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There’s a Way to Stop Mass Shootings, and You Won’t Like It.

There’s a Way to Stop Mass Shootings, and You Won’t Like It.

isolation

That’s right. You’re not going to like it because it’s going to require you to do something personally, as opposed to shouting for the government, or anyone to “do something!”

You ready? Here it is:

“Notice those around you who seem isolated, and engage them.”

If every one of us did this we’d have a culture that was deeply committed to ensuring no one was left lonely. And make no mistake, as I’ve written before loneliness is what causes these shooters to lash out. People with solid connections to other people don’t indiscriminately fire guns at strangers.

I know what you’re thinking. That’s never going to work because no one is going to make the effort to connect with the strange kid sitting by himself at lunch each day. No one is going to reach out to the gawky, awkward guy at work and ask him about his weekend.

You’re probably right and that’s an absolute shame.

Because I can tell you the things that aren’t going to work in this country when it comes to stopping these heinous acts. But they seem to be all anyone says, when inevitably, another person comes forward to inflict their tortured pain on innocent people.View Post

  1. Ban All Guns! – Due to the reading of the 2nd amendment and the precedents established by recent Supreme Court cases, this isn’t going anywhere. You’d need an amendment to the Constitution and there will NEVER be 30+ states willing to overturn it. Never mind the multitude of good reasons for its existence, no amount of outrage will overturn it so let’s just stop.
  2. Ban All Guns! (pt. 2) – Assuming you actually could overturn the 2nd and outlaw every firearm in the country, then you’d have to go out and get them. Famously, there are more guns than people in the U.S. You couldn’t come close to collecting them all. Further, if Prohibition and the War on Drugs have taught us anything it’s that those intent on breaking the law are going to do just that. Laws be damned.
  3. Ban Scary Guns Like the AR-15! – Fully auto weapons are already banned*. Most of these shootings occur with a handgun, plain and simple, and these aren’t going anywhere. Murder is illegal, and that doesn’t seem to stop these individuals from performing these atrocious acts. Do you think if there was a ban on shotguns that would stop them?
  4. Keep Them Out of the Hands of Bad People! – Felons are prohibited from owing a firearm already. But let’s not forget, the overwhelming majority of these mass shootings aren’t done by criminals and their guns were obtained legally. How can you know who is going to do something like this? You can’t.
  5. Do Something About Mental Health! – Cool. Yeah. So, like, free psychologists visits for everyone? Even if you could, the people that have done this haven’t been mentally ill, by and large. And, let’s not forget that medical records are private. Would you endorse mandatory psych screening for everyone and those records being sent to the government? Maybe just those who wish to own a gun? Remember, not every person who has engaged in a mass shooting has owned the gun they performed the act with. This is a complete non-starter of an issue with an insane price tag that does nothing to actually keep a person committed to violence from putting their hands on a gun.
  6. Do… SOMETHING! – Gotcha. What do you want to do? “SOMETHING!” Ok, what do you have in mind? “I DON’T KNOW! BUT SOMEONE NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING!” Sure. Agreed. But what? Even Obama has had to say in his latest speech how routine it’s become.

If you can’t tell by this point in the list, there is NOTHING the government or any other organization can do to prevent these events.

You can’t effectively keep drugs out of the hands of those intent on doing drugs. You can’t keep beer out of the hands of high schoolers intent on getting beer. You have a HUGE supply of weapons everywhere and concrete federal law protecting those weapons. You’d have as much luck passing regulation against tornadoes. It would be equally as effective.

So there it is. The god’s honest truth. No entity can do anything meaningful (more than is presently being done) to thwart a disaffected person hell-bent on committing such an act.

But you can.

You can talk to your co-worker for a few minutes. You can talk to the kid in your Physics class that appears to be all alone. You can teach your children to do the same, to make sure no one is left to feel totally isolated. Because that’s the breeding ground. That’s where the seeds are planted.

rosalind-wiseman-quote-social-isolation-is-one-of-the-most-devastating

Community is easy to take for granted. Most of us have strong family connections and healthy friendships. Most feel as though they’re part of a group, be it community, religious, or work related. But it’s increasingly easy for people on the edges to withdraw and it’s easy for us to forget them.

No, it’s comfortable to forget them. It’s preferred to forget them. It’s highly desired to forget them. And we have to change that.

Holding a sign isn’t going to do anything. And writing your congressman will do even less. But you can do something today, this week, this month. The people you engage may not become life-long friends, and they don’t need to be, but it could be enough to keep someone away from the darkness and isolation needed to eventually think lashing out is an effective strategy for dealing with their pain.

If you’re conflicted at all about the subject, I can’t encourage you enough to read this post by Sam Harris on the subject immediately following Newtown, CT, that I’ve written about before.

* Edit: Fully auto weapons are legal, but only under the strictest of conditions and at a price that makes them nigh affordable for the vast majority. For all intents and purposes, let’s just call them banned. The AR-15 is not a fully auto weapon, but is confused for one based on appearance.

1,015 comments

  1. One thing I’d add: Don’t try this unless you’re seriously interested in becoming someone’s friend.

    I think the angriest day in my teen years was when I was taking a summer class at a different church-owned college. Chapel attendance was mandatory and was an exercise in tolerance for boredom–you were supposed to pay rapt attention to some inept speaker’s mumbling about the financial statement of some mission that had nothing to do with you, just because it was chapel. But at least I had found a cute guy to sit beside. I didn’t know him well enough to like him, particularly, but he’d do for someone to be seen with.

    So, naturally, he was late. I sat in the front row, on the aisle, and kept looking around for my date as other people trickled into the room for what felt like hours. Finally a small child crept forward to say “That lady wants you to sit beside her.”

    “That” was no lady, just a White girl who was even younger than I was and, if that hadn’t been bad enough, she had a funny-looking face and was the slowest kid in my summer class. Also the seat toward which she shoved me was right behind a column and maybe two feet away from the child, who had a cold.

    “What do you want?” I said with painfully obvious patience.

    “We just wanted you to sit with us!” Funny Face had a couple of little friends who might have enjoyed being behind the column in order to grope each other.

    At that point the speaker took the stage and, also, my date walked in and gave me a poisonous look, as if he thought I’d *planned* to dump him and sit with these horrible children.

    I have no idea what the speech was about, but I was polite enough to wait until we’d walked out to ask Funny Face, “So what was so allfired important that you had to say to me?”

    “Oh nothing,” she said, and the boy chimed in, “We just thought you looked lonely.”

    I don’t remember exactly what I said, although it qualified as verbal abuse. What I would have said, if our psychological understanding had progressed that far in 1984, was, “Child…introverts do not *get* *that* lonely.”

      1. A typical product of Christian Colleges, that’s all. They’re not all like that – but many, perhaps most, are.

        They see nothing wrong with it, either.

    1. Not only is Priscilla there a complete jerk who is still angry about some random event from 31 YEARS ago, Zoebrain is not much different. It always kills me when you have one huge group of people who non-stop attack another huge group of people for being judgemental. Congratulations Zoe, you will always be the other side of the same coin with that attitude. …or you can change and realize that there is really no good that comes from any sort of stereotyping. Nope, not towards Christians, nor atheist, Republican, nor Democrat. Just don’t indulge in that crud or you might end up a leathery skinned, former homecoming court-queen, with ciggie-related pucker wrinkles framing her thin lips, still crying (and half-way bragging) about the time she went off on a kind-hearted little girl… just because she (Priscilla) was too addlebrained to tell the little girl, “I’m actually waiting for someone, but thank you anyway!”

      BTW, “funny face”, as you call her, was the slowest in your class? Were you the close second?

      1. @Visitor, if you think I’m still angry about this incident, whatever will you think when I write about something that *does* annoy me? Apparently I wrote the anecdote all wrong…for those who didn’t go to church prep schools. The point was that the child here referred to as Funny Face had set up a situation that disguised her intentions of scoring a point by claiming she was being “kind” to someone who “seemed lonely”; without Disrupting The Chapel Service, there was no way to clear up the misunderstanding.

        Was I a mixed-up kid, too? Obviously. People who “seem lonely” are likely to be mixed-up kids just like the kids who want to “seem friendly”…but that doesn’t mean that they’re desperate for any attention at all.

        I was in fact one of the large number of people who got A’s in the class. I was even prepared to be charitable, and laugh about it with my date, if Funny Face had been asking for help with an assignment (I was aware of that way to score social points in church schools, too).

        But those who’ve reacted to my comment with hate are the ones who most need the reality check. You’re reacting to an anecdote recounted by a nice, nonviolent, middle-aged adult who now thinks it was sort of funny–who, as a teenager, wanted to be alone to listen to classical music and write poetry. You think the lonely *guy* who wants to be alone to design *bombs* is going to appreciate a “handout” of attention from someone who does not actually want to talk to him? The only person who’s going to relieve his loneliness would be, at best, an admirer who shares his interests. Mainstream guys who honestly need one more body for a team game might be better than no attention at all…or not. Someone who’s obviously just salivating at a chance to express “I feel sorry for you, I think I’m better or at least better off than you” would not be better than no attention at all.

    2. So, because some innocent children dared to attempt to be nice, you verbally abused them. And their atrocious niceness was responsible for your having the “angriest day” of your teenage years? And, to make matters worse, they were funny looking? And SLOW? But THEY were the ones at fault for your angriest day, because they were just trying to be polite and not aggressively campaigning for a lifelong friendship. Wow.

      1. Thanks, Aubrey! For the life of me, I don’t know why Priscilla is even posting! NOT helpful in any way, misses the point, and spews venom on anyone being kind to another!

    3. Sounds like someone with a ‘superiority complex’ which is another attitude that brings out ‘inferiority complexes’ in others like the ones who end up doing the things this article was written to help.

    4. I am not quiet sure why everyone is so upset with what you wrote here. In your defense, It’s a free country and you can say what you want. What I get from what you wrote was that you liked a guy but could not sit with that guy because you were all but forced to sit with some kids you did not particularly like? I don’t know about every one else, but volunteering to sit, make friends whatever with some one who looks a bit lonely is a great deal different than being forced to sit with someone you don’t know. This used to be a free country if memory serves me right, no one is supposed to be forced to like or dislike anyone.

      1. I’m confused. How was she forced? Did one of the kids have a gun, a knife, scandalous photos? What? How did they force her to do anything she didn’t want to do in this free country?

      2. I feel like people are missing Pricillas point entirely. I feel that maybe there was sarcasm in her original post and that she does not agree that just talking to someone will change their path. Truth is, very limited would this change. Doing something without sincerity is worse than doing nothing at all. Is this Pricilla what you were saying or am I just as confused?

  2. This article is the dumbest uninformed article I have read in a long time, people don’t do mass shootings because they are lonely. There are much more deep and complex issues that often are related to mental health. Being nice to a lonely person is not bad, but it will not stop the next shooting either.

    1. Fine then, why don’t *you* come up with an alternative, since you think the article is so “dumb” and “uninformed?” Rob is trying to introduce a possible strategy to address a critical problem. I don’t see any ideas coming from you …

      1. Here is a possible alternative:13 ingredients in primer powder so find the rareist.You know where i am going with this.What good are guns without bullets?

      1. Check the facts, @Ferguson. People’s self-perception as “depressed” or “anxious,” or others’ perception of them as “borderline autistic,” *can* be entirely an emotional problem created by social anxiety. Their reactions to either street drugs or prescription medications that seem to relieve the emotional problem are a physical disease pattern that can and often does include an urge to kill others and themselves. The street name is “Prozac Dementia” although all the serotonin boosters, as well as meth and PCP, can produce similar effects. As a side effect it’s documented in 3-10% of people who use SSRIs (see Glenmullen, J.; Breggin, P.).

        Actually having friends, or friendly acquaintances, to eat lunch or play sports with, if it happens at the right time in these people’s lives, might in theory help some of them not to feel a need for these drugs.

        On the other hand, if they’re already reacting to drugs and feeling the urge to kill, the people standing closest to them at the time (sometimes including their own children) are likely to be their targets.

      2. If you worked where I do you would know that mental illness can correlate with violence. But so does poverty, drug abuse, gang activity, etc. Some people just fall too far to ‘the dark side’, so to speak, that they stop caring about other people (been there, it was a long road out). Some are just born with no sense of empathy what-so-ever, so harming or even killing another human being doesn’t matter to them. I’m doing my part to make sure the youth I work with don’t follow those paths, what are you doing to better our future?

      1. Yes, @Caroline, I actually do. That’s the beginning point. The problem I was pointing out is that “handouts” of attention “From Wonderful Me to Pathetic You” won’t help. Others have pointed out that some people are genuinely, permanently isolated by brain damage–the one time I’ve spoken to a child who had real autism, he lost his balance and almost fell down, which couldn’t have been very encouraging for him. And some people reach the psychotic urge-to-kill stage immediately after using certain stimulant drugs.

    2. The appearance of solitude (being lonely, if you will) is the signal that something may be wrong. That’s a general statement so don’t go stereotyping everyone for that reason. However, have there been mass killings by someone who has a good relationship with people in general and has not been radicalized in their thinking? There are signals one may be able to read, and a simple “hello” with a smile doesn’t cost anything as long as the recipient is not mislead later by the intention. The article is with sound reasoning in that it points out we can no more remove guns from the hands of would be killers than automobiles from would be killers (check the stats produced by the CDC in case you think there’s a difference).

  3. So maybe personal stories don’t count as statistics, but while I was visiting a social group that had several cliques and favorites I had briefly met a nice but painfully awkward, shy, and lonely boy who later killed his parents. I wish to this day I could have done something for him, anything to have kept that from happening. I understand it wasn’t my fault, and their family had troubles, although I didn’t know their story. But if more people in that group had reached out to him and been inclusive and kind enough to listen to him, it may have helped just enough to avoid the tragedy and horrible deaths. It’s no one’s fault in particular, but socially, we’re just a little too likely to pass up the weird and clumsy and ugly for our own friends and the people who are familiar to us. That should change.

    1. I agree with you Blackdenim. One thing I don’t understand about Priscilla…if that is the person who told the story about sitting alone, the boyfriend and the child who thought she was lonely is why there was such animosity towards the little girl who invited her to join her group? This little girl saw someone that she thought needed a friend. Any normal or “enlightened” person would simply say thank you and stay seated waiting for her boy to show up.

      I was bullied like crazy when I was in Grammar School. I KNOW first hand how it feels to be “left out”. I am thankful that I had the wherewithall later in life to recognize this behavior being perpetrated on others. I have a daughter. I have taught her to befriend anyone for any reason. When she was in fourth grade, she told me that there was this little girl who came up to her and started talking. She welcomed her with open arms. When she came home from school and told me this, she and I almost burst into tears. Me…because I was so proud of my daughter, and her, because she realized what a difference she might have made in this little girl’s life.

      I often ask strangers if they need a ride. I often offer up my coupons or sale ads to other shoppers to save money. I compliment people wherever I go. What is wrong with saying…”hey…I like your hair”, “shirt”, or whatever? What is wrong with being kind to one another? It costs nothing to be nice, and who knows, perhaps you might have impacted the way that person felt about themselves or their decisions. Nothing is for certain, but I’m willing to take that chance.

      1. @Mary Lou Miller, there’s nothing wrong with being kind. My point here is that anything remotely like “Wonderful Winner Me Being Kind to Pathetic Loser You” is *not* being kind. If you can actually offer practical help, like asking if somebody wants a coupon you don’t, or sharing a car (or taxi), that’s fine. If you actually *like* someone and want that person as a friend, that’s also fine.

        On the other hand, if you see someone who’s not surrounded by friends every minute and sincerely imagine that that person is lonely and pathetic, you’re being (at best) incredibly naïve–I find it hard to believe that anyone could sincerely be so naïve after about age twelve. And if you think you can score points for being a big humanitarian (or clever verbal abuser) by calling attention to that person’s real or imagined loneliness, you’re being an obnoxious jerk. I do in fact recommend getting to know people who are outside of the popular crowd at school; I don’t recommend even making eye contact with people you don’t honestly want to get to know, because if they *are* very lonely and alienated, anything like “false friendship” is a trigger that may lead to stalking or worse.

        Nobody should ever be conceited enough to imagine that the sight of their teeth is going to rescue someone else from a “breakdown” into violent psychosis–or even from backsliding into an addiction. Don’t delude yourself that a forced smile is an act of charity. Actually, a forced smile is an ugly, annoying sight.

        This incident took place at a Seventh-Day Adventist church school. I shared this story here because every Seventh-Day Adventist or ex-Adventist with whom I’ve shared it got the point–the kid was *not* being kind, she was deliberately setting up a “Wonderful Me Being Kind to Pathetic You” diss. Maybe people don’t develop such sophisticated verbal abuse and social bullying skills in other churches and schools…or maybe they’re in denial about them. I’m surprised that so many young readers here either aren’t recognizing, or aren’t admitting they recognize, something that college freshmen in my day recognized at once.

      2. WOW! Thank goodness there are more positive people than negative people out there! I find it hard to believe that there wasn’t ONE occasion in your life that you WISHED someone payed attention to you! You are one mixed-up person! How dare you insult me! Did I EVER state that one should give out their phone number, address, email? NO! It doesn’t cost ANYTHING to be kind and inclusive……you should try it sometime!

      3. Priscilla…..you are so caught up in your own hatred that you just don’t get it. You see, whether you believe it or not, being “nice” is an innate response in ANY situation. Never once did I mention that being nice should also include intense therapy, friendship, taking them home with you or anything else! You truly are an idiot!

      4. I strongly agree with your approach of looking for opportunities to be kind and generous. The more people do this, the more cumulative impact it has. Each of our daily actions, whether kind or hostile, are like molecules that together form the body of our society, and currently it’s harboring some real illnesses.

  4. Whether or not this stops mass shootings, it’s still the right thing to do. Being genuinely nice to people is not something you should grit your teeth about doing. Having gone through times of loneliness and isolation myself, I will say that the key word is ‘genuine’. The most sincere people I’ve met are the ones who could relate to being outcasts themselves. The most insincere ones were those who had an agenda for reaching out, sadly, those who did so only from religious conviction.

    1. No….Priscilla was THE slowest in her class. The other girl was one of the smartest…she had learned compassion

      1. That was @Chris Snyder. Dittos to you, Chris. I didn’t see @Georganne Frase’s comment in between ours, but since it’s there, Georganne…if you honestly think what I described was an act of kindness, you either don’t know any hypocritical churchgoers, or don’t know anything about genuine kindness.

        My point is that leaping to project your own “loneliness” onto someone else, in a way that says “I feel sorry for you; I’m better, or at least better off than you; I don’t actually like you, but I’ll *donate* a little of my time to contribute to your boredom and/or homesickness and/or social alienation, to show other people that I’m ahead of you,” is not kindness. It’s arrogance.

      2. What makes you think she was trying to do that? Nothing in your story even hinted at it. You “thought” this, but she never said it. I’m sorry for your experience and how people are castigating you. It’s a chance we take when we out our opinions or feelings out there, unfortunately. But the writer does make some good about compassion. Will it solve the problem of violence? Maybe not, but what’s the harm? Jesus said to love your brother AS YOURSELF. Think about that. As Yourself. Would you have wanted someone to call you funny face? Or assume wrong motives for a compassionate act? Of course you wouldn’t. Nor would I. I think your story just lacked some compassion, which I’m not going to assume you personally lacked. It was a long time ago. Forgive, and be forgiven, ok?

      3. @Lynn, what I’m seeing here *is* a failure to communicate. Things that are dead obvious to members of the church culture seem unclear to those outside of it. I’ve shared the story with others who attended that church, and the question has been “How is it possible that you didn’t see the wrong motives and just tell the child to tell ‘that lady’ to speak for herself.” The use of a third party to deliver a “summons,” rather than making the invitation herself, was generally seen as the tip-off.

        Since I’m not part of the “student apartment” community (didn’t intend to revisit this site until it showed up as a source of several hundred visits to my site), my concern here is strictly with making sure that those who react emotionally to what I posted do so for the right reasons. If I were seeing outpourings of support for other introverts, especially those who sound young, I’d be more inclined to believe that the extroverts on this site have any idea of what the words “kindness” and “compassion” mean. They don’t. Which is typical. I’m much more interested in helping introverts develop consciousness than in whatever effect my words have on extroverts.

      4. I know exactly what you’re saying. Basically, what you’re saying is you saw fakeness and phoniness in that girl and she didn’t really give a crap about you but wanted to look good. Sort of similar to those who do charity work not because they give a crap about the poor but just want to pad their resumes.

    2. You’re right and I a agree with Priscilla too. Insincere or pitying attention, especially if it isn’t followed through will make things worse. I have a habit of befriending introverts and people who border on antisocial . Some are content, self-reflecting types who are not a danger to anybody.

      The problem is when people who need social connections have their overtures ridiculed or tgey are used as a joke. Which is what Priscilla was talking about. Children can be malicious while pretending to be good and nice.

    3. Priscilla…just because YOU thought that this little girl “looked funny”, and had devious intentions, doesn’t make it so! Shame on you for thinking anything other than “what a beautiful child, a caring child, a child that reached out to me because she CARED”! To think otherwise is extremely unhealthy, and the fact that you have the same thoughts today about an extremely simple gesture of kindness, shows an extremely disturbed human being!

      1. Maybe now, all the sanctimonious “We (meaning everyone else except me) must reach out to the loners” people have had a nice preview from Priscilla of exactly the kind of response you’re likely to get when you reach out to them. Even more so if you’re reaching out because they’re so unhinged that they might go on a killing spree if you don’t. I have yet to come across one of these Sanctimonious Von Holier Than Thous who say “From now on, I’M going to befriend loners. I’M going to reach out to anyone who looks like they’re struggling.” Nope. It’s always on other people to take the risk of getting close to the kinds of people who are likely to commit mass murder, while the Holier Than Thou stays at a safe distance and pats himself on the back for being such a compassionate little saint for putting the danger and responsibility on others to prevent someone from going on a killing spree. And Rob Myers is no different.

      2. Just because you haven’t met people who believe in making all good faith attempts to include others doesn’t mean those people don’t exist. They do. And there are lots of them.
        I should have done a better job of making the point that the best time to be inclusive is earlier in life. I’m certainly not saying that having lunch with the San Bernardino shooters a week prior to their spree would have done anything. Ditto with any of these shooters. However, if they’d felt included in society: friends, family, community, they’d likely not have gone on murderous rampages.
        It’s not a panacea, certainly, but it is something, and it’s more realistic an approach for the overwhelming majority of citizens than anything else I’ve heard. Also, I told you that you wouldn’t like it.

  5. I agree that we all have a responsibility to try and help our fellow man and be attentive to their needs and emotions, but realistically that is not possible for every single isolated feeling person out there, so there will always be those who feel left out, and feel like they have nothing to lose, and might be willing to lash out.
    I don’t agree that our society (aka governemnt as that is what government is) can’t do anything.
    1: You can ban the manufacture of guns in the U.S.
    2: You can ban the import of guns or make guns very expensive to obtain.
    3: You can ban the import or sale of bullets.
    4: You can add more saftey features on guns, we have gps on our phone, but nothing on our guns to tell us that they’ve been moved/taken.

    The point is not to get rid of every single gun or bullet, that would be impossible, the goal should be to make it extremely impractical to obtain firearms and/or bullets.

      1. Actually, despite efforts to make it impractical to obtain meth, crack, and PCP, we as a society have made it easy for anyone who admits feeling sad or tired to obtain prescription stimulants that have a similar effect on a minority of users.

    1. You obviously are completely unaware of how guns or gun owners think… Right so under your plan, only the wealthy can afford to hunt, but not the poor? Many people feed their families on wild game. In addition to this, how should we then defend our selves from home invaders? Shall I tell the thief with a gun that it is illegal to have a gun so stop being naughty? So with that GPS thing? Relay? Until we are all carrying lasers that run on electricity… how long will the batteries on that GPS last and do you think that if we made them common people might figure out that you need to remove it before you move it? All you are going to do is keep track of the honest people’s guns until they are stolen… Guns also don’t break very often, most guns are well taken care of and passed from generation to generation. Many of my families guns are 50-70 years old and show little ware because people that own guns take care of them well because they are already a luxury item… You can’t buy a decent hand gun for less then 500.00, but my guess is you are not in the market for one so you probably did not know that, and most semi automatic rifles start around 700.00. No one is rampaging with 120.00 hipoint hand gun that jams every other shot, or a single shot bolt action ruger American rifle for 399.00, so cheep guns are out, and are not the problem.

      Solution then… We need to open the gun market, mandate gun safety training in our schools, and arm our teachers that are willing.

      The government can’t keep us safe but my family is safe, the ten perfectly functioning, well lubricated, locked, cocked and ready to rock guns that every member of my family knows how to safely, load, shot, clean and put away are ready and accessible to each of them ages 10 and up. My wife is a great shot with her 9mm and my daughter age twelve is ore then capable with the 20 guage. Even my ten year old has a working knowledge of both the 10 safety rules of gun safety, and how to clean and shoot my Smith and Wesson M&P 15 assault rifle, which is get for both home defence and hunting deer. Stop by any time, I’ll have my up and coming expert on gun safety teach you all about them, hoe to safely hold them and what the rules are… she’s only 6 years old, and is the best shot I have ever seen with her red rider bb gun…

      1. Oh the irony of arrogant gun owners like this. These guns are accessible to all of the kids in your family huh? And probably to their friends too, sounds like. You are the problem.

      2. My wife is a stay at home mom actually, and we don’t leave kids unattended. Ever… because they are kids… But because our kids know about guns and all the mysteries of them, have been de-mystified, and they know they can have friends over and ask to see and use them any time they want, there is no draw to mischief with them. It’s like fire. It’s not bad, it needs to be controled, people need education, not ignorace. If you teach them how to make it right, and give them the tools, and tell them they can do it anytime they want with supervision there is no need to mess around. I have the keys, my wife has the keys, all they need to do is ask.

        Instead of educating people why don’t we demonize everything and let the government take it all away or regulate it. Then people could not overeat or get pregnant without having the income to take care of a baby, or dye their hair green cuz it looks stupid? Where does it stop?

        You want to know why our country has these random acts of violence? It’s really simple. Because there is no consequence for them. We teach them in school, that life is meaningless, that there are no absolutes, there is no moral truth, no right or wrong… and the majority of parents are two busy either working two jobs and not paying attention and depending on other people to instill values in them, or they are not working at all but living selfishly for themselves not paying attention to where their kids are or what their problems are. No one is raising them to believe in anything, so they believe in nothing. They are empty, searching, lost kids, with no love or guidence. People talk about these mass shootings but what about the mass suicides that are popping up, groups of kids making death pacs. This kills hounds a year… no press on that? This gun agenda has more to do with government control, then it does with the welfare of our kids. Our society is broken, it is godless, insincere, and impatient. That is the problem let’s fix that?

