A handyman recently told me that he was estranged from his teenage son because his ex wife agreed to pay half the cost of purchasing an M-15 semiautomatic rifle for the son as a graduation present if his father would pay the other half.
The handyman refused.
I thought of him Tuesday when a 15-year-old sophomore brought a nine-millimeter semiautomatic handgun to Oxford High School and in a matter of minutes had killed four fellow students and injured several more.
Good call on the part of the handyman, I thought.
Why Do Kids Want These Guns?
Then I wondered anew why teenagers want the type of gun used in 2017 in Las Vegas when Stephen Paddock, a 58-year-old gambler, killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds more who were attending a music festival.
Kyle Rittenhouse, then 17, had an AR-15 type semiautomatic rifle in 2020 when he went to Kenosha, Wisc. and ended up killing two people in self defense.
It seems obvious to me that much of the problem lies in America’s culture, which is polluted by violent video games (i.e., Mortal Kombat, Splatterhouse, Grand Theft Auto) and easy access to semiautomatic firearms.
The massive industries that churn out violent video games and semiautomatic firearms are shielded from responsibility for mass shootings by federal and state laws and our court system. But parents are not.
What possessed Kyle Rittenhouse, a baby-faced 17-year-old, to pick up an AR-15 style rifle and head to Kenosha, Wisconsin in the first place?
There has been a lot of discussion about the harm caused by social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to American youth but very little discussion about the role of violent videogames, where teens arm themselves with massive weaponry to maim and kill.
Rittenhouse claims he and a friend volunteered to go to Kenosha to protect a car dealership that was set upon by rioters the night before. Rittenhouse, who is now a nursing student, wore a medical kit and said he intended to provide medical care. At one point he also carried a fire extinguisher.
It all seems hopelessly naïve, but not altogether implausible for a 17-year-old teenager, especially one who testified Wednesday to playing violent video games.
Rittenhouse ended up killing two men and grievously wounding a third. He’s claiming self-defense. Cell phone videos of the action that evening in Kenosha show Rittenhouse lying on the pavement, while protesters/rioters attacked him and attempted to wrestle the gun away from him. The only reason they didn’t succeed is because it was strapped on his shoulder.
A few decades years ago, a teenager like Rittenhouse might be working to become an Eagle Scout.
Healthline reports that more than 90 percent of kids play video games and more than 90 percent of popular games portray violence.
A national poll this week found that 67% of Republicans across the country still believe the 2020 presidential election was invalid.
Yet, America’s three branches of American government – executive, legislative and judicial – seem determined to ignore the concerns of more than 50 million voters, attributing them to misinformation peddled by the conservative media.
Indeed, the Democratic Party unveiled a controversial strategy this week to de-platform conservative cable news outlets for fomenting “dangerous misinformation” about the election.
Two members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Anna G. Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, both Democrats from California, Monday sent an ominous letter to 12 cable and tech CEO’s asking, “Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, OANN and Newsmax on your platform both now and beyond the renewal date?” the letter continues. “If so, why?”.
The Committee held a hearing Wednesday to address “disinformation and extremism” in the conservative media.
Prof. Jonathan Turley, chair of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, told committee members that “free speech is not contained entirely within the First Amendment.” He said the letter by Eshoo and McNerney attacks free speech. “We should be concerned when members try to do indirectly what they cannot do directly,” he said.
This will be an inauguration like no other in recent history.
It is reported the Pentagon is deploying upward of 20,000 National Guard troops with lethal weapons to Washington, D.C. for the Jan. 20 inauguration of GOP President Elect Joe Biden. This is twice the number of American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.
Additionally, The Army Times reports that, at the request of U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, D-CO, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command is reviewing the backgrounds of troops involved in inauguration security “to ensure that deployed members are not sympathetic to domestic terrorists.”
This display of force is being arranged even though Biden’s inaugural committee announced on Jan. 3 that there will be a “virtual parade” after the swearing in ceremony to keep crowds to a minimum amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the election of Democratic President Jimmy Carter in 1977, Presidents and their families have walked at least part of the inaugural parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue on foot to wave at crowds. This act is meant to show they are the “peoples’ president.”
Four years ago, President Donald J. Trump and his wife, Melania, walked along people-lined streets, though police had earlier clashed with protesters, hurling flash-bang grenades to drive them from streets near the parade route.
The theme of Biden’s inaugural committee is decidedly different.
The committee is selling swag on the Internet that includes a $105 “Thakoon Panichgul – Sweatshirt” bearing the logo: “unity won over division.” Panichgul is an American fashion designer. At worst, this logo is a reference to a slander that all Trump supporters are White Supremacists. At best, it doesn’t do much to promote actual unity.
Some novelist somewhere is writing a book about how malevolent forces in a political party used a worldwide pandemic to throw a U.S. Presidential election in four swing states under its control.
When voters caught on, they went to the courts in these four states – lets say, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – and demanded justice. But the courts refused to act. And so did the state legislatures. (Skeptics said it was because they were controlled by the “Winning Party.)
The “Losing Party,” which seemingly was caught unawares, was ostensibly outraged that its Presidential candidate was robbed of a solid victory.
In truth, the leaders didn’t care much for their loud-mouth Presidential candidate. He was an outsider, always making trouble, and his alma mater is second-tier Ivy League. More importantly, the corruption in the four states didn’t affect down ballot voting and the “Losing Party” actually picked up many Congressional seats and grew much stronger. The leaders of the “Losing Party” stayed mostly quiet.
Point of No Return
At the point of no return, the hero of this tale, The Lone Star state of Texas, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land. It argued the four rogue states had invalidated the will of voters of the state of Texas and the country as a whole. There was no other forum for redress, Texas argued.