Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...


Everything but tech support.

1122, 05 Aug 19

What to do?

The Wall Street Journal opinion piece regarding the most recent spate of mass shootings is the best one I’ve seen so far. Here’re a few parts, but read the whole thing:

The mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend are horrifying assaults on peaceful communities by disturbed young men. American politics will try to simplify these events into a debate about guns or political rhetoric, but the common theme of these killings is the social alienation of young men that will be harder to address.

This is political cynicism. Mass shootings also occurred under Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton. They occur around the world, if much less frequently, such as in Christchurch, New Zealand (2019), Australia (2019), and Norway (2011). The twisted motivations are varied and often too convoluted to sort into any clear ideology.


This is the rant of someone angry about a society he doesn’t feel a part of and doesn’t comprehend. It is all-too-typical of most of these young male killers who tend to be loners and marinate in notions they absorb in the hours they spend online. They are usually disconnected to family, neighborhood, church, colleagues at work, or anything apart from their online universe.

These men may draw inspiration from one another online, and any communication or common connection needs to be investigated. The FBI says it has made 100 arrests related to domestic terrorism in the last nine months. But blaming all this on one politician or ideology, left or right, without evidence of such a connection is disingenuous and counterproductive.


The problem is identifying those with mental illness who are a threat, and then allowing society to intervene to prevent violence. Overwhelming evidence suggests that the de-institutionalization of the seriously mentally ill has had tragic results. Libertarians and mental-health advocates who resist such intervention need to do some soul-searching.

The same goes for those in the gun lobby who claim that denying access to guns from those with a history of mental illness violates individual rights. So-called red-flag laws that let police or family members petition a court to remove firearms from someone who may be a threat might not have stopped the El Paso killer. But the evidence in the states is that the laws have prevented suicides and may prevent other mass shootings. Gun rights need to be protected, but the Second Amendment is not a suicide pact.


Which brings us back to the angry young men. This is the one common element in nearly all mass shootings: 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz in Parkland, Fla.; Chris Harper-Mercer in Oregon’s Umpqua Community College; Adam Lanza at Newtown, Conn.; Devin Patrick Kelley in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and the rest. All were deeply troubled and alienated from society in our increasingly atomistic culture.

This is one price we are paying for the decline in what the late sociologist Peter Berger called the “mediating institutions” that help individuals form cultural and social attachments. These are churches, business and social clubs like the Rotary, charitable groups, even bowling leagues, and especially the family. Government programs can never replace these as protectors of troubled young people.

The problems we face are complex and multi-faceted. They cannot be solved by just passing another bill or hectoring the American people to be nicer to one another. The problems are rooted in an American, but also a global, cultural upheaval that is facilitated by the global proliferation of technology. The problems are also rooted in some profound cultural things that we don’t want to face like the breakdown of the family, marginalization of faith, stigmatization of mental illness, and discounting the role of fathers and manhood.

Let’s take the two items that the editorial references – institutionalizing the mentally ill and red flag laws. I support both of those ideas, but the devil is in the details. And it’s hard. How do you determine when someone is no longer mentally fit to own a weapon? Who decides? When do they need to be separated from society and institutionalized? Who decides? How do we balance the rights of the individual with the safety of society? This balance is at the core of the American Experiment, and we have some strong difference of opinion as to where that balance should be.

The answers are not found in the glib or heated rhetoric emanating from the latest politician looking for votes. They are to be found in an honest discussion with each other in our homes, churches, clubs, and, yes, online. Until we are willing to have hard discussions about hard issues, we will not find any solutions. Instead, we will just go through another cycle of action, reaction, and retreat into our respective corners.


1122, 05 August 2019


  1. jonnyv

    Lumping everyone into generalities does no one any good. But people pushing this like it is a problem with mental illness isn’t helping either. These people are no more mentally ill than a terrorist overseas, rapists, spousal abusers, murderers, carjackers, etc. Too many people want to think that the only way someone commits these kind of crimes is because they are clearly mentally ill, but that isn’t the case (with most). It is because we can’t comprehend what it would take to make that decision to pull that trigger and the easy way out is to say they are mentally ill.

    This isn’t due to video games, or rap music, tv, or movies. This isn’t because people are not going to church. This isn’t the prescription drugs we are giving kids.

