It’s always a little distressing to see manosphere-style dumbassery outside the manosphere. Today’s offender: Charlotte Allen at National Review Online, explaining how the deaths in Newtown are the result of the school’s “feminized setting.” Had the school been filled with manly men (and manly boys), Adam Lanza could have been stopped in his tracks!
No, really, that’s what she says. Except that what she wrote is somehow even more egregious than my sarcastic summary. Read for yourself:
There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. In this school of 450 students, a sizeable number of whom were undoubtedly 11- and 12-year-old boys (it was a K–6 school), all the personnel — the teachers, the principal, the assistant principal, the school psychologist, the “reading specialist” — were female. There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees.
As everyone knows, janitors with buckets can easily overwhelm adult males firing semiautomatic rifles. That’s why most armies in the world have given up guns, are stocking up on buckets, and have started massive recruiting drives aimed at janitors.
(In fact, there was a male custodian on duty, who (according to one witness) warned students and teachers of the gunman, probably saving lives in the process. It does not appear that any buckets were thrown.)
Oh, Allen gives the women at the school some grudging credit for confronting Lanza and saving lives.
The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, seemed to have performed bravely. According to reports, she activated the school’s public-address system and also lunged at Lanza, before he shot her to death. Some of the teachers managed to save all or some of their charges by rushing them into closets or bathrooms.
But they were ladies, and ladies just aren’t made to be heroes.
[I]n general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.
I’m pretty sure that if this had happened they would have been gunned down, and there would be a couple of former high school football stars and “some of the huskier 12-year-old boys” added to the list of victims. Not even the “huskiest” 12-year-old is any match for a man with a semiautomatic rifle. [EDITED TO ADD: Also, if there were any 12-year-olds on the scene they would have had to have have flunked several years, as the school only goes up to the fourth grade, as several commenters here have pointed out.]
People, even unarmed people, need to fight back against criminals — because usually, no one else will. It took the police 20 minutes to arrive at Sandy Hook.
According to this timeline, a police SWAT team was there ten minutes after the shooting started.
By the time they got there, it was over. Cops and everybody else encourage civilians not to try to defend themselves when they are criminally assaulted. This is stupid advice. There are things you can do. Run is one of them, because most shooters can’t hit a moving target. The other, if you are in a confined space, is throw things at the killer, or try a tackle.
Many students, with the help of teachers, saved themselves by hiding. Some of the students in one classroom tried to run, and were gunned down. Their classmates who stayed hidden survived.
Remember United Flight 93 on 9/11. It was a “flight of heroes” because a bunch of guys on that plane did what they could with what they had. They probably prevented the destruction of the White House or the Capitol.
The hijackers weren’t carrying semiautomatic rifles. And the heroes literally had nothing to lose by attacking them.
Parents of sick children need to be realistic about them. I know at least two sets of fine and devoted parents who have had the misfortune to raise sons who were troubled for genetic reasons beyond anyone’s control. Either of those boys could have been an Adam Lanza. You simply can’t give a non-working, non-school-enrolled 20-year-old man free range of your home, much less your cache of weapons. You have to set boundaries. You have to say, “You can’t live here anymore — you’re an adult, and it’s time for you to be a man. We’ll give you all the support you need, but we won’t be enablers.” Unfortunately, the idea of being an “adult” and a “man” once one has reached physical maturity seems to have faded out of our coddling culture.
Really? Very few mass killers have lived at home with their mothers, but somehow being “adult” and “men” didn’t stop them from killing. It’s good that Allen, without actually knowing any of the details of Adam Lanza’s apparent “sickness” (because at this point none of us do) is able to tell us what would have been best for him.