Why the Columbine and Las Vegas Massacres?

After the 1999 school massacre in Columbine, Colorado – an exurbia community – by two disaffected teenage boys (who also killed themselves), I came to the conclusion that the killers’ “motive” was not at all a purposeful urge, goal, revenge or obsession, but instead a complete self-abandonment into nihilism – a giving up – and the horrible eruption of that destructive nihilism was a symptom of those boys’ lack of culture – an abysmal lack of culture. I see the same about Stephen Paddock, the shooter in Las Vegas; his fury to kill emerged out of a profound lack of culture.

It seems to me that these rapid-fire suicide-killers had been born into and raised (probably somewhat thoughtlessly) in a cultural void. Their world was a generic beyond-suburbia commuter outpost of sprawl, malls, video games and Internet pablum and porn, instead of real books of literature, real art instead of plastic flamingo-level decorations, and real music instead of throwaway canned between-commercials pop. They had never absorbed real culture, which is the emotional and intellectual glue that binds an individual to the wider human communities both in the present and through the long arc of time.

Those boys (young and old) had lives of material ease, but they had absolutely no spirit because the nurturing and feeding of the spirit – the essential purpose of culture – was absent from their lives. I believe the spiritual-cultural hollowness of their cores was a reflection of the spiritual-cultural desert that was their environment.

By their late teens the two Columbine killers had had enough of it, and could see nothing in their possible 60 to 70 years of future living except more of the same. That “more of the same” is the listless life Stephen Paddock lived until he too had had enough, at age 64. As they looked into their futures the Columbine teens could have thought that maybe they could become insurance agents or realtors, or some other “normal” occupation that would see them harnessed to the spinning wheels of pointless money-making. And they would have their free time to be just as hollow as their comfort-providing work would be: more video games or video poker?, hanging out at the same beer joints with the same kind of empty-headed crowd?, watching another game on TV?, getting married and keeping up the same kind of families they had grown up in?

What would be the point? It was like looking down an arrow-straight empty four-lane freeway across a dry-lake salt-flat that stretched out to their 80th year and led to nothing but a dead end. Why spend the better part of a century bored, waiting to get to nowhere after having spent the whole trip doing nothing because nobody cared anyway, and end up just as useless as they were now, then die unnoticed and thereafter remain forgotten? Why not cut out all the slow stuff, the boring, tiresome waiting and pointless work, and just get one incredible orgasmically exciting machine-gun humping high, and then check out in a blink before the let-down set in?

I think it is the deep, personal absorption of and sensitivity to culture, and even tradition, that fills a psyche with the substance needed for living life joyfully; and the substance which occupies what would otherwise be a spiritual-cultural void that can only produce interminable lassitude or explosions of destructive nihilism erupting out of deeply submerged despair.

I think the appreciative absorption of culture, along with the received gifts of affectionate nurturing, kind friendship and confident love, are the necessary courses in a complete education of the human heart. I see major tragedies like the Columbine and Las Vegas massacres, as well as so many little-noticed murders of the same sort, to be the result of our society’s many failures at providing all our people with that necessary education of the heart.

I was prompted to write these comments after reading the following article, pointed out to me by Anthony Tarrant.

I went to School with the Vegas Shooter
Greg Palast
13 October 2017
https://dissidentvoice.org/2017/10/i-went-to-school-with-the-vegas-shooter/

See Anthony’s comments at his blog page:

Why Stephen Paddock Snapped In Vegas
15 October 2017
https://anthonytarrant.wordpress.com/2017/10/15/why-stephen-paddock-snapped-in-vegas/

<><><><><><><>

The photo above is of John F. Kennedy’s grave as it appeared in April 1964. My photos of this grave are the only ones I have with any relation to guns and gun violence.

<><><><><><><>

Now published at Dissident Voice:

Why the Columbine and Las Vegas Massacres?
18 October 2017
https://dissidentvoice.org/2017/10/why-the-columbine-and-las-vegas-massacres/

<><><><><><><>

Paradise Rejected

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Paradise Rejected.

History, if it continues to exist beyond the mid 21st century, will record the society of the United States of America as the most idiotic that ever existed on the face of the Earth. Having achieved the pinnacle of wealth, physical power, knowledge and technological advancement of any society during the entire course of humanity’s existence, it nevertheless managed to miserably and abysmally fail to use its unparalleled capabilities to ensure lives of physical, economic and medical security for all its people, as well as liberation for them from unnecessary work – and most work today is unnecessary.