    There is a theme here. Usually young, white, & male. Usually outsiders or “weirdos” as some may call them. Kids who were probably bullied when they were younger or just never fit in. Kids who find more connections with strangers online than they do in person. People who are looking to latch onto any form of community and unfortunately many times it is a bad community that only enforces their lonely tendencies. Ends up filling their heads with garbage and pointing their hostilities towards a specific group of people like immigrants, mexicans, women, politicians, etc.

    The El Paso shooting specifically is bad for Trump. While I don’t place the blame directly on him, you can directly trace much of the rhetoric and his negative comments directly to the manifesto that was written. He is purposefully a speaker whose goal seems to enrage his base. It is just his style. He isn’t nuanced like so many others before him. He doesn’t go for a calm discussion he attacks and calls names.

    But, Donald Trump will be long out of office and we will still be having these incidents. Unless something is done. We had one guy try to blow up a plane with something in his shoes and now I need to forever take off my shoes at the airport. How about we start with magazine limits and maybe look at re-establishing the assault rifle ban that was in place for years. How about we start SOMEWHERE. Pick something… ANYTHING!

    We can’t legislate the problem away. But maybe we can slow it down a bit while we continue to try and figure this out.

  2. Pat

    Very well stated, Jonny.

  3. dad29

    Agreed it’s not “mental illness” in ALL cases.  And let’s not forget Muslim madness caused a few of those ‘mass shootings.’

    The WSJ editorial mentioned the decline of ‘intermediary institutions’ such as families, churches, Boy Scouts, and bowling leagues (and they mis-attributed the phrase–it’s really Edmund Burke’s, re-voiced by the Sage of Mecosta.)

    Of course, “mass shootings” pre-existed the revolution of the ’60’s, too.  Think Valentine’s Day in Chicago, or the “legitimate” mass shooting of laborers in Bay View, WI., which was “legitimate” only by virtue of being bought and paid for.

    Once life is held cheap, the consequences are ugly.

    And of course, there will never be a “red flag” law which prevents this sort of thing, nor one which actually works, given the 2nd and 4th Amendments.  So it’s sad to see people who should know better, such as Crenshaw, advocating one.  Trump did, too–but frankly, I don’t think he actually DOES know better.

    Like it or not, being a member of society–ANY society–brings risks.  They cannot be avoided.  Take a drive down I-94 sometime if you need a reminder.

  4. jonnyv

    Dad29, I agree about the red flag law. I also agree that Trump has NO CLUE as to what he is talking about on this subject. He (nor a lot of older politicians) really understand how the internet works or just want to pretend that anything is possible.  He speaks about Facebook and Google restricting conservative speech and then talks about how they need to monitor for red flags. Do we really want private companies providing this kind of data to the federal gov’t to put people “on lists” to monitor for future problems?

    I don’t hear many people crying about censorship today that Cloudflare took down the 8chan server. But what if they did this to RedState or another conservative site? I personally am fine with any private company restricting the free speech on their platform. There are always other avenues.

    The Dayton shooter apparently had a kill list in High School. 6 years ago. Should he have ever been able to own a gun again? Is that enough to take away his 2A rights forever? Hindsight is 20/20 here obviously. I don’t know what the circumstances are of how he obtained a gun. I am sure we will find out in the next few days. Just food for thought at this point.

  5. Mar

    The deinstitutionalization is result of liberal stupidity and bad court decesions. And the consequences of their actions has resulted in a few people being legitimately released but have killed thousands of people.
    Now, it is almost impossible to have someone committed to a mental hospital involuntarily unless there is absolute evidence a person is a danger to themselves or others and sometimes that doesn’t even work.

  6. Mar

    Jonny,many of these private companies already monitor what goes on their sites. If they see something they don’t like, they ban that person. Happens all the time. So, if they are already are monitoring and enforcing their standards, then why can’t they report a dangerous post? Sadly, that’s how the world works nowadays.

  7. Kevin Scheunemann


    I missed your specific screed on Dayton shooter and Elizabeth Warren’s rhetoric!

    Your statement implying indirect blame on Trump is gross unless you are willing to be equally gross toward Elizabeth Warren for her hurtful left wing rhetoric Dayton shooter clung to.

