First, condolences and prayers for victims and families.
Daily Mail has a useful header that seems to capture key themes to ponder as we head into the weekend:
These was of course — within minutes — the usual talking point exchange on firearms, gun-free [= target-rich] zones, mental illness and effects of certain antidepressants, affiliations (Antifa and Islamism have also been suggested and there is a picture of him in a MAGA hat) and the like, etc.
U/D: My email inbox has a link to Townhall that points to a claim that “Leon County law enforcement sources told the Tallahassee Democrat that they could not find information linking Cruz, 19, to the Republic of Florida Militia, as first reported by the group’s self-proclaimed leader Jordan Jereb.” So, that one is a bit of a mystery.
My own view is that there need to be mental illness facilities that can effectively detain potentially violent inmates, that we do need to look at effects of drugs and that schools, organisations and public meetings need oversight by an organised, armed civilian marshal corps. Including churches. I have even suggested the Tavor in semi-automatic form and a 6.5 mm Grendel loading, and would add 9 mm pistols where such would be a better fit. That coach should never have been forced to try to use his body as a shield. Obviously, one guard was not enough. Where, too, four or five people (at least two armed), would credibly be able to take down such a would-be shooter in a case where “when seconds count, the police are minutes away.”
While I am at it, if he was repeatedly reported (including to the FBI), was expelled and in a school for the troubled, how was he able to organise and carry out such an attack?
However, we need more.
What is it that is eating out our civilisation and is sending the message to those on the fringes that instead of cherishing one’s neighbour one can view and treat one’s neighbour as little more than a target. Perhaps, all too literally.
Let me add a remark by Pat Buchanan, which points to a further factor:
>>While this massacre may be a product of mental illness, it is surely a product of moral depravity. For this was premeditated and plotted, done in copycat style to the mass killings to which this country has become all too accustomed.
Nikolas Cruz thought this through. He knew it was Valentine’s Day. He brought his fully loaded AR-15 with extra magazines and smoke grenades to the school that had expelled him. He set off a fire alarm, knowing it would bring students rushing into crowded halls where they would be easy to kill. He then escaped by mixing in with fleeing students.
The first ingredient, then, was an icy indifference toward human life and a willingness to slaughter former fellow students to deliver payback for whatever it was Cruz believed had been done to him at Douglas High.
In his case, the conscience was dead, or was buried beneath hatred, rage or resentment at those succeeding where he had failed. He had been rejected, cast aside, expelled. This would be his revenge, and it would be something for Douglas High and the nation to see – and never forget.
Indeed, it seems a common denominator of the atrocities to which we have been witness in recent years is that the perpetrators are nobodies who wish to die as somebodies.
If a sense of grievance against those perceived to have injured them is the goad that drives misfits like Cruz to mass murder, the magnet that draws them to it is infamy. Infamy is their shortcut to immortality.>>
Maybe, we need to ponder a point raised by Bryan, in the 1920’s — though it will doubtless excite ire in some quarters:
>>Darwinism leads to a denial of God. Nietzsche carried Darwinism to its logical conclusion and it made him the most extreme of anti-Christians . . . . As the [First World] war [of 1914 – 1918] progressed I [William Jennings Bryan was from 1913 – 1915 the 41st US Secretary of State, under President Wilson] became more and more impressed with the conviction that the German propa-ganda rested upon a materialistic foundation. I se-cured the writings of Nietzsche and found in them a defense, made in advance, of all the cruelties and atrocities practiced by the militarists of Germany. [It didn’t start with the Nazis!] Nietzsche tried to substitute the worship of the “Su-perman” for the worship of God. He not only re-jected the Creator, but he rejected all moral standards. He praised war and eulogized hatred because it led to war. He denounced sympathy and pity as attributes unworthy of man. He believed that the teachings of Christ made degenerates and, logical to the end, he regarded Democracy as the refuge of weaklings. He saw in man nothing but an animal and in that animal the highest virtue he recognized was “The Will to Power”—a will which should know no let or hin-drance, no restraint or limitation . . . . His philosophy, if it is worthy the name of philos-ophy, is the ripened fruit of Darwinism — and a tree is known by its fruit . . . .
The corroding influence of Darwinism has spread as the doctrine has been increasingly accepted. In the American preface to “The Glass of Fashion” these words are to be found: “Darwinism not only justifies the sensualist at the trough and Fashion at her glass; it justifies Prussianism at the cannon’s mouth and Bol-shevism at the prison-door. If Darwinism be true, if Mind is to be driven out of the universe and accident accepted as a sufficient cause for all the majesty and glory of physical nature, then there is no crime or vio-lence, however abominable in its circumstances and however cruel in its execution, which cannot be justi-fied by success, and no triviality, no absurdity of Fash-ion which deserves a censure: more — there is no act of disinterested love and tenderness, no deed of self- sac-rifice and mercy, no aspiration after beauty and excel-lence, for which a single reason can be adduced in logic.” [The Menace of Darwinism, pp. 52 – 54. Emphases and explanatory parentheses added.]>>
Is this one root of what we are seeing? This is worth pondering, too. For, nihilism, surely, is not distilling itself out of thin air and imposing itself on us. END
PS: As it has come up, some BBC numbers, c 2007 when policy on holding the 50 rounds at home changed:
PPS: Here is an illustration on how Israeli Teachers protect their charges in loco parentis: