Recently by Jack D. Douglas: The ‘Cliff Hanger’ Is a Republicrat MediaCharade
In my early life [born 1937] I lived all over the U.S. I saw lots of guns. I was present at various gun incidents in arguments and fights. Few ever ended in shootings. My mother’s employer threatened my stepfather with a pistol to stop his beating my mother. He stopped. I did know people who were shot or shot other people. A younger brother shot the husband of one of my mother’s sisters near the heart to stop him from beating our aunt. [It was a 22. He lived with the bullet in place. My brother was sent to a minimum security camp for months and eventually walked away and came to live with us.] The employer of that aunt caught a robber in the act where she worked and shot him to death with a shot gun. A cousin even snot me in the bare heel one day with a B-B rifle as I was running home because he wanted me to stay and help him defend a mango tree full of mangoes in his yard. I and one of my brothers and a few other boys about 11 were playing behind a bar and bookie joint one day when the owner came out and started shooting in our direction with a rifle. We ran and hid behind some mounds of earth and waited for him to go back inside. We were scared but unshot. These things were not normal, but they were not extremely rare in America many decades ago.
But I do not remember ever hearing of a mass murder except gangster mass murders in history books or movies during Prohibition. It had nothing to do with a lack of guns. Guns were everywhere. Shot guns were deadly, but used in hunting. People sometimes carried pistols in their glove compartments to protect themselves from union strikers, as one man did who gave me a ride. Rifles were deadly and fast reloading, but we used those for target practice in the Glades [outside Miami, Florida], not for shooting people. Anyone who was fast at using such guns could have killed many people in a few minutes. You don’t need a 9mm. pistol or automatic assault rifle.
It would have been very easy to commit mass murder in any school I attended across the country, dozens of them. It did not happen. Other than one boy hitting another, like a bully hitting me in the mouth once on the basketball court in about the sixth grade, I don’t remember any kind of violence. There were no security forces, lock-down plans, or nightmares about such things. The schools were wide open. Anyone could enter them. I never heard of any student or teacher being attacked, shot, raped, kidnapped, or secretly fed twinkles or GMO corn. My high school, Miami Jackson High, was open on all sides. I don’t even remember any fights among the few thousand students, though there must have been some small ones. About 20 years ago my old friend from that High School, Bill Marina, drove me by the once beautiful school. It was sealed from outside. The big windows were concreted. There was a tall security fence around the whole school. I assume there were security guards, metal detectors, etc., when it was in session, as is common around the U.S. in big cities. The Drug War and black gangs had devastated the once lovely, prosperous commercial center of the Allapatah neighborhood around it.
All competent Americans know America today is drastically different from my experience in schools around the country, at least in the big cities. The public schools are generally much bigger, more bureaucratic, more political, more controlled from state capitals and from Washington, and drowning in “testing” to try to slow the steady decline in real learning. They have from 200 to 300% more money from governments. Political protests, union strikes, bullying, fights, and mass killings keep growing at an accelerating rate. That leads to more massive security measures at a rapidly accelerating rate. The problems keep growing. More security, more money, more bureaucracy, more testing, less learning, more violence.
There are still good public schools isolated from all of this. Newtown, Connecticut, was one of them. The catastrophes are spreading outward from the urban catastrophes and from D.C. controls.
I’m sure private schools are not immune to all of these now standard American education catastrophes. But they are not a hot spot of catastrophes so far. They are not as controlled by Washington, but Washington will keep groping for more and more power to “save them” from something awful we cannot yet see. But who will save them from the Washington Catastrophes – the destruction of standards, discipline, parental and teacher nullification by politicians, parental loss of local controls, community spirit, student love and neighborliness.
The U.S. is a vast imperial power with vast, immensely armed and murderous military forces, killing people, including children, every day around the world. This is all blasted at children on tv and the movies and the news from infancy. These killers are heroes. Super-heroes kill the “Evil Ones.” America is now a very enraged, mass society where scores of millions feel they are victims and lust for revenge. America is disintegrating along all its major fault lines, the poor against the rich and vice versa, the races against each other in the great fight for Entitlements and power and money, and on and on. America has a far higher rate of imprisonment than any other nation. America has one of the highest divorce rates, abandonment rate, etcetc. Families are torn by conflicts and eat most meals out of the quasi-homes. Love is now a four letter word. Bullies are everywhere. The poorer people are really scared by their vast unemployment [505 for young, urban blacks], sinking real incomes, disappearing savings and retirements, job speed-ups, massive Fed money for the Big Banks…..
America is a failing state, society and culture. It is always at war around the world and loses those wars. The world hates the U.S.
Violence and theft of all forms is rampant, far more than the official stats. show.
A few days ago my wife was telling me about the phone discussion she had just had with our Honda repair man of many years. He is temporarily shut down and cannot immediately do a repair we need, as he usually does. The reason is that he fired one of the lowest employees in the shop for being incompetent. [He used to give my wife rides as part of his job when out car was in shop.] The shop was burglarized and ripped up. He did it and is under arrest. Knowing of all the employee grudge attacks on employers and other employees, I muttered, “Whoa…They’re lucky these days he did not shoot them!” I then went in to hear the latest tv-news report on the markets. I heard that Newtown had just suffered a mass murder. So what’s new????
Obama wept a tear on tv about the murder of innocent children. Good. They are the ultimate victims of insane hatreds and violence.
Then I remembered: I’ve never seen him shed a tear for one of the vast mass of children murdered by the armadas of murder drones he sends to incinerate people with Hell Fire Missiles in their homes having dinner and by the F-16 and F-18 strafings and bombs and by….
He sees them as “Collateral Damage” that got in the way of his drive for American power around the world, not as “innocent victims.” Tell that to the incinerated babies and school children, Obama.
Jack D. Douglas [send him mail] is a retired professor of sociology from the University of California at San Diego. He has published widely on all major aspects of human beings, most notably The Myth of the Welfare State.