Thinking the Unthinkable

From Anarchist Soccer Mom

In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.

“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.

“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”

“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”

“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.

We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.

At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he’s in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who. He’s in a good mood most of the time. But when he’s not, watch out. And it’s impossible to predict what will set him off.

Several weeks into his new junior high school, Michael began exhibiting increasingly odd and threatening behaviors at school. We decided to transfer him to the district’s most restrictive behavioral program, a contained school environment where children who can’t function in normal classrooms can access their right to free public babysitting from 7:30-1:50 Monday through Friday until they turn 18.

The morning of the pants incident, Michael continued to argue with me on the drive. He would occasionally apologize and seem remorseful. Right before we turned into his school parking lot, he said, “Look, Mom, I’m really sorry. Can I have video games back today?”

“No way,” I told him. “You cannot act the way you acted this morning and think you can get your electronic privileges back that quickly.”

His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage. “Then I’m going to kill myself,” he said. “I’m going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself.”

That was it. After the knife incident, I told him that if he ever said those words again, I would take him straight to the mental hospital, no ifs, ands, or buts. I did not respond, except to pull the car into the opposite lane, turning left instead of right.

“Where are you taking me?” he said, suddenly worried. “Where are we going?”

“You know where we are going,” I replied.

“No! You can’t do that to me! You’re sending me to hell! You’re sending me straight to hell!”

I pulled up in front of the hospital, frantically waiving for one of the clinicians who happened to be standing outside. “Call the police,” I said. “Hurry.”

Michael was in a full-blown fit by then, screaming and hitting. I hugged him close so he couldn’t escape from the car. He bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. I’m still stronger than he is, but I won’t be for much longer.

The police came quickly and carried my son screaming and kicking into the bowels of the hospital. I started to shake, and tears filled my eyes as I filled out the paperwork—“Were there any difficulties with....at what age did your child....were there any problems with...has your child ever experienced...does your child have....”

At least we have health insurance now. I recently accepted a position with a local college, giving up my freelance career because when you have a kid like this, you need benefits. You’ll do anything for benefits. No individual insurance plan will cover this kind of thing.

For days, my son insisted that I was lying—that I made the whole thing up so that I could get rid of him. The first day, when I called to check up on him, he said, “I hate you. And I’m going to get my revenge as soon as I get out of here.”

By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I’ve heard those promises for years. I don’t believe them anymore.

On the intake form, under the question, “What are your expectations for treatment?” I wrote, “I need help.”

And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.

I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am Jason Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

According to Mother Jones, since 1982, 61 mass murders involving firearms have occurred throughout the country. (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map). Of these, 43 of the killers were white males, and only one was a woman. Mother Jones focused on whether the killers obtained their guns legally (most did). But this highly visible sign of mental illness should lead us to consider how many people in the U.S. live in fear, like I do.

When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise—in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population. (http://www.hrw.org/news/2006/09/05/us-number-mentally-ill-prisons-quadru...)

With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill—Rikers Island, the LA County Jail, and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation’s largest treatment centers in 2011 (http://www.npr.org/2011/09/04/140167676/nations-jails-struggle-with-ment...)

No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”

I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal.

God help me. God help Michael. God help us all.

Category: 

Comments

Read this yesterday. Nothing anarchist about her blog posting. Nothing. Another misuse of the term...

well lots of different people use the term giving it lots of different meanings which they themselves write into it.

and I'll mention that I myself feel sad for the lady and her 13 year old son. I hope it gets better for the both of you

There's a drawing on this "Anarchist Mom" website of a woman wearing a "I Heart Che"........................................................................................................................................................................................................WHAT THE FUCK ?!?!?

Outrage. Denial.

