Do video games cause mass shootings?

Will Greenwald for PC Magazine:

El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, both saw horrific mass shootings over the weekend, prompting another round of “what’s causing this?” …A number of politicians are returning to a popular scapegoat: video games. Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and President Donald Trump all cited violent video games as a factor in these shootings and other acts of violence in the US.

These complaints are a decades-old distraction and continue to be unsubstantiated. There is no significant evidence that video games are a contributing factor to mass shootings.

Video games are not unique to the United States, and are incredibly popular worldwide. According to NewZoo, the United States is the No. 2 video game market in the world, with 178.7 million players, or 57.4 percent of the population. Japan is No. 3 with 67.6 million players, or 53.2 percent, followed by South Korea, the UK, and Germany. China is No. 1… Video games are not unique to the US. What is unique here, however, is violence. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the US homicide rate was 5.3 for every 100,000 people in 2017. The UK was at 1.2, Germany was 1, South Korea was 0.6., and Japan sat at 0.2.

Forget about correlation not equalling causation. There isn’t even any correlation here. There is no through line from violent video games to actual violence, based on the data… It’s pretty clear, based on the available data, that violent video games aren’t to blame for Dayton or El Paso, or Virginia Beach, Thousand Oaks, Pittsburgh, Santa Fe, or Parkland. We can consider each of these shooters to be mentally ill and ignore their intentions.

MacDailyNews Take: So what does cause mass shootings in the U.S.? Over the past few days, since Tim Cook came out urging bipartisan action following the recent mass shootings in the U.S., multiple readers sent along a link to this article. It looks at a “common thread” among these mass shooters that we don’t hear being discussed much on U.S. news and opinion outlets.

Melissa Mackenzie for The American Spectator:

After every heinous murderous act, the media spins it and blames. It’s easier than admitting that the culture that they shape is spewing these monsters out at an alarming rate and something more than politics is to blame. In fact, these death-eating humans seem to be a product of a culture that is at the same time wealthier, more technologically advanced, and scientifically sophisticated while being morally lost and spiritually empty.

How can a country with so much prosperity produce humans that value their blessings so little? How can young men entering a world of promise feel so cheated and see no future? Yet they do. And they’re not alone. Spend time talking to millennials and Gen Z and their perception of their own experience is astonishingly bleak. The increased number of suicides is proof of their hopelessness. Why are they so sad and frustrated?

Maybe it’s that they have everything materially, but their lives lack meaning. Despair dead-ends into nihilism. Maybe murder is a response to nothing. At least rage is something. And rage is powerful. It must seem better than the alternative.

How do we solve that problem? How do we help young men, especially, feel like their lives have meaning? That the supposed deep thinkers are blaming their political enemies demonstrates how pathetic our intellectual class really is. These mass murderers are multiplying, and the common thread isn’t politics. It’s powerlessness in a sea of prosperity.

It seems we’ve brought up a generation of people who have everything and feel empty at the same time. The solutions are not easy. Maybe that’s why people blame politics. It’s easier.

MacDailyNews Take: Which leads us to an article that predated this latest spate of mass murders, but which we bookmarked since it rang true. You may find it interesting, but unsettling due to what the article describes as the root cause’s widespread prevalence and acceptance:

Jay Ambrose, Tribune News Service, March 01, 2018:

The worst social problem in America today could well be fatherless homes. While there are myriad exceptions, and while fathers in the home can be negligent or actively harmful, the statistics are overwhelming about how children can get cheated out of decent lives by their absence. There is also a connection to an absolute horror. That would be mass shootings, such as the one in Parkland, Fla.

The adoptive father of the 19-year-old killer of 17 people, Nikolas Cruz, died when he was 6, not the usual way in which a son is left without a male role model. Far more often, it is fathers fleeing their responsibilities, the mother never getting married or divorces. But, in the case of Cruz, we still had a struggling mother who needed help and a son as out of control as Dylann Roof or Adam Lanza.

Roof is the white supremacist who slaughtered nine African-Americans in a Charleston, S.C., church. His parents were divorced before he was born. Adam Lanza is the mass shooter who killed his mother and then 20 first graders and six staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. During the previous two years, he had not even talked to his father.

The list goes on and on, as Brad Wilcox will testify. He is a professor and director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, studied school shootings in 2013 and found all the perpetrators had either had a mother who never got married or had seen a divorce in the family. CNN once looked at the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, noting that, of the seven killers under 30, only one had his biological father around his whole childhood.

Consider a joint federal study showing that 63 percent of youth suicides are from fatherless homes; as often as not, mass shooters are simultaneously suicidal. Robert Sampson, a Harvard sociologist, has observed that urban violence is concentrated in neighborhoods with mostly single-parent homes. A Michigan State University study found 75 percent of examined adolescent murderers were from fatherless homes. The Centers for Disease Control says 85 percent of children with behavioral disorders have only a mother in the home. Wilcox also says children with both married parents around are less likely to drop out of school, to become drug addicts or to grow up impoverished.

Vast numbers of children from single-parent homes — that’s now 42 percent of all children — can and do clearly shine bright, thank heavens. The idea here is not to prejudge anyone. But this nation is kidding itself if it does not recognize that a strong nuclear family is the fundamental foundation of society, that America in recent decades has been witnessing dissolution of the family and that this goes to the heart of so much that has gone wrong.

Some like to put the blame on poverty, but single-parent homes are often an instigator of poverty and comparisons of poor children in two-parent homes and one-parent homes show poverty alone is not the issue. Some also consider it demeaning to say a woman cannot always do it all by herself, leaving out the truth that it can be unbelievably cruel to a woman to expect her to. Government programs are nowhere near the solution some believe they are.

Yes, as I have already mentioned, there can be bad fathers, but the good ones, the involved ones, have so much to offer. And just as mothers bring something special to the raising of children, so do fathers. To turn our backs on marriage, to suppose that cohabitation is just as good, is to turn our backs on children — and on the victims of mass shootings.

There are many other factors in mass shootings, of course, and they need addressing. Cultural change is arduous and slow with no easy political answer. But much will stay the same if nothing is done about fatherless homes.

MacDailyNews Take: Another article published just yesterday seems to agree:

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, August 5, 2019:

Before noon on Sunday we received an email from the Progressive Democrats of America declaring that “we blame President Trump for feeding into the anti-immigrant frenzy and white supremacist violence. Yes, you Mr. President had your finger on that AK-47.”

This is political cynicism. Mass shootings also occurred under Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton. They occur around the world, if much less frequently, such as in Christchurch, New Zealand (2019), Australia (2019), and Norway (2011). The twisted motivations are varied and often too convoluted to sort into any clear ideology.

Take the El Paso shooter, who is suspected of writing a manifesto posted on the 8chan website before the rampage. He expressed sympathy for the racial motivations of the Christchurch killer and denounced Hispanic immigration, but he also raged against “unchecked corporations” who support immigration and pollute the land.

This is the rant of someone angry about a society he doesn’t feel a part of and doesn’t comprehend. It is all-too-typical of most of these young male killers who tend to be loners and marinate in notions they absorb in the hours they spend online. They are usually disconnected to family, neighborhood, church, colleagues at work, or anything apart from their online universe…

This is the one common element in nearly all mass shootings: 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz in Parkland, Fla.; Chris Harper-Mercer in Oregon’s Umpqua Community College; Adam Lanza at Newtown, Conn.; Devin Patrick Kelley in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and the rest. All were deeply troubled and alienated from society in our increasingly atomistic culture.

This is one price we are paying for the decline in what the late sociologist Peter Berger called the “mediating institutions” that help individuals form cultural and social attachments. These are churches, business and social clubs like the Rotary, charitable groups, even bowling leagues, and especially the family. Government programs can never replace these as protectors of troubled young people.

Recognizing this reality is not a counsel of despair to do nothing about mass shootings. But revitalizing these private institutions of social capital is crucial to reversing the cultural decline at the root of so many of America’s ills.

MacDailyNews Take: Divorce, broken families, fatherless boys, lack of religion and charity, cultural and social alienation, internet addiction… Are these – not video games – some of the ingredients that can, in the wrong combination, produce apathetic, obviously mentally ill mass murderers?

Again, to stress the fact: This is not about the failure of single mothers, this is a question about the lack of a male role model during boys’ formative years. It seems like a common thread. All common threads in these cases should be explored for those who are interested in looking for real solutions.

MacDailyNews Note: Thoughtful commentary on this issue is welcomed below.

Please keep the discussion civil and on-topic. Off-topic posts and ad hominem attacks will be deleted and those who post such comments will be moderated/blocked. Permanent loss of screen name could also result.

132 Comments

  1. Holy moly, there’s a lot to unpack here! I will say that the mass media won’t touch this since they laugh and have been laughing at “family values” for decades. Even if divorce, dissolution of the nuclear family, lack of religion, etc. are strong contributors to the making of these monsters, the “mainstream media” won’t touch it.

    Everyone is so politicized, I’m not going to cite who said this yesterday in the hope that everyone will just read it and think about it for a second instead of just skipping to the name so that they can either discount or agree with it:

    There are so many boys who are growing up who are lost, they’re lonely, they feel a sense of rage because perhaps their fathers have left them. They’d love to identify with their fathers but they can’t because their father has disappeared, and they take it personally. They feel like maybe they did something wrong.

