18 votes

The free market responds to America’s school shootings

17 comments

  1. [14]
    Bullmaestro
    Link
    My idea of the free market responding to school shootings was pulling sponsorship deals with the NRA and firearm manufacturers. Never thought we had a whole industry of child safety products...
    • Exemplary

    My idea of the free market responding to school shootings was pulling sponsorship deals with the NRA and firearm manufacturers. Never thought we had a whole industry of child safety products fuelled from America's unwillingness to ban or regulate firearms.

    I really think that America's school shooter epidemic is a socioeconomic problem first and foremost. Other countries, even ones with similarly lax laws on gun ownership, don't need airport style x-ray scanners, panic rooms, prison-like hallways, ballistic-shielded backpacks, industrial grade locking mechanisms and taser-armed drones in their schools because their societies have regulations on free speech, universal health care and actually have economies that aren't creating a social underclass.

    If you don't believe my hypothesis, can you please explain why inceldom is mainly an American thing?

    12 votes
    1. [9]
      Rez
      Link Parent
      I don't think it's mainly an American thing as it does pop up elsewhere, we just have our gun access amplifying things, but it's a side effect of an individualistic culture where community is...
      • Exemplary

      I don't think it's mainly an American thing as it does pop up elsewhere, we just have our gun access amplifying things, but it's a side effect of an individualistic culture where community is increasingly dead, i.e. actual in-person community. There's increasing numbers of young men out there that just tumble through the education system and their daily life who end up with no close friends, no romantic experiences or experiences of being wanted or feeling they have inherent worth, no meaningful experiences of being close with others in safe and secure relationships, and no meaningful social network to fall back on when they're in an emotionally difficult place. It's not like they manifested this outcome for themselves on purpose, so mentally and emotionally they just check out. They're atomized people put into society with all its demands and expectations while they get nothing out of society in return. This applies to quite possibly hundreds of thousands of young men - but nearly all of them peaceably spend their time on solitary activities ranging from video games, reading, television, porn, the internet and so on, so it's still only a very small fraction that acts out, but a minority that nevertheless exists.

      21 votes
      1. [8]
        lou
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I would posit that, while the lack of significant romantic experiences is a source of a very specific kind of frustration everywhere, some cultures do exaggerate its importance to some extent....

        I would posit that, while the lack of significant romantic experiences is a source of a very specific kind of frustration everywhere, some cultures do exaggerate its importance to some extent. Lots of people wish to have a lot of sex and connect emotionally with a partner; sadly not everyone will achieve that goal. That is a fact of life. But some cultures seem to harbor the notion that such a failure to connect equates to an absolute existential failure -- that is to say, a failure to romance is a failure to exist, and it is not surprising that so many seek to rectify this contradiction by committing suicide.

        It doesn't help that, when someone truly believes that only sex and relationships can validate their existence, suddenly they become a lot less attractive. "Inceldom" is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        10 votes
        1. Adys
          Link Parent
          A relationship may be a social goal for its own sake for some people, and yes that can be culture driven. But it can also be an incredible driver of stability. I’m 31 years old. I’ve had some...

          A relationship may be a social goal for its own sake for some people, and yes that can be culture driven. But it can also be an incredible driver of stability.

          I’m 31 years old. I’ve had some pretty fucky relationships in the past. And being with my current girlfriend is such an immense driver of stability and good for my mental health, I can’t begin to describe it.

          Extended periods of being single, as an adult, can become extremely difficult as a variety of stresses and experiences have to be confronted alone, and a constant general lack of a mutual “rock”. This is without even talking about how important sex can be for mental health for some people.

          These factors are amplified by culture but culture isn’t what is making them important.

          10 votes
        2. EgoEimi
          Link Parent
          You hit close to (what I believe to be) the heart of the problem of modern life: it's increasingly difficult for people to feel Existentially Valid. Especially when social media and the internet...

          You hit close to (what I believe to be) the heart of the problem of modern life: it's increasingly difficult for people to feel Existentially Valid.

          Especially when social media and the internet are here to show us up close the lives of the most successful, attractive, talented, athletic, brilliant, and/or accomplished people. I don't have concrete evidence on hand — but I think it's a fairly safe bet to say that the constant and intimate showcasing of the top 1% of humanity probably makes a significant number of people feel terrible that they could never measure up.

          In contemporary discourse, we throw the term mental healthcare around as a cure-all. That a lack of access to therapy and medication is what needs remedying. But I think there's a lack of discourse around the decline of social infrastructure that's critical to mental health: community, family, and personal relationships.

          8 votes
        3. [5]
          teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          The projected idea itself, that sex is so important to your identity and virginity is a scarlet letter (irony noted), just oozes insecurity. It's millions of miserable people making each other...

