death-of-cultureLike everybody else, I am still in shock by the atrocity that was perpetrated in Newtown, Connectictut, last Friday. It is inexplicable as to how a good and loving God could allow something like this to happen. Events like this cause us to revisit our beliefs, even the most faithful of us.

Is there an explanation for what happened?

First of all, I must congratulate President Obama for the moving words he spoke Sunday night. Though he did employ some magical thinking regarding guns, I don’t think his words were politicized to the extent that we have come to expect from gun-grabbers. To his credit, the President mentioned the problem of mental health, the implication being that we are unable to cope with those in our midst who are plagued by internal demons for whatever reason.

I’m really not surprised that it has come to this. When I first heard about the shooting around noon on Friday, I went to the internet and saw that many on the Right were worried that this was going to be used as another excuse to restrict the legal rights of law-abiding citizens. I thought that many on the Right they were too hasty.

Instead, I told one of our editors that this was too big and that if the Left tried to steer this tragedy into this direction that they would fail. There was something fundamentally evil about eighteen little bodies lying on the floor that couldn’t be equated with a drug deal gone bad or a “disagreement” among rappers at an MTV video awards after-party. Even if we accept the worst-case scenario that too many people own too many guns, the fundamental fact remains that guns don’t go off by themselves.

The sheer horror of it all instead drove the narrative in another direction: that of increasing mental illness in our society.

Some were asking, how come we never heard about incidents such as this thirty years ago? Forty years ago? How come nobody shot up a school during the Great Depression or during World War II? Certainly life was harder during the Thirties and without question there was more grief in the Forties when mothers throughout these United States received telegrams everyday informing them that their sons had been killed in action.

One reason of course is that troubled people were put in mental institutions. They weren’t pleasant places to be sure but in their own time they were humane. Because we were a Christian society, we didn’t kill the feeble upon birth like the ancient Greeks did. Ultimately that was the trade-off Christian societies have made throughout history — consignment to a sanitarium or killing (or castrating) the clearly inferior.

Beginning the Eighties however, federal courts released tens of thousands of mentally disturbed individuals from these institutions and closed them down. The immediate result was the plague of homelessness. Although the numbers put out by the Left that there were three million homeless people living on the street was bogus from the start, the fact remains that regardless of the number (probably 1/10th that number), American cities were cluttered with thousands of vagrants who couldn’t — or wouldn’t — take care of themselves. I for one believe that having people who couldn’t take care of themselves living in such conditions was inexcusable.

To be sure, advances in medicine enabled some of these people to live in a semi-viable manner. In 1986, a new anti-psychotic medication named Clozaril was released. Because it severely depressed white blood cells (WBCs), the Federal Drug Administration decided that only certain doctors could prescribe it and only certain pharmacies could dispense it. White blood cells are part of the body’s immune response therefore the FDA decided Clozaril could only be given in one-week increments, pending weekly blood tests. Pharmacies couldn’t dispense Clozaril to the patient until we got his lab results.

Other drugs came out on the market which made de-instutionalization feasible (or so we thought). Drugs like Prozac and Paxil and other SSRI’s, the so-called Selective Seratonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). And the patents of expensive neuraleptics like Thorazine expired around the same time, thus making them very affordable. Modern psychiatry was thus possessed an arsenal that made water-boarding, straight-jackets, and electroshock therapy obsolete. We should have witnessed Nirvana. Instead we had Columbine, Tuscon, Aurora, and now this.

Interestingly enough, all of the mass shooters in recent times were found to be medicated with these same SSRIs and assorted neuraleptic “cocktails” such as Mirtazepine, Benadryl, and Benztropine. Is it possible that pharmacotherapy is not the solution but part of the problem? Just go into any American school and take a gander at the medicine cabinet in the school nurse’s office. We are talking about normal, all-American boys being heavily medicated with Schedule II non-narcotics like Focalin, Concerta, and Ritalin, all of which are amphetamines.

During World War II we regularly gave American soldiers and Marines amphetamines to keep them on the march but it also dulled their consciences and made it easier to kill the enemy. Since then this was outlawed by the military because of the danger of a soldier going on a rampage. Even so, these drugs were given over a short term, usually only during part of a one-year tour of duty and only then when servicemen were on the march (or if they were sentries who needed to stay up for most of the night). Now we are starting this regimen in children from ten years old on up. Has anybody thought to question why in Heaven’s name we think that children will escape from this unharmed?

We cannot ignore the pharmaceutical aspect of all this. The problem however is moral. We have lost all sense of virtue. Our schools, our churches, all our institutions have cowered in the face of evil. Our great works of art glorify all of the vices. Sloth, indolence, violence, fornication, and ineptitude are celebrated whereas manliness, fortitude, and courage are derided.

We know longer think but “feel.” We have reordered society so that the minority of the moment dictates the terms of discourse. Because some religious minorities and atheists were uncomfortable with prayer in public schools, we had to accommodate their wishes. First prayer was removed, then the Pledge of Allegiance. Then we started celebrating “diversity” because Heather didn’t have a daddy but two mommies and we didn’t want to embarrass her.

I’m sorry, but you can’t maintain a nation with such an extremely libertarian view of society. As much as I admire the economics of von Hayek and Friedman, I know that the only viable critique of culture is a Burkean-traditionalist one; a critique that is heavily imbued by Christianity. There is no culture if there is no civic cult, one which all people can ascribe to at least on a minimal basis.

And yes, I do blame the Left. It had always been the program of the Left to make the younger generation less loyal to the ways of their families. Our official abhorrence of Christian tradition is not as extreme as what was found in Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, and other totalitarian states, but it is no less insidious nonetheless.

Whereas once schools were tasked with inculcating virtue and strengthening the culture by teaching the foundational legends of the nation, they became instead engines of cultural Marxism. The trite phrase used by these Progressives to propagate their misguided program was always along the lines of “the purpose of education is to get to the truth of the matter” and “to not uphold the prejudices of the culture.”

Yet so far had they sunk from the Christian worldview that they forgot that “truth” is a person — specifically the Second Person of the Trinity. And with the help of misbegotten Supreme Court decisions, they could claim that anyway, the Gospel could not be preached in the public square (and I mean the public square, not simply public schools).

And woe betide those who dared question this unfolding fiasco. “Reactionaries,” “bigots,” and other terms of opprobrium were hurled at them, often at full volume.

Now, please understand, this wouldn’t be so bad if those dedicated to “diversity” and “tolerance” actually believed in these concepts. A robust debate in the public arena can winnow out truth from falsehood with dispatch. But no such debate is allowed and anyway, Progressives don’t actually believe in tolerance or diversity. Far from it.

As one of our correspondents on this blog has noted, the Episcopal Church under the present regime of homosexualists and priestesses has enforced an brown-shirted orthodoxy on its dwindling membership that was never part of the Anglo-Saxon ethos. (Anglicanism as he rightly pointed out, was always a compromise position created in order to sublimate doctrinal differences among the various denominations of Great Britain.)

Likewise the ACLU and others of its ilk has never come to the defense of Christians who refuse to participate in activities that violate their religious scruples. Instead, the rigid enforcement of a new orthodoxy was always part of the plan. Tolerance was therefore never an end, only a means to this end. We are talking about the cultural equivalent of “one man, one vote, one time.”

The power of the cultural Marxists is vast and growing. We have seen them take out our Metropolitan because of his insistence that our Church should uphold the Christian moral tradition. It’s hard to tell if the OCA will become overtly libertine in the same manner that the Episcopal Church has become; perhaps it will follow the lead of the other jurisdictions, where quiescence is the order of the day. Regardless, the end is always the same. As some wise man once said, “all that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

So how did we get here? How could the Lord allow little Kindergartners to be wantonly murdered? In the Kabbalah, the mystical tradition the Jewish people, God is viewed as a Presence. It is said that at one time God walked with Adam and talked with him face-to-face but after Adam’s Fall, He removed Himself somewhat.

He was still there during the Exodus when the Israelites witnessed Him as a pillar of fire at night and a cloud during the day but with each moral transgression, the Presence became more estranged from human beings until finally it was confined to the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Solomon. There it shown as the Shekhina and was obvious only to the High Priest who could only behold It once a year. It remained there until Israel’s sins became too grotesque and when It finally left, the Temple was destroyed.