    Then we can talk about your gross blame of Bernie sanders for his campaign worker, Hagedorn, purposely shooting Republican lawmakers in 2017.

    If you are going to be disgusting and gross, blame liberals equally for their shooters.

  8. jonnyv

    Mar, you are right in that large sites have monitoring software and key-wording in place. But is that something we want forcibly shared with the federal gov’t based on their standards? And who is required to do that? Every single internet forum??? From small ones like B&S straight up to Facebook?

    I mean, we are really getting into some Minority Report crap here. I believe currently they are only obligated to moderate for piracy concerns from the DMCA.

    And as I said, I don’t care who they ban on their privately owned sites. I can take my business elsewhere.

  9. jonnyv

    Kevin, there are remarkable differences in just being a supporter of someone and outright repeating the reasons for your killing spree as the identical beliefs of a particular person or group.

    I will be concerned when a nutjob kills people because they want universal healthcare or tuition reimbursement. Not because they fear the influx of immigrants.

    And again, I didn’t blame Trump directly for this. I said it was bad for him in a political sense. No different than him laughing and joking at the comment about shooting them in the panhandle. I know he wasn’t serious, but the difference in most politicians is that they would take that moment to decry a comment like that. He just rolls with it and turns it into a joke. It isn’t a good look.

  10. jjf

    But then there are folks who like to joke about shooting people, or that the solution to a problem is to stock up on guns and/or ammo.

    Dad29, have you ever done that in your comments on this site?

  11. Le Roi du Nord


    Pretty good insight.  Keep up the good work.

  12. Kevin Scheunemann


    What are you talking about?

    Bernie hates super rich, capitalists, employers, and anyone not “woke”!

    He stokes way worse hate.

    You have blinders on if you are going to play this gross game.

  13. Le Roi du Nord


    Just curious; has Bernie ever promoted violence, wanted to deport US citizens, or threatened imprisonment? Or claimed there were airports in the 1700’s ?

  14. Kevin Scheunemann

    Trump has never promoted violence either!

    … and what the hell do other issues have to do with mass shootings? When you link simple political debate to inciting violence.. that is gross and immoral.

    Is that what you shoot for? Being both gross and immoral?

  15. Mar

    Bernie wants to put people out of work, confiscate people’s money and property, uses vile language, hates people of color, supports the killing in Cuba and Venezuela- he’s a pretty evil guy.

  16. Mar

    LevRoi, why does Bernie hate the people of Venezuela? Hate the people of Cuba? Why doesnt do anything about the inner cities of the US? Seems like old Bernie had a problem with people of color. Of course, he comes from one of the whitest states, and his campaign rallies are almost as white.

  17. Mar

    And Le Roi, why does Bernie support socialist countries that do murder it’s citizens? You ask if Bernie ever promoted violence. Oh, hell yeah, he does. He also supports countries that imprison their citizens for just protesting. He supports countries that have extreme violence and the governments don’t care.
    Bernie, through his support, has indirectly killed more people than President could ever do.

  18. Le Roi du Nord


    Here is the quote from the article you provided, “The letter details behavior of a small number of Sanders supporters who, angry at a vote rejecting proposed changes to the rules of the day, protested loudly over the course of the day’s proceedings”.  Nowhere does it say the Sanders himself promoted violence, nor that any violence ensued.

    Try again.

  19. Jason

    Yeah, about as interesting as any op ed piece with a full on political bias.  Did you hear my eyes roll up there in Duh North, Leroy?

  20. Kevin Scheunemann

    Oh Nord,

    No where did Bernie denounce the incitement of his campaign heads. Are you, in your racism dismissing concerns of Democrats threatened by Bernie bros? Awful. Just awful.

    If the was trump campaign doing this you would be calling for executions.

    You are gross and awful in your hypocrisy on this.

    That NY Times piece is also gross and awful liberal opinion pretending to be journalism.

    Linking to it makes you gross and awful.

  21. Mar

    I read the piece LeRoi and if it wasn’t such a serious subject, it would be laughable.
    The writer is a Trump hater and he really offered no objective evidence to support his yheisis, that Trump caused these 2 wack jobs to kill 31 people.

