Banging Your Head Against a Wall

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It is said
that insanity is defined as repeating the same failure over and
over again. Like banging your head against a wall to cure a headache
because some "expert" recommended it…and then continuing
on and on and on, not realising that the remedy may contribute to
the problem.

We now have
the results of a report of a panel convened by The Commonwealth
of Virginia Governor Tim Kaine on the shooting at Virginia Polytechnic
Institute (VPI). And BEHOLD!!! More of the same nonsense that created
the atmosphere that directly contributed to the massacre. It blamed
all the usual suspects for doing exactly what we expected them (not)
to do.

It blamed the
University for not letting people know of the earlier shooting where
two people were killed. It blamed the Virginia Tech Police Department
(VTPD) for incompetence in following the wrong leads. It blamed
the cops for not notifying the university of the mental health of
the gunman. The report said: "No one knew all the information
and no one connected the dots." It blamed, "….various
and complicated laws concerning sharing of information." And
"The system failed for lack of resources, incorrect interpretation
of privacy laws and passivity." In short, privacy laws are
too lax and need to be more rigorously enforced and federalized.

According to
the Reuters Wire Service story, "It recommended the state's
law be changed to clearly require information on persons such as
Cho — who had been ordered into out-patient treatment but not committed
to an institution — be entered into a federal database for background
checks on would be gun purchasers." So the answer, according
to predictable officialdom, is to involve an ever-widening circle
of unrelated, uninvolved bureaucrats, including the Federal Government.
Talk about banging your head!

talks about is involving the people at the actual scene — people
who are actually there and in danger and have the most at stake.

Peggy Noonan
of the Wall Street Journal came close. She asked, "Where are
the grownups?" That question hits it right on the head… dead
on. Unfortunately Miss Noonan, answers it with the usual bromides,
to wit; "Common sense says someone should have stepped in like
an adult, like a person in authority, and take him away." There
is the flaw, "…like a person in authority…."
Yes, an adult should have stepped in, but not some pencil-pushing
bureaucrat. Miss Noonan asks where the grownups were, but the real
question is, where were the men? I mean the men in the classroom.
I mean men who defend themselves. In all of this hand wringing on
TV, they refer to college students like they were helpless children.

Right after
the VPI shootings I was with family for Easter, and we were talking
about this. My father related an e-mail he got from his brother
who went to VPI after World War Two on the G.I. Bill. My uncle served
in the Pacific as a naval aviation officer. He asked where the men
were. My father agreed. There is one shooter and a whole classroom
of victims. Why not rush the guy with desks, or throw books at the
guy and disorient him, and disarm him. That's the question my father
and uncle asked.

Imagine if
this incident had happened in the late 1940's or early 1950's with
classrooms peopled by returning vets – guys who had seen really hairy
combat. First of all, in those days it was quite common for students
to have guns in their dorm. There is good hunting in Virginia, and
students into the outdoors would have had a gun in their closet.
VPI's roots were as a military school, and there was campus drilling,
and organized rifle practice. Many of the returning vets had army
issue weapons, and some even had enemy weapons taken off dead soldiers.
Having a realistic understanding of guns allows you to know when
and how to disarm an armed man. One of the stories of World War
Two is that the Germans fighting in the hedgerows after the Normandy
invasion knew when to expose themselves to shoot an American soldier.
He waited until he heard the clip ejected from the US M-1 Garand
and knew the soldier was temporarily out of rounds. The modern student
unfamiliar with guns doesn't know what the telltale signs are that
a gunman's clip or magazine has run out. After all, the gunman is
very much outnumbered, but ignorance is on his side.

But more importantly,
people of that generation had not yet been turned into helpless
infants by the establishment. If anything, the policies of the government
caused this generation to mature quickly by forcing them to help
support their families in the depression, and then drafting them
when war broke out. Does anyone think that a shooter; having shot
two people in a dorm room, and then left campus to mail a letter,
and then returned sometime much later, would have gotten away with
this? Would he have even made it out the dorm hall alive? And what
if he did start shooting the engineering building? Would that generation,
or previous generations of young men have allowed themselves to
be victims — not to mention the fact that some of the students were
ladies, and that men of that generation felt it was their duty to
protect them?

What we are
seeing in the post-war, post baby boom age is the infantilisation
of America. I used to think that college kids look younger than
they used to because I am getting older. But look again. The people
in college in old yearbooks looked older, and they certainly
acted more mature, had more poise, and didn't dress like children.
The very phenomenon of the shooter himself with his pathological
narcissism is a product of our modern culture's infantile preoccupation
with unearned fame — Andy Warhol's fifteen minutes. Just look at
the childish tape Cho made that he mailed to NBC. This was his own
reality TV episode for a national audience.

We have this
endless psychobabble of rationalisations trying to "understand"
some kid's self-delusion of importance. This is not to denigrate
legitimate psychiatrists trying to treat patients. My beef is with
the endless TV talking heads interviewing pop psychologists "so
we can find out how to solve this problem for the future."
Poppycock!!! They are interested in ratings. And by over-analyzing
this psychopath and then playing it on national television, they
rewarded him postmortem with his fantasy. They send a message to
others who are off their nut that the way to be taken seriously
is to copy Cho.

Then there
is the endless self-serving TV coverage of the students grief,
and media types spewing endless platitudes about the "grieving
process" and "closure." It is voyeuristic, intrusive
and downright low class. It reminds me of the death of Princess
Diana exactly ten years ago. It was treated in last year's film
THE QUEEN. It juxtaposed the two generations; the infantile narcissistic
generation versus Queen Elizabeth II who represented the stoic stiff-upper
lipped formal Brit — the type played by Greer Garson in MRS. MINIVER.
The standard pabulum is that the Queen is old-fashioned and out
of touch with the modern advanced touchy-feely Brit. She probably
is. And she was right to bar TV close-ups on the Royal Family's
"grieving process." Good for her!! Could the average Englishman
have survived the depression, the London Blitz, and the fifteen
years of war-caused poverty and rations in post-war Britain if they
had indulged in the endless self-pity and demonstrations of helplessness
that people of today are expected to show? The old-fashioned reserve
and poise is a manifestation of someone trying to be strong — even
if it's only a pretense. It is an attempt at dignity.

We have had
fifty years of the nanny state trying to solve everyone's problems.
We've had the media and the intelligencia and the schools advising
people to trust "experts," i.e. — the officials, our surrogate
parents; cops, the Government, the various government mental health
agencies; trust everyone but one's own experience. "Don't try
this at home"…."let the professionals handle it,"
screams the voice of Official America.

We see the
result of this at VPI. We have young men and women who think of
themselves as helpless infants because the establishment — the Parent
State — taught them so. And so they cower, believing themselves
to be helpless. When the next mle occurs, we will see more helpless
victims screaming for officialdom to "do something" and
more officials blaming other officials who will blame still more
officials. They will then announce that they will commission a "STUDY."

Hosanna in excelsis Amen!

The next time
you see these scenes of helplessness on TV, think back to the Dunkirk
Boatlift when 700 private craft: tugboats, pilot boats, private
yachts, small craft, sailboats, merchant vessels, fishermen, clam
draggers, and oystermen; all raced across the English Channel to
pick up soldiers at Dunkirk. These were the sort of men who knew
what to do.

1, 2007

Lelong [send him mail] grew
up in the NYC area. He started in radio in North Carolina as a reporter.
In 1994 he moved back to New York City where he has been working
as a producer and newsroom sound editor for a news-talk radio station.
He currently lives in Queens and enjoys skeet and sporting clays
shooting, bird hunting, and sailing.

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