The root cause of the proliferation of the crazies amongst us

It seems obvious that in the great majority of what we call mass shootings in America these days the shooters are mentally unstable men and usually young. They are men who are, for whatever reason, broken. Considering the nature of their sudden appearance, the immediate solution must be to harden (as we now say) the types of soft targets that attract them. Soft targets as opposed to biker bars, truck stops, and police stations. Besides giving people a fighting chance, this hardening could, in time, become a deterrent if potential attackers come to believe that they will fail to achieve their aim before being killed themselves or taken into custody.

However, are we willing to live with the problem long-term? Are we willing to adapt our mindset, and thus the mindset of those yet to be born, to a siege mentality that eventually will be accepted as normal? Perfectly comparable to this, if not its antecedent, is how today we will hardly let our children out of our sight, so low is our trust in our fellow man, or so great our fear of the crazies amongst us. This was not yet the case when I was boy in the 70’s when children were still given considerable freedom to range. I am astounded by the liberties that my grandparents (b. 1912 and 1917 respectively) gave my father and his older brother (b. 1938 and 1936 respectively) to range far and wide through the woods and across the fields and creeks of Cottage Grove, Tennessee, when they were as young as five. It just did not occur to my grandparents that they might be abducted and brutalised because that sort of thing was not happening in West Tennessee in the 1940’s, or at least not enough to strike the collective consciousness.

But because of the crazies that have emerged since I was a boy we have just gotten used to not letting our kids out of our sight. So let’s say we now get used to our public buildings being fortified and further restrictions on our and our children’s movements. So be it.

But how we harden parades and other public gatherings I haven’t a clue. Shall the solution be to give them up altogether? Maybe do them on Zoom?

However we choose to meet the threat of one of the crazies snapping, I suppose it must include increased anxiety, limitations on our movement, and an increasingly armed population, as well as more state surveillance that allows the police to better identify the nuts before they crack. Again, we must embrace ever tighter the siege mentality.

But must this be a forever-siege? Must we bequeath to future generations this siege as it was thoughtlessly bequeathed to us? Being human and thus short-sighted previous generations may be excused because they did not have the benefit of immediate hindsight. But we do. We now know what happened that put us in this mess. Shouldn’t we be addressing the structural problems in our culture that are producing the crazies? If a gardener realises that he is watering and fertilising the weeds, shouldn’t he stop watering and fertilising the weeds?

There have always been troubled souls and this may almost always be traced back to troubles in childhood in one form or another. That is the nature of things. Our problem today is the mass proliferation of troubled souls that is a direct consequence of the manifest breakdown of the family since the 1960’s.

There are numerous causes for this breakdown but let us point our finger squarely at the chief culprit. For generations feminist ideology has warped and twisted our understanding of man and woman’s respective human natures, turning man and woman against each other and in effect splitting the human atom. And the subsequent explosion has done vastly more damage to our culture than Little Boy and Fat Man did over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They merely vaporised man, woman, child, and building. They did not destroy the soul.

M.C. Atkins

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