In college, I spent several years with an abusive boyfriend.
He was smart, though, so it was a quiet kind of abuse — very few marks. Very few public displays of anger. Hard worker, upright citizen. A bit cold, but not the kind of man you’d “expect” to knock his partner around.
Nine months after I left him, he called me crying at 10 in the morning, drunk. He was hurting. Life was hard.
And I still only wanted good things for him, so I went over.
For the next hour, he held me hostage with a Glock pistol, which is a semi-automatic handgun. This has also been the gun of choice for Jeffrey Weise, James Holmes, Cho Seung-Hui, Jared Lee Loughner, and most recently, Adam Lanza.
In my case, it was a gift from my boyfriend’s father. For “home defense.”
It is the calmest I can ever remember being.
Here’s a list of the scapegoats and excuses we’ve heard so far in the ongoing pro-gun noise machine’s efforts to blame gun violence and the Newtown school massacre on absolutely everything but the ready availability of millions of weapons like the Bushmaster AR-15 style assault rifle used by Adam Lanza.
(All excuses taken from actual right wing blog posts, web articles, and radio interviews.)
- Not enough God in schools.
- Not enough guns in schools.
- Not enough manly men in schools.
- Too many womenfolk in schools.
- Not enough children with guns.
- Not enough children trained to carry out human wave attacks.
- Asperger’s Syndrome.
- Mental illness.
- Video games.
- Quentin Tarantino.
- Jon Stewart.
- Abortion pills.
- Gay marriage.
- The theory of evolution.
- Swedish death metal. (OK, kidding on that one.)
I’m sure you can come up with some others.
In the aftermath of the Newtown shootings, the company that manufactured the semi-automatic rifle used by Adam Lanza, Bushmaster, came under fire themselves for an ad campaign that featured “Man Cards.”
An image from that horrible campaign:
Today, while writing the previous post, I discovered that sometime in the past 24 hours Bushmaster has pulled down the entire Man Cards page. Instead of their bizarre Freudian masculinity hangups, you’ll now see this error:
The leading intellectuals of the conservative movement are continuing their efforts to blame the Newtown massacre on absolutely everything except guns, and today at the National Review we have yet another amazingly ludicrous article. According to Charlotte Allen, this atrocity could have been avoided if only there were some manly men on the premises.
There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. In this school of 450 students, a sizeable number of whom were undoubtedly 11- and 12-year-old boys (it was a K-6 school), all the personnel — the teachers, the principal, the assistant principal, the school psychologist, the “reading specialist” — were female. There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees. Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers. The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, seemed to have performed bravely. According to reports, she activated the school’s public-address system and also lunged at Lanza, before he shot her to death. Some of the teachers managed to save all or some of their charges by rushing them into closets or bathrooms. But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.
The sick irony of this right wing fantasy is that the Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle used by Adam Lanza to slaughter all those children has been advertised for years as a masculinity-enhancing weapon that gives the shooter a magical “man card.”
And just to cap off this absurd argument, Ms Allen is not just crazy, she’s also factually wrong. There was, in fact, a male janitor at the school when the shootings happened. But instead of “heaving his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees,” he was running through the school halls making sure classroom doors were locked and warning students to flee.
I guess Charlotte Allen would consider this a “feminized” response.
These people are simply not right in the head.