    Those of us who would try to say, ‘Well, look for spiritual answers.’ How can you tell a young man that God wants to be your father if his image of a father is someone who abandoned him or beat up his mother? This is why we have to rethink, but recognize at the same time, that ultimately the hole in the human heart can never be filled just by human things. It has to be filled ultimately by spiritual things that give people a higher sense of who they are, what their identity is, and why they matter.

    It’s our cultural fault.

    And part of what we have done, we’ve created a culture in which we said there is no God and human life isn’t really worth that much, and life is expendable, and there are lives that are disposable. And when a young man believes his life is disposable and expendable, he thinks the lives around him are, too. So why are we so shocked that he would be taking mass killings as his avenue of expressing his rage?

    Of course, people who have divorced, especially men who did so with a young boy at home, or single mothers trying to raise boys will immediately be threatened by all of this and I expect some of them to lash out here in the comments as they project in the name of cognitive self-defence.

    1. There’s a few ways to not have young boys or girls in single mother homes. Either prevent the pregnancy, (which some religions say you shouldn’t do), or prevent the birth, (which some religions say you shouldn’t do).

      North Carolina was performing forced hysterectomies at one point… another solution and I don’t think there’s any religious teachings against that. Forced vasectomies?

      1. Here’s a novel way. Young girls should stop sleeping around with no husband. What a concept. Self control. Have you ever heard of it. It used to be common. Now, sexual deviancy and irresponsible sex is seemingly encouraged and praised. This is societal degeneration.

        1. Young males should not sleep around either. Takes two to tangle. Both genders (yeah, I am old fashion and will not ID with 51 genders) need to at the very least, practice birth control.

        2. You don’t even get to “correlation is not causation” until there is a correlation. The frequency of children born outside wedlock is much higher in most developed countries than in the USA. There are places where most First births are to unwed mothers. See, for example, the Prime Minister of New Zealand who was not even engaged to anyone when she recently gave birth. My wife has multiple nieces and grandnieces in the UK. Most of them have children, but almost none of them have ever been married.

          All these countries have almost incomparably lower homicide rates than the US. So, in so far as there is a correlation, it runs in the other direction. High marriage rates correlate to high murder rates. That is not causation, but neither is the opposite relationship.

          1. The fact remains: Nearly all mass shooters have been fatherless young white men alienated from society.

            Figure out how not to make these shooters and the mass shooting issue goes away without trampling law-abiding citizens’ constitutional rights.

            Of course, that assumes your goal is to stop mass shootings rather than to take guns away from law-abiding citizens.

            1. To describe this as a “white male” problem implies that other races are somehow able to withstand the mental pressures that would otherwise drive them to mass shootings. I don’t believe anyone here thinks that just because you’re white and fatherless, you’re more likely to become a mass murderer than if you’re “anything else” and fatherless. I mean, what happens if a white male becomes fatherless due to a mass shooting, should we just kill the kid to be on the safe side?

              Talk like this will just make weaker thinkers want to focus on taking guns out of the hands of white men (fatherless or otherwise). But, without the NRA as an opposing voice, it looks like everyone’s jumping on the “fatherless white men are far less capable of dealing with life” idea.

            2. @ Wrong Again:

              You stated, “Talk like this will just make weaker thinkers want to focus on taking guns out of the hands of white men (fatherless or otherwise). But, without the NRA as an opposing voice, it looks like everyone’s jumping on the “fatherless white men are far less capable of dealing with life” idea.”

              Agreed that there are many people overstating the influence of their personal hot button issue: Video Games, Hollywood, Not enough Jesus, too much Jesus, Single Family households, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Angry White Males, Paranoid Females, Racial Tension, Lack of Education, Lack of Bowling Alleys, … the list goes on. You can read for yourself on 8chan or Telegram all the self-identified excuses that intolerant bigots have for their hate-filled terrorism. It’s pure ignorance for a swamp politician — you know the one — to suggest that video games are the dominant factor. Mental sickness, sure, there’s some evidence to show that’s a large factor. Who cut funding for Veterans’ mental health services and drug rehabilitation again? Who demands that taxes and health services always be reduced so mental illness cannot be identified or treated in a comprehensive way? Who fights tooth and nail to prevent any bill that requires mentally ill people from surrendering their guns from ever coming to the Senate floor for debate?????

              However, you identified a pillar of US culture that doesn’t exist in foreign nations, which represents at best a few million people — a clear minority — but yields ridiculously outsized influence (biased strongly to one party) in the Swamp. It is long past time that this swamp lobby gets exposed for what it is, a corrupt self-serving lobby that does not represent sportsmen or hunters at all anymore. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/08/nra-chief-wayne-lapierre-mansion-deal.html

              In addition to feathering Crazy Wayne La-Peter’s $10 million nest, the NRA rewards its executives as if the NRA was flush with cash. Current NRA president, the infamous traitor Ollie North, it notes in the above article, found that Crazy Wayne and his gang of 76 (yes, 76!!!) overcompensated board members was spending $100k per day on legal bills, not to mention custom tailored suits and insane travel expenses at all the fanciest resorts and restaurants you can imagine. Meanwhile Remington is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, which tells you how effective their gun lobby really is.

              Pure corruption. The only thing the NRA has accomplished in recent memory is swindle gun owners out of their money. Oh, and welcome Russian moles into their ranks. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/12/russia-maria-butina-plea-conspiracy-nra.html Nice touch of class in vetting your members there, NRA.

              I would recommend that an intelligent person of ANY political persuasion should question the motives of the NRA as much as any other dirty lobby or dirty politician. FOLLOW THE MONEY.

          2. Good gawd, TX! Stop trying to confuse people with facts.

            The only factors worth discussing are those that are DIFFERENT in the US.
            – Other countries have lots of families without fathers. So it ain’t lack of a father.
            – God only makes things worse. Secular countries are WAY better… dramatically lower rates of violence.

            Interesting comment by D below… nicely revealing part of the problem. His sense of manhood is equally reinforced by the presence of his gun and his dick.

            The two BIG differences in the US are:
            1. The incredibly easy access to guns of almost any type
            2. The culture that is still mired in the Wild West as a model for masculinity. (An incredibly short period in the continents history, by the way.)

            1. “Interesting comment by D below… nicely revealing part of the problem. His sense of manhood is equally reinforced by the presence of his gun and his dick.”

              That’s pretty funny seeing that you are too stupid to understand my point. LOLOL

      1. Or cartoons. In the 1990s the Washington Post ran a front page “STYLE” story when the left banned Johnny Quest series from television. Can’t have it both ways lefties.

        Moving on.

        Most excellent statistics theloniousmac.

        The glaring statistic I was looking for in your post is the comparison between yearly gun deaths in the U.S. compared to traffic vehicle deaths.

        Statistics show for over 60 years traffic vehicle deaths far outnumbered gun deaths. Recent years the gap has closed to dead even or slightly more.

        During the Clinton administration in the 1990s major newspaper editorials from USA TODAY, Washington Post and the New York Times pushed the narrative that guns should be registered same as cars.

        Well, for 60 years registration and taxation of cars did nothing to stop deaths. Logically, registering guns would have the same results. Not only that, I want to know how the liberal brainless mind trust of Big Media justifies REGISTERING and TAXING Second Amendment RIGHTS? Dead idea and thankfully now history.

        Moving on to statistics in the following article link, below.

        Black Americans represent the majority of gun homicide victims.

        “In fact, Black Americans are 10 times more likely than white Americans to die by gun homicide.”

        “Black males are 15 times more likely than white males to be shot and injured in assaults involving guns.”

        Very sad for the Black community. 😪

        The Democrat candidates running for president need to park the white supremacy talk and take an objective approach to what is really going on in America.

        More stats here:

        https://everytownresearch.org/gun-violence-america/

    2. How many murders does it take for me to be willing to give up my firearms? The same as the number of rapes that it will take for you to be willing to cut off your dick.

    3. We get it, divorce makes everyone bitter. Is that a uniquely American phenomenon? Data please.

      Attempting to stay on topic:

      ….. looks like the culture of just about any other advanced nation is less violent than the USA regardless of video game consumption. It is probably a factor, but access to guns is a uniquely American cultural phenomenon. All the other extreme right wing attempts at deflection are equally disingenuous. The data exists, so please stop drinking he fact free Faux koolaid people!!!

  2. Expected deflection from MDN (Magnificent Donald News). ANYTHING but far-right extremist activity, incitement by Donald Trump and … guns. Many other countries/cultures have divorce, broken families, fatherless boys, lack of religion and charity, cultural and social alienation, internet addiction, and mental illness but show no evidence of mass shootings. What makes us different? Let’s start with the prevalence and easy attainability of firearms, especially military-style weapons.

    1. Do other countries really have the exact same culture and system as the U.S.? No, they do not. That was your first fallacy.

      Prior to the widespread explosion in divorce rates, the country did not see routine mass shootings, despite the existence of hundreds of millions of firearms, even those you mistakenly call “military-style weapons.” (You obviously know nothing about guns.) That was your second fallacy.

      Why are you afraid to consider that fatherless boys, lacking whatever secret sauce it is that a male role model serves (obviously built into a traditional nuclear family) could be a contributor and instead blame a tool that has been in the hands of the people for centuries, but not routinely used for random mass murder until after the breakdown of the family?