I think the Kabbalists were onto something. If memory serves, our own mystical theology has its own parallels to this myth.

So what does this mean for us, today? The only answer I can come up with is that God only goes where He is wanted. And we here in America we haven’t wanted God for a long time. He wasn’t responsible for Newtown, but perhaps our own desires overpowered His love in some way. The forces that were unleashed are what we can expect when the Lord no longer lives in a place. Perhaps the silver lining is that this atrocity will slap us back into reality. Maybe it happened because it’s not too late for us to turn away from our sins.



  1. Thomas Paine says

    Now that we are in the season, consider the remembrance the Church has on Dec. 29th, “The 14,000 Children Slain by Herod.” Maybe not 14,000 in reality, but thousands. Why? Because of the evil that dwells in the hearts of men. Regarding Adam Lanza, he was medicated and I’m certain this had something to do with his actions. Not Asperger Syndrome, but probably the drugs. Compound this with his access to an AR-15 with many rounds of ammo and there are serious problems. God gave us free-will; we must learn to use this gift properly to glorify God. A person whose mind is altered has a hard time focusing on reality. Sure, let’s legalize pot.

  2. Michael Bauman says

    George, I can’t really add much more except that it doesn’t really surprise me. Concurrent with the cultural destruction of God based morals and virtue is the destruction of any idea of a functioning community that calls it members to account without laws and the elevation of the individual will to a state of deity.

    On some level this young man did what he thought was right. Now he may have been swayed by demonic delusion, a badly damage brain or many other types of dysfunction. Bottom line, he gave into evil in a culture that has all but abandoned any idea of evil, in the midst of a people who simply don’t care much about right and wrong any more.

    Further, we have been busily sacrificing millions of even young children on the altar of convenience and licentiousness for decades through abortion, the increasing glorification of pedophlia, internet porn and the general sexualization of youth. Is it any wonder that our hearts have grown cold. What is the difference between what this young man did and those in abortion clinics; those on TLC who glamorize child sexual abuse as a ‘dance competition”?

    The reflex to say it is either a gun control issue or a mental health issue or even a moral issue is simply the effort of darkened hearts to continue our denial and export the evil that is resisdent in our own hearts.

    It is the triumph of the Nietzchean Will to Power. That’s what happens when God is despised, denied, made ideology and killed.

    Our nation has, for now, made the choice for the darnkess of the individual will over all else and the choice that ‘others’ should pay for our desires. That is not just the choice of one party or one poltical persuasion, it is our choice as a country and in the recesses of our own hearts at least to some degree. These children and their families paid. Those left behing will continue to pay for the rest of our lives while the rest of us go on about our various distractions and entertainments after a brief time spent wallowing in the narrcisistic excess of fake grief and power driven calls to ‘action’.

    Ridding the nation of guns and every other conceivable weapon of destruction even if it were possible will not help. Giving everybody free mental health care will only create a nation of drug addicts and enshire a new priesthood with exceptional power over even our thoughts. The mentallly ill will still have their ‘rights’ after all and the rest of us will pay the price for that too. (See as an example the young mother in Wyoming whose son is deeply troubled and can get to help while being casticated for invading his privacy).

    It is all in vain unless we turn our hearts to Him who created us and life as He wishes us to live. None of us do that. All of us are called to do that.

    God is where He has always been: “Everywhere present and filling all things…” and the still small voice within calling us to Himself. We choose instead to listen to the cacaphony of the world, our own lusts and the lies of the evil one.

    None of us is without responsibility. None of us is powerless, by the grace of God, to begin the healing by genuine contrition and repentance. How many of us will?

    I suspect that being the obstinate, stiff-necked people that we are, everything else but repentance and contrition will come first.

    If Obama had any clue, he would have called the nation to that rather than putting our hope in empty platitudes and destructive legalisms. O, but that would violate the non-existent, ideologically worshipped ‘separation of church and state.’ We have just begun to see the bitter fruit of our willingness to believe such lies.

    People kill because of demonic rage and the desire to place others under their own will. Laws can, at best, punish such behavior, they can never prevent it. Law is inadequate to deal with such rage, mental health professionals are inadequate to deal with such rage (as Mr. Stankovich has attested numerous times).

    The evil one is rejoicing in all of our solutions and our self-centered angst and our ‘looking for God’ even more than he rejoices in the deaths themselves since most of those who died are out of his reach.

  3. 1927 Bath School:

    No guns.
    No crazy Hollywood.
    No antidepressants,
    No computer games, no drugs.
    Hard working nation with strong christian values –
    38 little kids were murdered.

    The deadliest school massacre in the history of US.

    • George Michalopulos says

      You are correct. Of course I agree with you in that evil always exists and we can never prevent atrocities from happening. However what happened in 1927 was an anomaly. The spree killings of the last twenty years are disturbing in their frequency and similarities.

      • Mass shooting incidents are still rare enough that it is difficult to build a statistical case for increased frequency over time.

        This essay appears to completely ignore the media saturation aspect of these events in modern society. I’m less than impressed by a long diatribe about the Usual Suspects: the ACLU, “cultural Marxists” and the like while completely ignoring that these tragedies turn into 24-7 media circuses where you can’t even walk into a Taco Bell without seeing it on a flat-screen. That world didn’t exist in say, the 1930s. In a nation of over 300 million people, that gives you a large potential for a mentally ill subset that really shouldn’t get bombarded with a message that this other mentally ill person killed a bunch of people and got the attention of the entire country.

        We could live in a strict Christian theocracy run by Rushdoonyites and it wouldn’t make such fixation and attention any less unwise. We’d probably see no different results, just a lack of pointless hand-wringing about the Ten Commandments being removed from courtrooms that, in the “good old days” of “Moral America” were snakepits of institutionalized racism and corruption.

        Technology has also facilitated the ease with which to commit such mass shootings. Remember that the Army didn’t even start fielding a semi-automatic rifle until the mid 1930s, and the M1 Garand worked with a clip of eight rounds. In 2012, it is straightforward for a person of even modest means to acquire semi-automatic handguns with 10-18 round magazines, semi-automatic rifles with 60-90 round extended magazines, or even semi-automatic shotguns with 10-15 round magazines.

  4. You are an extremely frightening person. You work in a pharmacy — ( ?!?! ) — and voice disturbing attitudes about life-saving psychiatric medications and about the proper treatment of both mental illnesses and learning disabilities. Don’t even start me on your blind worship of guns and your mutilation of what the Second Amendment text means. There are many people just like you and they, too, frighten me at a deep level.

    • George Michalopulos says

      First of all, I don’t “worship” guns. Second of all, I don’t condemn pharmacotherapy, just the abuse of it. For example, the #1 prescribed class of drugs are antibiotics. The reality is people need antibiotics on average (please be aware of my phraseology) once every ten years. Yet doctors write –and pharmacists dispense them–indiscriminately. The neuraleptics I describe, particularly the amphetamines given to children, are not without their uses but they are over-prescribed in my opinion. No, I’m not a Scientologist but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    • The only way to prevent school massacres in future is to allow school personal to carry guns.
      Gun bun will not work (it’s not possible to confiscate all the guns in America).
      Gun laws would not prevent any of shootings. Look at each case individually and see if any existing law would help.
      “Guns free” zones are joke (don’t even want to talk about it)

      Now, how to solve this problem? Israel might be a good example. In 1974, three gunmen attacked a school in Israel and killed 16 teenagers. Since then, Israeli schoolteachers have been allowed to carry guns.
      There was a terrorist attack on an Israeli school in 2002, but it was quickly stopped with the help of an armed teacher. There were no massacres in Israeli schools since 1974.

      Utah school personnel have had the right, beginning in January 2001, with concealed weapon permits, to carry firearms in schools and universities. There have been no injuries to students injured in either Israel or Utah since teachers were allowed to have firearms. None… Let me repeat that – Not a single case.

