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National Review writer: Men and “husky” boys could have prevented the Newtown school shootings

Apparently Charlotte Allen thinks all janitors look like this.
Apparently Charlotte Allen thinks all janitors look like this.

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.

Appalling.

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scarlettpipistrelle
7 years ago

Ah yes, all the women’s fault (from the Spearhead under the police state article:

“highwasp December 18, 2012 at 21:53

you read my mind… I wonder to what extent did the shooter’s mom and female teachers have in motivating his actions? what if the shooter is the victim? what if more and more evidence (or strong implications) of the women using their authority as mom and teachers to manipulate a mentally unstable young man keeps coming out? ~ what they couldn’t plan on and didn’t intend was how totally berserk the young man went… and his choice of targets was a complete and lethal surprise…

Of course it’s not actually paranoia if ‘they’ really are out to get you, is it?. And ‘they’ being a feminist police state, well, they really are out to get me!”

We knew this was coming.

thenatfantastic
thenatfantastic
7 years ago

@Scarlett

My first reaction on hearing it was “I wonder how long it will take the MRM to blame women for this?”. It took half an hour for them to start speculating it was a man going through a custody battle, and that his ex-wife had ‘stolen’ his children from him.

Diogenes, if you’re still reading – the above paragraph is why people are calling you stupid. You don’t know what caused Lanza to do this and speculating about how to cure what you don’t know isn’t really the most solid of plans. Especially when you do it so half-arsedly. I mean, when I was 20 I was only friends with about one person I’d been to high school with (I had other friends but they’re more difficult for the media to track down, instead of just getting hold of a yearbook), and I once went 5 years without seeing my brother because we just kept missing each other and were both too lazy to actually do anything about it, keeping thinking we’d see each other at the next family event. Does this make me a sociopath who’s likely to go shoot a bunch of infants?

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

“what if the shooter is the victim?”

Yeah, never mind twenty-seven corpses along the way. Never mind little kids being the targets. Oh noes, it was Lanza who was the victim because maybe he actually got told to wipe his own ass or was expected to do the dishes or something.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

I’ve lost track of which thread it was, but I’d fourth (fifth?) Shiraz’s suggestion that Dogbreath be banned or modded for being boring as well as a sexist, ableist, lying little creep.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

It’s actually pretty easy to tell who the victims are in a situation like this, on account of them being dead.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Not for MRAs, though. Victims can only be male. At birth, and not trans, or gay, or anything else. Victims are only straight white males. (No manginas need apply.)

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

“It’s actually pretty easy to tell who the victims are in a situation like this, on account of them being dead.”

One problem with that logic — Lanza shot himself too. Of course, in non-MRA-land most murder-suicide suicide “victims” aren’t treated as a suicide victim but as a murderer. (Does that sentence make sense? My sleep schedule is all kinds of wonky and I’m trying to set it straight but that means I took my night-time pills already…can’t tell if logic is still working or not <.>)

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Yes, it makes sense! No sympathy for someone who kills themselves after committing murder(s).

OT – I saw my psychologist tonight and he has a KITTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

“I’ve lost track of which thread it was, but I’d fourth (fifth?) Shiraz’s suggestion that Dogbreath be banned or modded…”

Fifthed // sixthed // whatever the fuck number we’re on.

“Of course it’s not actually paranoia if ‘they’ really are out to get you, is it?.” — technically, no, but you need a specific “they” and some logic why you think “they” are out to get out (eg “do you think anyone is out to get you?” “well, my father, but he really seems to have a problem with Every. Little. Thing. I. Do.”)

“…And ‘they’ being a feminist police state, well, they really are out to get me!”” — nope, that’s just straight up paranoia.

Re: not speaking to family — the media, or at least the MRM, is spinning it like all cases of a person being estranged occur because the family doesn’t want anything to do with them. My not-an-ex doesn’t speak to zir parents, because they were abused and ze just doesn’t need that shit — is finishing grad school, working part time, did the rules for an absurdly successful RPG kickstarter (avarice industries anyone? yeah *that one*). Point here is that that cuts both ways, some of the healthiest people around have cut out abusive family members, that they don’t speak to those family members does not somehow magically proof anything bad about *them*.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

I’m not sure that it’s possible to explain things to people who don’t see the difference between killing yourself and being murdered by someone else. It’s one of those things where if it isn’t immediately obvious to you where your sympathies should lie then, um, maybe your moral compass is broken?

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Glad that made sense!