        1. I don’t see your point – likely because it’s off topic and disjointed.

          Why are you afraid to consider that fatherless boys, lacking whatever secret sauce it is that a male role model serves (obviously built into a traditional nuclear family) could be a contributor and instead blame a tool that has been in the hands of the people for centuries, but not routinely used for random mass murder until after the breakdown of the family?

          1. My post was quite clear and to the point. Mass shootings didn’t happen under slavery. That is an indisputable fact. UNLESS you can point to mass shootings that DID occur under slavery, in which case, I’d gladly retract my statement.

            Why are YOU afraid to consider that ending slavery, and the series of events that happened AFTER slavery was ended, led to the current situation? Unless you’re the type of person that just wants to ignore whatever data doesn’t support your worldview. In which case, you’re absolutely free to remain as blissful as you like.

            “Instead blame a tool”
            Nowhere in my text did I blame anything other than the end of slavery. In fact, YOU brought up blaming a tool… so I guess that must be a connection you believe to be true and that must be argued against.

        2. That is such bull. Lynchings, murder, and terror by bitter white nationalists against non-whites were common in former slave states for decades after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. It was fear of losing political power that largely fueled the sexist, racist, and anti-immigration sentiments that persist to this day in backwater states while the northern states, relatively speaking, were happy to exploit the cheap labor without quite as much violence.

          It wasn’t just burning churches with black congregations, either. Guns played a significant role then too — by design, they are amongst the easiest way for a relatively small number of white slaveholders to control significantly greater numbers of marginalized immigrants who were immigrated to America and held in indentured “service” against their will. This is a “heritage” celebrated openly to this day, including flying a rebel flag that directly insults everything Old Glory stands for.

      1. Single parent households are not the sole cause, and probably not a large contributing factor. Other countries have comparable rates and do not have this problem. See, for example, Figure 1 of this https://www.educationnext.org/international-look-single-parent-family/

        And divorce rates in other countries without this problem vary from far less to far higher than in the US: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divorce_demography

        In fact, if single-parent “fatherless households” were a contributing factor, one would have to assume that blacks would make up a disproportionate share of mass shooters versus their share of the population given that they are much more likely to be in single parent homes or be born our of wedlock. See Figure 3 of http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/10/320-million-children-in-single-parent-families/ and https://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/107-children-in-single-parent-families-by-race#detailed/1/any/false/871,870,573,869,36,868,867,133,38,35/10,11,9,12,1,185,13/432,431 and https://www.afro.com/census-bureau-higher-percentage-black-children-live-single-mothers/

        But we don’t see that. Mass shooters are pretty evenly distributed by race; see https://centerforinquiry.org/blog/who-are-mass-shooters-mass-shooter-demographics-part-2/ which states “Beyond that, the collective data suggest that, across all three types of mass shootings, the races commit mass shootings at about what we’d expect based on their representative demographics. No single race emerges as an obvious mass shooter threat.”

        So, obviously, there are innumerable factors in play and no easy answers. And single parent households is not one of them.

        What we face is a public health crisis and what is needed is epidemiological research into gun violence, something Republicans, backed by the NRA, prohibited the CDC from investigating out of fear that the answer might be guns themselves: https://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2013/02/gun-violence and https://www.npr.org/2018/03/25/596805354/cdc-now-has-authority-to-research-gun-violence-whats-next

        There are commonsense answers to be found in such research without the theatrics of “they’re going to take your guns”. The CDC, NHTSA etc. research deaths by automobiles and they don’t ban cars because they kill people, but take steps to ensure that the risks are managed.

        It’s absurd to propose solutions or guess at causes without this underlying research. And if it shows that access to guns that spray masses of bullets in seconds is a key component, so be it – we need to do something about it, not wring our hands and attack straw men.

        1. JimBob,

          Could it be something with WHITE fatherless boys in the U.S. that is different from BLACK fatherless boys? Do black fatherless boys sit in their basements on weird chatrooms or are they doing something else? Maybe they have a stronger sense of community. Or uncles, cousins, or some other family that makes up for the lack of the father in ways these white kids who become mass shooters don’t?

          I am serious here: Black women single mothers may very well be doing things differently than did the white single mothers of these shooters.

          Is one more likely to be at home and around to mother the kid than the other? Is one more likely to punish a child who does something wrong than the other?

          Obviously more research is needed. That’s the whole point of looking at common threads rather than the typical, stupid “ban guns” or “blame video games” talking points.

          1. I’d like for TheloniousMac to weigh in on this question. I don’t think I like the racist tone indicating that black fatherless boys are somehow better off than white fatherless boys.

            1. Like it or not, honey, there are differences between the way the average U.S. single black woman raises their boys vs. the way single white woman raises their boys.

              This much is obvious in the fact that black men are generally not mass shooters.

              Same fatherlessness. Same country. Different outcome.

              Some things are plainly different. That is not “racist.” Researching differences between different races, which exist, is not “racist.” You silly Libs have destroyed the word racist with your misunderstanding and overuse. Give it a rest, will ya?

              Blacks are much more likely to have sickle cell disease than whites. That is not “racist,” either. It is statement of fact.

            2. The U.S. public education system is a total failure in that it allows for the production of Libtards like you.

              And don’t lie. I guaran-damn-tee you’re a product of the U.S. public school system.

            3. Both of you must be closet democrats because the ONLY folks that would say black anything is greater than white anything are democrats. They NEED those votes, conservatives don’t.

            4. Where did I say “greater?”

              I didn’t.

              I said “different.” Obviously something is different or 12.3% of U.S. mass shooters would be black (12.3% of the U.S. population is black).

              Equally, if not more, obvious is that “black fatherless boys are somehow better off than white fatherless boys” as least insofar as becoming an indiscriminate mass murdering shooter.

              Here’s something glaring that researchers might want to look into, is all I’m saying.

            5. Julia, you wrote “This much is obvious in the fact that black men are generally not mass shooters.”

              But above I referenced the quote “Beyond that, the collective data suggest that, across all three types of mass shootings, the races commit mass shootings at about what we’d expect based on their representative demographics. No single race emerges as an obvious mass shooter threat.

              I believe you’re referencing public mass shootings. The research I quoted above does show that felony mass shootings (criminal activity, gang and drug activity etc.) are more likely to have a black shooter and the public mass shootings (random attacks like those this week) tend to skew more white. But while an armchair analysis would tie race to poverty to crime to gun violence and felony mass shootings, can we really say anything about whites being more prevalent for the public mass shootings? There’s anecdotal reports, but nothing really scientifically valid that I’ve seen – it could be any number of factors there. For example, it could simply be wealth and access to the firearms and magazines; the Dayton shooter had some really unusual stuff including the drum magazines.

              So even though your statement was not quite right you’re still right. We agree that this complex issue has myriad roots, causes, and solutions. We need an in-depth look at multiple cultural, familial, and societal factors. While social science is not a hard science, we can certainly benefit from some in-depth and carefully planned research to tease apart the many, many underpinning causes.

              That will take a good long time to sort through given that the field has been repressed for so long. However, that doesn’t mean that sensible legislation like a universal background check to own or sell a killing machine shouldn’t be a priority in the meantime.

      1. The pace of mass shootings has quickened, absolutely. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/08/05/more-deadlier-mass-shooting-trends-america/

        Specifically:

        Between August 1966 and April 1999, there was, on average, a mass shooting event every 180 days.

        Between April 1999 and June 2015, there was, on average, a mass shooting event every 84 days

        From June 2015 until now, there has been, on average, a mass shooting event every 47 days. [Note: The Charleston shooting was June 17, 2015]

        Further:

        Although the data goes back to 1966, nearly a third of the 1,196 total victims have died since Charleston, and the two deadliest shootings in U.S. history fall into that time frame.

        So while you obviously can’t pin this on Trump any more than the economic expansion or stock market run that started after the recession, while he certainly isn’t the cause he certainly isn’t the solution, either.

      1. I would much rather face a crazy person in a Walmart parking lot who is brandishing a knife than what we saw this week. In Ohio, the shooter killed 9 people in 30 seconds and it would have been dozens had police not killed him before he entered the bar where people were fleeing to safety.

        While there have been a few exceedingly rare cases of knife mass killings, these have been in countries and instances where the attacker had the victims isolated or far from police help.

      2. You have got to be joking, TMac. You’re worried about slashers in the UK when the USA proudly achieves a mass shooting* death rate of 12.2 deaths per 100k people so far in 2019? Do you live in the UK? Clearly not. The UK is near the bottom of the list for mass murders, whereas the USA keeps company with the gang-infested central American countries that are pushing so many refugees in desperation to the US border. The UK does have to deal with terrorist attacks, notably in 2017 when 3 (yes a grand total of 3) mass deaths occurred, all by terrorists: Westminster vehicle attack, 6 dead; Manchester Arena bombing, 23 dead; London Bridge vehicle attack, 8 dead. If you want to throw in individual gun murders for comparison, in 2016 the UK experienced 26. That year the US had 11,004 murders and an estimated 22,000 gun suicides (about half of all suicides in the USA involved guns). Even for a nation 20% as numerous as the US, the number differential should be shocking to you. Yet you come here to claim mass murder in the USA is acceptable and normal, and the UK has to be worried about knives???

        mass shooting is defined as an event where 3 or more people died. Many thousands more die due to murder, suicide, or individual firearm accident.

        http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/mass-shootings-by-country/

        “In terms of specific mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive, the United States has had over 255 mass shootings in 2019 as of August 2019. There were 340 mass shootings in 2018 in the United States, which is a 26% increase from 2014, which had 269 mass shootings.”