      Yes, people afraid of guns, but that’s today’s reality. Like it or not.
      I personally did not like idea of legal guns in school, but I changed my mind after the research.
      Teachers must have a way to protect children. The only way to do it realistically and effectively is to allow guns in schools. I do not see anything better at this point.

      Apparently some school districts in Texas already allowed guns at school. I can only support those decisions and would like my kids to go to a school where teachers are armed.

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        I completely agree with you. In Israel, most (if not all) of the teachers are armed. Zero massacres. Correllation?

        • Robert Alden says


          The USA is not Israel. We are not surrounded by hostile nations. Arming teachers to me is another slippery slope. However, I wonder how schools in Israel are physically constructed? Do they differ from the way our schools, which are basically open campuses are built? I wonder if the Sandy Hook school had bullet proof glass main doors, would the outcome been different? Bullet proof windows in the schools and bullet proof doors? If we make schools much harder targets, the incentive by unstable men to do such dastardly deeds might be reduced.

          When planes in the 70’s and 80’s were being hijacked, airlines and governments made changes to reduce the chance of a plane being hijacked. Today, the hijacking of planes is rare. Airports have been redesigned to reflect the new reality of air travel safety. New airports are even safer because they had passenger safety as a hallmark of their construction. Can the same be applied schools?

          I don’t think arming teachers is the answer. It seems like a quick fix with too many potential variables. We can do much more before that. Redesign or build schools working from the outside in and the inside out to make the safer, build with child safety as the first priority.

          I see this as part of the necessary rebuilding of the infrastructure of our country, and what a wonderful way to put people to work in our communities.

          • >bullet proof glass… airport type security… armed guards… etc.
            I do believe it would work (just like it works in airports), but when last time did you check your local school budget? How about US budget?

            >Arming teachers to me is another slippery slope.
            Based on what data? Utah has this law for more then 10 years now. Israel – for about 40 years. Anything bad happened? Any accidents?

            >I don’t think arming teachers is the answer.
            Once again – based on what facts? Based on personal feelings toward guns? I can relate to that – I was afraid of them too, but it would not be a good argument, would it?

            • Okay, I’m going with the bishop.

              Next NEA convention they should all walk around with Guns Now banners.

              The right would go crazy if Newtown hadn’t happened first.

              I can see the headlines everywhere…teachers want to be armed against our children.

              You fools fail to recognize a setup when one exists.

              The NRA is trying to create a false defensible I told you so position.

              If it weren’t so, they would have suggested financing the 20 billion a year concept with a gun registration fee. They left paying the bill out of their I told you so equation so as not to upset their fans. The straw man can pay..

              Next time don’t be so gullable friends and laugh when good humor presents.

              Wayne Laughier.

        • 1) I’d like to see a statistic on percentage of armed Israeli teachers in the classroom, not a facebook image macro. Most if not all? From the :rolleyes: I’ve seen coming from Israeli quarters, I think not.
          2) Israel has far, far more restrictive laws on private gun ownership than the US.
          3) Security measures meant to contend with armed terrorist teams and suicide bombers (effective perimeter security, armed security personnel at facility access checkpoints) are also effective at defending against deranged individuals.

          • George Michalopulos says

            That’s a closely held secret. Just like we don’t know how many Air Marshalls there are on any given flight and who they are. Regardless, it’s an open secret and since 1974, there have been no massacres of Israeli schoolchildren. Isn’t that the point?

        • To be like Israel? But, but…aren’t our teachers all lefty, commie-dominated, unionists and liberals? Giving them guns is going to sure improve discipline, especially where curricula and course goals are concerned, right? Our POOR children are going to more at the mercy of those traitors than they are now, no? Oh, those union meetings would get a tremendous morale boost! A kid asks an honest Christian God-fearing question, and the teacher just calmly pats her revolver in front of her on the desk…
          Marvellous thinkers, my fellow life-members of the NRA, no? I mean, we’ve now seen our Weapons of Mass Destruction, i.e., personal firearms, engaged in their purpose again, mass destruction, in Connecticut, the latest such display and example.

    • Antonia…George’s essay has striking and valid points, but in my opinion it falls apart when he refers to the two mommies.

      George is 100% correct about one thing. In the past we put wackos in sanitariums…they are essentially a thing of the past (sanitariums), so the Adam Lanzas and the James Holmes walk about trying to land somewhere other than Oz in our society.

      George is 99% correct about psychiatric drugs. They are truly in their infancy and profit driven. Doctors practice. Treating wackos is a case by case experiment. Forgive my terminology, but even treating mild depression is still experimenting. Doctors rarely directly diagnose and treat; they typically rule out higher risk ailments and treat. Sometimes the treatments fail; sometimes the higher risk ailments are the real ones.

      George fails to mention the number of guns per capital, extended clips, Hollywood, video games, which are also likely factors that weigh greatly. Blaming the Left is handy, but I’d put money on the voting record of the shooter’s Mom as the opposite, so I’d credit right wing gun toting ideology first, but I wouldn’t eagerly do so..and it is conjecture. Crediting the left is baseless as much or more than my conjecture.

      Furthermore, the State of Minnesota under a Republican governor cut off medical assistance funding for these very types of persons (indigent n wackos).

      What I find most intriguing is George made sense until he was consumed by hatred again. I suppose the left gets credit for everything including the man on the moon.

  5. Will Harrington says

    God lets us go our own way. It’s the christmas season. Isn’t it obvious that we, as a nation worship Greed, not God? This is evil. We live in a culture that now calls evil good. How can we be surprised, then, when evil is made blatantly manifest? Lord have mercy, I think things will get worse before our nation turns back to the good.

  6. Problems like this are too deep to blame on “the Left” which serves as a convenient scapegoat for all of society’s ills in the same way “the Right” serves as the Left’s bogeyman. Conservatives blame the courts for releasing the mentally ill into the streets. Liberals blame Governor then President Reagan for cutting funding for mental health services. Both miss the point. The problem is more systemic and rooted in (post-)modernity itself, which produces some quite extreme forms of suffering and alienation, not all of which lead to evils such as this.

    How did we get to this point? There is a fundamental contradiction in George’s writing here: “you can’t maintain a nation with such an extremely libertarian view of society. As much as I admire the economics of von Hayek and Friedman, I know that the only viable critique of culture is a Burkean-traditionalist one; a critique that is heavily imbued by Christianity.”

    But a Burkean-traditionalist society is not some abstract floating philosophical idea divorced from economics. George’s essay treats body and soul as if they were two separate entities. Culture is transmitted through close human relationships, organic social institutions, and living traditions – in other words, real things in the real world. Capitalism produces many wonderful things and is by far the best economic system known to man, but it also vastly increases mobility of people, money, and goods, and undermines all the institutions that transmit culture from generation to generation. How? Because it ruptures the material order undergirding those social institutions. To take one example, is a neighborhood’s way of life more likely to be preserved if its population and jobs are highly mobile? If its factory closes? Is it easier to teach the young when grandparents are far away?

    Our culture is not in decline simply because post-modernists/Marxists/whoever are winning the war of ideas – they can only win that war when our economics make it that much harder to sustain civic vitality. Not surprisingly we have a more libertarian culture to go along with more globalization, more fancy financial inventiveness on Wall Street, and so on. At the same time the power of the State increases, to fill in the gap between increasingly atomized individuals and society – a gap formerly filled by family, local institutions, and churches.

    I know some like to separate economics and morality, body and soul, material and ideas. It is not possible and is as silly as those who say that guns cause crime – or conversely, that being surrounded by guns has no effect on us, as though we are disembodied spirits unconnected to the world around us.

    I certainly don’t “blame capitalism” for this horror. I’m only offering a critique of George’s analysis, which in my reading is too one-sided. If we want to restore God in our society we cannot do so only by changing culture; we must restore an economic order which enables the transmission of a God-centered culture to the young.

    Also, someone bombed a school in 1928 – just a sidenote to George’s history, but the larger point still holds.

    Another question: why are those who shoot up schools overwhelmingly white suburbanites? And why are schools so often the target?