  22. Le Roi du Nord


    Here is what you said, “Sanders does incite violence!”.  Now you are again moving the goal posts.  Have fun with that.

    And no, I am firmly against the death penalty.  Again you are making assumptions without any evidence.

    If you want to come up here and call me gross and awful to may face I’ll buy the gas.

    BTW, Douthat is a conservative christian opinion writer.

  23. Kevin Scheunemann


    Silence toward your campaign acting gross is acceptance.

    Not me saying this, but Democrats filing ethics complaint against Sanders.

    Try to keep your facts straight

    You strain to overlook lefty incitement, if we are going to play this gross game that simple political speech is “incitement”.

    I am not one playing this gross game in Trump derangement syndrome. You are.

  24. Le Roi du Nord

    No k, it isn’t.  You are making stuff up again.

    Yes, it was you saying that.  See above for the exact quote.

    I have my facts straight.  You have no facts.

    trump is deranged.  And you are moving your needle in the same direction.

  25. Kevin Scheunemann

    Bernie is deranged.

    Trump is not.

    You have no facts.

    You ignore Bernie’s derangement because you embrace his deranged ideology.

  26. Le Roi du Nord


    It’s still free country so you are entitled to your opinion. But you still haven’t answered the question: which general captured the British airports during the revolutionary war?

  27. Mike

    Focusing on the weapon will never address the violence. We should all be asking why the world’s richest people and most powerful politicians are the ones pushing to disarm us.

    Teach your children about history. Learn what happens in countries where the populace is disarmed and tightly controlled. Our forefathers just fought off their own tyrannical government and knew what they were doing with the 2nd amendment.

    Here is a link to start:
    There were 262 MILLION people killed by their own government in the 20th century. Bad things happen in isolated instances in an armed populace, horrific things happen to a disarmed populace.

    20th Century Democide

  28. Mike

    Want something more recent?

    I saw this New York Times article dated May 13 2019 about gang violence in the Honduras. The caption on the last picture is very telling.
    “Men searching for a body in San Pedro Sula. Since the turn of this century, more than 2.5 million people have been killed in the homicide crisis gripping Latin America and the Caribbean.”
    Countries in this region have very strict gun control, and it is very hard for citizens to legally own any type of firearm. Honduran citizens need a separate license for each firearm (a maximum of five) and are liable for any crimes the firearm was used in, back to when it was made. Honduras does a ballistic test as part of the licensing process.  Mexico bans all military calibers from civilian ownership.
    The US has ~34000 firearm deaths a year. That is ~612,000 deaths from 2000 – 2018. 2,500,000 deaths in a similar period is current evidence of what happens when disarmed citizens are prey for criminals.

  29. Kevin Scheunemann


    I do not answer your question because it has nothing to do with topic.

    Is covering for evil, by taking focus off it, your plan?

  30. jjf

    So much fanciful dreaming about how guns protect you from tyranny.

    tyr·an·ny /ˈtirənē/ noun

    cruel and oppressive government or rule.
    “people who survive war and escape tyranny”
    synonyms: despotism, absolutism, absolute power, autocracy, dictatorship, undemocratic rule, reign of terror, totalitarianism, Fascism; a nation under cruel and oppressive government.
    cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control.

    Let’s take your fantasy and run with it.  Let’s imagine President AOC coming to round up all the Republicans to take them to the camps.  Somehow the police or militarydecide to follow her orders.  You think you own a weapon that’ll protect you and yours?

    Or let’s say you decide the President has become too much of a tyrant.  Who and what do you attack, with that weapon of yours?

    If you don’t like wet dreams, find some concrete examples.  Can you find any real-life examples of someone with weapons like yours who fended off the cops or military when the came for them?

  31. dad29

    Douthat is a conservative christian opinion writer.

    So what?

  32. Le Roi du Nord


    Except it goes right to the point you tried to make; that trump isn’t deranged. So answer the question or drop that claim.

  33. dad29

    Lefty pansies like Jiffy don’t understand the term “honor.”

    So we will resist.  May die trying, but with honor.

    You, Jiffy, may eat bonbons until they come for you.