          The projected idea itself, that sex is so important to your identity and virginity is a scarlet letter (irony noted), just oozes insecurity. It's millions of miserable people making each other miserable.

          3 votes
          1. [4]
            Rez
            Link Parent
            Projected from where? Me? I'm not in that situation. We know sex or a relationship isn't the end-all be-all that'll magically cure a person's problems, but it's still an important stepping stone...

            Projected from where? Me? I'm not in that situation. We know sex or a relationship isn't the end-all be-all that'll magically cure a person's problems, but it's still an important stepping stone for a person's social and emotional development and I think it's a disservice to these people to pretend that it's unimportant, because it just comes off as "society" being dishonest to them. Pretty much no one is out there arguing that lifetime virginity or asexuality/aromanticism or whatever is how most people should live their lives. We're social animals and the structure of society is increasingly spitting out people into adulthood who have never been properly socialized, so that all they see laid out before them as their future is a lifetime of loneliness punctuated by wage work.

            4 votes
            1. [3]
              teaearlgraycold
              Link Parent
              No. Sorry I didn't mean to give that impression at all. Be careful as asexuality is a valid sexuality. But I'm not sure how much work the other words in that sentence are doing. Most people aren't...

              Projected from where? Me?

              No. Sorry I didn't mean to give that impression at all.

              Pretty much no one is out there arguing that lifetime virginity or asexuality/aromanticism or whatever is how most people should live their lives.

              Be careful as asexuality is a valid sexuality. But I'm not sure how much work the other words in that sentence are doing. Most people aren't asexual but I don't think it's right to start saying what sexuality "most people" should have.

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                Rez
                Link Parent
                In that is a reference to my own experience. I used to identify as asexual for a good few years, the story of which is a whole separate thing we don't need to get into here (and I consider it to...

                In that is a reference to my own experience. I used to identify as asexual for a good few years, the story of which is a whole separate thing we don't need to get into here (and I consider it to be way different to identify as asexual as a man vs identifying as such as a woman). If an asexual here is offended by my phrasing, then I'd prefer to hear the argument from them instead of someone speaking on their behalf.
                The simple point is that nearly everyone is a sexual being, and increasing numbers of those sexual beings aren't having sex. So we can repeat the talking points about how no one is entitled to sex and all that, but agreeing on that doesn't change at all how it's nevertheless a problem that increasing numbers of people - young men especially, though not exclusively - are increasingly virginal, and among those who do have sex, the frequency and recency of that is decreasing. People increasingly have no close friends per what surveys show and are estranged from their families and have few meaningful bonds with their local community. The dearth of sex is a good proxy indicator for illustrating how human connection in general is being smothered out.

                5 votes
                1. teaearlgraycold
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  This sounds suspicious. I wouldn’t call myself asexual, but I’m further in that direction than any of my friends. It became clear in college that I really just felt differently about sex compared...

                  I consider it to be way different to identify as asexual as a man vs identifying as such as a woman

                  This sounds suspicious.

                  If an asexual here is offended by my phrasing, then I'd prefer to hear the argument from them instead of someone speaking on their behalf.

                  I wouldn’t call myself asexual, but I’m further in that direction than any of my friends. It became clear in college that I really just felt differently about sex compared to your average person. But I’ve been able to refine my understanding since. I generally feel like people identifying as “a-spec” or “demisexual” have feelings that align with mine. I’m not asexual but I remember what it felt like to effectively be asexual, a time before I’d ever gotten to know someone worth having sex with.

                  I feel like you’ve lumped asexual people into a group with people who are allosexual and lonely. It seemed a bit careless to imply these are the same group.

                  3 votes
    2. [3]
      whbboyd
      Link Parent
      This is a hell of an assertion with no support whatsoever. Counterpoint: the extraordinarily misogynist perpetrator of the 2011 Oslo terror attacks (may he rot in prison and subsequently hell) is...

      inceldom is mainly an American thing

      This is a hell of an assertion with no support whatsoever. Counterpoint: the extraordinarily misogynist perpetrator of the 2011 Oslo terror attacks (may he rot in prison and subsequently hell) is Norwegian.

      18 votes
      1. [2]
        Bullmaestro
        Link Parent
        I live in the UK. I can count all the major public shootings in the past few decades on one hand: Hungerford, Dunblane, Plymouth. The last one happened at the hands of an incel. I don't think even...

        I live in the UK. I can count all the major public shootings in the past few decades on one hand: Hungerford, Dunblane, Plymouth. The last one happened at the hands of an incel.

        I don't think even a millipede has enough limbs to count the number of mass shootings that have occurred in America over the past six months.

