Developing a culture of docility
In response to the Virginia Tech shootings, Michelle Malkin has an interesting article arguing for the renewal of the culture of self-defense.
Instead of teaching students to defend their beliefs, American educators shield them from vigorous intellectual debate. Instead of encouraging autonomy, our higher institutions of learning stoke passivity and conflict-avoidance.

And as the erosion of intellectual self-defense goes, so goes the erosion of physical self-defense.
It is an interesting thought. We are told that all belief systems are equally true. We are told there are two topics of conversation not to be breached in polite company: politics and religion. The more deeply held a conviction is, the less acceptable it is to hold it, much less express it. Those who defend their convictions and who are audacious enough to claim that truth is absolute, both for themselves and those who disagree with them, are chastised. Our thoughts and beliefs should not be important enough to us to cause another to become uncomfortable.

And as our educational accountability measurements increasingly measure discrete skills which are most conducive to measuring via standardized testing, higher order thinking is being neglected in the classroom. Students are no longer taught to research, reason and defend a position. Without these skills, we have been intellectually disarmed.

Fairly early, we are taught to share. Personal property is not given a high priority. The Lego example in Seattle is an extreme, but when I taught, we confiscated all the children's school supplies. Scissors, pencils, glue, etc., was redistributed when needed without regard to the owner of the property.

We are taught not to defend property. It is only a toy, only a notebook, only money. The fact that it is mine, not the person's who is taking it, is downplayed. It isn't worth fighting over. And defending it could get you more jail time than the thief in Sacramento.
"What we try to stress to people is that deadly force, the use of a firearm, is never justified under any circumstances to protect property," said Sgt. Matt Young of the Sacramento Police Department.
We are trained from little up not to defend ourselves. That task is the responsibility of others in authority over us. We should try to understand the aggressor. We are supposed to be friends with everybody. If you have a conflict in school, you are to tell the teacher. The student who defends himself is likely to receive the same punishment as the aggressor.

We are trained to fear weapons of any kind. While there certainly is no excuse for school students to be carrying weapons, school administrators have taken zero tolerance policies to a bizarre extreme. Not only can you not take your weapons to school, but you must be wary of anything which might be construed as a weapon. The fear of guns is so pervasive that even eight-year olds with guns made out of paper end up at the police station.

We do not defend our thoughts. We do not defend our property. And when our very person is threatened, we are taught to submit to the judgment and power of another. Malkin quotes Virginia Tech Associate Vice President Larry Hincker's response to an op-ed piece in the campus paper favoring concealed carry on campus,
Wiles tells us that he didn't feel safe with the hundreds of highly trained officers armed with high powered rifles encircling the building and protecting him. He even implies that he needed his sidearm to protect himself.
How dare anyone think their personal safety is their personal responsibility.

It is far better to sit in the classroom like frightened sheep, waiting for someone to tell you what to do. Otherwise, some insane student might take control of the situation, like what happened in the Appalachian School of Law Shootings, also in Virginia.

Update: Some thoughts from other blogs. (Thanks for the links!)

Have we created a nation of wimps? asks the Liberty Papers.

Combs Spouts Off about feeling safe vs. being safe.

Right to bear arms a God-given right? from T.F. Stern (this was written prior to this incident)
Also, I thought this might be an interesting discussion topic given my personal views on mental health issues and mandatory screening.

What I don't understand is this: December 13, 2005, he was temporarily detained for psychiatric evaluation.
Virginia Special Justice Paul Barnett certified an order that Heung-Sui "[p]resents an imminent danger to himself as a result of mental illness," and directed that as a "Court-ordered O[ut]-P[atient he] follow all recommended treatments."
I'm not up on VA gun control laws, but shouldn't this have come up on the background check (it didn't) and wouldn't it have barred him from legally obtaining a weapon even under current law?

Hat Tip: La Shawn Barber's Corner

girl: Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on

Related Tags: , , ,