October 3, 2006

"Parents refused to fly in planes... in keeping with Amish tradition... "

"... and had to be driven to see their children at hospitals..."

30 comments:

David said...

What a dichotomy! The Amish, representing morality, ethics, and disciplined behavior suffering at the hands of gun collecting nutcase who carries a grudge!

The recent attacks on authority at schools is symptomatic of a society with a deteriorating moral compass. As a society we are sacrificing our collective soul for the feel-good policies of secularism.

This is exactly why the founding fathers included GOD in our defining documents!

Too Many Jims said...

"This is exactly why the founding fathers included GOD in our defining documents!"

Well except for the Constitution.

Dave said...

"The recent attacks on authority at schools is symptomatic of a society with a deteriorating moral compass. As a society we are sacrificing our collective soul for the feel-good policies of secularism."

Huh?

Thousands of schools in the US and five or six are hit with gunshots? That's a trend? What statistics class did you take? Innumerate University? Imputing societal trends on the basis of a vanishingly small number of cases is typical of the epidemiologically illiterate.

MadisonMan said...

Well except for the Constitution.

Maybe david meant cash? It says God there!

reader_iam said...

David: What on earth are you going on about?

You get my personal "non sequitur of the week (longer?)" award.

Goesh said...

It's hard to understand - I would want to get to one of my children as fast as I possibly could. Hitch the mules, Sarah! Sally's been shot in the head, we got 140 hard miles to drive! Sheesh! They can live like Festus if they want...

reader_iam said...

Interesting about the driving. There was a time when they might very well have insisted on going by buggy.

Frankly--and I know the routes one would take very, very well to both Christiana and Children's hospitals, having driven them before--that would be taking one's life in one's hands, these days, even before you get to the time required.

What a terrible story this; I mean, of course all school shootings are. But I would be dishonest if I didn't say that it strikes me as (irrationaly, I suppose) worse because of the nature of the community and school (and perhaps because I'm so familiar with it and the area).

This quote, from a Lancaster Online article sort of captures it:

“There is no place more helpless than an Amish schoolhouse. They were defenseless.”

That was also the sentiment of a journalist friend of my mine who works in that area. He seemed extra-shaken by this one, and he's been the business for years.

I would have been, too.

reader_iam said...

Goesh: Had to be driven meant "in cars," in this case.

Perhaps I was wrong, but I was thinking that Ann was also partly referring to the irony of refusing planes but agreeing to car rides?

Ann Althouse said...

Iam: I'm not making fun of them. I think it's very sad. They have their reasons for drawing the lines where they do. They can accept cars in a certain kind of emergency but never planes. They want to get to their children and they need to hurry but there are some lines they won't cross. Staying true to your religion in the face of death is especially important, and to be torn like this is poignant.

Goesh said...

Flog them mules, Sarah! We got to beat the maggots! People who do not adapt go extinct. Life is motion and accleration of motion, so let them be judged by their God for the delay in not providing comfort to a suffering child. Amidst the pain and tubes surrounded by 'English' does she await the braying of mules or does she wait only for the appearance of comforting faces at her bedside?

reader_iam said...

Oh, I didn't think you were making fun of them for even a second, Ann. Not a second. Rather, I thought you were implying pretty much exactly what you just said explicitly. Wasn't sure exactly how it was being taken generally, is all.

In this case, I meant "irony" in the "straight" sense--not so much the way it tends to be used now. Sloppy of me not to think about that.

reader_iam said...

Goesh: Well. And of course YOUR beliefs and theories of life MUST be the correct ones.

Speaking of irony.

Dave said...

"People who do not adapt go extinct."

Ah, that must be why all the Caliphate loving Islamofascists have disappeared. Because they refused to adapt!

bearing said...

Maybe they were simply afraid to fly, not having done it before.

Lots of people are. I find this understandable.

David said...

Basic psychology would indicate that an attack on a deeply religious group of innocents is an attack on the ultimate Father figure, GOD. Attacks on schools is a manifestation of the same psychosis-attack on authority.

It is arguable that the severe push to downplay the role of religion in American life is having deleterious effects on the morality of our country.

The week among us are cast adrift in an environment of selfishness that exploits the innocents among us. The outward manifestations in dealing with these crimes is Megan's Law, mandatory sentences for child molesters, the fight against the precepts of NAMBLA, and pretty much anything the ACLU supports.

