Home > Current Affairs, Dystopia, LOL, Musings > Would ‘Gun Control’ Really Stop Rampage Killers in the USA?

Would ‘Gun Control’ Really Stop Rampage Killers in the USA?

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last three days you might have heard that a 20-year old guy (Adam Lanza) executed 28 people. He was only 4-5 bodies short of Seung-Hui Cho record (32 dead) set at Virginia Tech in 2007- a record which he could have easily broken given the nature of his captive audience. Having said that it is apparent that Adam was a better killer (28 dead, 1 injured) than Seung-Hi (32 dead, 17 injured). As many of you also know, more than a few politicians and media figures are trying to use this event to pass laws for more ‘gun control’ laws in the USA, hoping that the death of 6- and 7- year white kids can be used to grease the rails for passing such laws. But this post is not about whether they can succeed where previous attempts at ‘gun control’ have failed. This post is about whether even ‘strict gun control’ could stop rampage killers in the USA.

The short answer to that question is- No. Even very strict laws would not stop rampage killings in the USA. We would just see more of them committed with “illegally acquired” weapons or with other technology-based means that would cause a far higher body count. I should also point the hypocrisy of mourning the death of 20 white kids while supporting the killing many more brown kids in Pakistan as “collateral damage” of drone strikes. Understanding the reasons that make the USA uniquely susceptible to rampage killings requires to first acknowledge some of the unpleasant realities about contemporary american society.

People, unlike governments and large organisations, almost never profit from killing people publicly. The motivations of rampage killers are therefore very different from armies, police or bureaucrats. People who go on rampage killings almost always have a very deep personal and unremedied grievance with society. Going on a rampage killing is therefore just the last step in a process of progressively disenchantment with society. The seeds of that process are sown years before the final outburst and nurtured through increasingly negative experiences with society. Nobody just wakes up one day and decides that they have to execute 20-30 people by midnight that day.

Rampage killings are therefore almost never planned at a short notice. Indeed, the difference between your generic underworld-related killing and a rampage killing is that the person who commits the later has been thinking through the scenario for months, if not years. They have been playing, and replaying, that simulation in their head for weeks, months and often years. Rampage killings in the USA are therefore only partially like some tribal guy in Malaysia going ‘amok‘. While both are driven by a combination of personal insults and deprivation- the tribal guy snaps once the situation is intolerable. In contrast, his american counterpart will rarely kill immediately after his point of tolerance has been exceeded. The nature of modern life and amenities means that a person rarely has to act on his homicidal desires immediately. It is this delay between the final provocation and the outburst that makes american rampage killing very different from ‘running amok’.

Then there is the other crucial difference- education and intelligence. Have you noticed that many of the recent spree killers in USA, especially the ones with high body counts, were rather affluent, educated and intelligent. The modern american rampage killer is not some poor and dumb guy who dropped out of high school and works a minimum wage job- indeed the truly abused are too stupid and cowardly to kill lots of people. The modern american rampage killer is best understood as a reasonably privileged person someone who is lashing out at society reneging on its end of a contract he was explicitly (and implicitly) promised since he was born. A brief study of human history suggest that semi-elites who did not receive their promised share of the loot are the most dangerous adversaries of the system that defrauded them. What you are really seeing in the USA is the first overt manifestation of discontent among the younger generation of semi-elites, who rightly believe that they have been taken for a ride.

Now some of you might say- “why don’t we see such incidents in Japan, Greece, Spain or any other developed country with a high number of well-educated but unemployed or underemployed youth?”

The short answer to that question is- the peculiar nature of modern american society, institutions and beliefs. The longer answer to this question does however, once again, require us to talk about aspects of american society that most of don’t talk about or often hardly notice.

It begins with acknowledging that american society is not a society in the conventional sense of that word. It is based on conditional co-operation to attain personal gains without any real sense of social solidarity or togetherness. It has no significant and deep historical, cultural or ethnic competent. Therefore it has no organic institutions or mechanisms to keep most individuals content- especially under adverse conditions. While that was not as issue as long as the economy was growing or credit was plentiful, it does becomes an issue when the future is not looking good. Older societies such as Japan, Greece or Spain have gone through such situations in the past to have developed coping mechanisms that prevent the worst effects of poverty – though even that may not hold once things go beyond a certain point.

