It took Albert Einstein eight years to arrive at his theory of relativity. That theory brought him everlasting fame. It is doubtful that Salvador Ramos ever heard of Albert Einstein or the theory of relativity. However, he obtained the same goal as Einstein, but he did it in a matter of hours. That is the time it took him to purchase a gun, murder his grandmother, invade an elementary school and slaughter a bunch of innocents.
Andy Warhol is falsely credited with the observation:
Here’s a pop quiz. Just what have the Kardashians ever done to merit their fame?
The current culture rewards the famous. The term infamous is no longer in the lexicon. One is either famous or not. Ramos was not famous. He had no prospects for fame. Chances are the achievement of being a talented worker, valued citizen and good father and provider were far beyond his abilities. But there was a way out of the obscurity. The Kardashians pointed the way, act in an outrageous fashion and the media will beat a path to one’s door.
Richard Wright created a character in NATIVE SON named Bigger Thomas. Wright characterized Bigger as a “bad nigger.” Sixty years later “bad nigger” has crossed racial lines. Black, white, Latino or other, all it takes is violence to achieve the dubious distinction. Hollywood, sports, music and popular media all hold the outlaw image as a notable achievement. Mass murder as a theater.
Banning guns or imposing more gun laws is not a solution. I don’t hold out much hope for mental health intervention. Afterall, mental health professionals are unable to differentiate between male and female. I suspect that the solution is more holistic, an intact home with strong parental figures, community structure that describes and holds to acceptable forms of behavior. Part of the problem is the celebration of diversity, when it is taken too far. There are limits between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. An individual who loudly proclaims that they have just rubbed, “shit in the hair!” Needs a shampoo, not congratulations for being creative.