Weekly Feminist Reader: Newtown Shooting Edition

names of the sandy hook shooting victims

Rest in peace.

The bravery of these teachers who risked–and lost–their lives protecting their students is astounding.

An open letter to the media from a woman who was traumatized by overzealous reporters when she was 14.

“The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily.”

Check out Mother Jones’ mass shooting guide.

Nicholas Kristof: “Why can’t we regulate guns as seriously as we do cars?”

Chauncey DeVega: “Once more the luxury of being white in the United States is the freedom to have your violent deeds be a reflection of a personal failing, as opposed to a cultural or racial one.”

I am Adam Lanza’s mother. And counterpoint: You are not Adam Lanza’s mother.

“The people who fight and lobby and legislate to make guns regularly available are complicit in the murder of those children.”

Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States.

Aaron Bady: “Gun control is a kind of utopianism, the idea that if we got rid of the objects themselves, the desire for them, the need for them, and the culture that is built around them and makes them necessary, that all of that would go away.”

Advice for how to talk to kids about tragedy from Mr. Rogers.

Three common-sense gun laws that can’t seem to get passed in Congress. But could the politics of gun control finally be changing?

A reminder that mentally ill people are not more likely to be violent than any other group. Some more facts and resources from s.e. smith. Plus, any speculation on Lanza’s mental health is pure speculation at this point, but there’s no link between Asperger’s and violence.

William Hamby: “I think it’s important to at least entertain the idea that strongly conservative religious communities which indoctrinate young white men into male superiority are breeding grounds for these kinds of criminals.”

We don’t really have any idea if this applies in Lanza’s case but certainly true in general: Men’s social isolation is more accepted than women’s.

Senator Dianne Feinstein says she’ll introduce legislation to ban assault weapons at the start of the next Congress.

Holy shit: Twice as many preschoolers are killed by guns as police officers killed in line of duty.

So many tears.

Add your links on the Newtown tragedy, as well as anything else you’ve been reading/writing/watching/learning this week.

Atlanta, GA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/inquisitivebibliophile/ Inquisitive Bibliophile

    Ugh. I can’t even formulate a coherent response–just wanted to say thanks for pulling all of this information together.

  • http://feministing.com/members/pomosapien/ AJ

    For a little perspective, some might want to check out the blog of Liza Long, the woman who wrote the now viral “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother.” The below URL is to a brief criticism and several of her more alarming excerpts, but links to the blog itself as well. In short… this woman has a lot of violent fantasies about all of her children, including (repeatedly) of murdering them, incarcerating them or surrendering them to the state. She considers herself horribly and continuously victimized by her children (usually because they don’t clean their rooms, sing silly songs, cry when they drop food, shoot rubber bands, etc.) and is particularly vindictive about the “mentally ill” son, but more often because he does things like support Obama (she herself expresses an undying love of Ronald Reagan — irony much?) and save the boxes to all his Apple products. In the context of all this, “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother” reads much more like a pathetic attempt to grab attention and pity while cruelly dehumanizing her disabled son out of spite (though personally I thought it sounded that way before I even looked into her.)


  • http://feministing.com/members/frolicnaked/ Tori

    A few posts of mine that are unrelated to the murders. I’m not ready to go there even with my private words, let alone with my public ones.

    #stopbiggestloser, still a fairly serious post, looking at The Biggest Loser’s plan to include teens next season and Golda Poretsky’s campaign to ask them to stop.

    For anyone looking for something lighthearted, Why I Hate Christmas Music on the Radio. In which I am a penguin.

  • http://feministing.com/members/andejoh/ John

    “Once more the luxury of being white in the United States is the freedom to have your violent deeds be a reflection of a personal failing, as opposed to a cultural or racial one.”

    I disagree, having personal responsibility absolved and placed on culture or race is the privilege. Someone once asked the question if men can’t resist the urge to rape, can any man be guilty of rape? You might argue that it’s a privilege because white men are still allowed to have guns (no ethnic group or gender is denied them), but the guns belonged to his mom. I’m not sure how much criticism she received and if she received some, that could be seen as white male privilege.

    There are multiple murders / shootings committed by minorities and even women, but people see a reason or a purpose (not a justification) in those killings. A mother kills her children and herself because she lost her food stamps. A drug deal went bad so a half dozen people are dead. People don’t bat an eye because they understand this. It’s the same reason why women don’t believe rape victims. It’s the belief that it won’t happen to me if I just don’t get drunk, or flirt, or wear a short skirt. I won’t get killed as long as I don’t do drugs, go out at night, or hang out with the wrong crowd. Talking about mental illness (could be curable) or even terrorism (war could be winnable) is a way for people to understand what happened and think that it could be prevented. People aren’t good with the idea that some folks are just evil and bad things can just happen to them.

    White privilege (and Asian too) is being able to drive a sports car and not have people think you’re a drug dealer. I don’t see how either the individual or white men as a group are privileged in this matter.

  • http://feministing.com/members/andejoh/ John

    When it comes to serial killers, there may be an element of white privilege involved. I’ve heard it suggested that it is more difficult for a minority to become a serial killer because people of color are more often and closely scrutinized by the law so it is more likely they’ll be caught earlier. When it comes to those mass killings, white privilege could be a factor.

  • http://feministing.com/members/cfrost1/ corey

    I’m disappointed that nobody–not even feministing–is talking about the role that masculinity plays in these shootings. The perpetrators are almost always men, yet nobody (certainly not the mass media) is asking why it is men that always commit such horrific acts of violence. Feminist author and educator Jackson Katz is an exception and has written about masculinity and violence, particularly with regards to these shootings. Here are some links:
    Katz & Jhally article
    Katz speech on VA Tech

    • http://feministing.com/members/inquisitivebibliophile/ Inquisitive Bibliophile

      The piece listed by Chauncey DeVega does touch on white masculinity:

      “As I wrote about in regards to James Holmes, the Batman movie killer, there will be no soul searching about why white men are committing these violent acts. In the present, mass shootings have been almost the exclusive province of white men.

      One would think someone in the mass media (or who studies gun violence and public health) would find that a mighty curious fact and want to delve deeper into the relationship(s) between whiteness, masculinity, and gun violence.”