Let's ignore the typical and expected responses on the Left for a moment and just focus on what really happened as far as we know it.
|Adam in school|
Adam Lanza is said to have been highly intelligent, especially with computers. He could relate to the machines in ways he couldn't relate to human beings.
Adam also suffers from a rare genetic disorder that renders him completely incapable of feeling pain. Its actually a dangerous condition because a person suffering from it can experience an injury that needs immediate medical care and not even know it until it is too late. They can accidentally harm others and themselves severely without meaning to.
|Adam's father Peter Lanza|
With Christmas nearing, which is a time of family and a time of being sad for family that has left you, Adam was almost certainly thinking about his father and why he left. Whether he left because he couldn't deal with Adam anymore or not, most children feel deep down that they are in some way responsible when their parents divorce. For Adam, that pain would be a feeling he could not express.
|Adam's mother Nancy Lanza|
It is hard to know what exactly was going on in Adam's mind during all of this. The FBI says it was all premeditated. I don't doubt it. Personally, I think Adam's parents' divorce hurt Adam more than people knew. I think the coming of Christmas, which his family always used to spend together but now would be spending apart, brought up emotional pain that Adam simply couldn't handle. Once Adam decided to kill himself, he apparently chose to take others with him before he went. Understanding this kind of emotional turmoil, pain so deep that it leads to a willingness to kill family members, random strangers including children, and then yourself, is more than I can do on a blog. I can only imagine that he must have been in absolute hellish agony to do this, knowing the entire time that he was going to end by killing himself.
In the aftermath of the shooting, the typical divide is taking place. The Left is calling for an instant ban on private ownership of firearms, eradication of the 2nd Amendment, and dictatorial powers for the President. Basically, their view is that we must do "something" and that even if that something accomplishes nothing with regard to the actual crime, it at least feels good to have done this symbolic act of passing a law that won't accomplish anything.
The Right is responding in the usual way by saying, "hang on, banning guns won't stop someone like this. All it does is punish law abiding citizens who never hurt anyone. It's wrong-headed and totally violates the Bill of Rights."
And along the way, as Left and Right argue, they quite predictable throw in lots of little jabs at one another, loading their arguments with words and phrases that have an obviously biased and insulting meaning directed at the other side. This wins no one over and simply increases the divide between the two sides.
Why is there such a wide gap between the two sides? Why can't they see each other's point-of-view?
The other day an article was published detailing how researchers have concluded that women do, in fact, nag men a lot. In fact, women nag and complain to men more than twice as much as men do to women. When they looked into the reasons why, they found that women are small-picture-oriented, which is to say, they look at the little details of things and focus on them to the exclusion of the big picture. Men, on the other hand, tend to be just the opposite. Men tend to blow off the little details and focus more heavily on the big picture.
"Did you put out the candle you left burning in the bedroom while you were so focused on the floor? You nearly burned the house down yesterday with that candle."
"Don't change the subject!"
Dirty floor - little details, small picture oriented towards cleanliness. Not unimportant, especially if you're going to have babies.
Burning down the house - big picture, dirty floors aren't as important as the house being on fire. Not unimportant if it is your responsibility to insure the safety of your entire family.
The Right is overwhelmingly male. The Republican Party is totally dependent upon the votes of men in order to win elections. Not that you'd know it from the positions they take once in office and the compromises they make with the Left. But that is why the Tea Party sprang up. It was a male reaction to a betrayal of their values by the Republican leadership. Overall though, the Republicans tend to take political stances that are focused on the big picture, the nation and the world as a whole, not small groups neatly divided into small issues.
Researchers on the topic of charity found time and time again that while Leftists will talk and sing songs and hold hands while crying over some charitable need, they don't actually give much of their own money to the causes they claim to feel so strongly about. They will, on the other hand, call upon Big Government to "solve" the problem by forcibly taking money from others and applying it to their pet charitable cause. Leftists are infamous for not paying their own taxes while decrying about "The Rich" not paying "their fair share." The Right, it is consistently found, donates the lion's share of funds to charities. But the Right does not often shout at others to give more, or sing songs about the need to "feed the world", or call upon Big Government to force anyone else to donate to their pet causes.
It's like a teenaged girl who expects Dad to pay for stuff she wants, but calls a need. The girl freely expresses her wants and desires to Dad, but it is Dad who silently pays, usually after examining the girl's arguments and determining whether it is a true need or just a want. He looks at the Big Picture. She looks at many small details such as how having it would make her feel.
|The girls of the Media|
Putting all political rhetoric aside, gun control calls such as this always arise in reaction to some shocking incident. Every day in Memphis someone is shot and killed, or stabbed and killed, or run over intentionally by an angry ex or a gang banger, and often children are among the victims. But no one cries out for new laws in response to this. It is literally every day. It is not shocking. A lone gunman walking into a school and shooting up twenty 6-year-olds and six teachers, though, is very unusual. It is thus shocking. It has been years since we last heard of someone going on a rampage and last time it was a Muslim terrorist shooting our soldiers in the back. In fact, the last several mass murders have been Muslim terrorists shooting Americans in the back. That doesn't shock us anymore. But this incident does shock us. And so, we react.
