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. […]

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Violent movies: Do they inspire madmen?

One violent movie does not a mass killer make, said Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal. But the pornographic violence that now fills popular films has “the cumulative power to desensitize and destabilize” impressionable minds. Disturbed young men like James Holmes, the accused Aurora, Colo., killer, may be unable to process the nihilistic, sadistically violent world of movies like […]

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Guatemala: A nation in the grip of depression

Guatemalans are suffering from “an epidemic of chronic pessimism,” said Jose J. Camacho. We all seem to agree that “everything is bad, nothing is certain, everyone has a price, and something evil lurks behind every good deed.” The media fuel these perceptions by covering every new incidence of violence exhaustively, lavishing special attention on the most frightening and lurid details […]

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