I can vaguely understand a normalish american who feels inspired by Sacco & Vanzetti as well as Che... but... she also loves Ronal Reagan.

http://sarahkendzior.com/2012/12/16/want-the-truth-behind-i-am-adam-lanz...

that's a very revealing article. I'm always, always, always suspect of anyone calling themselves point-blank "an anarchist". it's such a loaded term in pop culture, and everyone from the 14 year old skate punk to the 55 year old Buzzcocks fan is some kind of "anarchist". the definition changes from person to person.
this woman is clearly a consumerist anarchist, that identifies herself by tee shirts while she drives her SUV to the mall. she's "edgy", sure. but clearly not a "real" anarchist".
I hope, for her son's sake, she gets help for herself and her son.

We used to have a bunch of mental hospitals for people who were sick but hadn't commited a crime yet, before the age of austerity. You used to be able to get a college degree in prison too, the good old boys didn't like that, there was some smart people in prison in those days.

we had those hospitals, but remember they were funded by the state and then taken away by the state. did anyone step up to fund them afterward? nah, we all just lazily went about our business pretending we care so deeply about other things... and now that it's in the news, we suddenly care? lol.

I hope anarchist news will stop encouraging that nihilistic misanthrope ' Emile ' now we've had another bad massacre #workermyass

I do some respite care for a kid with aspergers/autism and I've dealt with similar shit. On the one hand, I'm theoretically hardline anti-state. Yet, if it's a choice between tax dollars spent on security and military spending or more resources for people dealing with shit like this, that's an easy choice.

What really boggles the mind is how shitty and clueless most of the existing infrastructure is when it comes to mental health issues. It's all an "emerging science" and often you get this feeling like everyone's making it up as they go (the "behavioural experts" and social workers and the like) everyone looking over their shoulder to see if anyone notices that they don't know what the fuck they're doing. Then presumably the SWAT team is supposed to be the final solution for these kids.

But yeah, if stupid liberal yuppies are casting around for the solution to school shootings right now, it ain't gun control and it ain't about "alienation". The best you could hope for would be to throw more resources at people trying to raise kids like "Michael". But really, our species is always going to produce its share of random homicide so ... deal?

I disagree that Aspergers is the same as mental illness or schizophrenia.

Nobody said that ... Aspergers is on the autism spectrum, therefore a "mental illness" unless you don't like the term "illness".

I don't consider it an illness in the same sense as OC or Schizophrenia. I don't think that it is madness. I do think that it is a disorder.

Yeah, you're probably right. Since correlation isn't causation, etc. Me, I figure everyone's fucking nuts anyway so most of the lexicon for this stuff is bunk.

A witch-hunt against everyone with Aspergers is the WORST thing that could come out of this. I am damned glad I have never permitted anyone to "diagnose" me for any of these sort of things in light of the potential witch-hunt that may be brewing.

I would never attack people who are minding their own business and have harmed nobody, there are millions of people with aspergers who don't shoot up schools or threaten family members with weapons!

On the other hand, I would sure as hell defend myself from someone attemping to force me to submit to psychiatric drugs, hospital incarceration-or screening that can lead to these.

i work in group homes for developmentally disadvantaged adults. grew up in a town that hosted one of the biggest mental hospitals in the u.s. have alot of family thats worked inthe field. i could not agree more that these social workers and behavior specialists dont know much of what they are doing. i find myself coming up with better on the spot solutions to breakdowns and the like.

Excellent article. The blog post trying to discredit her is despicable and empty. Uptight yuppie who found her Marylin Manson. Pseudo intellectual dry boring and vapid. This womans an excellent writer. The rest of the blogs even better.

I'm going you got excited when the Che Soccer Mom said that she loves the USA and still loves Ronald Reagan.

Get out of here, Paul Craig Robertson !

One question that this article raises - what would an anarchist response be for people and behaviors like "Michael" and Adam Lanza? How can these things be effectively addressed in ways that are also anti-state and anti-capitalist?

One thing that this woman points out is that the way that things are now, she is left with very little choices except to call for the full force and brutality of the state. How is an anarchist mother to deal with such things?

some ideas:

-Group therapy for Michael (or people like him) and other kids who deal with similar headspaces.

