One common element in nearly all of the recent mass shootings is anger. The young shooters were male, deeply troubled, alienated from society.
The El Paso shooter is suspected of writing a manifesto that expresses sympathy for the racial motivations of the Christchurch killer. He also denounced Hispanic immigration and raged against “unchecked corporations” who support immigration and pollute the land, reports the WSJ.
A Disconnect from Family, Neighborhood, Church, Work
This is the rant of someone angry about a society he doesn’t feel a part of and doesn’t comprehend. It is all-too-typical of most of these young male killers who tend to be loners and marinate in notions they absorb in the hours they spend online. They are usually disconnected to family, neighborhood, church, colleagues at work, or anything apart from their online universe.
Mediating Institutions in Decline
This is one price we are paying for the decline in what the late sociologist Peter Berger called the “mediating institutions” that help individuals form cultural and social attachments.
These are churches, business and social clubs like the Rotary, charitable groups, even bowling leagues, and especially the family. Government programs can never replace these as protectors of troubled young people.
Recognizing this reality is not a counsel of despair to do nothing about mass shootings. But revitalizing these private institutions of social capital is crucial to reversing the cultural decline at the root of so many of America’s ills.
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