Many people do not follow laws because of a sheer love for civility and justice. They follow laws because they are afraid of the Policeman's nightstick. Take away the fear of eternal damnation for one's actions and the barriers for civilized behavior crumble.

It is naive to believe that the attacks on children in the U.S. are not a consequence of cultural rot. Whether they be a gunnut killing young girls, or a congressman talking dirty to interns, Clinton/Lewinsky, the general decline of religion in holidays, the result is the same. A lack of respect for one's self, the lack of dignity afforded human life, and the failure of nerve to define right from wrong.

Connect the dots!

Dave said...

Bork joins the discussions! Who knew Althouse's blog was such an exalted place?

Revenant said...

I give up. Is David serious or is this performance art?

Paul Zrimsek said...

That something like this could happen in Amish country should be a wake-up call for all of us. We need stricter controls on assault muskets, machine flintlocks, and semi-automatic blunderbusses.

nedludd said...

I was born and raised in the PA Dutch Counties (originally from Lehigh County, now I live in Lancaster County about 15 miles from this shooting) and I am amazed at the level of stupidity I am seeing, not so much on this site as in the news in general.

Let me correct a few things. First off, the Amish have no problem with guns, as a matter of fact a helluva a lot of them own guns. They have a problem with shooting them at people, but it isn’t often you meet one that isn’t a hunter.

I read over at Volkh someone writing that the kids would not have seen a gun or been familiar with a cell phone. Cell phone usage is governed by the Bishop. Some are pretty lax in that they allow them, they just can only be used for emergencies. Others don’t allow them at all. The reason some allow them is because with a cell phone you are not physically tied to the world, like you would be if it was a landline. This is why the generators for the air compressors they use to power tools and run the refrigerated milk tanks are ok, but tying into the grid is a no-no. The Amish are not isolated from the English to the point where they don’t know what things are, they are not trapped in the 18th century as some would have it appear. They know what technology is, and they strike bargains with what they will allow.

The area where this shooting took place is in the middle of nowhere. It is just one farm after another. This is well outside of the tourist area. As far as the comments about driving the mules to the hospital, in all honesty if you had to fly by helicopter or get a ride from the Staties with lights and sirens to either Hershey Med (Penn State Medical Center) or Children’s Hospital in Philly, you are probably looking at a difference of maybe 15 minutes.

One of the problems that they had last night was IDing the kids. I live around a bunch of Amish, and there are three Abner Lapps on my road. The Amish are descended from 16 families and generally have one of five last names (King, Miller, Lapp, Fisher & Stolzfuss). First names are old testament, thus the abundance of Ruths, Sarahs, Jacobs, Elis, etc. After almost three centuries of inbreeding, there is a strong resemblance between them. Add to this the fact that their style of dress is somewhat limited (for girls it is a white bonnet, black apron and a dress of purple, green, blue, or burgundy). If I were to say the girl was dark blond and wearing a green dress I would really not have narrowed the field all that much. Until I get close, I can have trouble telling some of the neighbors apart, and my kid plays with some of them.

As if they did not have enough problems, it is harvest time. Although I just read a bunch of English have just volunteered to do the harvest with their machines. The bishops have already okayed this.

AlaskaJack said...

Goesh on the meaning of life: "Life is motion and accleration of motion..." This sounds like something Charles Carl Roberts might have written.

I think I'll stick with the Amish on this one.

Cedarford said...

David - hands of gun collecting nutcase who carries a grudge a gunnut killing young girls

As Nedludd pointed out in his most timely and informed article to rebut the general ignorance you and goesh and a few others show - Amish have no problem with firearms as a tool. Nor do guns make a "nut" - over 80 million Americans are lawful firearms owners.

David - Basic psychology would indicate that an attack on a deeply religious group of innocents is an attack on the ultimate Father figure, GOD. Attacks on schools is a manifestation of the same psychosis-attack on authority.

Now you go past ignorance into schlock psychology where you project your superficial grasp of basic psychology as "THE ANSWER" to what happened, when you, like the rest of us, have no knowledge of motive or the facts.

Here are some facts:

1. This was a horrid, disgusting tragedy.
Pray for those childrens souls. Pray for the killers wife, and the three children who will spend the rest of their lives knowing their father committed one of the most abominable acts known to man.