      3. “arm our teachers”

        “My wife is a great shot”, “my daughter age twelve is ore then capable with the 20 guage.”,
        “Even my ten year old”, “she’s only 6 years old”

        You terrify me. America’s bizarre logic of more killing sticks will make you safer. The rest of the civilized world looks on in horror, like watching a train slowly de-rail. We can’t help you, and it seems you can’t help yourselves.

        Please USA. Please, stop, and think.

      4. It’s adorable you think you family is safe. If we were invaded, it would be with tanks and drones. If our own government comes for us, it’s with tanks and guns. I mean, keep your guns. I don’t have children and could care less about if your kid accidentally shoots the neighbor kid, as it won’t be mine. But please be honest: you have guns because you like to shoot things. Fine. But it’s very sad if you actually think your guns are keeping you safe from anything. At most, they are great things to have because it keeps you from eating factory farmed meat, as they did for my family growing up. So, I mean in a sense, yes, you are right. They are protecting your kids from chemicals and disease. But only if you only eat hunted meat.

      5. Hey, are you the same genius that opened that gun range/roadside burger joint in AZ, where the little girl killed her instructor with an Uzi!?

      6. Tont…and what would happen if your 6-year old gets the loaded gun, ready to go, and murders another family member? A 6-year old does NOT have the capacity of knowing the dangers of the gun, no matter what you say, plus your other children, have the capability due to their underdeveloped brains at that age, to truly UNDERSTAND how, why, when and where to use a gun! I pray that you don’t have to be a statistic Dad that regrets having loaded guns in the house within reach of young children. Some states prosecute the PARENTS if a child gets their hands on a gun and harms someone else.

        There were 2 recent incidents in the news this week. One..an 11 year old boy who shot an 8 year old girl dead because he was mad at her for not showing him her puppy. Second…a 6 year old who show his 3 year old sibling DEAD! Children have not developed their brains, nor have any experience in dealing with deadly weapons! Shame on you!

      7. Yes, a 6-year-old can learn that a gun is dangerous. Look up “Eddie Eagle” to see the gun safety education program that should be taught in every school.

    2. Points 1-3 have not been effective in stopping drug use and manufacture nation-wide (and the high prices helps fuel the illegal trade). Why would we expect it to turn out differently for guns?
      For #4, most illegal firearms on the streets are purchased fraudulently through legitimately licensed retailers. A GPS locator won’t be of much help unless we’re trying to track it down AFTER a crime has been committed and recognized.

    3. But what your missing is that it doesn’t have to be a gun. Instead of using the tired but true, “Guns don’t kill people, people do”, might I expand on this? While guns may be the easiest “weapon of choice” to use for violence, the drive for violence lies within. If a heroin addict can’t obtain heroine, what does he do? Does he say, “Ah hell, well, guess it’s time to quit!”? No, he scrapes by with oxy’s or hydro or spray paint fumes. If a person’s desire is to kill, that person will kill. They will get creative with their resources and their weapon becomes a car, a knife, a pipe bomb or, do you know what the weapon of choice was that killed more lives than all of the mass shootings combined, and the date on which it was used is now a national day of mourning?? Two Boeing 767s! If a person has no regard for human life and little fear of the consequences for carrying out the heinous act of violence and murder, do you think that person is going to give a shit about imported weapons, inaccessibility of new bullets or licensing regulations and mandates? Will they suddenly gain perspective and appreciation for the law and rethink their plan to murder school children they have yet to meet or innocent movie theater patrons because it would just be too scary to break the law and obtain one of the billion guns stashed away in this country without a proper license or training? No, the gun has nothing to do with it. Nor does the implementation of mandates, regulations and laws. A mentally ill person (and make no bones about it, despite the columnist’s suggestion that the majority of mass murderers are not mentally ill–um, sorry, murder even one innocent person in cold blood, you automatically are mentally ill. In addition, most, if not all, of the mass murderers in this country have a psychiatric rap sheet a mile long) whose intent it is to murder even one person, silently tells you to take your threats of legality and shove it. Even with no prior convictions, never even having had a speeding ticket, a murderous person knows that the act of KILLING SOMEONE is illegal and any illegal activity commited to carry out their plan is not even an afterthought, let alone a deterrence. Yes indeed, guns don’t kill people. Freaking psychotic lunatics who don’t even give a shit about your precious guns, kill people.

      1. So a madman is running around with a fully-automatic rifle is the same as a madman running around with a kitchen knife?

    4. And everything you proposed is unconstitutional “A well regulated Militia (trained citizenry), being necessary to the “security” of a “free state”, the “right of the people” to keep and bear Arms, shall not be “infringed”.” One sentence, not two.

      I don’t care what you think about firearms they will never not be a part of this Country. They are after all why we are a Country and not a colony of England. If you don’t like firearms, don’t own one. I on the other hand own several and not one of them has shot anyone and likely never will. They will never do anything that I don’t make them do as they are only objects, tools for the purpose I bought them. Same as the extinguisher in my kitchen and the smoke detectors on my walls. Tools for my safety, not yours.

    5. No you can’t do any of that, the 2nd has been affirmed by the Supreme Court as a fundamental right and as such banning bullets or gun manufacture would fly exactly as well as banning paper or stopping the manufacture of ink. The courts must at very least use intermediate scrutiny when deciding whether or not a law is constitutional and the vast majority of gun laws won’t pass that bar. Over the next 30 years we will see a continued loosening of gun laws and likely a continued drop in violent crime.

      1. It’s not impossible that people could come together and decide that reasonable registration, insurance, training and qualification requirements serve compelling societal interests. We’ve created new laws – even constitutional amendments- when changes in society (like rights of women, minorities, even economic and trade changes) make the earlier constitutional interpretations incompatible with contemporary democracy.

    6. 1: You can ban the manufacture of guns in the U.S.
      2: You can ban the import of guns or make guns very expensive to obtain.
      3: You can ban the import or sale of bullets.

      Not much of a constitutional lawyer or even a fan of the Bill of Rights are you, Kane?

      “You” (the Senate & House of Representatives, since we still don’t elect KINGS in this country) could try all that by passing legislation at some point…although it’s not going to happen anytime soon, you can bet your last dollar on that….but any law or laws like that will wind up being challenged in the Supreme Court and there are already multiple precedents (rulings) on the books that would certainly result in ruling of such laws as blatantly UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

      Nice try, though….

    7. @kane Translation of your post: Make it near-impossible for honest, law abiding, citizens to obtain firearms for self-protection… While Criminals can still get all they want illegally. (See “the war on drugs” for an example of how that will play out)

      1. Oh my gawd, you gun nuts are just so quick on giving up on trying to inhibit CRIMINALS access to guns. You don’t even want to try to lift a finger. You just clench your fists and grab a tighter grip to YOUR guns.

        Big Hint: You aren’t helping.

    8. Kane – while your suggestion to simply ban guns is a possible response, it is neither practical nor reasonable. There are certain realities and constraints we have to work with in trying to solve the problem and violating both the constitution as well as the natural rights of everyone just won’t work.

      I’ll also point out that society is NOT government, nor is government equal to society. To believe they are equivalent is to not believe in liberty, only the illusion of it.

      Jesse Bareil – Since you’re so fired up that “gun nuts” won’t do anything, perhaps you’d favor us with your solution – provided it’s not going to violate the constitution or people’s rights.

  6. It might work once in a blue moon, I suppose. The author was correct in his title … as I was reading it, I *didn’t* like it. Because I am not entirely convinced it would work or that it is a good strategy, overall.
    I don’t believe we have it in us to save the social misfits who are bent in that direction just by buddying up to them. I say this because I was the type of kid and young adult who would actually try that. The more frequent outcome is that you end up with a borderline psychotic cling-on stalker control freak as a friend, who wants you to spend every waking moment with them and have no other friends or life. And when you, as a healthy individual, break out of that, there is often hell to pay.
    The plain, sad fact is that there is no way to stop mass shootings, or any other kind of evil, and people who don’t want to say hi to these folks and spend time with them have good instincts. I bet if Gavin DeBecker saw this article, he yelled at the monitor and banged his head on his desk. If you get a copy of “The Gift of Fear” in the mail, you’ll know why.

    1. And what about those potential future mass killers who are befriended as children, before they’ve gone down a bad path, who might have been normal, non-violent citizens if only those around them had been taught inclusiveness and compassion? Might not these folks avoid a future of violence if their social and emotional needs are met as they grow up? No, we can’t stop all violence, gun or otherwise, but we can certainly have an impact one way or the other. And even if there are some people who are just trouble from egghood, wouldn’t keeping them involved in society possibly mitigate potential outcomes? Wouldn’t it at least be obvious to others that they needed to be helped, to be monitored for their safety and that of those around them? I’m better off knowing there’s a strange man living next door than I am not knowing there’s a potential lunatic quietly working in his basement, building bombs, am I not? We can’t protect ourselves from the absolute unknown, can we?

    2. The truth of the matter is Americans always put profit before anything else.A good look at the statistics worldwide puts american way ahead of any country in mass murders and gun related deaths.Some years ago we in Australia had a horrific mass murder Hobart Tasmania,the Prime minister John Howard instituted a gun buy back which was very successful,we haven’t had a mass murder since,suicides have fallen and gun related incidents have more than halved.It can be done! with out all the precious bleating about your rights.The right to life trumps all your whining,besides the semi automatic weapons have nothing to do with hunting anything but humans.

    1. It may not be loneliness in the purest (or most literal) sense but even those who act in concert with others tend to be socially inept types who’ve found others like themselves who basically feed off of one another’s anger and sense of otherness. Instead of “I’ll make them pay” it becomes “we’ll make them pay.” But what if they’d been able to find friends and develop healthy relationships instead of just finding others already on the periphery, already damaged and angry? Just being kind to others, trying to keep people from falling through the cracks, isn’t the absolute solution…but it could have a real effect, so why not consider it part of a larger solution. Or do we just abandon all hope and wait our turn to be cut down in a school, movie theater, airport…?

      1. I agree with your comments, Caroline. I don’t understand why everyone just can’t be nice or compassionate, or show some empathy for others? It costs NOTHING to say something nice to someone else.

        For the person who said..”don’t befriend strangers”, or some such….we are NOT talking about taking this person home with us! We are talking about being compassionate and caring of other human beings. We have the “CHOICE” to continue being friends or not! Most circumstances go no further than a “hello”…or a “I like your shoes” or something else. A little goes a long way! Obviously, the person who is terrified of being nice to another human being because she thinks it will end up in some kind of Psycho situation, doesn’t have a grasp of what we are talking about! For those that do, keep on being compassionate, caring, and happy, for we NEVER know how much it might cheer someone up, change their mood, make them want to do the same.

  7. No. It’s more often people with a sense of personal impotence and mild narcissistic tendencies. And, it would seem, an obsession with guns.

    It ain’t about “loneliness.” It’s about a sense of futility, of their lives being out of their control (welcome to the club) and a sense of personal impotence so complete that they are driven to project power in the only way they know how.

    And, yes, loneliness can be a part of that sense of impotence. But it’s rarely all of it. Plenty of lonely people manage not to kill anyone. People suffering from impotent rage, on the other hand, are a bit like a bullet themselves. They are pushed by the expanding gases in the only direction that seems open to them.

    It’s also a bit like how a gun in the house increases likelihood of suicides for those susceptible. It requires very little foresight or preparation.

  8. Not true. There is something the Gov can do. Make them so damn expensive that people can’t afford them. The 2nd Ammendment doesn’t say anything about that! Make a $200 gun $10,000 and see how many people buy guns then. Also, start holding the seller and family member responsible if someone commits an act with their gun. I guarantee you’ll see a slowdown in mass-shootings.

    1. The government could do that for crack and cocaine? Price people out of the market? 300 million are already in private hands. You don’t think an efficient black market would emerge very quickly? Holding family members responsible for acts they knew nothing about would fly in the face of our criminal justice system. There’s a reason no one has proposed either of those as solutions in Congress.

      1. Come on. Crack and cocaine aren’t legal, so how could the government set a price on it? As you point out, there are already many criminals with guns. And that’s why we have a police force. The point is to decrease the availability of guns in this country so they aren’t sold to any Tom, Dick and Nut-job who decides not to take his pills that day and go out and shoot a bunch of people.

        You want all of us to “connect” with the loners so they won’t shoot people. How about the families who brought them into the world and thrust them upon us do it instead. It’s called being a parent. And if they can’t/won’t do it; and if they wan’t to allow access to their guns – guess what – we hold them responsible too. I’m sick and tired of seeing the surviving family member say “I had no idea, he was such a nice young man. I’m sorry.” BS. If you’re that out of touch/clueless then maybe they’ll start tuning in if we hold them responsible. It’s not our job to raise your kids!

        Feel free to write me in for President😉

  9. I personally have spent the past 20 years working in social work from domestic violence, drug addicts, adolescents in schools, widows, VA’s with PTSD and so on….You would be surprised how allowing someone who is currently high, struggling with PTSD, and has experienced trauma like you could not even imagine–I have talked them down with empathy and a conversation of what I could do to support them. Many will take the help, many soften throughout the conversation. I have orchestrated police showing up to assist a homicidal Vet and had it turn out, getting him to a hospital with a CD/PTSD program. Do not take lightly what listening can do–until you have been there you do not know. If you want to tear this subject down and criticize then that is your right, and proof that you are not committed to being a part of the change but hang out at the edges worrying about your private gun rights, and you absolutely have a right do to so…The only thing I know for sure is that what we are currently doing is not working, and is getting worse.

    1. What a beautiful response, DrL. Why are people so against being compassionate? People we meet may have big issues and perhaps a kind word, or lending an ear can move mountains!

  10. Note that every one of these mass shooters have been on anti depressants or anti psychotic meds. No previous generation has engaged in so many senseless shootings until the introduction of these meds. The lack of insight and willingness to consider the effect of these meds on people’s actions is baffling but it seems to be the norm with mainstream commentators.

    1. We use these meds. They do help many people. In times past, these same people were kept in Mental Health Hospitals (Asylums). These no longer exist, so some of the people who would have been helped or permanently kept away from innocent people now walk the streets and commit heinous crimes

      1. Georganne…AND! if you think about it, the same conditions existed for many years! The difference is: perhaps there wasn’t a gun readily available at the drop of a hat to use!

    2. This is the first and only suggestion different than all the others I’ve read thus far. IF it is true that all or the majority of these mass shooters (which is sadly different than those kill for religious purposes) were on some typ of antidepressant or other drug(s), there may be something to this! Heck, we’ve all heard how some of these drugs can cause extreme cases of exactly what they are meant to stop(depression, suicide, anxiety, etc). Are the drugs these people are on all from the same manufacturers? Are these the “one in 500” studies? How about knowing THAT on a television commercial? “One in 400 cases have been known to commit mass shootings in schools, military bases, and/or movie theaters”. Seems like this might be something to explore and EXPOSE. Yes, it doesn’t take away from the attention that is needed for those whom are painfully neglected or teased. That is not right. Also, I know drugs to be very helpful to those whom need it. I’m just saying this is a good avenue to research.

      1. @Interesting: Right on. Into the 1990s doctors were releasing, and newspapers were reporting, which legal and illegal drugs were in these people’s blood (some, like Timothy McVeigh, *did* use only street drugs). Why’d they stop? Because pharmaceutical companies pressured them to withhold this information. (See Breggin, P.; Huffington, A.) Much as tobacco companies pressured the media to withhold information about cigarettes and lung cancer.

    3. I can concede that these medications may play some part in this. But it’s hard to say exactly what that part is. First, it’s possible some of these folks would have become mentally ill even if everything and everyone in their lives had been ideal. But if we take those folks away, we’re left with those for whom mental illness wasn’t necessarily a given. Now is it the fault of the medication? These guys (I’ll go with masculine pronouns just because they’re almost all male) are treated with meds after they’ve gone quite a ways down the path to violence. (I think. I don’t have their medical records or any medical background.) So maybe it’s too much to ask of anti-depressants to fix patients who need much more than medication by the time these meds are prescribed? Also, if some of these guys are truly depressed, the antidepressants may just be making them feel energetic enough to act on their violent fantasies. (The same way there are more suicides at the end of the winter when those who’ve been too depressed to act find themselves feeling just motivated enough to go through with killing themselves.) Does that make it the fault of the medication? I don’t think so. I think it’s more a failure of family. society, supervising physicians than it is just the medication. I’m not saying, of course, that there aren’t side effects to medications that the pharmaceutical companies do their level best to downplay. I’d just be more inclined to point the finger at anti-depressants if there were cases where they said “He had friends, he was on the football team, his grades were great, he was getting ready for prom…his depression seemed to be under control…and then he stocked up guns and killed everyone. We never saw it coming.” I think the victims never see it coming, but those nearest to these shooters know there’s something wrong and either they do nothing, or their efforts are too little, too late.

      1. What if there’s alcohol involved. or other drugs,or illegal drugs? I hope the FBI is taking tissue and blood samples of the shootera.

    4. There is absolutely NO evidence to support a causation between the use of anti-depressants or SSRI medication and mass shootings. Note: I said no evidence for causation. What you’re post is asserting is a correlation. People, PLEASE LEARN THE DIFFERENCE! Its the same as a heroin addict blaming his constipation on the cheese pizza he ate the night before! Cheese does NOT cause constipation in ALL people…
      The only thing that’s been on the rise the last decade, is our dependency on the 24 hour news cycle. Shootings, like the Oregon or Colorado shootings, have been happening for a long time, and consistently to boot! They’ve not always been carried out by one deranged individual, and they’ve not always happened in the workplace or schools or highly populated areas like a movie theatre, but they’ve happened none the less! We’ve all become so accustomed to being inundated with “breaking news” alerts on our damn smart phones; stories are reported and shared within minutes now as they happen no matter what the circumstance; that we as a society can’t fathom having to discover such tragedies through the Sunday paper, days later!
      THIS…is a large part of the problem! Journalists are no longer allowed or even capable of being true journalists. When you only have minutes or hours to report on a story like the Oregon shooting, Bhengazi, Hillary Clinton’s email debacle, Anthony Wiener’s wiener, etc…how can we expect decent FACTUAL journalism?! We demand up-to-the-minute details and scoff at any news organization that’s late to the frenzy! Knowing this, if you assume that some statistic, report, or op ed is BIBLICAL TRUTH…then you’re as much a part of the problem- ESPECIALLY concerning issues as polarizing as gun control. There is NO CLEAR CUT SOLUTION NOR CAUSE for this matter. And unfortunately, we can no longer depend on our government or news media to keep us all a well-informed republic. We all have to do our due diligence to research and be open to ALL solutions, not just the ones we agree with, or support our own religious or political bias. But…PLEASE stop spouting off shit from half-baked 3rd party news zines like Conservative Tribune, The Blaze, Briebart, or Samual-Warde.com, Expose Today, Reverb Press or any other with an obvious political bend. The only stats you get, or reports are spun and skewed to support their political narratives. 90% of it is complete bullshit, and it would serve you well to treat ANY news site who’s viewership is predominantly made up of people who “liked” their FB page as nothing more than entertainment. This particular era of “news” absolutely sucks goat ass, which means you pretty much have to read everything, and then draw your own conclusion. If that makes me a skeptic, then I’m a skeptic. At least I’m a well-informed skeptic.
      Until WE start vetting OUR sources the way we expect our sources to vet THIERS… we can never have a true, honest, factually coherent debate in regards to issues like gun control, mass shootings and how to prevent such tragedies. As for this particular article, I agree whole-heartedly with the author. Not because I believe that what they propose is some fool-proof solution, or if it will help at all, but what harm could come from just simply being kinder and more respectful to other people?! Some of you insist that by doing so would cause more strife than its worth; that poor and lonely souls just become obsessive and clingy. Based on personal experience, I can tell you YES that absolutely can happen. But isn’t that what discernment is for?! You must practice discernment on a daily basis to get good at it, I’ve found, but when you do, you can avoid such pitfalls. Like I said, it’s not a fool-proof solution, but if prevents a few isolated incedents… It’s worth it.
      Sorry for all the ramblings…peace.

      1. Josh…you have stated exactly what I would state. Why is there ANY argument about treating others with respect, compassion, caring, and empathy?

    5. No they have not. There is literally no way to know what prescription medicine someone is on because that information is protected under HIPPA. Not only that, people are trying to make a giant stretch in saying that suboxene, found in possession of the latest shooter, counts as a psychiatric medicine. It does not.

    6. Stop blaming the meds. MANY people benefit from them. Stop blaming the meds and look into the cause. There will always be an element of society who will stop at nothing to kill other people, or take revenge. Making guns harder to get their hands on IS the solution!

      1. If a crazy person wants to kill someone else and there is no gun available, they will find another weapon. The people doing these shootings are all wackos who would have been behind bars in the days before deinstitutionalization. Here are five examples:

        On September 16, 2013, Aaron Alexis killed 12 people and injured 3 others in a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard in Southeast Washington, D.C. Alexis had numerous mental health issues, including claims that the voices in his head were harassing him and an incident where he disassembled his hotel room bed, believing that someone was hiding under it.

        On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 children and 6 adult staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Lanza was a schizophrenic psychopath who could barely function on his own. He lived with his mother but communicated with her only by email.

        On July 20, 2012, James Eagan Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70 others at a mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, Holmes had met previously with several mental health professionals at the University of Colorado. He had made homicidal statements to one of his psychiatrists, and she believed that he could be dangerous.

        On January 8, 2011, Jared Lee Loughner killed 6 people and wounded 13 others during a constituent meeting held for U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona. Loughner was a longtime drug user whose behavior frightened his parents. His teachers were afraid of him. He had had five contacts with college police for classroom and library disruptions.

        On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and wounded 17 others at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, Cho had exhibited numerous incidents of aberrant behavior beginning in his junior year of college that should have served as a warning about his deteriorating mental condition.

        The politics and religion of these killers probably have nothing to do with their actions. But one thing that is common among them and other mass murderers is that they were all known to be mentally ill, and their actions caused their acquaintances to fear them. In the past, they would have been safely locked away in a secure facility where they could not hurt members of the general public. But the mental health system in this country has deteriorated to the point where the only way a person can end up behind bars now is if they injure or kill someone.

        My suggestion is to provide a way for citizens to report dangerous people like this, and allow the police to pick them up and take them to a secure psychiatric facility where they can be evaluated by a professional. Right now we are using our police (with some minimal training) as street psychiatrists, and they’re not qualified to do that. Let the professionals handle things, and if they decide that the person is a danger to himself or others, keep him behind bars.

        Politics and religion and guns are not the issue. The ability to incarcerate those who are dangerous mentally ill is the issue. In other words, the problem is not unlocked guns. The problem is unlocked homicidal maniacs.

      2. Hal, I don’t understand that you can’t see that we need more gun regulation. The argument that “the criminals will find “something else” to murder others” is a lame argument, in my opinion. Tell me how many mass murders occur with a knife, an ax, or any other non-gun weapon?

        The fact that there are sooooooooooooooo many guns floating around, makes it easier to react on impulse, or for revenge. Why won’t you see or try to understand?

      3. It’s not that I can’t see it, it’s just that I don’t agree that we need more gun regulation. Criminals don’t obey gun laws anyway, and law-abiding gun owners already follow the law. Your opinion is wrong about criminals finding something else if they don’t have a gun. Britain banned guns, and now they are trying to ban knives because there are 130,000 knife attacks every year. There are fewer guns, so knives become the weapon of choice. Criminals will use whatever is available to commit their crimes.

        In the US, our right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the Constitution not to be infringed by federal law. A gun ban would mean nothing when there are already millions of guns in the country. As almost everyone with any sense understands, mass shootings occur in gun-free zones and are perpetrated by people who are already known to be dangerous. Those two factors, more than anything else, are where we should concentrate our attention if we are truly interested in stopping mass shootings.

    1. @CK: As long as accurate information about the chemicals present in homicides’ bloodstreams can be suppressed, we’ll see more back-and-forth “debate” about whether more guns mean more crime, less crime, more gun-related crime, more respect, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseam. Most people don’t realize that there’s a specific pattern–which is NOT present in ALL shooting deaths, let’s be clear about that–related to a specific class of drugs, many of which appear to be safe for most people and are therefore handed out like aspirin.

      If guns did not exist, then there’d be no shooting deaths…but there might, arguably, be more wars and more deaths. (Human life expectancy has been greater in the last few centuries, with widely available guns, than it was in the centuries before guns were invented.) People would find other ways of acting out violence. Some might be less lethal. Some would be more so.

      If serotonin boosters were used only under carefully controlled conditions, such that all patients who showed signs of dementia were immediately sent to detox before they could become violent, then *most* of those school shootings probably wouldn’t have happened. (Of course, homicidal psychosis can also be caused by the stimulants we as a nation at least try to regulate and control, e.g. meth…and some homicidal people are motivated by envy or revenge rather than psychosis.)

      1. Priscilla…the reason why more people are living longer is because of education, healthcare, and lifestyle.

  11. These shooters are angry young men that no one ever noticed. If they commit this terrible act the world has to notice. Maybe passing a Federal Law that it is illegal to reveal the name and/or a picture of the shooter in the media in any crimes that include 3 or more shooting victims. If violated a large fine will be paid by the media outlet to the school and victims of where this crime was committed. It would prevent the shooter from getting the glory they crave. A second law could also be passed that if after one week the shooter is not killed or captured then the name could be released if it is decided by law enforcement public knowledge could lead to a capture. (Just throwing around ideas)

    1. Why ban revealing the shooters name only if they kill less than three people? Assuming attention is what they seek, they then get it even if they shoot one or two. It would be better to ban releasing their name completely, in connection to a shooting. Or, ban the media from creating a non-stop media circus, which is part of what a shooter is desiring. But even so, this alone will not end shootings. But the media definitely needs to be reined in from their rabid enthusiastic coverage and competitive push for ratings with their “first with the story” mindset. . .

    2. It might be tried but the research I’ve done suggests that it wouldn’t help much. School shooters are likely to be listening to the voices in their own heads more than those on TV.

      1. Priscilla…you just don’t get it. They may be listening to “voices in their own heads”, but they certainly have listened to the news to get their ideas of fame, otherwise, why the same modus operandi?

  12. It sounds like a nice idea but this can be really dangerous advice, especially for women. I used to always befriend the outcasts, but I ended up with a stalker who literally sat outside my job regularly for hours at a time and followed me all around, popping up in the most random places. I’m still avoiding this guy, 20 years and 3,000 miles away. He was in my current town recently and contacted me. I was so nervous that whole week and kept making excuses to avoid him because there is no way to shake him (I’ve tried.) Be kind, yes, but be careful.

