Tuesday, November 24, 2015


An exchange on facebook:

Toni: I've noticed a trend with these mass shootings where the shooter is typically portrayed as an outlier. Do you think then, in addition to reviewing gun laws, reporting laws, and the like, that we should also review what it was that made these people feel as though they needed to orchestrate such violence in order to compensate for their, IDK, ostracization? (sp?). I mean, is there a way that we can elevate philosophies of acceptance of these people instead of punishing them for being different? Or are we as a nation too divided on so many levels to even consider making this attempt?

Ron: At this moment in US history, I don't think so. We actually had a bit of a window of opportunity with this in the wake of Columbine. That was part of the conversation, about the harsh social circle realities of high school, how utterly alienating it is. But that was quickly squashed by public school security crackdowns which included making the informal ostracizing of weird kids dressed in black into official institutional rules. That is, we, as a society, decided to double down on alienating non-conformists and weirdos.

Exactly the opposite of what we should have done. I don't see us doing any better with that sort of thing today.

Toni: We're doomed

Ron: At the moment, it sure does seem like that. But it's always darkest before the dawn. On the other hand, I think things can get darker still.