Also KITTTEHS are awesome, even when your hand has just become a chew toy.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

But can you imagine their outrage if a woman had been the shooter? Even though other women were murdered (which they probably think is good), they’d have suddenly been outraged at all the little boys dying and there would have been NO suggestion that the murderer was the ‘real victim’.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

On the MRA moral compass true north is always “it’s the woman’s fault”.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

LOL Argenti, “chew toy” is very appropriate, since psychologist said his kitteh will bite when she’s had enough petting!

She looked so much like my Katie. Love grey tabbies.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Hey well, 10pm here, those of us who get up at 5am had best wander off to bed … Niters, all! Don’t leave chewed up bits of troll where people will walk on them!

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Cassandra — yeah, I don’t even know wtf is up with some people. I do know that um, certain religious people, shall we say, find being murdered more acceptable, because suicide is the person’s choice, and murder, even of yourself, is sinful. Perhaps needless to say this whole theology gets my brain tied up in knots.

Even for them though, murder is bad, suicide is bad, being murdered is just tragic — so murder-suicide would still be labelled a murderer (the part where my brain implodes is that suicide would also be labelled murder…or at least be met with a shaking head and “are you sure it wasn’t an accident?”)

I’m sure that’s too convoluted to really be clear, since my brain is all “wtf is this mess” about it. (Epically short version — my friend’s brother committed suicide a couple years back, my mother still refuses to admit it was suicide because “suicide is a sin” and suicide is murder of thyself, which is the same sin as murder…and this whole sin is sin is sin nope doesn’t matter wtf sort of sin thing makes my head hurt)

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

“On the MRA moral compass true north is always “it’s the woman’s fault”.”

That makes so much more sense than my little rant there!

Night kitteh, we’ll try to clean up the troll bits, but chewed up troll can get sticky, so please watch where you step.

Jessica
Jessica
7 years ago

“There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred.”

omg an entire building without ANY male supervision whatsoever? but how could it even have functioned at all with a man there to guide the females?

Jessica
Jessica
7 years ago

*meant to say “without a man” -_-

Shiraz
Shiraz
7 years ago

You know what, I just re-read Allen’s “article.” Shit, I missed it the first time, but maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that some righty mentioned Flight 93. You know, as an example of how everyone should have reacted during a shooting spree.
And all this. Allen writes:

“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.”

I don’t even know where to begin with all of that mess.

discosucs2005
discosucs2005
7 years ago

“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.”

I know you’re just responding to what the author of that article said, but this comes off a little victim blamey. Like a “if only they hadn’t run they would have lived” tone. I’m sure that’s not how it was meant.

Tracy
7 years ago

I left this reply over there:

Life is not an action movie. Even if there had been ‘burly’ males with guns around, this is no guarantee they would have been able to swoop in and save the day – they could just as easily have been gunned down on approach, not to mention risked more children’s lives. And your analysis raises a question – if there had been a bunch of adult males on premises, and the incident still unfolded as it did, would you somehow then assume these men were not ‘real men’, since they didn’t pull a SWAT and take out the shooter (because, perhaps, they were busy herding children into hiding spots?)

The school goes up to the fourth grade – research is your friend.

And the “flight of heroes” literally had nothing to lose – they were going to be flown into a building. Not comparable at all.

Unfortunately, the idea of being a “man”, to Charlotte Allen, is limited to Hollywood action films. This article is insulting to the staff and children of Sandy Hook, to Newtown, to parents (do you have some insider knowledge into the Lanza’s situation the rest of us don’t, or do you also watch too many Dr Phil reruns?) and to men and women all in one fell swoop – way to go.

kiki
kiki
7 years ago

I bet Diogenes thinks mathematicians aren’t allowed to use calculators. That would be cheating!

Shiraz
Shiraz
7 years ago

Very nice, Tracy.

pecunium
7 years ago

One of the things about murder suicide is that we don’t treat the killer in the equation as a murderer… we make excuses for them; “troubled”, etc.

Since the usual pattern is man kills woman, then self, there seems to be more going on.

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
7 years ago

I like how, sooner or later, the Kitty Avatar thing seems to get everyone here.

Except me. And Pecunium. And Shiraz. And kiki. And Futrelle. And Jessica.

Exceptions prove the rule, donchaknow.

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
7 years ago

What am I? Chopped liver?

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
7 years ago

What am I? Chopped liver?

…is that a rhetorical question?

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
7 years ago

Diogenes thinks chefs can’t use measuring spoons. Its cheating.

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
7 years ago

Oh fime Tulgey, I’ll just consign myself to the nameless masses. *sniff*

=p

Fibinachi
Fibinachi
7 years ago

The thing that confuses me here is not really the argument itself (That I simply dismiss as silly on an automatic basis, my system is biased).