    1. For women who are worried about the danger of being nice to a stalker, I’d recommend being nice-in-a-group. Christian colleges are excellent places to practice that. There are lots of different “student ministry” groups to join. If you have found something you actually like about this person, so will your friends, and they can prevent the formation of any thought pattern like “Nobody else cares about me but Jane Doe, my only friend, whom I can’t live without and must cling to forever.”

      At the college where I was a regular student, one of the outpatients from the hospital used to hang out in the library where I worked. I liked him; he’d been a student, before a brain injury, and was trying to re-learn things he’d studied in the past. So I figured others in the “student ministries” crowd would like him, too. And they did. So when he asked me for a date and I said no, he had a self-comforting assumption to make: “Because you like Ed better, right? Ed’s a good man.” No obsession. No stalking. No creepiness. I think he’d got up the nerve to think of dating again *because* he now had a few same-age, same-sex buddies.

      But if someone really is creepy, and you have friends who have interests other than “popularity,” and they agree that he’s too creepy to be part of your crowd…he probably is.

      1. What Christianity are you studying Priscilla? You stated earlier that you thought that poor little girl (with all GOOD intentions) was evil and her face was unattractive! I would think at the very least, that you would have learned how to be compassionate and unassuming with all the Christian people and clubs you talk about! Furthermore, the guy with the “brain” injury asked you out. So what? The poor guy has decreased mental capacity. Where is YOUR compassion?

    2. Joan, there will ALWAYS be situations where an act of kindness is mistaken for vulnerability. I believe that the author means is to be kind. Like…hold open a door, offer your seat up….tell them you like their jacket, tell them they are pretty. This does NOT mean offering up personal information about yourself, inviting them over for coffee or anything else! Too many people are missing the gist of what was authored.

  13. Sometimes people aren’t unhinged because they are alone, they are alone because they are unhinged. A simple act of kindness is all it takes to get on a stalker’s radar, and the police can’t do much about stalking until the stalker gets violent. This is a recurring problem that leads to the deaths of (usually) women and girls. I recommend viewing “Stalked: Someone’s Watching” for the story of a teen girl (Cameron Wallace) who was ultimately murdered by someone she tried to be nice to (Ryan Clutter) who became obsessed with her. That is hardly the only time this has happened.

    You could argue it’s a relatively rare occurrence, but it’s less rare than mass shootings, so the statistical improbability is hardly an effective argument in this case.

  14. Oh ya, for that stalker problem… Conceal and carry permit, the course is only about 150.00 bucks in my places. Problem the wrong forum to bring that up in though. By the way sorry about the typos using my phone to chime in.

  15. Unfortunately, this confuses correlation with causation – these young men who commit these crimes are lonely; but the extreme antisocial behaviors that culminate in these massacres isn’t just “loneliness”. And lots of lonely and alienated kids don’t end up blowing away their classmates. The difference between the Adam Lanzas of this world and countless other frustrated and lonely young men is access to guns. Access to guns makes a moment of internal pain become violence directed either outward or inward in a way that has devastating and exponentially more damaging effects. Pulling a trigger is much too easy. Could that desperate man harm himself or others, even without a gun? Of course (and people without guns do) but it’s just harder, and the results are far less deadly. It’s the gun in the hand that makes the difference.

    So what can we do? We can stay focused on this. We can stop buying the line that it’s “too hard” or “too complicated”. Can we get every gun out of reach of anyone who might turn it on themselves or others? Of course not – but that doesn’t mean we throw up our hands and say there’s nothing we can do. You don’t need to ban all guns – but you start by making it much, MUCH harder for anyone without insurance, training, regular certification and appropriate screening to get their hands on a gun. It’s a firearm, it’s only purpose is to cause damage – it’s not crazy in a modern society for us to demand that the privilege of owning one comes with some serious responsibility, and to hold gun owners accountable. It won’t make all illegal guns disappear overnight, but it will stem the flood, and eventually it will give us a way to keep guns out of the hands of SOME of the people who shouldn’t have access to them. I don’t understand the argument that because we can’t eliminate EVERY possibility of inappropriate uses of guns, we shouldn’t do ANYTHING… That’s ridiculous, and the longer we believe this lie – that is being fed to us by a special interest group in the hopes that we’ll succumb to our own frustration and fear – the deeper the problem becomes.

    Yes, the world will be a better place if we all reached out to try to include the lonely and disenfranchised around us. Let’s do that – but please don’t kid yourself that all Adam Lanza needed was for someone to invite him to sit at their lunch table and he wouldn’t have turned murderous. And don’t accept the lie that there is “nothing we can do” to prevent this. There’s nothing we can to to guarantee this never happens again, but there are LOTS of things we can do dramatically reduce the odds, and to make it more difficult for someone who wants to hurt themselves or others to get their hands on a gun that turns that impulse into fatal action. We need to shake off our complacency and wake up as a country and refuse to allow this to continue.

    1. Not going to fly constitutionally. The RKBA is now considered a fundamental right under the 14th amendment which means both federal and state government must now prove any law passed is the least restrictive means to achieve the end.

      1. That’s not true – and perpetuating that myth is a prime tactic of special interest groups (we can’t pass effective laws, or the related “we already have good enough laws that just aren’t being enforced” myth). It’s not a difficult argument that there is a compelling state interest in requiring reasonable regulation that can include registration, training, insurance and qualification.

        It’s not about banning guns – it’s about trying to make sure that only people who obtain them for the right reasons and agree to be responsible for them can continue to own them going forward. Yes, that’s going to DRAMATICALLY lower the market for guns in America (except the black market) so that’s why the NRA and the gun lobby are so adamant about keeping regulation off the books. But we regulate all kinds of industries whose products impact society in even lesser ways. There’s nothing in the 2nd (or 14th) amendment that prevents reasonable regulation.

    2. My thoughts exactly, Lori. I live in Chicago. You know, where all the gangs and young people own guns? If these guns were “unavailable”, the majority of drive-by’s, or retaliation, would decrease dramatically. In fact, there is a movement to prevent shootings in Englewood, a gun-infested, gang-infested, fed up community.

      The mothers have decided to unite. They now hold “block” parties where they welcome anyone. They provide food and advice to young people. There has NOT been ONE shooting since they started. In fact, there is an old lady who lives in a house where she welcomes others to drop off food for barbecues, clothing, etc. to hand out to the community.

      You see, they are showing love to the community. I would think it would be difficult for a gun-toting person to shoot anyone while they occupy the community, show their presence, for two reasons. One, if they did come by and shoot someone, they would be caught because they would be reported. Two, how could they possibly conduct criminal activity with such an audience!

      I truly think that MANY of these thugs would NOT be able to obtain a gun if fewer were available! What is wrong with trying to stop the flood of guns? If it is more difficult to obtain one, perhaps the vast majority of spontaneous reaction thugs wouldn’t have a gun available to react spontaneously!

    3. Driving a car threw a school yard is a way easier way to kill kids, then to load up a dozen magazines, strap on a vest, and go shooting up a school building. Do we ban cars? Sue auto manufacturers, drivers Ed teachers, and auto insurance companies for the actions of the driver? Make gasoline and oil incredibly expensive? Should all law abiding drivers suffer for the actions of a few?

  16. Wrong! Matt Walsh suggested this too. The problem is that it ignores sociopathic behavior. People that inherently lack empathy will actually use this to their advantage against you although I do agree there some value in not isolating people this will have little effect because their perceived wrongs against them are generally not justified anyway. The main problem is that we continue to discount and deny that young males view guns as an object of power and use them express themselves in destructive ways.

    1. People who lack empathy can be taught empathy. Stop demoralizing these people by insisting they have no redeeming qualities. Your barbaric insights into the topic of the human psyche is bordering on pathetic. It is called Aspergers. Look it up! Learn something about it! Educate yourself!

  17. People who are lonely, introverted, or have ADD do not kill people. However, people who are onely, introverted, have being misdiagnosed or have comorbidities with ADD and have very much more serious problems can break and go shoot people.

    It takes a great deal more wrong with your psyche than being “lonely” to go shoot up a classroom of children. If that were true, people would be clamoring in Orwellian choruses to diagnose the crimethink of introverts and people with ADD so all of us library and nerdy types could be put away before we shot people.

    That’s so absurd. Most of us are far more interested in steampunk literature, computers, science, knitting, and other very quiet peaceful things, which keep us entirely out of the public eye.

    Clinicians are very reluctant to diagnose a young person as having schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, or other disorders that might interrupt their school or career by putting them on medications that make it hard for them to function in an academic environment. Anti-psychotics are serious drugs — and unfortunately, are neurochemically nearly opposite from the drugs commonly prescribed for ADD. So if you put a young person on the drugs for ADD, you are actually aggravating their schizophrenia, for example, if that is the actual underlying condition.

    Since most of these cases are not monitored, but prescribed and then left without counseling, it’s very unsurprising that psychotic behavior is more and more common as more and more children are put on medication for ADD when that may not be appropriate.

    1. One thing we desperately need to do is learn to *value* introversion. Can you imagine the flamewar if @Shava23 had written “lonely, ‘gay,’ or ADD”? “Lonely, Black, or ADD”? Yet introversion is permanent, hereditary, and valuable–like Blackness, or lefthandedness, or blood type.

      This kind of misperception *does* make me angry. It’s why I stopped going to church, although my beliefs never changed. I’m a *writer*. I meet most of my needs for human communication by writing to a minority of people who share my interests, rather than stifling my needs by wasting my time in idle chatter with people who don’t know there’s anything more interesting than idle chatter in this world, poor idiots they.

      I think why I’m reading down through these comments is to look for kindred spirits, to reassure them that yes, you’re *meant* to need quiet time; there are other people like you; we understand, and we like you much better than the yappy bores who assume that you’re meant to be like them.

      Actually, studies show that introversion is the result of positive Gifts & Talents (at least three separate traits, all completely *positive*). And extroversion? Well…at best, extroverts just fail to develop the “extra” brain circuits, for beauty, morality, spirituality, music, mathematics, etc., that introverts really enjoy using in the company of our small select circles of close friends. At best, extroverts are *neurologically less developed.*

      Young introverts should read the works of Elaine Aron, Marti Olsen Laney, Thomas Sowell, and Susan Cain. And say it loud and proud: we do love people, even extroverts–but if we love extroverts, it’s more in the way we love dogs than in the way we love our real friends. We may bond, but we certainly shouldn’t try to be more like them.

      1. For someone who claims to be an “introvert”, you certainly got your “stereotyping” down pat! How’s that workin’ for ya? What you are portraying is that ALL “introverts” are alike, and ALL “extroverts” are the same! Something CLEARLY went wrong with your upbringing! In fact, YOU are the BIGGEST naive, self-consumed poster on this thread! Perhaps YOU should take your meds!

  18. Excellent post. As an educator, father, and somebody that cares deeply about vulnerable people, I agree whole-heartedly that people’s apathy to others, the isolation inherent in modern living, are strong factors in these crimes. As you said, people who are connected with others don’t do these things.

    1. Hal, I completely agree. All of the points in these posts have some aspects of validity, for sure, however; mental health is probably the most overlooked, and in my opinion, probably THE MOST OBVIOUS REASON FOR THESE ACTS. Not all, but most. As a kid/adolescent who didn’t think “I hate my parents” or “he/she/they are so mean to me” or “they would be sad when I die”, but never acted on instincts of murder or suicide? Most people of normal mental health. The spiraling of mental health issues can happen at any age, but are commonly known to begin in the later teenage years to early 20s. Mix that with still forming body chemistry and adolescent social development and things can be quit overwhelming for someone with mental health issues. What doesn’t add up is that it happens so much in this country. Why is that? We can not be the only country that has people suffering from mental illness or saddened by teasing or isolation. Why does it happen more frequently here, in the US? Please note that I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen in other countries. I’m only questioning the frequency in the US. I don’t agree that it is loss of religion as this country has major religious ties and outlets. I don’t think it’s lack of understanding as we have a major social care network. Why does it happen here so much? All I can come up with is 1) media 2) pharmaceutical drug side effects 3) access to weapons 4) Poor parenting 5) mental health, as previously discussed. Not all in that order and not all with the same ratios of cause.

  19. “5. Do Something About Mental Health! – Cool. Yeah. So, like, free psychologists visits for everyone? Even if you could, the people that have done this haven’t been mentally ill, by and large.”

    Oops, that’s wrong. Here are five examples:

    On September 16, 2013, Aaron Alexis killed 12 people and injured 3 others in a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard in Southeast Washington, D.C. Alexis had numerous mental health issues, including claims that the voices in his head were harassing him and an incident where he disassembled his hotel room bed, believing that someone was hiding under it.

    On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 children and 6 adult staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Lanza was a schizophrenic psychopath who could barely function on his own. He lived with his mother but communicated with her only by email.

    On July 20, 2012, James Eagan Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70 others at a mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, Holmes had met previously with several mental health professionals at the University of Colorado. He had made homicidal statements to one of his psychiatrists, and she believed that he could be dangerous.

    On January 8, 2011, Jared Lee Loughner killed 6 people and wounded 13 others during a constituent meeting held for U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona. Loughner was a longtime drug user whose behavior frightened his parents. His teachers were afraid of him. He had had five contacts with college police for classroom and library disruptions.

    On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and wounded 17 others at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, Cho had exhibited numerous incidents of aberrant behavior beginning in his junior year of college that should have served as a warning about his deteriorating mental condition.

    The politics and religion of these killers probably have nothing to do with their actions. But one thing that is common among them and other mass murderers is that they were all known to be mentally ill, and their actions caused their acquaintances to fear them. In the past, they would have been safely locked away in a secure facility where they could not hurt members of the general public. But the mental health system in this country has deteriorated to the point where the only way a person can end up behind bars now is if they injure or kill someone.

    My suggestion is to provide a way for citizens to report dangerous people like this, and allow the police to interview them, and (if necessary) pick them up and take them to a secure psychiatric facility where they can be evaluated by a professional. Right now we are using our police (with some minimal training) as street psychiatrists, and they’re not qualified to do that. Let the professionals handle things and if they decide that the person is a danger to himself or others, keep him behind bars.

    Politics and religion and guns are not the issue. The ability to incarcerate those who are dangerous mentally ill is the issue. In other words, the problem is not unlocked guns. The problem is unlocked homicidal maniacs.

      1. Sounds wonderful, Robert. You keep up the scholarly writing and I’ll keep protecting Sector 2814. And don’t worry, no evil shall escape my sight.🙂

    1. and… exactly how does a person get his rights back (to possess a firearm) after they have been treated & are no longer a danger?
      Often, admitting one needs mental help is a one-way ticket to losing your rights.

    1. I think families could have done more in keeping guns away from their troubled kids, but they seem like otherwise normal families horrified by the actions of their kids. I wish that good parenting automatically raised a good person, but these young men are not normally developing or functioning people. They needed intensive mental health services, daily- if not residential- programming, and supervision. There are some people who will never have the capacity for empathy or moral reasoning, but we can teach them self- control and purpose- if only to serve their own interests.

    2. Sorry mental illness is not solved by the family or anyone else teaching respect, responsibility and morality. It’s a disease/ chemical imbalance of the brain that can sometimes be treated with drugs and counseling. Sometimes it can’t even be effectively treated by those things and then all you are left with is locking the person up so he or she and society can be safe.

      1. Scott…nobody is saying that mental illness can be “solved”, however, the people around the mentally ill should have resources in which to reach out and share their concerns with professionals! I believe what Hal was saying is that there MUST be a way of talking to the professionals in order to PREVENT the inevitable!

    3. True, to some extent, because those are the things introverts naturally do best, and the twentieth century’s attempt to normalize extroversion relies on de-valuing respect, responsibility, and morality.

  20. Although “mass” shootings are down (hey, the numbers don’t lie), this is the most logical suggestion I’ve heard in a long time. Media has fueled the illusion that there is a epidemic of shootings. In reality, the proportion is down; however, one is indeed too many. Kindness will NOT prevent all shootings, but, unless the shootings are the result of some lunatic who subscribes to a hateful ideology, as are many these days, it may have a positive effect. Why not try it? It’s the right thing to do anyway.

  21. Agreed that lack of social connection is part of the killers problem, but I see the belief systems of our society as the truest source of the problem.

    We tell children through our words and actions that personal gratification is everyone’s purpose for existence, and then wonder why they judge everyone worthy of death. It’s time to tell the truth, recognize we die and will all be judged by God, your purpose for existence in this life is so much more important then any selfish thoughts you might have.

    As long as people worship their money, possessions, careers, sexual freedom, and rights to kill their unborn children, you will have children who conclude nothing is worth living for and nobody is worthy keeping alive.

    It’s time to start worshipping God, reading His word, and caring for His children.

  22. Just to counter Priscilla (fancy pants) King, I always greet strangers with a smile and a hello or nod, even just in passing. Most you can see light up. I don’t know if I’m the first of the 50th to greet them that way on that day, but to some it might be the only one and I think it matters.

    I’ve done this my entire life and it has brought me some great friends. I don’t judge. I don’t care what you look like or what language you speak, a smile and a nod is universal. Maybe if we all cared just a little about the people around us we wouldn’t be so callous and cold-hearted like miss fancy pants. But even knowing that people like miss fancy pants are out there I will continue to greet people the way I have always done, You never know, someday one of them might just be you Priscilla King. Will you greet me back with a smile or will you puss and cringe? Sorry, but people like you are the problem.

    1. Astigmatism is a completely separate issue, but just in case @ChristineDalton wonders why I don’t believe she’s actually being friendly…I have astigmatism; although I’m still glasses-free even for reading or driving, after age 50 (which is a reliable HSP-introvert indicator), it takes my eyes longer to change focus every year.

      So on the street I probably have my left eye focussed on scanning the horizon, right eye focussed on scanning what’s right under my feet. Oh, here comes one of those human-shaped blurs, making noises…is it anybody I *need* to notice?

      At first glance it probably seems to pests that I’ve made eye contact with them, briefly; what my eyes are actually doing is just *guessing* whether the size, color, gender, etc., indicates that the person *might* be someone I know. Then there are a few seconds where my eyes are no doubt communicating something. What we communicate is what the other person understands, but what my eyes are actually saying is “Oh, what a bore, do we HAAAFF to focus on this blur.”

      Which is probably why, by the time the face shows up clearly to me, it’s expressing blatant hostility. I’ve lived many years and walked many miles in many places, and I’ve *never* found one of these pushy pests who demand attention/chatter from strangers who was honestly trying to express “friendliness.” *Not ever.*

      (Even though I have found extroverts who were honestly confused about the possibility of feeling or expressing “friendliness” instead of becoming friends through a process that begins by feeling and expressing respect.)

      What I have learned to do is, unless I recognize the voice or understand it to be saying something urgent enough to justify speaking to a stranger, just walk on by and let my *shoulders* say to the world “That person obviously mistook me for someone else.”

  23. Not everyone will agree with me, but I think seeing isolation as a strong risk factor for deranged mass-murder is a really bad idea. I do not want strangers invading my personal space and disrupting the delicate emotional subtleties and impressions melding on my mental palette with their invasive “company.” Stay away, really, unless we’ve nonverbally negotiated an engagement with our body language first. I’m not going to go as far as accusing you of psychological rape if you invade my personal space, and I’ll be perfectly nice to you, but I won’t like it. At all.

    People break not from isolation, but from the reasons that led to their isolation, say, ugliness or another friend-repellant development issue. If they don’t have a cause for their isolation, then they /want/ to be isolated. Otherwise, what is preventing them from seeking out the social interaction they so desperately need? If there is a negative cause for their isolation, then the problem is that cause, not the symptoms of that root cause. If I’m isolated because I’m so ugly no one wants to be around me, and I snap and kill all my classmates, I did so because I was ugly, not because I was isolated. If you want to change something, work on the causes for their isolation, not the isolation itself which is a natural and rational reaction to those causes.

    Also, you cannot pretend engagement with someone. If isolation is a problem for them, and they don’t attract friends, etc, than you pretending to be friends with them out of a duty to society because you’re scared they’ll shoot up your school, is not going to make anything better. If they’re so ugly or stupid or mean or whatever that they are effectively removed from the social economy, then THAT is the problem; the isolation issue can’t be solved directly.

    Also, if their isolation IS undesirable, well, in general people don’t like having their problems noticed. It’s humiliating. If the recipient of your benevolence really does hate isolation, then how is having you very obviously try to reach out to them lest they shoot up their classmates going to make them feel? When I worked on the street selling merchandise with my cult when I was little, I hated it when social workers came by and pulled me aside and asked me questions. I felt so deeply deeply disrespected. They would run through a checklist to make sure I had everything I needed, and I didn’t have anything on the list. I wasn’t feeling that bad about it before you told me what I should have and made me feel jealous and bitter that I don’t have those things I wasn’t even thinking of before you came along. I would much rather have been admired for helping my parents with business and being such a strong dependable hard-working child than pitied for not having the things other children have. It is not a nice feeling being pitied.

    And if their isolation is desirable to them, what will it do to them to look down on them for their isolation? What if we respected them for their isolation instead, for all the wonderful qualities that can be born of deep introspection and quiet and withdrawal into the backwaters of social osmosis? Isn’t it possible that seeing isolation as a negative thing would make them see their isolation as negative over time, and thus create a problem that didn’t exist? In a way, this is like pitying a girl for wearing jeans until she starts to feel ashamed of wearing jeans, but oh don’t worry, you, good samaritan that you are, are right there to pull their jeans off them and smother them with pretty dresses!! If you’d just respected their isolation from the start, there wouldn’t be a need to save them from it. Most of the time when someone is wearing jeans, it’s not because they can’t afford dresses or skirts. It’s because they actually want to wear jeans.

    In the few cases where isolation isn’t desirable, the isolation itself is a superficial symptom of deeper problems. Most of the time, isolation is natural and healthy and desirable. Isolation has far more positives than negatives; deeper self-awareness, spiritual development, developing an identity of substance and intricacy, coming to unique perspectives which can be a jumping-off point for future innovation and creativity, learning to make peace with your inner demons instead of hiding from them in the convenient distraction social interaction presents, processing more of the information you take in rather than letting it wash over you while you escape your mind, etc.. etc. And maybe we don’t always like our isolation, but the longer we stay the course, the more we come to terms with it. It’s an alternate path, an alternate preference/default, and just like social people take time to perfect their social skills, isolated people take time to perfect their isolation skills. Just because an isolated person whines about it one day doesn’t mean it’s undesirable for him/her. Maybe she was just having a difficulty with it in that one moment. I whined about my isolation on an introvert forum on here yesterday, and five minutes later and for the rest of the day I was basking contentedly in my isolation, like a long delicious soak in the hot tub of my soul.

    Isolated children merit your respect and admiration and support, not your pity and rescue. If you don’t see that, then please forgive me for rescuing you from your excessive social behavior by locking you in my spare bedroom. I’m just trying to help, and I’m secretly scared that you’ll spend your life spreading inanity and superficial cliches everywhere you go like a moving raincloud of osmotic mediocrity.

  24. I think the reason these loner/outcast shooters go on a rampage is out of a profound frustration at life, because for whatever reason, they’ve been unable to connect with the world in positive and meaningful ways.

    Your advice, to try to engage with these outcasts/loners, may actually be dangerous and bring the full brunt of their destructiveness upon the very persons trying to help them.

    It would be like a layman trying to psychologically heal a very psychologically disturbed person. It’s not practical or advisable. Profound damage has already been done to that individual and for a layman to try to help him/her at this point would be but a drop in an ocean of turbulence.

  25. Sometimes this makes sense to do, and I do work at engaging people who want to be engaged wih.

    However, as a woman, I say this is not the correct thing to be selling to is to do.

    1) The majority of shooters are self described “lonely, nice guys” who are actually not very nice at all. It’s not my job, as a woman, to be friends with a man that makes me feel uncomfortable because the majority of these men seem to have issues with women. Being friendly towards a lonely guy seems to indicate that I owe him sex, which is absurd. And when this doesn’t happen, mass shooters like the young man from Santa Barbara happen.

    2). This feels like victim blaming. If only we had paid more attention to these men, they wouldn’t act like this. Maybe. Maybe not. We would need to pay attention to everyone starting at birth, which of course I wish we would. And also being honest. You say thry aren’t mentally ill, I say, of course they are. Not in the way you think of it– they probably aren’t schizophrenic or something that easy to define. They are privileged white males that most likely suffer from narcissistic tendencies, which some people these days call “introverts”, but it’s rare to be an actual introvert (or extrovert for that matter) and more common to just be self absorbed to the point where you think the world revolves around you. Thank you special snowflakes.

    3). People do pay attention to these people. Yhe majority of these white male mass shooters are not ignored, forgotten about people: they may have wealthy parents who thought they could overlook their child’s bad behavior because of “love”. Friends don’t report their weird behavior because they think it’s a phase. Even neighbors and classmates want to give these men the benefit of the doubt. But we all know that if a black man started posting rants about women or religion on a blog or vlog, we’d be investigating immediately. It’s not that we aren’t paying atttention, it’s that we don’t report people when we should. Or, again in the case of the kid from Santa Barbara, the cops show up, see a white kid in a dorm room at college, and leave.

    We have to start admitting that the people most prone to acting out in a violent rage are actually the most privileged peoplenin our society, who become infuriated that after a lifetime of hearing “yes of course” may hear no, or dissension for their ideas. Between 20 and 30 is the time in life when people leave the safety net of doting parents and childhood friends who hold the same views as they do and have to enter into the “real world”. They get told No a lot. For many of us, we were told No all through our lives, even as children, and the transition is bumpy, but manageable. But for our mass shooters, they never learned how to deal with rejection or that it’s normal that not everyone wants to be your friend and that you have to add value to other people’s lives in order to be valued by them.

    1. Whereas look at the way people feel entitled to hate and mislabel introverts. Btw, it’s not true that introverts are necessarily born into well-off families. It *is* probably true that introverts who survive childhood have *supportive* families, or surrogates for same.

      1. Priscilla…the reason why more people are living longer is because of education, healthcare, and lifestyle. Where do you get off by “assuming” that an extrovert “hates” introverts? This is totally WRONG! Ever think that a person is just being friendly? If there were MORE friendly people in this world, there would be less violence. Pure and simple. Are you so self-absorbed, so self-centered, so ignorant of the facts that you actually believe what you are saying? What a real pity that you think that just because someone says “hello” or “thanks for holding the door for me”, that they somehow are devious? You are one sick person!…..and NOT because you are an introvert, but because you are an IDIOT!

  26. One thing I need to say upfront. I’m definitely in the camp that believes in what you believe won’t solve the problem. I do think amending the second amendment will help. That doing something about the mental health problem will help and even just enacting some sort of ban on assault weapons will help. WE have a problem with gun violence in this country. I can’t help but believe if the element of GUNS were removed in any way from the gun violence equation, it would be a step towards a positive outcome. Won’t solve everything, I grant you that. So you and I are on different pages here.

