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May 18, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Primal. Fear, fear not.

artistic blur © (Image ©. All rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

As Life Flight flew over, I thought it was a little early for the weekend to start.

It’s easier to explain Hawaii’s fiery violence than the violence breaking society.

“Active, but contained” says law enforcement.

Prom is over. Finals complete. The lazy classroom hours of yearbook signing and films filling time.

Doesn’t seem to go together.

About 45 minutes ago the fire alarm went off in Sante Fe’s High School not far from here. Pulled by teacher or shooter, not known.

Then 3 loud pops – then more.

The practice fake shooter drills had all prepared.

Kids kept each other thinking and ran for cover – out back doors, across streets to neighborhoods to shelter in houses, stores, mechanic shops.

Students ran out and then around to other side of the school to pound on glass doors and windows to tell others to flee or take cover.

A massive response by law enforcement from multiple counties and agencies  and emergency vehicles arrived immediately to be there just in case.

What is known from students/news about the first period shooting at Santa Fe High School:

  • A police officer (reportedly a school officer) is injured, and there are rumors of injuries (shoulder and leg) and several casualties (news now reporting 8 deaths.)
  • Shooter is in custody
  • Kids in the art room said that things were normal until this male student “busted in” and yelled “Surprise” and shot a girl and 2 other people.
  • One of the kids said he and other students bailed out the art room’s back door and then out of the school and to warn others. One kid said a bunch of them crammed into the ceramic/kiln room for shelter. All of them were helping each other escape, stay calm and follow what they had drilled
  • Reports are sketchy but… The shooter supposedly had a pistol and a pump-action sawed off shotgun. One said he knew the shooter who was a football player – who often wore a trench coat and boots, but not confirmed. Another says the shooter was tall, thin guy, maybe a freshman.
  • A second individual is also being detained. Unclear why. (A girl?)
  • Dogs are sweeping the building to clear it. Media is reporting pipe bombs/explosives were tossed into classroom also (apparently confirmed)
  • There are about 1400 students in this school. They are an amazing resilient group. Will not be destroyed by one out of norm person.

As the hours roll, facts will become more available.

But the obvious fact is that like a volcano, violence by individuals is not being controlled in either in adulthood or childhood.

What is known is that violence is being used as the first method to solve problems. Even by children.

Even bullying, even “your loved one doesn’t love you any more”, even hatred of a group or a group’s ideas is not an excuse, reason, or authorization to kill another.

What is true is that the “Do not kill” concept is not being honored – or possibly even taught.

Odd as it’s so basic to most religions and philosophy.  

In any case, killing/murder is contrary to the survival of the species. Seems like a no brainer

All the laws in the world won’t stop it.

People constantly ignore the laws and just do what they want to do.

Bullet proof backpacks. Tank quality metal “safe rooms”inside classrooms. Collecting guns, knives, baseball bats, cars (Clara Harris aside, 1138 deaths on this state’s roads so far this year). None of this will solve the problem.

Only a change of head and body of action can turn the trend.

When people “say something”, authorities must actually “do something”: intervene to remove dangerous individuals from society – to protect society.

There must be beds for mental health holds and evaluations (Colorado’s legislature’s stalled recent action on this. Iowa’s Governor and mental health services advocates are working to make sure children and adults can get the help needed.)

STATES must enact immediately strong gun laws. (Forget Congress. Too busy talking about blond Bimbos. Local and states’ responsibility anyway.)

Parents must to control their own outbursts of rage and anger – as kids learn from parents.

Children and adults must use alternatives methods to solve problems other than murder.

Most importantly, ALL ADULTS must teach “Do Not Kill” 

Repeat endlessly: “All weapons including guns are DEFENSIVE – for when your back is against the wall, when you can’t flee, and when it’s either you or them” (a situation is more common than you think…maybe not in your safe little world, but others deal with things you cannot imagine)

Instruct constantly: “Always assume a gun Is loaded and ready to fire.” “Do not touch” is good, too. (Parents must lock top their guns and all household guns like the law here says – and must be prosecuted if they don’t.)

Find every possible chance to firmly say “NEVER point a gun at yourself or another person even as a joke or to feel big”. “Never touch a gun in someone else’s house. Better yet, if there’s a gun, leave immediately.”

Seems so basic.


Rage and stupidity exploding.