        So that shoots a whole in the Faux narrative that “things were worse” when the previous president proposed gun background checks and was blocked by Congress.

        NOTE: if you read the page I cited above, you will see that the number of mass shooting events per capita is NOT near the highest in the world. Norway claims that title. So why does the USA have a much higher death rate despite relatively fewer incidents per capita? Simple: it’s very easy in the USA to amass an arsenal of high powered, high capacity, rapid firing weapons without anyone ever blinking an eye. Combine that with relatively higher racial friction, economic paranoia, and a raging drug epidemic, and it is no surprise that the USA death rate exceeds that of Mexico and all but 9 other war- and gang- ravaged nations.

        I don’t know how many statistics have to pile up before the extremist right wing factions admit that, yes, there are pragmatic things that can be done to at least lower the rate of mass murder in the USA. Yes, that probably is best accomplished with increased regulation of violence in video games, movies, etc. But it also means more psych evaluations before gun purchase, limitations of how deadly a concealed or hunting weapon can be, and much more tracking of large volume ammo purchasing. You may have better ideas. How about sharing?

        1. It’s ironic to bring up ignoring statistics, then call for “increased regulation of violence in video games, movies, etc.”, when objective studies (and consequently statistics) have shown no causality between real world and fantasy violence.

          So… if I am inferring the last paragraph correctly, basically your proposal to solve this problem is for this country to become an authoritarian nation.

          1. You misinterpret my last paragraph. OTHERS, including the POTUS and MDN administrator SteveJack, have called for increased regulation on Social Media, Hollywood, Video Games, etc. So don’t go to the extreme and accuse me of proposing “authoritarianism”. Pragmatic regulation duly written and passed by the peoples’ representatives is NOT authoritarianism, it is republicanism.

            I am merely saying that, sure, if the POTUS wants to reign in the hot button issues that HE HIMSELF identifies as social problems, fine, those are contributing factors and some better regulation of these industries may be appropriate. Take movie ratings for example. What today is rated PG was 50 years ago practically banned, and right-wing senator/zealots from Wisconsin were investigating entertainment personalities in a fruitless shadow boxing waste of everyone’s time. Now every movie is basically a formulaic pile of excement with predictable equal parts of pointless sex, violence, drugs, alcohol, super evil, and superhero good guy, all whipped together with physically impossible CGI action and less compelling character development than 2 blocks of a 4-block cartoon strip. It would not be a bad idea to require a better rating system that isn’t self-ratcheting up the on-screen violence with each year.

            But that’s not the main point, and cleaning up filth in Hollywood isn’t going to stop mass shooters because anyone studying this stuff can prove that these are not the dominant factors driving domestic terrorism. The data is out there — the brainwashed NRA zealots however refuse to read any of it. How dare anyone pass a law that requires them to lock up their firearms when not in use! How dare anyone suggest that waiting to buy a gun in order to verify if a person has a past history of violence would be reasonable! How dare we register weapons like cars! How dare we take guns away from felons! None of these things could possibly reduce a single mass murder, ever!!!! /s

            The primary reason that the USA uniquely has more mass shootings than all but 9 “shithole” countries in the world (no, of course the POTUS doesn’t eeeeeeever use inflammatory language!) is because guns are the cheapest and easiest way to kill the maximum amount of people in the shortest amount of time. By design. That cannot be denied, that is exactly what the weapons chosen by mass murderers are intended to do. And there is currently no nationwide comprehensive system to keep these weapons out of the hands of crazy people. We deny driving licenses to people who can’t safely drive. We deny professional pilots to continue their career REGARDLESS OF COMPETENCE when they get too old. Old people without relatives are sent to what amounts to minimum security prison old-people’s homes when they are unable to pay their utility bills. But OMG, the USA can’t possibly allow any new law that restricts psychos and felons from having guns. That would NEEEEEEEEEVER do any good. Sure, keep believing that. And don’t forget to send Old Carrie Meadows, Stone Mountain (a KKK affiliated confederate memorial organization) chairperson and corrupt NRA lobbyist, more money for her guns-in-churches crusade.

        2. “extremist right wing factions admit that, yes, there are pragmatic things that can be done to at least lower the rate of mass murder in the USA.”

          Both “extremist right wing factions” and pragmatic “right wing factions” fully realize what needs to be done.

          You are confused and have it totally backwards. It is CLEARLY the extremist far left factions that don’t have a clue what needs to be done. More gun laws and blaming President Trump is NOT the answer. Criminals don’t obey laws and not a single word in the history of planet Earth killed anyone.

          Violent video games are 100X more damning than Trump’s words, many of them rightly consoling for us to heal. That does not stop the liberal biased media from not properly reporting all angles of the story in obvious 24/7 take down Trump coverage. Bottom line: If video games are not to blame, then you can’t blame benign words either. Let’s be fair people.

          Now to my suggestions that both “extremist” and pragmatic right wing factions know will certainly HELP the proliferations of mass shootings in the future.

          Respect for life, born and unborn.

          Strengthen nuclear families and expand Big Brothers to help disillusioned youths in fatherless homes.

          Social media should be held accountable for publishing death threats, death manifestos and for not immediately taking down the posts and their epic FAILURE to not report adequately or consistently to authorities.

          End partisan bickering for cheap-shot nano second political scores and WORK TOGETHER on solutions for CHANGE, for a change.

          End the relentless TOTALLY EMPTY NEGATIVE media reporting that only divides us and offers no solutions for everyone to work together. Consistently peddling knee jerk extremist left wing Gun Control measures and nothing more while not reaching across the isle to Right Wing ideas paints a totally SKEWED picture of reality. Going on for decades BIG MEDIA, your strategy is not not helping or working for anyone, hello?

          Number One: You commit a crime with a gun you are exiled in prison for the rest of your life. You kill a person with a gun – YOU SACRIFICE your life!

          No shooter with today’s DNA technology, security cameras, tweets and e-mail EVIDENCE needs to rely on the jury system with run of the mill average citizens with bias and good intentions. They do their best but often get it wrong when criminals sit in death row for over 30 years on the wrong verdict and years later are totally exonerated and freed because of DNA results.

          Here’s a thought:

          When the evidence is UNDENIABLE THE SHOOTER IS CAUGHT ON CAMERA, caught at the scene with guns and ammunition, caught on multiple on scene witness videos, tweets, etc. — then allow SWIFT JUSTICE to PREVAIL.

          REFORM the court system by reducing the time and money spent on lawyers and courts. 90 days or less for a trial when overwhelming evidence is obtained. At trial, when overwhelming evidence is presented limit appeals on obscure procedural technicalities that do not change the outcome and can drag on for years. Possibly reform jury of your peers that has the potential for bias. Here is a radical idea, rely on the judge and not use jurors at all and rely on FACTS, not the lawyers skewed interpretation of facts.

          Certainly reform and speed up justice for mass shooters and save the courts money and more importantly save taxpayers money.

          The grand finale: Execute the killers in swift justice and post videos on the Internet. Certainly will not stop all mass shooters that often take their own life. But it will serve notice to everyone there are SEVERE SWIFT consequences to your criminal actions and think about it. The liberals and the media will not save you from execution.

          Justice is EFFICIENTLY served… 🗽

            1. Great movie and one of my favorite sci-fi flicks. Denigrating my real life ideas comparing them to fantasy Hollywood is something only the misguided left is capable of…

          1. Goeb: You represent the green line. I am somewhere between the black line and the red line.

            ?w=575

            At least I present data to substantiate my views. You have ZERO evidence to show that the preponderance of terrorism is caused by left wingers. No one here has ever seen you post ANY data to prove your deep opinions. It’s almost as though you are paid to be an political troll, but your funders didn’t bother giving you any facts with which to prove your endless zealotry is in any way good for society.

            By the way, the Taliban does public executions when their laws are broken. Is that your inspiration for swift justice without due process, against the US Constitution?

            1. “You have ZERO evidence to show that the preponderance of terrorism is caused by left wingers.”

              You are a mixed bag and certainly an enigma. You tell yourself you “present facts” and then TOTALLY misread my post.

              I never said any such thing. Go back and read it again and at least try not to conflate or extrapolate something that is clearly not there.

              Regarding the “swift justice” of the Taliban, AGAIN you are deflecting and off topic. Certainly ignoring and not addressing points in my post. But I’ll play along to set the record straight.

              Swift justice and Taliban is an oxymoron. Pay close attention, it does NOT EXIST. It has absolutely nothing to do with the ideas in my post and totally irrelevant.

              Learn reading comprehension on FACE VALUE, address my points without the liberal deflections or don’t waste my time…

            2. Speaking of reading comprehension, try reading this:

              “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

              Now guess where that quote came from.

      3. “Seen the UK lately? They are deluged in stabbings and people throwing acid in one another’s faces. They are literally trying to ban knives.”

