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:
- Hate for a specific group
- Mental illness
Violent video games
- 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.