What gives with America and school shootings?

Once again America mourns the senseless and tragic mass murder of children at one of its schools. Once again, politicians are either offering “thoughts and prayers for the family”, or “We have to do something! This has to stop!” It doesn’t stop. The words, though full of emotion at the time, always ring hollow. Nothing changes. The media doesn’t help, either, playing more to people’s emotions than presenting anything meaningful. The event fades from the news cycle in a few days and America’s public amnesia sets in, as if programmed that way, until the next time a similar event happens. What is it about the US that causes such a terrible state of affairs – events like those rarely seen in other nations? Perhaps the US national chart offers some clues.

I lived in the US until ’93 and then went to live in Australia fro almost 20 years. I was in Australia when the Port Arthur massacre happened (1996). 35 people were killed by a young, lone gunman, using a Colt AR-15 assault rifle, if that sounds familiar to Americans. John Howard was PM at the time. Public outrage and shock was immediate and resounding. Mass shootings were not commonplace in Australia and Australians were not desensitized to them. Political action followed swiftly and the gun buy-back scheme was initiated:

“Following the [shooting] spree, the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, led the development of strict gun control laws within Australia and formulated the National Firearms Agreement, restricting the private ownership of semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns as well as introducing uniform firearms licensing. It was implemented with bipartisan support by the Commonwealth, states and territories. The massacre happened just six weeks after the Dunblane massacre, in Scotland, which claimed 18 lives, with UK Prime Minister John Major reaching out to his counterpart over the shared tragedies; the United Kingdom passed its own changes to gun laws in 1997.”

Bolding added. The changes to the gun laws in the UK resulted in bans on virtually all cartridge-loaded firearms (the Firearms Act of 1997). Dunblane was also a school shooting, the worst mass shooting in British history. The Dunblane shooter suicided before the police could get to him. Martin Bryant (the perpetrator of Port Arthur) will spend the rest of his days rotting in prison. He was 25 at the time of the massacre. There is a point to the preceding discussion which we will return to.

America, however, refuses to pass any firearms restrictions in response its own mass shootings, even though most Americans want more restrictive and common sense gun laws. Instead, there is a self-defeating cycle that plays over and over, as shown in the picture below. Take note of the date in the bottom right of the picture, too: More than 20 mass shootings with more than 5 people have been killed in mass shootings in the US since that date (picture posted a day after the Sutherland Springs church shooting, and a little over a month after the Las Vegas shooting). The cycle must be broken at some point if we are to see any change in this madness.

There are a few things to note before we get to the chart for the US. We won’t be going over the Robb Elementary School shooting here. I have looked at far too many charts for shootings. The chart for the present shooting is yet another statistic. The 18 y/o who killed those kids is dead, killed by police. There is also something to note about the police response at that shooting, too, which we will get to. But here we get to the mentality of the US, gun laws and so forth.

I worked at a multinational automotive firm in North Carolina for some years and there were quite a few gun owners there, some of whom owned AR-15-type semiautomatic rifles, of the type used in the shooting. These were older people, though, responsible gun owners, but a few of them younger. Deer season was big-doins’ to those guys, and they often talked about their firearms. I didn’t feel any sort of threat from them, or uncomfortable about the fact they owned firearms. I grew up among that sort of culture, although my family never owned firearms. We didn’t care for them. Wasn’t our thing. We were more into music.

But these guys at the plant where I worked (I never heard any women there talking about firearms, though I knew some women owned them) had learned about firearms from their fathers and grandfathers and a lot of them were ex-military. They had been trained to use the firearms, often for deer hunting – and trained to respect firearms. But here is the thing: These were balanced, reasonably sane people, and almost all of them were family men.

As far as school shootings go, there is a certain criminal profile. Most gunmen average about 18 y/o, usually attended the school where the shooting occurred, they intend the killings as a final act (most of them suicide at the scene), most of them are angry and most of them are motivated by self-hate and despair. The last word there is a big clue, because most of the mass murders in the US have taken place over the last 40 years, four decades that have seen the steady erosion of American life. None of that excuses what the killers did. But most of them also leave tell-tale signs they are going to commit their atrocities. Have a read through this link and be aware.

There is another consideration here, though. One has to be 18 y/o to own a long gun (assault or other type of rifle) and 21 to own a handgun. Only seven states require a person to go through firearm training prior to owning firearms – all of them ‘blue’ states. Now, military people can correct me if I am wrong, but when one goes through firearm training in the military, the trainers wear loaded side-arms – you know, in case some young buck gets any crazy ideas or cracks. Once the training is over, the firearms are locked away. Only military police carry loaded weapons on military bases. There is a point to this, too, regarding militias. But we digress.