    • I see much truth in what you have said above, but also what appears as misunderstanding. Thanks to the Fall the soul and body ARE two separate things, though not intended to be. Aren’t the souls and bodies of the victim’s of these shootings apparently separated now? their holy souls have gone on and their holy bodies remain with us, until the ‘general resurrection of all’ at the End. Memory eternal! In the Fall, Mankind separates themselves from God. Because of that separation, an essential change occurs in us, disunity of the “living soul” and the body. The ‘living soul’ being that “image of God” in us, animates us as whole by God’s grace, including body. However, in ‘the Fall,’ the body does not continue on eternally as was originally intended; the body eventually gives out. The separation from Life Himself manifests, first in dis-eases, aging, deterioration, of human person, and ultimately evident in death. One might say that “yes, there is separation, but doesn’t it only occur at death?” Not so. It is clear there is disunity even before death and is manifested by our aging, and getting ill. Its just that the fallen state, the primordial “dis-ease,” culminates when the body dies. It is a progression. Your observation states God’s intention for Mankind as if there were no Fall. Similarly, as Christ was God & Man, two natures unmixed, and yet distinct without being two separate ‘beings’, so too was the human person’s soul and body — intended to exist as ‘two and one’, as soul and body, two unmixed things but united as a whole in one person. But in the Fall the ‘unthinkable’ happened, these undividable things were sundered, and their separation manifests finally as death. This state is the tragedy of the Fall, the ‘corruption’ all humanity inherits from Adam and Eve’s sin; this is ‘ancestral sin.’ I see George simply stating the obvious by making observations and declaring these observations. He is not “separating soul and body.” That occurred in Eden. Aging and illness is the evidence of a separation, a disunity, and while the soul remains immortal, the body does go back to earth. This is one of the great tragedies of the Fall — that the impossible occurred, the real separation of soul from body — the opposite of God’s will. This is what Christ’s incarnation, crucifixion, death, and resurrection were all about: reuniting us to God, restoring and healing Man by grafting into life, destruction of death, even before ‘the End.’ In baptism, even before the ‘general resurrection of all,’ we are spiritually and physically restored and fully reintegrated. How? By virtue of being joined to Christ, to the resurrected God-man’s own Body, the Church. He restores human nature first in Himself, as the God-man. Then, because He still is in the world via His Body, the Church, He continues raising us up more and more. This process will continue until He does it for the whole of the Cosmos after He comes again. The cycle of birth, life, and death for every person, will not be finally done away until He comes again resurrecting all, reuniting us to our ‘resurrection bodies.’ Thank you George, and Matt for important observations during this very turbulent time.

  7. cynthia curran says

    As for Herod the Great, well he never thought his power in Judea was secure. Herod like his father Antipater was alliance with the Romans. Herod was only at the most half Jewish and was also an edomite. He killed I believe about two or three sons who he thought was a threat to his power. So it doesn’t surprise me that he would have infants killed to secure his power.

  8. Michael James Kinsey says

    I posted an early response to this very well considered article, but for tech reason it did not post. Just a well, my response to the action of this son of Adam is Christlike in answering not a word, He did address all actions such as this when He said, Forgive them Father, they know not what the do. And finally, it is finished. He won. He won for all of us and the innocent victims. The Eternal prospective is the only reality that makes this kind of actions bearable, ;lest we are devoured in sorrow.

  9. The ugly truth that statistics show is that out of 10,000 gun deaths each year, more than half are from suicide, and then a big chunk is from domestic violence and accidents. There are a lot of “sane” people killing themselves or others. This country has more guns than any other in the world – and naturally more deaths by guns. There is no reason for anyone in this country to need a semi- automatic rifle or high count clips. . I cannot understand how any person in this grieving nation cannot be for the banning of these weapons. It took about 5 minutes for Adam Lanza to pump from 3-11 bullets into innocent babies’ bodies.

    The nation is awash with everyone using this tragedy to talk about their rights- to guns, movies, video games, etc. I keep thinking of Jesus-somehow I can’t hear the phrase ” but, it is my right” coming from his mouth. what about the 26 who had the right to life?

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Since suicide is so prevalent, we would need to ask why it is so and examine what it is that causes such despair.

    • Dear Ann,
      Your phrase “right to life” reminded me of the millions of babies who are murdered by abortion…

    • What sort of reasonable people don’t want guns banned? I don’t. I’m a father of 5 children who I homechool, because I do not want them brainwashed by marxists, or shot by the derranged children of parents who dope thier kids and did not care enough about thier children to stay married. That being said, I am also a Law Enforcement Officer, and I want as many bullets as I can get to keep my family safe. All of these news interviews with anti gun mayors, principals, actors, singers, comedians et cetera about guns and crime, no one ever asks a cop(what could we possibly know about guns or crime?). An AR-15 is just a tool, a cop, or a private citizen can use it to protect themselves, or an innocent person with. Divorce or other bad parenting, greed, materialism, atheism, marxism, ect, can create monsters completely stripped of any human goodness, capable of unspeakable horrors(Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Yezhov, Zhdanov, Alexandra Kolentaieva, you get the point). As long as atheist marxists and indifferent parents keep creating people like this, I am keeping my guns for the defense of my children. God have mercy on this nation for our selfishness, and our indifference to each other, especially our children. On that note, its my day off and I have a greek lesson to do.

    • Michael Bauman says

      The banning weapons will not keep us safe. Unfortunately laws cannot ban sin and evil. The more laws there are, the more we break. The best laws are the ones that reflect the moral consensus of the community which makes them. Laws made in response to a crisis are bad laws because they reflect the fears and hatreds of a people. The Patriot Act is an example. Tyrants always legislate from crisis. The NRA is doing the same thing–purposing an extension of government power which will bite them and us in the long run.

      • Michael,
        Laws both curb and punish sin and evil.
        There is not a civilised country in the world that has the same gun crime statistics as the US because they all restrict, to a greater or lesser degree, private gun ownership. Thus restrictive gun laws are demonstrably effective at curbing gun crime, including massacres.
        Your point about consent is a good one, though.
        Until the US collectively questions its gun-loving culture (and the place of violence generally in tis culture and history), it is likely to be unable to introduce effective gun control laws without provoking wide-spread dissent and even civil unrest.
        Btw, I am not anti-American; I find Americans generally to be the most agreeable, articulate and intelligent of peoples, which only makes their intransigence on this issue all the more baffling to this non-American.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Basil, many of the former Soviet bloc countries have higher murder rates than us. Certainly the African countries do. Do you not consider South Africa “civilized”?

          • George,
            South Africa is a basket case, as anyone who has been there knows.

            Fr Hans,
            The “increase” in gun crime in the UK can be attributed to two factors,1) a change in the reporting of statistics which means that threatening with a weapon where no actual bodily harm is done is now reported as a gun crime statistic, whereas it wasn’t previousto 2001; and 2) the rise of US style street gangs whose members have embraced the US style gun culture.

            I agree with you about cultural factors in the US though, whuch is why I sugegsted any gun law reform was likely to be hotly contested unless there is a corresponding change in culture.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Basil, I agree. But before the change in government, it was one of the richest, most prosperous countries on earth, no different than any European country.

              • You missed an asterisk on this comment:

                Basil, I agree. But before the change in government, it was one of the richest, most prosperous countries on earth, no different than any European country*.

                * Results may vary depending on skin color.

                You have no idea how much I wish I had a magic wand that I could wave to change your skin color and send you back in time to be a young coloured boy in late-apartheid era South Africa. After a comment like that, you deserve it.

                Yes, the townships of apartheid South Africa were no different than any European country! Of course South Africa was in decent shape compared to Europe in the decades immediately following World War II. Europe had to shrug off this little thing called…World War II. Once everybody caught back up and South Africa ramped up apartheid more and more, they became an international pariah, which had its own consequences for their economy.

                For all of South Africa’s problems in the post-apartheid era, and there are many, its economy is not a basket case, nor is its economic growth bad, although one can certainly make a case that it has underperformed. It is still a wealthy country with extreme inequality problems. Did you not know this?

                I really don’t think you mean to get up in the morning and say “how can I make myself look like an apartheid sympathizer on the Internet today”?

                • Geo Michalopulos says

                  Nate, have you ever been to South Africa either before Mandela took over or after? Do you know anybody who lives there?

