It's no coincidence many of these young killers fit a very particular profile in US shooting cases, says Mercy Muroki
We need to talk about the profile of these mass shooters
Mass shootings have sadly become part and parcel of American life. So many innocent peoples’ American dreams are shattered by the bullets of a rifle at the hands of a crazed lunatic.
A few weeks ago, a massacre in which 19 children and two teachers were killed became the deadliest mass shooting in the United States this year so far…
As well as just the latest mass school shooting. This happened, by the way, just 10 days after 10 people were mercilessly murdered by a gunman in a supermarket in Buffalo.
But as we all know by now – these mass shootings are by no means extraordinary events. The Gun Violence Archive, which is a charity that tracks gun violence in America, has counted 300 mass shootings. Three hundred individual mass shootings this year.
Last year, this morbid tally totalled nearly 700.
The latest took place yesterday, where upon a rooftop, a deranged 22-year-old man named Bobby E. Crimo, in Illinois shot a high-powered rifle onto a crowd.
The victims had just gone out to celebrate the Fourth of July – America’s Independence Day.
The young shooter killed six people, wounded dozens, some as young as eight.
It was only after an eight-hour manhunt that the suspect was apprehended and taken into custody.
Here's my position: We need to talk about the profile of these mass shooters – who they are, why they are the way they are.
Because I think the similarities between these sick individuals are as striking as they are chilling.
So many of these shooters are young, disillusioned men. Men who have been repeatedly shown to have a problem with women, in fact a venomous hatred of women – often having developed an obsession with a particular female.
They often belong to sinister internet subcultures in the dark corners of the web – such as ‘incels’ or ‘Qanon’ message boards – where young men find brotherhood in mutual hate for humanity, nihilism, and conspiracy theory.
They often have a history of expressing violent sentiments and making menacing comments to their peers – with a clear psychiatric history being a common theme.
They often have a history in revelling in demonic, violent content. In this latest example an fixation on violent video games, and disturbing and violent music.
They often feel paralysed by an inability to find meaning and masculinity in society. Masculinity –that has become a dirty word in this day and age, but instead of whining about 'toxic masculinity', perhaps it's time we take it seriously.
I think this tweet from Allie Beth Stuckey, author and podcast host, makes a pertinent point: “There’s nothing more dangerous than a man with nothing to do and no one to live for.
"This has been true in every place for all of time.
"Our young men are drowning in idleness, purposelessness, and godlessness, and we’re paying for it."
Now, I’m not saying that video games, music, or message-boards are the cause of these horrific incidents.
I'm well aware of that classic adage that 'correlation is not causation'.
Nor am I suggesting that we can in any meaningful way regulate those things without infringing on artistic creation and freedom of expression.
What I’m saying is that it’s absolutely no coincidence that so many of these young killers fit a very particular profile.