America is to Blame for the Massacre in Connecticut

Cross-Posted at

I believe in the right to own a gun.  As a conservative, I believe in a right to be able to defend myself and my home, and I believe that that right is all the more necessary in today’s America. 

As a skeptic, I doubt that an outright ban on firearms would accomplish much more than to disarm the law abiding people who we don’t have to worry about in the first place.  And as a freedom loving person, while I certainly don’t believe in armed insurrection, I do confess discomfort with the idea of a world where the government controls all the weapons.

But I can’t avoid how I feel right now in the wake of the slaughter in Connecticut.  I feel angry.  I don’t remember feeling this way after Columbine, or Virginia Tech, or the Aurora Colorado movie theatre shootings.  I remember being sad and dejected, but not angry.

When tragedies happen, it’s natural to look to somebody to blame, and groups like the N.R.A. are always the first and easiest targets.  I’ve defended them in the past.  After all, you don’t see N.R.A. members committing massacres. That’s because, in addition to being obsessed about guns, they’re also obsessed with gun safety and education to ensure that guns are used in a responsible way, so that the right to own them is not compromised.

But in their seemingly reflexive opposition to even the most reasonable and common sense regulations, they fail to consider that maybe America as a whole is simply not capable of responsible gun ownership within the framework of the current regulatory scheme.  Or perhaps I should say, “no longer capable.”

Conservatives receive a lot of criticism for wanting to “take us back to the 1950’s.” That might not be a bad idea.

I’m not talking about rolling back civil rights, or technological advances. I’m simply stating the obvious, which is that a lot of the problems we have today didn’t exist back then.  Families were intact.  Drug use was comparatively rare.  Cities were livable.  Violent crime was a fraction of what it is today.  Schools didn’t get shot up.

But then we rejected everything that was right about America. We rejected the God-fearing, hard working, family-oriented social mores of the older generation as being at best hopelessly anachronistic, and at worst outright oppressive.  We traded God for secularism.  We traded love for sex.  We traded sobriety for drugs.  We traded order for chaos.  We traded discipline for indulgence.  We traded modesty for promiscuity.  We traded parents for absentee fathers and baby mommas.  We traded children for abortions.  We traded moderation for excess.  We traded home life for careers.  We traded role models for celebrities. We traded solidarity for grievances.  We traded music for death rock and gangsta rap.  We traded wholesome entertainment for violent and pornographic movies, television, and videogames.  We traded a culture which had made us great for a self-indulgent counterculture designed to destroy.  We traded everything that was right and good and holy for everything that is wrong and evil and depraved.

See, the problem in America is not the occasional mass shooting.  That’s just a symptom, the most salient manifestation of a culture that has become entirely debauched.  We don’t treat each other humanely because we don’t see each other as humans, our selfish, sex and violence-obsessed culture having conditioned us to see others as nothing more than targets of, and obstacles to our own gratification.

I don’t like the idea of trading liberty for safety.  I don’t want to empower the government to regulate speech in the name of sanitizing the media, or to tap my phone, or read my email, or effect any other kind of warrantless searches in the name of keeping us safe.  And I don’t want to forfeit my right to own a gun.  I’m not advocating that we do any of that.  But if we don’t address our comprehensive cultural decay and do so now, and demonstrate that as a nation we will not abuse the freedoms that we have been given, then all of those liberties will be in jeopardy.  We saw an inkling of this impetus after 9-11.  We’ll see more of it soon.  Unless, that is, we begin to recognize where we went wrong and work to rebuild what we were once so eager to destroy.  And if we do that, we’ll not only preserve our liberties, we’ll solve a lot of other problems along the way.

Jordan Rickards

Jordan Rickards

Jordan Rickards, Esq. has been practicing law for over nine years, and has handled over two thousand cases in the fields of criminal, civil, municipal, and family law.


  1. An addendum I would add is that we as a country need to get serious in talking about mental illness. There is a distinct pattern in all of these horrible mass shootings, affluent, white, male, intelligent loners with a history of mental illness. But I do take a culturalist view of the problems behind these events. There is no shortage of evidence that the breakdown of the American family unit is a huge piece of the puzzle. I'm not talking about women not working, I'm talking about mothers and fathers taking the time to be home and have dinner with their kids most nights per week. I'm talking about parents instilling morality and values in their children. A culture that has erased God has nothing to hold it back from doing what it pleases, what results is a series of sick individuals seeking to out-due one another for who can commit the most heinous act.

  2. BLAME THE PARENTS. If you are having a child, and you are NOT willing to do the work involved with having a child, DON'T. These parents had to know early on their son had a problem. They are too concerned with the child having a stigma attached to him to get him the help he needs. Teachers are usually in the worst denial when it comes to their children. GO to the parent conferences, the Open Houses, the school functions. Listen to what the teachers say. IF THEY SAY YOUR CHILD NEEDS TO BE TESTED, do it. Don't get mad and walk out. ASK THE SCHOOL to have your child tested, if you cannot afford it. SCREEN your child's activities;if the video games look too violent to you, chances are your children shouldn't have them. If your child knows you are always there, and acting on their best interests, they will open up and talk. Obviously the gunman's family missed the gate on this. FINALLY, we need the atheists and nuts to shut up and allow God back in our schools. Things like this never happened in my day, and it was because parents were partners with the school in their education, and the children grew up with FAITH. Get the kids to church on their Sabbath, whenever it may be, and give them another support to lean on in their lives. We started every day with an Old Testament reading (in PUBLIC SCHOOL) and it was an honor to be asked to choose it. WHO DO WE HAVE TO THANK FOR TAKING PRAYER OUT OF SCHOOLS? "Madalyn Murray O'Hair (April 13, 1919 – September 29, 1995) was an American atheist activist. She was the founder of the organization American Atheists and served as its president from 1963 to 1986. One of her sons, Jon Garth Murray, was the president of the organization from 1986 to 1995, while she remained de facto president during these nine years. She is best known for the Murray v. Curlett lawsuit, which led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling ending official Bible-reading in American public schools in 1963. This came one year after the Supreme Court prohibited officially sponsored prayer in schools in Engel v. Vitale. O'Hair later founded American Atheists and became so controversial that in 1964 Life magazine referred to her as "the most hated woman in America".