                  • I have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances both expatriate and still living in-country from South Africa and other African countries. This, of course, is utterly irrelevant when speaking of analysis of economic data.

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Of course it’s irrelevent when discussing economic data. However I wasn’t discussing economic data but the cauldron of violence which South Africa has sunk into. (As for myself, I have dozens of relatives who lived throughout the African continent –from the Arab north to the former Rhodesia, South Africa and even the Congo.)

                • Jane Rachel says

                  Nate and George,

                  I lived in South Africa and Namibia for several months in 1986-1987. By a strange coincidence, I happened to be on the last plane allowed to fly out of New York bound for South Africa before sanctions were imposed. I traveled throughout both South Africa and Namibia, stayed in several homes, and interacted with many people, including some influential religious leaders, and many very, very poor people (none of them white) – people representing all the skin colors there (Dutch Reformed Afrikaaner whites, Anglican English whites, Zulus, Sotho, Xhosas, East Indian, Colored, and American transplants.) Some whites were clueless about the shameful way they treated their “boys” and “girls” who tended their large gardens, washed and cleaned their houses, and kept the country from collapse, even though they were doing it on their knees, staggering under the weight of the whites who kept them in their place. Others, especially young people, were working towards change and wanted it desperately.

                  What Nate has written is the truth. I couldn’t agree more. No point in passing judgment to bolster your political views, unless you have walked with the people, lived, and eaten and talked with them. While in Cape Town my hosts took me to see the sights. I have never been to a more beautiful city. They pointed across the water to Robben Island and said, “Nelson Mandela is in prison on that island.” He was released only a few weeks after I returned to the United States.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    JR, I never said I supported apartheid. What I said was that South Africa has slunk into an abyss of intolerable violence –black on black as well as black on white. Those are facts I was merely bringing up to defend my own homeland (US) which is having calumnies heaped upon it by people who absolutely don’t know what they’re talking about.

                    To all: I am preparing a post to be released next week which shows the level of murder in the US in comparison to every other country on earth. The numbers come from the Center for Disease Control, the United Nations, and the FBI. You will be absolutely shocked at the findings. A little teaser: out of 206 countries, the US is 103rd in number of homicides, right smack-dab in the middle. Be forewarned however, bedwetting liberals won’t like some of the data conatined in these reports.

                    • Comparing the US benchmarked against all countries doesn’t make the US look better. Being “right smack-dab in the middle” isn’t a point of honor, it’s an abject failure. The relevant statistics are: how does the US compare to Western Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea? “Hey, we’re better than the Philippines and Turkmenistan!” is not a crowning glory for the United States.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      You will soon know how the US compares to these other countries. I must warn you to stock up on Depends because you’re not gonna like some of the data.

                    • I already looked at the data. I’m not stocking up on Depends, I’m stocking up on popcorn.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Well, if you’re not a Liberal, then I take it back, you won’t need the Depends. Like most Conservatives, you’re understanding of reality means you won’t soil yourself when you see hard data.

                    • Nate Trost says

                      I find this comment especially rich:

                      Like most Conservatives, you’re understanding of reality means you won’t soil yourself when you see hard data

                      since a lot of my limited posting on this site seems to involve pointing out you are incorrect by using hard data (which you then ignore), or correcting your bad data. At any rate, I look forward to being entertained by your attempt to spin where the US sits in global homicide statistics into some kind of shocking revelation.

                    • I, Artakshassa the Great (my name was so hard for the Greeks to pronounce that they made “Xerxes” out of it), a card-carrying leftist liberal, like my Depends. They are a marvellous product, and have enhanced my life enormously. However, unlike so many card-carrying rightist conservatives, I like America, i like it here. it’s those other guys that protest (too much?) that they love U.S.A.! who are the ones talking about seceding, no? They’ve been whining and whinging ever since they failed to elect a temple-garment wearing Mormon rightist conservative to the White House. Well, if they’re going to secede, rather than start an armed revolt, what do they need guns for? Surely they don’t imagine that ANY militia in our times can oppose, even with machine guns and rocket launchers, a government armed with drones and WMDs? If they turn off the power and water to YOUR neighborhood, are you going to shoot out the darkened light bulbs or what?

                      Well-armed militia, indeed! The 2nd amendment is an anomalous, anachronistic hold over to the days when we all had iceboxes and the bread and milk were delivered by horse drawn vehicles! Grown up guys playing at cops and robbers and cowboys and indians: they’ll always guarantee profits to the firearms industry (as well as Jobs) and support their subsidiary, the NRA.
                      I DO recommend Depends to all, left and right and middle, when and if you reach a certain age, often called second childhood, which has its own rewards.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I’ll agree with you that Leviathan State can take out great swaths of our population via drones. Still, a heavily armed populace can make it an expensive proposition.

              • “one of the richest, most prosperous countries on earth”

                Then why didn’t the majority of its population see the great benefits of apartheid?
                (this question is meant to be sarcastic)

                “no different than any European country”

                Yes, no different from all those European countries with their pass laws, vicious racism directed against the majority of the population, lack of due process in the courts, discrimination in the allocation of resources for education, health care, and the like. Yeah, no different from Europe at all! Statistics may show that South Africa was wealthier than other African countries – it is meaningless if that wealth is based on systematic discrimination and exploitation. That wealth was not earned and that government does not deserve to be praised. Of course the current regime isn’t so great either.

                • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                  Statistics may show that South Africa was wealthier than other African countries – it is meaningless if that wealth is based on systematic discrimination and exploitation.

                  No, not meaningless. Unjust certainly, but not meaningless.

                  The creation of wealth is necessary to lift people out of poverty. If you destroy the wealth creating capacity of a country because of injustice, then you run the risk of creating a situation like Mozambique that attempted to alleviate the injustices of white rule by adopting a Marxist economic model. It threw the country into social and economic chaos that was far worse than life under their colonial overlords.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Absolutely Fr. The “wealth creating mechanism” found in South Africa was essentially no different from every other modern, Western country. We marvel at the splendid architecture found in the countries of Europe and forget that feudalism was in play until the early modern period.

                    Matt, have you ever been to Athens or Rome? Ever had a chance to marvel at the Parthenon, the Pantheon, the aqueducts up close? These centers of classical civilization had at least 1/3 of their respective populations in some type of servitude.

                    Am I arguing for a return to slavery, servitude or apartheid? Don’t be ridiculous. However I can’t ignore the past nor the present reality.

                    But, since you’re so hopped up about discrimination and servitude, why don’t you join the Minutemen or agitate for the sealing of the Border and the deportation of the 11 million illegal aliens living here who are working for peanuts and driving down the wages of native blacks and whites?

                    • If you’re so hopped up about it, why don’t you go after the source: agitate for mandatory minimum 20 year prison sentences for any business owner caught using undocumented workers? And let the government apply those civil asset forfeiture rules the Drug Wars have reaped. Win-win! You have to admire the sweet sweet karmic justice of people exploiting workers getting thrown into a private prison system where their own labor is exploited by other for profit. Could be a hit musical.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      That’s fine by me. I must disagree as to the punishment however: a $10,000 fine for each count would seem more reasonable and have a greater deterrent effect as judges don’t want to clog up the prisons any more than they already are. You must remember however that it’s not just the Chamber of Commerce types that want cheap labor; the Left has agitated for increased illegal immigration in order to hasten the dissolution of the historic American nation.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      George don’t forget the creation of a quasi-underground economy.

                    • George, you are romanticizing the apartheid era in three ways:

                      1) Violence. Yes, there is more random street violence in South Africa now. But the government is no longer forcibly suppressing the aspirations of 90% of its citizens, which ought to be included in any calculation of violence and in comparing violence over time. (The same goes for the Iraq war – how many Iraqis were killed by Saddam’s government per year? How many died annually in political violence after 2003?)

                      2) Economics and the “wealth-creating mechanism.” Wealth can be created, as Thomas Edison did in inventing the light bulb, or extracted by force, as in war, slavery, and apartheid. In South Africa one class extracted wealth by forcibly suppressing another. The same situation happened in many other African countries in the postcolonial period but was not a black-white divide except in Rhodesia-Zimbabwe. Apartheid was no different except that the ruling class was white; conservatives in the US therefore take them as representative of western civilization.