-Having a few more adults around who care for and engage Michael with things that interest him. Also to provide a non-judgmental ear for when he needs to talk.

watch this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_akH6Cin6E

-No School/Home School, with an emphasis on skill building (music lessons, survival skills, wood-working, sewing, gardening, etc.) This is a way for him to use his intelligence without the judging eyes of school administrators, social cliques and bullies. It might also keep him out of juvi.

-Lots of time in nature, being exposed to the elements and getting dirty in soil, scraped climbing trees or scratched walking through brambles can do wonders for kids who are a little "touchy" and prefer things to be orderly.

Exactly what I did. My son was always "different". Genius IQ. creative, hyperfocused on whatever he enjoyed, oblivious to those he didn't. School was his greatest nightmare. He too threatened to kill me, his teachers, himself...It was frightening for sure. For all of us (his older sister was chased with a knife more than once, he was only 10). Meds, shrinks, special ed, locked bedroom doors. The works. He only got worse as he hit teens - didnmt we all?! what worked, pulled him out of school (under threat of jail time), took him off Rx meds, bought him smokes now and then (they are a calmer and he was already self-medicating with them, not to be cool). I let him live as he wished, with minimal rules. He became more and more relaxed, engaged with others that matter to him, became a self-taught computer geek (I started that craze). He is 35, doing well enough, and loves life. It is not the life that I would enjoy...but it doesn't have to be. That is the main thing an anarchist parent, friend, lover...can do. Encourage and aid each other to live our own way, Lots of us don't seem to have the mass mindset, we don't belong, we are misfits. That, my anarchist friends is an awesome thing!

Getting him OUT of school may have saved his life! Too many schools are based on the factory/wage employment model and are incompatable with a hell of a lot of kids of this type. The public schools are bad enough on this, charters and private schools usually far worse. Dress codes, uniforms, detentions, and all that harassment cause some kids to explode! Get this harassment out of their lives and the trouble stops. These high-IQ but volatile folks are good at teaching themselves but not compatable with common school environments of today. Most of my real skills, like your son's skills, are self-taught.

I could not have attended shool in the current era. Even in the 1970s I was expelled from third grade, maxed out in a private disciplinary school followed by a public one, was readmitted to the 8th grade. I had to stab two bullies with pencils (minimal damage) to force them to stop picking on me, and apply martial arts moves to two others. Today that would have netted 4 felony prosecutions within two years. On top of all else, the Gay street scene that would have been a refuge for me at 13 to 17 in 1978-1983 has now been largely destroyed by gentrifiers, meaning I would have had few escape routes in say, 2005. It is unlikely that I would have survived.

Shit-even the colleges, the one type of shool that I could work with as it is not based on coercion, would also be blocked due to outrageous tuitions financed by loans nobody like me could ever pay off. With current employment models that makes the previous 12 years a waste of time!

If there turns out to be some sort of afterlife based on reincarnation, I will have to insist on not being returned to any industrialized nation or any place where centralized schooling has replaced family/village level education. The United States especially would be out of the question. Otherwise I would essentially be going back to Hell.

catfish the state controls the criminalthe terroist and the little boy lanza ,take the guns away sway public thought keep killing school kids who behind these shool killing the state that want the gun taken away good take them out ofv the hands of pigs ,millitry and other like wise fucks take away the gun from the state and hollwood then the killings will stop would wide they took our guns away down in this asre end of the world drove past the home of the killer before the massiker the hair on the back my neack stood up and fear hit me the pigs knew he killid befor and did again the state is the real enermy not those children if obarma puts the big sell on disarm the state the fuck s would not dare to lose power well lose it or keep the killing going ether way you lose the state

This woman and the rest of society are fucking stupid and there is no cure.

Most likely as not a police informant. Only a police informant would call themselves an "anarchist" and write a stupid blog like that.

