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"Dropping the guns," or joining in the hysterical clamor for more gun control laws, is an attitude which ignores a blatantly obvious fact about Columbine: Roughly 60 (sixty) bombs were found hidden in various parts of the school. If there were no such thing as a gun, the result would still have been lots of murdered people - the lack of guns simply would have made it necessary for the murderers to make a tiny alteration of their plans. This has nothing to do with the availability of guns. Similarly, "Violence in the media" is a simplistic scapegoat that begs definition - although it's closer to the truth.
The cause of the Columbine massacre was a lethal mix of emotionalism instead of thought, and collectivism instead of individualism - both of which have to do with what a given human being is taught from day one.
Today's "educators" teach kids from an early age not how to think logically, but rather to "explore how they feel" about a given topic. A generation of kids brought up to believe that emotion is an acceptable substitute for rational thought (if the latter is brought up at all,) will - guess what? - grow up to believe that "I feel like it" is a justification for anything.

But things like ethics, rights, laws, self-respect and respect for the rights of others - these are concepts to be apprehended by a process of rational thought, not absorbed by emotional osmosis. How can one expect a society of civilized people to emerge from an educational philosophy that has flushed reality, reason, logic, and absolutes down the toilet? Given what's been taught in public schools for decades, we really have no right to be surprised that emotion, not reason, is what dictates the actions of America's youth.

Equally devastating is the indoctrination in collectivism rather than individualism. The "us" vs. "them" mentality which apparently motivated these animals' actions is a direct consequence of Group-Think. A person with a solid sense of individual worth, does not fly into a blind rage when he/she is excluded from, or criticized by, a group. This doesn't mean that a person in such a case won't feel sadness and possibly even extreme anger. But to a person who knows that his self-worth does not depend upon what others think of him, but rather upon what he is and what he knows about himself, even vicious criticism only cuts to a certain point.

From the first day they're thrown into Day Care centers, children today are indoctrinated with the ideas of: "fitting in", of "selflessness" as a virtue, of blind conformity. As they get older, they begin to hear labels such as "cool" (which means: "Acceptable to others") and "nerd/geek/etc." (which means: "Unacceptable to others") They learn to strive to be acceptable to the group and to avoid being seen as an individual at all costs. Such efforts may or may not be "successful," but in the kid's mind the pattern is set: His entire sense of self-worth is geared to the real or imagined appraisals of others. He/she has been molded into a complete emotional dependent.

Add an emotion-driven mentality, with a sense of self-worth entirely dependent on the reactions of others, and what do you get? A person for whom the opinions of others mean more than life itself - his own included.

For further elaboration, read: a.)the article "The Comprachicos" by philosopher/novelist Ayn Rand. It's in her essay collection "The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution," and b.) ALL of her book "Philosophy: Who Needs It?

The assertion that people "put the right to bare[sic] arms over the right of people to live," is a false dichotomy. The right to bear arms is an essential corollary of the right to live - it has nothing whatever to do with hunting, in spite of the statements of people who ought to know better (e.g. Republicans.) The right to bear arms is a component of the basic right of self-defense.

The person who is denied the right to defend himself, is a person who no longer has a right to his life.

The Founders were indeed very specific on this. They did NOT establish the Second Amendment so that people could hunt effectively (!) They established it because they knew that while a proper government is necessary to protect rights, governments have always been, and always will be, the greatest potential threat to individual liberty. A quick study of 20th Century history ought to illustrate this amply. The combined actions of all the criminals who ever lived in this century, do not even come close to the millions killed by the governments of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Maoist China, Castro's Cuba, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge, and a dozen lesser others.
One of the reasons that America is (or was) the freest nation on Earth, is that its Founders recognized the dangers inherent in government, and created a mechanism (the Constitution and Bill of Rights) to guard against that danger. The Constitution is a restriction of government power, not a restriction on individual freedom.

The assertion that "free speech isn't right if it hurts people," is even worse and yet another false dichotomy. Can speech physically harm you? No. Speech can only be said to "hurt" someone emotionally. Does this mean we should make hurting others' feelings a crime?
The important distinction being missed is this: Not everything that is immoral should be illegal. To paraphrase an example given by Leonard Peikoff, if I tell Mary Lou that I love her on Monday, then marry Donna on Tuesday, that would be an immoral act against Mary Lou, but should I be jailed for it? Of course not.

The right to free speech is even more essential to human life than the right to bear arms, for reasons implied in the above. The very first step taken by every killer dictatorship on Earth, has been the abolition of the right of free speech. The most vivid example in recent history happened just a decade ago, in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China.
If you forfeit the right to speak out against your government, you have just made it possible for that government to do anything it pleases, to you and to everyone else, without a peep of criticism.

The right to freedom of speech is a precondition of the right to live. Above all other rights, freedom of speech is the one right we should cling to for dear life - literally.

We should dispense once and for all with the criticism of guns - the subject of guns is entirely beside the point. As I said before, roughly sixty BOMBS were planted throughout the school - if no such thing as a gun had ever existed, it would have made no difference. The murderers would have used the bombs instead of the guns. The choice of weapon is irrelevant to the issue. What is relevant - at the core, really - is choice itself: volition.

No, humans are not "violent by nature." The so-called outcasts did not "do the only thing they could." They were not "pre-programmed" to kill people, by video games, talentless rock n' roll, or violent movies.

