Monday, September 16, 2019

Emotion Doesn't Equal Caring

Emotion is part of being human. It tells us something about our environment, about what we’re experiencing. But it isn’t truth.

You can be angry for someone slighting you when that person had no intention to slight, wouldn’t have intentionally done such a thing, and in fact did nothing wrong, but you emotionally interpreted the slight based on some previous experience in your life or even someone else’s story.

Emotion is no basis for problem solving.

Problem solving happens another way:

·         You identify a problem.
·         You identify cause(s) for the problem.
·         You address the cause(s).
o   This will be based on whether the problem is within your circle of influence.
o   And will be based on whether the problem is solvable within your time frame (lifetime, possibly),
o   Or whether the problem is likely to resolve itself regardless of actions you (or others) take.
What will certainly not solve the problem:

·         Hysteria.
·         Haranguing others for not already having solved the problem.
·         Claiming righteousness based on your hyper-emotionalism about the issue.
I came across this post on a friend’s Facebook (a good friend, whose relationship I value and want to continue; she didn’t write this but only reposted). I’m not responding to that friend; I’m responding to the original poster, who is anonymous to me. This kind of thing is usually not worth the energy of a response. But I think it is a useful example of why emotion is standing between us and solutions to problems.

shared on a friend's Facebook page

So that you can see them clearly, here are the hysterical accusations in bullet-point format:

·       I don’t want concertgoers and schoolchildren to be routinely slaughtered in hailstorms of bullets. You don’t care.
·       I don’t want some kid’s first memory to be that of a jackbooted deportation force kicking down their door and ripping their father from them. You don’t care.
·       I don’t want a mother to bury her child solely because she couldn’t swing $600 for a two-pack of epipens. You don’t care.
·       Every day you wake up and deflect, but-what-about, twist, bend, contort, and echo whatever vile, clubfooted rationalization keeps you from having to admit that you’re, not just complicit in, but in fact actively facilitating this nightmare of a reality so many people are experiencing.
·       I care about other people. You do not.
Let me start with the first issue.


It is not routine for concertgoers or schoolchildren to attend those places and be “slaughtered in hailstorms of bullets.” There was one concert event, in Las Vegas in 2017, when a single deranged gunman set up a gun with a bump stock to shoot many bullets indiscriminately into the crowd. The perpetrator was killed. No such event has been repeated. That incident was an outlier, not routine.

There are more school shootings than any of us would like. We would ALL like that number to be zero. But routine bullet hailstorms?

There are 50.8 million school students this year in the US. I don’t know how many school campuses. Size varies. But if we generically say 500 per school, that’s 101,600 schools. What is the risk per child?

In 2018, there were 24 school shootings, resulting in 35 deaths, which included 28 students and 7 adults (teachers or other adult employees). Of those, all but 8 happened at the Parkland, Florida, shooting or  the Santa Fe, Texas, high school—just two incidents. That means the other 22 incidents resulted in a total of 8 deaths (not all of whom were students).

Of the remaining 101,576 schools, students remained safe from any shooting incident. And of 50.8 million students, 50,799,972 remained alive. An additional 72 students were injured but not killed, so that means 50,799,900 remained both alive and uninjured. As a percentage, that means 99.99980315% remained safe. 

graphic from here

Safe enough? Probably not. Let’s make our schools safer. (And consider homeschooling.)

There was an incident at a local high school—the school son Political Sphere attended before we withdrew him to homeschool. The kids in my Sunday School class experienced the lockdown and told us what they experienced. A student had been expelled, they thought for drug dealing or something similar. Someone had ratted him out, they said. He came to the school angry, with a gun. But someone had reported him to the police. I heard elsewhere later that it was the boy’s mother. The news said it was a parent, but was unclear whether it was his own parent. 

Officers were on the lookout for him when he showed up at the school. They chased him down, apprehended him, with no shots fired. That means even that young man was uninjured.

Twitter post from KHOU 11,
found here
Children and students had been somewhat traumatized. They had followed lockdown protocol—locked classroom doors, covered door windows, blocked doors with furniture, hid in somewhat barricaded area behind the teacher’s desk.  Within 45 minutes the lockdown was lifted. But students had texted their parents about what was happening, and a thousand parents showed up in cars within the hour to reunite with their children, so school had to be dispensed with for the rest of the day.

This kind of incident doesn’t show up in reports. Kids (and teachers, and parents) were upset, but the security system worked—including, and maybe especially, the parent sounding the alarm.

It may be that the perpetrator was seeking only a particular person—whoever he thought was the person who “ratted him out.” There might have been no plan to rain down a “hailstorm of bullets” on the rest of the students. Because he’s alive, maybe officials will be able to find out. (Not to minimize, but a "hailstorm" implies an automatic weapon. Those have been essentially illegal for decades and one has never been used in one of these mass shootings in my lifetime.)

