Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Angry Men Keep on Shooting

Here are just 3 of the top ten articles listed on this morning:

Shooter enters men's dorm in Virginia

Professor sought in death of wife, 2 others

Deputies, suspect dead after shootouts

The details vary slightly but the meat of each story is that some angry man, who never learned how to cope with life's ups and downs, grabbed a gun to equalize the situation. It's one of those fill-in-the-blanks story of which I wrote earlier.

In the 'professor' story, "It appeared he and his wife were having problems," police Capt. Clarence Holeman said.

The shootout story says, "Joshua Cartwright, 28, had been involved in a domestic violence incident earlier in the day in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. It wasn't his first run-in with the law."

Details on the dorm shooting are sketchy: Spokeswoman Yuri Rodgers Milligan says police believe the shooter is a former student who was one of the three injured early Sunday.

Three men gone nuts who, rather than using normal problem-solving techniques, reached for their gun to 'solve' their dilemma.

Why did they have a gun in the first place?

Now, there's a great question.

I've never owned a gun, as I have said many times on this blog. Some of the comments from the pro-gun people who visit my blog probably think I'm nuts for NOT owning one. They think I'm "lucky' to have lasted all of these years living in an urban environment without gun-protection. Imagine my "luck" having survived the streets of Detroit and Toledo unarmed. My guardian angel must pack heat.

Here's what I wonder: if I had packed a gun all my life, would I have been more or less 'safe' all those years?

Of course, the answer is obvious.

The fact that I did not have a gun all of those years to 'equalize' the situation most probably forced me to 'behave' differently than if I did. It is obvious that the three shooters above didn't know how to 'behave' properly as a man and/or they were mentally ill.

Because I have had to 'solve' my own problems without resorting to deadly force [there is no 'alternative' solution for me] I have devised my own 'survival' techniques. I am forced to think like a fully-functioning adult male.

The fully-functioning adult male must rely on thinking, intuition, and accrued wisdom to solve HIS problems; reaching for a gun places him in the adolescent phase of male development.

I've often used the phrase, 'stuck in adolescence' to describe males who, despite their age, act much like the adolescent- as if they never moved beyond that into fully-functioning manhood. In fact, many never do.

Those of us who have managed, thankfully, to set that ugly phase of our growing-up years way behind us, can easily spot those 'men' who never managed to escape that lunacy.

Helping our sons move through those terrible times is not easy, but necessary, 'tough love' and all. Joseph Campbell, author, lecturer and comparative mythologist,often points out in his musings the power of the myth throughout history. These myths encompass the essence of manhood and are passed down the generations to the young boys so that they learn what 'manhood' is all about.

The tale of Iron John, collected in the Tales of the Brothers Grimm, is a well-told myth that millions of Europeans have told their sons [and daughters]. The challenge of the tale is that the prince builds up the courage to sneak into his mother’s room and steal 'the key.' The key unlocks the cage of the wild man, Iron John. Marvelously helpful stories which guide the young adolescent male into manhood.

Too bad that fathers these days have no interest in helping their sons to carefully unlock the cage. The gun is easier.

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