  34. Merlin

    Moments of self-defense, civil or otherwise, are rarely of our choosing. You’re not nearly as in charge of your own existence as you think you are. There’s nothing wrong with responsibly making yourself and your family a hard(er) target. The 2A merely grants you the option of not having to throw stones as a means of self-defense. If throwing rocks is your thing, go for it. You’re even free to capitulate without resistance. Call it pro-choice. Ain’t America great?

  35. jjf

    Yeah, I watched the black-and-white war movies, too, Dad29.  And “Red Dawn” too.  Tell me, seriously, in all detail you fantasize about, how they’re going to come for you, and why they would, and who.

  36. dad29

    As usual, Jiffy, you supply all the low points of the entire Internet for a day.

  37. jjf

    If we can fantasize about honor and fighting off the corrupt government military, why can’t we try to imagine the rest of the scenario?  Why are they coming for you, Dad29?  You’re a threat to them?  Why?  President AOC’s search engine found your blog commentary on Catholic music?

  38. Mar

    jjf, Clive Bundy, family and friends in Nevada.

  39. Le Roi du Nord

    Cliven Bundy, noted scofflaw and deadbeat, still owes the BLM a bunch of rent.  And hasn’t paid for all the damage to federal property caused by his nut-job friends and followers.  Great example.

  40. Mar

    Le Roi, I answered his question, but I guess you just want to a jerk about it.
    But since you presumably live in the Midwest, I realize you know nothing about ranching, traditions, about this case, the West and what happened, not to mention, so I’ll excuse your ignorance.
    Bundy isn’t perfect but neither was the US government.
    And Bundy was found innocent of all charges, mostly due to government misconduct.

  41. Le Roi du Nord

    Ah yes, we are a land of traditions and not laws. But we have this fine old tradition of paying rent to landlords. Free stuff, that’s what conservatives really want.

    Bunds and his bunch are crooks and crazy. Go ahead, defend illegal behavior.

  42. Mar

    Again, Le Roi, since you only know a tiny bit about the case, I’ll excuse your stupidity.

  43. jjf

    Yup, we’re right on top of that!  Two words for you:  Emoluments clause.

  44. jjf

    Whoops, wrong thread.

  45. jjf

    I’m trying to connect the dots between “ranching and traditions” and “you’re not from around here so you can’t have an opinion” and “why didn’t that brown man simply surrender when the cop asked him to.”

  46. Le Roi du Nord

    Bunny didn’t/doesn’t pay his rent so we all get to subsidize his operation. And his kids and fellow nutjobs destroyed public property. Why would you defend a deadbeat and criminal activity. Is that a conservative tradition?

  47. jjf

    Come on, Le Roi!  He was wearing a cowboy hat and a flag pin and he’s a sovereign citizen!

  48. Mar

    jjf, you asked a question and I answered it. You can have an opinion but since LeRoi spouted his uneducated view, then yeah, his opinion means about as much Wimpy at a salad bar.
    Mean while Bundy was found not guilty due to misconduct by the federal government, his cows are still on the land, he continues to make improvements to the land and the government had not after him again.
    Unlike Uneducated Le Roi, I followed this case because I lived Vegas at the time.
    If this such a clear cut case, why were the charges dismissed because of government intentional misconduct. And it was an Obama judge that dismissed the charges.

  49. jjf

    Thank you for the example, Mar.

  50. Le Roi du Nord


    The government prevailed in all aspects of US v. Bundy.  You are mixing up and mixing together the Nevada case with the one later on in Oregon.  Better be careful when calling others uneducated.

    Bundy was, and still is, a criminal and a deadbeat who resorted to criminal activity to further his personal interests.   Read some of the nonsense he spews and claimed in court, then tell me you are a “conservative”.

  51. Mar

    Again Le Roi, you are uneducated. Cliven Bundy was never in Oregon.
    So, tell me Le Roi, the Uneducated, do you like being a fool or do you like being stupid?
    I like that nickname “Le Roi the Uneducated”, kind of gives a Viking nickname to you.

  52. Le Roi du Nord

    Hmmmm, Bundy was arrested by federal agents in February, 2016 in Portland, OR.

  53. Mar

    Wrong Bundy, Le Roi the Uneducated.

