute, a professor of emergency medicine and director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the UC Davis School of Medicine. “If you take Sandy Hook and the Oak Creek Sikh temple shooting and Aurora and Virginia Tech and Columbine, 95 people were killed in those shootings. And each of those deaths is horrific. But we lose on average 88 people per day to firearm violence.”

As part of its coverage of the Newtown anniversary, NBC News examined the broader patterns in homicides of children and spoke with researchers about the changes that could save young lives.

Too young to die: an msnbc.com special report

Just since Newtown, at least 173 children under 12 have died from gunshots in the U.S., according to original reporting and research by NBC News. Explore a timeline of their deaths with details on each case: The US children shot to death since the Sandy Hook massacre.

The people of Newtown have decided against having a public memorial service on the Dec. 14 anniversary, but have asked residents to put a candle in the window to show their commitment to a year of public service, kindness and compassion. Families of victims have a new website, My Sandy Hook Family, for remembrances of those lost in the shooting at the neighborhood elementary school.

The patterns in homicides of children
NBC News took a fresh look at killings of children, using detailed homicide reports submitted to the FBI by police departments across the nation from 1987 through 2011, the most recent available. The FBI records, for all ages, include 549,020 incidents with 574,774 victims. NBC focused on the homicides of 17,650 victims under age 12.

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Scott Olson / Getty Images file

Guns, homicide and America’s children: Explore 24 years of FBI data on victims, killers, circumstances and weapons. Click on the photo to open.

Four patterns emerge:

  • Few of the killers are strangers. Family members account for 51 percent of the killers. Other people known to the victim account for another 28 percent. Strangers are only 7 percent. And 13 percent of cases, the relationship status couldn’t be determined.
  • Few killings of children happen during “street crime” or “gang violence.” Arguments and home violence are far more deadly for children than getting caught up in a crime unfolding. Police reported only 13 percent of the homicides as happening during commission of another felony.
  • Guns are used in about one in four homicides of children under 12. Guns are not the No. 1 weapon in homicides of younger children. Why? Because so many of the children killed are very young. Babies rarely get shot, but they do get strangled or shaken, so the most often used “weapon” is hands or feet, at 34 percent. Next are guns, at 23 percent. The picture changes rapidly as one moves up the age range — older children can fight back or run away. By the time children are 3, the most common weapon in homicides is a gun. For all age groups, including adults, guns are used in 66 percent of homicides.
  • Most of the guns that kill children are handguns, which are far more commonly used than all other types of guns combined. The same pattern holds for adult victims.

Explore details of the homicide data, with state-by-state breakouts of age, sex, race and other characteristics: What 25 years of FBI data show about child homicides. See the box below, “About the data,” for details on the analysis.

Putting school shootings in perspective
America’s schools and streets are safer than Americans know.

An average of 23 youths per year were the victims of homicides at elementary or secondary schools or on the way to a school event, from 1992 to 2011, according to the most complete federal study, by the U.S. Department of Education and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. And those deaths include all kinds of homicides — drug deals gone bad, fights over a girl — in a nation with 130,000 schools and more than 50 million students in grades K-12.

School violence is decreasing, just as the general crime rate has decreased steadily over the past 20 years. With the focus by the news media and public on crime, particularly gun crimes, the public is largely unaware that the gun homicide rate is down 49 percent from its peak in 1993. Most of the public believes incorrectly that gun crime is higher than two decades ago, according to a study from the Pew Research Center.

Every spike in homicides grabs public attention, but the general decline is little noticed, as few news stories reflect more than a single month or year. Consider Chicago, which is often cited by gun-rights activists as proof that gun-control laws do not work, because of its strict law and its spike in homicides in 2012. Did you know that this year Chicago is on track for its fewest homicides since 1965, continuing the general trend of fewer homicides in that city? The number of homicides in Chicago was consistently above 800 a year in the early 1990s, but has steadily dropped to below 500 recently, according to the Chicago Police Department.

