The Second Amendment and “Snowflake Syndrome”

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I’ve been somehow involved in education for about 13 years. At this point, I’m subbing – mostly at the local HS, sometimes at the local middle school where my education career started. I’ve a daughter in public school.


With all the school shootings, am I scared for myself, my daughter, and the students I’ve come to know? Yes.


I don’t espouse the idea that violent video games/movies, etc. are responsible; seems to me that this belittles the issue – like avoiding a cancer screening because the abdominal pain is “just indigestion.”


I do think that, like a stubborn virus or infection, the cause is a gnarled lattice of factors fit for Dr. House.


Submitted for your review, internet, I’ve identified two components that I believe to contribute to our troubled times –


  1. The second amendment/right to keep and bear arms –

Let me start by saying that the right itself is not the issue. The issue is the narrow-minded, no compromise mentality of its proponents


Does your right to keep and bear arms supersede my right to peace of mind from knowing that my daughter, her friends, students I’ve come to love in my own way, and my own person are safe as we go about our daily lives? Another way to say this might be my right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.


Listen, we don’t have an amendment that specifically says “The right to attend school without fear of being massacred by a confused guy with an assault rifle.” BUT, we do have one that “Protects rights not enumerated in the Constitution.” (amendment #9)


This is a gross oversimplification of that amendment, but we can no longer imply safety and security for ourselves individually in this once great nation (still waiting for you to “make it great again”, comrade president – dead school children and unchecked bigotry do not a great country make).


Anyway, as “The right to attend school without fear of being massacred by a confused guy with an assault rifle” is not “enumerated” and we’ve become perverted enough as a nation to think that the right to own a shiny piece of metal that makes lots of noise and puts holes in things is more important than the life of someone’s child, perhaps it’d be appropriate to “enumerate” this right or invoke the ninth?


Let me be clear – I’m not saying take away all guns. I’m simply saying that we need to have a more rigorous process for acquiring a gun and to prohibit the sale of assault rifles to civilians.


To accomplish that, we need to compromise.


HERE,  the blogger from Engineering, Parenthood, and a Solid Attempt at Adult Status

provides several compelling reasons why civilians don’t need automatic weapons.


Ok, I feel like I’m digressing. Shootings are merely one symptom of a much deeper problem. Getting back to the virus/infection analogy. There’s a school of thought that says that society functions like an organism. A dysfunction occurs when some part of that organism fails to perform properly and throws the whole system into chaos.


So, what social organ is dysfunctional? It would be tacky of me to raise this point and not offer my explanation, so here goes –




In my opinion, our country suffers from an affliction that I will call “snowflake syndrome.” We have become accustomed to praise and recognition of our achievements, no matter how small, we are surrounded by stuff we want but can’t afford and a social media juggernaut that has evolved beyond our control.


This paints a picture of a world of material success and social acceptance – for most Americans, is that the case? The individual has taken over. Instead of “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”, it’s “ask what my country can do for me, then sue for more”


Listen, internet – my education is in sociology. Indeed, in my case the old phrase “if your only tool is a hammer, every problem is a nail” rings true. When I hear of a mass shooting or other such atrocity, I instantly look for information about the suspect’s race, gender, socioeconomic background, affiliations, etc.


Such information can be compared to ingredients in a recipe – each of us is a dish made with slightly different ingredients and preparation instructions. Time in the oven could be family makeup, oven temperature could be schooling experience (public/private, and so on), an extra teaspoon of salt might be an abusive dad.

You will, as many have, say this is far too simple for a creature as complex as a human.

Such a “flavor” prediction is far from possible at this time precisely because of its complexity. Is it possible? Given rigorous application, yes I think so.


“But wait, I’m a special and unique snowflake!” cries the millennial. In a way, that is what the school shooters are saying with their actions. Gloominess and despair that was once reserved for suicide have become a license to commit atrocities in order to take center stage in a nation obsessed with being a unique individual.

We are not a nation of ~327 million people, we are a collection of ~327 million egos that happen to live on the same patch of earth.


Based on the demographic data from 2016 found HERE), that number includes a hair over 200 million white people. To each individual white person living in the US I say, you are not special.


Almost 60 million of that population is Hispanic or Latino. To each individual Hispanic or Latino person living in the US I say, you are not special.


African Americans are more than 42 million strong. To each individual African American living in the US I say, you are not special.


Even the American Indian/Alaska native population sports a shade over four million. While this certainly makes you more unique I still must say to each individual American Indian/Alaska native living in the US, you are not special.