        How does someone who posts prolifically and pontificates from a somewhat ‘lofty and superior’ viewpoint, undoubtedly educated…post such a ridiculous ‘whataboutism’?
        Are you so arrogant that you think facts don’t matter? That a crass, throwaway and hopelessly uninformed denial of the truth is cool? That it doesn’t matter because nobody will challenge you? Do you care so little for your country’s gun culture victims who need action rather than worthless and inadequate posturing?
        Have you ever visited the UK? Where and when did you witness for yourself this “deluge”? What next? Londonistan?

        Wiser minds can now see you as a careless, entitled, heartless blowhard. And you did it all yourself.

    1. Do you understand the U.S. Constitution, the Second Amendment, and how to repeal constitutional amendments? Do you also understand how lib outfits like the ACLU would block institutionalization of mentally ill sociopaths? Do you understand how difficult it would be to identify a mass murderer beforehand and then legally disarm him or block him from purchasing a gun? Do you understand that a guy killed 86 people and injured 458 others with a truck? If so, why are you not deploying your skills at logic to demand trucks be “taken away” first so that “we have time to treat their other problems?”

        1. Nice attempt at deflection. If you bothered to look at the facts, you’ll see that mass murders in the USA are overwhelming committed by shooters.

          Ironically, in the USA there are no patriots exercising their second amendment rights to rise up against the evil governments that compel them to register their vehicles and get some basic driver training and licenses. Why are all these patriots lining up like sheep to register their big ole pickups? Surely they know that the database on vehicles will be used by the evil government to eventually take away their trucks and their sacred freedom to drive however whenever and wherever they want? Oh oh SOCIALISM. No, COMMUNISM. Er, um, CRAZY LIBERALISM. Every public policy that requires an individual to act in a civilized manner for the safety and convenience of everyone else must be labeled with some ANTI-AMERICA screed in all caps. That’s how the ill-educated hypocrites roll. In their twisted minds, the USA was at the zenith of its greatness in ~ 1850.

          I want to know how many of the gun-toting extremists who cannot feel safe without bump stocks and heavily modified semiautos attend regular training. How many actually visit rifle ranges and have demonstrated proficiency with any firearm? How many truly are members of a legitimate guard unit or have any former military experience? How many are even active members of the NRA and attend local chapter meetings?

          This isn’t about “defending ourselves from an oppressive government”. The NRA simply wants to sell more guns, and with Russian funding (proven!), Crazy Wayne is happy to sow paranoias. Trump has shown repeatedly that he does whatever the NRA says.

          There are 2 common sense bills sitting on obstructionist Moscow Mitch’s desk waiting for floor debate in the senate. Rather than having open debate where such legislation can be analyzed and considered on its merits and costs, one party prefers to kill it. Remind me again why the GOP senate leader gets paid when he refuses to allow the Senate to do anything?

          In other news, Timmy is taking Apple funds and donating them to anti-gun causes. You see, Apple is a corporation, which means it has all the rights but no responsibilities as a citizen; the corrupt right wing SCOTUS decided that money is speech, so Timmy has about a $trillion more opportunities to keep this issue in the headlines. But we cannot reform corporate dark money domination of media either….

          1. “Ironically, in the USA there are no patriots exercising their second amendment rights to rise up against the evil governments that compel them to register their vehicles and get some basic driver training and licenses.”

            Patriots are not stupid. Registering a vehicle is not a constitutional right. You don’t know that?

            “I want to know how many of the gun-toting extremists who cannot feel safe without bump stocks and heavily modified semiautos attend regular training.”

            As a proud gun owner for decades I don’t appreciate being labeled an “extremist.” That title belongs to you.

            “The NRA simply wants to sell more guns”

            Last time I checked the NRA does not sell guns.

            “Trump has shown repeatedly that he does whatever the NRA says.”

            Stupid is as stupid does. -FG

            “There are 2 common sense bills sitting on obstructionist Moscow Mitch’s desk.”

            Yeah, you have seen them on his desk? Please tell us the number of the two Senate bills.

            “In other news, Timmy is taking Apple funds and donating them to anti-gun causes.”

            Is that right? Please provide evidence and links that clearly show Apple is funding groups opposing the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Opinion is not the same as REALITY.

            “the corrupt right wing SCOTUS decided that money is speech”

            OK, enough of your unsubstantiated OPINION NONSENSE…

            1. I would be accused of being a long-winded blowhard if I went through that post statement by statement to show that there is hardly a single one that is true. You would not read my response and would not believe me if you did. So I won’t bother.

              Hope it isn’t your child who gets slaughtered next time. Other people’s kids being killed is just an excuse for another presidential photo op.

      1. Here is the ACLU’s position on gun control: “The American Civil Liberties Union firmly believes that legislatures can, consistent with the Constitution, impose reasonable limits on firearms sale, ownership, and use, without raising civil liberties concerns.”

        This country had an assault weapons ban once before. Both the Constitution and firearms enthusiasts survived.

        As for logic, comparing the 2016 terrorist truck attack in France to mass shootings is a false equivance, and fallacy of relative privation.

        Easy access to high powered weapons is the single differentiator between the United States and first world countries which do not have this problem.

        1. I asked, “Do you also understand how lib outfits like the ACLU would block institutionalization of mentally ill sociopaths?”

          I don’t do not care what the ALCU says about most anything, especially their position on “gun control.”

        2. Typical liberal. Focuses on the weapon and not the actual cause of the problem.

          30000 gun deaths a year, approximately.
          2/3 of those are suicide.
          About 10000 are murder/crime related.

          Of the 10,000, most are black on black related crime in urban areas.
          So much for white supremacists.

          Of those about 600 are “assault weapon” related.

          More people are killed with blunt instruments. (FBI).

          Banning assault weapons is political, nothing more.

          The vast majority of people do not use their “assault” weapons to kill people. You can kill as many unarmed people with semi-automatic handgun as you can with a semi-automatic rifle.

          The problem with current mass shootings is clearly related to disenfranchised young white men. How are these people slipping through the cracks? If you think making it harder for them to get assault weapons will change anything, you’re just covering your eyes.

          Once again…

          Anyone who believes that gun control is about safety is naive. The desire and effort to control guns is a small but highly significant battle in the war for the soul of this nation. Gun control advocates have locked onto firearms and regulating them as a powerful method of manipulating constituent emotions, while simultaneously demoralizing conservative voters. It is 100% politics. It is the unethical exploitation of tragedy for political gain. Even worse, the constant, aggressive, and insidious attack on the 2nd Amendment is an attack on the Constitution itself. If they can defeat the 2nd Amendment, they can dismantle the entire Constitution at will.

          Liberals do not wish to explore the true reasons in depth because it will show the degree to which liberal policies have contributed to the erosion of American culture. We have a serious CULTURAL issue beginning with the belief that the government is the solution to most problems. It is not.

          And blaming Donald Trump? Seriously? I KNOW you people are smarter than that and you should just stop it.

          1. There is literally zero correlation between these “root causes” and mass shootings.

            The only strong correlation is between permissive gun laws / gun culture, and mass shootings.

            This might be hard for people to wrap their heads around, but the root cause of mass shootings is quite literately gun ownership.

            1. There is literally zero correlation between these “root canals” and massively poor dental hygiene.

              The only strong correlation is between permissive brushing laws / tooth culture, and mass flossing.

              This might be hard for people to wrap their heads around, but the root canals of serial non brushers is quite literately toothbruth ownership but no corresponding tooth brush usership

            2. “This might be hard for people to wrap their heads around, but the root cause of mass shootings is quite literately gun ownership.”

              No, it is very easy to wrap my head around guns do not commit crimes, criminals DO…

          2. Of the 20,000 firearm suicides, most of those would not have happened without access to a firearm. I know what you’re thinking – they will just OD, jump, cut themselves, whatever, but the truth is no, they won’t.

            Suicide by gun is so high because it is so effective – 85 to 95% effective compared to other methods: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/means-matter/means-matter/case-fatality/

            In most all other forms of suicide except jumping from sufficient height there is a period, however short, where the person can change their mind, back away, or call for help. Of those who survived jumps, the vast majority say that the second they jumped they realized that they wanted to live. Suicide is generally a very impulsive act: https://medium.com/@ennyman/a-lesson-from-29-golden-gate-suicide-attempts-a42f4ef3f970

            It is a statistical fact that access to guns = more successful suicides because there is no going back once you pull the trigger:

            https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/magazine/magazine_article/guns-suicide/

            https://www.thetrace.org/2015/11/gun-suicides-mental-illness-statistics/ with the quote: “If you save someone’s life from a suicide attempt,” says Georgetown professor Liza Gold, “there’s a very good chance that you really are permanently saving their life.”

            So with suicide, yes, the weapon DOES make a difference. A very large one. While there’s many, many, MANY other factors we need to address to drop the rate, you can’t just sweep this one under the rug with by pejoratively referring to others as “liberals”.

    2. Thanks Capt. Obvious. What a stupid statement.
      Oh, and all stabbing victims had one common link. A knife.
      And all car accident victims…a car
      And all drowning victims…water/liquid
      And all dog mauling victims…a dog

      1. Not a stupid statement. Knives and dogs don’t kill dozens of people in 60 seconds. Which is why society accepts the isolated risk that these can too be misused.