The educated but poor youth in those countries have a social net to fall back on. Whether it is their parents, extended family, local community, “unofficial” jobs or a government created jobs which pay enough to avoid serious social problems while providing good quality utilities (excellent and inexpensive healthcare, affordable and high-quality public transport, subsidized housing, subsidized or free higher education etc). That is why countries like Japan, Spain and Italy can have very high rates of youth underemployment and unemployment without any noticeable breakdown of civil society. Of course, youth underemployment and unemployment does fuck up the demographic profile- but that takes a couple of decades (or more) to manifest itself.

The youth in the USA have no safety net to fall back on. We do not have reliable family or extended family to provide them anywhere near the support that is the norm in many other countries and there is no sense of local community. The government is devoted to enriching a few at the expense of many and helps plutocrats, through armed force and law, to fleece everyone else. They provide costly and shitty healthcare, shitty public transport (if any), expensive housing and extremely expensive and mediocre higher education funded by non-dischargeable student loans. The system is so busy eating its seed corn to benefit the few that even the semi-elites (upper-middle class) no longer feel secure about their future. Until recently (a decade ago) the semi-elites and their progeny could look forward to a comfortable if somewhat uncertain future. That is no longer the case..

The reason you hear so much talk about growing income inequality in the last 4 years is largely due to the fact that things have become visibly and unmistakably worse for the semi-elites since 2008. They are now experiencing the same problems everyone below them has been experiencing for a couple of decades. Their belief in the validity of the previous social contract with the elites has evaporated. You can also add the ‘negative’ effects of feministic overreach and hypergamy to that- especially as far as younger men are concerned. It is therefore no surprise that you are increasingly seeing a few younger men from the semi-elite class take out their frustrations through rampage killings.

However the biggest threat to the current system does not come from the very small number of semi-elite youth shooting up movie theaters or primary schools. It comes from the much larger number who will express their frustrations through less overt but far more significant actions or strategic inaction.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. Trucidator Diaboli
    December 16, 2012 at 7:03 am

    “However the biggest threat to the current system does not come from the very small number of semi-elite youth shooting up movie theaters or primary schools. It comes from the much larger number who will express their frustrations through less overt but far more significant actions or strategic inaction.”

    As usual, the Lucifero-Gnostics like to inflate the sheople’s ego into thinking that they really pose a threat to the system.

    • Trucidator Diaboli
      December 16, 2012 at 7:04 am

      While in reality the sheople is helpless than ever.

    • P Ray
      December 16, 2012 at 7:49 am

      Lowered number of guys willing to sacrifice for women indicates otherwise.
      Don’t have sex with the Betas?
      The Alphas have other ideas about protecting women – too busy with their rotating harem.

  2. EvilOne
    December 16, 2012 at 8:09 am

    You can make guns with 3-D printers now…

  3. December 16, 2012 at 8:27 am

    It is disturbing that so many of these rampaging killers are involuntary celibates(Cho, Sodini) like myself. Truth be told, western society is NOT kind to us. I fear that it is only a matter of time before incels are taken seriously, i.e. the same ways Jews are taken seriously by the Nazis, and men like myself will be under heavy scrutiny.

    When Cho Seung Hui shot the attractive blonde freshman, she represented everything Cho couldn’t have, where Cho even had an imaginary girlfriend. I actually think the real solution would be to legalize prostitution, like many of the countries that didn’t have these many gun deaths are. If prostitution is legal, 32 people from Virginia Tech would be alive today. George Sodini’s story would be different.

    Second option added to that is to have government subsidized gym membership and plastic surgery. The reality is some people are ugly and they just need the fix

    • P Ray
      December 16, 2012 at 11:20 am

      Nerds are already considered “creepy killers” by default.
      The amount of shit-testing girls give such guys, who are not pre-qualified by hot girls, is amazing. You basically have to give her a house and diamonds before you are even her boyfriend (yes, I know someone who has been given this ultimatum).

      Also remember this list (courtesy w h i t e w a t c h . i n f o)
      The Top Ten Differences Between White and Non-White Terrorists
      Glad that’s cleared up (hat tip : Juan Cole)

      1. White terrorists are called “gunmen.” What does that even mean? A person with a gun? Wouldn’t that be, like, everyone in the US? Other terrorists are called, like, “terrorists.”

      2. White terrorists are “troubled loners.” Other terrorists are always suspected of being part of a global plot, even when they are obviously troubled loners.

