19 December 2012

More Derangement from America’s Political Right

Lest we think that derangement on the political right is limited to when some people think about President Obama, the National Review published this essay by Charlotte Allen on the Newtown school shooting last week:

There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. In this school of 450 students, a sizeable number of whom were undoubtedly 11- and 12-year-old boys (it was a K–6 school), all the personnel — the teachers, the principal, the assistant principal, the school psychologist, the “reading specialist” — were female. There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees. Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers.
Many news reports and pre-shooting websites state that Sandy Hook Elementary School served kindergarten through grade four. It was not “a K-6 school,” and it had no “11- and 12-year-old boys.”

Furthermore, news outlets like NBC reported this account:
A custodian warned of the gunman by running through the halls, said 4th-grade teacher Theodore Varga.

"He said, 'Guys! Get down! Hide!'" Varga said. "So he was actually a hero."
Thus, in direct contradiction to the basis of Allen’s essay, there were at least two men in the school.

Allen was obviously so convinced of the correctness of her beliefs and so lazy that she didn’t bother to do basic research. The National Review’s editors were so equally convinced and lazy and didn’t bother to do basic fact-checking.

But it gets worse. Allen’s suggestion for how to stop Adam Lanza, armed with a semi-automatic rifle, two pistols, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, was:
Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.
Charlotte Allen thus blamed feminism for the death toll and wished that those entirely imaginary “huskier 12-year-old boys” had charged straight at the gunman. Apparently the alternative possibilities—spending more money on mental-health treatment or restricting people’s freedom to buy military weaponry—are so anathema to her that her mind goes into fantasy mode.

One more detail: At the bottom of her essay, the National Review identified Charlotte Allen as author of The Human Christ. Yes, this author who wished twelve-year-olds had been around to attack a man with a semi-automatic rifle also styled herself an expert on Christian thinking.

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