Reflections on Connecticut shooting

No words can adequately contain or express the grief born by the parents of those in Friday’s senseless tragedy where the fire of life was snuffed out for 20 children and 8 adults, including the shooter. The technology post I’ve been working on can wait. As I wrote just over a year ago, in Personal Re-integration,

In his wonderful book The Martial Spirit, accomplished martial artist and author Herman Kauz shares the Japanese concept hara 原隆浩 which

implies an acceptance of the idea that we are connected with the world and with each other.

…Henry Mintzberg tells us to actually interact with people, rather than live in the myths posed by theories:

Increasingly in our research, we are impressed by the importance of phenomena that cannot be measured—by the impact of an organization’s history and its ideology on its current strategy, by the role that personality and intuition play in decision-making. To miss this in research is to miss the very lifeblood of the organization.

…The Pontifical Council for the Family counsels us to start with “the basics,” and move on to strive for perfection (“Be perfect as Your Father is perfect,” Mt 5:48).

…parents are urged to dare to ask for more and to propose more. They cannot be satisfied with avoiding the worst — that their children do not take drugs or commit crimes.

They will have to be committed to educating them in the true values of the person, renewed by the virtues of faith, hope and love: the values of freedom, responsibility, fatherhood and motherhood, service, professional work, solidarity, honesty, art, sport, the joy of knowing they are children of God… Parents must find time to be with their children and take time to talk with them. {emphasis mine}

Why?: The Problem of Evil

The answer to why this happened is simple, not easy. The desire, nay the demand that complex problems have easy answers borders on evil itself. The safety net that binds us together as a society is woven anew with every generation. If we engage in frank, forthright and spirited debate to re-normalize real parenting (as the Pontifical Council asserts above), then we can reduce the wholesale rending of the very fabric of our culture which results in these social catastrophes when at-risk youth fall through holes in the social fabric.

In Kushner’s transformational work, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, he discusses in practical terms, our current culture’s stubborn refusal to deal with the reality of evil. (For more academic discussion of theodicy, see for example, Neal, Irenaeus, or Augustine.)

While no words or actions can bring back the lives of these innocent children or the adults who perished with them, we must as a culture regain the moral clarity that will point out, bright as a beacon, why these anti-social behaviors have so increased. Loesch, blogger Econophile and Huckabee provide alternative viewpoints to the wallowing-in-grief of the mainstream media.

Make 2013 a time of cultural renewal

A gun has never pulled its own trigger. People do that. Basic facts are stubborn things. They are objective truths, which means they do not depend on our opinion nor are they altered by our not agreeing. One of the simplest objective truths is gravity, (regular readers have seen that trope again and again). If forced to put a Silicon Valley spin on it, one could say that we need to “disrupt” bad behavior, making it easy to do good and hard to do bad. As I wrote in The Risk of In-difference, Part I

In psychiatry, a neologism occurs most often in the speech of schizophrenics, when they combine words that make sense only to themselves.

In order deal with our profound anguish, we must creatively and courageously confront those who are actively disrupting our culture, sowing the seeds of evil. We have too much evidence of the bitter fruit of those seeds to allow these rampantly anti-social behaviors to continue. Practically speaking, laws only apply to law-abiding people. Same with confiscating guns. The creative third option: “take the stick away.” Peace through strength. As mentioned a number of times (to the horror of progressives everywhere), by bloggers, Texas news reporters and former New York policemen interviewed on news shows; a trained, armed principal or teacher would’ve saved many, many lives. To deny that these school staff’s demonstrated heroism could accommodate that new skill is sexism and neologism rolled into one.

It’s a neologism to respect the lives of some people but not others, based on our prejudice or preconceptions. Outside of the very narrow confines of just war theory, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” One way to bring that objective truth back to prominence in the public square is to re-learn what our grandparents and great-grandparents knew: freedom is not license. Freedom is always and only the opportunity to choose the good.

A Free Speech Framework

In a 1919 case, Schenck v. United States, (no right to shout ‘fire’ in a crowed theater), Justice Holmes made it clear that we do not have the right to say anything we want, whenever we want, to whomever we want. (More useful perhaps is the Wikipedia entry for context: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schenck_v._United_States.)

We have stepped away from the necessary discipline, the “tough love” to name and shame those who break threads of the social safety net.

Perhaps the single best article on this topic is Rabbi Daniel Lapin, “In Praise of Shame”, National Review, Vol XLVIII, No. 17, 25 Sept 1995, p. 87, with a modern rewrite from Daniel Gordis in the Jerusalem Post, also entitled In praise of shame.

This social opprobrium, this ostracism has served us well for centuries. Our children deserve the sanctity of an innocent childhood, growing up in a household of a married mother and father. Let’s get back to it with less tolerance not more. What do I mean by that? Simply put, “being offended” is not a right, nor does it entitle someone to legislative relief, as I covered in Grand Chamber hits a home run for families.

Let’s start with

  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Americans United for Separation of Church and State
  • Freedom from Religion Foundation
  • Service Employees International Union

(and others of their ilk). They need to be brought up on RICO charges to get this “disruptive” restoration started.

A healthy part of children’s respect for legitimate authority comes from recognizing who we are as persons. Many cultures, especially the Sharia law aspect of Islam, have treated women as second class citizens. The Western Cultural Canon, the Judeo-Christian ethos, have consistently placed women as the “pinnacle of creation”—a view, incidentally also held in the Norse creation myth that women are the “house of Heaven” (albeit through mind-boggling extended, layered metaphor). Restoring faith and family to their rightful provenance in the public square involves powerful messages that speak to the heart of what troubles many relationships: Honesty about the reason & purpose for which we were created.

As Nobel Laureates, leaders at the highest levels of government, attorneys, doctors, and in what Unset called the highest duty to which a woman can aspire: as mothers, the distinctive feminine genius is central to a well-ordered society. I’ll have more to say about this in a guest post the week after Christmas where I introduce the Sophrosysne project.

On Friday we saw examples of heroic teacher bravery. It’s time that we see more bravery amongst judges and school boards because, as Thomas Sowell writes so aptly in a timeless article that addresses gun violence: Dumb is Dangerous.

Ya’ll be safe now, ya hear?

Matt

2 comments to Reflections on Connecticut shooting

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

A walk in the forest…

Systems Thinking teaches us how to scale our perspective to study the forest or the trees, while Systems Engineering tells us what to do with the data we find.

Visitors: Where in the World?