Volcanoes are easier to understand than humans

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge




  1. ksbeth / May 18 2018 11:02 am

    so awful


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 18 2018 11:15 am

      Absolutely. And it’s coming out: supposed shooter’s FaceBook page now pulled along with his picture of “Born to Kill” t-shirt and in his trench coat with Nazi emblems, along with posts about kamikaze tactics. There are multiple explosive devices on and off campus being deactivated.
      Society has to decode where and why these kids are slipping off the normal path.
      Meanwhile be with the ones you are with. The jackals are out there unconfronted.
      Thanks for worrying along with the rest of us

      Liked by 1 person

      • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 18 2018 11:36 am

        Apparently 17 year old shooter Dimitrios (Dimitri) Pagourtzis was a bit obsessed with guns/followed some 8-10 Instagram accounts all about guns. One of his neighbors across the street thought he heard an explosion near the kid’s home this morning. Warrants being issued for searches.


  2. Kate Crimmins / May 18 2018 11:42 am

    No words today.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 18 2018 12:51 pm

      Wolves are doing a better job raising their young? (And of course humans are out killing wolves…maybe to eliminate any parenting comparisons?)
      A JV and Varsity football player. A strong Greek community. Yet this? Concussions? PTSD from the hurricane and flood damage (Sante Fe was hit pretty hard)
      Tragic and heartbreaking once again. We’ve got to do better. Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate Crimmins / May 18 2018 1:55 pm

        Yes, we’ve go to do better. Not sure when we switched from fist fights to gun fights.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 18 2018 4:05 pm

          Retro isn’t always a good thing – like this. Great observation. (Didn’t people used to say “only cowards used chains or knives – real men used fists?” Guess being called a coward doesn’t hurt any more.)

          Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres / May 18 2018 12:53 pm

    One of the best pieces I’ve read about this issue was written by Tom Nichols. His book titled The Death of Expertise is a must read. He’s active on Twitter under @RadioFreeTom, Harvard prof, Navy, expert on nuclear proliferation, etc. etc. The article really is worth reading, and from what I can tell at this point, it’s applicable again.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 18 2018 1:06 pm

      Thanks for that link – it was vaguely surfacing my thoughts, but couldn’t firm it up.
      Young boys are having a difficult time – and few want to acknowledge it – and what is causing it…not PC or fitting the message, I guess.
      This kid was a football player and one of the festival Greek dancers…a little concerning that he posted that the old red hammer and sickle symbol stood for bravery (social media post).
      Had a bad feeling about that helicopter this morning. Just makes you want pack up and head for the backcountry. (But Molly insists on air conditioning…)
      Thanks for clicking to that applicable article!


      • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 18 2018 1:24 pm

        Guns belonged to his dad. They were not locked up as law requires if children of any age in the home. Laws aren’t making a difference if not obeyed/enforced.


  4. Anne Mehrling / May 18 2018 4:52 pm

    You said a lot. I wish all parents would listen.


  5. Miss Demure Restraint / May 18 2018 5:57 pm

    I don’t know the answer but something must be done. Children killing children (killing of any kind) can never be accepted as normal. This is another desperately sad day in a string of far too many such days.

    Your words are wise and should be heard.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 21 2018 8:55 am

      While society tries to figure out what is causing children to go off the rails, schools must take steps to keep the kids safe. There are things that can be done. And parents must stay close to their kids to reassure them and to recognize something is going wrong and move to intervene and help or get help.
      Bottom line is that reverence for life must return…even if politeness and PC-ness takes a back seat. We’re all seeing the emperor has no clothes on.
      Thanks for poking around the problem


  6. LordBeariOfBow / May 18 2018 11:17 pm

    For a country that is supposedly ‘Christian’ there appears to be a serious problem when it comes to these mass killings/murders, And the number of young killers is unbelievable to the people here in Australia.

    The other day there was a mass killing in Western Australia, A grandfather killed his wife, daughter and 4 autistic children; which left this nation in a state of shock.

    This is the first reported mass shooting since April 1996 when a gunman killed 35 in Port Arthur Tasmania.

    The killer is in jail and will remain there in solitary until the day he dies, and a constant watch is kept on him 24/7 so thats just over 22 years without an incident. After this event legislation was passed and guns were handed in and destroyed. (except for the criminals of course who like to kill each other from time to time).

    We have very tight gun control and laws and we get along just fine; we find we don’t really need them; the troopers from England are not about to attack and kill us.

    We are also a nation primarily of atheists, well so our census told us, so we don’t preach “Thou shalt not kill” We just don’t do it!

    Now the other problem; 1138 deaths on the roads so far this year in the state of Texas. I thought I’d do a small comparison between the state of Texas and the state of New South Wales where I live.