    However, Rob, your article confirmed what I’ve always believed about this issue of gun violence in America. That there is no one answer to the problem. And I agree with you that what you believe in will help and is a good step. In fact, your article is one of the first calm and thoughtful ones I’ve read, and I’ve read plenty of posts/articles, blogs etc. But we as a country have fallen so far under the thumbs of the NRA and the fear they love to instill in our politicians and our citizens, that we can’t see past all of that to who they are anymore and how they contribute to our problem still existing. I truly believe that for the NRA fear=money. The second amendment is only a curtain they hide behind to line their pockets with cash and politicians. If the NRA really cared about anything other than that, why do they disappear every single time there’s a horrific shooting event? They’re so securely nested in their beliefs, they can just stay hidden, knowing they can’t be challenged.

    I also believe that what seems to be the first and only reaction to these nightmare events isn’t the answer either, and that is to do nothing. Doing nothing is never going to help. And I consider yelling back and forth across the “aisle” of belief not all that helpful. We all rightfully get emotional about it when the incidents occur, and then wait for the next event, which if nothing at all is done, will keep happening. I don’t think anyone can deny that, regardless of what side of thought you take. And the excuse that taking one step, such as enacting stricter gun laws, won’t solve the entire problem is a shameful one. This disease has become so insidious, that no one action is going to eradicate it.

    Now I’m ranting. I really just wanted to thank you for your article and the reminder that there are many avenues towards our common goal of ending the almost daily occurrence of unnecessary gun violence in America. I will definitely keep your words in mind as I go through my days.

  27. I have a different theory.

    My theory is that the poor, like the poor all through history (and the poor are those who perceive themselves as not having their fair share of what they need and want, not the objectively poverty-stricken), imitate the wealthy, not the middle class.

    When the middle class compel the wealthy to stop stealing, the poor will stop stealing – and starve voluntarily, if the nation will do so as a whole. When the middle class compel the wealthy to stop using war for quick profit, the poor will abandon violence for profit. When the middle class compel the wealthy to accomplish genuine public good, the poor will voluntarily seek work.

    1. On what evidence is *that* one based?! Countries that succeed in eliminating wealth, e.g. Soviet Russia or Castro’s Cuba, have in fact succeeded in making everyone poor–but has that been an improvement?

  28. It might also be worth teaching students in school what to look for. Train them like you would a fire drill, or what not. There should be some sort of procedure in places like schools, if these events still keep happening. Teach them that these things happen.

    But to be fair, because this is such a huge issue, there’s not one solution that will fix it. There needs to be a constitutional amendment with stricter gun laws, improved focus on mental health, and a general shift in public discourse about this type of thing.

  29. The rate of mass shootings has increased exponentially in the past thirty years, and so has the number of prescriptions for antidepressants, nearly 200 million since 1980. Maybe if the gun industry paid the Media a few billion a year in advertising like the pharmaceutical industry does, we’d get some truth, for a change. Until then, the killer is still roaming free.

  30. Hello from every other developed nation,

    Please guys, come join us. Stop killing each other and enforce proper gun control. It’s not hard, the UK went through the same, as did Australia. No mass shootings since. It really is as easy as that:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2012/12/16/gun_control_after_connecticut_shooting_could_australia_s_laws_provide_a.html

    Surely. Surely surely surely this makes you think:

    And we didn’t have implement your ridiculous idea of being friends with the weird kid. What a strange idea.

    Love from the rest of the world.

      1. Er, what? You mean the 7/7 attacks? What on earth has that got to do with gun control? The USA has had 38 mass shootings in the lasts 6 years. Second place in OECD regions? Germany with 3.

    1. I have a graphic that I got from somewhere on the Internet. It says the following: “Britain banned guns in 1997. In Britain today there is a knife attack every 4 minutes. 130,000 per year.” The picture shows a blood knife blade. I don’t know about the accuracy of the numbers but I do believe that if someone is disturbed enough to decide to go hurt someone, they will find a weapon to do it. Any comments on that from the rest of the world?

      1. There is now a “Save a life, Turn in your knife” campaign over there. With collection boxes on the streets. There’s even been some legislation to limit each household to one kitchen knife. Because of course, knives aren’t tools – they are evil incarnate.

      2. Ever tried killing 50 people with a knife? Or even one? People can be killed with knives, but it’s much easier to defend oneself against a knife than against a gun. Also, you really have to want to kill someone with a knife in almost all cases – hard to do it by accident.

  31. “How can you know who is going to do something like this? You can’t.” – Doesn’t that statement contradict your main point of the article? (Though for the record, I’m in favor of inclusion and kindness.)

    As a left-leaning moderate, I’d say that tighter gun control isn’t going to stop homicides, but I could see it making a dent in *mass* murders. There aren’t a ton of other legal tools that enable an untrained person to kill lots of people at once. And these loners likely don’t have the criminal connections to obtain them illegally.

    At the end of the day, I sincerely don’t understand the deeply personal connection that law-abiding people have to this thing that was invented to kill stuff. I’m not trying to be critical of law abiders, or to be funny or antagonistic. I really don’t understand. And in this day and age, it’s tough to have good discussion about that without someone reverting to liberal insults.

  32. Please, no. I’m always isolated because I’m both an introvert and I have SEVERE social anxiety. Anytime I’m alone in a group of people I don’t know, I spend the entire time hoping that no one tries to talk to me. Am I lonely? Yes. BUT, being lonely is the better alternative to making an ass out of myself in front of a room of strangers because of a panic attack that I legitimately have no control over. I isolate myself purposely to avoid having to talk to people, even well-meaning people, and I have not once considered going out and shooting up anything. I largely dislike people and I want them to go away but I have zero interest in killing them. Loneliness does not equal a predisposition to wanting to kill.

    To add to my point, the anxiety started because I got picked on a lot (by both kids and their parents–fun, huh?) so I should be a prime candidate for wanting to go nutsy cuckoo and shoot the place up, but nope. I know your article is well-intentioned, but some of us isolate ourselves because we’re broken and can’t handle people and we dread the people who think like you do and insist on trying to pull us into the group. So just please, no.

    1. @M_E : Thank you for sharing. I was painfully shy, preferred being hit by adults to talking to other children, in middle school (after the year of bullying). I got over it in high school, mainly because supportive adults didn’t try to “help,” and in college even managed to shift the content of the hate-for-introverts from “poor, clumsy, sickly child” to “Queen Bee of a popular clique.” (Which is probably why I’m sort of enjoying the hatespew generated by telling just one introvert story here, and don’t mind sharing a few more. Haters, step forward and identify yourselves; if it helps just one good introvert say no to the poison pills, all to the good.)

      We were not a clique, I might add. We tried addressing that charge rationally by actively recruiting people to do the stuff we did. And some of those kids responded to the real-world incentives to cultivate our kind of interests; at least two of my college friends have written books by now, four have sold music albums, and others have made serious money in the once unfashionable computer field. The only limit my friends and I placed on how many people could hang with us was how many bodies could fit into the available cars. But, let’s face it, the introverts *were* the more mature, more talented kids who were already earning our own money. Kids who depended on spending Mother’s and Daddy’s money to impress others were not comfortable with us.

      Hang in there M_E. Lose as many unsupportive people as you have to. You *will* find the supportive ones. We *are* out there.

  33. I would also add to this excellent writing, ENFORCE the laws already on the books. Many states do nothing to enforce the gun regulations we have. If they did it would make a difference.

  34. This article could do a lot more harm than good.
    First of all, not all mass shootings are done by the socially isolated. There were almost 300 mass shootings this year (may have surpassed that by now) and only a handful were done by people who appear to be painfully introverted. There are millions more introverts out there that would never go on a spree, but by pretending they all need friends to prevent killings, it’s going to backfire. Since when do people in this country actually attempt to befriend those othered who might possibly be dangerous? We don’t. We persecute them.
    People who are socially isolated are that way for a reason, most of them choose to be that way because social anxiety is painful. Other people are painful.
    Many, but not all by a long shot, do have mental issues that have caused the isolation and if you are not aware of how that mental illness affects them day to day, it’s a bad idea. You could trigger a melt down by suddenly deciding to invite them for coffee or sitting by them. One of the hallmarks of paranoia is to be leery of behavior that seems to target the person who is paranoid.
    If you don’t know their history, if you don’t know what they can handle, do not approach someone you only peripherally know and if you choose to approach them, make sure it’s natural and build up a friendship, don’t just go pat them on the back and invite them for lunch with the guys. They’re is a good chance they’ll feel mocked.
    That said, if you have a family member who has self isolated, DO approach them. Do invite them to family gatherings, check in on them, take them out for coffee, call them. Make them feel like they are part of something and their input is appreciated. Don’t pressure them, don’t start with a huge wedding as your first invite, but most of these particular shooters had family members who knew their was an issue and chose not to get involved or made it worse.
    Start with your own cousins, siblings, nieces and nephews, children.
    If you are truly concerned about a co-worker or neighbor who has given you reason to think they might be dangerous, then contact family, their doctor, or if it’s imminent, law enforcement.
    But don’t think you can “fix” someone who has felt persecuted by singling them out as someone who is friendless.

  35. I agree with everything except for his idea on how to fix the problem. It sounds really nice to try to “include” these crazies in your life. If you try to reach out to them on some superficial level like smile and say “hi” that won’t really do anything to alleviate their feelings of loneliness. Maybe you could invite them to an activity or out to lunch, or just talk with them for a while? The problem is that they’re crazy so the activity or lunch will probably kind of suck. But hey, you’re doing your part to possibly stop the next mass shooting so “grin and bear it”. But here is the problem with that: one lunch, bowling trip or hour long “conversation” where you hear them ramble on about a bunch of crazy stuff before you can politely extricate yourself will not be enough. It has to continue consistently for months or years. This will require a significant time commitment to someone that you probably won’t really like to spend time with and there are so many other things that we would like to be doing with so many other people. And if you stop or move away, that could be the trigger to send them into a shooting spree… so now it’s your fault.

    I look at these shootings as another thing in life that has a VERY low probability of happening which I also can’t control. It isn’t worth worrying about, wasting my emotional energy. If I see someone is down and out I can try to be a good person and help them because I love everyone. But if you go into it with the motivation of trying to stop the next killing then you’re worrying about it way to much.

  36. While making efforts to be friendly to someone who is a loner/isolated is a nice thing to do, that’s far from “a way to stop mass shootings.” This problem goes deeper than that…. and it’s not a mental health issue as much as it’s a societal problem in that there’s no regard for human life in today’s society. This is a by-product of the horrific images and attitudes about life/death that are portrayed EVERYwhere. Death, murder, torture, etc. is everywhere – books (for all ages – think about the premise of The Hunger Games series), video games, television (all hours, all channels), movies (and not just the R-rated ones any more)… and we’ve become numb to it. You used to have to go to an R-rated movie to see such things, and now you can’t turn on the TV WITHOUT seeing it. That type of daily barrage of images/messages/language lessens the impact in your mind of such things…and that affects people…especially younger people who have literally GROWN-UP seeing it, day in and day out. They never experienced the same reaction those of us in our 40-50’s and up did the first time we saw a horrible death/murder scene in an R-rated movie. They never experienced that shock, horror, disgust, nausea because they’ve literally grown-up seeing it as something normal and expected. That’s why this problem can’t be addressed by anything other than in a way in-keeping with what other nations have done in response to mass shootings on their land… and those nations have seen success. For example, after enacting new gun laws following a mass shooting in Australia, the risk of dying by gunshot in that country fell by more than 50% – and stayed there. A 2012 study also found their gun buyback led to a drop in firearm suicide rates of almost 80% in the following decade. THAT is what we need in America… before it’s your or my child or loved one who gets shot, killed or maimed for life at the hands of someone who values their “right” to bear arms more than they value the life of another individual. http://www.cnn.com/…/can-legislation-prevent…/index.html, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/20/america-gun-laws_n_7624088.html, http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/politics/121217/sandy-hook-newtown-shooting-gun-control-australia-scotland-finland-changed-gun-laws-after-shooting

    1. Your parents did a better job keeping you sheltered than mine did, @Lynn Marble. Vietnam and the Manson murders and the Chowchilla kidnappings and the Jonestown tragedy made older people say the world was going to Hell in a handbasket in the 1970s, too. And remember the Cold War and the *certainty* of Nuclear Winter (or, if we did avoid that long enough, the Ice Age)?

  37. In all honesty sometimes people just want to be left alone. Human interaction is annoying and at times uncomfortable for some. If someone truly wants to be involved in society we as a whole should be more tolerant and understanding of differences. There by not alienating someone in the first place. I personally don’t like being around people. I’m 44 and never had any thought of shooting or hurting anyone either. I would put more emphasis on being a coward instead of lonely. Although it may sound cold and heartless. If these individuals had the balls just to kill themselves it would be awesome. As far as fixing society not gonna happen. The best advice look for odd behavior and actions. Have personal on hand to report them to. Monitor those individuals then. Just like shoplifters bank robbers criminals.

  38. As someone who self isolates nothing infuriates me more than pointless small talk and fake concern. Please leave us hermit types alone. If we wanted social interaction we’d seek it out.

    1. Bombs can be even easier. And lots of these people get away with using cars, because Americans want to believe that homicides involving motor vehicles are “accidents.” (At least this shows that they’re too focussed on driving sanely to notice the way the maniacs drive.)

  39. I agree that we need to identify and engage lonely, isolated people. But other advanced countries have lonely people too, and yet their gun violence rates are nowhere near ours. The difference is that they have strict gun laws to protect public safety.

    For instance, in Germany, as the New York Times reported last week, citizens have to show that they know how to operate and store a gun and its ammunition before they own one. You also need to be 18 years old to have a weapon, and if you’re under 25 you need to pass a psychological exam. Germany ranks fourth in the world in guns per capita but has comparitively few gun crimes. What’s wrong with that?

    We’re an advanced nation with a long democratic tradition. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. There’s no good reason why we can’t have both a Second Amendent and certain restrictions on gun ownership to protect the public interest. The Supreme Court has already said as much.

    We all need to get our heads around this and think differently about this issue. If we don’t, we’re in effect supporting continued mass shootings on a regular basis. That is not a viable path forward for the country.

    1. Child pornographers use computers and the Internet. Do we need to license people who want to own and operate a computer? Alcohol is involved in far more death and destruction than are guns. Is there a need to license consumers of alcohol?

      1. Okay, this ridiculous comparisons don’t really merit a response, but in the interest of trying to hold a constructive dialog: we normally regulate things in proportion to their benefits versus their harm. Computers have a lot of “non-child porn” uses, we do heavily regulate the manufacture, sale and distribution of alcohol (ironically by the same Federal agency that regulates firearms). But whether your argument is deaths from alcohol, cars, swimming pools, bee stings… Those are all other things that can regrettably lead to deaths, but they are completely irrelevant to how we regulate guns. There’s no “order of operations” that says we can’t choose to address guns now, and those other issues later.

  40. @Rob Myers: Hope you didn’t mind my “hijacking” your post after realizing that my original comment generated a frenzy of hate against the physical hereditary trait that best defines me. If these follow-up comments bother you, please feel free to delete them.

    @young introverts: Our hereditary trait has more survival value than any racial trait has. (It doesn’t hurt to recognize that it also gives us more in common than any racial trait could.) Be true to yourselves, and be proud.

  41. I agree to a point. I think it’s absolutely true that isolation and and a lonely life can create such misunderstood and frustrating pain in people that they lash out in violent and destructive ways. It sucks to be disliked or disregarded as weird, unimportant, and unfairly judged directly or behind ones back. I can relate I’m not accepted socially and am a Misfit and it pains me deeply honestly it sucks to have a heart and good intentions to be creative and know that yeah I have quirks but I’m a good person but there is just simple something about me that is unable to form lasting bonds with others. I wouldn’t murder others because of it, but I often contemplate suicide. But I’m somehow an optimist and no matter how many times I get knocked down and get hurt by society and pack, gang, sheep mentality I don’t loose hope that one day I’ll find at least one other person who I relate to and who we can have a lasting friendship. I never give up hope. However, on the flip side of this I have never been discriminating and always given people a fair chance…The problem is I have felt afraid for my own safety in the process. When unstable people start to form bonds what can happen is they might become obsessive or act socially unacceptable and that is the catch 22. Is it okay even for someone who is socially unacceptable to reject it in others? I mean when your comfort is in check and you wonder why your new friend is showing up at your house with viatimins in the middle of the night because they are worried you are not getting enough, and random things like that. I withdraw and I know that is what others do to me if I get intense…so are my fears founded or am I being a hypocrite. I don’t want to get killed instead because I was latched onto by a lonely person who now has unreasonable expectations of my kindness when I say no more.

    1. I’m with Hillary on this. For some, there is no such thing as enough attention. You can give and give, but it’s still not enough. You find yourself walking on eggshells trying not to offend them. If you don’t hang out when they want, don’t talk often enough on the phone or online, don’t love them the way they love you, or, god forbid, try to hang out with other people, you will be the target of much of their rage. Been there done that. I’ve tried to help so many… too many… i’ve nearly lost myself. Most others would just say “that guy creeps me out. Let’s go.” It’s a rare person who actually gives everyone a chance.

      1. Your comment is very well understood, however, engaging someone who is extremely needy is difficult…but one of the ways that helps is to direct the person to groups and outings that have similar needs. You don’t have to be their personal safety net, however, helping them to find such groups is a positive.

      2. Some social outcasts can be socially inappropriate, but people who have always had friends and family to love them can be the same way. The socially-inappropriate are not necessarily outcasts, though being inappropriate tends to result in ostracism.

        The neediness and clinging, in my opinion, come from two things: an inability to feel warmth/affection, and a hyper-vigilance towards detecting anything suggesting rejection. Long-term ostracism conditions people into feeling helpless. Positive emotions, and love and compassion from others, all become threatening, because it can all vanish like it had before, so they’re always watching for the other shoe to drop. Since their emotions only cause them grief, they grow numb to them, which means they’re unable to pick up on signs if someone genuinely enjoys spending time with them.

    2. Thank you for sharing your story. You sound like a very kind and strong person. I hope you stay that way. It’s true–there seems to be no simple answer, but keep the faith, try new things and don’t give up–I bet you will find a caring friendship/relationship.

    3. I’ve been in your shoes, but I had a choice to make, I could become bitter and vindictive like the kids and adults always giving me grief or turn it all into a positive, I chose to be positive, which even now can be hard, because being a half breed, prejudices never end, whether it is nonindians, or my own Comanche and Kiowa people. But because of all of this, I have become a stronger person spiritually and have done and accomplished things that few people will ever do, and in doing them, have accomplished many of my dreams and made many friends in other states and other tribes, because I was always willing and ready to help. So if someone like me can turn all the bad used against them into something positive, others can too. I had to do it by myself, but with a little help, others can do the same, and it just takes one small act of kindness or help to make a difference.

      1. Very Well said Jim. Your step toward reaching out and the slow but sure strength that you gained- little by little, builds on itself. Your thoughtful post is the proof.
        All the Best to you!

    4. I doubt that I’m unique, but I LIKE being alone. Never been very successful at it. Animals, kids and women seem to like my company. The reports I’ve read suggest approximately half of the mass shooters had some contact or were under a psychologist’s care at some time. The shrinks had no clue as to what was coming. What we CAN do is remove the safe killing fields: end “gun-free zones.” –
      As Robert A. Heinlein noted: “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.,” and:
      “The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle anywhere, anytime and with utter recklessness.”

    5. keep going mate! i’m in the same boat as you are.. find something you like doing and stick with it. for me it’s sky- and BASEjumping! you’re not alone!🙂

    6. I’ve always been a misfit, too. I’ll bet you have a high IQ, like me, and are seen more as a threat than a friend. That’s been my experience.

    7. Hi Hillary! If you believe in your fears, they are real. However, I would hope that not ALL of your experiences were dreadful! The things that you describe are not acceptable by any normal standard! I have many friends. I have dropped many friends from my company. I am always kind to others, at least I try to be. My kindness can be misconstrued as being naive or gullible, however, I’ve learned this from my experiences. Trust in yourself. If something doesn’t feel right in your gut, then turn away from it at once. It took me a long time to realize my next door neighbor (female) was nuts! She was friends to my face, then stab me in the back. I did more for her and her family than anyone else in her life. I was dumbfounded every time she would turn on me. Finally I had enough. I no longer speak to her. I am 100% okay with not speaking to her ever again.

      Her sons are heroin addicts and I have been ripped off beyond belief. I was TOO trusting and caring. I learned my lesson, however, I have many long time friends and I have many new friends. Some friends I talk to once in a while, get together with once in a while, and some I talk to almost every day. The only way to find out if someone is a friend is to trust them in the beginning, and see what happens. 99% of the time, we become great friends. However, it is all in how you think of what a friend is. It is all about time. If it is “working” and I am happy, then there is no problem. I don’t know what I would do without my friends! They have provided me comfort, have been there when I’ve needed them, and it is a two-way street. I do the same for them as they have done for me.

      Hillary, most importantly I would trust your intuition. Does this person make you feel good? Does this person give as much as he/she takes? Does she understand you? Does she listen to you? Does she do things to make you feel special? These things do not have to be monetary, in fact, there is more friendship with someone who actually cares than money could ever buy. It’s the little things. A hug. A phone call. A birthday card.

      Friendships are meant to be a “soft place to fall”. Friendship is non-judgemental. I’m sorry that you have had some bad experiences with friends. Actually, they weren’t really friends at all. That is why I say….”trust your gut”! You have everything you need inside you to be a friend and have friends! Don’t be afraid of meeting new people. Just be aware of how they make you feel. If they make you feel good about yourself, then they are a true friend. If not, they were never a friend in the first place.

      I could be your friend! We can chat online if you would like. Just let me know! Mary Lou

  42. There is one MORE thing that you can do. ARM and train teachers etc to deal with these guys. Not all of them, of course, just enough that nobody has any illusions about a school being ‘gun-free’. This will both prevent mass shootings and also cut them short.

      1. But schools can’t afford properly trained security services. That school in Ore. had a security guard (hardly) without a WEAPON!

      2. It is, of course the parents job to bring up their child, but teachers spend a lot of hours with kids – they see interactions with other kids – that’s something the parent doesn’t see – as much as I dont want to give teachers more jobs? they are the only ones that can provide feedback on everyday interactions when the child is young.

      3. Yes Maureen this is very true and giving feedback is within the scope of a Teacher’s job, but not toting firearms and playing Cagny & Lacey. This is unfair to school administrators and what the Education system is all about or here for.

      4. But they take responsibility for our childrens’ education and safety while the kids are on school grounds. Think that safety duty ends with telling them not to run in hallways? I think not.

    1. How are first responders going to be able to tell a teacher with a gun from a bad guy with a gun? Secret handshake? Safe word?

      1. In situations where individuals have been forced to stop someone using their own gun, that person immediately places the gun on the ground when the police show up so that they are not suspect.

      2. Bad guy with gun: killing innocent people and attempting to evade or shoot it out with the police upon their arrival.

        Teacher with gun: shoots the lunatic (or, best case scenario, doesn’t even have to do that), puts down weapon and cooperates full with authorities on their arrival.

        Should be enough to tell the difference.

      3. Having worn a badge, I can tell you it’s very easy in such a scenario to know the bad from the good. The teacher, once the threat is stopped, will have holstered the weapon. The bad guy would still be shooting.

    2. Because we don’t have enough guns now and teachers of course are perfect humans who never lose their tempers or their judgments. And even so once we are sure all the PUPILS are also armed we will have completely eliminated any possibility of gun violence. Just look at how it’s gone so far, the more guns, the more widespread, the fewer shootings. This is the perfect solution.

      1. Tim, nobody is perfect, but if your version of self defense is a semi-automatic weapon you are either a coward or need to look into ISIS ya heard? With love from Baltimore, (Bodymore Murderland) JR

      2. apologies, that’s bloodymore, murderland. and guns aren’t self-defense. they’re tools of murder. self defense is using your own hands, arms and legs. If you have them, strengthen them up, because when the guns are gone, you’ll need them.

    3. Because of course no teacher is a human being who could lose their temper or control of themselves and use a firearm in a bad way…well it won’t matter because once we arm all the teachers we would want to arm all the pupils, so they can protect themselves. Indeed once we have armed every human there will be a complete end to all gun violence. In fact we’ve already proven it. Simply observe that as more and more guns are more and more widespread in our society, violence against people has dropped and dropped. We hardly ever see mass or spree shootings more than once or twice a day now, and thirty years ago they happened every five or six minutes. What more proof could you need. Great idea. Also I think all athletes and officials should be armed at games to ensure that no one engages in an unwarranted attack on anyone else. What would have happened if Nancy Kerrigan had been armed? No injured knee for her!

      1. We don’t have enough guns now? You’re right. One more firearm in the hands of one of the helpless victims in these cases would have changed the entire dynamic of these events. Possibly stopped them from becoming “mass shootings” in the first place.

    4. Arming teachers is a HORRIFIC idea! I would not want to go nor would I allow my children to go to a school or college where guns were allowed. The Oregon college allowed guns and there were armed students & faculty. They neither prevented nor cut short that killing spree. It took trained police to do that.

      In fact, not ONE mass shooting in the US has been stopped by an armed civilian!!! NOT ONE!! That idea is pure fantasy sold to people by the NRA & gun manufacturers. More guns = more deaths!!

      1. LOL , not one massed shooting has been stopped by an armed civilian, because if it was stopped, then it wouldn’t be a mass shooting. Liberal Logic.

      2. Wrong here’s 5 for you , but you can keep your lies going if it makes you feel better.

        1. In April 2015, an Uber driver with a concealed carry permit shot 22-year-old gunman Everardo Custodio when Custodio opened fire on “a crowd of people in Logan Square,” the Chicago Tribune reports. The driver was not identified in the Tribune piece, but he was able to provide supporting documentation to police, who brought no charges. Everardo was struck in the shin, thigh, and lower back. There were no injuries or casualties to those he fired upon.

        2. West Philadelphia, March 2015: An unidentified man heard gunshots inside a barber shop. Children were present when 40-year-old Warren Edwards got angry, started a fight, and pulled his gun. Edwards didn’t hit anyone, but the concealed carry holder entered the barber shop and shot Edwards in the chest. The gunman would die later, NBC10 notes. Police found no basis for charges.

        3. Plymouth, Pennsylvania, 2012: William Allabaugh became enraged when a fight he engaged in resulted in him being ejected from the bar. He shot one dead and wounded another before approaching concealed carry holder Mark Ktytor, who was inside with the bar manager. At this point, Ktytor returned fire. Allabaugh would survive the shooting; so would a lot of other people due to the concealed carry holder shooting him, police claimed. WNEP notes that video evidence exonerated Ktytor.

