26 votes

Mass shooters overwhelmingly fit a certain profile

44 comments

  1. [20]
    HotPants
    Link
    This seems to answer the question, why America? It's not just the easy access to assault rifles. It's not having a social safety net, mental health resources for the rich only, increasingly...

    This seems to answer the question, why America?

    It's not just the easy access to assault rifles. It's not having a social safety net, mental health resources for the rich only, increasingly divisive us/them narratives and general bullying at school which seems out of control.

    19 votes
    1. [3]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      I think that the latter is hard to actually prove, though. The US does not have a monopoly on suffering, after all. Even in nations with better social safety nets for some, I would note that many...

      I think that the latter is hard to actually prove, though. The US does not have a monopoly on suffering, after all. Even in nations with better social safety nets for some, I would note that many also have immigrant or refuge communities where the youths also face those issues stemming from racism, xenophobia, and the such. And there are certainly also nations with much worse everything, and less school related gun violence.

      Guns are the magnifying element. It's a common refrain from gun supporters that the attackers could simply use a knife, and that certainly we cannot ban knife ownerships, but they probably couldn't use a knife. It's just a very different thing. A gun allows a scrawny teenager to be an almost unchallengeable threat for other unarmed humans. It's also much easier execution for said untrained teenager.

      Potential attackers can do the calculus - if they try to attack people with knife, they're going to get tackled and likely non-lethally disarmed probably without even lethally injuring anyone, from which they will then have to face the rest of their life as someone who tried to stab people. Stabbing people is also just harder to do for normal people than pulling a trigger.

      That's not to say that there aren't serial stabbers in the US and elsewhere, but I think it's mainly the availability of guns that lowers the threshold such that potential attackers see it as a plausible point of action.

      15 votes
      1. [2]
        HotPants
        Link Parent
        I mean, you could be right, maybe greater social safety nets wouldn't reduce school shootings in America, but are you really arguing that better social safety nets is not worth it unless it...

        I mean, you could be right, maybe greater social safety nets wouldn't reduce school shootings in America, but are you really arguing that better social safety nets is not worth it unless it reduces school shootings?

        1 vote
        1. stu2b50
          Link Parent
          I mean... no? I'm, in fact, not sure how you got that from my post at all. It is very confusing to me.

          but are you really arguing that better social safety nets is not worth it unless it reduces school shootings?

          I mean... no? I'm, in fact, not sure how you got that from my post at all. It is very confusing to me.

          14 votes
    2. [3]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      I'd say there's one more important but often overlooked factor. The fact that there are such a huge number of these shootings and that our government consistently refuses to take action to solve...

      I'd say there's one more important but often overlooked factor. The fact that there are such a huge number of these shootings and that our government consistently refuses to take action to solve these issues that it has turned into a sort of twisted implied approval. Anyone who's ever read crime drama has probably heard of the term "copycat criminals" before, and I think that's essentially what's happening right now. The exception is that this is scaled up much bigger than individual murders because so many more people are involved.

      9 votes
      1. vord
        Link Parent
        Not just refuses, but actively victim blames and propagandizes against solutions. Things are going to get worse before they get better until we start acknowledging that we need properly funded...

        that our government consistently refuses to take action to solve these issues

        Not just refuses, but actively victim blames and propagandizes against solutions.

        Things are going to get worse before they get better until we start acknowledging that we need properly funded social safety nets and free public services.

        11 votes
      2. HotPants
        Link Parent
        Great point. But the only country that had any success in not publishing a mass killers name was New Zealand? And the information was still widely available, just not in mass media within the...

        Great point. But the only country that had any success in not publishing a mass killers name was New Zealand? And the information was still widely available, just not in mass media within the country. Hard to draw any conclusions there, as the country is so small, and they also enacted stricter gun controls at the same time.

        3 votes
    3. [11]
      lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Certainly not just, but I'm convinced it's enough of a factor to make it worth centering discussion on that issue. Lots of mental gymnastics are made to avoid the very simple reasoning that there...

      It's not just the easy access to assault rifles

      Certainly not just, but I'm convinced it's enough of a factor to make it worth centering discussion on that issue. Lots of mental gymnastics are made to avoid the very simple reasoning that there can be no gun violence without any guns.

