Mark Steyn: A Culture of Passivity

Mark Steyn posted a column that is getting a lot of attention around the blogosphere: A Culture of Passivity - “Protecting” our “children” at Virginia Tech. It is worth reading and mulling over. There are two additional posts worth reading at Ace that both comment on Steyn’s article: Steyn’s Controversial Column On Cowardice And VaTech and I disagree with Ace.

The VaTech situation is pretty crazy (and the media certainly helps that along) and it can be hard to step back and take some perspective on things. I guess all I can really say is keep wrestling with it, pray over it.

Steyn remarks:

We do our children a disservice to raise them to entrust all to officialdom’s security blanket. Geraldo-like “protection” is a delusion: when something goes awry — whether on a September morning flight out of Logan or on a peaceful college campus — the state won’t be there to protect you. You’ll be the fellow on the scene who has to make the decision.

I think it is a fairly harsh, but accurate, statement. The government can only do so much (and they do a lot), but what it comes down to is this: we are fallen people and people will do bad things, it is something we will always have to wrestle with.

UPDATE I: NBC is airing the moron’s “manifesto.” What is wrong with them? You NEVER give idiots like Cho Seung-Hui the satisfaction of the attention they so wanted. Please don’t watch it. UPDATE Ia: Instapundit and Mickey Kaus seem to agree.

UPDATE II: Student Government Asks Reporters to Leave by Monday (4/23). Good call.

UPDATE III: Another one for you: Mark Steyn: Let’s Be Realistic About Reality.

  1. April 19th, 2007 at 02:20 | #1

    I think we ignore psychos like Cho at our own peril… lets analyze the patterns of this guys life to find out how we can effectively shut down the next nutjob.

  2. April 19th, 2007 at 02:39 | #2

    I always forget to visit your real (or non-Vox) blog, even though I’ve got it bookmarked. I’m glad you posted this, and I’m glad you warned against Cho’s insane ramblings. I’ve actually stopped watching the news coverage, because it seems to have moved from the informative stage into the speculative conjectures that sometimes seem to be as nothing more than exploitive. And you’re right — these madmen want nothing more than to be notorious and to live on attached to their tragic crimes. NBC is foolish to do exactly what this kid wanted done.

  3. April 19th, 2007 at 10:41 | #3

    I would agree too. I wrote a brief article on my site about the shooting and there is no possible way that we can stop a person like this before he or she does something horrible. Fact is that bad stuff happens in this world because we are sinful.

  4. April 19th, 2007 at 12:46 | #4

    I agree Tony, we should do the best we can to prevent these things from happening but I also agree with Steven in that we will also have to understand that there is no way we can truly prevent wackos from doing wacko thing because some people are just too messed up and are, unfortunately, capable of such horrors.

    Jen, I am so tired of the news coverage. And I think you hit it right on the head, they have moved on from actually being informative, it is no longer news, it is gossip. There was some show (I think it was CSI or Criminal Minds… can’t remember) where the evil murderer wanted the notoriety that “should” supposedly come with his crime, but the media, instead of putting the captured criminal’s face on the front page the posted pictures of all the victims to be remembered. If only the REAL media would actually do that instead of giving Cho what he wanted.

  5. April 20th, 2007 at 16:41 | #5

    I love what you’e doing!
    Don’t ever change and best of luck.

    Raymon W.

  6. April 20th, 2007 at 23:54 | #6

    Airing his insane rantings won’t give him any satisfaction — he’s dead.

    I think it was good to air them. I’ve often wondered what people meant when they used the word “loser”. Now I know.

  7. April 21st, 2007 at 01:17 | #7

    Yeah, he doesn’t get any satisfaction now, but playing his garbage for everyone to see is exactly what he wanted. This situation has been likened to what the tv crews do with idiots run on the the baseball or football fields to get onto tv, they turn the cameras to something else so as not to encourage others. Glenn Reynolds said it well:

    A cynic would say that when fans run onto the baseball field NBC doesn’t make money. But when copycat mass shootings occur, NBC makes money….

  8. dmx
    April 22nd, 2007 at 21:49 | #8

    Uh. Man. I really get the impression that alot of folks ,and particularly Steyn, have never had a gun pointed at them.

    I have.

    Ten, or twelve years ago, an invader in my house pointed a gun at me and my partner and basically ordered me to hand over any money we had and any drugs we had (we had none , of course, except perhaps some asprin in the bathroom). The guy started threatening to shoot my beloved Lisa. Did I bumrush the guy? No. I actually, literally, shat my pants. Fortunately the guy was happy enough with my wallet, and left (he actually apologised , which is bizare. I figure he was a junky or something)

    People fail to understand the fight or flight reflex. Against reasonable odds, people might make a stand. Against guaranteed death the only outcome of inaction, people might as well (Think the 9/11 struggle on the plane). But facing ‘well I die if I fight, or possibly live if I dont, people opt for live and meekly take it. Its nothing to do with whacky ideas of manhood. Its simply biology. That fight or flight is designed to protect you alone. Maybe your child.

    Its ultimately cruel of that article to question the victims manhood. They are dead and can not give a manly punch in the nose in response to the author.

    I honestly and genuinely believe Steyer should be ashamed of himself and apologise to the parents of the victims.

    I *DO* agree that ramping up security measures and babying university students is not apropriate. These things ARE rare. But to argue that at the expense of the dead is downright rotten.

  9. April 22nd, 2007 at 22:06 | #9

    But you are talking about something different. I don’t think Steyn would say if someone pulls a gun on you and wants stuff you should necessarily use force to stop them, it is just stuff. I think what he is saying is if you know people are actually dying, you should do something about it and not just let it continue on.

    I understand what you are saying about the “flight or fight” response and think we probably don’t actually know how we would respond until it happens. But if someone has a gun on me and others and wants to take our stuff (by threatening our lives) then by all means, take the stuff. But, I would hope, if someone comes in and starts actually killing people, that I would be willing to do what I can to stop him.

  10. April 23rd, 2007 at 19:16 | #10

    Great site…I’m glad there are others out there who are still talking about gun control, since the MSM is likely to let it slide, along with most everyone in DC. There are enormous gaps in the coverage on both sides…I’m not really against the idea of guns or that companies manufacture them, but when dealers are irresponsible in selling them, I get angry.

    Straw purchases are never talked about, but constitute the #1 problem I have with our system as it stands today. Republicans have been working night and day to limit the ability of law enforcement and the ATF to crack down on illegal sales and build cases on smugglers.

    Virginia is the straw purchase capitol of the east coast, and has been for years now!

    Here is my contribution to the effort:
    Arm Fratboys -or- Curb Straw Purchases?

    Peace - DI

  11. April 23rd, 2007 at 22:03 | #11

    Indeed! And as Gordon posted in my other Steyn post, Cho shouldn’t have even been able to purchase firearms in the first place.

    I am in completely favor of a balance. Guns should not be banned nor should just anyone be allowed to purchase them. Well as it stands, not everyone can just purchase them. As you have suggested, it is SOOOOO very crucial for the ATF and other law enforcement agencies to enforce the laws that exist. Straw sales is a really big issue and sellers that allow guns to be purchased illegally should be punished harshly.

  1. April 18th, 2007 at 18:09 | #1
  2. April 19th, 2007 at 08:55 | #2
  3. April 23rd, 2007 at 18:34 | #3

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