What confuses me is how you can make the argument and not realize, the moment you make it, that you’re doing something strange with your internal coherence. That’s vague, let me… let me try to explain:

The lack of “husky” boys, men, quarterbacks and football coaches means it is easier for someone to walk in unopposed and unleash violence.

This might even be somewhat true? I can’t tell – I do know there is precedent for large groups of people tackling shooters to the ground, which… I guess means that a larger amount of people with physical training could, potentially, rush a shooter (Although I wouldn’t ever suggest rushing if you can get the hell away). I don’t mind that part as much as the rest, I can sort of get it. It’s inane! But I can get it.

But when the principle, who is a lady, lunges at the shooter, LUNGES, I mean:
“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…”
it’s not heroic or brave or husky or commendable. It’s only “seemed to have performed bravely”. You know, seemed. As a simulacra, an imitation, the kind of thing an actor does – seems to have things under control. No substance, only some weak feminine facade.

But if a couple of teachers who play football converge on the shooter, it’s brave. We’re supposed “think of how it could have gone” (Dead teachers? Dead 12 year olds?).

So a principle that lunges isn’t brave, she doesn’t get heroic triades in her name, she only gets a throwaway sentence about how her “performance” was “Seemingly brave”.
If it was a male principle who did a bit of body building on the side, I am somewhat convinced he would have been both “brave” and “giving his life in the line of duty”, akin to some heroic warrior out of myth. Manly and husky and complete bullshit.

I don’t get the disconnect, is what I am getting at. Can someone explain it to me?
Because if we assume some gender existentialism insanity where women are weak (not merely feminine) and men are manly (and manly obvious means strong, too), then isn’t a woman doing something heroic even more inspiring and fantastic? She’s a lady! Cor, gov’nor, she’s got balls I tells ye. Precisely because it is so unexpected in this bullshit, stagnated world of imaginary binary humans.

But alas, no. Because ultimately this piece isn’t about the lack of manly husky men in schools or proper safety procedures in relation to safety in public education facilities, it’s not about exploring the aftermath of a tragedy and understanding the influence of things that lead to it. It’s not even about consoling people who lost or providing hope and clarity.

It’s about slamming women for existing, being at work and having the sheer grit to do things. Because, frankly, any piece that venerates non existent 12 year old husky boys over a principle that died in the line of duty to protect the people in her school is merely using the trappings of a tragedy to retread the same old tired tirade about how it’s all the womenfolks fault.

And this is all without getting worked up about the fun little things like feminizition as something negative and the phrase “coddling culture”.
MY CULTURE GIVES ME HUGS, EVERYBODY, IT HOLDS ME CLOSE TO ITS WARM BEATING HEART AND FEEDS ME LOVE.

Oh well. I’m going to go back to my government funded education initiative that I pay for using government support while thinking about exploring the government mandated mental health institutions available to me. Because I do live in a culture that coddles me, and at times I think “Oh hey, all this non aggressive, diplomatic, well focused wonder sure is delightful. Thanks, feminism!”

Falconer
7 years ago

Christ! I just saw a Really Truly Sincere talking head on CNN asking how we should remember Nancy Lanza. She said yeah, Ms. Lanza was shot and killed, but she “enabled her son” to get ahold of the weapon.

Fucker.

I say we should remember her as a victim of the whole thing.

Shiraz
Shiraz
7 years ago

Falconer, I just saw that segment on CNN too. I didn’t like that narrative they were spinning.

Tracy
7 years ago

I like how, sooner or later, the Kitty Avatar thing seems to get everyone here.

You can’t fight the kitties. They own the internet.

Fibinachi – that stuck out at me too. I recently read The Authoritarians (recommended by someone here) and apparently, for a certain type pf person, it’s very easy to compartmentalize thoughts/ideas, and hold contradictory thoughts/ideas at once, and never hold them up for analysis. (I’m sure I am messing up the explanation.) So a woman doing something brave is actually not brave, bc women are not brave, men are brave.

Falconer – I wonder if it had been his father who had guns, taught him how to use guns, and had been the parent who was killed… how would they parse that? Would the father have been blamed in the same way?

Falconer
7 years ago

Yesterday or the day before they were reporting that her body hadn’t even been claimed yet. I thought that was sad.

Falconer
7 years ago

If I am to have a cat avatar, I’m going to have a unique one!

@Tracy — I suspect a father wouldn’t be blamed at all. People would be asking, how could this man shoot such a loving father?