      Also, it is far from settled that mental illness is a relevant factor in most mass shootings. To me this seems like a convenient shift from less convenient etiologies, and a way to avoid the fact that this is a more complex societal failure of the moral ethical kind. Evil is not a mental illness.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        nukeman
        Link Parent
        One (admittedly out there) theory I’ve seen is that mass shootings have mostly replaced serial killings as the “expression” of choice for certain psychologically abnormal people. It’s a lot harder...

        One (admittedly out there) theory I’ve seen is that mass shootings have mostly replaced serial killings as the “expression” of choice for certain psychologically abnormal people. It’s a lot harder to be a serial killer these days; cameras are everywhere, most hotels and motels don’t take cash (or do so with lots of restrictions), etc. Whereas with a mass shooting, all you need is a firearm, a crowded place, and a few minutes of time.

        (Disclaimer: Am pro-gun) Regarding firearms, while ease of availability almost certainly has an impact, I have my doubts as to how far it goes. While there are more guns today than in the 1950s, more households per capita at that time had firearms, and yet there were far fewer (almost non-existent) mass shootings. Additionally, the AR-15 first came out in 1964, but it was several decades before you see the rise in shootings. Finally, other countries with relatively liberal gun laws (Switzerland, Czechia, and pre-2019 New Zealand) don’t have the same issues as the U.S. (although they do have licensing, which I am open to, under the right conditions).

        7 votes
        1. lou
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          It is quite evident that easily accessible firearms are only part of the problem. However, this premise is not nearly enough to support the conclusion that restrictions to gun ownership would not...

          It is quite evident that easily accessible firearms are only part of the problem. However, this premise is not nearly enough to support the conclusion that restrictions to gun ownership would not reduce the amount of mass shootings.

          A specific chemical can be harmless at a given temperature, and extremely dangerous at another. That doesn't mean that we should not eliminate the chemical just because it used to be harmless under different conditions. Something about the US made guns more dangerous under different conditions. You might change all of those conditions but that would be a long uncertain process, when you could just remove the undesirable chemical instead.

          Regarding the theory of abnormal psychology, I'm not familiar with it. But I don't think it's that hard to be a serial killer in 2022, any fan of true crime can easily think of dozens of ways to do so without getting caught.

          Edit: also, as someone with an interest in serial crime, I can tell you that, according to my understanding, what makes a serial killer tick is very distinct from how mass shooters work. Serial killers generally seek some kind of bizarre sexual gratification, while mass shooters, I believe, are most likely after notoriety.

          6 votes
      2. [4]
        HotPants
        Link Parent
        If you were discussing gun violence, I would agree, but if you are specifically focused on school shootings I would disagree. America has had 288 school shootings in the last 13 years. The next...

        If you were discussing gun violence, I would agree, but if you are specifically focused on school shootings I would disagree.

        America has had 288 school shootings in the last 13 years.

        The next closest country is Mexico with 8 school shootings.

        There are countries that have more gun related deaths per capita than America.

        No one comes even close to the number of school shootings.

        There other factors at play in addition to easy access to guns.

        7 votes
        1. [3]
          lou
          Link Parent
          I think it makes sense to say that there's a combination of factors at play, which most certainly includes easy access to firearms. However, after some cursory reading, I don't think there's...

          I think it makes sense to say that there's a combination of factors at play, which most certainly includes easy access to firearms. However, after some cursory reading, I don't think there's enough evidence that mental illness is frequent enough in mass shooters to justify an attribution of cause.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            HotPants
            Link Parent
            Mental health is just one of the items mentioned, and it is much broader than mental illness.

            Mental health is just one of the items mentioned, and it is much broader than mental illness.

            1. lou
              Link Parent
              Absolutely, most complex situations can benefit from mental health support.

              Absolutely, most complex situations can benefit from mental health support.

      3. [4]
        teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        Right. There are many depressed people, even suicidally depressed people in the US that don't make attempts to buy guns for murder. There are also many people with guns that don't murder anyone....

