Like Clockwork, Striking Invisible Branches

Devin Kelley murdered 26 innocent people yesterday (November 5th) as they sat in church peacefully worshipping their god. It has since been revealed that he was charged with the assault of his wife and stepson, an infant whose skull he cracked, in 2012.

Like clockwork, gun control advocates are out in full force. As is their wont, they are blaming the relatively strong gun culture in America for any and all crimes committed with a gun, including this one. Superficially, they believe that reducing access to guns will decrease crime. They are wrong.

Digging deeper, they believe that drastically reducing the number of guns found on the planet will further decrease crime. In other words, they will not be satisfied with more controls on guns, but only with the physical destruction of guns owned by private citizens. And who will collect and destroy these guns? Who else, people with guns. *Laughing out loud at the hypocrisy.*

But they are striking an invisible branch. The gun culture in America is not an issue. What is the issue? Both the current mass murder and previous assaults were committed by a very broken person. There’s only two explanations for that: he was born broke, or he was made broke by his environment.

I don’t know if he’s a diagnosed psychopath, but either way his actions probably follow strong feelings of anger and resentment, most likely having their source in trauma. He’s been described by friends as a once very happy and likeable person, but more recently very dark. Something happened to him either as a child or as an adult to inspire his feelings, and thus his actions. What was it?

That’s where we should be looking in these cases. What breaks a person enough that they want to commit these atrocities? Gun control has nothing to do with it. Broken people have found many different means to accomplish their end of hurting other people. It’s difficult to think this way, but Devin Kelley was probably not born evil. He was made evil, and the only way to do that, in my opinion, is through trauma.

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Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.

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