    Texas covers 695.662 km² NSW covers 809.444 km², we have 185000 km of roads in NSW I was unable to find those for Tx. Texas has a population of 28.3 million as at 2017 NSW just 7,540,000 roughly a quarter the size.

    Our death toll on the roads for the year to date is 137, obviously with a larger population it must be expected that Tx will have a greater toll, but whereas we are a quarter the size by population and slightly larger in area our death toll is a bit over 10%.

    From what I’ve seen and experienced when driving in the US is that you have roads and highways to die for, whereas the Texans seem to think they are roads to die on.

    I hope I haven’t offended with the length of this comment or the matters discussed, but I find it quite sad when reading posts like this one


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 21 2018 8:42 am

      It’s always intriguing to see the interpretation of events by someone completely on the outside. Humans always internalize information based on their own actual experiences (and what they accept and wish to see as reality). Nuances are missed, history missing, and often information long distance morphs.
      Humans and human society is quite complex and often unexplainable. (I’ve been involved with human behavior, how the human brain works – the structure,chemistry and biology affecting how the brain acquires language/learns and retains information from its’ beginning and after trauma – and how all that impacts individual behavior(mainly from birth to college grad) and society. Being old as dirt, it’s been years and years.)
      My first thought upon hearing of the shooting was at this time of year, with this age group, it’s going to turn out to be a high school romantic situation. Apparently that is one aspect as the mother of the first girl targeted had resisted this young man’s pressure to date him for month and finally a few days before had stood up to him in public in front of peers and told him she would never date him. Humiliation in front of others at this age to a young man trying to be so cool – who is already struggling with depression/suicidal thoughts/himself – that would be quite a trigger. But it’s only part of the picture as humans are so complex. Society has to pay more attention to kids. Maybe not reading them in herds at a very young age where they learn aggressive behavior in order to survive in a group – and to get the nurturing attention/guidance towards positive self image and to help them establish self control/delayed gratification as well as what is right and wrong? Maybe nothing would have helped – if you accept that some people are just “bad”/evil no matter what environment/parents do.
      This young man will be tried as an adult but as he is under 18 there won’t be a death sentence – judges usually don’t lower age on that. (the old argument that frontal lobe development not completed which is the argument for not letting this age drink, vote, although they are allowed to become combat soldiers…) There’s the possibility of parole in 40 years.
      You can blame concussions, PTS from the hurricane as his area was hit hard, or he was just having a bad day and was unable to find any coping skill other than the far too common one demonstrated by adults all around/movies/video game/music ( the list goes on…).
      Explosive anger and seeing violence as a solution. THere’s the bottom line society has to confront.
      Guns, religion are a bit like abortion to me. If you don’t want one, don’t get one. If you don’t need one, don’t get one. Census shows that the majority of the younger generations do not go to church or consider themselves religious. Sociologists say the 20 somethings are the first to have grown up without constantly going to church/having the religious influence as children.
      You’d think even agnostics and atheists could get behind the “don’t kill” and “don’t steal” and “don’t hurt” concepts. There are scientific reasons/benefits too society to those. Especially some sort of reverence for life.
      Australia is a fine place to live: lovely water (ignore the sharks – yours are bigger than TX’s), lovely variations of land (lots of snakes, wild fires, and wild lands like here) lovely people (although much less diverse…there is that island crowd out there which may make their way ashore sometime). Crazy politicians at times – so that’s the same. They did collect guns there – mostly from honest people who never committed a crime – looking at that, the reality is that it wasn’t all voluntary and happily done – in fact law abiding people were criminalized and it was pretty ugly – but over and done. Most are happy about the decision – although not all as in recent times the crime rate is changing. But majority should rule to keep people happy. And hopefully safe… there’s always rocks and sticks.
      A problem with cities and states with large new arrival populations is convincing them that here we don’t shoot off guns in the air as a celebratory tradition as they do in many other countries. Difficult to change behavior quickly. Once diverse tradition we could do without.
      Crazy will do crazy. (a way to secure/evaluate/treat the mentally unstable to protect the general public should be a priority – which also gets into the individual rights thing – unless one feels the individual is more important than protection of the whole…tightrope once again. But upon actual examination, majority of these shootings all the way back to Gabby Gifford involve mentally disturbed/unstable individuals that people recognized and knew about, but did nothing. Sante Fe case is still an open question, but there were signs to me this kid was at risk although not as obviously unstable as the majority of others.)
      Fortunately, as in the most recent shooting incidents, a veteran law enforcement officer was wounded but held that shooter in one room until others could arrive saving so many. He’s doing improving after massive blood loss. Shot in the elbow, it looks like he’ll keep his arm. The man is a hero just like the others who ran towards danger to save children.
      The vehicle deaths is a big concern. Road rage is a big issue. People in general are so angry. There’s far too much drunk driving (and repeat offenders are given another chance over and over…what about the rights of the majority?). There’s far too much distracted driving with texting, emails, and I’ve even seen people reading newspapers while driving. In this state we also have a large number of unlicensed drivers from other countries quietly slipping under the radar. That last being one of the reasons California decided to allow anyone no matter of visa/status to get drivers’ licenses. Unfortunately here the state has had so many people moving in that the driver’s license people can’t keep up, and as a result they have lowered standards to get a license (like now a 10 question multiple choice test by computer over ALL the roadway laws…yeah, that’s functional and revealing of actual knowledge…). Even with all the road construction, and all the rest, many people/drivers are so full of self importance and lack of manners “driving friendly” ain’t happening any more. Seem few cultures/parents are teaching the valuable “taking turns” lesson.
      Manners in society apparently do make a difference. But if humans can’t get the basic “do not kill” down, it’s not looking too promising for the species.
      Thanks for taking time to sit down and chat. Always enjoy our conversations. (maybe I’ll just copy and paste this as today’s post…no, already traveling down different roads – it’ll be quite electric, I promise HAHA)


