Mass shootings can happen anywhere, but they are only a matter of routine in the United States. 

Oddly, I've encountered many Americans who seem resigned to this fact of life in our country. They have no suggestions to remedy the situation except the occasional call for more guns. Americans, however, already have more guns than any other nation.

So if that were the key, it stands to reason that we should have less bloody massacres. 

What's frustrating to me is that as soon as we experience another blood bath in yet another venue in yet another town in America, we obsess for a period of time, run endless detailed news stories about the atrocities and then gradually go back to our regular routine of eating and drinking and pissing and sleeping until the next blood soaked event happens. 

Because they are soooooo common place now, the time between the event and getting back to our routine is becoming shorter and shorter.

How long can we sustain that feeling of powerlessness and horror? It's too much for our psyches to bear. So we start to become desensitized, a natural protective measure our good old brains employ to protect us from a nervous breakdown. 

But the real ball breaker in this gory fiasco is that in light of a rising body count, we still do nothing.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch. That fact alone makes us feel a kind of collective impotence deep down in our solar plexus which slowly but surely decreases our sense of well being and increases our general anxiety as a nation. We can't fix this and it's killing us. 

The very soul of the nation is succumbing to a feeling of utter hopelessness.

Without hope, life becomes a very grim prospect. We don't fix things any more. Not weekly mass murders and carnage or anything else for that matter. We've become a nation of can't dos. We're impotent. We spin our wheels and shout obscenities at one another even as we lock our doors and wait for the next attack, but the enemy is us and we can't fix us.

I'm a myth buster. My recent published book -  Have We Been Screwed? Trading Freedom for Fairy Tales - can be purchased on Amazon.

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Comment by Chris on November 24, 2017 at 5:52pm

I probably should have expanded the link

The following link may provide some information.

The first case of child abuse 1874 was investigated by the SPCA. Societies for the Prevention of Cruely to Animals.

Mary Ellen Wilson - 1874 - Age 10 as she appeared in courtThe sufferings of the little girl, Mary Ellen, led to the founding of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the first organization of its kind, in 1874. In 1877, the New York SPCA and several Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals from throughout the country joined together to form the American Humane Association.

The following is Mary Ellen’s story, which marked the beginning of a world-wide crusade to save children. It is extracted from American Humane Society, Helping in Child Protective Services: A Competency-Based Casework H....

Over the years, in the re-telling of Mary Ellen Wilson’s story, myth has often been confused with fact. Some of the inaccuracies stem from colorful but erroneous journalism, others from simple misunderstanding of the facts, and still others from the complex history of the child protection movement in the United States and Great Britain and its link to the animal welfare movement. While it is true that Henry Bergh, president of the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), was instrumental in ensuring Mary Ellen’s removal from an abusive home, it is not true that her attorney—who also worked for the ASPCA—argued that she deserved help because she was “a member of the animal kingdom.”

The real story—which can be pieced together from court documents, newspaper articles, and personal accounts—is quite compelling, and it illustrates the impact that a caring and committed individual can have on the life of a child.

Mary Ellen Wilson was born in 1864 to Francis and Thomas Wilson of New York City. Soon thereafter, Thomas died, and his widow took a job. No longer able to stay at home and care for her infant daughter, Francis boarded Mary Ellen (a common practice at the time) with a woman named Mary Score. As Francis’s economic situation deteriorated, she slipped further into poverty, falling behind in payments for and missing visits with her daughter. As a result, Mary Score turned two-year-old Mary Ellen over to the city’s Department of Charities.


The Department made a decision that would have grave consequences for little Mary Ellen; it placed her illegally, without proper documentation of the relationship, and with inadequate oversight in the home of Mary and Thomas McCormack, who claimed to be the child’s biological father. In an eerie repetition of events, Thomas died shortly thereafter. His widow married Francis Connolly, and the new family moved to a tenement on West 41st Street.

Mary McCormack Connolly badly mistreated Mary Ellen, and neighbors in the apartment building were aware of the child’s plight. The Connolly's soon moved to another tenement, but in 1874, one of their original neighbors asked Etta Angell Wheeler, a caring Methodist mission worker who visited the impoverished residents of the tenements regularly, to check on the child. At the new address, Etta encountered a chronically ill and homebound tenant, Mary Smitt, who confirmed that she often heard the cries of a child across the hall. Under the pretext of asking for help for Mrs. Smitt, Etta Wheeler introduced herself to Mary Connolly. She saw Mary Ellen’s condition for herself. The 10-year-old appeared dirty and thin, was dressed in threadbare clothing, and had bruises and scars along her bare arms and legs. Ms. Wheeler began to explore how to seek legal redress and protection for Mary Ellen.