        Right. There are many depressed people, even suicidally depressed people in the US that don't make attempts to buy guns for murder. There are also many people with guns that don't murder anyone. Overwhelmingly it seems that suicidal people that also have guns tend to use them to just kill themselves. So what is the X factor that combines with suicidal depression and gun access to create a mass murderer? Obviously removing either of the known factors eliminates the end result. But I would hope that by targeting the 3rd unknown you'd meet less resistance while also getting real results.

        I don't care about how we stop people from shooting up schools, just that we stop them. There is an attitude among democrats that republicans need to be held responsible for prolonging this suffering - and we'll punish them while also solving the problem by taking away guns. I share that perspective, but I care more about results.

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          lou
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Increasing mental health services would be good for everyone, but I doubt it would make a dent on mass shootings. There's simply not enough mass shooters proven to be mentally ill to expect that...

          Increasing mental health services would be good for everyone, but I doubt it would make a dent on mass shootings. There's simply not enough mass shooters proven to be mentally ill to expect that effect.

          If you want my guess, I would say access to guns and a desire for notoriety coupled with toxic masculinity (there must be a reason why there are no women mass shooters...) are very relevant reasons. So stop printing their names and provide better examples on what it means to be a moral and ethical young white cis-man in 2022.

          And for the love of God, don't make guns so easy to get. The English are not coming to get you anymore, change the constitution.

          5 votes
          1. [2]
            teaearlgraycold
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I was thinking along the same lines. If news stations (including websites) unanimously put out a message where the killer was unnamed, all images of them blurred out, and highlighted them as a...

            I was thinking along the same lines. If news stations (including websites) unanimously put out a message where the killer was unnamed, all images of them blurred out, and highlighted them as a delusional person now unable to get any help we might get somewhere.

            And 80% of Americans want improved background checks. Fixing that system is just good democracy at this point.

            5 votes
            1. teaearlgraycold
              Link Parent
              Now to make a logical jump which needs to be substantiated - were this a primary cause it would explain why the conversation is often pushed to either restricting gun ownership or focusing on...

              Now to make a logical jump which needs to be substantiated - were this a primary cause it would explain why the conversation is often pushed to either restricting gun ownership or focusing on mental health. The same people that report on proposed solutions are the ones that might be curtailed by a no-naming law. Maybe news outlets aren't keen to front-page a story about how news outlets need federal restrictions on reports for mass shootings.

              That's where I'll end this stream of thought. I've already made too many keyboard-warrior leaps of faith off of little information. I've read a lot of conspiracy theory BS and I feel as though I'm speaking in those same tones now.

    4. [2]
      nothis
      Link Parent
      I doubt any country has these kinds of mental health capabilities available for schools (haven’t checked statistics, though, maybe I’m wrong?). The main difference is gun culture. And maybe how...

      I doubt any country has these kinds of mental health capabilities available for schools (haven’t checked statistics, though, maybe I’m wrong?). The main difference is gun culture. And maybe how society treats loners in general, I dunno.

      2 votes
      1. HotPants
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        You are probably right that no other country focuses heavily on identifying troubled teens at school, but most western countries don't really need to. Other western countries have less severe...

        You are probably right that no other country focuses heavily on identifying troubled teens at school, but most western countries don't really need to.

        Other western countries have less severe bullying problems, state supported mental health support & facilities, tighter gun restrictions, easier access to abortion and birth control, better sex education, less divisive politics, and superior child care and social safety nets.

        Other western countries also used to have a heavy gun culture. UK, Australia & NZ only recently increased regulations.

        Yet only USA had 288 school shootings since 2009.

        https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/school-shootings-by-country

        4 votes
  2. [17]
    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link
    For most of my life, I was very—let's say—pro-2nd-Amendment ... and strictly speaking, I suppose I still am. However, many years ago, I came to the reluctant conclusion that (as an...

    For most of my life, I was very—let's say—pro-2nd-Amendment ... and strictly speaking, I suppose I still am. However, many years ago, I came to the reluctant conclusion that (as an over-simplification) American society is no longer mature enough to own guns.

    Articles like this still suggest to me that, on the surface at least, the Republicans are right ... the guns themselves aren't the problem. However, since most Republicans (and, frankly, many Democrats) aren't willing or able to address the real problems, more restrictive gun laws remain the most viable solution ... and even that seems well beyond the capabilities of US govt these days.

