Massacres, guns, and white men
Why are most mass shootings perpetrated by white males? asked Charlotte Childress and Harriet Childress. In the debate over why America suffers so many killing sprees, race and gender are “the elephant in the room.” At Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, Columbine— “month after month, year after year”—it is seething white men and teenagers who use guns to massacre scores of strangers. The gun lobby blames flaws in the mental-health system. “But women and girls with mental-health issues are not picking up semiautomatic weapons and shooting schoolchildren.” White men “are not used to being singled out” as a cause of social pathology, but they make up 30 percent of the population and commit at least 70 percent of mass killings. Why? Why do so many white males find it fun to play violent video games? Why do white males buy guns in far larger numbers than other groups, and why are so many of them bitterly opposed to even reasonable gun-control proposals? If we start asking honest questions about men, guns, and violence, perhaps we’ll get some useful answers.