Why Shooters Shoot

In a post entitled: Guns, I wrote about, well, guns.  It was a piece about gun control in the wake of New Zealand’s mass shooting back in March.

That piece helped me to work through some of my thoughts about gun control.  In addition to staying firmly planted on the fence on the issue of gun ownership, I failed to answer the most important question:


Why do shooters shoot?  Is this a complicated, or a simple question?

If you’ve ever tried to ask a child why they did something bad, you will realize quite quickly that why can be a tricky question.  In most courts of law, you can’t ask a witness why someone else did something.  That calls for speculation.

Since the only court I’m in, is that of public opinion, allow me to speculate.

Here are some of the reasons I’m hearing on the streets, as to why someone would shoot into a crowd of people:

  • Revenge
  • Hate for a specific group
  • Mental illness
  • Violent video games
  • Fame
  • To feel powerful

I’m not a believer in the “violent video games” excuse, so I’m gonna go ahead and scratch it off the list.  It’s my blog – I can do what I want!

Revenge was a motive in the so-called “Incel” shootings (and the vehicular murders) we’ve seen from young men who can’t get laid.  Hate for a specific group was the main motive in the mosque and church shootings in recent months.  Mental illness is a factor in almost all shootings, especially if you count depression as a mental illness.  Shooters motivated by fame post videos, send manifestos and compile lists.

To feel powerful could mean different things to different people, but I see it as the way for someone weak to flip the script and come out feeling strong.  Even if it is just for a moment before they blow their own head off.

We have a society with large pockets of angry, mentally ill people. Some are looking for revenge because they were told they would be driving a Bugatti and sleeping with Kim Kardashian by now.  Instead, they’re flipping burgers.  Some are feeling hurt because actual bad stuff happened to them.  Some are haters because their daddies were haters.  Some found hate buddies online because they didn’t fit in anywhere else.

A bunch of weirdos, in other words.

Weirdos don’t have a sense of community because they don’t fit in.  So they go online.  They’re not looking at puppy dogs on there.  They’re looking at piles of bodies from the Holocaust.  They’re looking at drone strikes.  They’re learning that the society they grew up in is not the humanitarian centre of the universe they once thought.  They’re learning that what was taught in the history books at school might not actually be true.  They’re finding out that the good guys are the bad guys and the bad guys are still the bad guys.

They’re learning about Cowboys and Indians.

If we really don’t want weirdos picking up guns, then we have to get rid of the weirdos or get rid of the guns.

It does not seem that the U.S. as a whole is interested in getting rid of guns anytime soon.  So that means we have to get rid of the weirdos.  How do you get rid of a weirdo?  You can cure them or find them and lock them up.  How is locking people up in cages working out so far?

I guess we have to cure them, then.  How do we do that?

If you can answer that question then you have probably fixed (or greatly reduced) the mass shooting epidemic.

If the Prime Dictator was running the show, he (or she) might start by providing access to free health care, healthy food, education, and a clean environment.  And, of course, cellphones will be banned.







29 thoughts on “Why Shooters Shoot

  1. How do you predict behavior to an acceptable margin of error? What is an acceptable margin? Should trump have all of the guns? If you look at New Zealand then you must’ve also noticed the power vacuum that is created by a more powerful police state. A more militarized and more powerful police state is the only way to enforce gun control on a massive scale.

    Do you want freedom or do you want safety? Freedom and safety are completely incompatible. Like the velvet ropes in the bank or in the airport, a police state ensures that only a select and powerful few get to cross those laid out paths.

    For everyone who desires gun control I say, take action and take the guns away by force. Otherwise, realize that evil persists in all societies and outlawing a device, stops nothing.

    Australia had a gun Ban and Australia is still relatively dangerous. The Australian gun control measure did nothing to stop murder or mayhem.

    Timothy McVeigh used diesel fuel and fertilizer to blow up the Oklahoma City Federal Building. The 9/11 terrorists used box cutters to take over the plane.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Coffee! How have you been?

      Thanks for the detailed commentary on my article.

      I’m not advocating for gun control here. I only stated that gun crime will go down if there are fewer guns. That’s the math as I understand it, but feel free to disagree. I was not saying I believe we should take away a person’s right to own a gun. I haven’t made up my mind on that issue at this time.

      This article was about why people go nuts and shoot. I think concentrating on society’s physical and mental well-being along with education is the place to start.

      The reason I think that will be hard is because it is at odds with the corporate interests that actually run things.