On the other hand, men and women who stockpile guns are exploited for their entertainment value fairly regularly, so what do I know? If it were a father who’d bought up guns and then got shot with them, maybe he’d be treated all, “Well what did you expect would happen?!”

Except that it seems to come as a complete shock to the people in TVNewsLand whenever some little kid gets shot playing with their parent’s gun.

Falconer
7 years ago

Mmmm, I just waffled so much my mouth is watering ….

inu
inu
7 years ago

I am attached to my puppy avatar. It’s a puppy that I drew for the cover of Beet the Devil, a comedy Interactive Fiction game that my friend wrote.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
7 years ago

I dunno about blaming Mrs. Lanza for the guns; I personally think that there is very little reason to keep a gun in the house, let alone guns plural (especially that kind of gun,) and clearly her son had both training and access to them. Seems like a bad idea all around, even if he hadn’t ended up murdering 26 people with said guns.

noah
noah
7 years ago

Her article is obviously ridiculous, but I must admit that I am surprised that a school of 650 kids doesn’t have even one male teacher or administrator. That has nothing to do with the Landza shooting, though.

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
7 years ago

There are male teachers at the school.

Also, sweet Jesus! Check the spearheads comments! They just keep getting worse!

Now the shooting is womens fault because we are abandoning our children.

David, one poster said that if it would have averted the tragedy, he’d have chopped the shooters entire family to bits with a machete…there’s a LOT of violent talk over there, while blaming women, plotting to remove women rights entirely and occassional moaning over how violenbt society has gotten.

cloudiah
7 years ago

I agree that no one needs to keep a gun like that in their home, but it is sadly legal and there is nothing (yet) that says she was not an entirely responsible gun owner who kept both the guns and the ammo locked up. I know there was at least one report that Adam Lanza had tried to purchase a gun a few days earlier; if that is true, that would indicate that at least he didn’t have easy access to them. If he broke into a neighbor’s house and stole the weapons, I doubt anyone would blame the neighbor. If it turns out she was careless with the weapons, I would feel she bears some responsibility for what happened — but not to a level that would deserve the death penalty.

I am troubled by how quickly even non-MRAs have moved to blame her, and erase her as one of the victims. I feel terrible for her family, who apparently waited until Tuesday to pick up her body and asked that the name of their funeral home not be made public.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

@Fibinachi – THIS. That was the thing that really got me with Allen’s article, the dismissive “performed bravely” line.

@inu – your puppy avatar is the cutest! I’ve wondered where you got it, so am most impressed you drew it. 🙂

I love the avatars here, though I tend to see everyone as looking like them …

titianblue
titianblue
7 years ago

So, according to this writer, women are all “passive”, “weak” – whatever happened to a woman having the ferocity of a tigress protecting her cubs? Seems a much more accurate description of the heros of Sandy Hook to me ….

katz
7 years ago

She said yeah, Ms. Lanza was shot and killed, but she “enabled her son” to get ahold of the weapon.

Hey, why stop with people living in your own house? We could just say that it’s always your fault if you get shot because you didn’t prevent the shooter from acquiring the gun!

princessbonbon
7 years ago

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.

Yes, we cannot simply care enough about our children to want to let them have a home to live in while they try to find work. Nope, have to throw them to the street the second they hit eighteen.

That second part is equally stupid as many gun owning parents do want their children to know how to use guns that are around the house. Often to show them “this can hurt someone. Treat it with the respect that deserves.”

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Now the shooting is womens fault because we are abandoning our children.

But the shooter lived with his mother. I’m curious about how you spin “adult child living with mother” as maternal abandonment.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

I love the avatars here, though I tend to see everyone as looking like them …

I am genuinely sad to report that my hair is no longer magenta or purple.

Also, the comments about taking a machete to the shooter’s whole family on the Spearhead…huh? Like, his cousins too? Or is “family” just code for “mother”?

(If it is that’s one hell of a Freudian slip for a group that talks so much about the rights of fathers.)

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
7 years ago

We abandon our families by going to work. Of course, the poster had to make a big stink about us going to hairdressers, or home to watch tv or out shopping. Yanno, having a family but not being totally consumed by their needs is just plain wrong for us female types.

And the machete guy, I’m sure it would be mom first. I read an article that said dad didn’t find out what happened until hours later from a reporter standing at his door. Felt so sorry, because when a friend of mines baby died she was the last person to know. Everyone else knew in the neighborhood, but she was at a new friends house and the baby died of SIDS at dads during the time he had custody. So I have a pretty good idea of wht the shooters father went through if that’s the case.