"I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am Jason Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness."

None of the people this woman mentions had any history of mental illness or disorders. And there's no reason to believe her own son is going to go on a mass shooting rampage.

From wikipedia:

"Some of Holmes' acquaintances suspected prior to the shooting that Holmes suffered from mental illness and could be dangerous. Two weeks before the shooting, he sent a text message asking a graduate student if they had heard of the disorder dysphoric mania, and warning the student to stay away from him 'because I am bad news.'"

"More than four months after the attack, The Wall Street Journal reported on August 20, 2007 that Cho had been diagnosed with selective mutism. The Virginia Tech Review Panel report, also released in August 2007, placed this diagnosis in the spring of Cho's eighth-grade year, and his parents sought treatment for him through medication and therapy."

A source of Loughner's wikipage is: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/01/10/mental-health-warnings-preceded-ari...

Wikipedia and Fox news....really? Then it must be true.

Yeah we should go with anon anews comments instead.

It's not up to me to prove the absence of mental illness, it's up to you to prove the existence of it. Fox News and Wikipedia are not credible sources.

All mass murderers are mentally ill. There, fixed it.

Nice to out your son like that with pictures and everything. Maybe you are just not a good mother?

I do not need God's help to deal with your son. My son exhibited signs of this when he was 6. I put up with it for a few years. When he was 8 I looked at him and said "You are a liar. Must I beat this out of you?" He did not say anything. There are no pills involved here. I am not faulting you. I do feel that you are letting this young man terrorize you and you are reaching out to the government to help you. They will not help you. I looked at your site in China, BTW. You have over 2,000 comments there. Did they not help? Your ID notes anarchism. Anarchist are not powerless nor do they need the states help. IMHO opinion "Michael" NEEDS to meet a real monster....... if he lives through it, he will be cured.

this is terrible advice and will only further etch away at the attachment bond between parent and child. To attack a behavioral problem when what you're really dealing with is a relationship problem is a big fail.

For some reason it did not etch away my son into some kind of criminal miscreant. My advice is bad and it is meant for bad people.

shitty. dont have kids. also, and more importantly, what exactly is "care"? what if a hospital is only another kind of prison? do we really want to be asking biopower to further medicalize all policing of 'aberrant behavior'?

BIG dangers here

are profiling "mental illness," reinforcing the school-to-prison pipeline, and disarming the people while cops and the military get more and bigger guns!

OK, the NRA is going to try to deflect the gun control calls resulting from the outragous crimes commited the other day against students at an elementary school into crackdowns on marginalized people. They have done this before, but it won't be a call for racial profiling this time. That's because almost all mass shootings by lone gunmen in the US are committed by "loner" while males. Instead, they will call for other things that are dangerous to many of us:

Calls for making it easier to put people in locked institutions are a danger to EVERY ONE OF US! Remember Alex Ashe, sent to a Mormon-run "re-education camp" called Turnabout Stilwater by his parents because he was an anarchist? I sure do, we responded with a nationwide campaign of harassment against the Mormon Church until Alex was expelled from Turnabout Stillwater and regained his freedom. Do we want more of this?

When I was in my early 20's (I am Bi), I met dozens of GLBT kids who had been sent to institutions by their parents because of their sexuality and had to escape by force. Do we want to bring these days back?

There will be calls for locking down schools. It makes sense to, say, remove outside door handles from side and back doors to lock attackers out, but we need to block calls for locking students IN, or school become a prison. Speaking of the school to prison pipeline:

More cops in schools are guaranteed to mean more students, especially students of color, being prosecuted in juvenile court for talking back to teachers, fighting-and for defending themselves from bullies. When I was in school, I had to use enough force to make bullies who did not like who I am stop assaulting me that 4 separate prison sentences would have resulted in a modern school.

