Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Prevention of violence has to address all causes, not just Guns!
The BBC initially reported on the Parkland School shooting, within hours of when it happened, by describing the standard operating procedure that we go through after each of these shootings declaring that we'll go through the same exact ritual without even changing it or recognizing how absurd it was. There was at least one other pundit that provided the same bleak description in one of the most recent other mass shootings and he turned out to be right.
You might get the impression that there is nothing that can be done about this and that we should simply accept it as a fact of life that is unavoidable!
That would be totally false!
There's plenty of good research on the causes of violence and, contrary to the coverage from the mainstream media, the only contributing factor is not gun control, although there is evidence to indicate that there are less gun deaths in states with more reasonable gun control laws. Nor is it mental illness, although there's significant evidence that this is also a major contributing cause; however, even though it is a major contributing cause the coverage about it provided by the mainstream media is almost useless, explaining little or nothing about how to treat it, or more important, to prevent it from happening in the first place!
I've gone into a series of articles, listed below, a few years ago with numerous contributing causes of escalating violence and it should be clear that they all need to be dressed which would dramatically reduce all violence, not just school shootings.
Reasonable gun control is one of those issues that should be addressed; however I doubt if it's the most important one, although when it comes to the biggest mass shootings, it may be, or at least it may appear to be. The most important contributing cause of violence, including mass shootings in schools or elsewhere, and perhaps even wars based on lies, is almost certainly early child abuse that escalates to bullying, hazing, more domestic abuse and other forms of violence including war and mass shootings. The second most important contributing factor is almost certainly abandoned inner cities where they have highly dysfunctional education and economic systems about a hundred and twenty-five of them throughout the country have more than double the national murder rate, which is already higher than the murder rates in countries like Canada and many European countries.
Two or three dozen countries, mostly in Europe, have murder rates less than 1 per 100,000 people, while the United States has a rate of above 5, which recently dipped below 5 briefly before climbing back up. Most of these countries probably do the best job providing child care and education; and as I have reported previously the majority of them have banned the use of corporal punishment either in home or in schools.
Some of the best researchers, including child psychologist James Garbarino and child rearing and bullying expert Barbara Coloroso, pictured above, have explained how abusing children at an early age teaches them to deal with their problems through violence. They've also explained how to deal with bullying and to prevent it from leading to escalating violence, like Columbine, which happened in Barbara Coloroso's home town of Littleton Colorado. This is also the same general area where James Dobson and his organization "Focus on the Family" is based, which has a very different view about early child rearing.
Unlike Barbara Coloroso he recommends use of corporal punishment starting as early as eighteen months with babies before they even learn how to talk completely or develop critical thinking skills. In addition to evidence from the European states that have banned the use of corporal punishment in both the home and schools, and have murder rates below one, less than a fifth of U.S. rates, additional evidence shows that the nineteen states that still allow it in the schools also have among the highest murder rates in the country. At least six or seven of those nineteen states make it into the top ten every year and until 2016 the only one in the bottom ten was Idaho, with Wyoming coming close, but they're the two states that have it on the books but almost never use it. The states that use it the most are the ones consistently in the top ten, and they also have the most abandoned inner cities where they don't provide adequate education or child care to children.
Early investigation into the causes of violence is almost always incomplete, especially when a large percentage of the public is often in denial about attributing the cause of violence to abuse that the perpetrator might have been subject to. The typical response might be "THAT'S NOT AN EXCUSE!," or "yea but I was spanked or abused and I didn't turn into a mass murderer." This is often accompanied by a desire to get angry at the perpetrator, which is obviously understandable; but this anger often leads people to go into denial about contributing causes if it could be interpreted as an "excuse" or mitigating circumstances.