      3. Doing a study on the danger of white terrorists at the Department of Homeland Security will get you sidelined by angry white Congressmen. Doing studies on other kinds of terrorists is a guaranteed promotion.

      4. The family of a white terrorist is interviewed, weeping as they wonder where he went wrong. The families of other terrorists are almost never interviewed.

      5. White terrorists are part of a “fringe.” Other terrorists are apparently mainstream.

      6. White terrorists are random events, like tornadoes. Other terrorists are long-running conspiracies.

      7. White terrorists are never called “white.” But other terrorists are given ethnic affiliations.

      8. Nobody thinks white terrorists are typical of white people. But other terrorists are considered paragons of their societies.

      9. White terrorists are alcoholics, addicts or mentally ill. Other terrorists are apparently clean-living and perfectly sane.

      10. There is nothing you can do about white terrorists. Gun control won’t stop them. No policy you could make, no government program, could possibly have an impact on them. But hundreds of billions of dollars must be spent on police and on the Department of Defense, and on TSA, which must virtually strip search 60 million people a year, to deal with other terrorists.

      • December 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm

        White terrorists are monitored by the SPLC, and to a lesser extent, the ADL.

      • P Ray
        December 17, 2012 at 7:23 pm

        You mean “apparent terrorists”.
        You can’t watch all the angry people all the time.
        And stopping bullying means a lot of important peoples’ kids need to be told to stop being douches. That’s bad for their self-esteem.

  4. EvilOne
    December 16, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Second option added to that is to have government subsidized gym membership and plastic surgery. The reality is some people are ugly and they just need the fix
    ======================================================================

    Maybe, but not necessarily. Thats not how arms races work.

  5. December 16, 2012 at 10:17 am

    there are millions of guns, in fact you can buy gun parts and build one yourself circumventing the registration process…

    getting rid of guns would be like getting rid of porn-impossible at this point…

  6. Matt Strictland
    December 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Fine essay AD.

    Knowing that these things are inevitable I’d rather these rampage killers use guns than bombs or (soon enough) germ warfare.

    As to what TD said, the situation is much of the West is done for and people do have the power to bring it down Not as much with a bang but a whimper. Lashing out hurts and inflicts costs but ignoring it, opting out and such do far more damage. The West won’t die by violence, heck violence just means people care (rioters think they can have change) even spree killings are a crazy person blowing off steam.

    No, what is awful is a revolution of No. Every person not having a kid, not buying something, no paying attention, living smaller, earning less, choosing escorts instead of girlfriends and living in the now instead of investing is a nail in the coffin of the West.

    Those that think there can be a different maybe better tomorrow can opt for what they like but for the bulk of people, the not doing is more powerful than can be imagined.

  7. webe
    December 16, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I agree that it is a symptom and not just some wacko one-off stuff. The anomie is not exclusively American, though it is far worse there than anywhere. The number of guns, the prison population, the endemic violence (the chance of being murdered is 1:240 in the States) all set up the States to be ground-zero for this kind of freaking out, and it will likely get worse. There’s a lot of entitled ego’s who have absolutely no social web to help them find anything worthwhile in life when their inflated self-delusions crash.

    But guns are so cowardly and aphysical, can you imagine taking 20 six-year olds and wringing their little necks?

  8. December 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    While I agree with what you have written, it would help if an insane person’s mother did not have a semi-automatic weapon in the house. You may be right that he would have found another way to get back at society. But perhaps the simple of act of not having such easy access could have helped to prevent some of this. And where did he get the ammo?

    Again, you are right about gun control not solving America’s problem of mass shootings. It will take far more than that. It will take actual intelligence on the part of gun owners and ammunition dealers. But I wouldn’t entirely write gun control off the list. It would be better if we came together to try to put a stop to mass shootings. The other alternative is to accept them as a part of life, and that is simply not acceptable.

    • P Ray
      December 17, 2012 at 12:13 am

      But people accept poverty, hunger and injustice as part of life.
      Maybe this is just one of those acts to balance those situations out?

  9. Matt Strictland
    December 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    gladinsky :
    While I agree with what you have written, it would help if an insane person’s mother did not have a semi-automatic weapon in the house. You may be right that he would have found another way to get back at society. But perhaps the simple of act of not having such easy access could have helped to prevent some of this. And where did he get the ammo?

