Violence and Blame: Reactions, Relations and Prevention

Violence and Blame Part Four: Reactions
by Liberty Speaks

Homicide is the act of a human being causing the death of another human being.  The words ‘only a gun’ can accomplish this act are not found in this definition, nor does it state that any object, other the human being, is to blame.  It is just that simple.

However, when we see the words ‘multiple homicides’ and guns are involved, the first reaction is to blame the “method” by which they died and not the individual who killed them.

The blame response is immediate, selective and ‘in your face’ because of 24/7  media coverage.

It’s only in hindsight that warning signs, cracks in the system, and other failures that, if recognized prior, may have prevented the violence. However, apathy, denial and hypocrisy  muddy those waters and history often repeats itself.

The issue of blaming guns, as well as free speech, has been discussed in depth throughout this series.  For the sake of argument,  let’s address the assignment of material items such as music, video games, movies, and now certain “historical” flags which have all been deemed the ’cause’ or the ‘catalyst’ of violent multiple homicides in this country.

None of these reactions are substitutes for prevention.  When it comes to placing blame squarely on anything but the shooter, we become short-sighted. Specifically placing blame on a material item only seeks to dismiss the underlying causes of this form of violence.

The following scenario took place after a book penned by Stephen King was published.

Writing under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, King released a collection novellas in 1985 called The Bachman Books.  The stories were Road Work, The Long Walk, The Running Man and Rage.

They were wildly popular in the late eighties, selling hundreds of thousands of copies.  I owned one as well.  Rage however, was the controversial novella in question.

The book Rage, which is the story of a psychologically disturbed teenager who murders teachers at his school and takes his math class hostage, is one such “object” that had been blamed for or has been the ‘suggested cause’ of four school shootings and hostage situations.  The book was either found in the possession of the shooters or the shooter had read it.  (see link)

In a very personal and bold move King himself took the book out of circulation in the late 1990’s stating in a Business Insider article:

“I pulled it because in my judgment it might be hurting people, and that made it the responsible thing to do,”

There had been no calls for the book to be banned, but King believed it had been a catalyst to the violence.

In an article from International Business Times Stephen King made a statement that touches on the underlying issues with all the shooters — mental illness.

My book did not break [these teenagers] or turn them into killers; they found something in my book that spoke to them, because they were already broken,”

As a private citizen, King chose to remove something he felt may be causing harm.  However, this action did not stop further school attacks from taking place over the last 20 years. Plus, the book could not have been the cause or catalyst of mass homicides for 70 years prior to that.

To this day, it is not Sandy Hook, nor Virginia Tech that is the worst school attack in US history. I believe this incident is not discussed more because it doesn’t fit today’s narrative on gun control and the current blame culture.

In 1927, Andrew Kehoe killed 45 adults and children and wounding dozens more using explosives during the Bath Township School Massacre. Kehoe killed himself as well with his own explosives.

There wasn’t a book, a movie, or an obvious catalyst that explained his madness. The only trace of a motive were the words “Criminals are made not born” that was stenciled on a suicide note found at his farm. (*Further examination into this statement will be in Part Five and Six.)

Author Arnie Bernstein went to Bath Township and spoke with survivors of this mass homicide and published the book, Bath Massacre: America’s First School Bombing

Bernstein later did in interview with Christian Science Monitor in 2012.  Here is one of the questions asked by interviewer Randy Dotinga to Arnie Bernstein:

Q: What can we learn from Bath Township?

A: One lesson is that you cannot stop someone who’s determined to do something like this, who doesn’t have that switch in their head that says to not do it. You cannot stop them any more than you can stop an iceberg.

That really is the lesson — Those who are intent on doing harm will find a way by any means.

This violence should not be relegated to simple explanations by placing blame on a weapon, or concluding that the prevention can be accomplished by taking books of a shelf, removing a flag, or infringing on the rights of law abiding citizens.

The majority of these mass murderers showed early warning signs, suffered from mental illness, and were already in our criminal justice system.  To use Stephen King’s words, ‘they were already broken’.

Society tends to blame something else on what it doesn’t understand or could not stop.  The blame should always be placed on the broken individuals, however, it is society’s responsibility to pay attention to the warning signs that present themselves prior to these acts.

Family, friends, teachers, co-workers, mental health professionals, and others who interact with these individuals have a moral responsibility to intervene, if possible, before they kill. Otherwise, no amount of blaming weapons, flags, books, music, video games or movies will prevent history repeating itself.  It is that simple.

Please remember,  just breathe.


About Liberty Speaks

Individualism is better than Collectivism, and the truth will always win over blind rhetoric. My friend, A. P. Dillon, founder of, calls me "Digger" for good reason. I am the owner/founder of The Tempest Wire and the Castellan of the Keep on -LS
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3 Responses to Violence and Blame: Reactions, Relations and Prevention

  1. Kathy says:

    Let’s take a look at some of the stupid laws in various states (and legislation that hasn’t passed yet) to prevent gun ownership but have nothing to do with crime prevention.
    1. Limit purchase to 50 rounds per month of any ammo. It takes only one round to shoot somebody. But I need 400 rounds for monthly practice, and instructors need far more than that. This nonsense is to prevent people from learning to shoot or practice, not to prevent crime.
    2. I was prevented once from buying low-powered .22 shorts between 10PM and 7AM when I got home from a trip and found a rat in my house. I guess this is to hinder the rare criminal who doesn’t plan ahead and is fresh out. He wouldn’t be buying .22 shorts to hold up a liquor store or do gangland killing anyhow. That’s rodent shot. I had to shot the rat in the eye to kill him with it.
    3. One gun a month limit. You NEED only one gun to shoot somebody. But this idiocy means I can buy 12 guns a year, 120 in 10 years. I don’t need that many guns, but sometimes I see 2 guns that I can get at a bargain if I buy both.
    4. Before the Heller decision, it was illegal to “transport a gun” in D.C., and this was interpreted by some law enforcement as from one room in your house to another room in your house. “Please come in here, dear, so I can shoot you. It’s illegal for me to bring the gun into the kitchen.” I’m sure that stopped a lot of murders, aren’t you?
    That’s just a sample of the Democrats’ attempts to disarm us in the name of crime prevention.


  2. Kathy says:

    The reason for blaming guns is that Socialists want to take away those guns in order to more totally control the citizens. Control is the goal. (Statistics show that less violent crime occurs in areas in which most citizens own guns. So the crime prevention argument is bogus.) One has only to look at the actions of every dictator on the planet. First, they take the guns …


  3. Pingback: Violence and Blame: Reactions, Relations and Prevention | Grumpy Opinions

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