However, research into many of the worst mass murderers, including from psychologist Dorothy Otnow Lewis, who said that she has always found evidence of major abuse, often including hospital records or police records, and it is almost always much worse than what most people coming from strict authoritarian homes have to deal with. Furthermore, when it comes to preventing violence from escalating wee need to recognize the causes and prevent them from happen before it escalates. When Dylann Roof went on his shooting spree as I reported previously in The Media Is Following The Wrong Script Ignoring Solutions Again he was badly abused long before he became a mass murderer, and this is common among racist people who are often raised by racist and abusive parents that teach their own beliefs using coercive violence. If an abused child blames the minorities whether it's blacks or Jews that the abusive parent says is responsible for problems they don't get abused, if they point out flaws in the logic they know they're be beat, so after repeating lies to themselves long enough people like Dylann adopt the same racists beliefs as their parents.
There isn't as much evidence to indicate the same problems, at least that I know of, with Nikolas Cruz, but there is already some, although the media rarely repeats anything that might be considered as mitigating circumstances or and "excuse" as indicated in the following excerpts:
Like Columbine there is apparently evidence to indicate that bullying might have been a contributing factor, however it wasn't reported nearly as widely. When Columbine happened they reported much more on the culture in their school exposing the bullying that was going on and one of the students that helped expose this was Brooks Brown and as he described in his book he was also ostracized for speaking out against it. Barbara Coloroso also investigated this and tried to point out that this was a contributing cause in her book “The Bullied, the Bully and the Bystander” where she wrote, ‘After the video tapes shot by Dylan and Eric were made public well over a year after the shootings, there was still a sense of entitlement and superiority expressed by at least one member of the Columbine football team. In his mind, he had a right to taunt and torment anyone who was “different,” anyone for whom he had contempt: “Columbine is a good, clean place except for those rejects. Most kids don’t want them here. They were into witchcraft. They were into voodoo. Sure we teased them. But what do you expect with kids who come to school with weird hairdos and horns on their hats? It’s not just jocks; the whole schools disgusted with them. They’re a bunch of homos…If you want to get rid of someone, usually you tease ‘em. So the whole school would call them homos….”'
Unfortunately the media didn't report the bullying that Nikolas Cruz nearly as widely, nor, as far as I can tell did they provide much if any opportunity for good researchers like Barbara Coloroso or James Garbarino however they did invite David Cullen, who the media portrays as an expert on Columbine to come on TV at least a couple times, as they often do after more school shootings happen, even though he has demonstrated that he's in denial about how bullying leads to escalating violence as I found out about seven years ago when I encountered him on Open Salon and had this conversation with him and after I pointed out the above quote from Barbara Coloroso, instead of addressing it he said, "for those just tuning in, one flaw in zach's logic: he's citing researchers who DID NOT research columbine, but relied on conclusions about the data they read in the media," and stopped responding to my comments. I accepted his claim that they weren't direct researchers at the time but later found out that Barbara Coloroso lived in that city and was much closer to it and did research it directly. He also relied on Robert Hare as one of his experts who I read up on more after that conversation and found out that he was incredibly incompetent, as I pointed out in the article about that conversation.
Apparently the conservative ideology may have also enabled one of the survivors of the Columbine massacre to get elected to the local legislature according to Colorado state rep, Columbine survivor, pushes to end gun-free zones in schools 02/20/2018 As I indicated previously gun control is almost certainly not as important as important a contributing factor as stopping early abuse or abandoned inner cities, but as one of the articles listed below indicates the evidence does seem to indicate that there is less gun violence in states with more reasonable gun control, and much fewer suicides, not to mention that it would also make it much less likely that a shooting turned into a mass murder if the shooter couldn't get military style assault rifles, which apparently was easier for him to get than a handgun which he couldn't have bought until he was twenty-one.
