It has been well reported the tragedy that struck the small town of Uvalde, TX. As more details become available, so does the uproar and clamor for action and blame. I am sure that in the coming weeks the newspapers and blogs will be filled with heated debate about gun control, law enforcement response, and the motivations of the perpetrator, and as I read these articles and watch the anger, pain, and – sad to say – stage drama unfold about how this could happen, I am struck by a comment I first saw mentioned by Sen. Mike Lee in which he puts forth a possible deeper cause to the rise of such incidents.
I have read about the alleged number of magazines the perpetrator had and the various accounts of the reaction of the school and law enforcement. There are even several articles that dive into the mental make-up of the shooter or the parenting skills of the mother. There are even veiled innuendo online questions concerning how the weapons were acquired, projecting little empathy towards those who have suffered. I honestly have to say, those things listed are questions to be answered, but what I want to know is the real root of the “why”. It is from this that there may be a real chance to prevent such tragedies.
Firearms have been in America since its founding, and yes, I understand that their numbers and capacity have changed over the years. But their availability has not. Open school grounds and other mass gatherings have also long existed. So, why has there been such an increase in such incidents over the past few decades? The analyst in me asks, “What variables have changed?”
Since guns, criminals, schools, and crowds have been around for a while, then one is left to look at what has changed in the individual. What factors have so changed the mental make-up of the American citizen? Even, a cursory quick glance at Wikipedia shows that while there have been multiple shootings in American history, what we would associate as a mass shooter event today was unheard of prior to 1965. So, I again, I wonder what has changed.
The men and teenagers of 1950s America had ready access to firearms. In most cases, military firearms were acquired by their fathers and grandfathers from distant battlefields and war surplus stocks. I would also speculate that both hunting and shooting sports were more prevalent in those days. That generation was further exposed to the red scare, growing global insurgencies in the news, and the stories of the distant battlefields being told to them by the greatest generation, so they weren’t necessarily shielded from the prospect of violence.
However, in just a few decades America would descend to where mass shooting events are becoming common enough to replace duck and cover with active shooter training for police and lockdown drills in our schools. With gun control laws continuing to be added to the books showing little effect. If the violence has continued to increase, then it can’t be the guns but the willingness of a person to use them. Even in the days of the wild west, lone gunman rampages targeting innocent masses were few and far in between.
So as I dwelled upon what variables to consider, I began to concoct a theory drawn from the decline in hunting or other shooting sports, corporal punishment, and the generational shifting of attitudes away from individual responsibility, and to the ideals expounded on liberal campuses throughout the 1960s. I then unexpectedly stumbled upon two responses from a Daily Wire article that at least makes me question a possible correlation;
These two have given me much to dwell on and do so with far better pose than I could articulate. It drives home to me that many will have a lot to say about this tragedy and argue over how best to address it. What remains for me, is that the larger and greater undeclared tragedy is a marked lack in the sanctity of human life and the ease with which violence seems justified.
By Cade Logue
Cade Logue is a military veteran, a proud Texan, a patriotic American, and a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative.
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