Who let that little nine year old girl get near an automatic weapon, let alone actually fire it?
Has the world gone insane?
It doesn’t matter if she wanted to fire such a weapon or not. The central question is, Why did all the adults involved let her?
These include, but are not limited to:
- her parents, at the top of the list,
- the instructor, who thought it was fine. Oops.
- the owner of the gun range, who collected the money.
- all the bystanders and adult shooters nearby, who didn’t step in and stop her at any cost to themselves.
- the county, state and federal officials who could have passed laws to keep her away from the such weapons, but didn’t.
- the gun lobby, i.e. the NRA.
- the gun culture in this country, who think anybody and everybody should have access to any kind of gun they want.
- all the rest of us who let them get away with it.
All these people let that nine year old girl murder someone.
Who Are the Children?
Children that want things. Toys, pretty objects, things that other children or adults have. Unrestricted desire is an attribute of childhood. Children want their way in all kinds of situations, and are often very clever in getting it unless a responsible adult resolutely says, “No,” when that thing or that activity is dangerous. Most parents of adolescents know all about this. The adults are there to prevent the child’s selfishness from getting out of hand.
But what if all the adults on the scene act like selfish children themselves? For instance, were that girl’s parents so selfish themselves that they didn’t mind that same selfishness—even indulged it—in their own daughter?
If so, their selfishness murdered a man.
Who Will Protect the Children?
Who will tell these parents that they are bad parents?
Who will be able to help that little girl get over her terrible act?
No one. It’s too late.
Where are the responsible adults who will say no? Are we all children, too weak to say no to all the gun money that’s shot around so broadly?
I Want My Uzi!
That girl’s parents are not really adults. Nor are the owners and employees of that gun range. They’re only half-adults. They are also half-children. Here’s how they think: If I’m convinced that I should have any dangerous kind of thing I want without restrictions—like an Uzi automatic weapon, then I’m not going to say no to someone who walks in the door and says, “I’d like my little girl—she’s nine—isn’t she cute? I’d like you to let her fire an automatic rifle. Okay? Here’s my money.”
Who’s going to say no?
Because to say no is to curb our own thirsty self-indulgence, our selfishness that seemingly knows no bounds. “If my little girl wants something, but is told No, doesn’t that mean if I want exactly the same thing, somebody might tell me No, too?”
Are these selfish adolescents all men? What did that girl’s mother have to say? Was she fine with it, or did she protest to no avail? This is important, because I’ll bet she’s going to be the primary counselor for her daughter. “I let you do it, and I’m sorry.” Nehhhhhhhh! goes the buzzer. Too late.
Take No Prisoners Alive
No compromise. The child-adults can’t and won’t compromise. If you ask them to, they get real pouty. And it’s not just about guns. We have a whole political party in the US that refuses to compromise on anything. And they refuse to let those who do want to compromise get away with it.
The political basis of the Tea-Republican party is basically, “Let anybody do anything they want.” No regulations on business operations. No minimum wage. No government healthcare. Don’t tie us down, they say. Don’t tread on us—meant in a whole new way.
These people are merely selfish children who look like adults. They will stop at very little to get their way, and are often also very clever about it. They are just like those other adult children who let a nine year old girl murder someone.
Are you okay with this?
The Media’s Selfish Bias
A few days ago NBC News, which touts itself as America’s most-watched evening news, ran a follow-up report on the shooting range incident. I didn’t have a stopwatch, but 90-95% of the time it condoned kids with guns. Only one quick segment was devoted to a psychologist—the only woman in the entire story—who said shooting can have adverse side effects on kids.
Apparently no one noticed that none of the (all older, note this) children NBC showed shooting with their dads had Uzis. None of them had automatic weapons. Oops, again. I’m sure this went unnoticed by most. The tone of the whole piece was LET OUR KIDS SHOOT GUNS! Implicit was, “Shooting Uzis is okay, too,” specifically because NBC didn’t make the distinction. Does NBC condone the incident? Do they condone nine year olds with Uzis? Probably not, but why weren’t they brave enough to say so? Are they afraid of the NRA? Of the self-indulgent gun culture switching the channel? Of advertisers pulling out?
What the media condones, a large segment of the public comes to condone also. Shame on those NBC executives and producers who condoned that nine year old girl murdering someone with an automatic weapon.
“Selfie” = “Selfish Child”
Yes, that’s a new word that has come into currency in the past 18 months or so. It’s the sequel to the masterful PR job Steve Jobs did at Apple, selling us all those glamorous products with names that start with “i.” iMac, iPhone, iPod, iPad. Me, me, me, me.
He was probably the world’s all-time greatest huckster. He left us with a nearly-unbridled thirst for self-indulgence.
“I want to take a selfie,” is nearly indistinguishable from, “I am a selfie.”
In the recent movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the character named Martin is about to torture a young girl. He says to another character, “I’m doing what every man dreams of. I’m doing exactly what I want.” He’s basically a child about to do a selfie. Fortunately he is prevented from this.
Too bad no one prevented that little girl from murdering someone.
Is this argument too extreme? Have I somehow gone too far? No. Selfishness is catching; we catch it when we see others doing it. It is also self-escalating. Look at Syria and Iraq. The group calling itself ISIS is the logical end result of extreme selfishness. Absolute intolerance. Forcing others to give in to their selfishness. Wanton, heartless, inhumane murder of innocents. Childish selfishness above all things. And we are back—full circle—to murder with military weapons.
So I repeat, are you okay with this?
Next time: Why so many of us are so selfish.