Thursday, December 3, 2015

Actually caring about mass shootings as opposed to saying we care

Fact is, mass shootings as we experience them are relatively new. Not that mass killings never happened in history, or serial killers never existed.  But mass shootings as we've seen them for the last few decades is something without precedent.  At least in our civilization.

Now, each time a mass shooting occurs, there will be one of two possible takes on the part of the media.  If it is a white American killing non-whites, then it will be entirely about racism and America's racist past.  If it is any other combination of people involved, it will be about gun control.

Though, in reality, there is a third option where basic shootings are concerned. If it is white police officers killing a black man, then it will be about racist white cops killing blacks.  If it is any other combination of cops and people involved, we just won't hear about it.

Which brings me to thinking, as I am wont to do.  My boys picked up on some things this year.  First, they noticed that during the Charleston church shooting, we knew nothing about anything except that the shooter had a Confederate flag.  And we heard a lot about racism in America.

When a Muslim went on a shooting spree and killed several servicemen in recruitment centers, we hear nothing about Islam or anything really.  The media spent a few days asking what kind of sports he liked or what he was involved in.  But that was all.  Not even much about gun control. It was just dropped within a few days.

A few weeks ago, a young child was shot and killed by police during a pursuit of suspicious circumstances.  The cops were black.  The child was white.  And yet not one news agency reported 'black cops kill a white child.'  In fact, when the photos of the police who were charged were released, that marked the last day the media even talked about it.

Now, in terms of mass shootings, there are problems to be sure.  First of all, the idea that America has more mass shooting than anywhere in the world.  Wouldn't surprise me.  We're the third largest population in the world.  And we are the largest free nation (India being the closest to a free nation after us).  Certainly not China.  And brutal totalitarian states often have the benefit of low crime rates. But even with that, in other free countries we are starting to see an uptick in mass shootings.

This doesn't count mass killings around the world, most often in the form of bombings, and most often linked to that religion we're not allowed to talk about.

In America, most shootings are by white men.  Asians have added to the count in recent years, especially in college shootings.  Blacks and the rare woman shooter make up a small minority of the cases. Though killings associated with that religion we're not allowed to talk about have been on the rise; even if, when they happen, we're assured by the media that the reasons must be some other reason than that religion we're not allowed to talk about.

There is certainly a wider availability of a greater variety of guns than ever before.  But it's not as if more people proportionally own guns than a hundred years ago.

So we need to look at more than just the solutions posed by liberal Democrats and their talking heads in the media.  For instance, take what my wife pointed out.  The first wave of shootings, mostly work place and general public areas like restaurants, were pulled off by middle aged white men.  Those men were basically Baby Boomer age.  Born in and around the 1950s.  The second wave, that began in the 90s, were mostly young men, usually white but not always.  That is, born in the 70s and later.
To me, that's worth looking at right there.  And yet, I have never heard anyone bring that up.

The first part of my post, thinking about how the shootings are covered, should suggest that anyone with a half a brain should avoid letting the media dictate the terms for the debate.  After all, it's clear that the media is willing to ignore or suppress entire swaths of evidence, and even events, if they don't somehow conform to whatever it is the media is wanting things to conform to.

The second point is that the problems are deeply rooted in things well beyond gun control. Sure, we can look at gun laws, if we are being realistic. We should be willing to look at all factors involved.  But if we aren't going to be realistic about the potential disease, why waste time focusing on a symptom?

Might it be that there are some fundamental shifts in the world's basic philosophies and ideals that have caused this?  We're told that spanking causes kids to grow up and be violent.  Yet violence among young people in general is much higher than ever before, and fewer parents spank their kids than ever before.  Right there suggests, you know, the latest, hippest might not always be right.

Other things, such as our abortion culture could come to play.  Also, the modern promotion of narcissism and hedonism, our porn culture, and the general disrespect mixed with self-righteous contempt for others on a massive scale might be the problem.  It's not as if our general pop culture promotes manners and respect for diverse viewpoints.  We were told that middle class, bourgeois manners were a lie and hypocrisy that masked violence and terror.  Yet having jettisoned those manners and customs, the most I can say is at least now we see the violence and terror.