      I think 9/11 and Oklahoma City play into the militarized police state you mentioned, but I can’t say with confidence specifically how they are intertwined.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m good BSheep. Yeah, your post inspired me.

        I think the crux of the situation is level headed people assuming they can predict psychotic behavior from psychotic people. In my opinion, that is akin to suggesting that people with autism can learn the same way a person without autism can.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think there is a way out of it. I agree that the root cause of people’s disillusion and dissfaction with society needs solving but to do that would be to drill in the concept of personal responsibility and cut out the disease that is Entitlement. We would also need to shift society away from wanting to be extraordinary like celebrities and what they see in music videos. In short, return to the days when people were more realistic and not convinced that society owed them everything.

    But none of that will be possible because being more humble and less self-entitled isn’t in the interests of our consumerist, materialistic society and the big businesses that make mega-bank by exploiting us all and our warped perceptions of what is important in life.

    Thats without going into social media echo chambers and growing hate that is pushing us into extreme, ignorant left/right camps. The media needs to take responsibility for this but again, playing both sides off against each other is what sells papers and generates clicks for ad revenue.

    We don’t have (legally available) guns here in the UK but we have a similar problem with growing knife crime, senseless murder of innocents and a growing feeling of there not being any safety on the streets.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Society needs to change to serve the needs of the people and the planet, not the billionaires. When that happens, everyday people will be happier. When they are happier, they will be less violent. At least, I think so.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to agree with most of your points, DarkStalker.

      At the very root of most issues on this planet are greed/profit/the need for ever inflating financial growth. Whatever you call it, it causes humans to act in an unsustainable way. The scarcity of resources and opportunities for some cause unhappiness and mental distress.
      I think that unhappiness, combined with the constant reality TV show that bombards us through our devices, and generally unhealthy lifestyles are bound to have negative consequences for mankind.

      It can be fixed but it will require a major paradigm shift in how we do things.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! This post has really got people going.

    I REALLY appreciate your blaming the mental states of the shooters themselves, not “society” or “all of us.” Never fun when someone you’ve never met commits a crime 100s of miles away and you suddenly find yourself being blamed for it because of your politics.

    I think the most effective thing we can do to reduce the number of angry and alienated young men out there is to be good moms and dads to our own kids and to be deeply involved in our neighborhoods and, if we are church goers, our churches, mosques and synagogues.

    Of course, real hard-core mental illness (e.g. paranoid schizophrenia) is a different animal and it’s very, very difficult to deal with no matter whether we try to make it the responsibility of the family, community, or State. I don’t think there’s a good one-size-fits-all solution. It’s an ongoing problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew this post would get a lot of attention. Everyone agrees that public shootings are bad, but not everyone agrees on what to do about it.

      I agree with your assessment that good parenting is key. I feel for the kids who are not being raised with good parents.

      I agree with your assessment that illnesses like schizophrenia are difficult to deal with. I don’t blame the parents when these people slip through the cracks. It is a hard situation for even a mental health professional to deal with. I do blame the parents if they think demons are the cause and they take their kid for an exorcism instead of getting real help for them.

      Shoot, I forget to blame society in my post? Ooops. I’ll make sure to give them extra blame in my next article. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. For decades, real wages in the US have stagnated as the richest fraction of a percent skimmed off the benefits of increasing productivity, accumulating obscene amounts of wealth, while ordinary people steadily lost ground. While wages stagnated, the cost of living rose and rose, especially healthcare. At the same time, automation eliminated millions of low-skill jobs. People with skills that could have supported a middle-class family 40 years ago now struggle to survive. Good pension plans have mostly gone. And now we’re being told that Social Security will need to be cut to reduce deficits cause by decades of tax cuts for the super-rich. The US has gone from being one of the highest-class-mobility countries in the West to one of the lowest.

    From what I’m seeing on the internet, young people are incredibly cynical, and with good reason. They know they’ve been born into an economy that’s rigged against them, in which most of them will never have the kind of opportunities the previous generations had. The only thing to do is to reject that society and refuse to participate as far as possible.

    On top of that, the less-educated part of the white male population, which used to at least be able to sustain an illusion of pride based on racism and gender, finds that simply being white no longer carries the advantages it once did. Not only are they coping with an economy where their limited skills no longer afford any hope of the kind of life their fathers and grandfathers had, but they now have to deal with demands for equal treatment for blacks, Hispanics, gays, women, and other groups who were always shoved to the back of the line in earlier times.

