It seems like every year there is a new gun violence story to talk about — mass murders committed mostly by white (occasionally Asian, rarely African American) upper middle class or middle class (occasionally men of no means) men who are angry at the world, angry at women, angry at immigrants, angry at Jews, angry at the government. They are everywhere and access to weapons has never been easier. Want a gun? No problem. Want to stockpile weapons online? Easy as pie. No one is watching you. They’re all too busy looking for swarthy terrorists and busting pot growers.
It isn’t so simple to say that it’s untreated mental illness. Nope, the latest Isla Vista piece of shit was being well treated for mental illness. The Aurora shooter, the Newtown shooter and the Columbine shooters, not to mention the Virginia Tech shooter were all being treated for mental illness and most were being medicated. You want to blame medication? Can’t do that either because many of the less famous mass shooters who shot up fast food restaurants, post offices or synagogs weren’t being medicated. Blame guns? Well you can do that, sure, but guns have always been around. We’ve always had access to them. Blame hateful men for being angry? Sure, that’s a constant throughout human history and especially in the last 100 years. The rise of mass murders and serial killers is a fairly recent phenomenon, human history-wise. We’re overpopulated now, we’re living longer – it stands to reason weird shit is going to start cropping up in our DNA.
But what has really changed in the past 30 years? What has caused this epidemic of mass shootings, which has gone roughly this way:
1980s – 3 mass shootings recorded
1990s – 11 mass shootings recorded
2000s – 12 mass shootings recorded
2010 – 2014 13 mass shootings and counting
[source: LA Times]