This same legislature apparently voted to kill a bill, last year that would have banned corporal punishment in Colorado, which is one of the nineteen states that still allows it. A 2002 study, "School Shooting Fatalities and School Corporal Punishment: A Look at the States," reported in The Psychology of Child Torture 01/18/2018 also showed that school shootings and deaths were more common in the states that still allowed corporal punishment at that time, when it was still twenty-three. The surge in shootings this year also indicates that, at least this year they're much more common in the nineteen states that still allow corporal punishment with five out of seven of the school shootings and all twenty of the deaths, as of this writing, in states that allow corporal punishment. However, in the years in between it hasn't been quite as clear, and there seem to have been some odd statistical swings including a surge from only seven incidents in 2011 to thirty-six incidents in 2014 when it peaked before declining to only nine last year, seeming to indicate that it the problem might be getting better for one reason or another, until this year with seven in only seven or eight weeks.
The peak for deaths was in 2012 when the Newtown shooting took place, with an exceptionally high number. However last year only one of the nine shootings took place in schools still allowing corporal punishment. And even though the total number of shootings in between the 2002 study and this year has as many if not more shootings in states that still allow corporal punishment the total number of deaths seems to have been in states that have banned it thanks to a small number of high profile shootings that killed a large number of people.
No doubt the gun control conspiracy theorists might claim that this is part of the conspiracy to advance gun control by using this as an excuse; however since the number of deaths is still very small compared to the total number of murders each year which is usually about fifteen thousand, and they're a result of a small number of big shootings rational skeptics might justifiable claim that this is a statistical anomaly which is more common without a large enough representation, which we shouldn't want, of course. Furthermore the gun rights advocates pushing these conspiracy theories ignore the fact that if that was the objective they probably would have done a far more effective job passing laws to restrict guns than they have; and there's little or no doubt that behind the scenes lobbying by the NRA, as well as their public activity is the real reason why gun control laws are so arbitrary and irrational that they make it easier to get a military style assault rifle that enabled this shooting to kill so many in this shooting.
We may not have enough research to explain all these bizarre swings in gun violence but there is enough to indicate that the media isn't covering the best research and that if they did that we could dramatically reduce violence like Europe does, where many of their countries have less than one murder per hundred thousand people.
Some things should be so incredibly obvious that everyone should understand them like if we spend an enormous amount of money trying to justify cuts to education and child care and more on the military so we can fight wars based on lies that it is bound to backfire one way or another. It shouldn't be hard to figure out that one of the ways this is happening is high violence in abandoned inner cities and occasionally there are even mass shootings in wealthier communities that aren't accustomed to this violence. It should also be clear that if major economic inequality is a major part of the problem, which one of my previous articles listed below indicated it is, that an economic system that rewards professions that are more concerned with deceiving the public like advertising, lobbying, union busting, and other profession that are more concerned about shifting wealth to the rich than providing a service for the public is also a major contributing cause of violence, although it might require a closer look at some of the research assuming people actually want to learn the truth.
The protests demanding gun control resulting from this shooting seems to be building faster than most, and if they get some results that is great but if they only address part of the causes, and not the most important parts then it's not going to help much.
We shouldn't be just trying to eliminate gun violence when it finally hits a wealthy community but protect all of us.
Edit 02/23/2018: Alisyn Camerota got in a debate with Dana Loesch, who said, "many in legacy media love mass shootings," at a CPAC speech; and she was outraged that Loesch would even suggest such a thing saying, "How Dare You!?" and that it's not "helpful" to even suggest such a thing or "have this conversation." Perhaps it's not helpful to put to much of a priority on this conversation, but as long as they refuse to discuss many of the most important contributing causes of violence, and they continue to provide an enormous amount of hype creating more ads trying to present themselves as a reliable sources, I don't think we should completely rule it out.
However it's not just the people in the media providing an enormous amount of hype, including some of whom do seem to enjoy debating around in circles without accomplishing anything, it's also the spokespeople from the NRA. People from both sides of the argument are resorting to demagoguery and demonstrating with their actions that they seem more interested in winning debate points or getting gotcha moments than they are in educating the public about the most important contributing causes.