Still, no one is arguing that the number of deaths is low enough. A child aged 5 through 14 in America is about 13 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than children in Japan, Italy or other industrial countries, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. (Watch the Harvard forum on gun violence.)

Ways to bring down gun violence
Is it possible to bring down the number of homicides of children without talking about guns?

From a gun-rights perspective, the National Rifle Association argues that guns make America safer, that the crime rate and the murder rate have been dropping — precisely because more people own guns and more states permit the carrying of concealed weapons.

“When the wolves can’t distinguish the lions from the lambs, the whole flock is safer,” wrote Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of the NRA.

From a public health perspective, the American Psychological Association released a report Thursday on preventing gun violence, calling for actions based on scientific evidence, not politics.

“The prevention of gun violence might include efforts focused on guns — because guns are such a powerful tool for violence — but should also include other strategies such as conflict resolution programs and improved mental health services,” the APA urged. “Measures to keep prohibited persons from accessing firearms, such as licensing handgun purchases, background checks for all gun sales and close oversight of gun retailers can reduce the diversion of guns to criminals.”

Emergency physician Wintemute argues that the first step to protecting children is to shed the assumption that homicides are inevitable, that America has a uniquely high share of wolves. If one ranks the 36 developed nations on the rates of violent assault, he says, America is third from the bottom, relatively safe.

“What makes us unique is not our violence rate but our homicide rate,” Wintemute said. “We add firearms to the mix.”

Wintemute said research on homicides with guns supports the following suggestions for parents and policy makers:

  • “Don’t bring a gun into the home. It’s counterproductive, increases your risk, to have a gun at home.”
  • “If you have a gun, and you’re going to keep it, store it safely. Store it locked up. Better yet, locked up and unloaded.”
  • “Keep high-risk adults from having access to firearms,” particularly those with a history of violence or crimes involving alcohol abuse, which is closely associated with homicide.
  • Teach kids, especially in high-risk populations, alternatives to violence for solving problems.

Not only homicides, but also suicides and accidental deaths, could be reduced by such steps. Suicides by gun are twice as common as gun homicides, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. Most suicide attempts with a gun are successful, while most suicide attempts by other means are not, according to a Harvard School of Public Health study. In 2010, the latest year with final statistics, the CDC counted 19,392 suicides using guns, 11,078 homicides with guns, 606 accidental gun deaths and 252 gun deaths with undetermined cause. These figures don’t count the 31,672 injuries with firearms.

Each of these recommendations provokes a Second Amendment rebuttal. Wintemute found in a survey, for example, that a majority of gun sellers support tougher background checks and bans on purchases by people with histories of violence, mental illness or alcoholism-related crimes. That study, however, was opposed by the NRA, which sent out an email discouraging its members from participating. Wintemute received a copy of the email, because he’s an NRA member.

A group of parents of Sandy Hook victims has tried to make its voice heard in this debate. They formed a group called Sandy Hook Promise, which is focusing on breakthroughs in research and new technologies, such as smart guns, which render a gun useless to anyone other than the owner or authorized user.

The NRA says it doesn’t oppose such technology — so long as governments don’t require its use. “NRA does not oppose new technological developments in firearms,” the NRA’s lobbying group said in a recent news release. “However, we are opposed to government mandates that require the use of expensive, unreliable features, such as grips that would read your fingerprints before the gun will fire. And NRA recognizes that the ‘smart guns’ issue clearly has the potential to mesh with the anti-gunner’s agenda, opening the door to a ban on all guns that do not possess the government-required technology.”

Optimism or pessimism for action?
Gun-control advocates have expressed their disillusionment with the inability of the Obama administration to get Congressional backing for changes such as background checks and limits on high-capacity magazines.

But Wintemute , who has researched gun violence for 30 years, said he is more optimistic.

“Washington is not the only place that change can happen,” he said. “Change can happen in the home, in a doctor’s office, in a state legislature. Lots of people are talking. There are an array of organizations committed to making change happen, and that’s never happened before.”

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