        4. Spartanburg, South Carolina, 2012: Jesse Gates, claiming he wanted to see his kids, came to a church armed with a shotgun and kicked in a door. A concealed carry holder, Aaron Guyton, was able to get the drop on Gates, who was forced to surrender his gun to other parishioners once he realized that there was the very real possibility of him being shot, FoxCarolina notes.

        5. Winnemucca, Nevada, 2008: Thirty-year-old Ernesto Villagomez entered a bar filled with 300 people and shot two dead while injuring two others before one of the patrons at the bar, a concealed carry holder, pulled his gun and shot Villagomez dead, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports

      3. Not true on both counts, dlrose51. The Oregon college was a “Gun-Free zone” and the NRA keeps records of such incidents – and there are many. Go to their website and hunt down the information, then you can cross-check with the newspapers of the community and date each event happened. I’d far rather accept the discomfort of being armed than the mental agony for NOT being armed should the need ever arise to defend myself and/or those I love. I also buy insurance for what I hope never happens, and I drive around with a spare tire. Don’t you?

      4. That is because 92% of all mass shootings in the US have been in gun-free zones, which the Oregon school was, btw. Even the ‘security’ guard was not permitted to tote. How ridiculous was that. The only thing that stopped the bad man with a gun was a good guy with a gun. Face it!! It is not an NRA thing, it is a fact. The isolated, lonely and deranged men (no women, I might add) who see this as a way to go down in history as one-bad-a**, will always chose the cowardly act of firing on the unarmed.

      5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/10/03/do-civilians-with-guns-ever-stop-mass-shootings/?postshare=6261443917104644

        The police didn’t either, for the same reason that the few armed students on that campus couldn’t: they weren’t in the place where it was actually happening when it was actually happening. And unfortunately, armed citizens don’t have dispatchers being fed information through 911 calls and passing it on to them. The armed soldier (safe to say he is at least as well trained as the police) that MSNBC and other left wing publications have been dishonestly trotting out to “prove” gun owners can’t stop events like these, did exactly what he should have under the circumstances: stood at the ready to protect himself and those around him should they be attacked.

        As for your claim that no armed citizen ever stopped a mass shooting, here are eight, for starters:

      6. Not one mass shooting has been stopped by an armed civilian because every mass shooting has taken place in a gun-free zone and law abiding citizens do their best to follow the law.

        The police, in most cases, are not as well trained and practiced as most people who carry on a daily basis. I know this as a fact and from experience. I’ve carried for about 30 years and at every competition where there were LEO’s competing, I out scored them and so did most of the other competitors.

        Gun-free zones are the real danger, here. You have to understand the criminal psyche in order to fully understand the issue. A criminal looks for the easy mark, the soft target. He doesn’t want to go where he might be stopped before he can do what he came to do, and most don’t want to get hurt or caught.

        I speak from experience and after having studied the issue for the past 30 years. Also, the College was a gun-free zone, none of the faculty or students were armed except for the shooter.

      7. You generally don’t hear of “mass” shooting being stopped by a legal gun carrier. Usually because they stop the situation BEFORE it can become a mass shooting. The people in Oregon that had weapons were prevented from trying to intervene in the situation by the staff. You also don’t hear of legal gun owners stopping crime because it doesn’t sell. Fact are facts, areas with heavy handed gun control laws have the highest incident of gun violence. Places with fewer gun laws have fewer incidents of gun violence. Look at the CDC stats on violent crime. Individually, hammers and bats have been used in more murders than guns.

      8. not true at all, there have been plenty. the most recent that comes to mind was Texas where they were having the “draw a Muhammed cartoon contest”

    5. Are all teachers stable enough to have guns? How will a gun be accessible to a teacher yet mot accessible to the children? Will a teacher be able to use the gun effectively and not injure children? The potential for this solution going wrong is huge. Put water on this fire rather than gasoline!!

      1. Who advocates arming ALL teachers – or even those who may not want to carry a gun? Concealed Carry permits require both use and safety training for applicants – and something you can look up: the concealed carry community has fewer wrongful deaths per capita than our trained and sworn law-enforcement community according to FBI reports. There’ve been surveys of incarcerated felons, including to determine what they’re most afraid of: the armed victim or armed witness to the crime who may intercede is their greatest fear – not law-enforcement!

      2. The fact that certain faculty are armed is enough to turn the criminal away. Having worn a badge, and having carried a sidearm for nearly 30 years, I know what I’m talking about. Criminals go to gun-free zones not to places where they know guns are present in the hands of good people.

      3. Familiar argument. Every time CCW has been proposed in every state, predictions of doom and gloom are trotted out. Same here.

    6. Yeah, good idea! Let’s throw more guns at it, and that’ll fix the problem. And while we’re at it, let’s put the responsibility of protecting and saving lives on the shoulders of a bunch people who chose to teach kids as a career. Problem solved – good thinking!

      1. Don’t be a pin head. This isn’t a discussion about arming every teacher.

        If a teacher or administrator obtains training because she/he wants to be able to protect the children they see every day, they should be able to carry a handgun to do so.

        Reasonable precautions must be taken to prevent students from getting their hands on the guns of course…and there’s no way to insure that every teacher will never have a careless moment where they set their purse down for a minute.

        However, the presence of even a few firearms on sight contained in gun safes accessible by trained staff may deter bad guys.

    7. Oh yes, there is ONE MORE:
      Exercise the Boy Scout motto ~ “Be Prepared”.
      Heed the suggestion of Dr Ben Carson: Employ class discussions/ drills on becoming proactive in dealing with these kinds of situations before they occur again since they seem to be springing up somewhere now about once a week.

      1. M.A.D.: Mutually Assured Destruction works well – with one exception: when those with the suicide-bomber mentality get nukes – like Obama just afforded Iran, all those nut-cases are looking forward to their 72 Virgin goats in a delusional paradise. Robert A. Heinlein: “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”
        Caio.

      2. Exactly! That makes as much sense as more guns making people safer! Of course, more instruments of death are always a great idea!

    8. I understand why this may seem like a good idea, but in my opinion, giving guns to teachers would fail because the shooters won’t bother with procuring their own weapons; they’ll just steal them off the teachers.

    9. I agree that the populace needs to be prepared to defend themselves at a moment’s notice. You don’t see criminals going into a police station to rob anyone because they KNOW the inhabitants have guns.

  43. Ban,guns? That is the not so easy solution, to a problem that is not even the question. Yes, ban guns will stop one thing. Easy way to kill other, people are resilient take away the guns. They will find another way to kill.
    They may use a vehicle, or edged weapons. Perhaps, they may even use explosive etc.
    What we need is a change of heart, respect life! Give up on reporting the names of people who commit these crimes. Refuse, to give a moment of time to these people.

    1. I think you over emphasize the tenacity of criminals, who, unless they are also activists tend to be ones which are orchestrating the simple solution. Making weapons more difficult to come by, is going to reduce gun violence, because in many cases they are crimes of passion, not premeditated.

      That said, the cases that tend to get spoken of at present are certainly premeditated, so there can be an assumption that risk aversion is not a valuable deterrent, so the only significant way to reduce such crimes would be to avoid the situation entirely, or to make it so difficult to hurt people that it is not a feasible plan.

      From an analysis standpoint one needs to recognize which is less costly the production of more firearms or the facilitation of more effective mental health… but from my personal perspective, if one cannot make mental health easily available, and there is a quantifiable reason for having it (made equivalent to the price of guns) then a more effective social solution may be necessary.

      1. Given the reasons most people major in Psychology, and having studied the icons in the field (sending me from PSY 101 to Management & Marketing majors), a good bartender and or a puppy would often give far more comfort and satisfaction than any shrink to most people.

  44. ok then how by banning all guns it would make it illegal to own a gun just like it would be illegal to shot someone Rob someone Smoke crack drive drunk … you see that will not work people will find a way to do the above if you think a ban of something will bring unicorns and rainbows to take away the guns away from the bad ones you are amazing cause is impossible to live with your head up your own ass yet you seem to do so If someone wants to do harm they will find a way to do it Anything can be used as a weapon including your own ignorance

    1. OMG! If “Dave” has a “brain”, then why is he so illiterate? Talk about ignorance! You are a perfect example of everything you wrote! lol

  45. If loneliness was the culprit of mass shootings, then there would be more mass shootings. If loneliness was the culprit of mass shootings, then I would be a mass shooter and so would scores of other lonely individuals. If loneliness was the culprit of mass shootings, then there would be mass shooters in the mexican culture, the native culture, the jewish culture, the african culture, and so on.

    Clearly, individuals aren’t going out and committing mass murder because they are lonely…this is a poor excuse to use when society doesn’t want to deal with the true causes. First, we have to look at the statistics –

    1. Mass Murders are committed predominately by the caucasian ethnicity.
    2. Mass Murders are committed predominately by caucasian males.
    3. Mass Murders are committed predominately by young caucasian males under age 25.
    4. Mass Murders are committed predominately against the caucasian ethnicity where they are specifically targeted.
    5. Mass Murders are committed predominately as a result of hate and anger.

    These notes are statistically proven, so when it comes to Mass Murder in America, whether murder at once or over time by a serial killer, we must be willing to take a look at the caucasian community and ask the simple question: “Where are these parents and families failing in the raising and teaching of their children, particularly their young males?”

    There has to be a clear breakdown in raising caucasian males and an increase in young caucasian male psychosis that is leading to such a hatred towards mostly their own ethnicity. On the occasion when Mass Murder is racially motivated, then we call it Genocide to a particular race/ethnicity of people; and this usually occurs all at once and/or a few here and there over a period of time that can last for centuries.

    The bottom line is caucasian Americans are in a crisis and have been for a very long time; and fear is things are going to get worse real quick!

    1. Your “statistics” are unqualified. It’s obvious you live in a US bubble where the majority of ALL people are Caucasian, but you act as if it’s a racist sexist issue. Your “statistics” are insane when looking at the rest of the world. Your focus on causasian males looks ignorant if one had to consider Europe statistics. Your ignorance of mass murders in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia shows in your ill-defined “statistics”.

      Here’s the big surprise for you. The majority of mass murders in Asia are done by Asian males against Asians. The majority of mass murders in Africa are done by African males against Africans. The majority of mass murders in South America are done by South American males against South Americans. Catch the trend? Or still think the problem is just with Causasian males in USA?

      1. If you read this article at all, you would have referenced the clue that the author was referring to an American problem of a certain ethnicity of people. Got that? Nice that you have a world view of crime, but we were discussing the problems in America.🙂

    2. Not sure where your getting you so called “facts” i dont think the FBI database would agree using the last 35 mass shootings as a referance, still it sounds like you’ve got some personal issues on what contitutes a Caucasians in the US. Maybe you could point us all to the readily avalable referance your refering to.

      1. Use your own sources and you would come up with the exact same info, and that includes the database of the FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, and any other including local PDs and the US Marshalls. It is what it is and the reactions were predictable, this is statistical as well; you only have to go as far as social posts for this statistic. Every human being is 100% certain what constitutes a caucasoid in thd US, what a silly point. But if certain of society can deal with facts and truth instead of arguing facts and truths, then maybe the nation can see a change and growth in the caucasian male community…you think?

    3. You obviously don’t do research before you start spouting off your prejudice comments. The last 20 mass killings 9 were perpetrated by non-whites. That would be 45 percent, which exceeds non-whites’ 37 percent share of the population. Stop believing everything the news says and do your own research.

      1. Sweet Scott I do not watch the news or television for that matter…too violent! So sorry you thought this truth was being prejudice, but facts are facts, the reporter is neither prejudice or biased of it! As a Journalist, our writings are based on our own reasearch. When we reference statistics in America, we do not look at the last 50 or 60, or even the last 100, but we look at the history of the nation since its inception. Perhaps this is too long of a time period for your brain to comprehend, I understand. Okay, let’s just have a look from the time of the immigrants arrival from Europe. What do the statistics say from this time period forward til now? Now you do the reasearch before you “spout” off, ok?

    4. Perhaps it isn’t loneliness but the lack of ability to practice empathy– And by that, I mean the chance to understand others perspectives, and even further so, feel like they have a role in others people perspectives– By intermingling with others we often create webs of socials cues as well as a value system which respects it– These things cannot be artificially created, and any attempt to do so, especially by means of reward and punishment, can ultimately backfire by resentment of the system–

      Many of our children issues are our own issues in a different and perhaps more extreme form; though if we took an honest look at what is going on in the world; school shootings really aren’t all that surprising considering our nationality as a father figure, and extreme lacking of a mother figure–

    5. maybe you should quit calling white young males “the enemy” we have been persecuted in the united states for my entire life. we are told that we are the only group that can be racist, we cannot have our own group like the NAACP. we cannot have our own college group, we cannot have our own month like national Hispanic month. What do you expect? hell, our children can’t even wear an American flag on their shirt.

      1. What I perceive is a whole lot of ignorance going on or a blatant lack of intelligence.

        Earlier Scott commented that out of the last 20 mass murders, only 9 were committed by “non-whites”. If we just used these statistics, then when I said Mass Murders are committed “predominately” by caucasian males…what part of Predominately didn’t you understand? Out of the 20 murders, 11 were committed by caucasians and 9 were not…that means “predominately” or the majority! It’s simple english really, nothing difficult.

        Jeff, again there is blantant ignorance going on here: “Can you point out the statement where I called “young white males the enemy”? Statistics regarding the ethnicity of predominate mass murderers and serial killers in America are just that: facts, history, and statistics. For the record, caucasian Americans do not have a history of being persecuted except by England when they ran from them.

        But here is some info that may help you out. As a former teacher and provider for children in different capacities, these observances may help in your child rearing…

        1. When your children are born -love them, do not replace your love with things and do not hire someone else to raise your children, they can sense you do not care.
        2. Bath your children and keep them clean.
        3. Spend quality time with them yourself, do not send them to camp to get rid of them and do not let them play alone at an age when they should be supervised, this is how many are abducted because they are unattended for hours.
        4. Take responsibility for your own mistakes and quit blaming the teacher, nanny, or babysitter.
        5. Do not spoil your children with expensive things when they are young, this behavior leads to a sense of entitlement when they get older, which leads to a hatred toward you when you fail to provide.
        6. When you first notice that something is psychologically wrong, don’t hide it or think it will go away, but get help for your kid and don’t worry about what the neighbors will think.
        7. If you suspect your child is being sexually abused by your spouse or son, again, do not hide it!!!

        Theses are just a few things you can do every single day to help keep your children sound and sane…Love them, Talk to them, and Listen as a good Parent.🙂

    6. Ms. Sahiyena, can you please provide a link to where you got your statistics? And are these numbers just for the U.S., or worldwide? I agree that it can’t just be attributed to loneliness, since most all of us feel lonely at some time in our life. In my early teen years, I was extremely lonely, and at times felt mistreated. But it never occurred to me to respond in a violent way to hurt others. Of course, my mother taught me the principles of returning evil with good, and treating others as I would want to be treated, without regard to whether they were treating me fairly or kindly. Maybe these principles are not being taught anymore? I do think these mass shootings may more be attributed to mental illness, because people thinking in a healthy rational way would not respond in such an excessively unreasonable way.

      1. I love your title: born2bfree. I am not quite sure your age, but when you have lived a while, history itself and everyday violent acts are statistics. But, what I would invite you to do is your own research: research serial killers, mass murderers, serial rapists, child molesters in America from the time of the Civil War, this would be a good start to get an overall view of the history of America. And yes I was referring to only America as I have stated numerous times already. Any research pre Civil War will increase the statistics to an unimaginable number.

        Also research video sources, audio, and old newspaper clippings, this you can do at your local library. Some government database on statistics are open to the public, as well as local police reports across the country. The best believer is one who puts forth his own efforts to inform himself.🙂

      2. I realize that I could spend the time to do all you have suggested, if I had time to do that on one topic alone. But since you provided statistics, I assumed you must have done the research, and are not just throwing numbers out there. In all honesty, I can’t consider your statistics to be credible if you are unable or unwilling to provide your source. As I’m sure you know, just because someone says it on the internet doesn’t make it true, any more than in the old days just reading something in the newspaper made it true. And when I was in school years ago, when submitting a research paper, we always needed to provide our references. Otherwise, what we wrote could be considered no more than a work of fiction. Of course, there are always those that will believe anything that is said if it is said with a tone of authority. I’m not one of those people, though. That is why I asked for reference to your source(s).

      3. Predominately is a word, not a numbered statistic, the validity of its usage in regards to the identity of majority serial killers and mass murderers in America requires very little effort on the part of one with minimal intelligence.

        I assumed you hold enough of an education, since you posed the question for sources on a word like predominately, that you know how to conduct research of your own. If you could not believe sources out there, why believe any of my research?

        Obviously you are unaware that libraries have actual copies of periodicals throughout American history, what this can give you is the actual name, identity, and sometimes photo of a killer. But if you can’t believe even this information, you are out of luck. Research implies knowing how to conduct an investigation and cross your references and info to gain more info.

        When I started writing, there was no internet! Good journalism is the abbility to both research and write. If you yourself are not willing to put forth an effort to acquire your own unbiased information, then you are not in a position to question another’s findings. Laziness isn’t an option and remember, we are talking about revealing source statistics on a word called predominately…this must have been a word far above the pay scale of many!

      4. Ms. Sahiyena, I understand the word predominately. To be truly accurate though, you really must consider the proportionality within the population as a whole. I am providing here a link to an article that references what you are inferring by your use of the word “predominately” to say that mass murders are somehow a white male problem. Please consider the numbers in relation to percentage of population: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/06/are_most_mass_murderers_really_white.html

      5. It is what it is and so is American History…move on! Remember to raise your children with my suggestions in mind and try to raise a better generation of young males for the future. Focus on your children and their problems rather than use your energy to question statistics when you already know the answer. Centuries old rhetoric! Some of us have a life, Good day and good bye🙂

    7. I must say this is about as racist as you can get.Your facts are simply silly. 6000 blacks kill other blacks every year thats more then all other races kill anyone in several years. Do you think somehow ganstas that kill dozens of people are somehow not serial killers?

      1. The majority of Africans living throughout this world has been killed by slave owners, especially if they ran, racists groups, kkk, white supremacist and such. The largest number of caucasians who lost their lives in America was due to the Civil War. This is not about race, we were addressing whether or not loneliness causes mass murders. I addressed statistics of a mass murderer and here is where we found ourselves to be.

    8. “It’s the quiet ones you gotta watch!”

      George Carlin made an elaborate piece on this. I suggest you watch it. Because it is bullshit (yes I don’t like it). I am in complete isolation in almost all of my time.I wouldn’t want some yuppie pseudo-psychiatrist collegiate asking “what’s wrong?”. Because they wouldn’t care for my response.

      Fuck you all.

    9. The killer in Oregon was 1/2 black and 1/2 white. Hey, he could be the President’s son! Isn’t that what Obama said about the “kid” in Florida?

      1. If he were the President’s son he would only be one quarter caucasian, this is simple fractions we learn in elementary.🙂 I see that ignorance breeds, still a lack of understanding of what the word “predominately” means. If you haven’t gotten a GED by now I cannot educate you in one session. Most are silly and unintelligent, perhaps this is a reason why the mass murders continues in the caucasian communities!

      2. Where are your facts for this. You need to do a little more research and you’ll realize it’s less than a quarter.

      3. Majority of the United States is Caucasians, now wouldn’t you agree, because of this wouldn’t it be a correct statement to say if you have a majority of said race, then more people of said race will have more murders. Example in Mexico more Hispanics kill people than any other race, in China more Asians, mainly Chinese, kill people. if you have a group of people in an area while an attack is happening there’s your mass killings. I say killings because it could be done with more than a gun.

      4. Thank you for this info from your lips. Yes the majority committing crimes are caucasians, however, the majority being incarcerated are Africans, Mexicans, and Latinos. So from your own lips you have spoken the truth: the majority of problems being caused in America are being caused by the moral majority of ethnicity that exist in America. You are absolutely correct, now where did you get your statistics from on who the moral majority are in America?

      5. How did this become a race issue? I’m going to have to read the comments backwards; sounds like a bad game of ‘telephone’ (you have to be a senior, no matter your color, to remember that game)

      6. Someone probably mentioned that the vast majority of mass shooters in America happen to be white males, and that set off the rest of the comments you’ve been reading.

      7. So, we do agree Obama is half white. So, technically, Obama isn’t our “first black President”. He is our first bi-racial President. Michelle Obama has “white” blood in her. So, Obama’s son would be more than a quarter “white”. Serial killers do tend to be a “white”. Blacks are out killing blacks. At the end of the day, do whites or blacks commit more crimes? Maybe, silly and “unintelligent” come in all races. You are proof of that point.

      8. https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_race.jsp right here shows the number of people in jail for a crime, it shows percentage, as well as the actual number of people in jail for crimes, not just percent, since percent isn’t necessarily accurate example there is 2 of brand new race we’ll call it x, if one person of that race commits a crime then 50% is considered criminal. Compare that to the rest of the other percent and that’s a really high number.

      9. So after reading the article and most of the comments here, there are some very valid points being made. The one point I’ve yet to see is to me, the most blatantly obvious. There is a mental health issue here in America that is not being addressed. It has not been addressed in years! The only way that it is addreesed, is by tossing some of the worst of the criminally insane into our prison system. The rest are where you find them, being taken care of by their families, some are institutionalized in the few that still exist. (Ask your government why that is). But many many more are on the street and unmedicated because they don’t have, or dont like their meds. One other thing, most are trying to act normal. They don’t wear signs or helmets, or walk up to you anywhere and explain their situation. They are just about any place you go looking or waiting for something better to happen to them. Sometimes they get fed up and no one catches that until it’s to late…
        Just saying!

      10. Michael,

        You seem to forget one other population. The ones like myself, severely mentally ill..tax paying, working, voting..that has fought hard..17 long yrs of battling an illness I never asked for, nor caused to myself. Would I be the “one” of the folks you seem to think are “just waiting to do something worse? Wrong..I am a good person..in fact I spend most of my time dedicated to volunteering to local human rights committees both local and state, I speak to 4 localities in my community for Crisis Intervention Team classes to offer my perspective of living daily with severe mental illness to help law enforcement in our areas understand what it is like to live daily with severe mental illness..Ive led bipolar support groups..I am secretary for our local mental health of America program..I also operate a local human rights area of which helps residential facilities..that sir is taking something that happened to me and giving back from it..even in a society so callous as to judge me for an already terrible illness. Many of whom are indeed law enforcement themselves. So before anyone goes to “lock us all in a cage” to throw away the key..just remember..not all mentally ill people are out to torment this highly judgemental world.

      11. CAUSE, OPPORTUNITY & AFFECT… IT’s HAS TO BE a ONE on ONE DEAL. WITH EVERYTHING THAT MATTERS. And EVERYTHING DOES MATTER.

      12. Hate to bust your bubble, but the shooter at Virginia Tech was Asian, last name was Cho. So it would seem that mass murder is not exclusive to Caucasians.

      13. Yes, he was….and the next murder on the Tech campus was committed using a butcher knife. There was only one victim, so it didn’t get the headlines…but the fact that it was a knife and not a gun doesn’t make her any less dead. Determined individuals will find a way
        to accomplish their goal(s),,,,,good or bad.

      14. Your own ignorance and racism is revealed in your comment as well. Ever heard of Cookie Thornton, black man who stormed a city council meeting and killed 6 people 7 years ago? How about the DC sniper John Allen Muhammad and his sidekick, both black. The asian Virginia Tech shooter. How about the biggest mass murder on American soil on 9/11? which race did that one?

      15. I’m sorry but African-Americans kill more in a weekend then these mass shootings alone, where is your beating heart or comment on that? Better figure your stats before you racistly blame white people. Pure ignorance and a perpuated race baiting agenda.

      16. Ya because african americans dont kill each other off in mass quantities every day in gang related violence.

      17. You’re kidding, right? I’m thrice degreed – maybe I can educate you. You may wish to wipe a few more times. [Posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2013]: In the 513 days between Trayvon dying, and today’s verdict, 11,106 African-Americans have been murdered by other African-Americans. You have absolutely no place gauging violence in Caucasian (capital C) communities.

      18. That was a great way to bring race into a situation that doesn’t call for it. Those who cry out the loudest against others’ lack of intelligence without actually contributing anything of real value to the conversation amaze me.

        On that note, as to not become a hypocrite, I think the article hits on several good points. Yes, it is important to reach out to those who are isolated – it is amazing how simple a “hello” and smile can be but can make such a difference to someone feeling lonely. But, my issues with the article stem from the idea that this could all be fixed by something so simple while dismissing any further efforts that could very well also make a difference.

        There is no one solution to this issue. As there is no one cause, the remedy will be multi-faceted and call for a great effort from everyone if there is to be any real change. One point that I do understand and agree with is that many people are quick to say, “Well, SOMEONE has to do something!” But, why can’t the someone be you? Write, protest, reach out, VOTE!
        We can’t sit back and wait for someone else to fix it and we can’t keep blaming the left or the right, or the whites or the blacks, or the extremists or the pacifists, etc. Blame is so easy to pass and action is hard to come by.

        Do what you can. But just do it.

      19. Thank you for an intelligent response. It was refreshing, considering many of the other comments. They do nothing to ameliorate the problem. Some people would rather just hurl insults and try to prove their superiority over others than actually come up with a reasoned response.

      20. Reread your post Ms. “thang.” While your call people ignorant, YOUR post is barely legible. Don’t any of you people ever proof before you hit the “post” button?

      21. I don’t understand how Your blatant blanket statements are being tolerated. The hate and racism that you are portraying has got to stop.

    10. You missed black on black murders, but I do like the way your mind works. If you understood your unique place in the universe, you might at times find yourself alone, but loneliness would not be part of your experience. That’s my experience talking. Namaste.

    11. The Irish where the first American slaves. They were cheaper and treated far worse than any other slave in the US. They were beaten and killed in front of black slaves to show what would happen if they ran. Also your stats when researched say thatb 69.2% off all crime the key word being all is committed by white people (mainly white collar). I would love to know where you got your stats because you have not mentioned per capita.

      1. Meredith the Irish slaves came over with the settlers making native Americans the second slaves in the Americas. Correction to you Tom was right.

      2. The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.

        Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.

        From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.

        During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.

        Many people today will avoid calling the Irish slaves what they truly were: Slaves. They’ll come up with terms like “Indentured Servants” to describe what occurred to the Irish. However, in most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle.

        As an example, the African slave trade was just beginning during this same period. It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts.

      3. Both Europeans and Native Americans had slavery as a punishment for debt or crime and sometimes as a result of kidnapping, yes. French, English, German people came here as slaves too…but they were privately owned and, if freed, had civil rights. Same for Native American slaves. The Bible recognizes this type of slavery system, which has been described as a very flawed version of a welfare system–slaves had to be fed, and had other rights, most notably the guarantee of freedom at a predetermined date *unless they refused it*. However, the plantation system depended on large numbers of slaves who were isolated, conspicuously different from other people, capable of being seen as a slave caste, and denied social rights even if they were emancipated–exactly what the Bible teaching on slavery seems to have been meant to prevent.