                      3) I have been to Athens (not to Rome). What’s the purpose of analogizing Athens and apartheid South Africa if not to elevate the apartheid era to the level of Athens? Both had extractive economic systems. Athens created great art, architecture, and culture. Did the Boers do this?

                      Apartheid South Africa was more akin to feudal pre-modern societies, *not* to the modern, capitalist West. However, it was a result of Western capitalist expansion, as was America, and that’s where the confusion sets in. Some Americans (especially on the Right) look at white South Africa and see a culture similar to ours (and also to the violent black-on-black street crime of the post-Apartheid era), so they romanticize the good old days. This is really just another form of identity politics of the type we so often criticize when practiced by the Left. It will get us nowhere.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      Wealth can be created, as Thomas Edison did in inventing the light bulb, or extracted by force, as in war, slavery, and apartheid. In South Africa one class extracted wealth by forcibly suppressing another.

                      No, wealth is never “extracted.” Wealth is created. Resources necessary for the creation of wealth are “extracted.” The diamonds of South Africa had to be cut and polished in order to be usable. Otherwise they are no more than shiny rocks.

                      Forcible labor and slavery (essentially the same thing) creates a cheaper way to extract the resources. It’s unjust but not wealth creating. If it were, the New Economic Plans in Soviet Russia would have been a rousing success.

                      In many cases war destroys the wealth creating capacity of a nation (the civil war in Mozambique after colonialism for example). It other cases it offers resources to the victor. But there still must be the knowledge and infrastructure to add value to the raw resource in order to create wealth.

            • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

              Basil, the increase in violence is the change in culture and all the talk about restricting guns is dealing with symptoms, not causes.

              Life became expendable many years ago and the shootings at Sandy Hook and elsewhere (the streets of Chicago for example) reflect a deep moral sickness that isn’t caused by lax gun laws.

              Peggy Noonan has it right back in 1999:

              The Culture of Death.

          • George, do you mean the U.S. or we? You say, “many of the former Soviet bloc countries have higher murder rates than us.”

            • George Michalopulos says

              Sorry, some of the former Soviet bloc countries have higher murder rates than the US.

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

          It may not be intransigence but a recognition that gun control laws won’t curb the violence. The violence may be due to other cultural factors. Take England for example:

          Culture of violence: Gun crime goes up by 89% in a decade

          • Geo Michalopulos says

            Thank you Fr for this information. From my own perspective, the danger of gun-restrictionism is more insidious than simply disarming innocent people. What is far worse is the change in attitudes that it fostered in the UK. Namely that people are to be defenseless and accept their victimization. The laws now reflect that: in the UK, a person cannot use any force whatsoever to defend himself or his property. He must simply lie back and accept bodily harm and even death. If he fights back and wins, he will be imprisoned.

            This same type of obsequiousness is what we can expect if the gun-grabbers get their way. They not only want to control us but to make us love them. Remember the last words in 1984, when Winston Smith comes to the “realization” after his torture that he “loves Big Brother.”

            • What a surprise:

              The laws now reflect that: in the UK, a person cannot use any force whatsoever to defend himself or his property. He must simply lie back and accept bodily harm and even death. If he fights back and wins, he will be imprisoned.

              This, of course, is not true. The UK does not have a castle doctrine, to say nothing of anything as absurd as a stand your ground equivalent. However, use of force in self-defence is not prohibited. It is, however, circumscribed to actual self-defence of person. You may not, however, beat someone up, much less kill them just because they are breaking into your house, nor may you chase someone down when they flee.

              • George Michalopulos says

                That’s too bad about formerly-Great Britain. There, people are jailed because they defend themselves.

                • Which people? Hastings? Martin? The Hussain brothers? Those people didn’t end up in jail because they were defending themselves.

          • Top ten countries for murders with firearms (2002):

            # 1 South Africa: 31,918

            # 2 Colombia: 21,898

            # 3 Thailand: 20,032

            # 4 United States: 9,369

            # 5 Philippines: 7,708

            After the Phillipines, Mexico follows and then the numbers drop off significantly into the hundreds or double-digits. These are 2002 records; I expect Mexico would be higher in the list now due to the drug cartel wars there.
            Fr Hans, in 2002 the UK reported 14 murders by firearms; by 2011 that figure had “skyrocketed” to 39. The US in the same year reported c. 9000 murders by firearms. Certainly there are cultural factors involved here, most notably, one suspects, in the low numbers of gun murders reported in countries comparable to the US which don’t have a gun culture. But I find it hard to believe that the US’s permissive gun laws have no impact upon the high gun crime figures you experience.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Basil, thank you for pointing these numbers out. Notice as well that the United States has a population bigger by far than the top three nations and the fifth thrown in as well. I’d take those stats any day.

              In addition, cities like Juarez and Tijuana are known not only for the gun murders but for beheadings and death by torture. These cities are more dangerous than Baghdad was during the Sunni Insurgency.

            • Philippines, Columbia, and Thailand all face rebel insurgencies. Their totals are meaningless. A more apt comparison would be of the US to Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand – ie the countries we share the most cultural and historic similarities with.

              • Geo Michalopulos says

                No they’re not. These “insurgencies” you speak of have devolved into criminal protection rackets or are on their way to becoming so. Just like La Cosa Nostra and the Sicilian Mafia, both of which started out as rebellions against the Normans some 700 years ago. Hamas and Hezbollah run protection rackets on the West Bank and Lebanon, respectively.

                That being said, any country can have an insurgency on its hands (think Israel with the Palestinians, the US with the Indians, Spain with the Basques, the UK with the IRA, etc). The question is will the innocent bystanders be slaughtered or will they be able to defend themselves until the government sends in the Army.

                Your comparison with New Zealand, Australia, and Britain also falls apart because these are by and large homogenous societies. Thanks the the 1965 Immigration Act, the US can no longer be viewed as a largely homogeneous society with only one racial minority group. It has become multicultural in the sense that there is no longer a common consensus and thus the erosion of trust not only between ethnic groups but within them as well.

              • Johann Sebastian says

                Matt says, “A more apt comparison would be of the US to Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand – ie the countries we share the most cultural and historic similarities with.”

                That depends on what part of the country you’re in.

            • Didn’t Germany record nine (9) deaths by firearms? So Germany’s population is smaller than that of the U.S. , but it is not 9,000+ times smaller, is it? i mean, every USA city is much smaller than Germany but they have many many many more times deaths by firearms than all Germany.
              Face it. Guns are one of our most important products, a major engine in the driving of our economy. We sell them everywhere, except to countries like Germany. The NRA is just protecting Persecuted Big Business, which in this case is the gun business. Germany has all those terrorist Muslims, right? Why aren’t they shooting the place up? After all, it’s terrorists that kill people, not guns, right?
              Give a WEAK man a gun and he will use it.

          • Fr. Hans, I always read with interest what you say, although many times my level of comprehension is not up to the task. Am I really hearing a priest parroting gun activists’ talking points?

            • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

              No, what you are hearing is a priest saying is that the cultural rot that led to the wanton shootings won’t be contained by confiscating guns. The problem lies much deeper.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Basil, we value guns because we value independence and hate tyranny. At least we used to. That and we are just uncouth barbarians. Just ask the EP.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Also Basil laws that restrain and punish the law abiding while refusing to punish those who do evil and are corrupt destroy order and safety. That’s the direction we are going. Its the folks who “cling to our guns and our religion” who are the problem.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Any one know what the gun laws are in the Middle East?

      • Here’s what they ACTUALLY are in Israel:
        “JERUSALEMIsrael’s policy on issuing guns is restrictive, and armed guards at its schools are meant to stop terrorists, not crazed or disgruntled gunmen, experts said Monday, rejecting claims by America’s top gun lobby that Israel serves as proof for its philosophy that the U.S. needs more weapons, not fewer.
        Far from the image of a heavily armed population where ordinary people have their own arsenals to repel attackers, Israel allows its people to acquire firearms only if they can prove their professions or places of residence put them in danger. The country relies on its security services, not armed citizens, to prevent terror attacks.
        Though military service in Israel is compulsory, routine familiarity with weapons does not carry over into civilian life. Israel has far fewer private weapons per capita than the U.S., and while there have been gangster shootouts on the streets from time to time, gun rampages outside the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are unheard of.
        The National Rifle Association responded to the Dec. 14 killing of 20 first-graders and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school by resisting calls for tighter gun control and calling for armed guards and police at schools. On Sunday, the lobby’s chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, invoked his perception of the Israeli school security system to back his proposal.