Also, the society of the United States of America has failed miserably and abysmally to use its unparalleled capabilities to effectively and unselfishly assist the other 95% of humanity to eliminate poverty, eradicate curable diseases, dampen conflicts and quell wars, and in partnership with that “rest of humanity” to expeditiously raise the standard of living of the least advantaged and most vulnerable of this world’s people.

The incredible stupidity of myopic ultra-capitalist greed, and the obdurate stupidity of the ultra-egotistical, navel-gazing, bigoted, racist, willfully ignorant self-absorption of too many (I think most) of the American people will ultimately spell out the epitaph of what we now call the American Civilization.

It is true that much of humanity outside the United States of America shares these failings, but all of their societies, even in combination, lack the magnitude of capabilities that the United States possesses, and which could be put to authentically good uses.

If archeologists from alien worlds or future Earthly life-forms ever decipher the history of the United States and of humanity from their dead remains, they will no doubt conclude that the extinction of the United States was inevitable and well-deserved on the basis of its behavior. Those archeologists might also conclude the same about humanity as a whole if it had escaped destruction as a result of the American collapse, and yet had not overcome the same failings that doomed American Civilization.

What is most infuriating about all this is that such a sad degeneration and painful extinction need not happen at all. It is entirely in our power right now to think right and act right to literally make an Earthly Paradise of both the United States of America, and even the World.

What I have learned about people is that there is always an infinite reservoir of excuses for insuring inaction, and for continuing with conditions of abject stupidity and unconscionable cruelty.

My Biggest Mistake.

My biggest mistake is to place what turn out to be too high and unrealistic expectations on other people, and then being disappointed when they fail to meet them.

When I try to compensate for this error by assuming the worst about people I don’t know, and interacting as little as possible with others, I am accused of being negative, unsociable, grouchy, and unfair. If I respond to this criticism by being more positive, sociable, not grouchy, and fair, then I find that I fall back into my original and most frustrating error. In an effort to avoid this nauseating oscillation, I try to dampen my enthusiasm (which kills the spirit) and moderate my disgust (which insults intelligence), by being reserved – not extroverted – and saying as little as possible to others, especially when it comes to being truthful about them and their preoccupations.

People believe what they want to believe, and it is nothing but trouble to contradict them. Almost always it is an illusion to think you can help others by contradicting what you know are their mistaken ideas. What is frustrating about keeping your unwanted counsel is watching the everything all around you needlessly degenerate.

Even knowing that you yourself have your own preferred illusions, it remains disheartening to feel you are living as the sole sane individual in an insane asylum – The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari – or the sole hairless speaking ape on the Planet of the Apes.

As I sit here, looking out onto a beautiful scene of glorious early fall sunshine illuminating crystal clear air, and the radiant greenery of forested hillsides, with Stellar Jays squawking as they scavenge for Hummingbird eggs, remnants of fresh cat kills, and other morsels of protein; and of the many Hummingbirds clicking and twittering around my head as they drill through the air and swoop in to lap up the sugar water I put into feeders for them, I think of how slowly the elegant and amoral natural world and its animal life-forms evolves, and of how far these animals are from developing a civilization. And yet, compared to us humans, these animals are incapable of degenerating as precipitously as we have so abundantly shown we are prepared to do.

Bleed Patriotically For America’s Gun Masturbation.

The NRA is lobbying Congress for a state funeral for Stephen Paddock (look him up if you don’t know) as a patriotic ritual of celebrating the 2nd Amendment, which is the Holy Sacrament of the United States of America.

Gun Clutchers are obsessive-compulsive sociopaths whose sacred right to kill must be protected by whatever degree of human and animal sacrifice is required. It is the patriotic duty of all Americans (humans and animals) to accept being personally sacrificed (or have their children and family members sacrificed) to uphold the sacrament of the 2nd Amendment. Don’t cry, instead bleed patriotically for the freedom of American gun masturbation.

<><><><><><><>

Guns Are America’s Masturbation

The US news at the moment is dominated by the deep and shocking tragedy of the rampage killing on December 14 in Newtown, Connecticut, where a lone gunman (a 20 year old male) first killed his mother in their home, then went to the Sandy Hook Elementary School to randomly shoot 20 children (ages 6 and 7) and six adults dead, wound one other person, and finally kill himself. Total casualties: twenty-eight dead, one wounded.