While I was working at the plant,  every time a mass shooting happened somewhere there would be discussions about gun control, sometimes with heated arguments. The guys who had been around guns all their lives normally argued against any regulations, usually citing something about rights, how an armed populace dissuades the rise of a totalitarian government (doesn’t seem to be working out so well, what with police forces across the Western world looking like what we are seeing in Ukraine now), how more guns (‘good guys with guns’) and armed police in schools would solve the problem and so forth. Usually the ‘good guys with guns’ scatter at the first sign of trouble, like the foreign mercenaries who have gone to Ukraine have demonstrated. The ‘good guys’ and mercenaries might have training in firearms, but unless they are ex-military and have seen actual combat, better sense takes over and they run whenever they come under fire.

Returning to the gun control discussions then, every time a mass shooting would happen, the same tired arguments would be rolled out, and nothing would change. And I have heard all the arguments, pro and con over the years. So, why doesn’t anything change in the US? That brings us to the US chart and the main indicators of the perpetual cycle of mass shootings. The chart for the US is below (bigger):

There are several main indicators, all interrelated and combined, and this is only the primary ones:

  • Sun square Saturn: the Machiavellian inclination of Washington, with its extreme ambition, arrogance, inability to admit wrongdoing and especially defeat, its do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do attitude and so forth. It is an imperious placement and describes US foreign policy to a ‘T’, which is why the conflict in Ukraine drags on. Psychopathy come to mind in extreme cases.
  • Mars square Neptune: The sometimes extreme idealism of the US, and again with Washington’s tendency to set policy by pronouncement instead of negotiation, speaking ‘as the scribes and the Pharisees’. This aspect is found in leaders of the Church and the military. Therein lies a clue as to why policy changes in Washington must be forced by the public or by unavoidable events. This aspect leads into the following aspect…
  • Pluto on the Antivertex opposite Mercury: This is a powerful placement and shows the power of the media to shape public opinion. In the negative, it is an aspect that gives rise to frauds and demagogues. It also indicates the possibility of CIA influence over the media, censorship, ‘narrative-shaping’ and the control of the state and the very rich (there being a seamless relation between the two in the US now) over the media. At its best the aspect is exemplary of free speech, individual rights free though and so forth.

In addition, we note Mars, Venus and Pluto are all just out-of-bounds (OOB), thus adding to their potency and expression, and that they are all parallel/contra-parallel each other, like one would find in the Venus/Mars conjunction opposite Pluto. Mars OOB is violent anyway and when added to Pluto OOB we have the capacity for superhuman efforts on the one hand, and in the negative, brutality and brute force – mega-violence. Just look at what Hollywood churns out on a yearly basis.

And finally, regarding the collective amnesia and fear factor in American society, there is the Finger of the World pattern with the Moon at the apex, Sun/Saturn as the base, which forms a midpoint structure, Moon=Sun/Saturn: “emotional inhibitions, fear, feelings of inferiority. – Increasing loneliness, the separation of females, a bereavement.”

There is much more we could say, but these are the main indicators, showing a nation that makes its own rules, is adamant about those rules and who can get quite nasty with anyone who rubs up against those rules, who can be very convincing yet controlling in conversation and so on, keeping in mind this describes the government and its rhetoric and not the people. Most Americans are not at all like that.

But the preceding points have given rise to the delusion of American exceptionalism among American elites, ‘America: love it or leave it!’, the ‘rules-based international order’, the effort to control everything and so on. All this underlies a basic fact: America is geared toward war. The combativeness of the US is shown in the 7th house (open enemies) stellium with the Sun, Venus, Mars and Jupiter, along with the preceding points.

In addition, Mars (the god of war) rules the 5th house (schools and children) and in its square to Neptune, shows the vulnerability of its children. Mass shootings generally occur at venues where large crowds of innocents are gathered in enclosed places – places like schools (especially elementary schools), churches (places of worship in general) and concerts. As to why, it is because of the effect. Basically, it is terrorism on the one hand and self-aggrandizement on the part of the shooter. And very often, the shooter has a beef with someone, or is suicidal and wants to go out in a final ‘blaze of glory’. The shootings garner maximum public exposure and terrorize the public – message sent and received.

In this post, however, we are not interested in the psychology of these events, but what it might take to break the cycle of mass shootings, pictured above. On the whole, it would take a public uprising or sustained campaign of enough public pressure to force the Congress to push through gun control legislation. At the moment there seems to be little interest except in a minority of the public to lose its love affair with firearms, its fears – for America is also a very fearful nation, a legacy of its Cancer Sun and Saturn square – and its insistence on individual rights related to firearms, the latter the legacy of the Mars/Neptune and Mercury/Pluto patterns mentioned previously.

