Posts Tagged ‘Gun Violence’

Mass shootings in U.S. are an almost daily event

December 3, 2015


Mass shootings are getting to be virtually an everyday occurrence in the United States.   While American gun violence and murder rates are declining overall, this one particular form of senseless violence holds steady, for reasons that aren’t clear to me.

About 64 percent of the shooters were white men, according to a survey by Mother Jones, about the same as the white percentage of the total population.  Black people were 16 percent of the total shooters, Asians were 9 percent and Latinos, native Americans and people of unknown ethnicity made up the rest.

I honestly don’t know what can be done, realistically, to eliminate mass shootings.  Obviously mass shootings could not take place if the shooters could not obtain firearms.  But gun prohibition has been ruled un-Constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, and I don’t think it would work even if it could be tried.

The typical mass shooter is a young man obsessed with weapons and images of violence, frustrated with work, school or relationships, with a history of minor acts of violence.  Mark Follman wrote a good article in the current issue of Mother Jones about efforts to identify potential mass shooters, and turn them away from violence.  Possibly a lot of violent incidents have been headed off this way.

But, as he wrote, there are “legions” of angry young men who own guns and like violent movies and video games, and yet never commit crimes.   I don’t see how it is feasible to monitor them all.

The baffling question is why this particular type of crime should be on the increase.   Follman talked to experts who said part of the reason is social media, which gives mass shooters a perverse kind of fame.   Mass shooters are typically people leading lives that are meaningless to themselves who want to make an impact—any kind of impact.