        Ironically, it’s much easier to have a dangerous dog confiscated from an irresponsible owner than it is to take away a mentally ill person’s guns. Explain how this makes sense to you.

    3. Are you saying repeal the 2nd Amendment…that guns should not be available? Do you know where every gun in US is…how are you going to take them away from the majority of population who understand the 2nd Amendment?
      Fact, more murders are committed with knives, hammers, and physical beatings than guns. Car accidents kill more people per year than guns. The shootings which have taken place are horrific tragedies but blaming ‘guns’ and ‘mental illness’ of shooters doesn’t necessarily calculate. Not all shooters are mentally ill, some are just full of hatred for anything or everything, some are plain evil. Charlie Manson comes to mind.
      Listen to the rantings and ravings of the left (elected Dems and leftist media) who twist ‘every’ word Trump says into ‘racism.’ They blame Trump, yet, they are the ones always pushing racism. They promote violence against his supporters, they are venomous. They think their crap is rose scented but it is more along the lines of the corpse flower.

      1. Joan says “Fact, more murders are committed with knives, hammers, and physical beatings than guns.” Fact: WRONG.

        More murders in the US are committed with guns. In 2016, it was 73% of all murders. The next closest was knives/cutting instruments at 10.6% These FBI statistics are from here: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-4.xls

        Murder victims by weapon: 2012-2016

        Weapons 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
        Total 12,888 12,253 12,270 13,750 15,070
        Total firearms: 8,897 8,454 8,312 9,778 11,004
        Handguns 6,404 5,782 5,673 6,569 7,105
        Rifles 298 285 258 258 374
        Shotguns 310 308 264 272 262
        Other guns 116 123 93 177 186
        Firearms, type not stated 1,769 1,956 2,024 2,502 3,077
        Knives or cutting instruments 1,604 1,490 1,595 1,589 1,604
        Blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.) 522 428 446 450 472
        Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.)1 707 687 682 659 656
        Poison 13 11 10 8 11
        Explosives 8 2 7 1 1
        Fire 87 94 71 84 107
        Narcotics 38 53 70 75 114
        Drowning 14 4 14 14 9
        Strangulation 90 85 89 99 98
        Asphyxiation 106 95 102 120 91
        Other weapons or weapons not stated 802 850 872 873 903

        Further, the number of deaths by auto is as immaterial to this discussion as deaths by alcohol, cardiovascular disease or autoerotic asphyxiation.

    4. After the crime when arrested and convicted criminals lose Second Amendment gun rights FOREVER.

      Please tell us how to handle the “common denominator” before a criminal shooting…

      1. No, NO ONE loses gun rights EVER. You allow ONE instance, and it becomes a slippery slope… anyone who does something considered “unpopular” could have their rights removed under the same or a similar statute.

        Convicted of domestic violence? Oh, you lose your gun rights… etc.

  3. Nice Republican talking points MDN. Other developed nations have these issues also minus the mass killings. The one thing America has is an unchecked proliferation of weapons.

    1. Do other countries really have the exact same culture and system as the U.S.? No, they do not. That was your first fallacy.

      Prior to the widespread explosion in divorce rates, the U.S. did not see mass shootings, despite the existence of hundreds of millions of firearms. That was your second fallacy.

      Are you afraid to consider that fatherless boys, the breakdown of the family, etc. could be a contributor?

      Guns have been in the hands of the people for centuries, but not routinely used for random mass murder until after the breakdown of the family. Explain that.

      America does not have “an unchecked proliferation of weapons,” despite what they tell you to believe on MSNBC. America has more gun laws on the books than you can count. It is also illegal to gun down people on the streets or in stores. Laws don’t stop the criminally insane.

      I’m all for sensible gun sales, but it’s insanely easy to get a weapon – be it a gun or a truck – for those who want to inflict harm. The way to really prevent these tragedies is to stop making apathetic murderers who want to inflict harm on a mass scale.

      You just don’t want to hear that there are consequences for “anything goes,” get divorced if you want, “me, me, me!” irresponsibility.

    2. That you see the idea of the nuclear family having value when it comes to raising children as a “Republican talking point” only shows how far afield you’ve gone.

    3. I agree with common sense Julia. Other countries have different laws and ban ordinary citizens from owning firearms. Not an equal COMPARISON.

      “Unchecked proliferation of firearms”” is TOTALLY FALSE. First, all law abiding citizens are allowed to legally purchase a firearm guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Pay close attention: You have to pass a BACKGROUND CHECK.

      So your post is totally talking point USELESS…

      1. Goeb sez: “I agree with common sense Julia. Other countries have different laws and ban ordinary citizens from owning firearms. Not an equal COMPARISON.”

        Obviously Goeb does not understand what is the purpose of comparison and how data from other nations can inform long-overdue reform in his own country. The purpose of many comparisons is not to try to make them “equal”, but to score them and see how each yields different results, which factors are most sensitive, where things don’t work, etc. Benchmarking and analysis allows one to take technology from one innovator and drive it into your own product/process/policy cost effectively. As usual, however, Goeb thinks continually repeating the same policies he is comfortable with — including those that may have worked for 13 fledgling newly-united colonies in the late 18th century — cannot possibly improved by looking at what is working in other nations that have newer Constitutions and laws that serve their citizens with demonstrably better outcomes in objectively measurable ways. He even ignores the fact that his sacred 2nd Amendment is AN AMENDMENT, an edit to a document that is intended to be updated and edited into the future.

        Allow me to offer an analogy of Goeb’s brain-free thinking:

        After decades of tinkering and experimenting behind closed doors, Chevy in 2020 finally redesigned the Corvette to place the engine where it can yield the best balance and dynamic performance: rear-mid engine. “WHY DID CHEVY DO THIS?” some pundits screamed. The Corvette always used to have a long hood! The longstanding US icon was good enough! Conservative anti-progress whiners (clearly in the minority) took the reveal of the 8th generation Corvette with resentment. This was anti-American!!!

        The other 95% of prospective Corvette customers cheered. Finally, a real step forward in design, just as the engineering team had been itching to do since the 1960’s. Order reservations are pouring in, a huge success for the hardworking Detroit automaker that only a decade ago some people insisted should be shuttered for good.

        What difference does engine placement make? In short, this results in the best possible traction and mass balance to get the best performance out of each tire in each phase of driving. Carroll Shelby knew this back in the 1960’s when he developed the Ford GT to beat Ferrari at their own endurance race-dominating game. Why doesn’t everyone do it? Well … tradition for one. Bad engineering for another. The BMWs, the Mustangs (including Shelby-tuned Mustangs), the Camaros, etc — they evolved to be good cars that could roll off old assembly lines without major investment, and they were good enough for the public. But good is not great. While BMW claimed 50/50% Front/Rear static balance is perfect, they were wrong. Ferrari and every winning Formula 1 team since has proven that the ideal static balance is closer to 45/55% to as much as 36/64% F/R weight balance depending on the track. You may have to drive a mid-engined car to understand, but here is a discussion why: http://automotivethinker.com/chassis/stop-and-weight-a-5050-weight-distribution-is-not-optimal /. (For those who are wondering about the ass-engined Nazi slot car, the brilliant Porsche 911 is offered in several configurations; it has evolved to put up to ~65% of its static weight on the rear tires (depending on variant). And that works great now that the trailing swingarm suspension has been retired and drop-throttle oversteer has been tamed. Truth is, the Corvette and Porsche engineers have been COMPARING their products extensively for the last several generations, each teaching the other new tricks along the way.

        Point is, finally, thanks to SIGNIFICANT benchmarking of mid-engined competition from Porsche, McLaren, Ferrari, Audi, Lamborghini, etc, and other exotics costing significantly more, Chevy was able to take that COMPARATIVE data to inform the design of its own sportscar. By comparing the impressive Corvette C7 against “completely different” cars that didn’t look like a Corvette, have the same number of seats, or even compete in the Corvette price class, Chevy product development teams were able to pen a new Corvette that is a step change better than any previous one at a price that will embarrass the limited-edition Ford GT and the rest of the exotics. Chevy barely even had to massage its “old tech” but bulletproof V-8 engine. Simply by moving it to the middle of the car and implementing a new oil lubrication system, the height of the center of mass of the Corvette dropped into supercar territory. The driver and passenger now have generous footroom. The new base model Corvette has already proven it can accelerate from 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds. By modernizing the suspension and transmission, the Corvette will keep up with expensive competitors around Nurburgring as well. Lo and behold, learning from European supercar makers has improved the brash American sports car.

        That’s why you use data to progress, instead of blindly following tradition. Progress. What a concept. If you find yourself endlessly thinking like Goeb that if “it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”, just stop. It’s probably broken and you are just too lazy to do anything about it.

    4. “Lefty” is totally appropriate for your post.

      “The one thing America has is an unchecked proliferation of weapons.”

      “Unchecked” you are a bald face liar parroting stupid talking points from DUMB DEMOCRAT politicians.

      There are well over 200,000 gun laws in the U.S. and a federal background check is required to purchase a firearm.