I hear the refrain of a lonely white person in Hawaii “surely I am unique among all these copper-colored people!”  . To you I say “nay! You are but one white bird in a flock of 266,400!

“What of me? A female in the far flung land of Alaska.” To you I say “don’t despair madam! You share that frozen chunk of earth with 350,499 other members of that whimsical gender!”


It gets better, dear reader. Take heart, foreign-born male of two or more races located in Payne county, OK, seek and ye shall find 71 other souls in circumstances as unique as yours.


I could continue on like this – “I’m a white woman with red hair living in Waldo county, and I’m so frustrated that I can’t fit a whole hand into a Pringles can.” I don’t know if you will find other redheads living in Waldo county vexed by the same predicament. Believe it or don’t, a community over 900,000 strong shares your frustration. Find it HERE. You’re welcome.


Some of you are asking “where’s Waldo… county?” It’s in Maine. The county seat is the city of Belfast.


Moving on… if you’re like me, then you can’t abide standing idle watching your hot pocket spin as its bombarded with microwaves. That’s 90 seconds that you could’ve spent cleaning out your belly button or throwing away expired cans of pinto beans. Look no further than the Facebook group entitled “Accomplishing something before the microwave reaches :00” I tell you what, I’ve since joined this thriving (1 million +) association of go-getters, and I’m wracked with anticipation to learn the nuggets of wisdom that are surely waiting for me.


HERE is a short list of groups that cater to very particular interests. You can bet that if there is a group established for the sole purpose of spending Sunday mornings cleaning public toilets in Japan for the fun of it, you’ll find something out there that offers an opportunity for you to rub elbows with like-minded individuals who are as “unique” as you are.


It is my first instinct to apologize to anyone I’ve offended with my words here. However, the persons inclined to be offended by my message are the ones who most need to hear it. That said, let me offer some consolation – you are very, very special; as special as everyone else on this plot of earth with its imaginary borders and it’s constitutional government.


      1. I really enjoyed your post and highly agree! What ever happened to healthy competition? As a fellow TBI from a brain hemorage as well just wanted to help you prove there are more like ‘you’ of any group I’d they care to look. The ‘Snowflake’syndrome is running rampant. I’m glad my grandparents are not around to see these kids destroy so much of what they slaved to build in this world.

      2. You know, Jensperspectiveblog, I started to write a response, but it spiraled out of control and nearly became another post.
        Quite simply – I’ve come to the conclusion that race and socioeconomic status, etc. are only elements that figure into one’s point of view as shaped by one’s generation.
        Your statement “I’m glad my grandparents are not around to see these kids destroy so much of what they slaved to build in this world.” Lends itself to this concept.
        On the one hand, your grandparents would be upset that they’re works have been so vandalized. What’s more, they would be utterly dumbfounded by the worldview of this new generation. Millennials wouldn’t see it as vandalism, they’d see it as updating or upgrading…

        Not sure if I’m making sense, just asserting we have a very large gap between the modernist notion that, there’s a hard and fast line between right and wrong, and the postmodern, millennial notion that right and wrong are a starting point for negotiations.
        Thanks for reading and commenting!

      3. While I do not hold all the same ideals as the generations before me, I believe the social economic themes at play have given rise to the point of view most snowflakes exist today. The lack of morals, respect, dicipline ect… are derived from the give it to them they were raised to expect. They not only wish to be the center of attention, they believe they are owed the attention and more.

      4. Gosh, it’s hard to fathom somebody, let alone a whole generation of people, declaring “I’m the most special and deserve your praise!” But the way you say it, that they are owed this attention, smacks of truth. Talk about “have do be”. I don’t know if some of these people know that the successful YouTubers have worked their asses off for years to get so many followers – “be do have”. And I think this generation would argue, perhaps justifiably, that morality is an antiquated/obsolete concept. Given the zeal and temerity to shrug off morality, respect and discipline, naturally, are next on the chopping block

  1. Hi Jason,
    I’m British, and really do feel for you guys , suffering this phenomenon of mass shootings in schools. It must be terrifying for you sending your kids to school and college every day, wondering if you or yours will be next. ( much like terrorism).
    Of course, this type of terrible thing can happen anywhere, and it does, but there seems to be a recurrence in the US.
    I just wonder why you say very clearly “I’m not saying take away all guns.”
    I would certainly say “take away all the guns” if I thought it reduced the risk of my daughter being murdered by a class-mate, who, for whatever tragic circumstances they were brought up in, decided to murder my child.
    Why not “take away all the guns”?
    Why not?
    Regards, and good luck…