You could arm teachers, that might stop school shootings-unless you guess wrong on who you allow to be a teacher and one of the teachers opens up on students. You may or may not get fewer shootings that way, depends on the screening. Not as easy as arming airline pilots.

Now for the subject of gun control itself: From an Anarchist perspective, more laws means more cops and more jails. An incredible number of African-American kids in DC are in jail for owning guns, yet economic and gang street crime continues unabated. Not one of these kids has been involved in a "going postal" mass shooting that I can recall.

Now for the sticky part: A lot of us call ourselves revolutionaries but do not own weapons. Part of this debate concerns "weapons of war." Well, the class war is a war and our enemies have PLENTY of guns. So do our other enemies, the neo-Nazis. Fighting a war without the weapons of war is suicidal. Gun control means the general public gives all their weapons to a few people, calling them "cops" or "soldiers" and hoping they can be trusted with every gun in the region. I don't have that level of trust.

On "assault weapons:" every class of gun began life as the "assault weapon" of it's time, Muzzle-loading muskets were volley-fired, creating a storm of lead like a modern machine gun. In Japan, a square formation where the first rank fired, sat down and reloaded while rank#2 fired over their heads and thois continued until all had fired, then all stood up and repeated the process could mantain a Battle of the Somme level of continuous fire until they ran out of bullets.

The lever-action rifle of the Old West was a favorite of murdering bands of white thugs who hunted and killed Native American people. At least Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and others had the good sense to esure their warriors acquiredthem (the assault weapons of their time and as deadly now as then), leading to the victory at Little Big Horn over US Cavalry armed with single-shot breechloaders. There is a show shooter with one today who has matched a semiauto AK47 for rate of fire on video.

Gun MARKETING, on the other hand, is a fucking mess. There is the infamous "man card reissued" campaign of Bushmaster and other such examples. Alcohol, tobacco, cars, aircraft, fireworks, etc should not be marketed this way either, and for the same reasons. There have been a lot of heavily-armed societied with no mass shootings, what is going on today? Maybe the shit capitalism pollutes our minds with?

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen had the nerve to cite "Indian attacks" as having once been a reason to own a gun(but presumably no longer). I would say BEING NATIVE AMERICAN was an excellent reason to own a gun at that time, as white invaders were waging a relentless war of genocide. May still be, if you live on Native land and someone wants to take the land from your people to build a fucking tar sands pipeline or a uranium mine. Again, the corporations that want your land (no matter who you are or where you live!) have plenty of guns through their control of the police and military.

For gun control to work, we would have to disarm the police and military, then find a way for everyone to forget how guns are made. The former might be doable, but the latter is impossible.

Not bad thoughts, I am aligned with you on many of them. I have been delving into this new nightmare for the last couple of days. I disagree with you regarding how gun control can work. Um, how can our military be an effective deterent without guns!? We would get invaded and quickly realize a new, more potent master.

There are BIG threats trying to evolve here. This crap comes out of the minds of megalomaniacs in government that believe they are omnipotent. More of the disgusting work of Washington spin-masters. At the very core of this is the conspiracy to erode American constitutional rights in general. To me, the Dems have crossed the socialism line as it is understood in the United States. On Yahoo news they are fronting a father calling for gun control that immigrated from the communist Soviet Socialist Republic!!! How critically lame could they POSSIBLY be. I found the article very easy to retort and I did, under the same ID if you are curious.

A nation that disarmed would dissolve its military(like Costa Rica). That will work for a nation that does not have oil or other resources that attract what amount to international muggings, and unlike the US has not earned a reputation as one of the worst of the muggers.

The point I was trying to make is that to disarm the people and leave an armed government in place means that government can act like an invader at any time and the people are defenseless. In many neighborhoods police act like and are considered an army of occupation. Example: a program in DC to surround high-crime neighborhoods with ID checkpoints, stopped by a Parnership for Civil Justice lawsuit.