I don’t know how he obtained the firearm—he wasn’t old enough to purchase one. But if he was a drug dealer, chances are high that he was also a gang member—an outlaw. He would not have been thwarted by a gun law that would have confiscated guns from all law-abiding persons. He had to be stopped from using the gun he was unlawfully wielding. Fortunately, others—good guys who had guns but didn’t end up using them—were able to stop him in time.

If the many times the Parkland perpetrator had stepped over the line had been noted, and followed up on, he might have been stopped in time.

I could turn things around on the emotion-laden accuser and say, “You want people more vulnerable, unable to defend themselves. And you want to do nothing about those who have shown a clear danger to society but are ignored, time and again, until they strike. You don’t care.”

But what I really want to say is, “If you’ll stop being hysterical long enough, and dispense with the name-calling, you might find out that cooler heads not only care, but are better at finding the solutions to the problems you claim to care about.”

Doing something might seem to an emotional non-thinker to mean making guns illegal. But people who really care look deeper, at things like mental illness, fatherless homes, and other evils of a savage society.

What does making guns illegal do? It leaves guns only in the hands of lawbreakers. It does nothing to address stopping lawbreakers from using guns; it only limits the law-abiding, making us defenseless.

People who really care do what it takes to restore civilization.


Briefly to address the other accusations, what is a “jackboot,” anyway? According to George Orwell:

"I am still without any clear information as to what a jackboot is. It is a kind of boot that you put on when you want to behave tyrannically: that is as much as anyone seems to know."
So you’re using that language only to inflame, not to inform. When ICE targets illegals for deportation, they target violent offenders, although non-violent offenders are not exempt. They knock on the door. The occupant of the house can ask to see the warrant by having it slipped under the door. Refusal to open the door would not result in a kicked-down door unless there were other circumstances warranting quick action in order to secure the safety of people.

In other words, no jackbooted tyrants kick down doors and tear innocent illegals from the arms of their wailing children. Doesn’t happen. It’s just an image used to stir up hysteria.

If you care about the children of illegals, then you ought to care about enforcing laws that would discourage people from illegally bringing children into the country. Also, as with all countries, illegals with children are welcome to take those children with them back to their home countries.
What you really need to understand is what sovereignty is, and why countries have borders—all countries in the entire history of countries, not just ours. And then you need to see the video “Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs,” which demonstrates why it’s impossible to allow in enough immigrants to solve the world’s problems.

screenshot from "Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs"
We need to help people solve their problems in their home countries—by teaching them the principles of freedom, prosperity, and civilization, while giving charitably as we feel able. Or don’t you actually care?

Medical Costs

About epipens. That price is accurate—but not. As with many things medical in a non-transparent non-free-market sector of the economy, things are not always as first quoted. You can pay the full price, but almost no one does. Insurance drops the price down around $100, and depending on your plan could cost you nothing. For those without insurance that covers prescriptions, you can get a discount card that saves you more than 50%. And if you make less than $100,000 as a family, you can apply for assistance that might leave you paying zero. If you’re on Medicaid (low income, can’t afford coverage, so government pays it for you), you pay zero. 

So there isn’t a mother out there who has to bury her child solely because “she couldn’t swing $600 for a two-pack of epipens.” That’s a lie you tell to raise hysteria.

If what you’re saying is that we all should pay for each other’s medical care, and the only way you can persuade people to do that is to get them hysterical enough—ah, then we understand each other.

But if you actually want to lower costs and improve service in the medical sector, then get government out of the way and implement free-market solutions. For anything that doesn’t get solved that way, we have voluntary charity and philanthropy.

We have less charitable problem-solving than we need because of government interference in healthcare. And because you "caring people" and your government keep coercively taking from people while calling them cold-hearted—using their money while calling yourself charitable. I could say, “Why don’t you donate $600 a year for one stranger’s epipens? Don’t you care?” But that doesn’t get us very far.

You’ve said I, and people like me, deflect, “but-what-about” (which is not a verb that I understand), twist, bend, contort, and echo vile, clubfooted rationalizations (can rationalizations be vile and/or clubfooted, or are you using a vile metaphor that belittles actual people with a real physical condition?) And you’ve said I am complicit in—and not only that, I’m actively participating in—the nightmares so many people are experiencing.

Or, it could be that I’m not. But those accusations might actually apply to you. Because you think government is god, and the more power that god has, the more virtuous you feel in appeasing it. It’s not about caring at all; it’s about power.

But government isn’t god. It’s just a tool for us free people to use to protect our lives, our liberty, and our property. As we say here often:

Whenever government attempts something beyond the proper role of government (protection of life, liberty, and property), it causes unintended consequences—usually exactly opposite to the stated goals of the interference.
Any time we allow more power to fall into the hands of government than it should have, we are causing harm, rather than solving problems. If you were less hysterical, I could show you how to read and understand the Constitution, which lays out the best way in history for a people—any people—to deal with the “nightmares so many people are experiencing.”

The rules for freedom, prosperity, and civilization work every time they’re tried. Not instantaneously. And life in a fallen world still happens. But they work. And they include thoughts and prayers, which you obscenely shoved. 

When you calm down and get over the hysteria, maybe you can ask and find real answers from people who actually do care.

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