Visible emotion may succeed where stoicism has failed

I personally do not wear my emotions on my sleeve. I am of the school that feels that one should deal with life’s adversities with stoicism and reserve, especially when one is in public. Expressions of emotion and grief are to be kept for private moments with those whom one is very close to. Stiff upper lip, and all that.

I admire those who respond that way to tragedy. But this can have the unintended consequence of minimizing the horrendousness of the crime. Richard Martinez, the father of one of those killed in the rampage by Elliot Rodger, has not gone that route. He has very publicly broken down because of the deep sadness he undoubtedly feels and at the same has lashed out at the NRA and those in power who have done nothing about the almost uncontrolled access to guns that has repeatedly allowed this kind of situation to occur. Thanks to reader Norm, I saw this clip of an interview that he gave CNN.

As he points out, even the massacre of so many little children at Sandy Hook school in Newtown did not result in any action. Martinez, in his visible anger and grief, may be able to get results that the stoicism of the families of the earlier tragedies failed to do.

I hope so.


  1. PauloOne says

    As an European I find it so difficult to wrap my head around this.
    I do understand that there is a very different culture mindset in what regards weapons in the two sides of the pond but for the political leadership to let things reach this point and stand idle as a spectator baffles me.

    It also perplexes the constant waving of the second amendment as a justification, do people really don’t understand that constitutions as other laws are legal documents that should evolve and adapt to better serve the citizens?

  2. elpayaso says

    Paulo, no.

    people here don’t even understand that the 2d Amdt (like the rest of the Constitution and Bill of Rights) only restricts GOVERNMENT action, not that of private citizens or corporate entities. hence the idjits in some of the recent Open Carry Texas videos who are making noises about the 2d Amdt when a restaurant asks them to leave their assault rifles at home if they want to be served….

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    Somehow, this reminds me of a passage from Daniel Gerould’s Guillotine: Its Legend and Lore:

    The crowds of men, women, and children who gathered around the scaffold came to judge the performances and even to admire the dazzling scaffold/stage presence of certain women such as Charlotte Corday, Lucile Desmoulins, and Madame Roland, even though they had been condemned as counterrevolutionaries.

    When, however, the common-born Madame Du Barry grew terrified in the face of death, shrieked in the tumbril (the horse-drawn cart used to transport prisoners to the scaffold), begged the onlookers to save her, and struggled with the executioners on the scaffold, the hysterical former mistress of Louis XV drew attention to the reality of her terror and destroyed the theatrical illusion. Once the stoical rules of the game were broken, spectators began to pity Du Barry and even wished to call off the show planned for the abject victim, however deserving she was of her punishment. The painter Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun speculates in her memoirs that the mobs might indeed have relented had the victims not played their roles so well.

    Though I doubt any display of emotion could budge Elliot Rodger, Wayne LaPierre, or their ruthless cohorts.

  4. lorn says

    The right has long played their music on the heartstrings of the populous.

    Most of their arguments from the right amount to emotional appeals. They don’t like providing welfare to the poor so they capitalize on the supposed laziness and unworthiness of the poor while shrieking and moaning about how unfair it is to take money from the hard working job creators and give it to the shiftless.

    The left answers back with well researched statistic about how most of the poor work and, as a practical measure, redistribution both partially correct for low pay and serves to keep the overall economy and society functioning.

    One argument is more likely to win a popular vote because it is deeply rooted in existing bias, preferred narratives, and emotionalism. While the other is rational, measured, and logical … and both correct and effective if the intent is to establish and maintain a functional nation.

  5. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Martinez, in his visible anger and grief, may be able to get results that the stoicism of the families of the earlier tragedies failed to do.

    I hope so.

    Me too.

    Horrific situation and we’ve seen what’s happened before and will keep on happening again indefinitely into the future unless things change.

    I have immense respect and sympathy for Richard Martinez,and wish him and his cause all the best and every success possible.

  6. astrosmash says

    I think there is a categorical problem with this .When emotion is used manipuplatively and ingenuinely to get effect, then sure…But Marinez didn’t go on this interview with the express purpose of breaking down…In fact, I challenge anyone who had just lost a child NOT to lose it… In fact I’d eye you with a measure of suspiciaon if you didn’t.

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