The Left reacts with small-picture thinking. They call for new laws that we know won't do anything to help any of those kids or their families and won't even prevent another madman from going into another school and killing anyone. It is a call for a "feel good" response from our politicians, our Big Government. The Left looks to Big Government as their husband or father. They are the teenaged girl and they want Dad to make them feel like everything is going to be OK. They want Dad to do something that they know won't really address the problem, but soothes their upset minds. They want something symbolic.
Nothing is more symbolic than a law that says it is wrong to go into a school and shoot up kids. We already have such laws. We have many laws already on the books, all of which were broken during the commission of this crime. We already know a politician making an emotional speech declaring a ban on something that honest citizens use to defend themselves against madmen and tyrants alike will not accomplish anything good. In fact, it could very well result in something very bad. But that requires Big Picture thinking to see.
The Right reacts with big-picturing thinking, totally ignoring or even failing to comprehend the small-picture views of the Left. They see millions of law abiding citizens relying on their privately owned guns to defend their own lives and the lives of their own families from lunatics like Adam Lanza who could just as easily have walked into someone's front door and started shooting up their families instead of going into a nearby school. They easily imagine the impotent feeling of being in that house and watching their wife and children being slaughtered as they stand helplessly by, unarmed and unable to stop him, before dying alongside everyone they care about.
|Nanking Massacre 1937|
But that is Big Picture Thinking, and a person who does not think that way simply does not see this anymore than a Big Picture Thinker comprehends why Small Picture Thinkers want a symbolic gesture from elected leaders pretending they are going to punish the shooter, even after he is dead, with some meaningless and harmful new law that eliminates the rights and freedoms of millions who had nothing to do with the crime.
Why are Catholics overwhelming Leftists? Catholicism is filled with symbolism and traditional gestures which have very little meaning according to the actual words in the Bible. They provide a feeling of security, a sense of being in control even in circumstances in which a person has very little control. Religions all through history have discovered this need among people, a need to have gestures that in reality mean nothing, accomplish seemingly nothing, but provide a good feeling to worshipers which they value. It is a feeling of control.
Witch doctors dance to bring rain. It does nothing, but those who desperately need rain feel good watching the dance performed. Priests sprinkle water on a baby, saying the child is absolved of sin by the water. It accomplishes nothing, but the parents feel good knowing that they have done all they could to assure that if their child dies somehow, he will go to Heaven. When the child grows older they put a St. Christopher medal around his neck for the same reason. Die wearing the medal and you go to Heaven. It isn't what Jesus said, but the ceremony makes the parents, who truthfully can do nothing to secure a place in Heaven for their child, feel good. In politics, Democrats make speeches laying all the sins of another onto someone else, a banker or an inanimate metal gun or people who simply think differently, and then promise to pass some new law that punishes that banker, gun or conservative, for sins they did not even commit. Jewish Rabbis used to perform this same ceremony using a goat. All the Jews of a town would lay hands on an goat, declare the goat to be guilty of their own personal sins, and then beat the goat and drive it out of town. This, they felt, absolved them of their own sins. It accomplished nothing, but they felt good for having done it. It is where we get the term "scapegoat" from.
The idea of a child being murdered by a madman is the ultimate nightmare to a parent, or to anyone planning to become a parent. It is the worst possible thing that could ever happen. Our reactions to such a thing is always very strong and very emotional. We are shocked. We are upset. We want to know what happened and why. We want a solution to the problem of how this could have been prevented. If we are short-term thinkers we are willing to accept most any solution, even one which does not work and only makes us feel better in having participated in creating it. A symbolic new law that declares it to be bad to gun down children makes us feel better if we helped fight for this new law, even as it does nothing to protect future children from future madmen. If we only think small-picture then that good feeling is enough. We are satisfied. We walk away from the problem feeling that all is right again.
But if we are big-picture thinkers then we are not able to feel at all soothed or secured by a new law that we know won't protect innocents, won't punish or even slow down the guilty, and will instead punish the innocent and disarm the intended victims. A law that in the big picture actually increases the danger an average citizen faces, disarming him and preventing him from protecting himself either from a lone madman with a gun or an army ruled by a madman with a desire to kill all who dare to disagree, is totally unacceptable and alarming to a big-picture thinker.
And that is why The Left wants new gun control laws in response to the Connecticut school shooting and The Right is not only opposed to them, but altogether alarmed by them.