  7. Ally Bean / May 21 2018 1:14 pm

    “Do not kill” is a great message, but one that would end most Hollywood movie franchises. Violence and killing are not entertainment, nor are they solutions to mental health problems, but each month the senselessness goes on, aided by adults who allow kids to have access to guns. Fewer guns/registered guns, definitely. More mental health options, absolutely. But equally important, a change in what we as a society call entertainment!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 21 2018 2:25 pm

      Being said out loud now are the state laws here which mandate all guns in households with children/young must be locked up and the one that if a gun owner allows a minor/child to handle hold a loaded gun and it goes off injuring any one/anything, the owner can be charged. Laws aren’t being followed. Laws do not seem to be changing behavior. It’s painfully obvious you can’t legislate morality.
      Suspect after that first shot, the kid’s brain flipped into much experienced violent video shooter game mode. Research proves constant exposure to violent music, “games”, movies lessen the aversion to violence. You last sentence is on target.
      Not top mention the role models of raging adults – did you catch the 50yr old on a plane who got enraged and punch a service dog, punched his deaf and pregnant owner in the face and stomach and knocked her 2 little girls over? Husband held him for police. If adults give into violent impulses – and the media is constantly shoving these stories and images.
      At one time people would look down on cowards and those who could not control their impulses and emotions. Sooo polite now, sooo much is overlooked and excused…nobody wants to get sued either.
      Now society’s in a pickle…and sour.
      Complex, but the knot has to be untangled somehow. Thanks for running in with astute observations

      Liked by 1 person

  8. ShimonZ / May 22 2018 8:53 am

    That’s what you get when you teach that everything is relevant… And of course, the schools have to take everyone; just another sign that it’s more a baby sitter device than an educational institution.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 22 2018 9:48 am

      Parents said “Let the school teach them that. That’s what they are for. I’m busy.”
      Schools finally had to say, “Oh that’s the parent’s job. We only shove dictated information at kids – useful, truthful or not…Until they said, Oh, just keep them in the room, do group work (with a smart kid who cares about their grade, a lazy/dumb kid and a couple of average kids), and pass them on to the next grade. Let them worry about the kids” The universities said “We’ll have to do remedial work to get them up to speed/break courses content in half so they can manage easier – and charge more tuition money – and let students stay 5-6 years….or until they get tired/run out of financing”
      It takes a village? Looks like the village burned long ago and only left the rumble and confused remaining.
      It all starts with basics. Don’t hurt. Don’t kill. Don’t steal….consider the source if someone says mean things (and words are just hot air not fatal blood tearing injuries. If you can’t get past harsh words in school, you’ll never make it in life and the business world.) …if someone is mean to you, go play somewhere else. Don’t expect everyone to like you – they won’t and you won’t, so find those who do like you. Important to remember there’s always going to be someone smarter, less smart, more popular, less popular, richer, poorer, prettier, less pretty than you. Just the way it is. Be kind, polite, and move on and be the best you can be. All lessons learned by watching parents and adults – at home and out. Concepts pretty well internalized by age 3-4. Parents are the first and only hope.
      Easy to get lost with eyes closed or not really wanting to see?
      Thanks for poking the machine


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