Their town hall meeting looked more like a prepared cult cheering squad where the crowd was more concerned about humiliating Marco Rubio, than they were discussing the most important contributing causes of violence or accomplishing anything. I don't want to jump on the bandwagon of people saying this is all staged, but some degree of planning must be involved to set the atmosphere for the discussion and they have demonstrated far better skills in the past instead of constantly cheering like it's a foot ball game. I'm not fan of Marco Rubio or obsessive gun rights, and by caving to the NRA so badly he helped set himself up, but reporting to the same demagoguery as the NRA instead of educating the public on all contributing causes of violence, not just access to guns, they're playing into their hands an ensuring that little or nothing will get done!
If Alisyn Camerota thinks it's not helpful to have this debate, then she shouldn't have put it front and center, and she should have discussed, in a calm rational manner, many other issues. This is a classic propaganda tactic repeating the same things over and over with appeals to emotion, ensuring that little or no education takes place!
Alisyn Camerota Confronts Dana Loesch For Saying Media ‘Loves’ Mass Shootings: ‘How Dare You!?’ 02/2/2018
CNN anchor to NRA spokesperson: How dare you 02/23/2018
Edit 02/27/2018: The bickering and scapegoating is going on non-stop but still there's no effort to discuss the most important contributing factors leading up to escalating violence. Trump's claim that he would have gone in even without a gun is so laughable that it's hard to imagine how he could possibly not predict how much he would be ridiculed for it. But even the more serious claims avoids any discussion about how to prevent violence from escalating, instead focusing on how to stop the shootings at the last minute, often in a possible shoot out, blaming each other without providing any rational discussions.
According to Armed Parkland officer believed shots came from outside school, attorney says 02/2/2018, before making that laughable claim that he would have gone in even without a gun Trump said that Peterson was a "coward;" however that alleged "coward" previously won the award for "School Resource Deputy of the Year" for what it's worth. This should be a clear indication that the great and glorious people that they train to save us in a dramatic manner aren't quite as foolish as the media tries to make them appear, nor are they as glorious as they were portrayed before declining to go in.
I can't keep track of all the senseless bickering, but would you go in with guns blazing if you heard an AR-15 going of in the school?
I certainly wouldn't!
You might get the impression that there's no other solution but to wait to the last minute and that we have to accept the fact that school shootings are a fact of life if you rely solely on the traditional media, but once you look at alternative media outlets, if you sort through the best of them there are others that do a much better job reviewing the causes, including Mike Klonsky who speculated about school size in a couple articles including Another look at school size and the Parkland shooting. This is relatively small example, however I've spot checked his articles from time to time and I'm also sure that he supports smaller class room size, not just the schools and opposes privitization of education that is being pushed by the entire political establishment and media along with Diane Ravitch and other good researchers. Given time I could find a lot more of them, but tehy get little or no coverage from the traditional media which only covers hype and distracts the public from the most effective solutions.
After everyone lined up to demonize Scott Peterson, Jake Tapper did the same to Scott Israel, without discussing the best research. I'm no fan of most of these people they're demonizing, since they also ignore the most effective research, but the worst of them are the ones that should be covering the good research including Jake Tapper.
Edit: 03/01/2018: Since this shooting in addition to the bickering on TV without discussing the most rational research they have apparently also tried to start censoring Wikipedia, which isn't the first time. When writing this article I noticed that they broke their list up into separate tables for each year and added a summation so that people could recognize how much it is rising or declining each year, and although I didn't realize it until I went through the history, there was another shooting four days after it which was added to the list but then retracted because it was an attempted suicide. An article circulating on Twitter also reported another one which is not on the list Reported in 3rd-grader accidentally discharges officer's gun 02/05/2018
I haven't joined in the discussion on Wikipedia, although have been a regular cotributor there at one point, which is how I found out about how at some times they have censored things and favored the NRA while pretending to be neutral. An older version that shows the improved organization which has now been retracted is listed here along with the listing about the attempted suicide before it was withdrawn There was also one more school Shooting yesterday, Cops: Teacher who fired shot in classroom once tried confess to murder 03/01/2018 which as of this writing it hasn't been added to Wikipedia, although I'm reasonably certain that it will soon and won't fit the criteria they use to suppress other stories about shootings happening in schools.