At that time, some jurisdictions in the United States had laws that prohibited excessive physical discipline of children. New York, in fact, had a law that permitted the state to remove children who were neglected by their caregivers. Based on their interpretation of the laws and Mary Ellen’s circumstances, however, New York City authorities were reluctant to intervene. Etta Wheeler continued her efforts to rescue Mary Ellen and, after much deliberation, turned to Henry Bergh, a leader of the animal humane movement in the United States and founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). It was Ms. Wheeler’s niece who convinced her to contact Mr. Bergh by stating, “You are so troubled over that abused child, why not go to Mr. Bergh? She is a little animal surely” (p. 3 Wheeler in Watkins).

Ms. Wheeler located several neighbors who were willing to testify to the mistreatment of the child and brought written documentation to Mr. Bergh. At a subsequent court hearing, Mr. Bergh stated that his action was “that of a human citizen,” clarifying that he was not acting in his official capacity as president of the NYSPCA. He emphasized that he was “determined within the framework of the law to prevent the frequent cruelties practiced on children” (Mary Ellen, April 10, 1976, p. 8 in Watkins, 1990). After reviewing the documentation collected by Etta Wheeler, Mr. Bergh sent an NYSPCA investigator (who posed as a census worker to gain entrance to Mary Ellen’s home) to verify the allegations. Elbridge T. Gerry, an ASPCA attorney, prepared a petition to remove Mary Ellen from her home so she could testify to her mistreatment before a judge. Mr. Bergh took action as a private citizen who was concerned about the humane treatment of a child. It was his role as president of the NYSPCA and his ties to the legal system and the press, however, that bring about Mary Ellen’s rescue and the movement for a formalized child protection system.

Recognizing the value of public opinion and awareness in furthering the cause of the humane movement, Henry Bergh contacted New York Times reporters who took an interest in the case and attended the hearings. Thus, there were detailed newspaper accounts that described Mary Ellen’s appalling physical condition. When she was taken before Judge Lawrence, she was dressed in ragged clothing, was bruised all over her body and had a gash over her left eye and on her cheek where Mary Connelly had struck her with a pair of scissors. On April 10, 1874, Mary Ellen testified:

“My father and mother are both dead. I don’t know how old I am. I have no recollection of a time when I did not live with the Connollys. …. Mamma has been in the habit of whipping and beating me almost every day. She used to whip me with a twisted whip—a raw hide. The whip always left a black and blue mark on my body. I have now the black and blue marks on my head which were made by mamma, and also a cut on the left side of my forehead which was made by a pair of scissors. She struck me with the scissors and cut me; I have no recollection of ever having been kissed by any one—have never been kissed by mamma. I have never been taken on my mamma’s lap and caressed or petted. I never dared to speak to anybody, because if I did I would get whipped…. I do not know for what I was whipped—mamma never said anything to me when she whipped me. I do not want to go back to live with mamma, because she beats me so. I have no recollection ever being on the street in my life” Mary Ellen, April 10, 1874 in Watkins, 1990).

In response, Judge Lawrence immediately issued a writ de homine replagiando, provided for by Section 65 of the Habeas Corpus Act, to bring Mary Ellen under court control.
The newspapers also provided extensive coverage of the caregiver Mary Connolly’s trial, raising public awareness and helping to inspire various agencies and organizations to advocate for the enforcement of laws that would rescue and protect abused children (Watkins, 1990). On April 21, 1874, Mary Connolly was found guilty of felonious assault and was sentenced to one year of hard labor in the penitentiary (Watkins, 1990).

Less well known but as compelling as the details of her rescue, is the rest of Mary Ellen’s story. Etta Wheeler continued to play an important role in the child’s life. Family correspondence and other accounts reveal that the court placed Mary Ellen in an institutional shelter for adolescent girls. Believing this to be an inappropriate setting for the 10-year-old, Ms. Wheeler intervened. Judge Lawrence gave her permission to place the child with her own mother, Sally Angell, in northern New York. When Ms. Angell died, Etta Wheeler’s youngest sister, Elizabeth, and her husband Darius Spencer, raised Mary Ellen. By all accounts, her life with the Spencer family was stable and nurturing.

At the age of 24, Mary Ellen married a widower and had two daughters—Etta, named after Etta Wheeler, and Florence. Later, she became a foster mother to a young girl named Eunice. Etta and Florence both became teachers; Eunice was a businesswoman. Mary Ellen’s children and grandchildren described her as gentle and not much of a disciplinarian. Reportedly, she lived in relative anonymity and rarely spoke with her family about her early years of abuse. In 1913, however, she agreed to attend the American Humane Association’s national conference in Rochester, NY, with Etta Wheeler, her long-time advocate. Ms. Wheeler was a guest speaker at the conference. Her keynote address, “The Story of Mary Ellen which started the Child Saving Crusade Throughout the World” was published by the American Humane Association. Mary Ellen died in 1956 at the age of 92.