    12 votes
    1. [14]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [13]
        Eric_the_Cerise
        Link Parent
        Bit of a side-note ... despite being a 2nd-Amendment supporter, I believe that both the 2000 & 2016 Presidential elections were probably "stolen", and the 2020 election was almost stolen, except...

        One way I like to tease hardcore 2A supporters, who say they support it so that there can never be any authoritarian takeover - I like to ask them if they think the election was stolen. And they usually do.

        Bit of a side-note ... despite being a 2nd-Amendment supporter, I believe that both the 2000 & 2016 Presidential elections were probably "stolen", and the 2020 election was almost stolen, except for the bravery of a handful of honest (hmm ... "less corrupt" seems more accurate, but sounds wrong; let's give the benefit on this point) Repubs. Those Repubs are all retired now.

        Also, I don't own any guns.

        But I do legitimately believe Russia manipulated the 2020 election enough that the US should have gone to war with them over it.

        1 vote
        1. [12]
          teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          You want a nuclear war over election interference?

          You want a nuclear war over election interference?

          4 votes
          1. [11]
            Eric_the_Cerise
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            If it came to that, yes. Russia elected Donald Trump President of the United States, after Trump asked them to on live television. For me, that is a worse violation of US sovereignty than an...

            If it came to that, yes.

            Russia elected Donald Trump President of the United States, after Trump asked them to on live television.

            For me, that is a worse violation of US sovereignty than an actual, physical invasion. And it still boggles my mind that most people don't see it that way, just shrug and move on.

            ETA: We are a stone's throw away from nuclear war right now, over Ukraine, and what Russia did to the US in 2015 was an order of magnitude worse.

            1 vote
            1. [7]
              mat
              Link Parent
              No, it really wasn't. Look at the before and after pictures of places like Mariupol, or the schools or hospitals reduced to rubble. Look at Ukraine's death toll, the millions of refugees, the...

              Russia did to the US in 2015 was an order of magnitude worse.

              No, it really wasn't. Look at the before and after pictures of places like Mariupol, or the schools or hospitals reduced to rubble. Look at Ukraine's death toll, the millions of refugees, the hundreds of thousands of children kidnapped, women raped, people tortured and more. Leaning slightly on the scales of an election in an already-broken democracy is nothing like the atrocities Russia has perpetrated in Ukraine.

              Trump was a shitty president but at least he didn't level any cities or slaughter thousands of people.

              Also the idea that we should render the entire planet uninhabitable because of one election in one country is utterly insane. Bloody American exceptionalism. Some parts of your country very much need to sit the fuck down and get over themselves.

              8 votes
              1. [2]
                Eric_the_Cerise
                Link Parent
                Agree to disagree? Look at the before and after of the entire world. Climate change efforts set back a decade. Hell, no way to validate a hypothetical 'what-if', but the Ukraine invasion probably...

                Agree to disagree?

                Look at the before and after of the entire world. Climate change efforts set back a decade.

                Hell, no way to validate a hypothetical 'what-if', but the Ukraine invasion probably never would have happened at all with a stronger, more cohesive US that wasn't completely preoccupied with its own internal discord.

                Specifics are endlessly debatable, but it's certain that a chaotic, divided US has much more far-reaching repercussions. Even if Clinton had won ... I mean, it isn't about what Trump did as President; it's about how badly that election has destroyed the US.

                3 votes
                1. mtset
                  Link Parent
                  I promise I mean no offense here, but until seeing this comment I never really understood how the Cold War dragged on for as long as it did - how it was possible that Americans in the 1970s didn't...

                  I promise I mean no offense here, but until seeing this comment I never really understood how the Cold War dragged on for as long as it did - how it was possible that Americans in the 1970s didn't realize that if they just left the USSR the fuck alone there would not have been a war. I think I get it now.

                  The Russian state sucks. Russian interference with US elections sucks. But our problems are our own damn fault.