2. Goesh - Flog them mules, Sarah! We got to beat the maggots! People who do not adapt go extinct. Life is motion and accleration of motion, so let them be judged by their God for the delay in not providing comfort to a suffering child. Amidst the pain and tubes surrounded by 'English' does she await the braying of mules.

That was in it's own way another violation of the families, goesh. How f**king dare you! That's a crack one would expect from some venomous little immature twerp in grade school, not an adult. Have kids? I doubt it.

3. Nedludd - "Although I just read a bunch of English have just volunteered to do the harvest with their machines. The bishops have already okayed this."

My heart goes out to the families, and I would wish to help in any way I could if I was local. So good on some non-Amish locals reaching out and helping out so the Amish can focus on the tragedy of their children with one less distraction.

4. The fact is that these school killings do have motive. Some motive. We need to explore the motive and remove it.

We know from peer-school kids who kill that unrelenting bullying is a motivator in almost have of the killings they do. Alienation is another factor. If we segregate out gang-killings where the school is just convenient for doing the violence, we see specific to the school environment isolating forces that must be looked at. In pushing individualism instead of harmony and consensus as social norms in school, we appear to have helped create very dysfunctional, lonely, angry individuals who lack norms and inhibitions against retaliating against real (bullying in particular) or supposed grievances. And who in one final act, seek the control, fame, and importance that teachers say is their individual "due" but which has been denied them by peers..

It appears that the adult killers are at least partly motivated by the idea that they will become famous. And in fame and non-stop media coverage, fan the flame in some other outcast that a school killing will give them the public recognition, fame, celebrity, and notoriety they too crave..Perhaps we as a society need to turn down the "celebrity factor" on publicizing evil people for ratings - and given "marketplace competition" to get the school butchers, serial killers, noted terrorists biography out - we may decide we need laws to turn off the publicity machine to remove that competition to raise the killer's profile to "media money-maker". Which run up against the 1st Amendment...but the 1st is no more absolute, or shouldn't be...than any other Constitutional protection that infringes on other Constitutional protections ot liberties.

George said...

If you don't have children or lack the opportunity to visit schools, here what school security is like in my area--

* An armed uniformed police officer directs parking lot traffic in the mornings. He also teaches at the school.

* Doors, except the main door, are kept locked.

* You must sign in and get a visitor's pass.

* You must accompany your child if he wants to stay after school and play.

When we told our daughter's elementary school teacher at the start of the school year that she would be walking to and from school, she looked at me and my wife in shock. She said she would have to check with the principal to see if that was okay. (She's a new teacher.) Later, she told us it was fine, but we would have to give the school a signed letter saying that was our desire.....

nedludd said...

The fact is that these school killings do have motive. Some motive. We need to explore the motive and remove it.

We pretty much have the motive in this one, and the immediate execution of the girls may have been one of the better outcomes.

The killer claims that when he was about 12 (the 20 years ago you heard referenced in some stories) he molested some younger relatives. So far, this is unproven, no one has come forward to confirm it. Nine years ago he lost a baby hours after it was born, and he decided that this was punishment for the molestation.

He called his wife from the schoolhouse and told her about this, and in one of his notes he said he had the urge to molest again.

He was stocked with food for a siege. He had a stun gun, knives, wood for baricading the doors, a change of clothing, and other items.

He also had the flex cuffs he tied the girls up with. In addition, he had a board with ten eyebolts even spaced apart where police think he intended to fasten the girls while he molested them. He also had tubes of KY. All evidence points to him planning on molesting the girls and then killing them one by one, finally taking himself out.

It appears that he picked the schoold because it was convienient and easy to take.

Of the dead, two are sisters, a 7 and an 8 year old. In addition, the dead 12 year old has a sister in critical condition.

Most Amish schools cover one or two churches. The Amish churches are set up two to a Bishop, with two ministers to each church. The Bishop's word is law. He determines what is and is not allowed. Once or twice a year they Bishops in a days ride meet and try to harmonize the rules. In additon, since the Amish only have church every other Sunday (the two churches for the Bishop alternate, with the off Sunday church usually visiting family) the Bishops will go to other nearby districts to observe and talk.

