What Do Mass Shootings Have In Common?

In examining mass violence there’s a big common thread. This includes ISIS or Robert Dear or James Hodgkinson. It transcends ideology. When one of these events transpires, you can count on some combination of two factors: an explicitly misogynistic attitude, and a history of domestic violence.

“Be a man” is the rallying cry. On so many levels, negative emotions are the only ones explicitly encouraged by society. So many men have internalized the notion that the only way to process grief or loss or alienation is through projecting it onto our environment in the worst ways possible. How many movies have we seen where a man’s catharsis is achieved only after a bloodbath?

So mere minutes after the latest attack there were attempts to politicize. Were Kathy Griffin and Shakespeare to blame? Or is it a society that has normalized indiscriminate violence as a recourse to pain?

But as I’m writing this, there comes word of a second mass shooting, this time in San Francisco. So as information about this comes out, what kind of societal prize was “denied” to this man? How was he unable to deal with a loss or breakup or setback? And who had to suffer as a result?

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