        My reason for calling it a prominently American thing is the sheer frequency of mass shootings and America's unique position as a first world nation without basic safety nets or restrictions on free speech.

        4 votes
        1. Greg
          Link Parent
          Mass shootings are a predominantly American issue, but I don't think that necessarily leads to the conclusion that inceldom is as well. If anything I think it raises a more interesting question:...

          Mass shootings are a predominantly American issue, but I don't think that necessarily leads to the conclusion that inceldom is as well.

          If anything I think it raises a more interesting question: if there are significant numbers of incels and other disillusioned, isolated people elsewhere (and I absolutely think there are), why is it primarily the ones in the US that turn to mass murder?

          12 votes
    3. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It's not uniquely American in the slightest, and that's easily proven to be the case. E.g. Japan and South Korea are also both known for having a large and growing incel problem, and have seen a...

      can you please explain why inceldom is mainly an American thing?

      It's not uniquely American in the slightest, and that's easily proven to be the case. E.g. Japan and South Korea are also both known for having a large and growing incel problem, and have seen a commensurate increase in misogynistic attacks against women in recent years as a result of their radicalization. See:
      https://www.counterterrorismgroup.com/post/executive-summary-prevalence-of-incel-ideology-in-east-asia
      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/06/world/asia/japan-hikikomori-recluses.html
      https://www.vice.com/en/article/m7en8p/semen-terrorism-south-korea

      And Canada has had several incel related attacks recently as well. See:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_van_attack
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_machete_attack

      Certain things in America likely exacerbate the problem greatly, especially the easy access to guns, but lack of regulated speech, universal healthcare, and social safety nets are clearly not the root cause of inceldom, given that there are plenty of incels elsewhere in the world, even in countries where those systems exist.


      p.s. If you're interested in reading about one of the root causes of the violence associated with inceldom (IMO), this Southern Poverty Law Center article is worth reading: https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/male-supremacy

      As are the various publications on the subject from the Institute for Research on Male Supremacism: https://www.malesupremacism.org/publications/

      10 votes
  2. kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    I don’t have it in me right now to give this article the type of meaningful response I’d like to, so I’ll just reiterate what I’ve, sadly, been saying for a full decade now: Nothing makes me feel...

    I don’t have it in me right now to give this article the type of meaningful response I’d like to, so I’ll just reiterate what I’ve, sadly, been saying for a full decade now:

    Nothing makes me feel like I’m living in an actual dystopia more than having to talk with children, every new school year, about the very real possibility that someone might shoot them.

    This article captures some of that timbre. It’s dystopic as fuck. I can’t imagine what it reads like to those of you outside of America. I’m so numb to it and so jaded to the idea that anything will actually change that I would actually welcome many of these products.

    At a previous school I worked at, we once asked about getting actual mechanisms to lockdown doors (similar to those in the article), and our administration’s response was to point us to a YouTube video that showed how you could put several lanyards around the extension arm at the top of a door to hinder its opening (the same principle used by the red sleeve shown in the article).

    “Can we have locking mechanisms to stop a shooter from entering the room and killing our kids?”
    “Why? You already have plenty of lanyards in your classes!”

    I wish I were joking.

    11 votes
  3. AugustusFerdinand
    Link

    Hardened doors, bulletproof backpacks and classroom panic rooms — how companies are filling the school safety void of gun control.

    “The sound of children screaming has been removed.”

    So ran an editor’s note appended to video footage of the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 21 dead and 17 wounded.

    If these words were shocking, others are more familiar.

    “We can’t stop bad people from doing bad things,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, hours after the attack. “We can potentially arm and prepare and train teachers.”

    By the end of the Uvalde attack, 376 law enforcement officials were at the scene. Does it not seem quixotic to expect a more effective response from the art department?

    If arming, training and insuring 3.7 million teachers is a rhetorical decoy, “hardening” schools into defensive fortresses is a daily reality — enabled by an expanding universe of suppliers for whom education is often just another sales vertical alongside law enforcement, emergency medicine, prisons and the military.

    8 votes
  4. vegai
    Link
    In this comment lies the core of the problem. "We can't stop bad people", and because many of these people are Christians, they have a fundamental belief that people are evil and only by constant...

    “We can’t stop bad people from doing bad things,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, hours after the attack. “We can potentially arm and prepare and train teachers.”

    In this comment lies the core of the problem. "We can't stop bad people", and because many of these people are Christians, they have a fundamental belief that people are evil and only by constant personal effort and vigilance can they become good. But in reality, bad people are entirely created by bad circumstances: either by society, or by very unlucky differences in the brain. So even though perhaps bad people cannot be stopped universally, it is totally possible to stop most people from becoming bad.

    8 votes