Pointing the finger in response to pointing a gun - Thoughts on Sandy Hook Shooting

The United States may not be alone in adopting a 'shift the blame' mentality when horrific crimes occur but we certainly have perfected it into a fine art.

You were raped. What were you wearing?!?

Your husband beat you. What did you say to him?!?

You were shot dead in your kindergarten class? Too bad your teacher didn't have a Glock hidden behind the apples on her desk... or behind the bible she should have been teaching from.

Listen to the chattering class and the ready availability of guns and the coarse nature of our society can't ever be the answer. So what do we have today, the pundits oh-so-earnestly ask, that we didn't have a generation ago when everyone was so peace loving and polite?

Violent video games, of course!

This misguided mentality harkens back to the 1950s when the term "juvenile delinquent" came into vogue to describe rowdy young people with fast cars, slicked back hair and switchblade knives. Why, oh why, are our teens turning to violent behavior, they asked?

There could only be one answer... comic books!

You may think I'm joking, or even exaggerating, but no... horror comics were considered so dangerous there were televised Senate hearings on the four color scourge in 1954. EC Comics, who went on to publish MAD magazine, was singled out as the worst offender - ignoring the fact that the EC comic books were well written and illustrated by the finest talents ever to work in the industry.

When the cover of Crime Suspense Stories #22 was entered into evidence at the Senate Subcommittee Hearings into Juvenile Delinquency this was the heated exchange between Senator Kefauver and EC Comics publisher William Gaines:

Senator Kefauver: Here is your May 22 issue. This seems to be a man with a bloody ax holding a woman's head up which has been severed from her body. Do you think that is in good taste?

Mr. Gaines: Yes, sir; I do, for the cover of a horror comic. A cover in bad taste, for example, might be defined as holding the head a little higher so that the neck could be seen dripping blood from it and moving the body over a little further so that the neck of the body could be seen to be bloody.

Mr. Beaser: Is there any limit you can think of that you would not put in a magazine because you thought a child should not see or read about it?

Mr. Gaines: My only limits are the bounds of good taste, what I consider good taste.

Sen. Kefauver [alluding to the cover illustration for Crime SuspenStories #22]: This seems to be a man with a bloody ax holding a woman's head up which has been severed from her body. Do you think that is in good taste?

Mr. Gaines: Yes, sir, I do, for the cover of a horror comic....

Senator Kefauver: This is the July one (Crime Suspense #23). It seems to be a man with a woman in a boat and he is choking her to death here with a crowbar. Is that in good taste?

Mr. Gaines: I think so.

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After those hearings, and the publication of a best-selling polemic 'Seduction of the Innocent' by Dr. Fredric Wertham, the industry adopted the Comics Code Authority to police the industry, making sure there was no hint of blood, gore, vampires, werewolves or criminals that did not go unpunished.

Yet, somehow, violent crime continued to rise. As the 1960s unfolded it was television that became the scapegoat du jour, shows like 'Gunsmoke' and 'Batman' were encouraging our youth to act out violently. To address these complaints, in the late-1960s steps were undertaken by the networks to curb violence in their primetime and Saturday morning shows. It got so ridiculous that a superhero couldn't punch a evil-doer in the cartoons, they could only be gently nudged into submission.

In the 1980s the relentless rhythm of Punk Rock and cop killer lyrics in Rap music was to blame for wanton youth violence, so they slapped warning labels on the CDs.

Despite those measures we are still confronted with acts today so horrific in nature they are almost inconceivable in their depravity. And the circular firing squad continues unabated, anything to avoid addressing the real issue.

A nutter on an airliner tries to detonate a bomb in his shoe? Everyone has to remove their shoes at the airport.

A Terrorist tries to ignite his underwear in mid-flight? We need to see all the way down to your private parts before boarding.

A psycho guns down 26 people in an elementary school? Look at those violent video games over there!

Denial, as they joked in the 1990s, isn't just a river in Egypt. No, it's a river that runs deep into the American Psyche.

Come for my guns... but you'll have to pry the Wii console from my cold dead hands!

About the Author

Billy Ingram launched TVParty Website in 1997 and it quickly became one of the internet’s hottest spots for entertainment and information, attracting millions of users a month, the first to broadcast clips of TV shows online. In 2002 he released the best-selling book 'TVparty: Television’s Untold Tales', he also wrote and starred in VH1's 'Super Secret TV Formulas', and two series for Bravo, '100 Great Things About The Holidays' and 'The Christmas Special Christmas Special'. He produced Beyond Our Wildest Dreams in 2011, an oral history of Las Vegas in the 1970s. His latest book is a memoir of LA's early 1980's underground music scene, 'Punk'. Billy Ingram starred in the indie motion picture 'Swimming in a Lake of Fire'.


Fringe Reception

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KUDOS, Billy Ingram! :thumb:

Here is a lengthy FIVE STAR article that offers the facts about what are currently considered to be "assault weapons" and everyone should read it to its end.

Why Not Renew the “Assault Weapons” Ban? Well, I’ll Tell You…

From the article:

"It’s not easy being a leftist who loves guns. It’s like being a Republican who listens to NPR or supports single payer health care." ...

Why Not Renew the “Assault Weapons” Ban? Well, I’ll Tell You… « Kontradictions

For kicks and giggles, I offer a photo of my most recent weapon purchase and its a real bad boy:

It is scary looking and has about 840 mph mussile velocity (at sea level) meaning faster than the speed of sound so the shot arrives before the 'bang'. A real bad boy.

(Psst ... for outraged viewers, it's actually a .177 caliber BB gun one size smaller than the dreadful "assault weapons" that some members of Congress want to ban.)
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