The acrimonious debate on “gun control” versus “2nd Amendment rights” in the United States has been momentarily reignited. While this particular massacre is the evil work of one particular sociopath, undoubtedly precipitated by a lack of psychological soundness and moral strength completely disintegrating under the pressure of resisting some personal realization too shameful to confront, the fact that such a disintegration could so easily access modern semi-automatic weaponry and use it at will is a searing indictment of the abysmal state of the collective character of the American people.

So long as guns are America’s most fiercely held form of masturbation, there can be no rational discussion of how to keep shooting sports and mental illness separated, nor of the crafting of intelligent regulatory procedures for keeping the public safe from the pathological misuse of guns.

In 2011, I wrote two articles whose aim was to prod discussion toward such a rational solution. But, I have no hope such is possible until (if ever) a major change occurs in the collective character of the American public. The root of the problem is who we are as a people, not what we do with guns nor how we regulate them. We have to be, individually and collectively, a radically different kind of people in order to maintain a safe, orderly, intelligent and minimal use of firearms. Our debates and arguments about guns — “control” versus “rights” — are all excuses and denials because we don’t really want to admit to the root failure, nor take responsibility for it. We just want to masturbate no matter who has to die for it.

Gun Malpractice Insurance
25 January 2011
http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/01/gun-malpractice-insurance/

Gun Freedom, or Owning A Gun The Way The Constitution Intended You To
12 January 2011
http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/01/owning-a-gun-the-way-the-constitution-intended-you-to/

Looking back on these articles, I see them as retreats into the absurd in desperation to find some effective procedure to prevent such overwhelming and unnecessary tragedies. One can only hope.

Rampage Killing In Aurora, Colorado

The outrage in Aurora, Colorado on July 20, 2012 is now dominating the news.
Just below is a partial list of rampage killings in recent times in the U.S. (otherwise Europe), and all after 1983 (those selected are mostly between 1999-2012). A much fuller set of lists (by category of rampage killing: in geographical regions, as school shootings, workplace shootings, hate crimes, familicides, vehicular, grenade, and by other means of mass killing) is given at
Some recent rampage killings:
City/Town – State – Date – (died/injured)
San Diego, California, July 18, 1984, (21/19)
Jacksonville, Florida, June 17-18, 1990, (11/6)
Killeen, Texas, October 16, 1991, (23/19-22)
Littleton, Colorado (Columbine High School shooting), April 20, 1999, (13/21)
Atlanta, Georgia, July 27-29, 1999, (12/13)
Red Lake, Minnesota (school shooting), March 21, 2005, (9/5-7)
Blackburg, Virginia (school shooting), April 16, 2007, (32/17)
Binghamton, NY, April 3, 2009, (13/4)
Kinston, Samson and Geneva, Alabama, March 10, 2009, (10/6)
Fort Hood Texas (workplace shooting), November 5, 2009, (13/30)
Tucson, Arizona (shooting of US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords), January 8, 2011, (6/12)
Oslo and Utoya, NORWAY (hate crime) July 22, 2011, (77/42-242)
Toulouse and Montauban, FRANCE (hate crime), March 11-22, 2012, (7/8)
Oakland, California (religious school shooting), April 2, 2012, (7/3)
Aurora, Colorado (“Dark Knight” Movie House), July 20, 2012, (12/58)
The Aurora tragedy has rekindled the debate over gun control in the media, for example:
58 Murders a year by Firearms in Britain, 8,775 in US
by Juan Cole (21 July 2012)
and
Colorado Gun Laws Remain Lax, Despite Some Changes
by John Schwartz (20 July 2012)
However, the presidential candidates have been careful to avoid talking about gun control, even as they “honor” the victims at Aurora:
Obama Joins Romney in Gun-Control Silence After Shootings
By John McCormick (July 21, 2012)
Gun control is not an issue that can be discussed rationally in the United States, because in this country gun ownership is masturbation. After the shooting rampage and attempted assassination of US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), I wrote two articles on guns and society (“gun control”):
Gun Freedom, or Owning A Gun The Way The Constitution Intended You To
12 January 2011
Gun Malpractice Insurance
25 January 2011
It’s hopeless. These occasional massacres, perpetrated by young to early middle aged frustrated males, are the price we accept to keep our personal arsenals. Why do we need them? Because we are afraid. Why are we afraid? Because too many of us are of weak character and cruel. Why is that? Because ignorance is allowed to dominate too many of our lives.