    1. Hi, Marie,
      Firstly, thank you for your comment and then, thank you for your question. Take away all guns? What a novel concept! Even as a non arm bearing American, it is so ingrained in me that guns are almost a requirement that I’ve never considered the idea of no guns at all.
      The whole idea is that we’d be able to arm ourselves against tyrannical government. I thought that was a bunch of baloney until Trump got elected. Now I’m fully prepared to admit that government can exist only to serve itself. The real shit of it is the ones with all the guns are on Trump’s side BECAUSE he is so pro gun.
      Gosh, I’ve talked myself into a sad place. I’m tellin ya, Marie, it boggles the mind how heartless people can be

  2. The right to be safe in schools, or anywhere for that matter, and have peace of mind is similar to the whole anti-smoking campaign in restaurants and near buildings. I as a non-smoker have the right to breathe clean air and not have to sit next to someone smoking. The same is true with guns. I have a right to send my child to school, go to the movies, walk on a campus without fear of getting shot because people have access to military style weapons. The only use for an AR15 is mass killing. It is not a tool for hunting, and really, for the average citizen what possible need would one have for a weapon used to quickly kill many?

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! As regards the sale of AR 15s to plain folk – I blame that more on commercialism than lust for firearms. The slogan for the US no longer needs to be “e pluribus unum” or “home of the brave” or the like. The slogan of America should be and, as far as I’m concerned, is (unofficially) – “…because we can…” You see, in Murica, you don’t have to have a good reason to do anything – “I want to”, or “it looks fun” or even “I was bored” are sufficient reasons.
      I imagine the discussion to sell the AR-15 went something like this –
      Rufus (blue flaming young accountant at GunCo): “Mr. Chalmers, I was looking at the numbers, at my current salary I won’t be able to afford an S class, I might have to settle for a BMW 3 series or, God help me, a Cadillac.” *gently weeps*
      Chalmers (GunCo CEO) *wraps fat arm Rufus* “There, there. Mr. Chalmers won’t let his favorite accountant drive a domestic beater. Tell Chalmers what he can do to help.
      Rufus *tear filled eyes looking up hopefully*: “We have to sell more guns fast”
      Chalmers: “How do you suppose we do that? The handgun and the rifle have been around for a long time. I’m not sure how we can get people running to the gun store to buy more.”
      Rufus *face bright with new idea*; “That’s it, Mr. Chalmers! The people have handguns and they have hunting rifles, what about the sportsman who comes across a field teeming with deer, ducks and other such game?
      Chalmers; “…”
      Rufus: “We can sell assault rifles!”
      Chalmers “I don’t know…”
      Rufus: “Oh, c’mon Chalmers! This is Murica. If you can’t buy an automatic weapon in the US, where can you?”
      Chalmers *calls down to the factory*: “Hey, Siegfried, I want the machines producing AR-15 parts at capacity by this afternoon.”
      Siegfried *puzzled*: “Why?”
      Chalmers: “Why? Why not? This is Murica dammit!”

      Rufus got his S class, and the wet dreams of rednecks and militants across the country came true.

  3. The anti AR 15 argument is similar to the anti-smoking campaign in that I have a right to go to a restaurant, walk outside a building and board an aircraft without breathing in someone else’s smoke. Their right to smoke does not override my right to breathe clean air. I find the same true in the gun debate. One’s right to bear arms does not supercede my right to peace of mind, school safety, and public safety. This is a public health crisis.

    1. Interesting observation. I always thought that “snowflakeism” was something only pertaining to the latest generations. However, I was recently talking to my father, who complained that he has to be the only one in his particular situation. I pointed out an example of the same situation just a street away from his house.

      1. I was in a similar funk and finally said I’m not going to be passive. I joined a local club of democrats and I’m joining the effort to unseat Ted Cruz from the Senate in Texas.
        I was reading The Power of Myth today and came across this – “Have an attitude not to withdraw from the world when you realize how horrible it is, but you realize that this horror is simply the foreground of a wonder and come back and participate in it.”

      2. Floatinggold – I think the thing that turned it for me was thinking about all the people just like that – the ones like you and me who feel hopeless – if HALF of these people would decide to take action, the world would be a much different place. Be the half that DOES, not the half that doesn’t

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