As I said, I have a nieghbor who is an Amish Bishop. He has an eighth grade education, which is all the longer any of the Amish go to school. Like all other Amish leaders, he has no formal schooling in religion, consoulling or anything else beyond cabinetmaking. The Bishops, ministers and deacons are all chosen by lot.

My neighbor became a bishop at 21, just a year after he joined the church. He is over in Paradise (the nearest hamlet of any size to the tragedy) trying to help them sort it out. No training in dealing with grief on this level, no psychology, etc. Just a faith in God at a level I don't even pretend I will ever approach attaining.

I had a client from CA call in to ask about the shooting, and he said he was struck by the stoicism he saw on TV from the Amish. They have nothing much to guide them but a faith in a higher power, and living among them is what keeps me from being totally cynical about religion as the opiate of the masses when i read shit like David.

The Amish ride in cars all the time, there is nothing unusual about that. There is a whole cottage industry (licensed by the state under the livery laws) for hauling Amish. Interestingly, the shooters father just got his lisence to do this. Additionally, the Amish have no trouble riding the train, which many of them do when they vacation in Florida ove the winter.

Velobiff said...

Thank you neddludd, you explained a number of things that were unclear to me.

Velobiff said...

MMMM, sorry to be back,
just got home, discovered the major story of the day is a congressman who sent nasty e-mails to young men.
does that trump dead children? i guess it must.

peter hoh said...

nedludd, thanks for the dose of sanity. I grew up in South Jersey, with a dozen or so relatives living in Lancaster County. I live in the Midwest now, but a part of me belongs to Pennsylvania.

ChrisO said...

Thanks for the information about the Amish. I wish there was a different reason for me to be reading about them. I also have to say I was disgusted by Goesh's comment. If you think they should have taken an airplane, just say it. What a time to ridicule these people.

Revenant said...

nedludd,

Thanks for the descriptions of life in Amish country. Very illuminating stuff.

Sebastian said...

nedludd,

I'm afraid I was one of the commenters who mistakingly said on "Volokh" that guns were a no-no in the Amish faith. I assumed that their pacifism didn't allow for it, but I hadn't considered the hunting angle. Despite living pretty close, I don't have much experience with the gun culture in Lancaster Co. I would be curious to know whether the Amish frowned upon the ownership of pistols and modern self-loading or repeating firearms. My guess is anything that's not appropriate for hunting would probably be frowned upon.

nedludd said...

I would be curious to know whether the Amish frowned upon the ownership of pistols and modern self-loading or repeating firearms

I have never come across anything or anyone that indicates they have a problem with the types of arms you are speaking of. Many of the Amish do own pistols (one I hunt with uses a S&W 500 on a regular basis). In addition, some I know do own the semi-auto shot guns for skeet and clays.

They have no problem with guns, they draw the line at ever using one against a person.

I am also seeing the Amish lionized as these saints among us, which is as wrong as looking at them as a freak show. Their views towards the role of women have not changed in the three centuries they have been here. Most of the puppy mills in PA are here in Lancaster County, and about 3/4 of them are run by Amish. They have a well deserved reputation for working their draft animals to death, with many dying in harness.

In addition, they are having a big problem with alcohol. They have no problem with alcohol, and my neighbor and I have shared many a beer in his barn or on my deck. They are having problems with the kids drunk driving (as stated earlier, you usually do not become a member until your early 20s, prior to that car ownership is allowed) both with cars and buggies. We also have one or two kids killed each year in farm accidents. A team of eight mules is tought for a gron man to handle, let alone a nine year old. We had an eight year old killed this year when his Dad sent him into a machine to clear it and then accidentally turned the machine on. He was charged with reckless endangerment and mansloughter, but not before there was a hue and cry about making allowances because he was Amish.

On the whole they are some of the finest people you will ever meet, and I've never had one go back on his word on me, but they are made of common clay. You have to respect someone willing to make the sacrifices they do for religion, but still not feel the need to look down upon a heathen like myself. In their company I have never felt like they felt I was on the wrong path, which is more than I can say for some of the more garden variety evengelicals who will tell me about the wrong path I am on.

Off rant and semi-back to the original question. The Amish are familiar with all the modern technology, at least as much so as any small town resident. They just choose not to use some of it. Each new item is judged on its own merits. The decisions they make are pretty much Talmudic, using past deciions to guide new ones.