    In 1995 she was kidnapped, murdered, and her body mutilated, along with her son Jon Murray and granddaughter Robin Murray O'Hair, by former American Atheist office manager David Roland Waters"

    Imagine if this woman had been stopped.

    • I also think Gov and his cronies should be taking care of business at home, not worrying about everyone else.

      I have sent this letter to the Governor's office, and for some reason he and his cronies aren't answering. What do you think? I have contacted Senators van Drew, Menendez, Pennacchio and Governor Christie. No-one will help me, respond to emails or calls. I am in serious financial straits, and the stress is not helping me in my quest to recover.

      "Congratulations on your efforts to crush disabled teachers who are forced to retire, have the doctors' letters and

      records to support their claim, and who have to be run through the corrupt wringer known as the TPAF (in cahoots with OAL and the IME agency of poorly qualified doctors, submitting fraudulent medical reports paid for by taxpayers) for almost 3 years. During this time, their health deteriorates and their family goes broke. Does this make you feel proud?

      I have TWO WC illnesses, one happening in 2005, and one pending in court from 2008. At the time when my doctors told me to retire I was diagnosed with an ulcer, was having severe, unchecked IBS-D and panic attacks on the job, and my immune system was so crushed I had pneumonia twice in one year. The TPAF has been ordered NOT to take calls, and do whatever necessary to keep a disabled teacher with 26 years experience from her rightful pension and much-needed benefits. In the past 16 months, I was diagnosed with a thyroid tumor and had surgery; waiting for my OAL appeal I had an emergency hysterectomy which took six hours and landed me in ICU with respiratory failure. As a result I was diagnosed with uterine carcinosarcoma. I HAVE A 50% chance of living 5 YEARS. Do you think I am ill enough for my pension NOW?? I have chemos that make me weak, sick, nauseous/diarrhea at the same time, and I cannot eat because everything tastes like poison. I am now waiting for my appointments for radiation oncologists, because if I am not properly given radiation I will wind up with permanent intestinal damage, perhaps with a colostomy bag, perhaps dead. I must keep my port for two years, because I might have more chemo; it must be flushed every 8 weeks. The nitwits at the TPAF and the senile judge Todd Miller from the OAL (he comes up for renewal in 2013, surprise) actually think I can STILL work as a teacher as ill as I am and will not give me my pension. You, sir, are a real humanitarian. Saving my paltry $34000/yr disability pension so all of those Christie cronies can have their big fat double dips totalling six digits. I am filing another appeal, and I think you should show you have a heart and are REALLY looking out for the people of NJ by helping me get my pension. Do you know that the TPAF has stooped so low that they have even said they couldn't give me my pension because I had a discipline action in my file–and I had to call the the Dept of the Treasury to get this slanderous lie righted? Do you alo know that TPAF granted my pension May 2011, sending me a check which I deposited and paid my bills (the entire check and transactions cleared) and they DARED to withdraw the money back ILLEGALLY weeks later and make all of my checks bounce and me get slapped with late fees? This action knocked my credit score down 100 points. I want my pension, NOW, retroactive back to July 1, 2010. I believe that you AND those who have turned this safety net that we paid into and should have for our rainy days into the porkbarrel politician slush fund should make things right, and ante up the pensions to the deserving, like myself."

      Hey, Save Jersey–why not get involved and find out why the Guv you love so much isn't doing the right thing by those who have paid into the state pension fund?

  3. "But in their seemingly reflexive opposition to even the most reasonable and common sense regulations, they [the NRA] fail to consider that maybe America as a whole is simply not capable of responsible gun ownership within the framework of the current regulatory scheme. Or perhaps I should say, “no longer capable.” — Jordan Rickards

    F_ck you for suggesting that this particular NRA member is "not capable of responsible gun ownership." Do you even think about the words you type before you write them?

    What "reasonable and common sense regulations" are we lacking here in America?

    I spent the four years after graduating from Howell High School in the United States Marine Corps. I was honorably discharged. I'm 47 now. I've never been arrested, much less convicted of a crime. I've never even received a parking ticket. I am married, a home owner, and the proud father of 4 well-adjusted children. In the years since my discharge, I must have spent dozens of hours in the classroom learning about gun safety and/or how to handle a particular (new) weapon. God knows I have spent thousands of hours on the gun range practicing shooting with various weapons.

    That said, why would you suggest for a minute that I, an American, am "simply not capable of responsible gun ownership within the framework of the current regulatory scheme?"

    Again, F_ck you for suggesting as much.

  4. Hey pal, stop hyperventilating and take two seconds to actually read the words I wrote. I didn't say NRA members were not responsible gun owners! I said the exact freaking opposite of that in the fourth paragraph! Read the post! Then I said "MAYBE America AS A WHOLE is simply not capable of responsible gun ownership," not "every single person in America is incapable of responsible gun ownership." You understand what "MAYBE AS A WHOLE" means, correct? It means "some people are capable of responsible gun ownership, but maybe the totality of the group is not." If I wanted to say no American is capable of responsible gun ownership, I would've said that.

    Good grief!

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