                  7 votes
              2. [4]
                hungariantoast
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                Humanity’s total nuclear arsenal is not and never has been capable of doing this. At no point in history have nuclear weapons been capable of causing human extinction. Nuclear weapons are bad....

                render the entire planet uninhabitable

                Humanity’s total nuclear arsenal is not and never has been capable of doing this. At no point in history have nuclear weapons been capable of causing human extinction.

                Nuclear weapons are bad. Understatement of the century. They are not extinction devices though. You should read about the history of the idea of “nuclear winter” and the study of the effects of nuclear weapons more generally. It’s a fascinating bit of history, and one, like so many others in the United States, whose truth has been overshadowed by hysterical media depictions.

                1. [2]
                  mtset
                  Link Parent
                  I do not agree with this. I recognize we're well into the pedantic, but: At the peak in ~1965, there were >40,000 operational nuclear weapons on Earth [1] For whose yield we take as a conservative...

                  Humanity’s total nuclear arsenal is not and never has been capable of doing this. At no point in history have nuclear weapons been capable of causing human extinction.

                  I do not agree with this. I recognize we're well into the pedantic, but:

                  1. At the peak in ~1965, there were >40,000 operational nuclear weapons on Earth [1]

                  2. For whose yield we take as a conservative estimate the 3.8 megaton W39, which was in service from 1957 to 1966, [2]

                  3. Giving us a total yield of 40,000 warheads * 3,800,000 tons of TNT per warhead = 152 billion tons of TNT.

                  That's about one tenth of the yield of the asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs [3]. In a single spot, that energy would probably not be as destructive, but:

                  1. Over half of the population lives in town and cities - identifiable population centers which could be targeted - and there are many fewer than 40,000 of those. [4]

                  Even assuming current population numbers, rather than 1960s population numbers, I think it's feasible for a committed genocidal force to have destroyed the majority of the human population directly, and the vast majority through fallout (using groundbursts rather than airbursts) and infrastructure degradation (using a few high altitude detonations). I can't tell you they'd get everyone, but the birds are descendants of the surviving dinosaurs; we still call the dinosaurs extinct.

                  Anyway, like I said, this is extremely pedantic. I just think it's interesting to think about.

                  1: From https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.2968/066004008, accessibly documented on Wikipedia

                  2: From https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/tag/mark-39-nuclear-bomb/

                  3: From https://news.utexas.edu/2019/09/09/rocks-at-asteroid-impact-site-record-first-day-of-dinosaur-extinction/; by "bombs used in WWII," they probably mean the slightly less powerful 13 kiloton Little Boy for the numerical shock value, giving us about 1.3 trillion tons for the yield of the asteroid.

                  4: https://population.un.org/wup/Publications/Files/WUP2018-Report.pdf

                  4 votes
                  1. TemulentTeatotaler
                    Link Parent
                    As a heads up (since I was curious about this and looked it up earlier as well) the estimate on Wiki for the Chicxulub crater is a bit higher than what you were getting:

                    Giving us a total yield of 40,000 warheads * 3,800,000 tons of TNT per warhead = 152 billion tons of TNT.

                    by "bombs used in WWII," they probably mean the slightly less powerful 13 kiloton Little Boy for the numerical shock value, giving us about 1.3 trillion tons for the yield of the asteroid.

                    As a heads up (since I was curious about this and looked it up earlier as well) the estimate on Wiki for the Chicxulub crater is a bit higher than what you were getting:

                    The kinetic energy of the impact was estimated at 100 teratons of TNT

                    2 votes
                2. mat
                  Link Parent
                  OK, fair enough. How about "render significant numbers of people dead"? The details don't really matter because advocating massive amounts of death is still not a sane response to some...

                  OK, fair enough. How about "render significant numbers of people dead"?

                  The details don't really matter because advocating massive amounts of death is still not a sane response to some unquantifiable amount of election interference.

                  3 votes
            2. [3]
              Bonooru
              Link Parent
              Totally unrelated to your comment, I hope you don't mind. Usually "ETA" means "Estimated Time of Arrival" and it makes zero sense in this context. How are you using it?

              Totally unrelated to your comment, I hope you don't mind.

              Usually "ETA" means "Estimated Time of Arrival" and it makes zero sense in this context. How are you using it?