        “Israel had a whole lot of school shootings until they did one thing: They said, `We’re going to stop it,’ and they put armed security in every school and they have not had a problem since then,” LaPierre said on the NBC News show “Meet the Press.”
        Israel never had “a whole lot of school shootings.” Authorities could only recall two in the past four decades.
        In 1974, 22 children and three adults were killed in a Palestinian attack on an elementary school in Maalot, near the border with Lebanon. The attackers’ goal was to take the children hostage and trade them for imprisoned militants.
        In 2008, another Palestinian assailant killed eight young people, most of them teens, at a nighttime study session at a Jewish religious seminary in Jerusalem. An off-duty soldier who happened to be in the area killed the attacker with his personal firearm.
        Israel didn’t mandate armed guards at the entrances to all schools until 1995, the Education Ministry said — more than two decades after the Maalot attack and two years after a Palestinian militant wounded five pupils and their principal in a knifing at a Jerusalem school.
        Israel’s lightly armed school guards are not the first or the last line of defense. They are backed up by special police forces on motorcycles that can be on the scene within minutes — again bringing out the main, but not the only, difference between the two systems.

        Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor spelled it out.

        “We’re fighting terrorism, which comes under very specific geopolitical and military circumstances. This is not something that compares with the situation in the U.S,” Palmor said.
        Because it is aimed at preventing terror attacks, Israel’s school security system is part of a multi-layered defense strategy that focuses on prevention and doesn’t depend on a guy at a gate with a gun.
        Intelligence gathering inside Palestinian territories, a large military force inside the West Bank and a barrier of towering concrete slabs and electronic fencing along and inside the West Bank provide the first line of defense.
        Guards are stationed not just at schools, but at many other public facilities, including bus and train stations, parking lots, malls and restaurants.
        “There are other measures of prevention of an attack taking place, which are carried out 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all over the country,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. Many are not for public knowledge.
        Gun lobbyists who might think Israel hands out guns freely to keep its citizens safe might be less enamored of Israel’s actual gun laws, which are much stricter than those in the U.S. For one thing, notes Yakov Amit, head of the firearms licensing department at the Ministry of Public Security, Israeli law does not guarantee the right to bear arms as the U.S. Constitution does.
        “The policy in Israel is restrictive,” he said.

    • There is no reason for anyone in this country to need a semi- automatic rifle or high count clips. . I cannot understand how any person in this grieving nation cannot be for the banning of these weapons.

      Yes there is. Despite the tragedies of recent days involving the use of semi automatic weapons, these weapons are not the problem. The same day of the Connecticut shootings a man in China killed 21 children with a knife…nothing semi automatic about that. To ban semiautomatic weapons or even unduly restrict them is a bad idea from the outset for two very important reasons. 1. Extreme cases make bad law. Using the worst and most egregious of offenses as the starting point for the passage of laws sooner rather than later ends in gross miscarriages of justice, undermining of respect for the law, and encourages widen abuses of state power goose stepping double time towards repression and tyranny.

      Which leads the second and more important reason to allow the possession and use of automatic and semiautomatic weapons. It is basically to keep the government in check. To make sure it fears its people’s wrath should it ever push the boundaries of it’s authority too far. The purpose of the 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms has far less to do with hunting, sport shooting, and limited issues of personal defense, than it does by insuring every state has among its citizens the means to resist any unwarranted violation of its rights powers and sovereignty by a foreign power or by the federal government. Our nation began as an armed uprising against tyranny. The founders made as sure as they could that the means to do so again should the need arise always rested in hands of its citizens.

      The loss of innocent life because of the evil actions of a perhaps mad gunman does not in the end outweigh the need of a whole people to possess the means to resist government oppression by armed force if necessary. The 2nd amendment is the firewall between creeping tyranny and freedom’s last bastion. If we allow our rights to be abridged because of an over reaction to an evil deed…it will be trading freedom for seeming peace and safety…or so we will think until the jack boots coming kicking at our door…though by then they may well politely ring the doorbell and expect you to put the black bag over your own head like a good responsible citizen…and they’ll make sure you don’t bump your head getting into the squad car or black van.

      Thousands of years ago a wise slave told the story of a starving wolf and sleek fat dog. At first the wolf was envious of his cousin who had a warm bed and plenty to eat and only a little expected of him in return, guard the master’s flocks and his children. Then he noticed a chafe mark around the dog’s neck and under his chin and asked what that was. The dog replied that was from where the master put a collar on him and tied him up when he displeased him…and he only beat him in that displeasure sometimes. Then the dog offered to put in a good word with his master to see if a place might be found for the wolf too. The wolf thanked his cousin for the offer but declined saying, “Half a loaf in liberty is better than a full loaf in captivity.”

      Our own founding father Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

      It is better to live with the danger, with the risk of the tragedies we have seen in our nation in the past few weeks, than to enact laws in the extremities of our outrage that in the end do not serve to curb that restless evil in the hearts of men but only serves to disarm the people and leave them helpless on the day they need to defend their freedom from an oppressing government that fears them no longer.

      Mourn the victims
      Punisher evil doers when we can
      But never surrender our ability to secure our liberty for a false and transient sense of peace and safety.

      • George Michalopulos says

        For the record, I know people who live in rural areas who defend themselves against wild hogs with AR-15s. Notice I did not use the words “hunt wild hogs.” Unlike dear, antelope, quail, etc., These are vicious animals who destroy property and take lives and there is no season on them because there is no sport involved.

  10. Jim of Olym says

    “Beginning the Eighties however, federal courts released tens of thousands of mentally disturbed individuals from these institutions and closed them down. The immediate result was the plague of homelessness. Although the numbers put out by the Left that there were three million homeless people living on the street was bogus from the start, the fact remains that regardless of the number (probably 1/10th that number), American cities were cluttered with thousands of vagrants who couldn’t — or wouldn’t — take care of themselves. I for one believe that having people who couldn’t take care of themselves living in such conditions was inexcusable. ”

    You said it George! The future president St. Ronald Reagan started closing the mental hospitals in California while he was governor. I was there at the time. The homeless population started to increase, the ‘community clinics’ dealt only with people compliant with their meds, etc. I give him much of the blame.

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

      This was a federal mandate under Carter. The idea was to open up community homes in neighborhoods. Never happened.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Yeah, Reagan didn’t close down the institutions. If memory serves, that was a judicial fiat. Can’t blame Reagan for that on the Federal level (state level in California perhaps).

        • Closing down the mental institutions in CA. under Reagan was an economic decision, bottom line dollars and cents. He also gutted the University of California system and in general education in CA. with his cost cutting measures. Proposition 13 that limited the increase on property taxes had a disastrous impact on education in CA, the effects of which the state is still feeling.

          The USA has been eclipsed by scores of countries n educational performance, especially in math and science and our mental health record is not much better. When we cut education, the investment we make in our future generations and when we dispose of the most vulnerable by making access to mental health harder than buying a gun, as one example, there are consequences.

          And now, in these tough economic times, education and mental health continue to be easy targets in our quest for quick economic solutions ignoring the long term cost that short sited decision eventually produce. Sadly, we will see more of this as politicians look to some of the low hanging fruit programs so they can boast they “solved” our money issues.

          Like the old Fram oil filter TV ad says “Pay me now or pay me later.”

          • George Michalopulos says

            Prop 13 happened years after Reagan retired as Governor (1978 if memory serves). I seriously doubt he “gutted” the UC system as until fairly recently it and the entire public education system of California was going great guns. The spending has not gone down at all in California but illegal immigration and increased taxes are driving out productive people by the boatload, which is drying up revenues. I suppose a case could be made that if these people hadn’t left then California could could continue to coast along with high expenditures. It’d be a wash.

