And so you have this young man who started having delusions that Taylor Swift was stalking him through his Netflix in 2014…by 2017 he was apprehended in front of the White House trying to cross the security barrier…as the secret service confronted him, he declared that he was a “sovereign citizen”and needed to speak to the president.
After the White House incident, Travis Reinking has his guns confiscated and his license revoked. But that was all.
And then Reinking’s dad helpfully gave Travis back all his weapons. Because I guess he couldn’t let his son go unprotected when that jezebel Swift was still on the loose.
Recently Reinking burst into a Tennessee Waffle House, buck-ass naked except for a green jacket, and blew away 4 people using an AR-15…an AR-15, that automatic weapon du jour that everybody has been talking about non-stop since the Parkland school shooting on February 14 (Valentine’s Day).
Reinking bears a striking resemblance to the shooter in the Parkland case, Nikolas Cruz. I’m not talking about the obvious demographic similarities, but just in the eyes, the facial expression…just the general “vibe.” Both had this…”hesitant” look to them, a “halting” look, trying to appear jovial and “normal” in photos but with eyes racing a mile-a-minute. And you could say this about so many of these mass shooters, going all the way back to James Holmes.
But strangely, it’s not quite the same as the young Columbine perps, an event almost two decades old at this point. No, the Columbine situation had more of a creepy “transformation” if you will, more of an old-school “they seemed like normal boys and suddenly went fucking crazy.”
When you get a Xerox of a Xerox of a Xerox—a copycat of a copycat of a copycat—you are bound to get these “fuzzier” images.
I just read an article in The Daily Beast today (perhaps my first mistake of the morning) advocating for a return of the military draft to “deal” with this crop of apparently homicidal young men:
The evidence is all around us, in plain view. Since 9/11, fueled by fear over terrorism and the blurred line between civilians at home and soldiers at war, we have seen an explosion of martial worship. Hipsters today wear beards that look a lot like those that seen on special force members returning from Afghanistan in the 2000’s. Tactical backpacks with Molle gear have become the norm for a simple hike on a Saturday afternoon. Tactical firearms are hot sellers, not because veterans are buying them after returning home from the battlefield, though some do, but because a generation of men who, instead of enlisting after 9/11, stayed home and allowed others to fight in their stead wants them. They want them to go to the range and shoot steel, and feel a sense of manliness they associate with the imagery and the weapons of war. The top selling video game in 2017, Call of Duty, allows young men to fantasize about glorious deeds in battle, with no exposure to actual danger.
And so I guess…the solution here is to purposely put the young men in actual danger? Uh…OK.
And there is also an article on the DailyBeast front-page about how the Army is so desperate for recruits, they are turning the prison system or fresh blood. And so the (coordinated?) editorial message is clear: we need to get these kids into the military, stat! That’s how we’re gonna solve EVERYTHING!!!
If we are a society so advanced that we are developing fucking self-aware 3D-printed AI-squids for use in combat and surveillance (and that’s a whole other topic for another day)…if we can shoot a Tesla roadster into space to the sounds of David Bowie…if we can develop social media apps that are coming close to reading our own damn minds…
If we can do all this—but our only fucking solution is military draft to this problem of these aimless, sometimes-troubled, sometimes-possessing-autistic-spectrum-issues, sometimes heavily medicated growing mass of often unemployed young men with little-to-no-sense of Self and little-to-no-sense of positive masculinity —then we should really fucking pack it in.
And one of the things I’ve always believed is that the idea of reinstating a draft in the United States, as a way to deal with domestic unrest, is certainly a possibility. It’s the “easy” solution, isn’t it? It almost feels like we’re being driven to that conclusion anyway.
I had been studying these mass shooters and their motives since the Aurora theater tragedy in 2012. I often drew parallels with the pop-culture of the time, that either seemed “predictive” of these incidents or perhaps even “inciting,” in some way.
One of the reasons I stopped my research was because by 2014, these incidents were becoming very commonplace, with an increasing apathy/low attention-span on the part of the public. And also because…by that time, the “MK-Ultra patsy killer” theory (which to me, at least in a few cases, seemed at least plausible) was being replaced by the “it never happened false-flag/crisis-actor” theory.
A couple years ago, I was part of a “roundtable” at my job on current issues with some weird hipster politically-connected dude (I think for the Democrats; it was a weird fucking time in my life). And so we were asked to talk about what social/political issues we thought were the most important right now.
And I spoke about these growing #s of disaffected young men, and the need to study this situation and provide more opportunities for them. To work on employment programs, to do research on how to give them a better sense-of-self, a better sense of positive masculinity, get them excited about positive things (like possibly space exploration technology)…to just sort of recognize that while there was a definite need to have programs specifically for young females on a range of issues (like STEM for employment in technological fields), we kinda sorta at this point needed that for these young men as well.
And that, further, if we did not create these programs, if we did not consider this an issue that needs to be immediately addressed in a humane way…there were plenty of entities out there (foreign and domestic) in the world happy to cultivate these fellows for any # of nefarious reasons.
Of course I lost this hipster political dude with his man-bun at the idea that we needed to “help” these young men in any way. Because why?
Because they were the perfect group to continually “blame” for fucking everything.
And it’s not like all of these young men are saints, and haven’t done fucked-up shit. But there is a bigger context of problems and issues going on here. But nobody wants to hear that.
I’m all for some degree of gun-control, but that’s not going to “solve” the present larger situation. Some gun-control advocates don’t even want to talk about mental illness or violence in media or any shit like that because they feel it “waters down” their point.
So…I don’t know what to say, here. I’ve probably said enough, too much.