    12. Omg. You are beyond delusional. The Black mass murder rate on any givin weekend (especially a holiday) is 5,000 times that of the once a year black /white boy killing of 8 or 9 people. Or does 1,200 blacks murdered in Shitcago not matter? I thought that blacklivesmatter#? Pick another race honey. You suck at being RACIST.

      1. Please stop saying “Shitcago”! I live in Chicago. A very culturally diverse educated people.

    13. I live in Chicago. Although the shootings at schools, movie theater, s, etc. are committed by “caucasians”, what about the black community here? Far more shootings by young black men! DON’T make this racial! YOU are part of the problem, NOT the solution!

      1. Blah Blah Blah…a typical response from the problem people themselves to blame their victims when they complain. If you wanted a solution, there would no longer be a problem. If you knew the history of Chi Town, then you would know that the conditions in the inner city that produces such violence in that one area was caused by the powers that be segragating Africans out from other areas and piling them into the inner city then making sure no money was poured into the neighborhoods, no jobs were available, and no funding for extra curriculum school activities. On top of all this despair, their “solution” was to further destroy the people by introducing heroine into the community! Next time you open your mouth, at least have a clue as to what you are talking about and the history of the place!

  46. Repealing the Second Amendment does NOT mean a “ban on all guns.” It means a shift in the “burden of proof” for the PRIVILEGE to bear arms onto the gun-owner and prospective gun-owner. By far, the vast majority of current gun-owners will easily qualify for ownership (including registration, licensing and mandatory liability insurance, as required of automobile owners).

    1. Repealing the Second Amendment DOES mean that you need a majority in 75% of the states.

      As for the rest of what you say, that is just 1 way that neutering the Bill of Rights may play out. Ultimately, removing the 2nd amendment lets the government alone decide what your human rights might ultimately become.

      1. As the foundation documents have it, “the government” is technically a function of the system of checks and balances built-in to the American system. It’s NOT “the Other,” as in “Them”: it’s US. If you don’t accept the People–and the tried-and-true democratic balances–as the Sovereign, decision-making power in this democracy–then why would you assume that the Second Amendment rights are immutable? Reasonable registration, licensing, and insuring of all gun-owners will help disable this peculiarly American sub-culture of nut-case suicide assassins.

    2. Registration does not even come into the picture until -after- an incident takes place, at least as pertains to guns. It does not stop incidents from occurring, nor does it weed out those who aren’t fit. Registration serves no purpose but to provide a tool for eventual confiscation. And yes, it DOES lead to confiscation, in spite of all claims to the contrary by people who push for it. “Nobody’s coming for your guns, registration doesn’t mean confiscation.” Except in California, where it did. And in Chicago, where it did. And in the UK, where it did. And in Australia, where it did. And in Canada, where it did. The icing on the cake for that last one is that Canada subsequently did away with its long gun registry because it proved to be simultaneously expensive to maintain and virtually useless to law enforcement. So how is that ‘reasonable,’ again?

      You do not need to know where the guns are, or who has them. You may be able to make a more convincing case for licensing.

      1. I beg to differ! Registration IS important – to stem the black market flow of guns, straw purchases, and the notorious private sale loophole. Why would a responsible gun owner object to something as simple and effective as registration? Because of the paranoid belief that “they’ll come for your guns one day”? Well, if your registered gun isn’t going to keep the government from taking your gun, how is your unregistered gun going to that?

        if they come for your guns, isn’t that what you’re armed for? To resist that kind of “tyranny”? Or is that just the excuse you’ve been fed as the extremist argument to keep us from taking even simple effective measures that will lower the overall rate of guns in this country?

      2. Yes Lori let’s look at Chicago where they have to register all guns. Wow the crime rate with firearms sure seems high. Now let’s look at DC where until just a few years ago hand guns were illegal that didn’t work either did it.

      3. I can’t seem to reply to your last post, but I completely agree that the approach of piecemeal regional regulation – which is all we’ve been able to do so far – is terribly ineffective. It rarely is for consumer goods that can easily be carried from a regulated area to an unregulated area (i.e. Fireworks) which is why for *most* other products we set national standards. There are certainly some things that we can use a state-by-state or regional approach as “laboratories of democracy” – but those should be governance issues, not safety issue that create hazards for our neighbors… So the example of Chicago’s policy is a perfect illustration of why we need to implement regulation on a national level.

    3. These are the laws for concealed carry in CO.

      http://www.usacarry.com/colorado_concealed_carry_permit_information.html

      For those of you who won’t read the article, this is #8 under the rules that are listed:

      8. Demonstrates competence with a handgun by one of the following means:
      a. evidence of experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competitions or current military service
      b. certified firearms instructor
      c. honorable discharge from the Armed Forces within past three yearss
      d. proof of pistol qualification in Armed Forces within past ten years, if discharged
      e. retired law enforcement with pistol qualification within past ten years
      f. proof of completion of a handgun training class within the past ten years

    4. This makes no sense to me. Since you acknowledge that “the majority of current gun owners will easily quality”, what’s the point? If the majority qualifies, which obviously proves that group is not the problem, what’s the point of the exercise?

      Must we always regulate to the lowest common denominator in our society? Must we continually punish the majority in an attempt to slap a tiny minority of wrong doers? What’s wrong with holding them accountable them accountable for their actions, like we supposedly do with drunk drivers????

  47. The premise is correct (i.e. we should all do more), but points 4 and 5 arrive at wrong, hopeless conclusions. The partially sad truth is many Americans have long-since accepted inner-city gang violence, so what many people really want is to reduce the number of shootings in mainstream society (e.g. schools, offices, malls), therefore bringing society back to “normal”. And many of these mainstream shootings are carried out by unstable people who, despite having no criminal history, would never pass the US military’s psychological screening and thus should not be able to buy guns legally either. This approach, which is not expensive and basically means saying “NO” to 15% of gun applicants, obviously won’t stop all the mainstream mass murders, but it likely would have stopped the Colorado theatre massacre and this latest Oregon school shooting. Let us please try this much.

    1. I bet a certain Army officer stationed at Ft. Hood passed the military’s battery of psychological tests.

      I know of no objective test that can accurately forecast individual behavior. In a tightly controlled, heavily regimented society like the military, daily interaction and observation is the key method of detecting troublemakers. I don’t see that kind of thing working in everyday society.

      But my biggest problem is that once again, it appears that some of us anyway, are more than happy to allow our freedoms to be dictated by the inappropriate actions of a minority of people in our society.

  48. The comments sadden me (I know. Never read the comments). Something every individual can do for free presented neatly. But it puts responsibility in your lap so you hem and haw and nit pick and agree up to a point. I’m just going to take this message to heart and put some more effort int to reaching out. I won’t stop yelling my ideas at the brick walls in charge or the online echo chambers, but I won’t pretend that that’s enough to make an actual difference.

  49. I disagree with the notion that most of the people who committ mass murders are NOT mentally ill, ALL of them are mentally ILL in my humble opinion. How can you have such a callous disregard for life, and not be though of as mentally ill, whether they were diagnosed by a mental health professional. IF we want people to stop doing this kind of thing, we DO have to find a way to take care of them, AND better reporting of those diagnosed with illness would at least get them on lists of people who can be stopped from buying weapons, at a legally run gun store.

    1. This is by far the most ignorant comment I’ve read yet. Educate yourself on Aspergers Disorder, a neurological disorder of the autism spectrum, not a mental illness. Empathy is not natural, love thy neighbor, the golden rule all must be learned and it takes families, schools and communities to teach these social skills to, yes, predominately Caucasian males. While the author failed to mention the diagnosis specifically, the news media has focused on this common denominator in each of the mass killings at schools. We, society, have failed them. Their families failed them. The school systems failed them. They are not mentally ill. This is an isolating disorder. The author made some really good points about reaching out and making people feel included. You want a list to exclude them from one more thing? In no way do I defend the actions of someone who takes the life of another but the stigma of Aspergers needs to be removed so that these kids get the social skills they need to be productive, contributing members of society. Not a list of shame.

  50. But as sad as it is there are people that are isolated in all countries and yet they isn’t the mass shooting that there are in the USA.

  51. I agree with the article and I think it is often the school culture that is the problem. Think about it: why do most mass shootings occur in schools? It’s because certain people there get so disgusted and depressed with what’s going on in that environment that they want to kill everyone around them.

    I think these shootings would happen less if we educated people the way we did in the 1700s. The rich got private tutors, the middle class got apprenticeships/homeschooled and the poor played around in the streets. Bringing people into a building full of folks who aren’t of their choosing and forcing them to sort it out day after day for what seems like all their lives (to the young) is not really healthy for the mentally vulnerable if you think about it. It seems to be burning out many teachers as well and only enriching textbook and testing companies.

    People get typecast as losers in kindergarten and learn repeatedly year after year that they are unwanted. At least a kid could choose a different crowd to kick the can with in the streets. We’ve had school style education for a century now at least and income inequality is very high, so it is not like “playing in the streets” would disadvantage the disadvantaged significantly more than they are now. At least they’d be fit, and what I hear of kids who have all day to “unschool” in impoverished African villages is that they are soon building interesting things/creating jobs for themselves.

    Then there’s paying for schools. It seems like rackets have developed where more and more money can be tossed in and it only gets sucked into a black hole of corporate greed while student outcomes diminish and a pipeline to prison establishes itself. I think we should quit with the mass education experiment.

    Shrug. That is my 2 cents.

    1. Are you serious? So education becomes a privilege for middle and upper class and the rest of the nation becomes a bunch of uneducated and unemployeeable poverty stricken and broken people? Think about this for a minute.

  52. The only problem with Rob Myers’ line of reasoning here is that there is a certain type of person who is so inherently twisted that they can NEVER be left alone, or they get up to all extremes of evil mischief. In other words, what I’m saying is that it’s not merely a problem about people being alone, but about certain types of people who simply must never be left alone.

    A person born with an innately reasonable temperament can be left alone for long periods of time and, though they may get lonely and depressed, they don’t have that instinct for sadistic malevolence and so nothing particularly bad will come of it. But in a society that is unwilling or unable to confine or exterminate those born with the gene(s) for sadistic malevolence, the only option is that they must never, ever NOT be surrounded by people. Such people may very well crave or demand their privacy, but they simply cannot be allowed it.

    I do hope that, someday soon, science identifies the gene(s) that create the sado-malevolent personality type and also develops the ability to perform gene therapy upon them in order to transform them into reasonable people with a passion for fairness. Because our culture has been hijacked over the past several decades and transformed into one which actually selects for the cruelly demented individual as the exemplar of ideal corporate capitalism. And those who have both the power to hijack and derail societies and then exterminate all dissent against that are the ones primarily responsible for the sheer hell we’re living in today.

  53. Article gave me a lot more information than I had previously. Not to mention, I can still learn new words. Thanks for helping me learn this one: tendentious.
    ten·den·tious. [tenˈdenSHəs] ADJECTIVE
    1.expressing or intending to promote a particular cause or point of view, especially a controversial one: “a tendentious reading of history”

  54. Reblogged this on Kelly Roberts Writing and commented:
    Could it really be this easy? Even if it’s not the solution for ending mass shootings, what harm could come from acknowledging the isolated? What harm could come from taking SOME kind, any kind, of direct, personal action? Please consider giving it a try.

  55. sorry but I disagree. You can’t prevent a mentally ill person from shooting cause you are nice to that person. It’s sounds great and makes sense regardless to just be nicer and more accepting of weird people rather than isolating them. However, I will just give a small example that will explain why I am skeptical. Did you see American Sniper? Or hear about the story? He was a great patriot and a wonderful and kind person, who embrased mentally ill people and actually hanged with them as well as went for activities with them. Because he was close to one mentally ill person and spent time with him – he was shot by him. Actually in my opinion if you are close with a mentally ill person you can even be more of a target – just like the guy from American Sniper was. So I am more for gun control. Starting from scratch and just banning this dangerous piece of equipment. It’s true you can’t find everyone who owns a gun but it’s a good place to start. And hopefily in a decade or two or three or more you will get somewhere..

  56. We are not a continuous presence in the lives of most people with whom we casually interact day-to-day. We are not trained social workers or psychiatric caregivers. We cannot be an effective substitute for the kind of intervention that would be necessary. Don’t be naive.

  57. Here’s another idea you’re not going to like!
    While I like your idea of noticing those around you that seem isolated to engage them, but I disagree with your premise that loneliness is the only thing that causes these shooters to lash out, and that people with solid connections to other people won’t indiscriminately fire guns at strangers. Here’s why; apparently, this doesn’t apply to the two high school seniors who committed the Columbine High School shooting, Eric David Harris and Dylan Bennet Klebold.
    One perception formed was that both Klebold and Harris had been isolated from their classmates, prompting feelings of helplessness, insecurity, and depression, as well as a strong need for attention. Although, this concept was questioned, as both Harris and Klebold had a close circle of friends and a wider informal social group, so that opinion does not appear to be accurate.
    Some people are just killers. Harris was a psychopath, who exhibited a pattern of grandiosity, contempt, and lack of empathy or remorse, distinctive traits of psychopaths that he concealed through deception. Klebold was a depressive influenced by revenge. Although Harris did let one of his friends go, I don’t think anyone was going to talk him out of killing kids. You may have had an outside chance of talking Klebold out of it, but Harris would have been shooting at you during that conversation.
    My point is we need more folks that are trained to use weapons and allow them to carry them! There was ONE armed Sheriff’s Deputy on site at the time. He was not notified by security staff because the security video was off while the custodian changed the video tape.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbine_High_School_massacre
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Harris_and_Dylan_Klebold

  58. I agree with most of your article, however you did make one mistake in your ban scary guns comment. In the US it is perfectly legal to own a fully automatic firearm. While some states have banned it most have not. However it is illegal currently to manufacture new machine guns for civilian use, machine guns registered and manufactured prior to the National Firearms Act of 1986 are completely legal to own. However they are retardedly expensive and require registration and a $600 tax stamp to possess

    1. The stamp is $200, not $600. We have the belt-fed machinegun, M16s, suppressors, and short-barrelled rifles to prove it.🙂

  59. This is a well written piece and to a certain extent I do agree with it. Congress is practically useless at the moment and benevolence is something that works every time. However, since, as you state, this alone simply won’t happen on the scale it should, seeing as people simply aren’t all kind, we need something in the mean time to supplement this. We CAN expand background checks and we can successfully ban assault weapons as well, it you look at the shootings that happened from ’94-’04 during the ten-year assault weapons ban, there were no shootings carried out with assault weapons, even Columbine. But of course, to your credit, Dylan Harris and Eric Klebold would have been unlikely to kill their classmates had they been approached and cared about.

    Overall, one thing is clear. Nothing will come out of any extreme and one-dimensional solutions. No more “arm/disarm every civilian”

    1. “…during the ten-year assault weapons ban, there were no shootings carried out with assault weapons, even Columbine.”

      Source??? Link?? I can find nothing to back up this statement, one way or the other. I do know that the Columbine killers used PC federally approved non-offensive “low capacity” 10 round mags in their pistols (along with pipe bombs and propance IED’s) to do their dirty work.

      The crime fighting impact of the original AWB was minimal.

      http://www.propublica.org/article/fact-checking-feinstein-on-the-assault-weapons-ban

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/14/sunday-review/the-assault-weapon-myth.html?_r=0

      Given the fact that more people are killed every year by the use of bare hands and feet than long guns of ALL kinds (including the dreaded “assault rifle”), even if the evil AR’s were totally done away with, we’d see a significant difference in murders in the the US.

      http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2013/01/16/assault-rifles-are-not-involved-in-many-u-s-murders-a-look-at-the-data/

      A ban on AR’s? They’re built all over the world. Tons and tons of illegal narcotics come into our country every day. What would stop guns?? (See borders: porous.)

      A ban on AR’s? Why not build your own, using commonly available tools and materials? Easily done.

      http://whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/RKBA/gun/www.thehomegunsmith.com/zoomedschematic.html

      https://eatgrueldog.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/9mm-sub-machine-gun/

      “High capacity mags”? 3D printing is the answer for those so inclined. (Besides there are billions already in the hands of private citizens.)

      Mass shootings with AR’s? Have we already forgotten the Navy shipyard shooting, where the maniac used a Remington 870 pump shotgun. The gun your grandpa probably used to hunt pheasants.

      I believe any ban is largely a “look good, feel good” piece of legislation, designed solely to dupe the uninformed.

      1. The only way to end gun violence it to ban all guns. Period.

        the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. A ban on guns that serve no purpose other than to enable mass shootings (i.e. high-capacity and automatic firearms) is the first step.

    2. Actually, Dylan Harris was fairly popular and well liked. He wasn’t a “social outcast” at all. Eric, too, but to a lesser degree.

    3. Actually, Dylan Harris was fairly popular and well liked. He wasn’t a “social outcast” at all. Eric, too, but to a lesser degree.

    4. You seem to know not enough about weapons. Firstly, there is no such thing as an “assault WEAPON”. The term is the product of media-theater. Therefore, nobody has ever been killed with an “assault weapon”. The term that IS defined is “assault RIFLE”, which is a selective-fire rifle what discharges a medium-powered cartridge. AR15s, being semi-only, are not assault rifles. The M16, which is selective-fire, is.

  60. I must be a racist as well. I stand with All of Me. Caucasians have been killing ever since arriving. Go west young man. Take what you want ,oh the other people that are already there. Kill them then take it. Heyand when they fight back call them savages. Caucasians have been doing it for years. And guess what im Caucasian . i just see society destroying itself.

  61. I need to say that the American society is quite tough to deal with. I have lived on three continents and in Europe most of my life but the hardest place to socialize and make friends was in California. People are just arrogant and neighbors do not know each other, and do not try to connect in years.people say whatever crosses their minds and have no shame, even if they say hello today, the next day they just pass by you with no word because they are not in the mood. People smile and make small talk but it’s always fake, shallow kindmess and in fact there is nothing behind it. Even if you are a sane, normal person you feel alone and alienated and frustration builds up. If you are not a church goer or do not have children to take to play dates, it’s quite impossible to socialize. I work in a school and I need to say that my colleagues are the most arrogant, unfriendly people I have ever met. Nobody talks to anybody, it’s just the morning hello routine and that is pretty much it. They are rude with each other and attack each other in staff meetings but would never say a genuine nice word to one another. And these are the role models for the next generation. It’s a hostile society with people who have no common sense and act the way they feel with no consideration to somebody else’s feelings. There are many lonely people out there who get frustrated with the careless society and some of them just lose control eventually. Being nice and considerate says a lot about somebody’s level of intelligence and education. I have experienced situations in my school where young colleagues recently hired did not bother to answer to your greeting or turned their back to you just because they were not in the mood that morning. This is a sign of lack of common sense and shows a defect character. Sometimes I ask myself looking at the arrogant faces what makes these people feel so superior because they really do not exceed in pretty much anything and the saddest thing is that they do not even realize how ridiculous and ignorant they are. It’s so easy to be nice and it feels so good, you have no idea what happens in somebody’s life so you should not judge or act like that person is not good for you, but unfortunatelly, most of the Californians are just pure rude and arrogant and believe they are superior and entitled.

    1. Kora…I’m so sorry you have had such a horrible experience. I live in Illinois, and I must say the schools that my daughter have attended so far have been exceptional. Friendship, accountability, and leadership has always been upheld. I have one horrible neighbor, but the rest of my neighbors are friendly and wonderful. They are the kind of people you could count on in a time of need. I also try to be there for them when they are in need. Please don’t judge the entire U.S. based on your experiences in California! We love you here!

  62. Simple math yes, but you are talking genetics now, in genetics it’s split Dominant and Recessive we’ll call it D for dominant and r for recessive, and lets say Mrs. Obama’s history has no history of Caucasians, for the presidents son it is split as DD, Dr, DD,Dr, meaning dominant all black no Caucasian genes, carries the Caucasian gene, meaning half, all black carries no Caucasian genes again, or again half. This is because a mom gives the baby HALF of the chromosomes, and the dad gives another half. In biology and genetics it doesn’t reduce to an undetermined amount. Second please look at the majority of the United States, now wouldn’t you say if the majority of the race is say Caucasian, then naturally one would think more crime would be committed by said race. Same with any other country as a whole.

  63. I just want to say – I was that child, I am that adult. Not only do I not make friends easily, I don’t particularly want friends; but that doesn’t make me a killer. I love people, I love to write about people, but to get involved in superficial relationships and small-talking social clusters is anathema to me. I point this out because there is always a negative aspect: well-meaning as the sentiments expressed here are, a danger exists in ascribing labels to anyone. I have always held dire our tribal necessity to hunt down anything or anyone we see as weak or different. No, unacceptable as it may be to America, in the long term the only cure is disarmament: no-one can pretend it will be easy, but without it, the killings just go on – and on – and on…

  64. You forgot one idea: ban gun free zones. Almost all mass shootings happen in gun free zones, by law or owner policy. Victim disarmament attracts lonely cowards. Many shootings that might have become mass shootings were stopped by an armed civilian. Ban the gun free zone.

    1. 1. Gun free zones are not a legal institution, they’re a private one. As a private proprietor, I have a right to say that I don’t want guns in my establishment.

      2. there’s nothing about a gun free zone that attracts mass shootings.

      3. There WAS an armed military vet at the UCC shooting. He made the conscious decision to avoid the violence.

      4. The absurd insistence that an armed citizen “might have prevented a mass shooting” is simply that… absurd. It’s a delusion rooted in Hollywood’s depiction of heroism and machoism. Talk to anyone who has been in a real firefight, including law enforcement, and they’ll tell you what really happens to you when shots are suddenly fired.

      5. the number of mass shootings that have been prevented by an armed citizen are very, very, very few. Especially when compared to the number of mass shootings that have been prevented by a ban on guns.

      1. 1) Depends on the state. In some states, it’s an automatic violation of the law to carry in a posted place. In other states, the owner/manager can ask the person to leave and if they don’t comply, they can be charged with trespassing. Again, depends on the state. Some venues, like courthouses for example, are universally GFZ’s.

        2) Is this your opinion or do you have facts/links to provide? Given that the majority of mass shootings occur in GFZ’s, I’d say there might be a correlation.

        3) The vet (a CCW holder) I saw interviewed, was told to stay in place, in lock down. Had he been in the same room, who knows? He was a little vague if he was actually carrying at the time, as it is a violation of campus regs.

        4) There have been several instances where an armed citizens intervened and reduced the number of victims.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/10/03/do-civilians-with-guns-ever-stop-mass-shootings/

        Evidence clearly suggests that the sooner the nutcase meets resistance, the less casualties there are. Was a “mass shooting” prevented? Nope, but again, the number of victims was reduced.

        5) Pure conjecture on your part. How can you prove that something that didn’t happen, didn’t happen? And I would suggest that as the number of GFZ’s go down, the number of citizens fighting back will increase. As it is, such a low percentage of the US population actually has a permit to carry and an even lower percentage of those actually carry regularly, the chances of an armed citizen actually confronting a nutcase are low. Of course, I don’t mean to suggest that private citizens is a bad idea in any event.

        The devil doesn’t make appointment after all.

        CCW permits holders are probably the most law-abiding groups in America, as evidenced by Texas Dept of Public Safety stats on the conviction rates between permit holders and the general populace:

        https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl/reports/convrates.htm

        I believe all responsible, law abiding adults should have the choice to carry or not. Our right to self-defense doesn’t end at the front door.

      2. 1. What will you do when an armed gunman comes to rob you? Call 911? Oh, wait, no… you’re dead.

        2. Yeah there is. There is no deterrent to give a shooter pause.

        3. This is a fact?

        4. How many firefights have you been in, exactly? As luck would have it, vets and police have been in many. Save the “sh*t your pants” argument for pansies that jump when the door slams.

        5. This number is few because of the number of licensed carries are reluctant to fire. Why? Because of deliberation like this. Libtards like you will try to sue them.

  65. America is a nation of socially isolated douchebags because it’s society, as a collective whole, is sick and takes immense pride in traits and behaviors that are deeply sociopathic and apathetic towards others.
    It’s more than common for Americans to live side by side with their neighbors for 40 years and never get to know them. This is unheard of in 99% of the nations of the world.

  66. I was just reading a comment elsewhere by a person who knew Elliot Roger. Apparently, plenty of people DID reach out to him, DID try to talk to him, DID try to befriend them, and he just shut them all down.

    Sometimes, the person who is the problem actually is the person who is the problem.

  67. Interesting article, but once again, only making a stab in the dark at the real problem. Hiding your head in the sand, looking for a person who is depressed, white, black, male, female, all just a guessing game. 18 states have figured out how to protect students, train, arm staff. In these 18 states where staff are armed, there has NEVER been a mass shooting, no guessing what works, they have a proven record. BTW, you may want to know, “most” mass murders are registered Democrats. Some of those very people trying to take our rights away, are the ones we really need to be most fearful of.http://clashdaily.com/2013/01/the-5-worst-mass-murders-in-the-usa-with-a-firearm-came-from-democrats/

    1. Wow. You just turned the deaths of scores of people, INCLUDING CHILDREN, into a partisan politics attack.

      You truly are a disgusting person.

  68. Nice to finally read an article that points out criminals don’t follow the law. As for psychologist are required to report if they believe their patients are a threat to themselves or others beyond that all communications with patients is covered by doctor patient confidentially.

  69. I like your message, but it comes off a little trite when you get half your facts wrong. The federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004–they’re only illegal in certain states now–and there is no background check required for a private sale of a gun, which means felons can still get them. If the government ‘can’t do anything’, how did Australia make it work?

    I also refuse to believe that erasing the stigma around seeing a psychologist will not help. We’re already required to have a physical check-up annually; shouldn’t a mental one be universally recommended too?

    Apart from the fact that you’re oversimplifying the problem–a lot–what you’re suggesting IS part of the solution.

    1. You can institute all the background checks you like, but the black market trade in firearms will only continue to flourish. Heck you can even make guns as illegal to purchase as heroine and cocaine and I bet folks still manage to get them.

      1. That’s a false equivalency. What drives the black market for illegal drugs is people’s ADDICTION to drugs. So you either need to admit that guns, like drugs, are an addiction (and like all addictions rooted in disorders including fear and anxiety), or your point is completely invalid

      2. Black markets spring to life powered by those foik who don’t follow the law so they can evade and overcome government edict. It’s basic human nature. Black markets have been with us from the dawn of time. If there’s a demand, there will be a supply. The folks who want guns will get them. The people who want drugs will get them. There will be a supply, regardless of motivation of the buyer. Legalize drugs, presto! No more black market.