    Add to that a limited education which makes them inept at assessing the real causes of their problems, and a media environment full of religious and political rabble-rousers eager to tell them whom to blame and whom to hate, and it’s a dangerously combustible mix.

    Even among these young men trapped in dead-end lives, only perhaps one in a hundred thousand is actually so whipped up by rage and resentment as to actually set out to try and shoot a bunch of people who come from one of the groups he’s been told to hate, or who simply represent the society which marginalizes and ignores him and his kind and their values. But one in a hundred thousand is enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this comprehensive assessment of the socioeconomic history of the U.S. It appears about right from what I understand.

      In some cases I believe the shooters are trying to get society to take notice of these underlying issues. It would be a crime if we did not.


  5. Also, there’s no evidence that most mass shooters are mentally ill. They are justifiably angry about their situation, and have been instilled with firm and hopelessly wrong convictions about who is responsible for that situation. In other words, it’s not an issue of “curing” people. It’s an issue of convincing angry, ignorant, and (mostly) rather stupid people that their most firmly-held beliefs are completely wrong. I’m not too optimistic about being able to do that on a large scale.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Why do we have mass shootings?

    “The government encouraged the manufacture and importation of military firearms for the criminals to use. This is intended to foster a feeling of insecurity, which would lead the American people to voluntarily disarm themselves by passing laws against firearms. Using drugs and hypnosis on mental patients in a process called Orion, the CIA inculcated the desire in these people to open fire on schoolyards and, thus, inflame the anti-gun lobby. This plan is well underway and, so far, is working perfectly. The middle class is begging the government to do away with the 2nd Amendment.”

    “It was considered a duty for a citizen to own a gun in order to carry out the intent of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. As long as the citizens owned guns, the government could never become oppressive.”

    Both quotes… William Cooper from “Behold A Pale Horse” 1991

    NEVER, NEVER, NEVER underestimate the power of those that have unlimited resources and operate in the background. Think MKULTRA was shut down? Think the movie “Men Who Stare At Goats” was a fantasy film?

    What you are witnessing is a carefully engineered program with an intended goal. There is a REASON why the 2nd Amendment was put in place in our Constitution and there is a reason why mass shootings are created.

    When you actively undermine an economy, overburden society with stacks of laws, imprison them for the slightest of grievances, poison the food & water and then screw with their heads with social programming via TV, government run schools and religious doctrine…you get specimens ripe for manipulation.

    Our CIA is all over the world. I see a mass shooting, mass knifing, driver killing pedestrians, suicide bombs…I smell spooks.

    Here is a rabbit hole for you:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always enjoy another rabbit hole to go down. The Epstein story is intriguing but I think it will be forgotten before anything additional is proven.
      I used to look into mass shooting conspiracies, but as an internet sleuth I never felt like I could fully discern what was fact and what was garbage. We’re not meant to get to the bottom of these matters, but it is worth it to try and find out what we can.


      1. Epstein is a mere glimpse into “that world”. The TRUTH will never be known because he knew too much and he was part of the apparatus that operates in secret with all those unlimited resources I mentioned above. Anyone from the outside that gets close, dies or disappears.

        Discerning fact from fiction, with an operation that are experts in obfuscation and disinformation, is nearly impossible. Google, Facebook, et al…all have CIA (or whatever alphabet agency you want to mention…they are all connected) financing/control. CIA coined the phrase “conspiracy theory” to discredit ANYONE who might look too closely.

        It’s good that you question. It means you are thinking.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As an addendum to the shootings, the recent screaming for “Red Flag” laws is an attempt to confiscate guns without due process, completely gutting the 2nd Amendment without actually repealing it. A direct repeal will never happen because that would be the fast track to citizen soldiers & war on Washington. TPTB don’t really want a war against them. They prefer that we fight amongst ourselves. It’s always best to pick off your opponents one at a time…quietly. Right now, “Red Flag” laws are on the state level but, God help Trump if a federal law gets passed or an EO.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. OH! Yeah, yeah, yeah…YouTube links don’t show up in the phone app. Why? I don’t know. It may have something to do with rendering capabilities. In the Reader in a browser, the link automatically converts to a video that plays in place.

        I guess it would take a whole lot of programming magic to get a video link to render & play in the comment section on the phone app. If you add a link to a picture, say a .jpg, .gif or .png…they render the picture in the comments. I suspect videos are far more complicated & may slow down loading.

        Liked by 1 person

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