              5 votes
    2. [3]
      TheRtRevKaiser
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It's really hard to tell, and what little data I can find is pretty noisy, but it seems to me that homicide rates aren't drastically different in the modern US than earlier periods in US history....

      It's really hard to tell, and what little data I can find is pretty noisy, but it seems to me that homicide rates aren't drastically different in the modern US than earlier periods in US history. There are spikes and periods of higher or lower homicide rates, and there tend to be regional trends, but I don't actually see that more people are being murdered now than in, say, the 1960s or the 1900s.

      I haven't been able to find many details on whether spree shootings or mass shootings are more frequent or more deadly now than in the past either (Edit: They are. See u/teaearlgraycold's comment below). I know anecdotally that there seems to have been "trends" in this kind of even in the past, e.g. watertower shootings or "going postal", and that would seem to track with research that I've seen that suggests that mass shooters often look to past events to model their own acts after, so you often get imitators or copycats.

      I guess I say all that to say that yeah, I think there's something up with the homicide rate in the US. It's a good bit higher than most other developed nations, but I'm not sure that it's something new. Maybe it's something that was more widespread in the world in earlier times and the U.S. just never got with the program? I dunno. But this narrative of a moral decline always makes me feel suspicious. It's the same impulse of looking back at some nebulous golden age that drives a lot of regressive politics, when really the past was just as fucked up as the present, just sometimes in different ways.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        https://www.vice.com/en/article/a35mya/nearly-all-mass-shooters-since-1966-have-had-four-things-in-common

        I haven't been able to find many details on whether spree shootings or mass shootings are more frequent or more deadly now than in the past either.

        https://www.vice.com/en/article/a35mya/nearly-all-mass-shooters-since-1966-have-had-four-things-in-common

        The database delivers a number of arresting findings. Mass shootings are becoming much more frequent and deadly: Of the 167 incidents the researchers logged in that 53-year period, 20% have occurred in the last five years, and half since 2000.

        8 votes
        1. TheRtRevKaiser
          Link Parent
          Thanks for that. The articles I was finding didn't go back nearly that far. I'll edit my comment.

          Thanks for that. The articles I was finding didn't go back nearly that far. I'll edit my comment.

          2 votes
  3. Eric_the_Cerise
    Link
    This kind of debate over "which things need to be fixed" to solve this ... really frustrates me, because fixing any problem in the US is impossible until the actual root problem is fixed. Long...

    This kind of debate over "which things need to be fixed" to solve this ... really frustrates me, because fixing any problem in the US is impossible until the actual root problem is fixed.

    Long before Trump, the US electoral process was already hopelessly broken. Of course, it's only gotten worse since Trump, and continues to worsen now, daily, as the Republicans invent new ways to suppress and invalidate votes they disapprove of, and overturn regional results they might lose anyway.

    Two of the last three SCOTUS justices are illegitimate and need to be removed. Literally thousands of gerrymandered districts need to be redrawn, by as-yet-nonexistent non-partisan committees. Fair, nondiscriminatory voting laws need to be enacted and enforced, with the Nat'l Guard, if necessary. The system of political corruption thru financial donations by special interests needs to be dismantled.

    I could go on. But none of these things that need to be fixed first, are ever going to get fixed. Or at least, not for a long time, and frankly, probably not until after the 2nd US civil war.

    Until the US has a functional, democratically-elected govt, talking about fixing things like gun laws, is just wasted energy.

    That's why I live in Europe.

    10 votes
  4. [2]
    NoblePath
    Link
    I feel like I’ve read this article multiple times across 20 years of paying attention. The tldr is that these kids are really troubled kids with horrific backgrounds that pulverized their...

    I feel like I’ve read this article multiple times across 20 years of paying attention. The tldr is that these kids are really troubled kids with horrific backgrounds that pulverized their innocence, and these acts are them trying to address unbearable pain, and if we had decent compassion in this society a lot of these things wouldn’t happen.

    It puts me in a bleak mood because it doesn’t seem like we are capable of more compassion. Perhaps climate disaster is a gift.

    7 votes
    1. ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      Existential pessimism is hardly a path worth taking. Compassion is a scarce resource when you have to worry about losing a job, worry about finding a job, worry about having somewhere to stay to...