            Together with the public unions, specifically the prison guards and the state troopers, California is going broke faster than any other state in the Union. I just read that some state troopers make close to $500,000 per year with overtime.

            • Johann Sebastian says

              George Michalopulos just read “that some state troopers make close to $500,000 per year with overtime.”

              I need to reconsider what I do for a living.

          • Geo Michalopulos says

            For the record, I was just informed by a psychiatrist that the process of deinstitutionalization began under President John F Kennedy with legislation that he signed into law. It accelerated under Reagan but under the direction of the Courts who felt that Kennedy’s legislation wasn’t being implemented.

          • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

            Amos, incorrect. Deinstitutionalization began under Carter with the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980 where federal money would set up local centers to help people with mental illness. It never happened.


            Pres. Jimmy Carter: Mental Health Systems Legislation Message to the Congress Transmitting the Proposed Legislation.

            Pres. Jimmy Carter: Mental Health Systems Act Remarks on Signing S. 1177 Into Law
            October 7, 1980

            Deinstitutionalization: A Psychiatric Titanic

            This was the start of America’s homeless problem as well.

        • I lived in Ca in those days and he did indeed close them down, with the notion that the “Counties” would take over mental health facilities. Didn’t happen, and now we have a terrible mess. What surprises me is everyone knows the experiment failed but no one seem to vote the dollars to reopen them and change the laws.
          Why is it we as a people can’t look at policy failures and just review and adjust for the sake of humanity.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Reagan also signed no-fault divorce while Governor of Calif. I don’t agree with everything he did as Governor but he cannot be blamed for the closing down of mental institutions on the national level since that began under Carter and was done by judicial order, not legislation or executive directive.

          • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

            Why is it we as a people can’t look at policy failures and just review and adjust for the sake of humanity

            Policy failures are not reversed when intentions rather than results are used to promote and justify them.

      • Lola J. Lee Beno says

        Because people didn’t want community homes in their neighborhood – heaven forbid that these folks with mental problems would be around their children. And the property value, of course . . .

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

          Lola, yes, that is one of the reasons that contributed to the crisis. Local pressure against locating the homes in neighborhoods was so great that it was very difficult to relocate the mentally ill. This should have been examined before the Carter legislation was passed but it never was. As a result many of the mentally ill ended up homeless.

          I’m not as cynical about the neighborhood reluctance as you are though. Neighborhood culture requires discipline and resolve to maintain safety especially for families with young children. If I were single it would not be much of a concern. As a father with a younger daughter however, I want to know who the neighbors are.

          The real failure in my view was that the legislation did not anticipate this.

  11. cynthia curran says

    Well, I don’t believe as liberal people think to get rid of the guns, people can kill by other means. But I not against some controls either. Amercans have a different culture than Europe and some European Countries have higher theft since the thief against fear as much since their are no guns. Also, the town in happen usually has very few deaths by guns in the past 60 years, its an upper-middle class place. Probably in one of those stats of one of the safest places before the tregady.

  12. cynthia curran says

    George in the 1980’s California wasn’t as liberal. In was mainly the north even LA voted for Reagan in 1980. It was the departure of thousands of aerospace workers in SO California. Aerospace workers tended to be more politcally conservative this happen in the early 1990’s.

  13. cynthia curran says

    Well,actually I agree that the mentally should have been kept in the state instutions myself.

  14. I am very disappointed by the image you chose to accompany this article. This is not what mental illness looks like, to someone who has it, or to someone with a family member affected by it. How closed-minded to continue stigmatizing mental illness with imagery of what most would consider a “circus freak”. I am sure I am not the only one of your readers who is saddened by this choice. Please consider changing it.

  15. cynthia curran says

    Your right George, Propo 13 happen around 1978. It effective school funding making it more handled by the state than the local community. Libraries, California cut a day at the library. Prop 13 was good for homeowners at the time but it changed taxation where the state relies on income tax, corporate taxes and sales tax more and favors if you brought the property yes ago on your tax payments. If prop 13 was different maybe the income and corporate tax would have been lower.

  16. Tumorous Baktos says

    The NRA news conference this morning was great. The Pres of the NRA said that all schools should have armed guards. He also blamed the violence on video games. Great, just great.

    • The tragedy is the real problem is not addressed – mass shootings in schools.
      We seemed to insists on methods that are proven not to work (gun free zones, assault weapon ban), and completely ignore practices that do work.

      Are we loosing ability to analyze, think and solve problems? Is it all about fear on one side and gaining capital (political that is) on the other?

      If so, we indeed deserve neither security, nor freedom and will loose them both.

  17. cynthia curran says

    There was some libertarian that influence getting people out of the pysch wards since he felt you should not be forced to be committed.

  18. cynthia curran says

    Its depends upon whether its a big operatoin like Tyson chicken a higher fine for them. I think that Arizona does have fines on their law. If California had fines almost 20 years ago in 187 and less kick the kids out of school it might have been considered legal 187. You have to take away the jobs from the parents if you just kick the kids out they would stay in the US wihout any education. Yes, in California it was both the left and right that caused the immirgation messed. Think San Diego was only 10 percent hispanic in 1970 to 33 today.

  19. cynthia curran says

    Well, I’m seen the Aquaeducts and the Roman Forum and Constantine’s basilica. George is right the medieval period had its problems with land owership and the Byzantine Empire had state monopollies over Silk which follows in the footsteps of state own enterprise in the Hellenstic period. Rome had a mixture of public and private. And the Byzantines followed the late empire practice of the emperor and empress owning land and it was farm as well. So, the Emperor was the biggest land owner, apart of the Byzantine sense of the noblity similar to the Roman concept. The Roman Watermill in Gaul could grind bread for 3,000.

  20. Johann Sebastian says

    Cultural rot, plain and simple. We needn’t waste our effort drawing parallels between countries, policies, historical examples, conservative this or liberal that.

    Cultural rot. That’s what it boils down to. It exists amongst people of all political inclinations, ethnicities, nationalities, and religions–a sign of the times.

  21. Carl Kraeff says

    Read an interesting article by a Pravda columnist, Stanislav Mishkin. Here are some sections to entice you to read the rest:

    “These days, there are few things to admire about the socialist, bankrupt and culturally degenerating USA, but at least so far, one thing remains: the right to bear arms and use deadly force to defend one’s self and possessions.

    This will probably come as a total shock to most of my Western readers, but at one point, Russia was one of the most heavily armed societies on earth.

    This well armed population was what allowed the various White factions to rise up, no matter how disorganized politically and militarily they were in 1918 and wage a savage civil war against the Reds.

    Moscow fell, for example, not from a lack of weapons to defend it, but from the lying guile of the Reds. Ten thousand Reds took Moscow and were opposed only by some few hundreds of officer cadets and their instructors. Even then the battle was fierce and losses high. However, in the city alone, at that time, lived over 30,000 military officers (both active and retired), all with their own issued weapons and ammunition, plus tens of thousands of other citizens who were armed. The Soviets promised to leave them all alone if they did not intervene. They did not and for that were asked afterwards to come register themselves and their weapons: where they were promptly shot.

    Of course being savages, murderers and liars does not mean being stupid and the Reds learned from their Civil War experience. One of the first things they did was to disarm the population. From that point, mass repression, mass arrests, mass deportations, mass murder, mass starvation were all a safe game for the powers that were. The worst they had to fear was a pitchfork in the guts or a knife in the back or the occasional hunting rifle. Not much for soldiers.

    For those of us fighting for our traditional rights, the US 2nd Amendment is a rare light in an ever darkening room. Governments will use the excuse of trying to protect the people from maniacs and crime, but are in reality, it is the bureaucrats protecting their power and position. In all cases where guns are banned, gun crime continues and often increases. As for maniacs, be it nuts with cars (NYC, Chapel Hill NC), swords (Japan), knives (China) or home made bombs (everywhere), insane people strike. They throw acid (Pakistan, UK), they throw fire bombs (France), they attack. What is worse, is, that the best way to stop a maniac is not psychology or jail or “talking to them”, it is a bullet in the head, that is why they are a maniac, because they are incapable of living in reality or stopping themselves.”