    Again, you are right about gun control not solving America’s problem of mass shootings. It will take far more than that. It will take actual intelligence on the part of gun owners and ammunition dealers. But I wouldn’t entirely write gun control off the list. It would be better if we came together to try to put a stop to mass shootings. The other alternative is to accept them as a part of life, and that is simply not acceptable.

    These events are super rare and really, unless you are connected to the victim, worth getting worked up about. Granted they were upper crust White kids but so? Black and Hispanic kids die all the time in smaller numbers and we aren’t much worked up about that as a society.

    You are pun intended aiming at the wrong target here collectively punishing responsible gun owners instead of dealing with mentally ill people and a broken society.

    The shooting here was fully preventable but not by gun control, a double shotgun would have enabled him to kill kids and adults as would a Molotov cocktail and even the UK doesn’t ban entirely shotguns or gasoline. Its also despite its issues (London ugh) a healthier better functioning society and less prone to this.

    In fact onerous regulations schemes may not even be allowed here (D.C vs Heller) and while you could try to alter the courts, that risk civil war (the US is tantalizingly close now)

    More importantly had Lanza had mental help with regular follow ups (or been institutionalized if necessary) and not been a product of a broken home, this probably could have been prevented. We need a society that works to prevent this sort of thing.

    How you do that is a function psychiatric system not subject to political whims, regular education, help as needed and real efforts to preserve two parent (and extended) families. Not just “boom, done, money” but if there are kids involved (or issues like this mentally ill person) efforts need to be made by private or non political groups to keep things stable or follow up. This isn’t all anyones fault here, the divorce happened after he was an adult which is as responsible as such divorces get but its pretty clear the shooter didn’t get the follow up care

    And yes I know its hard but that the way you prevent these issues.

    If we are really after a quick fix, arming teachers like in Israel is the way to go. Every educator has to re-certify at the end of the year on various arms . This would stop 2/3 of these things in their tracks. And note the teachers in this incident were brave enough to use the weapons so that argument is flat. Had any of these brave educators been armed, Lanza would have killed at lot less people maybe none. Now yes you’d need to pay teachers a bit better but its not that expensive and they can train with the cops.

    One last thing, we might benefit from making prostitution legal as well as that. Many of these homicidal idiots were involuntarily celibate and had they gotten sex, even pay for lay along with the help they needed, a lot of frustration would be gone and they would be a lot less likely to blow

    • Webe
      December 18, 2012 at 5:31 am

      There is no easy set of policies that would have prevented/will prevent such actions.
      It remains true that the easy access to guns certainly makes such incidents more likely.
      These people are also usually taking SSRI’s, although correlation/causation is not self-evident.

      Getting very little attention is the fact that the news is the silent accomplice. Everybody now has such acts as a template of what you could do if you were feeling crazy. A lot of people might not stumble across the possibility themselves, just as I would never have thought of the possibility of fucking a dead body if I hadn’t heard of it first. It is a cliché that ministers run off with the lady organist/choir director, but because it is a cliché, it happens more often than probability suggests, precisely because it is already out there as a possible path. If you’re thinking of screwing up, you already have “socially sanctioned” means.

      The news is also an accomplice in amplifying the incident a million-fold. What would be the point of a terrorist kidnapping or a shooting incident of this kind if word did not get out. It would’t be much of an event, would it? There’s no point to porno/exhibitionism without spectators, and that’s true of terror incidents as well.

  10. December 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Reblogged this on oogenhand and commented:
    American society is unraveling quickly. The elites don’t understand, or don’t want to understand what to do about it.

  11. Rob Thomas
    December 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Interesting stuff. Has anyone considered the increasing specialization of our culture as a problem? People need to feel accomplished, that they have worth, they are capable of something. In modern America, we are trained to do just a few things well, and when that doesn’t work out, well, things get ugly. America 50 years ago people painted their own houses, mowed their lawns, fixed their cars. Today, we call others for that and spend our time in ever increasing specialization that does little to satisfy any inner need. And when that job or prospect evaporates there is no fallback skill(s) to define us. What I tell people is branch out, stop watching stupefying sports on the TV and learn to do different things. Learn to weld, wire a house, rebuild an engine, remodel a bathroom, butcher an animal, etc. Not that we all need to become doomsday preppers, just that being self sufficient is great for defining who you are. Those that have a firm grip on who they are are far more likely to survive a job loss, etc.

  1. December 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

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