All such bogus explanations assume that we are all puppets of forces beyond our ability to control. In philosophy, this bogus idea is called "Determinism." We're pre-determined to do this or that, "fate made me do it," or "the devil made me do it" or "[insert your favorite here] made me do it." Nonsense.

Each of us has a basic ability called Volition. It's the ability to look at a given situation - any situation - and decide between a multitude of options. The problem is, no one gets taught that volition even exists, and no one gets taught that it is an indispensible tool we must use - and use properly - every minute of every day of our lives.

If a person never learns about the faculty of choice, nor of its importance in day-to-day life, guess what happens... He/she starts to believe that we live in a Stephen King horror-world where we're pawns of forces beyond our control. Once this idea is accepted, it's a blank check on doing "whatever you feel like doing." If we decide to murder, "well, that's just what 'fate' had planned anyway, so why not?" If the would-be murderer stops to think of the fact that most people do not commit murder, then "well, that's just because 'fate' made them 'good guys' - so what's that got to do with me?"
This line of thinking represents the obliteration of ethics, because it rationalizes a separation of choice from action. It says, in effect: "You're not responsible for what you do, so do whatever you want." The result is a former human being transformed into just another predatory animal.

Since there are no mystical forces acting on us, no angels or demons pushing us this way or that, the person who gives up the faculty of rational choice - or is never allowed to discover it - is left at the mercy of one, single, internal force: Emotion.
He/she may blame their actions on something or someone else - even while they're in the middle of such actions - but the root cause is emotion-driven whim using a neglected brain as a punching bag.

The key is to push the emotions back into their cages, switch that brain back on, and use it. Reason, not emotion, is the only valid guide to one's actions. But as I said earlier, schools have been teaching students to substitute emotion for reason for decades. We are just now seeing the results. The results are not pretty.

Read "Emotionalism Explains Mindless Violence at Colorado High School" by Glenn Woiceshyn, and "Our Killing Schools"" by C. Bradley Thompson.


The idea of eliminating guns, via voluntary means or through government coercion, is a focus on something irrelevant to the causes of crime, and dangerous in the context of the right to self-defense being a corollary of the right to one's life.
"Dropping the guns," joining in the clamor for more gun control laws, etc, is an attitude which ignores a blatantly obvious fact about Columbine: Roughly 60 (sixty) bombs were found hidden in various parts of the school. If no such thing as a gun had ever existed, the result would still have been lots of murdered people. The lack of guns would simply have made it necessary for the murderers to make a tiny alteration of their plans - they would have used the bombs instead of the guns. The choice of weapon is irrelevant to the issue. What is relevant - at the core really - is choice itself:

Each of us has a basic ability called Volition. It's the ability to look at a given situation - any situation - and decide between a multitude of options. The problem is, no one gets taught that volition even exists, and no one gets taught that it is an indispensible tool we must use - and use properly - every minute of every day of our lives. If a person never learns about the faculty of choice, nor of its importance in day-to-day life, guess what happens... He/she starts to believe that we live in a Stephen King horror-world where we're pawns of forces beyond our control. Once this idea is accepted, it's a blank check on doing "whatever you feel like doing." If someone decides to murder, "well, that's just what 'fate' had planned anyway, so why not?" If the would-be murderer actually stops to think of the fact that most people do not commit murder, then "well, that's just because 'fate' made them 'good guys' - so what's that got to do with me?"
This line of thinking represents the obliteration of ethics, because it rationalizes a separation of choice from action. It says, in effect: "You're not responsible for what you do, so do whatever you want." The result is a former human being transformed into just another predatory animal. The result is a massacre like Columbine.

Since there are no mystical forces acting on us, no angels or demons pushing us this way or that, the person who gives up the faculty of rational choice - or is never allowed to discover it - is left at the mercy of a powerful internal force: Emotion. Today's "educators" teach kids from an early age not how to think logically, but rather to "explore how they feel" about a given topic. A generation of kids brought up to believe that emotion is an acceptable substitute for rational thought (if the latter is brought up at all,) will grow up to believe that "I feel like it" is a justification for anything.
Additionally, from the first day they're thrown into Day Care centers, children today are indoctrinated with the ideas of: "fitting in," of "selflessness" as a virtue, of blind conformity. As they get older, they begin to hear labels such as "cool" (which means: "Acceptable to others") and "nerd/geek/etc" (which means: "Unacceptable to others.") They learn to strive to be acceptable to the group and to avoid being seen as an individual at all costs.
Such efforts may or may not be "successful," but in the kid's mind the pattern is set: His entire sense of self-worth is geared to the real or imagined appraisals of others. He/she has been molded into a complete emotional dependent.
Add an emotion-driven mentality, with a sense of self-worth entirely dependent on the reactions of others, and what do you get? A person for whom the opinions of others mean more than life itself - his own included.
The key to making horrors such as Columbine history, is to teach children reason over emotion - to push their emotions back into their cages, switch the brains back on, and use them logically and consistently. Reason, not emotion, is the only valid guide to one's actions. But schools have been teaching students to substitute emotion for reason for decades. We are just now seeing the results. The results are not pretty.

I urge all interested in this issue to read "Our Killing Schools" by C. Bradley Thompson, and "Emotionalism Explains Mindless Violence at Colorado High School" by author Glenn Woiceshyn.