        So, I admit to liking and owning guns. To me, they symbolize freedom. I shoot recreationally and for competition, iwhich includes the use of those awful, but inanimate “assault rifles.”) And yes, an AR-15 is my home defense firearm of choice.

        Firearms as an addiction based on fear and anxiety? More likely I simply want to preserve a basic human freedom, that of self defense.

        And I positively despise exercises in futility, like gun control sold as crime control.

  70. I agree this makes allot of sense. Loneliness and rejection are a horrible feeling that can lead to resentment. I believe caution is needed in this as well. Some people who are mentally stable try to overcome it without lashing out, but for some they don’t have that will or frame of mind. My concern would be if lets say a female talks to the lonely isolated person and he is male and he then gets the wrong idea and wants a relationship with her but she is not interested in him in that way. That could cause a broken heart on top of everything else and cause him to go over the deep end and kill her and others. So although I agree you are on to something here, caution is advised. Just my thoughts

  71. It is not the guns people it the people behind them and the fact we don’t have god anymore. put god back into our country and thing will get better and get ruid for the night mare we got in office there and things get better and stop him from ruining this country our country anymore than he has …

  72. What a load of crap!

    Stop trying to deflect the issue and admit that the main ingredient of gun violence is GUNS! Every country in the world has sad and disaffected people, but only the US has such a high number of guns and such a high amount of gun violence.

    As long as there are people on this planet, there will be people suffering from mental illness of some sort. It’s part of the human condition. The problem is the nearly unrestricted access those people have to guns.

    1. Yet more people are killed by drunk drivers every year. And cancer from smoking is the number one cause of death every year, yet no one wants to ban them.

    2. 2/3 of all gun-related deaths are from suicide. Cancer is a killer. Drunk driving is a killer. Yet no one gives the attention to them at all – nothing like guns. Your expressed concerns are politically and “shiny-thing” driven. This is why serious change to anything is hopeless. I’m for background checks. I am for registration. But check the UK / “gimme your guns” sh*t at the door.

  73. I don’t have time to read all the comments, so I apologize if this point has already been made, but while I agree in theory with the theme of your post, it seems to me to ignore a major fact:

    There have been lonely people since the dawn of civilization, certainly since the founding of our country, and they haven’t as a rule decided to go out and massacre as many innocent others as they have been for the past twenty years. Something else is going on.

    There is a difference in the past three or four decades in the level and types of asocial violence occurring in our country. There are various causes, and I don’t pretend to have teased them all out, but I do believe that the movements toward unearned self-esteem and utopian risk avoidance for kids are two of the major culprits. Kids with inflated egos who can’t handle the slightest slings and arrows of life are dangerous to society. Having more free time and a more disconnected society in general I think also don’t help.

  74. I have only known one person who planned a mass school shooting. He was a high school aged, Caucasian male which I’ve included due to that being a topic. During the planning phase for the shooting, a friend invited him to Church. Surprisingly he agreed to go. He found Jesus there, and it changed everything. Some will say, “so what that he got brainwashed or whatever.” He will say that he got transformed. He is now a youth pastor, married, employed, a productive and positive influence on society. We live in a fallen world. It can be a lonely, sad, and sometimes a horrific place to be. Yes, kindness can help, but we really need a cure for sin, and I only know of one who claims to be that. Religions and philosophies can offer positive thoughts and even acts of goodness, but only Jesus offers remedy for sin and a way to transformation.

  75. I disagree. My town’s shooting, Marysville. WA was committed by the homecoming prince. Columbine wasn’t that awkward kid either. We should all engage people but that isn’t what will stop shootings. I wish it were that simple but it goes so much deeper. As for the isolated kids that commit the shootings they usually isolate themselves, we don’t create it, they do. When society creates it then we see suicide but not murder/suicide. There is something broken long before they plan their attack. What we need to look for is those that stock piles guns, discuss shootings on social media, have agendas with groups of people and take proactive steps.

  76. Great opinion piece. A couple of points; 1. gun laws need to change. If we are going to require background checks for gun sales, it needs to be for all gun sales. You don’t get a pilots license or teaching certificate online or from a buddy, you go through some layers of checks and requirements. Will that stop all shootings? No. Just as it won’t stop a creep teacher from acting inappropriately, but in the U.S. this is the system we have, licensing, checks and the like and for the most part it works.

    2. This epidemic of gun violence in America is very complicated and requires a multi-pronged approach. Just having stricter gun laws or only being kinder is not going to do it. We need to address this from any and all angles that have a chance to work.

    Do we all need to have more kindness and grace? Abso-fucking-lutely. It is far too easy to look the other way when someone is being ‘weird’, to ignore it or make fun. Even good people do this; even strong religious people.

    Having said all this let me get very personal. My brother believed in Jesus. He read the Bible and believed in forgiveness, love and grace. He had a great girlfriend, family and life-long friends. He would talk to anybody, anywhere. He was bipolar and struggled with the side effects of the meds and just not feeling ‘normal’ like he used to be. I believe that Satan took a foothold in his damaged brain and kept at him night and day. We knew all this and tried hard to keep in touch with him, to ask how he was doing. He had a good support system. He didn’t want to be the one we coddled, which I think is typical human behavior. He had a good job and liked his coworkers, or so he said. He kept his most horrific, black thoughts to himself. He chose not to show us his dark side, until it was far too late for us to help him, and he shot 2 people, fought with another, then took his life. So in our case there was no getting through to his black heart. Now we have to live with the choices he made. There is no amount of I’m sorry or money that can make up for what he did.

    I disagree that Do Something is ineffective. Me Doing Something is to share his story whenever I can. Me Doing Something is being kind to all the diverse people I am blessed to meet in my government job. Me Doing Something is speaking out in favor of more gun control.

    1. Thank you for caring so much to eulogize your brother but since Cain and Abel; even brothers were killing brothers over one failed character trait or another. If everyone were able to carry weapons as most all did for protection from the “bad guys and vermin” not many even those with mental illnesses would venture to attack others, perhaps unless they were wanting to commit suicide by “cop” or anyone else! Everyplace that has removed guns have now more violence and killings with them than before the bans…

    2. Oh Jackie! HUGGS! Thank you for sharing your story. Perhaps if your brother could not get a hold of a gun, this would never have happened. There are too many guns. Why someone would not want to comply with background checks and registration is paranoid, in my opinion. We need to at least TRY to curb the amount of free flowing guns! I live in Chicago. I cannot watch the news without hearing of crimes and murders with guns.

      If someone has a knife, at least that person has to get close enough to another person in order to cause harm! Since so many guns are floating around, anyone at anytime can use one to do harm! Perhaps if it took awhile to obtain one, there might be a change of heart, or another way to deal with a problem! I’m quite certain that people don’t “intend” on shooting innocent bystanders! Yet, it happens every day. Where are those innocent bystander’s rights?

  77. Sorry, but this “solution” is as impractical and unrealistic as banning guns. How exactly do you propose we get everyone to engage with every lonely, isolated person? There are 300 million of us, and it only takes one to kill dozens. And it’s not as if every isolated person will turn into a murderer. We’re talking about less than 1% of the population here. You are also suggesting that simply talking to mentally ill people can fix their illness. It won’t. Metal health is a serious issue, usually involving a chemical imbalance, and I doubt all of the mass murderers would have elected a different course had someone simply been nice to them. In the case of Columbine, the killers had friends and family. The reality is that there are no easy answers. The solution, if there is one, has to be approached on multiple levels, including some measure of gun control.

  78. The other problem with your line of thinking, which I agree with the premiss, is that most people even when they do talk to the isolated person, are rude, abrassive, and judgemental. How about we all put way our guns, because we are afraid of everyone, and start thinking about other people insteed of ourselves!!!!!

  79. Love one another as I have loved you and follow the golden rule….most all religions teach this in some form or another nd it is just s clear mandate today as it has been for thousands of years…only the technology has changed..

  80. The problem with this argument is that it assumes loneliness equals a rash desire to murder innocent people. If that were the case there would not be terrorist organizations, there would be terrorist individuals. Those people who attacked us on 9-11-2001 were not loners, They were repeatedly described as being nice, and friendly. Terrorist have groups of other terrorists they hang out with to plan their dastardly deeds, they are not lonely.

    The other problem is that the argument assumes that loneliness equals a rash desire to murder innocent people. I am lonely. I am alone (except for my 6 year old son), but I have no desire or even thought to go murder innocent people. Would I be happier and less depressed if I had people who came up and talked to me, probably, but I have trust issues and I don’t really know how to let anyone in my life. That is my issue, not any one else’s and I certainly don’t want to murder anyone, not even the people that have hurt me and caused my trust issues.

    David Berkowitz didn’t kill people because of loneliness, he killed people because the voices in his head told him to. Charles Manson certainly wasn’t lonely, he had a bunch of “family” around him…he is crazy, but wasn’t lonely. Jim Jones (albeit, he didn’t use a gun to kill his people, he used kool-aid) absolutely wasn’t lonely, he was surrounded by hundreds of followers who loved him.

    Just because I am lonely, does not mean I am a murderous psychopath. I am just lonely.

    1. Hi Barb! I’m sorry you are lonely! I could be your friend! Your point of “loneliness does not lead to murder” is spot on. I’ve been lonely at times and I’m sure that most people have experienced periods of loneliness. I think that most people need to learn how to trust their intuition. Trust your gut. If you feel a friendship isn’t right, then end it. You don’t “owe” anyone anything!

      I’m sure that you are an intelligent person, a person with morals, and with experience could learn to trust. I think many people are missing out of meaningful friendships. I also think that there are far more good people in this world than bad. Trust in yourself. You will know if a friendship is worthwhile or not. Don’t miss out on the beauty of friendship!

  81. I am a grouchy asocial introvert. In MY case, people just randomly deciding that it’s their responsibility to invade my alone space and “cheer me up” are MORE likely* to trigger a shooting than leaving me alone is.

    *A nonzero probability

  82. Interesting perspective, but do we really think that the US is the only country in the world with isolated lonely people, and that Europeans, for example, as so much better at reaching out to the “awkward”? I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Europe, and don’t think so…Must be something else going driving mass shootings in the US.

      1. You mean like frequent mass shootings at centers of learning? I know, let’s give everyone in university the right to carry firearms. That way if someone starts firing, we can all join in the carnage in the classroom.

    1. I agree. I appreciate the perspective of this article, but his argument depends on the assumption that these people committing the shootings are lonely. I’m not convinced that’s the case. In the case of Columbine, it was latter discovered that the boys were not outcasts. I mean they had each other and had to have been pretty close to plan and carry this out together. I think something else is going on. But not isolating these people is a step because then maybe others would see the warning signs and something could be done before they carried out their disgusting shooting fantasies.

      1. @” it was latter discovered that the boys were not outcasts”

        I’m afraid you’re dead wrong on this. It’s pretty well established now the Columbine kids were bullied and were outcasts, e.g.:

        “One of Harris’ last journal entries read: “I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. And no don’t … say, ‘Well that’s your fault,’ because it isn’t, you people had my phone number, and I asked and all, but no. No no no don’t let the weird-looking Eric KID come along.”

        (Hey, that sounds exactly like what Rob Myers is saying.)

        Dylan Klebold said on the Basement Tapes, “You’ve been giving us shit for years.”

        (Hey again, that also sounds like what Rob Myers is saying.)

        “Accounts from various parents and school staffers describe the bullying that has been described as “rampant” at the school.[43] Nathan Vanderau, a friend of Klebold, and Alisa Owen, Harris’s eighth-grade science partner, reported that Harris and Klebold were constantly picked on. Vanderau noted that a “cup of fecal matter” was thrown at them.[44] “People surrounded them in the commons and squirted ketchup packets all over them, laughing at them, calling them faggots,” Brooks Brown says. “That happened while teachers watched. They couldn’t fight back. They wore the ketchup all day and went home covered with it.””

        “”A lot of the tension in the school came from the class above us,” Chad Laughlin states. “There were people fearful of walking by a table where you knew you didn’t belong, stuff like that. Certain groups certainly got preferential treatment across the board. I caught the tail end of one really horrible incident, and I know Dylan told his mother that it was the worst day of his life.” That incident, according to Laughlin, involved seniors pelting Klebold with “ketchup-covered tampons” in the commons”

        Sure the two had each other, but only in that their common ground was that they were both outcasts – both had experienced that torment and loneliness.

        We see in the animal kingdom that if you maltreat an animal it can become aggressive and unpredictable. But apparently we believe we can maltreat humans. No, Rob Myers has hit the nail on the head.

      2. Bravo. Thanks!

        And to be clear, I only mean to say in all this that being nicer and inviting to each other, especially at a young age, can do wonders for our society. I don’t pretend this idea to be a panacea, but rather what I believe the best available option we have for the overwhelmingly majority of us.

        Psychopathy still exists, and there’s nothing to be done about that, but maybe we can reduce the number of sociopaths through a kinder, more inclusive American experience.

      3. In order to properly discuss the tragedy at Columbine, please read “Columbine” by Dave Cullen. His book is considered to be the most factual, most in-depth account of the Columbine shootings and their perpetrators, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Much of what gets reported in the media is false. As we all know too well, the media often opts for what is sexy over what is true. What Eric and Dylan did was heinous. And, they might not have been popular, but they did have friends. They weren’t loners. On a side note, The Trench Coat Mafia was a media fabrication as well! Cullen spent over a decade meticulously reasearching every aspect of the Columbine shootings. His book is the definitive guide to what really happened. It’s a fascinating read. Please take time to read it. I promise that you won’t be sorry that you did!

      4. “Columbine” by Dave Cullen is considered to be the most factual, most in-depth account of what actually happened on that tragic day and the days, months, and years that followed. Cullen spent a decade meticulously researching the shooting and its perpetrators. What Eric and Dylan did was heinous, but they were not loners, they did not specifically target jocks, and there was no Trench Coat Mafia. These are all media fabrications. Dave Cullen’s “Columbine” is a fascinating read. Please take the time. I promise that you won’t be sorry! Cullen’s book is the definitive guide to the Columbine shootings and the aftermath.

      5. @Matt and @Angela,

        The best way to get insight into the Columbine kids’ motivations is to actually read what they themselves wrote and said … we don’t need to sit and guess what their motives were, because they told us, in plain English, why they did it. E.g. in addition to what I’ve already mentioned, Eric Harris also wrote the following:

        “Whatever I do people make fun of me, and sometimes directly to my face. I’ll get revenge soon enough.”

        Could that be ANY clearer?

        He also wrote: “Thats where a lot of my hate grows from, the fact that I have practically no selfesteem, especially concerning girls and looks and such. therefore people make fun of me… constantly”

        He also wrote, and this is ESPECIALLY telling: “Once I finally start my killing .. there are probably about 100 people max in the school alone who I dont want to die”

        Wait, what? Read that again. He WANTED some to live. If he was just killing randomly, why would he *want* a specific 100 or so to live? There must be *something* those ‘100 people max’ people had done differently toward him … and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out, these 100 or so people were the ones who treated him with at least some kindness. He didn’t kill randomly – he was selective, and he was keeping track of those who had treated him kindly.

        Sure they had a small group of friends – but they were also generally the geeks/nerds/outcasts – obviously they were severely bullied and humiliated on a long-term basis and were obviously outcasts at the school – the Jeff Kass in the CNN article Matt links is *blatantly* lying where he claims the kids don’t mention bullying/isolation, as one can easily find multiple references to the bullying by simply reading Eric Harris’ journal (go on, the journal is online, it’s trivial to refute the CNN article with five minutes of reading the journal). Instead of dishonest third-hand accounts who have some motivation to falsely perpetuate the idea that these kids weren’t bullied and weren’t outcasts, read the kids’ own words.

    2. Excellent point, not to mention the fact that this whole bit about ‘isolated, lonely people’ is a gross generalization. Some of these shooters have been extremely anti-social, rejecting the overtures of people who’ve tried to be friendly and lashing out at others who are just going about what most of us consider to be normal routines.

      1. I would like to find out how much of that “rejecting the overtures of people who’ve tried to be friendly” came as a result of years of cynicism building up.

        When one is bullied, it is easy for that person to develop a distrust of the motives of those who try to reach out.

        I know. I have been there. I have had a few of my peers pretend to be friendly with me at first, only to betray my trust later down the road.

    3. I think (having lived there) europe is a little different with regards to it’s views about community. The US is a much more transient society, we live with far more strangers among us than more traditionally settled countries. Here I think it’s much easier to be that person that “keeps to himself” and goes unnoticed. Don’t make the mistake so many others do of bad comparisons, the ie “but these guys don’t have the same problem” fallacy. They aren’t us, and we aren’t them. Comparisons of that kind are of limited use in that regard. Now, if another country had a similar problem AND found an innovative way to solve it or reduce it’s impact, then I think it is worth looking into comparative issues to at least find inspiration for a solution or at least being able to mitigate the issue.

      1. We need to treat causes, not symptoms. Even if you could by magic keep guns away from potential shooters, that would do absolutely nothing to ease the loneliness and torment of the kids currently being maltreated in every school across the US, still today. In fact it would be worse, as it would be easier for everyone to ignore their loneliness and pain, having happily plastered over a symptom.

    4. Dave,

      You’re correct. The US is not the only nation with lonely isolated folks. But, we are the only country on the planet that glorifies gun violence in all media, protects them with laws, and denies that anything meaningful can be done. That AND we have lonely isolated people…There’s the toxic cocktail.

      1. VP Biden, when he’s not advising us to shoot at possible, yet un identified home invaders through closed doors, has explained that the federal government “doesn’t have the time” to prosecute those who lie on the form 4473 when purchasing a firearm. Lying on that form is a felony btw.

        Quite often I see firearms charges plea bargained away in criminal cases. These charges would significantly increase jail time if successfully prosecuted in most cases.

        Wouldn’t it be “meaningful” for the Feds to at least enforce present law before clamoring for more laws? It seems to me anyway, the government really isn’t serious about fighting crimes involving guns. Demonizing the NRA and vilifying gun owners, yes. Fighting crime, no.

    5. You’re partially right, there is something deeper. If we do this along with not desensitizing us to violence as we’ve been doing for so long then we could see a change.

    6. Family values in the US aren’t the same as they are in Europe. They were at one point, but now they’re not. You can’t even punish your child any more without getting a visit from child protective services. When I was younger, if I did something wrong, I knew what was going to happen, so at a certain point, I learned that if I did something I wasn’t supposed to do, I would receive a beating, but not to the point of abuse. Believe me, I didn’t like it one bit, but I am who I am today because of it. I don’t break any laws and am glad to have been raised in a traditional European way. Today kids do whatever they want and suffer zero consequences. Then they grow up to think that they can do whatever they want because they’ve never been taught boundaries.

      This isn’t even touching upon the mental health aspect of this. Mental health meds account for roughly 30% of the meds that are prescribed in the US. Is it that we’re better at diagnosing mental illness, or diagnosing mental illness when it isn’t there? The vast majority of mass shooters have been on some form of mental illness medication. It’s interesting how the focus isn’t on that, but rather on banning guns outright. I’m a gun owner, a responsible, sane one. I’ve never once fantasized or even seriously considered killing people. That thought has never even entered my mind, not even once. Is that a product of my upbringing? I believe it is.

      We also have to take a closer look at the role of entertainment in the American way of life. Also looking at how we portray “being normal”. Most of these mass shooters are loners. Most of these kids probably fall under the “introvert” spectrum of the personality scale. Combine introversion with feelings of being inadequate because they don’t fit into the mould of what a teenage American male should be, the feelings of depression from that perception, and the subsequent meds that are administered, and we can begin to see how this unfolds.

      This is a complex problem that has to do more with the American way of life as it’s currently known than anything to do with guns. Blaming guns is the easy, lazy way of addressing this problem. But that’s typical of American’s these days. Always looking for the lazy way of doing things. I hate to say that, but being born and raised here gives me the right to criticize my fellow countrymen.

      1. Except that every study has shown that corporal punishment is not actually effective in curbing a child’s behavior, and, for the icing on the cake, actually increases the child’s proclivities to be violent himself.

        So aside from the fact that more beatings will do the exact opposite of what you said, I’m totally with you.

    7. It’s the media that pumps these shootings out! so much to the point where a child or disturbed person see’s it and thinks yeah this is what I need to do to get attention or help. What people need to do is talk to their kids everyday make sure they are ok.. Lock up guns at home secure is the only way they don’t get in to hands they don’t need to be in.. I don’t have any but this is what I would or know how best to stop this on my end..

    8. Seriously? No shit. Let’s keep arguing about this or just simply…SAY HELLO TO SOMEONE WHO LOOKS LONELY and teach kids the same thing. That’s all this article is suggesting. No shit there’s something else going on in the US. Crikey.

      1. That is it Lorie. People get so entrenched in their own agenda. It is ludicrous to think mass shootings evolved from one problem. Reaching out to one another may not be the cure all, but just think, if just one person is thwarted from committing a mass murder that saved your family…is it worth the effort?

      2. I’m a loner. There’s nothing wrong with me, I’m just an introvert: it’s a normal variation of human personality. If strangers start talking to me I feel really uncomfortable, especially if they start asking personal questions like “How’s your day been?”; if they persist I feel panicky and wonder what their agenda is and why they won’t leave me alone. Sometimes I have to be what they think of as rude in order to shake them off, when to me their intrusiveness is what’s rude.

        I hate the way whenever someone commits a bizarre crime the media always point out that the person is a ‘loner’; it makes it look as if we’re all dangerous nutcases, when it’s just that social contact just doesn’t suit us.

        Yes, be nice, don’t bully, stick up for people being bullied; but extros, don’t try to force your way of life onto the rest of us.

    9. There is…the fall-all-over-themselves-for-a-twisted-story media and there constant drum beat when one of these happens. They are fostering the behavior. Even recent communication found by dead shooters has said as much, looking to be deadlier and more famous than the last guy. Also, I’d suggest that handing out psychotropic drugs like Pez ain’t exactly helping the problem.

    10. I think you make a valid point Dave. As a lifelong gun owner, AND one of the awkward folks mentioned, I don’t disagree with anything Myers says. What I do wonder about is just why I never had an inclination to go on a shooting spree, or fantasize about doing so, or ever even consider shooting any of my major tormentors. At 72 yoa, I can look back and say “it was a different time”, and, yes, it was. The things I can’t explain are the changes that have occurred since that “time”, because there were always we outsiders, “loners”, and, especially back then, many of us were armed; yet it wasn’t, really, until Charles Whitman climbed the Univ. of Texas tower in 1966 that mass shooting in the current mold began. I do agree with Myers’ philosophy of inclusion, at the very least it couldn’t hurt; and yet, I can’t get away from the idea that other things are being missed, and, unable to qualify those “things”, I think we have to take all the measures suggested AND keep searching for all the missing links to clearly understanding this present behavior. It has always appeared to me that the analogy of banning guns and the clear failure of prohibiting alcohol in this country (or recreational drugs) should occur to those who propose repealing the 2nd Amendment, banning and confiscating all guns.

      1. I really like your comment but I feel compelled to add that I haven’t heard rallying for 2nd amendment appeal or banning and confiscating of guns. Just, let’s try something else. If what we currently have on the books isn’t working, let’s do some things differently.

      2. We brought guns to school to work on in shop. There were guns in pickup trucks in the school parking lot as many of us hunted after school on the way home.

        No shootings occurred.

        Maybe someone took the time to make us understand “Thou shalt not kill.”

        Maybe someone just took the time to care.

      3. Your perspective is really interesting. Do you think it could be increasing economic stratification or food additives/gmos/pesticides? I’ve done intense studies on a similar question and these are the hypotheses that stand up.

      1. Way to completely misinterpret the numbers. The one shooting in Norway was arguably a terrorist attack, certainly not a school-shooting like the ones deign discussed in this thread.

      2. Norway had ONE mass shooting that bounced the stats. Normally, zilch. Small country, one event blasts the percentages per capita. Lies, lies and statistics.

      3. @Pat The Norway shooter was badly abused by his mother so I think it is stil apt; I suspect that is more the root cause than politics.

      1. There’s a difference between a lonely 12 year old who has been ol isolated and could become a sociopath, and a person who has made it to that point some years later.
        It isn’t my intention to confuse isolated people with sociopathic mass shooters, merely stating that if anything can be done, today, by all of us, being mindful of exclusions is a good start. No intended disrespect to ostracized parties out there.

      2. Why does the author feel the need to add “and you’re not gonna like it” to the title? You’re not gonna like being nice to people who are lonely, who are different? That is hardly the right message.

    11. I believe people should be held responsible for their firearms, background checks should be done on all handguns and some assault weapons and registered to the owner. No more sales without some kind of track. When a gun is used it goes back to the owners responsibility. There are to many untrackable guns out there.

      1. I take it you are not a gun owner or you would know that those are already required. And as for untracked guns… the Federal Gov’t has the record on that or did you not hear about Obama’s Fast & Furious blunder along with all the USA made weapons he handed to the Libyan Rebels, the Syrian Rebels, and the Iraqi military that are now in the hands of isis because of his idiotic foreign policies. ( I refer to it as Treason!!)

    12. It has lots to do with a culture of violence we’ve fostered in the U.S I think. Not the guns or the weapons themselves, but the violence that we’ve glorified as a society. Also, Europe is a very violent place. Its a lie to believe its “safer” just because they don’t have the same access to guns.

      They may not have the school shootings the U.S sees, which is great, but their criminals have adapted to different forms of crime that are just as potent. Instead of killing 10 people in one event, they have higher rates of stabbings and knife crime that often goes unsolved. So that’s lead to those in England creating a massive system of cameras to monitor most of the roads and streets in the city, and allowed police to randomly search and pat down people at will.

      There is a trend. Europe is slowly losing the freedoms that it once enjoyed, while granting its government much farther reaching powers over the population in my opinion. America is simply walking down a different path, with its own pros and cons.

    13. In a way you are correct it must be something about us. First and foremost is press coverage lets face it big citys are Democrat big media is based from larger citys and staffed with city people. Leading to the huge agenda of turning every single incident into a political campaign. Like outside of Utah pretty much extremely limited coverage of a shooting that took place at mall. That had a person use their concealed weapon to take out shooter. Top it off the few articles that did pop up made it sound as if it was a responding cop. While he was a cop he was off duty using a weapon he only had because of his civilian concealed carry permit.

      Top it off with other countrys being for the most part around the size of one of our states and less in limelight. We are the loud kid and other places are just so much smaller that. Its easy to go well the UK hasnt had a shooting when its barely bigger than minnesota. Again there is also a agenda while people bash the usa for wanting stronger border protection. Most of europe has a system like e-verify but not just for jobs but to rent a house as well. Combined with harsh laws huges fines prison time for even first time offenders.