      Existential pessimism is hardly a path worth taking.

      Compassion is a scarce resource when you have to worry about losing a job, worry about finding a job, worry about having somewhere to stay to keep the job, worry about having something to eat, worry about paying off a degree you may not want or need, worry about paying off staggering medical debts that few other countries even see, worry about (perceptions of) crime, worry about having clean water...

      A lot of these worries – and many more yet to be listed – arise from a skewed set of incentives in politics. Those in power are not strongly incentivized to maintain the wellbeing of those who elected them. They are, however, strongly incentivized to pave way for large, semi-independent corporations after accepting money that are bribes in anything but the name.

      Nation-level effects are systemic, and must be addressed by addressing the system that enables them. Easing up social tensions would provide a lot of room for expression, and something tells me compassion would be high on the list of things that fill it.

      11 votes
  5. rosco
    Link
    Hot take inbound! Outside of the red flag laws (I had never heard of those so it was an interesting primer) none of this feels like new information. When I was in high school (almost 20 years ago)...

    Hot take inbound! Outside of the red flag laws (I had never heard of those so it was an interesting primer) none of this feels like new information. When I was in high school (almost 20 years ago) everyone knew and joked about the who would be a likely school shooter. We could all ID it was the poorly adapted kids that frequently got picked on and responded with anger instead of sadness. I think if you interviewed kids at a school at any era since then, any of them could identify who the school shooter would be. None of that information feels novel.

    Neither does the "where do we go from here" section. A combination of mental health and more restrictive gun laws has been the response for ages. The take away of "well Republicans can't keep saying they want mental health and then not fund it" also seems pretty worn out at this point (not that it's wrong, just that it doesn't change). I think that is why so many people, and so many of the comments in this thread, devolve into complete pessimism and apathy. We know the driving factors of what is causing these mass killings, we have identified the levers we need to pull in order to change them, but a vast percentage of the country doesn't see the same trade-off value and so we're stuck in neutral with a very clear map.

    6 votes
  6. [2]
    Bullmaestro
    (edited )
    Link
    This is why I think our societal approach towards tackling incels has caused more harm than good. This is incredibly relevant because people in that community have been responsible for multiple...

    This is why I think our societal approach towards tackling incels has caused more harm than good. This is incredibly relevant because people in that community have been responsible for multiple mass shootings across the world, mostly in America.

    Mass shooters overwhelmingly seem to fit the same profile: young male, outcast, some kind of past trauma, mental health issues, etc.

    Reddit for instance has banned tonnes of incel subreddits to the point where showing any kind of empathy towards their plight will get you shadowbanned or actually banned from dozens of subreddits who think you're a cel by association. Like... they actually bunch you with the same crowd who glorify mass shooters and worship them as heroes (who are frankly the exceptionally messed up parts of that community.)

    What this has done is pushed incels off mainstream social media and into their own echo chambers, thus reinforcing the notion that they're outcasts and keeping them on their own turf where they're radicalising each other even more. Ostracizing them and branding them terrorists isn't going to get rid of the problems that are driving them to kill innocents.

    I for one think it's an economic issue first and foremost. I can almost guarantee that if the US government intervened, drastically improved the cost of living, made healthcare affordable and accessible to all Americans and improved schools to the point where bullying could be more effectively stamped out - mass shootings would drop massively.

    Why do I think this? Because status is very important for determining whether men are attractive or not. If you're in a bad job, lack friends, have physical/mental ailments that prevent you from functioning fully, or if you're still living with parents well into your twenties because you simply can't afford to move out, that's flatlined any chance of you having a love life.

    If the standard of living improves, you won't see disenfranchised men turn towards toxic manosphere ideologies for solace.

    4 votes
  7. Bartek_Bialy
    Link
    I've read James Gilligan's books before and for me this is not new information. Seems like the causes have been known for a while. I'm more curious about why they're not common knowledge and why...

    I've read James Gilligan's books before and for me this is not new information. Seems like the causes have been known for a while. I'm more curious about why they're not common knowledge and why they are being rediscovered every incident.

    3 votes