Remember when about 1,000 Persian-Americans were rounded up and jailed on immigration technicalities when they tried to comply with Bush's "special registration?" People armed themselves because of that. Remember the 1986 AIDS quarantine threat, and Larouche's "proposition 64" that almost passed in California? LOTS of Gay men bought guns that year, fearing roundups. Discussion of AIDS quarantine suddenly stopped after the Jan 1987 issue of Stalliion ran a cover story about a Gay militia with heavy weapons purchased from Central American sources vowing to smash any camps. That outfit had Central American and Native American connections, folks who know all too well about aggression from the US government.

For that matter, a beer-addled cop whose seen one too many horrors or a soldier who has been through too much can also be the next "active shooter" as easily as anyone else. Even if guns magically disappeared, in a culture like this one knives or worst of all, matches/cans of gas or suicide bombs would replace them.

Just like the example I raised of arming teachers, it only takes one bad cop or soldier to carry out a massacre. On March 11, 2012,, one or more US soldiers in Afghanistan popped off, they went into a village on their own and massacred civilians, Also, there was that mass shooting by a US soldier at Ft Hood, Texas, aimed at soldiers being deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq a few years ago. Once anyone has to be armed, the danger of arming the wrong person is already in play, no way around it.

As for banning the ownership of guns, it is actually impossible. If you pushed a button and made all guns evaporate, anyone familiar with machine tools can make a full-auto, blowback submachine gun in a few hours-or a muzzle-loading or screw-breech rifle in less than that. Tell him at dawn you are raiding his house, show up at noon, and the weapon has been made. For that matter the US Army has published instructions on making improvised firearms from pipe fittings. One of them relies on matches as its propellant, not even requiring commercial powder! All require test-firing from behind barriers to filter out random bad pipe parts (they are castings) that blow. Some bicycle bottom brackets contain alloy steel spindles that would make very stout pistol barrels and are already drilled through.

I think guns have to remain legal, but people with children or sharing housing with anyone that isn't well known and fully trusted do have a responsibility to keep them locked up. Sellers of guns have an ABSOLUTE obligation to cease and desist with ads that advise buying a $1,000 rifle as the solution to being called a "cry-baby" after objecting to someone shitting on you for carrying a "man-purse!" If you buy a weapon new, please boycott Bushmaster for the "man-card" ads. and boycott Smith and Wesson for the handcuffs sharpened on the inside they sold to the former regime in El Salvador during the Reagan years.

Because of who I am, as a Bi guy, I have been in several occasions where I have had to defend myself with field expedient weapons against bigots and gaybashers. If I always travelled unarmed and without the ability to adapt dual-use or found items as weapons, I would be dead today several times over. The only way to disarm robbers and gaybashers is in combat, they won't comply with gun control.

If you ever find yourself (unarmed) in a situation where one asshole with a gun is shooting at many people, the best recourse is probably for as many people as possible to charge the shooter from a semicircle. He is guaranteed to shoot some of the counterattackers, but also guranteed to be tackled by others. This will also force him to engage the defenders, keeping his fire off of everyone else. It will shorten his rampage and limit the number of people killed. If his weapon jams or he has to change magazines, rush him immediately!

Those he shoots during the charge likely as not would have been shot anyway, being among the closest people. Therefore, there is nothing to lose. Unfortunately, this won't work for small children, I don't see any further solutions for that particular case than keeping weapons locked up when in shared housing, and locking school doors from the outside but not the inside.

This is absurd, not "everyone" knows how guns are made. I certainly don't. Almost no one remembers how atlatls are made. Don't underestimate our ability to forget. Lots of technology gets lost or forgotten.

"There have been a lot of heavily-armed societied with no mass shootings"
Which ones? This fact is not familiar to me.

Switzerland comes to mind here. Also almost all of the nomadic hunter-gatherer societies that have ever existed anywhere on Earth, the Plains Native American nations included. Traditional societies may not have had machine guns but there were generally multiple weapons in every lodge. Hell, if Native Americans had invented machine guns first, back in the 1490s, their use in defensive war could have saved 100 million lives.