      Take another deep toke, but sorry to say it won’t help you with reality…

      1. No, a federal background check is NOT required to purchase a firearm. In many states, you can freely sell your firearm to whomever you want in a private sale – at a gun show, a county fair, local NRA meeting, swap meet, back alley, whatever. No questions asked:

        https://consumer.findlaw.com/consumer-transactions/private-gun-sale-laws-by-state.html

        This GAPING loophole that permits law-abiding citizens to sell their guns to criminals and others banned from owning firearms would be closed by the bill Moscow Mitch is currently blocking in the Senate, a bill that has the support of well over 85% of this country’s populace including a large number of NRA members.

        In addition, the current background check law allows licensed dealers to give you a gun before your background check is complete (as was the case in the Charleston shooting). https://time.com/4512255/charleston-loophole/ The legislation that Mitch is stalling also takes care of that nonsense.

  4. I’m just going to leave this here (and omit the name, like Sarah did above, so that people read it instead of reading the name and dismissing it):

    Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame … In a nutshell: I believe the lawless social anarchy which we saw is directly related to the breakdown of family structure. personal responsibility and social order in too many areas of our society. For the poor the situation’ is compounded by a welfare ethos that impedes individual efforts to move ahead in society, and hampers their ability to take advantage of the opportunities America offers.

    If we don’t succeed in addressing these fundamental problems, and in restoring basic values, any attempt to fix what’s broken will fail … We are in large measure, reaping the whirlwind of decades of changes in social mores.

    I was born in 1947, so I’m considered one of those “Baby Boomers” we keep reading about. But let’s look at one unfortunate legacy of the “Boomer” generation. When we were young, it was fashionable to declare war against traditional values. Indulgence and self-gratification seemed to have no consequences. Many of our generation glamorized casual sex and drug use, evaded responsibility and trashed authority …

    New thinking, new ideas, new strategies are needed … Our policies must be premised on, and must reinforce, values such as: family, hard work, integrity and personal responsibility.

    for those concerned about children growing up in poverty, we should know this: marriage is probably the best anti-poverty program of all. Among families headed by married couples today, there is a poverty rate of 5.7 percent. But 33.4 percent of families headed by a single mother are in poverty today.

    Nature abhors a vacuum. Where there are no mature, responsible men around to teach boys how to be good men, gangs serve in their place. [substitute “The Internet” for “gangs” as this was written pre-Internet) In fact; gangs have become a surrogate family for much of a generation of inner-city boys. I recently visited with some former gang members in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In a private meeting, they told me why they had joined gangs. These teenage boys said that gangs gave them a sense of security. They made them feel wanted, and useful. They got support from their friends. And, they said, “It was like having a family.” “Like family” – unfortunately, that says it all.

    Answers to our problems won’t be easy … Ultimately however, marriage is a moral issue that requires cultural consensus, and the use of social sanctions. Bearing babies irresponsibly is, simply, wrong. Failing to support children one has fathered is wrong. We must be unequivocal about this.

    It doesn’t help matters when prime time TV has Murphy Brown – a character who supposedly epitomizes today’s intelligent, highly paid, professional woman – mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another “lifestyle choice.”

    I know it is not fashionable to talk about moral values, but we need to do it. Even though our cultural leaders in Hollywood; network TV, the national newspapers routinely jeer at them, I think that most of us in , this room know that some things are good, and other things are wrong. Now it’s time to make the discussion public.

    It’s time to talk again about family, hard work, integrity and personal responsibility. We cannot be embarrassed out of our belief that two parents, married to each other, are better in most cases for children than one. That honest work is better than hand-outs – or crime. That we are our brothers’ keepers. That it’s, worth making an effort, even when ‘the rewards aren’t immediate. , So I think the time has come to renew our public commitment to our Judeo-Christian values-in our churches and synagogues, our civic organizations and our schools. We are, as our children recite each morning, “one nation under God.” That’s a useful framework for acknowledging a duty and an authority higher than our own pleasures and personal ambitions.

    If we lived more thoroughly by these values, we would live in a better society.

    1. The above are excerpts from Vice President Dan Quayle’s May 19, 1992 speech that was widely derided in the mainstream media which quickly tagged it the “Murphy Brown Speech” in order to denigrate every single idea in the speech that they did not, for whatever reason(s), want the average person to hear or pay attention to.

      The mainstream “culture” in the U.S. is sick, twisted, and ever-permissive. That is really the fscking problem here. Dan Quayle was 100% right, of course. That’s why the leftist media went after him like they later did to Sarah Palin.

      The problem is not tools misused by the sick products of a diseased culture. If there were no guns, these twisted mentally-fscked up tards would simply rent a U-Haul and plow down twice as many in half the time as their semi-auto AKs.

    2. There’s nothing uniquely American about the “breakdown of family structure”. And the rest of the world has virtually identical rates of mental illness.

      Annual mass shootings:

      Italy: 0
      Argentina: 0
      Brazil: 1
      USA: 249

        1. Wow the dim bulb in the room starts to flicker. Other nations have better gun laws, which is a dominant factor why they have dramatically fewer mass murders. In those nations, by the way, you can still hunt and target shoot and defend your home. Amazing, isn’t it?

            1. As usual, Goebb, you asked someone else to do your homework for you. Why can’t you find the answer to anything without it being fed to you in a bought-and-paid-for Fox News narrative ?

            2. No Shadow, obviously you sell me short because you don’t like my opinions. For your information I already know the answer and was asking disposableidentity if he had a clue. Now I count TWO CLUELESS. Congrats!…

  5. This is a clear eyed view of what can be done. Yes of course it’s the guns.. but only in part. It’s the people committing the acts and an easy, well known path of action for those that become aware of potential violence. Certainly this is fraught with running down empty leads..but what if it works to the extent that instead of 33,000 gun incidents we reduce it by a third? Or half? It’s a NATIONAL CRISIS.. Let’s fix it by preventing the PEOPLE from doing it.. EVEN IF WE DO NOTHING ABOUT THE GUNS. Stop the asinine finger pointing and political name calling. Fix it.

    https://www.westsideseattle.com/ballard-news-tribune/2019/08/06/editorial-how-can-we-curb-mass-shootings-what-can-be-done-about-gun

  6. While I agree deeply with all the concerns brought up in the article, these realities should not be used to diminish or exclude other factors. 1) Our leaders should not speak in ways that de-humanize others and 2) some common sense measures are long overdue (such as no loophole background checks and elimination of high-volume gun magazines) – the founding fathers put the 2nd amendment in the Bill of Rights because they didn’t think the government should have a standing army, but should be able to form a militia when needed. To use the second amendment to argue that everyone should have access to military grade weaponry today is nonsense. We would not, in our modern day, dismantle our armed forces because of the 2nd amendment. Historical context is important when trying to understand historical documents. In the 18th century, a single-shot musket could not be used for mass shootings. We don’t allow citizens to own RPGs or rocket-launchers – why do we need to allow assault weapons? There are more assault weapons owned by US private citizens than owned by the US armed forces. The U.S. has 4% of the world’s population, but owns 46% of privately owned guns. Gun violence is higher in the US than in any advanced nation. There is a correlation, whatever the other underlying causes. All are important to address.

    1. There is no such things as an “assault weapon.” It is a Democrat talking point invention. You mean “fully automatic weapons” and they’ve been banned since 1934 (National Firearms Act).

      You need to stop using made-up terms like “assault weapon” if you want any gun owner who’d like to see stricter background checks join you in promoting and enacting such checks.

        1. Heh, heh.. Wikipedia. You’re kidding, right? The reason this doesn’t get any traction is idiots who don’t understand guns demanding they be taken away on the basis of invented, fake categorizations.

          When you learn something or want to learn something (beyond Wikipedia), we can talk.

      1. The semantics game is not productive. Everyone uses shorthand, you know exactly what an assault weapon is. It is a weapon capable of spraying enough bullets fast enough that dozens of people could be killed before any properly trained “good guy” can unholster his legal sidearm. Don’t pretend that everything on an internet forum has to be in legalese.

        You also know very well that gun manufacturers have pushed the line far too long. A civilian version of an M-16 that can be modified to be nearly automatic and accept huge clips of ammo is not intended for defense, it is a purely offensive weapon. The is no reason that any Well Regulated Militia should ever have these weapons in their homes. Keep them locked at the gun range, so you can use it as you like and crazy people can’t get them. Why is that objectionable?

        You do realize that in early settlements, gun safety regulations existed? Refer to 1713 rules in Massachusetts when settlers kept gunpowder locked in stock-houses, with only law enforcers and highly trained Minutemen allowed to carry or fire arms within village limits. This is a significant step past the Plymouth Colony when fear for safety against natives compelled all able bodied men to carry arms. See, civilizations do evolve. Too bad some people are still living in the late 18th century in their heads. I sincerely doubt that Madison and the rest of the Constitutional Congress would approve of untrained individuals toting high power semiautomatic weapons today. Circumstances have changed, the USA is not under imminent threat by savages or redcoats.

        http://www.claytoncramer.com/popular/Safety%20Regulation%20in%20Early%20America.html

        1. “…The semantics game is not productive. Everyone uses shorthand, you know exactly what an assault weapon is. It is a weapon capable of spraying enough bullets fast enough that dozens of people could be killed before any properly trained “good guy” can unholster his legal sidearm. Don’t pretend that everything on an internet forum has to be in legalese…”

          In that case most semi-automatic handguns are assault rifles.

