Why So Many Mass Shootings? Ask The Right Questions And You Might Find Out!
An edited article by Dennis Prager
This past weekend, Americans learned of another mass shooting, this time by an employee who decided to murder as many of the people he had worked with for years as possible. Americans asks why. Human beings want to make sense of life, especially of evil. America had plenty of guns when its mass murder rate was much lower. Grant Duwe, a Ph.D. in criminology, gathered data going back 100 years in his 2007 book, Mass Murder in the United States: A History.
His data reveal that in the 20th century, every decade before the 1970s had fewer than 10 mass public shootings. In the 1950s, for example, there was one mass shooting. And then a steep rise began. In the 1960s, there were six mass shootings. In the 1970s, the number rose to 13. In the 1980s, the number increased 2 1/2 times, to 32. And it rose again in the 1990s, to 42. As for this century, The New York Times reported in 2014 that, according to the FBI, “Mass shootings have risen drastically in the past half-dozen years.”
Given the same abundance of guns, wouldn’t the most productive question be what, if anything, has changed since the 1960s and ’70s? And a great deal has changed. America is much more ethnically diverse, much less religious and boys have far fewer male role models in their lives. Fewer men marry, and normal boy behavior is often held in contempt by teachers, principals and therapists. There is also a big push to ridicule and eventually remove Christianity and Christian values in America, although there is a push to promote Islam. Why don’t we ask a simple question: How many American murderers participate in Christian worship each week? Do any or all of those factors matter more than the availability of guns?
Regarding boys’ need for fathers, in 2008, then Senator Obama told an audience: “Children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools; and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.” Yet, television shows, movies and newspaper articles like to portray how relatively unimportant fathers are. And then there is the breakdown of marriage: Nearly all men who murder are single, and their number is increasing.
Before the 1960s people generally understood that life is hard and/or they have to work on themselves to improve their lives. Now we have drummed into our Americans’ minds the belief that people’s difficulties are caused by American society, and in particular, its supposed sexism, racism and patriarchy.
When you don’t ask intelligent questions, you cannot come up with intelligent answers. So, then, with regard to mass murder in America, until we start asking the right questions, we will have no intelligent answers.
Edited version by Fr. Tom