I went through similar problems in 2009 when I attempted to write an article about preventing school violence, which they claimed didn't meet the criteria for Wikipedia's neutrality policies; however they did allow obvious biased discussion from supporters of gun rights organizations including discussions about arming teachers and input from Ted Nugent, yet they refused to allow discussion about gun control or input from researchers, including psychologists and child rearing experts, that supported solving problems about child abuse and bullying leading to escalating violence. One of the editors at Wikipedia who was also an administrator there was an admitted member of the NRA and clearly demonstrating his bias in their favor, suppressing any discussion of gun control, and leading the opposition to providing input from academic experts, yet instead of calling him out for his obvious bias most of the other editors supported him. The conspiracy theories that they seem to support about false flags to take away their guns, lack much if any credible evidence, and the fact that there is no success for even the minimal attempts at reasonable gun control implies that is such a conspiracy exists it's incredibly ineffective, yet their bias strongly implies that if there's a conspiracy, with rational and credible evidence, it's to prevent reasonable gun control or other discussion of effective solutions to violence.
I described these problems in two articles at that time one on a Wikipedia user page of my own, User:Zacherystaylor/preventing school violence and a second on a separate page off Wikipedia now re-posted on Blogspot about Wikipedia Censorship (The original article of this is still on Tripod and cited in the Wikipedia User page).
The following are additional sources on the subject:
School shooter showed violence and mental instability at home, police reports reveal 02/17/2018
Florida shooting suspect was adopted and both of his parents recently died 02/15/2018
Florida High School Killing Suspect Nikolas Cruz Vented Racist and Violent Fantasies Against Black, Gay and Hispanic People in Online Group Chat 12/17/2017
White Supremacists Claim Nikolas Cruz Trained With Them; Students Say He Wore Trump Hat in School 12/15/2017
Killer in a Trump hat: Shirtless Florida gunman does backyard target practice wearing one of the President's Make America Great Again baseball caps before murdering 17 children in school massacre 12/16/2017
Snopes: Did the Florida Shooter's Instagram Profile Picture Feature a MAGA Hat? True 12/1/2017
No, Lax Parenting Is Not to Blame for School Shootings 02/16/2018
Alabama school board members take steps to finally get rid of corporal punishment 12/09/2017
Still Separate, Still Unequal: America's Educational Apartheid 09/01/2005 Adapted excerpt from "The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America"
“The Bullied, the Bully and the Bystander” by Barbara Coloroso.
Analysis: Bullying expert Barbara Coloroso provides tips for parents, educators 11/22/2010
National anti-bullying expert defines the problem — and the solutions 09/28/2016
Max Hayman Award 2011 James Garbarino, PhD
The far-right smear campaign against students who survived the Parkland massacre 02/19/2018
School shootings in the United States
List of school shootings in the United States organized by state
Wikipedia: United States presidential election, 2016
The following are my past articles on numerous contributing causes to escalating violence:
Ignored evidence linking corporal punishment, poverty and crime grows
Does lack of education increase violent crime? Religion?
Media is aiding and abetting in Televangelist Fraud
Apartheid States of America
Megalithic Churches correlated with local murder rates
How much does Income Inequality Affects Crime Rates?
States with high murder rates have larger veteran populations
Teach a soldier to kill and he just might
The tragedy of gambling politics in United States
How does gambling and gun control impact violent crime?
Politics, not technology, caused botched executions
Troy, Cameron, Gary all innocent? And executed?
Democrats do a bad job on crime; Republicans and the Media are worse!!
Politicians increase crime; Grass roots efforts reduce crime; Politicians steal the credit
Life Insurance and media companies are encouraging lots of murders
Union Busting adds to corrupt bureaucracy and incites crime