          The Virginia Tech shooter used handguns by the way.

          Also, semi-automatic weapons do not “spray” as you say. One bullet per trigger pull.

          Fully automatic rifles (real assault weapons) do spray, but guess what? They are already illegal.

          1. “D”: Well thank you for that wonderful contribution. When a weak debater fails, he resorts to insults. How pathetic.

            For those who think that the 2nd Amendment was intended to allow every American unfettered access to firearms, wake up. Scalia himself agreed that a large share of the weaponry that the NRA lobby was trying to sell were not in keeping with the intent of the Constitution. You see, the key leading phrase “well-regulated militia” was not an abstract notion, and it shouldn’t be open to individual interpretation today. Colonial militias at the time of the colonies were trained, organized by each state. Refer to the Federalist Papers, article 29. Alexander Hamilton explains clearly what a militia was, and why they were protected in the Constitution. The militia was supposed to act like a state volunteer guard unit, a reserve to the federal army — NOT a bunch of individual Rambo wannabes claiming they can take back control from the US Government whenever they feel it is necessary. The specific intent of a “well-regulated militia”, argues Hamilton, would safeguard the fledgling nation against European superpowers at a lower cost than the European empires spent on their professional mercenaries. Hamilton knew very well that the new nation could not yet afford a world-class federal army. Washington had pulled off an amazing feat with the meagre army he was given, but the Continental army lost 6 of the 9 major battles with Britain, and was won only when the French helped ensnare the thoroughly overconfident Brits. After the French left, Hamilton knew that the nation was vulnerable. He also knew that there was a large faction of colonists who would support the idea of the US President accruing enough power to become a defacto king. That is specifically why even the federalists Hamilton, Madison, et al AGREED with the factions who preferred decentralization (Jeffersonians): by ensuring that the reserves of the federal army were controlled by the individual states, that would force the states to work together and prevent a president from becoming a tyrant with unchecked military force.

            Why didn’t the authors of the constitution instead write that only states should regulate arms? Well they assumed that future generations would write sensible laws as technology and civilization evolved. The founders also neglected to constitutionally regulate telecoms, aviation, automobiles, explosives, genetic manipulation, medical care of any kind, …. you get the point.

            The authors of the Constitution would be disgusted that modern Americans can’t even work together to craft sensible legislation on anything anymore — unless some profiteering corporation writes it and finances both corrupt parties to sign it.

            1. Mike,

              When the 2nd A was written, the citizens had the EXACT SAME FIREARMS AS THE MILITARY. Therefore, the 2nd A prevents infringement of “military” weapons in the hands of citizens.

              You would know that if you were not such an idiot.

            2. “Why didn’t the authors of the constitution instead write that only states should regulate arms? Well they assumed that future generations would write sensible laws as technology and civilization evolved.“

              They “assumed” or YOU assumed. You are betting CLUELESS…

            3. Actually, the authors of the Constitution DID provide that only the states could regulate arms. The Second Amendment only applied to the Federal Government and did not restrict the states in any way. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments provided that whatever state powers were not restricted by the Constitution were reserved to the states.

              That only changed when the Fourteenth Amendment after the Civil War first restricted the power of the states to limit the Federally-guaranteed rights of persons within their jurisdiction. For example, states could not limit freedom of speech or the press.

              The states, including the very same legislators who ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, continued to regulate arms exactly as they had before. State and federal courts uniformly held that they had the inherent constitutional right to manage thei own “well-regulated militia” just as they always had.

              That only changed in 2010 when activist federal judges effectively amended the Constitution to limit state regulation of firearms for the very first time.

        2. Realist,

          When the 2nd A was written, the citizens had the EXACT SAME FIREARMS AS THE MILITARY. Therefore, the 2nd A prevents infringement of “military” weapons in the hands of citizens.

          You would know that if you were not such an idiot

          1. Lack of logic on your part, D. Then you undermine any point you were trying to make with an unnecessary personal attack.

            Three points:

            the vast majority of people demanding zero infringement on their weapon lifestyle are NOT well-regulated miltia. Many are too responsible to own firearms, even by extreme right-wing standards.
            You repeat the worn out trope that gun regulation is infringement, but then you act like a law & order zealot when it pleases you. Most sane people are very happy that Bazookas, grenades, and Sherman tanks are kept out of the hands of ALL citizens. It is furthermore completely reasonable to temporarily or in some cases permanently remove firearms from: people on medication for mental issues, veterans diagnosed with PTSD, duly convicted violent felons, etc. You have yet to make ANY valid point why such reasonable background checks and, yes, restrictions, are not reasonable for the benefit of public safety. Even if some bad guys still have access to guns, such regulation would deter some. Why not try?
            So you admit that the dramatically increased firepower that has been invented since the Constitution should be regulated? Well that is why the founders allowed for national and state law to fill in the blanks that they knew they could not predict. Gun regulation, just like aviation regulation or vehicle regulation or utility plant regulation, is necessary for obvious public safety reasons. It is completely unreasonable to pretend that the law and, yes, the Constitution, should never be changed when the situation evolves. If you are so conservative that you want the USA to stop evolving in all things, then kiss away world leadership. Some other nation will progress past your home-schooled isolationist enclave by working together for the prosperity and safety of all citizens — not just the most bitter whiny factions.

          2. Bullshit. The average frontiersman had a muzzleloader at best. One accurate shot every 30 seconds at best. The redcoats had mortars and cannons. Their ability to rapid fire came from huge numbers of men and guns firing and reloading in volleys. Colonials used guerrilla tactics, fire and run. Then there was the naval power disparity, until the French bailed out the rebels.

            Since you didn’t learn anything from Las Vegas: no good person packing any firearm can stand a chance against a domestic terrorist with modern weapons. Practically no other legal device can murder so many people in such a short time with such psychological impact.

            The time for the weapons lobby to stop blocking reasonable reforms has long passed. Keep guns out of the hands of crazy people and felons. Require recurring safety training and safe storage. Register weapons and close loopholes for background checks. Increase penalties for all aggravated incidents with guns. Prevent mass sales of ammo. Pay for increased police with modest taxes on ammo.

            Drivers already submit to most of this. Why can’t gun owners?

  7. No to video games causing this. I would say that this is the fault of the media and social media. They distort reality and thereby influence these shooters. They hype and blame without actual proof, and social media takes it to a whole other level. Everybody on social media is the judge, jury and executioner. The idiot who is president basically communicates through twitter. That in itself says something about where society is today, guilty until proven innocent by the keyboard warriors who hide behind their phones, comps, etc. Social Media is the scourge of modern society. The sooner it goes away the better for everybody.

    1. It’s not idiotic to communicate directly to the people through Twitter when the traditional method is highly biased against you (proven by multiple studies) and will use sound bites and selective editing to twist your message (seen multiple times over a period of many years in the U.S. media).

      1. You should really say ‘to the people that use twitter’ because less use it than more. So it isn’t a viable conduit for information from elected officials. Since Drump doesn’t use ‘normal’ channels, everybody else must rely on the ‘biased’ media you pointed out. Does your 87 year old grandmother (just an example) use twitter? I highly doubt it.

  8. There is something horribly wrong with a society that needs to resolve arguments, disagreements, distrust, disdain or whatever emotion prompts it, to use a gun to resolve it.

    If it comes from father providing a role model for how to resolve these types of conflicts, so be it. It it comes from two mothers, so be it. If it comes from two fathers, so be it.

    It is interesting that it’s nearly always a male who is unable to manage their emotions, that seems to pull the trigger. As a male, I can attest to the crescendo of rage I used to feel when I was younger when I felt that I was wronged. Still do feel my blood pressure rise, though I am able to make sense of it, now.

      1. Thanks Rocky! I modeled my rage from father. Took me many years to grow out of it. His death, while sad, freed me fully from the shackles. Fortunately I was able to change and have been a better role model to my son.

        1. Thanks for affirming my suspicion that not all fathers are great, as if Joseph Jackson wasn’t proof enough. Nothing is 100%. But in the vast majority of cases, having a loving father as a role model is far better for boys than not having one for whatever reason.

          The fact is that nearly all of these mass killers share the condition of being fatherless. As MDN writes above, “All common threads in these cases should be explored for those who are interested in looking for real solutions.”

  9. “Divorce, broken families, fatherless boys, lack of religion and charity, cultural and social alienation, internet addiction”

    Religious attendance has been dropping across all developed countries for decades, including the US. Nope, can’t blame mass shootings on that (especially since the right will turn right around and blame Islamic terrorism on religion. You can’t have it both ways!).

    Broken families and fatherless boys… In the country with the highest incarceration rate in the world, I wonder why this is? Especially for the black community… And yet, most US mass shooting perpetrators are white, not black.

    Let’s move to “incels” or those who can’t get laid. China and India have a huge male population that has zero chance of getting a girlfriend or wife in-country thanks to a major gender imbalance caused by families preferring to get rid of female babies/fetuses. Between the 2 countries there are 70 MILLION more men than women. Don’t see mass shootings happening regularly there, either.

    1. Church attendance in other developed countries is a fraction of attendance in the US. So is the murder rate. You simply cannot argue causation running in one direction when the easily verified correlation is running the opposite way.

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