      As for the social aspects of why we are different than other countrys is we are radically racially different . But top it off with our learning experience I think us schools are more of a social event than other countrys from frats/ to sorority we have plenty of legitimate ways to ostracize and create hierarchy. But throw in fact we are mental illness stupid society. Aka the only time we talk about it is when were calling someone crazy. Or talking about ways to penalize people for mental illness. (yeah I am sure thats going to want people to seek help).

      But a big thing is our “mass homicides” are a blip I mean police kill 3-4 times as many people as that. As for the big thing behind homicide it is specifically our drug situation in us we have demand for them and harsh laws. But if it were not for drug related homicides we would be in one of the lowest homicide category’s in world.Seriously between japan and switzerland so if you are worried about high homicide rate. Avoid drugs and those that use them and you are once again in one of safest countrys.

    14. The premise of taking personal initiative is completely valid, but it does not disprove the effectiveness of sane gun policy, like the author seems to imply.

      Good idea, but super slanted presentation.

    15. Really? This is an article about being compassionate to those who are lonely and isolated. No, we’re not the only country with lonely, isolated people but exercising a little compassion can go a long way! I agree with the author; we all need to do our share and the world will be a much better place!

    16. I agree Dave, I have suffered from depression for 20 some years and I am 53 years old. What you don’t understand is there are so many kinds of mental illness. My depression is the type that I would hurt or kill myself before I would hurt anyone ever at all. I stay in my home alone and in the dark thinking that someone might see me. I even when I would once in a while if someone pulled into our place I would go hide in the bathroom so they didn’t know I was anywhere around. There are so many types of mental illness and around this area I live in or county I live in I would hate to say how many people save committed suicide and not hurt anyone but themselves. I would say when I was an EMT there was at least 15 to 20 people who did commit suicide so please stop saying do something about mental illness unless you have been in those shoes! I will keep praying so that someone can figure out how to stop these mass shootings! God might take care of the situation for all of us!! Just be praying everyone!

      1. Oh Carol! Hugggs! I truly think that depression is caused by one’s life experiences, or at least one of the causes. I was bullied all thru grammar school, was never told how to do anything by my parents, was kept in the dark about everything, even though I had 4 older sisters, and was always forced to wear my sister’s hand-me-downs. In other words, I never had my own identity. My parents thought that children should be seen and not heard. I got punished for being loud when I was outside playing. We NEVER went out to eat ANYWHERE! I was 8 when my grandpa died and we went out to dinner/lunch for the very first time. We were served soup and I gathered up all the crackers and was enjoying my soup when my mom said…”don’t fill up on that….you will spoil your appetite”. I said, “there’s more”? EVERYONE laughed at me. There were MANY times like this in my life.

        I was NEVER treated like a person….not even till this day. I never got credit for anything. I was hit in the legs in grammar school by a boy who’s desk faced mine. He took the rung of the wooden chair and hit me in the legs. I dare not let out a scream, nor tell the nun, nor tell my mother, because I would be singled out….probably have my desk moved right next to the nun’s.

        I’ve had a series of abusive boyfriends. If I had access to a gun, I’d probably be in jail now! My first boyfriend was wonderful. He went to Eastern, Illinois University and was good friends with Jimmy John. Yes, the infamous “Jimmy John”. I was at Eastern when my boyfriend and Jimmy John and his cousin Mike made their first sub. Jimmy John’s father Jim gave Jimmy an ultimatum. Either you go in business, or I’ll drag you out of school. Hence, the restaurant business began. Actually, it is his father’s business!

        I got my father a job at Jimmy John’s father’s business. They welcomed him with open arms. Never did I hear a positive thing about the job I got him. Rather, I heara d about the long drive it was to go to and from work, even though, mind you, he was reimbursed for gas, and made good money in sales.

        My dad HATED playing. All he ever said was…”you are staying in because you did this wrong”, or “that’s because you are in a hurry to go out to play”! When he was washing the walls it was my duty to go and rinse out the heavy towels in the tub. My hands were too small to wring out the towels and when I brought them back to him, they were dripping. That was another punishment I had to endure.

        When my dad was at work, Jimmy John came in with a remote controlled car and zoomed it all around the office. This made my dad furious! You see, play was a dirty word to my dad. To this day, my dad hates Jimmy John! He comments every time we pass one of his restaurants!

        He is now 89 and I couldn’t have a better relationship with him if I tried. I simply forget the past. No sense going into it with him!

        I got married at 35, had a baby girl who died inside me when I was due in 5 days. I thought this too was my fault! I thought I didn’t deserve to have a baby! I felt incompetent. I thought it was my fault. It wasn’t until weeks later I found out the reason she died with an autopsy.

        Luckily, I had a healthy baby girl 2 years later. She is the most wonderful thing to have happened to me! I turned 40 the day I took her home. What a blur!

        I’m happy to say that I treat her NOTHING like I was treated! There is no question a child could ask that cannot be answered in an age-appropriate way. She is a great kid.

        The reason I’m telling you all of this is because I, too, have been diagnosed with depression. Ya think? Zoloft did me a world of good. It helped me figure out my life, which is a work in progress!

        I know for a fact that my mom, my grandma, my aunt and other family members suffered from depression! If only it was recognized back then, it could be treated. So, to say that “pills” are too often prescribed, is ludicrous! Perhaps for some, but for the most part, they are very effective!

        I pray that you get better. I don’t know if you are on meds or not, but life isn’t meant to be in isolation. You are missing out on your life! The old “grin and bear it” is no longer an option! I’m sorry that you are suffering. You are in my prayers.

    17. Except that this isn’t true .check the stats yourself. There are just as many mass shootings in Europe. Norway holds the record.

    18. Diversity plays a huge role in it. Because we’re so unlike one another, we’re afraid of each other, or as a culture we’re more concerned with minding our own business to avoid offending one another. Sure, loners exist elsewhere, but the cultural response outside the US is to do something about it.
      We are also selfish attention-mongers here. We all want to be famous and get noticed, and when we become obsessed with that idea and run into a wall, we snap.
      These are cultural nuances in our country that cannot be weeded out with legislation.

    19. Interesting how so many Europeans and Canadians care so much about US shootings, but not so much about Sharia law in their countries… and the rape, beatings, and abuse. You’re ignorant, and didn’t read one thing in this brilliant post. Meaningless posts from the soon to be conquered. Keep your nose out of American laws. We’ll keep ours out of yours.

    20. The US has a big pharma industry dictating healthcare. Meds prescribed by profit, not need. The side effects of psychotropic drugs are ignored because of liability issues. Why won’t MSM touch this?

  83. This is actually true – to an extent. There was a boy in our school that made a hit list, and the two people that weren’t on it were me and my sister, who just would say hi to him in the hallways every day. We didn’t even have to have full conversations. We would just say hi. That’s all it took.

    That being said, some of these couldn’t have been helped. That kid that shot the sorority house shot it up because the girls wouldn’t date him. If someone doesn’t want to date someone, they’re not going to simply so you won’t shoot up the place. Another kid stabbed a girl and killed her because she wouldn’t go to prom with him – she shouldn’t have to say yes to going to prom with someone she doesn’t want to go with because she’s afraid of getting killed. Those people that were in that church that was shot up – no amount of talking was going to get that kid to be talked out of his racist massacre.

    So yes, it’s a good thought, and in some situations would work, but others, it’s a bit too optimistic.

    1. At the point of their actions, no, being “nice” would have done nothing. It starts much much earlier-grade school, high school. These shooters blame others for their ordeal, then take it out on those they blame. Adam Lanza shot up a grammar school he hadn’t attended for years, but something in him blamed that place for his dismal existence. The kid in SC blamed blacks for his lack of a girlfriend or social life, so he shot blacks and those people took him in to pray as part of the group-too little too late.
      The blame is based on imaginary snubbing and rejection. It can be years before it surfaces but in every instance, from the kid in California who killed 6 people to the fired newsman in VA, they all blamed someone else for their dismal existence. Saying “hello” to that awkward kid doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a start.

    2. Fair enough. The author didn’t say that saying good morning to your neighbours would turn the country into Utopia. Just like exercise and a healthy diet doesn’t guarantee you’ll never get sick. He’s just pointing out that a healthier social environment will go farther towards mitigating these and other problems than all of the knee-jerk “someone other than me needs to do something to fix it” solutions combined.

    3. I went to school with a girl that was bullied beyond belief, especially on the bus! She no longer wanted to take the bus and decided to walk to a public bus. She would have to walk thru or by a small forest preserve, and got murdered. So, perhaps if someone, anyone would have been friendly with her, she would have been on the school bus!

  84. Very well written.! I have taken to heart some of the things you wrote here and will do my part to execute it in my small world. Thanks for the article. Stay safe out there.

  85. Thank you for posting this! I hope we can make it viral (I’ve already shared), this is the closest thing I’ve seen to a legitimate option in years. Thank you!

  86. I think your argument would be more effective if you stayed neutral on the issue of gun control. I’m referring to the last sentence of point #1. That’s where I quit reading and started skimming. That said, I believe you make a very good point about showing interest and compassion to those who might be isolated and lonely. However you can’t ignore the fact that countries with legitimate gun control don’t face this problem to the same degree—except, of course, in the world of FOX News.

  87. How about adding to that, that we stop giving these people exactly what they want. Endless press coverage for weeks at a time. One thing most of these shootings have in common is the shooter wants to be famous. And we’re giving them exactly that. Needing pics, names, family members, and the most idiotic thing of all……WHY??
    Let me let you in on a secret. If someone has it within them, to pick up a firearm and kill innocent children in a school. There is NO WHY on this earth, that’s going to make seance to a sane person. So all of this press coverage does what? It does absolutely nothing, except give the shooter everything they want. Coverage, publicity, and makes them a household name.
    Will it stop this? Not all. Do I blame the media for mass shootings? No. But I do believe they have a responsibility for enabling this to continue. Will it ever happen? No. They are to scared another station will get the headlines and breaking news and they will get left behind. There should be a gag order against releasing any shooters names or info. It serves no purpose except to enable. Just my ¢.02

      1. There is that, your right. But we sensor speech everyday in this country. The first has been degraded over a long period of time now. Have you seen the “free speech zones” at colleges. Speech is censored everyday when someone gets or may be offended.

    1. We need to eliminate the “cool” factor in these events. We need to show this for the ghastly, horrible, self centered, mindless act that it is.

  88. While I agree with the general perspective and that this might result in a reduction of violent incidences, it’s crucial to note that shootings are not just the result of isolation but also of mental illness. A prime example was the recent incident (sad that I don’t know where it occurred, because there have been so many shootings recently) where the homecoming king lured all of his close friends into the cafeteria and then opened fire. It’s a much larger problem than just connecting with another person. While banning guns may not be an answer – limiting access to them may be. How this can be accomplished? I won’t even pretend to know.

    1. As stated in the article, for obvious reasons, you are not going to be able to limit access to them any more than you can limit access to meth or any other damn thing that’s illegal……. Why limit the access of law abiding citizens to quell the actions of a handful of nutbags shooting up schools etc? Why limit my ability to protect myself from such a nutbag? Does not compute! BTW, Isolation is often times a symptom of depression etc. which I do believe qualifies as mental illness. These days I think, from what I have read, there seems to be a huge problem with depression and the inability to cope or the lack of learning how to cope with life. It isn’t easy. Let’s blame the gun though……….

  89. Well, in theory it seems like this is the answer, but it’s kind of like Bush’s thousands points of light. If we just wait for neighbor to minister to neighbor, history has proven this does NOT work. Reaching out to the isolated kid is scary. Believe me, I’ve lived more years than I care to admit with abusive father and husband trying to be the more of sanity in their insane world. Asking us to individually fix the problem is like asking the school children to fix the shooters coming into their schools.

    1. All it is asking is for us to exercise compassion for our fellow man. It’s certainly not a comparison to abuse victims being compassionate toward their abusers nor is it asking for the children, themselves to reach out to the shooters. Apparently, you missed the point. Just be kind to one another. That’s all.

    1. All banning of free gun zones is an infringement of the peoples right to keep and bear arms. This banning is a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment.The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment, and NO infringements are allowed against it! Whenever there is a law against gun ownership and it’s use, this law is an infringement.

  90. Like most suggested solutions, this one is good–as far as it goes. But it is not a comprehensive one by any means and the generalization about loneliness is not supported by the facts in all cases of mass shootings.

    It is entirely true that our culture (because in many ways it is the ultimate expression of the Protestant Reformation) focuses too much on the individual and thereby isolates all of us from each other. That may, in fact, be part of why we emphasize the “right” to own and use guns. But the proliferation of guns and other weapons of mass destruction (like automobiles, which also kill thousands every year) means that we have to decrease the number of weapons in circulation as well as deal with other underlying causes. The mutual reduction in nuclear weapons by the USA and the USSR-Russia, conducted by negotiation over the past decades, offers a path we can follow.

    1. Hmmm…. we have a problem with obesity in the US too. Is that because we have too many spoons or is it because of a lack of self control????

      1. Self control is a learned response. Anything “learned” requires a teacher–either living experience, or a mentor–so the problem of obesity like the problem of mass shootings begs the question, “why are not the shooters (or eaters) being taught the necessary self control before they encounter a myocardial infarction, lethal injection, or law enforcement bullet”?

    1. The ATF, as a representative of the U.S. and with authority from the National Firearms Act, can authorize the transfer of a machine gun to an unlicensed civilian. An unlicensed individual may acquire machine guns, with ATF approval. The transferor must file an ATF application, which must be completed by both parties to the transfer:

      -executed under penalties of perjury
      -both parties must reside in the same state as the individual
      -pay a $200 transfer tax to ATF
      -the application must include detailed information on the firearm and the parties to the transfer
      -the transferee must certify on the application that he or she is not disqualified from possessing firearms on grounds specified in law
      -the transferee must submit with the application (1) two photographs taken within the past year; and (2) fingerprints
      -the transferee must submit with the application (3) a copy of any state or local permit or license required to buy, possess, or acquire machine guns
      -an appropriate (local) law enforcement official must certify whether he or she has any information indicating that the firearm will be used for other than lawful purposes or that possession would violate state or federal law
      -the transferee must, as part of the registration process, pass an extensive Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background investigation.
      If ATF denies an application, it must refund the tax. Gun owners must keep approved applications as evidence of registration of the firearms and make them available for inspection by ATF officers.

      1. All of the above may in fact be in effect, but it ALL is an infringement of the right of the people to keep and bear arms, which is a violation of the U. S. Constitution by the ATF.

    2. Correct. They are highly regulated NFA items. Two year waiting list for a tax stamp. Also way beyond the reach of most American’s. On the low end they start at around $15,000 and that’s for a beater.

  91. I think this is a good start to addressing the problem, aka, engaging one another, making people feel that they are a part of a community… but at the same time I feel like the U.S. has been snowballing for some time now into the trend of mass shootings and there are several complicated issues which are intertwined within that problem.
    One of those issues is, in fact, women’s reproductive rights. Now I know some people are going to roll their eyes at this but I would like to point out that in Freakonomics the economist Steven Levitt points out a correlation between the rise of violent crime in the generations following abortion bans.
    When women are subjugated by laws which restrict access to birth control and abortion, more children are born into an economic climate which cannot support them.
    Look, we as Americans have fucked up by trying to take freedom of choice from women. If a woman does not believe she can support an infant within her own resources and wishes NOT to have that child – it should be her choice! Why is it right to tell her that she must bear a child and then force that child to live in a system that is already unsustainable? It makes NO sense. It’s like putting your finger in a crack in a dam and promising it won’t leak and THEN ordering more water to be dumped into the reservoir; you can’t hold your finger in that crack forever, it is not a sustainable solution.
    Here IS a sustainable solution: SUPPORT ABORTION/ REPRODUCTIVE SERVICES FOR WOMEN IN ALL 50 STATES!
    Stop the problem before it starts! PREVENT children and women from suffering within this broken system and being fed into the assembly line of birth > poverty > violent crime > imprisonment or death by allowing women TO MAKE THEIR OWN REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHCARE DECISIONS!
    Gee, then maybe we would be able to stave off homelessness (because of all those extra people who are NOT being born into economic hardship) as well as diminishing our nation’s carbon footprint, eliminating the extra cost of health care, food, housing, unemployment, etc, should I go on or have I said enough?
    Basically… just make the right policy decisions and you can prevent an entire host of other problems down the line. I really hope legislators are starting to see the benefit of supporting women. When you take freedom of choice from a woman, you are punishing her AND her child. Because you cannot promise that they will have access to a proper education (because our educational policies change every time we get a new president), you cannot promise that they will have food and housing resources (because every time a president wants to reduce the deficit they will first make cuts to welfare programs that support these children and their families AND WILL NOT TAX THE WEALTHY), and the only job opportunities available to them will be at minimum wage pay with no job security or benefits.
    If you are on the fence about what I’m saying or you think I’m full of bullshit, then let me tell you one more thing, won’t take but a moment:
    Between the 1970’s through the 1990’s women’s access to abortion became highly restrictive, allowing only certain types of procedures or not allowing Medicaid to support abortion services at all. So those children born to mothers who would have gotten an abortion otherwise in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s are now a large part of our population. That group includes Generation X, Generation Y, and the Millennials.
    Adam Lanza was 20 years old when he carried out the Sandy Hook shooting.
    Chris Harper-Mercer of the Umpqua shooting was 26. He literally was quoted in his manifesto as saying he had, “No job, no success, no life,” and that he was hated, “since the moment he arrived in this world.”

    My point being?
    If a woman does not want to become a mother then there is a hell of a good reason for her making that decision – BECAUSE IT IS HER DECISION. So we should respect that.
    I personally do not want to have kids because I was abused as a child and I don’t feel like I am mentally prepared to support another tiny, helpless person while I am trying to heal from the abuse laid down by my parents. Abuse is a cycle and it is carried from generation to generation. Violence pervades every aspect of American life because we do not see the connection.

    Here’s a citation for the info about abortion restrictions starting in the 70’s:
    http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/health-info/u-s-abortion-history/
    And a link to a People article for the Chris Harper-Mercer manifesto quote:
    http://www.people.com/article/oregon-shooting-chris-harper-mercer-said-he-was-born-bad

    1. I’m more inclined to think the widespread disregard for the value of human life has done more to encourage mass killings than any kind of population pressure you seem to think comes from slowing the carnage in the abortion industry.

  92. https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_race.jsp right here shows the number of people in jail for a crime, it shows percentage, as well as the actual number of people in jail for crimes, not just percent, since percent isn’t necessarily accurate example there is 2 of brand new race we’ll call it x, if one person of that race commits a crime then 50% is considered criminal. Compare that to the rest of the other percent and that’s a really high number.

      1. Try looking at Africa or South America. There are even youtube videos of crazy people killing 10+ people in a few minutes with a machete or knife.

      2. If someone attacks you or your family with a knife, do you think *you* have a right to defend yourself or your family? Or do you believe you must submit and let your attacker kill you?

  93. When shooters get nationwide coverage, it encourages other potential shooters to follow suit. We should do like old Russia…when a shooting occurs, remove the perpetrator without releasing his name and, if he survived, throw him into a cell to rot. Give them no publicity whatsoever.

  94. Great article; if I could add just one thing, it would be that the following is probably also a “contributing cause”:

    http://healthland.time.com/2011/01/07/top-ten-legal-drugs-linked-to-violence/

    “some antidepressants like Prozac — have also been linked to increase risk for violent, even homicidal behavior.

    A new study from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices published in the journal PloS One and based on data from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System has identified 31 drugs that are disproportionately linked with reports of violent behavior towards others”

    Still, the core problem is isolation, and even if we could stop school shootings by means of a hypothetical magic spell (or by laws), ALL that would do is allow us to conveniently forget and continue to ignore the large-scale suffering of the lonely and bullied. We need to figure out again what the word “community” really means, and implement this within our societies, and teach these values and practices to kids. Schools are currently part of the problem.

  95. It is really as simple as giving law enforcement the capabilities they need to successfully mitigate an active shooter incident and simultaneously protecting everyone inside the space.
    For more information on how this is happening right now in the state of Indiana. Please go to http://www.OurKidsDeserveIT.org

  96. Point 3 is incorrect. Fully automatic weapons are not banned. They are highly regulated NFA items but not banned. Also AR 15s are not full auto. That being said…… Good article

  97. And how do you explain Australia’s success when they banned guns?
    And why use the example that fully automatic guns are already banned, but then say banning anything doesn’t work? Which is it? Why not let people own nukes?

    The only way this is gonna change is when guns are outlawed. Everything else is just noise.

    1. Australia didn’t have a constitutional amendment affirming the right to bear arms. Plus, they had no entrenched culture for gun ownership as they didn’t have to fight a war for their independence. In line with that, they had few guns overall, maybe 3 million by some estimates.
      So, keeping score: a place with no protections for guns, no entrenched love of guns, and few guns to actually ban. Plus, the added political will to make the adjustment equals vastly different outcome.
      My points are that those conditions don’t exist here and to think otherwise is to lose the plot.

      You can’t put the genie in the bottle again. 300 million guns can’t and won’t disappear.

      Automatic weapons have been vastly banned since ’68 & ’86. There are legal exemptions, but for all intents and purposes, we’ll call them banned. Also, few existed overall to start with in the country.

      Banning something that’s legally guaranteed and in huge supply so as to be ubiquitous is useless. Banning private citizens from owning nukes will be pretty effective I think.

      1. It might be the case that if all gun ownership were controlled in a similar manner to the way ownership of fully automatic weapons is supposed to be controlled (the NRA has lobbied against the details of ATF control of fully automatics since before it was the ATF–current name created in 1972) there could be a reduction in the number of gratuitous shootings. Heavy stress on “might be the case”.

    2. A “success” at what, at violating the rights of millions of people to own some means of self-defense, forcibly leaving them defenseless? I wouldn’t call that a success at all.

    3. I don’t consider gun bans successful when a) violent crime increases, b) there are still mass shootings (Sydney Cafe in April 2015). Lack of means to provide self-defense and and criminals with guns does not equal success.

    4. Did you read the article? This kind of “just outlaw 200+ million guns” nonsense is like saying that the solution to illegal immigration is to just deport all 11 million people — irrational, fantasy thinking.

  98. Some folks here seem to imply or say “Lonely outcasts? Bullshit. They were evil.” Okay, that may be true for some of these guys. So what’s your solution to the existence of evil people?

    Because if your solution is to take the means of self-defense away from the evil people AND the many, many more law-abiding citizens, then it doesn’t make any sense. When the evil use the tools of defense against the good, that is all the more reason for the good to be able to defend themselves.

  99. There does seem to be a racial component to this: it seems to be white teens who are mainly affected. So the question becomes why? White teens didn’t used to do this, so something changed. Something genetic? Doubtful. Something in society? Yep. That’s where I’d look. So what changed in the schools for white guys? Very simple: they were told that they are scum of the Earth. They are by their very nature, racist, homophobic, sexist, bigoted and and responsible for every single ill of the world. Every bit of social justice is about making white guys pay. The vast majority of the white guys saddled with this garbage either reject it and just endure the reverse barbarism or they internalize it as white guilt. But a few, those who are lonely, those who feel put upon, those who realize that they are damned if they stay silent (loneliness) and damned if they speak out (criticized, ostracized, expelled from school, etc.). These few get angry – very angry. So they lash out. And the world then has a convulsive gun-gasm and we have to deal with all the BS all over again until the next isolated, ticked off white teen goes off the rails. And the solution to their problem will never be accepted in today’s society. Stop using white guys as scapegoats. Can’t do that. So expect more of the same. If not with guns, then with knives or whatever else they can get to lash out.

    1. ….Or, as they are taught to get everything they want BECAUSE they’re straight white males (if ya just work hard enough!) and realize that that is NOT how the world works they get pissed off. Which is why they kill girls who reject them, jocks who won’t befriend them, and teachers who won’t give them an A. Reverse barbarism. Jeez, take your fedora elsewhere.

      1. Your comment was quite accurate up until the “fedora” part. Stop using Internet memes to try to augment your point, it just makes you look like a twat that came from 4chan. Stick to the actual point on target, you have proved that you do a good job of it. Adding the ‘fedora’ meme in there just makes you look like an angsty teen.

  100. Let’s face facts. Some humans by nature are violent. Look back to Biblical days, Roman times and so-forth. We will never stop violent acts! Some are destined to kill. A sad reality. Humans are one of the only animal species that kill for the sake of it, whereas most other animals only kill for food. Will better family structures, early age diagnosis of mental health conditions, zero tolerance for bullies in schools all help? Possibly, but, in my opinion less media attention or no media attention, less violence on TV and in video games, (these kids become accustomed to blood and guts and it does not have an impact on them), keeping kids busy outside of school, stronger family values, stronger communities with more family involvement, learning to care for others feelings and helping those in need at a young age just may help. I am no expert by any means, but having raised kids and helping to raise grand kids opens your eyes to many things. One thing for sure, times are a changing and we all need to do what we can to make our towns safer. No matter how little, every little thing each of us can do to try to improve will eventually turn things around. But, you have to actually get out there and do something! No more talk, we need action.🙂

  101. I read the article and found it interesting. Bottom line it could possibly save someone from feeling this was their only choice but even if it did nothing but make people more aware of feelings of others it’s a great idea.

  102. I liked this article. I’ve read through most of the comments and I feel there is one thing that is missing and nobody seems to want to talk about it. If you ask me, I want to know where the parents are. Growing up, my mom was all up in my and my siblings business. If we were going to plot a mass killing, my mom would have known long before we would have written down the first name to take. Parent need to talk to there children, be involved in there lives, know what’s going on with there lives. If your kid is an outcast, and they don’t want to talk about it, don’t chalk it up as they are just shy or its just a stage, find them the help they need. Find things to get them involved in to make them feel welcomed in, something. Parents need to get to know there children. There is to much denial inparenting, saying my kid wouldn’t do that, or its just a stage or he’ll grow out of it. Take responsibility for you children. And same goes on the other side of the fight. Know if your child is the one provoking, bullying these other children. Forcing them out. Those parents are just as bad, once again claiming kids will be kids or its just a stage. I agree with this article, yes, we need to open up and just say hi. Include them in the games, whatever it may be, but that starts with parenting, and being a parent to your children. But hey, who wants to do that. Who wants to admit there child may have an issue. That would be embarrassing. It’s easier to ignore the issue and pretend it’s a stage.

  103. There is something else you can do, too. Since almost 100% of the mass shooters were white progressive liberal democrats on anti-psychotic medication and voted for Obama and since all the Chicago shooters are blacks between the ages of 15-30… prohibit anybody who voted for Obama from owning a gun if they are black or white and young and male. Then, if they are found with a gun, shoot them in the face with their own gun in accordance with the Sharia law Obama wants to put into America. Problem solved.