Even societies like the Huns and Mongols, where almost all the men were horse-archers, did not to my knowledge have recorded strings of some guy going crazy and shooting all his arrows at the same tribe's children! Violence was limited to warfare, however extreme that warfare may have become.

These mass shootings seem to be a characteristic of modern capitalist society, where almost all the "tribal" traditions our species grew up with have been shattered. It is SO against human instinct to attack children, even today those who would use their own bodies as shields to protect kids far outnumer attackers.

Pretty hard to instantly kill 30 or more people with a tomahawk, spear or bow and arrow. The problem of mass shootings is a combination of social meltdown in techno-industrial societies and easy access to lethal weapons that can be used at a distance (i.e. guns).

It's not impossible. A skilled Native American warrior swinging as opposed to throwing a tomahawk could kill multiple armed invaders in a matter of seconds, with each blow decisively fatal on impact. A Comanche horse archer, or even more so a Hunnish or Mongol horse archer 1,000 years earlier, could loose an arrow every few seconds into a packed front line of enemies, again taking multiple enemies out in seconds. All of these are in combat against a resisting opponent. Most of these mass shooters would be down in seconds on a battlefield of that type.

Those traditional societes could inflict a lot of damage on their enemies in war, but the use of their combat arms against random members of their own population was either unheard of or not recorded by history. If this had been a common problem in Native American tribes where at least all the men had multiple bows and other weapons in their lodges, it would surely have been remembered.

The problem is society shitting on people until they blow. Cultures that didn'y do this to their own citizens could be armed to the teeth knowing that any violence would be external, done to their enemies in war only.

Human life just has a low value in a society that puts a price tag on everything. People are a cheap and replenishable resource. Machine culture is demonstrating the primacy of the machine over the body.

be more kind to people - get out in the streets and hang out there - say hi to people in the streets - for every person whose day you make a little brighter with a smile or a "hi" there may be one less lanza, loughner, holmes, seung-hui.
the best thing we can do is be human - deliberately refusing to be phony, alienated, and intimidated by the suspicion and fear of society but excessively kind and warm to one another.

How about no

if you're going to have 4 kids and expect to send them to state-run schools-- not an anarchist.
if you rely on police and hospital-prisons to deal with your problems-- not an anarchist.
if you end any statement with the term "god help me"-- not an anarchist.

wish stupid people would stop breeding more stupid consumer scum.

if you have no empathy- not an anarchist.
people who think you have to home school your children to be an anarchist- DON"T HAVE CHILDREN. or are incredibly privileged. its hard to find childcare for as many hours in the day as one needs to make money to cover food and rent. homeschooling is great for those that can do it, but its not an arrangement that serves all families. you know what public school in your hood offers that lots of anarchist communities don't? other kids and parents to talk to about raising your kids. also no child is raised an anarchist. our political convictions may not be our children's its important to give you kids the skills to deal with the world as it exists and being socialized to at least be able to cope with institutions and other people outside of the radical milleu is part of that. that anarchist scene can start judging those who sent their kids to public school when it makes actual inroads to providing alternatives.

You fucking priest, shove off. You were also likely "stupid consumer scum" bred by your unanarchist parents fucking, like the vast majority of us were. As if you know what this person has experienced and know how you'd act, Reverend. Go back to the monastery where you can excel in thine virtues of perfect anarchist praxis unlike us sinners.

Yes, let's not talk about guns! Let's focus on mental health and my muchaussen syndrome by proxy!!!!

Wow, was this propaganda actually written by the NRA?

"God bless us all"

Would an NRA shill calll out the NRA for racial profiling and now advocating profiling people with mental issues to deflect the debate?

Yes. Because then you get parents with mentally ill children, (which are now most children from the standpoint of today's pharmaceutical-happy culture, and with autism diagnoses rising, esp among upper middle class white children) and minorities on the side of the NRA, making them more worried about their kids being oppressed by gun control, than about gun control.

