Well, at least no one is calling for my “head on a stick” — but that’s probably because Prof. Erik Loomis of the University of Rhode Island is about the only person or entity that hasn’t denounced me for pointing out in NRO’s Sandy Hook symposium that the school could have used a few male teachers on the premises who might have tackled down the runtish Adam Lanza before he did the worst of his damage. It’s no small thing, of course, to stop a gunman, whatever his size, but there might have been more of a chance with a few men on hand. I asserted that the “feminized setting” that prevails at elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel creates a culture of “helpless passivity” that puts women and small children at risk when a psychopath like Lanza decides to blow out the doors.
I’ve been reviled by the Holy Trinity of online liberal journalism: David Weigel (Slate), Alex Pareene (Salon), and Jessica Valenti (The Nation). Also: Daily Kos, Media Matters, and Mediaite, just to name a few spleen outlets (you can Google my name plus “Sandy Hook” to see the links to dozens of others). At Esquire’s Politics blog, Charles Pierce gave me the McArdle Award, named after the Daily Beast’s Megan McArdle for suggesting that gang-rushing the shooter would work better than gun bans to avert mass murders or minimize their deadly damage. (Since I wholeheartedly agree with McArdle — and I suggested that very tactic in my NRO symposium piece–I’m honored to accept the award.) One of Pierce’s commenters wrote that someone ought to “beat the stupid” out of me. Remarks like that are the way that liberal guys demonstrate that they, too, possess testicles.
Finally, even Jonah Goldberg right here at NRO accused me of “blaming the victim.” Et tu, Jonah! I can’t take most of the criticisms seriously, but I will respond to Jonah: No, I was not blaming any of the 26 victims or the parents who enrolled their kids at Sandy Hook. I am, however, blaming our culture that denies, dismisses, and denigrates the masculine traits—including size, strength, male aggression and a male facility for strategic thinking–that until recently have been viewed as essential for building a society and protecting its weaker members. We now have Hanna Rosin at Slate urging parents to buy their little boys Easy Bake ovens so they’ll be more like little girls. Women are less aggressive by instinct, and they are typically trained to be nice. I praised and continue to praise the courage of the Sandy Hook principal, Dawn Hochsburg, and the teachers who gave up their lives along with her, but with some men on the scene who knew what to do, some of those lives might have been saved.
I am also responding to David Weigel, who told me I gotten my facts wrong: that there are actually two men, a custodian and a fourth-grade teacher, on Sandy Hook’s 52-person staff. He’s right, and I stand corrected. This does help prove my point, though: just two adult men in a building containing 500 people — and it’s not clear that both of them were at work that day. Indeed, a visit to Sandy Hook’s staff website is a depressing experience, the sea of women’s names. Why aren’t there more men? Perhaps not enough want the job? But why? Because they are tacitly discouraged from careers in elementary education? It’s certainly not the money, because union rules typically require kindergarten teachers and high-school chemistry teachers to be paid on exactly the same salary scale. Another depressing page on the Sandy Hook website is the “Safe Schools Climate” page. It’s a page of links to “anti-bullying” resources. Yes, the Sandy Hook staff’s idea of a “safe school” was a school where kids didn’t say mean things about each other on Facebook! The Sandy Hook massacre was a tragedy, but it was at least in part a tragedy of the collision between feminist delusions and reality.