Comment by Grinning Cat on November 9, 2017 at 9:38pm

That whole catechism is, in its own words, "intrinsically and gravely disordered". The few defensible things on that page are its denunciations of rape and of sexual abuse -- but we don't need a religion to tell us that!

Comment by Chris on November 9, 2017 at 8:17pm

For other information people should read Article 6 of the Catholic Church.

It's unbelievable that people still follow that doctrine.

Till death do us part may result in some of the violence seen.

Comment by Chris on November 9, 2017 at 8:00pm


I was never hit or otherwise abused by any of my family members.

It was only the school system that did that.

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook ...

Being left handed, an athiest from birth and a non conformist may have cause problems with me in the school system.

 I think back then a lot of teachers were rote therefore din't have much knowledge.

Comment by Chris on November 9, 2017 at 7:26pm


I grew up in the Sacramento Valley. (California U.S.) It was really foggy there.  At some times of the year you couldn't see beond 20 feet.   As kids we used to play a game where a friend would sit on our shoulder and and another would sit on the  sholder of a friend. We would try to get the opponent off the sholder.  We were caught for doing that at rececess.  The damned principal used  a racket ball paddle with holes in it to swatt us. 

Other events weren't much better.  I had a principal who was a General in the National Guard.  He was a P.O.S.

I went to public schools.  I don't know what it was like in religious schools.

The U.S. was born of violence and is still a violent country.

 I read that the first case of child abuse in the U.S. was investigated and procecuted by the Society for the Association for Protection of Animals (ASPCA) 

The following link may provide some information.

My dad used to say Australia is a better country to live in because the were criminals, while the myth of the U.S. is religious zeallots.

Comment by Teresa Roberts on November 9, 2017 at 11:19am

Chris, there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 57 countries that have banned spanking of children in schools and homes. The US is not on either list. I contend that the basis for the way the US views women and children, even animals for that matter, is founded in the bible. If you read it, you'll soon see that children, women and animals were considered to be property. Those in power could do what they wanted with all three. Furthermore, there's lots of violence toward all three celebrated in the scriptures. So we get that old slogan Spare the rod, spoil the child and people really believe that it is a god sanctioned way to raise children. After all, they were beaten as kids and they insist that they turned out just fine. LOL . Of course, we have finally reached collective consensus that it's not ok to hit a woman or a dog. Those two acts can set off a flurry of outrage. But for some reason we're still fighting for the right to hit our own offspring. I don't have a high opinion of humankind.

Comment by Chris on November 9, 2017 at 1:12am

As I mature for some reason people are telling me about child sexual  abuse.

That's another form of violence that may occure in many families. 

It's terrible to hear some of the stories. A big problem is the abuser may have been abused.  The cycle of violence may be the same.

 There was a guy I worked with who kind of bragged about whipping his grandkids.  I treid to tell him it's better to talk with his gradnkids.

He quoted the bible by saying "Spare the rod spoil the children."  I tried to explain that meant he should spare the rod and spoil the child. 

Interesting how twisted some people can get with a simple quotation.

That guy also became angry at me for saying "God Damn it."  He said "Don't use the Lords in vain."   

When I explained that term meant taking credit for acts of nature such as solar exlipses and tides -   He said that may be technically correct but "We" maining whatever brand of evangilical chirtian he was don't like it.

Comment by Teresa Roberts on November 8, 2017 at 12:42pm

My observation has been that we rarely fix anything these days. As we become more and more imperialistic, we've shifted our attention away from the home front and toward manipulating other countries for gain. There's only so much energy left to solve domestic issues and our leaders really aren't that interested in improving the lives of the common man. So there's lots of lip service paid to things like healthcare, jobs, safety, opportunity but nothing ever changes. You have to look outside the political arena to find change makers, those highly creative people who are driven to invent and problem solve. Inevitably, they are the ones who improve our lives and if you take a second look, you'll see that they were never popular with most politicians. 

Comment by Teresa Roberts on November 8, 2017 at 12:36pm

Thanks for sharing that article, Bertold.

Comment by Teresa Roberts on November 8, 2017 at 11:27am

Glad to see so many weigh in on the situation of mass carnage in the US. Chris, 98% of all mass slaughters are committed by men. That doesn't mean that women aren't capable of murder. Where men and women are roughly equal when it comes to murder is the killing of our own children. Seems like both sexes are pretty well equally represented when it comes to murdering their offspring. When it comes to massacres of men, women and children, often complete strangers to the killer, men take the prize, however. 



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