  54. Mar

    Please, Le Roi, for the sake of humanity, please just admit you don’t know what you are talking about. Think of the children who read this, they will be scarred for life, knowing how uneducated some liberals are. Just think of the children.

  55. Kevin Scheunemann

    Nord’s sole goal is running interference on topics like this.

    We know liberals will blame Trump, conservatives for the evil in El Paso.

    However, when it comes to shooter in Dayton, the socialist, Satanist, disgusting evil, should not get ideological blame because liberals are pure and holy in intentions.

    Nord is gross on this front, he refuses to admit the liberal grossness here and defends it by steering the topic away from the liberal grossness here.

    His Red Herring’s from the topic at hand, to avoid the exposing and discussing of the awfulness of liberal ideology is gross across many issues.

    He has been doing it for a long time.   He, (or she…can’t assume static gender these days) rarely sticks to the topic at hand, and resorts to attacking the messenger on other issues.   Thus why he keeps attacking me on my Creation conviction, my heresy against his global warming religion, and constantly misquotes me on previous topics without proof.

    Nord is just dishonest when it comes to sticking to topic at hand, especially when the topic makes liberals look bad.


  56. Le Roi du Nord


    You are the last person to be lecturing anyone about honesty.  Maybe marbles should get some of your wrath as well, as his truthiness is quite suspect regarding the bundy clan.  But you won’t because you are birds of a feather.

    And I didn’t bring bundy into the discussion, I just pointed out that the bundy’s are a great example of how religious/conservative cranks game the system for their personal benefit.

  57. jjf

    So if I’ve got this right, there are certain kinds of people who should surrender and put their hands in the air and not do anything that might even look like they’re reaching for a weapon when confronted by the cops, and there are other kinds of people who should provoke an armed stand-off?

  58. Kevin Scheunemann

    Oh Nord,

    You keep saying I am dishonest, but you can never produce a correct quote!

    That makes you awful.

  59. jjf

    No, Kevin, his actions would be awful.  Why do you mix up the sin with the person?

  60. Mar

    Ok, Uneducated Le Roi, he got off the plane in Oregon and was sent back to Nevada.
    And I don’t believe in all the things he believes in. He is a different kind of crazy.
    And Uneducated Le Roi, how come the US government was so corrupt that Bundy is a free man and his cattle are still roaming the land?
    But like I said, you don’t know the ways of the West, maybe the coast of California ways, but not the ways of cattle ranching West.

  61. Le Roi du Nord


    Here is what you said, “Cliven Bundy was never in Oregon”.

    Now you admit he was.  Now tell us all, who is uneducated, and who was wrong.

    And bundy et al are still deadbeats and criminals.  And, as you said, their own kinda crazy.  Not a good example to present.


  62. Mar

    Hey Uneducated Le Roi, you implied he participated in the Oregon takeover, which he did not.
    “The government prevailed in all aspects of US v. Bundy. You are mixing up and mixing together the Nevada case with the one later on in Oregon. Better be careful when calling others uneducated.”
    Your statement is completely wrong. Clive Bundy was never on trial in Oregon.
    And Ammon Bundy was found not guilty on all counts. Not exactly winning all aspects.
    So, Uneducated Le Roi, your nickname really does fit you.

  63. Le Roi du Nord

    “you implied he participated in the Oregon takeover”.

    No mumbles, that was you.  See above.

  64. Mar

    Oh, poor, poor Uneducated Le Roi. Why must you lie? Why must you be a troll? Why are you so uneducated?
    Just admit you were wrong and that some hick that lives out West knows what happened with the Bundy’s and you do not.
    Just admit that you put out false information and that you were wrong…again.

  65. Le Roi du Nord


    Could you point out the lie?  I can, “Cliven Bundy was never in Oregon”.


  66. MjM

    Nort wonders: “Could you point out the lie? ”

    Yes, of course.

    Nort lies: “The government prevailed in all aspects of US v. Bundy.”

  67. Le Roi du Nord

    Well marbles, they did. If you feel otherwise you should get the court records changed.  And bundy was in Oregon.

  68. Le Roi du Nord

    “Bundy lost in U.S. District Court on all his arguments regarding states’ rights and jurisdiction in the United States v. Bundy cases.”

    Decision and Order, US v Bundy, US District Court of the District of Nevada

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