Or it could be that humans are simply a wicked lot, and no matter how we try to solve the problems, the problems find new ways to manifest themselves.  Where violence was once on a national scale, through military and arms, having reduced any notion of loyalty to religions or nations, where the loyalty is to me and my carefully hand-crafted demographic, the violence has turned to individuals doing violent things in place of the old force of arms. So it might just be that we're seeing the ages old violence and slaughter, that have defined human relations since the foundations of time, finding new ways to show themselves.

That's not to say we shouldn't try.  Every age has its evils and it's up to those people of goodwill to do their best to overcome those evils.  But doing that requires honesty.  To be brutally honest, it requires looking in the mirror and asking ourselves how much of the problems are we part of?   It certainly doesn't rest on the modern pointing of fingers at everyone else.  And it might even mean we have to reject the Holy Father's assumptions that Fundamentalists are the cause of evil, conservative ways have to go and we have to get with the latest, hippest.  Because it might be that the foundations of the latest, hippest might, in the end, be more to blame for the violence than any gun law or red state Confederate flag.  I don't know.

But if we really care about solving the problems and saving the lives, that's something we would all have thoughts and prayers for the courage to do.  It remains to be seen if we will.  If we are really serious about solving the problems, or horror of horrors, we only want to exploit them for our gains.  And if that is the case, we might have the actual problem right there.


  1. In America, most shootings are by white men. Asians have added to the count in recent years, especially in college shootings. Blacks and the rare woman shooter make up a small minority of the cases. Though killings associated with that religion we're not allowed to talk about have been on the rise; even if, when they happen, we're assured by the media that the reasons must be some other reason than that religion we're not allowed to talk about.

    If you'll allow me a moment, Dave, but a partial, technical correction: mass shootings are (last anyone did stats on) the one crime that's proportional. To avoid loaded terms and stuff, let's use made up examples to explain real quick to anyone not getting it.

    Let's say we had a village of 100 people. 90 people are plaid colored, the remaining 10 people are poka-dot. Say this village had a crime rate of 10%. If everything was proportional, then that means in the jail, there should be 9 plaid criminals and 1 poka-dot criminal.

    (the main debate in american society is that in the proverbial jail, there's about 7 poka-dot criminals, and 3 plaid ones, namely the proportions aren't lining up)

    (that's also the weird thing sex-wise, men & women may be 50/50 on the whole, but men are like... 90% of the criminals)

    It's actually kind of remarkable, but that's the way it is with mass shooters. We live in a 70% white society, so 70% of the shooters are white (with the remainder breaking on down in a similar fashion).

    Though of course one could always start playing with the definition of mass shootings to add/remove people from the totals but on the whole, just wanted to clarify some numbers. (can provide links & sources upon request)

    Continue with your point. :)

  2. This is true. I think the point was still made, so I don't need to rewrite, but it is worth noting the proportions. Not to race-bait, but it's also worth noting other proportions. So the number of cops killed by blacks far exceeds to percentage of blacks in America. Though I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for major CNN series on that.

  3. Oh you're quite right, Dave, and that's part of the problem with crime in America. Blacks show up as criminals far more often as they should. i.e. If you had a 100 criminals, 13-14 of them should be black. It usually ends up being about 30-40 (IIRC - numbers might have changed since last I looked). I think Asians were also the other exception in that they end up being slightly below their proportion.

  4. And yet it inevitably ends up being America's fault, or at least the fault of those who don't embrace liberal views or ideals. Right now, I'm waiting and watching CAEI. The MSM is already spinning the shooting away from the obvious, even spending time focused on 'Islamaphobia in America.' Will CAEI go that direction? I don't want to pre-judge, and there might be a valid reason why this horrible shooting hasn't even received the usual 'pray for the victims' post. I'm hoping the first post isn't a broadside against gun owners or conservatives. To think out of this there are those who make others the bad guys, almost as if to avoid the obvious, is almost too much to believe.

  5. Here's some side by side comparisons of how politicians reacted to the tragedy.

    One would hope maybe some of it would snap out some people out of their reflexive assumptions. Some politicians seem to have a bit more of a soul than others...


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