Duh.

Actually, I am most worried about people with Aspergers being profiled and sent to mental hospitals, which are prisons that add forced drugging to all the other abuses. The NRA might find this an acceptable "compromise," I do NOT-it is WORSE.

Still, support for cops putting people in jail for owning guns is NOT consistant in any way with anarchism! More laws, more cops is not what we stand for. I assume you are not an anarchist...

That's not a real fear, as is discussed here, and from my experience with a young adult schizophrenic friend who could not get help. Someone has to do something illegal to be committed.
And, yes, the system would rather jail them.

This mother probably has many other options, depending on how much money she has, and where she lives, besides committing her child immediately, or waiting for him to be violent, and perhaps hurt other people.

i don't know - maybe he needs to be committed... is his life more important than a couple dozen kids he might kill if he gets a hold of a gun and decides to pretend he's in a video game? If he didn't have easy access to guns, we wouldn't have to make such a harsh judgment. Comprende?

Yeah-I don't give a fuck about anarchism right now, or people's precious gun rights. I don't think citizens or cops should have guns. Period.

How that can happen in America? i have no idea. Maybe I should just go to a less insane and proudly desensitized country.

It's not really about what country you're in ... it's about your magical thinking and reality gap it creates. You can't uninvent guns, you can't suddenly change the mindset of millions of people. You don't have a magic wand so having opinions that require a magic wand is a waste of your time and energy, not to mention it muddies the waters for practical discussion.

We can do whatever we want. We uninvented flint-knapping and uninvented the atlatl. It all depends what you want. You may not be able to 'suddenly' change the mindset of millions of people, but you can change it slowly over time.

Actually have have NOT uninvented either. There are people who knap flint today, and people who have resurrected the atlatl for sport. Some think Europeans rediscovered flintknapping from Native Americans, just in time to use it in those fucking flintlock rifles they used to murder so many Native American people.

Then we have a different meaning of "uninvent". I took it to mean a technology that for all intents and purposes is no longer used except by a handful of nostalgic enthusiasts, not a technology that no longer exists, since theoretically any technology can be resurrected.

If there are people in a society that remember how to do something, they can teach others. Therefore the technology is still active and still exists. Not like Greek Fire, which we really DID forget how to make, only to learn how to make other things like napalm that are just as nasty.

Sorry, but profiling is EXACTLY what I fear most, having been said to have Aspergers myself. I would rather live in the woods then submit to screening, much less committment, because everyone is suddenly afraid that ALL people thought to have aspergers violently attack the innocent-which most of us do NOT. Yes, the case in the story here is a problem and no, guns should NOT be brought into that particular house.Still, I'd rather be killed by someone who is actually violent to the public than mistaken for such a person and locked up and force-drugged myself.

About those who DO become violent with the innocent: There was that mass stabbing at a school in China on the same day, and real worst-case scenario isn't a gun, but a can of gas and a match. Remember that guy whose son was killed in Iraq, and showed up at the recruiting center where his son was seduced into the Army, walked inside, gassed himself down and lit a match?

How about cases where someone goes nuts behind the wheel of a car and plows into a crowd? That happened in DC a few years back. Controlling guns may erect more barriers to mass attacks, but comes nowhere near making them impossible. This shit is fucking ugly, but there are no easy solutions.

Autism spectrum disorders are NOT mental illnesses. They are neurological disorders. Not the same thing. Also, ASD's are not associated with this type of violence nor is physical aggression a key component of these disorders.

I can't believe how many ignorant comments have been posted here.

If two thirds of mass shooters are White males, could be because two thirds of the US population is comprised of White people. Also, what SOCIAL CLASS did the Columbine, Aurora, and sandy hook shooters come from???

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Subscribe to Comments for "Thinking the Unthinkable "