Mass shootings only contribute to America’s fears, not to mention how we are constantly told the world is a dangerous place, that the government is out to get us, and there are powerful enemies who want to see our demise. It is all baked into the America pie. A little graph might serve to point out a few things:

Most nations have reasonable gun control laws and they also have few mass shootings. Those nations also have laws regarding training in firearms, restrictions in ownership and more rigorous background checks. Usually, one has to have a license to drive a car, fly an airplane, pilot a motorized boat and so forth, and that includes a period of training and testing before one can get that license. One can easily get a gun permit in the US, but training? – well, that’s another matter. Background checks anyone? – I didn’t think so. Waiting periods? – need we go on? One gets trained in firearms in the military, extensively, as well as combat, before a weapon is handed to a soldier before going into battle. And mentally unbalanced people are generally not permitted in military service. At least, they shouldn’t be.

Firearms in the US are Constitutionally guaranteed to ‘organized and regulated militias’ in times of crisis via the 2nd Amendment. Universal gun ownership is not guaranteed by the Constitution. The latter is a myth, but it serves to keep the arms industry ticking along and money from donors to members of Congress coming in. Every time there is a mass shooting in the US, gun ownership spikes upward. That amendment instead relates to policing forces – average police and the National Guard of each state.

So, why should some idiot kid be able to trot down to his local sporting goods store on his 18th birthday and buy not one, but two AR-15 assault rifles without so much as a day on a firing range, much less any training? It beggars common sense. This brings us to the police at the Robb Elementary school shooting: Were they cowards, incompetent or slaves to doctrine? The entire linked article is worth a read, but we have these excerpts:

“The horror surrounding the massacre of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas just got worse with confirmed information that the police waited more than forty minutes before entering the school and killing the 18 year old murderer…This event is more than a black eye for the police. There are three possible explanations–cowardice, incompetence or slaves to doctrine. I think the explanation is “slaves to doctrine” coupled with incompetence. In an ideal world, police confronted with an active shooter will call immediately on a SWAT team. There was no SWAT team in Uvalde, Texas. Instead of improvising and conducting their own assault, the police chose to sit back and wait. Inexcusable…Police are supposed to be trained in crisis response…when SWAT is not available the police have a responsibility to put their lives at risk to stop the shooter and save the children and faculty. That is why they carry pistols.”

And to top that off, one officer at the scene stated they didn’t go in after the shooter because they “could have been shot”. I want a refund on my taxes. A little later in the article there is this, which goes to the point of ‘good guys with guns’:

“A School Resource Officer (SRO) must be trained to draw from a holster while under stress and accurately hit a target ten yards away in less than three seconds. The training also should include learning how to move while shooting and landing accurate shots. The SRO also must know how to identify and use cover (i.e, a wall or column or barrier that can stop a bullet). A properly trained SRO should be required to shoot accurately from cover as part of the qualification course of fire. This kind of training is something every SRO should do at least once a month. If you wait to learn this skills until the first shots are fired, you are likely to wind up wounded or dead…”

Emphases added. The preceding is from an ex-military man. This should probably dispel the myth of the ‘good guy with guns’ being an answer to gun violence in the US, unless they have actually had such training. It also goes to why trained and organized militias are the ones who were authorized to bear arms. And when I was coming along in school, there was no need for a SRO. Those were kinder times in America.

So, what will it take to end such massacres? The answer should be fairly obvious and common sense, prior to owning a firearm – background checks, required training, limits on cartridge-loaded weapons and – it may sound like a no-brainer – raising the age of long rifle ownership to 21, across the nation. Here’s an idea – all potential gun owners required to undergo military-style firearm training. A lot of them would probably enjoy it. None of these things will happen anytime soon. Why? – because of Congress. Gun control is a dog-whistle campaign issue and it keeps some lawmakers in power for many years. Meanwhile in Canada, they already have sensible laws in place.

A sustained, impartial, informed debate on these matters across the major media would be another idea in terms of seeing all sides of the gun control issue and then letting the public make a decision, complete with the views of every member of Congress. Instead, we have media echo chambers like CNN and Fox that roll out weeping parents, pics of the dead kids with their tragic stories, virtue-signalling politicians and a bevy of ‘experts’ telling us what we should do. Can we not decide this for ourselves as Americans?

Congress has to enact these laws at the federal level. The President cannot do it. With the influence of Big Money in electoral politics in the US (Citizens United) members of Congress have little if any inclination to change gun laws, especially when organizations like the NRA and the defense industry are some of the biggest lobbyists. Politicians become rich by pandering to those lobbyists, too, and are guaranteed jobs with those organizations after leaving office. Why bite the hand that feeds you? Term limits in Congress might help, too, which would move senators like Ted Cruz along. The largest single recipient of funding from the NRA in Congress is Mitt Romney.

I have zero interest in debating any of this. Like I said, I have heard all the arguments and a true believer will never be convinced other than through experience. How much more ‘experience’ do we need, as Americans, before we act? People can have their guns, but it shouldn’t be so easy to get them.

Featured pic from The Daily Beast

3 Replies to “What gives with America and school shootings?”

  1. Thanks again Malvin for putting into words the many questions & issues! As the world looks on in horror at the excuses given why gun rights should be defended we again watch as more children die!!!! Meg from OZ!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *