Mourners honored the 26 victims of the Newtown Shootings. In an article that's an insult to pretty much everyone affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, last week, author Charlotte Allen writes that the mass shooting might have been prevented if there hadn't been so many women at the school.
Related: What Led to the Newtown Shootings?
Published Wednesday in the National Review, the conservative anti-feminist author points out (incorrectly) that "There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred" and theorizes (also incorrectly) that "a sizable number" of the students at the K-4 school "were undoubtedly 11- and 12-year-old boys" who would have been able to take down the shooter if they hadn't been sissified by the school's entirely female staff.
Related: Sister of Slain Sand Hook School Teacher Speaks Out
"In general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm," she writes. "Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak, but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel."
While she acknowledges that the school's principal, Dawn Hochsprug, was killed while trying to stop the shooter, and concedes that "some of the teachers managed to save all or some of their charges by rushing them into closets or bathrooms," she ignores the sacrifices made by the teachers who died and goes on to say that if a few good strong men had been working there, the ladies and kids would have been A-OK.
"Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza," she writes.
Which is where we couldn't help but stop and ask, "WTF? ARE YOU SERIOUS?"
Dear Charlotte Allen: You would send unarmed 12-year-old boys to confront a mentally unstable adult carrying multiple high-powered, loaded, semiautomatic weapons and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of rounds of ammunition? Also: How many burly ex-football players do you really think teach Kindergarten, just in general?
Thankfully, Allen does not address the gun issue. Instead, she goes in for a round of "blame the victims," faulting the terrified 6- and 7-year-olds who died for not running from or at least throwing things at the gunman, or maybe trying to tackle the deranged stranger when he burst into their classrooms and started shooting. She concludes by blaming -- of course -- his mother, whom the killer shot four times in the head before taking her (legally owned and licensed) guns and heading over to the school.
"Parents of sick children need to be realistic about them," she admonishes, adding that she knows at least two sets of "fine and devoted parents who have had the misfortune to raise sons who were troubled," but they didn't go and kill anyone, now did they?
"You have to set boundaries," she advises, polishing her non-existent mental illness credibility. "You have to say, 'You can't live here anymore - you're an adult, and it's time for you to be a man. We'll give you all the support you need, but we won't be enablers.' Unfortunately, the idea of being an "adult" and a "man" once one has reached physical maturity seems to have faded out of our coddling culture."
Dear Charlotte Allen: This is a gut-wrenching tragedy. It is not about political parties. It is not about parenting. It is not about feminism.
The rest of the country and people all around the world are honoring the heroes and mourning the dead, searching for comfort and trying to help the survivors heal. And you dismiss them all, disrespect them all, and suggest that maybe the 6- and 7-year-old victims should have bum-rushed their attacker, that maybe if these helpless women had had a good man around this wouldn't have happened?
As we said before: WTF?
There are many failings to point out when trying to understand how this mass shooting could have happened. Too many guns. Too few guns. Lax enforcement of gun laws. Mental illness. A lack of support. A need for religion. The media. A culture of violence. But women? No. Women -- the ones who saved lives, the ones who lost their lives -- didn't cause this to happen.