Why now?

Stocker

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This shooting happened last night at a church in Ames. I called my brother about 10 pm because our childhood neighbor is the youth pastor at this church. The shooter had a history of assault and threats against one of the victims yet was out awaiting a hearing.

Another tragedy stemming from domestic violence. I’m a firm believer that any man who lays a hand on a woman, or even threatens a woman deserves a severe ass kicking.


IMO ass kickings are under utilized.
 

BrentD

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This shooting happened last night at a church in Ames. I called my brother about 10 pm because our childhood neighbor is the youth pastor at this church. The shooter had a history of assault and threats against one of the victims yet was out awaiting a hearing.

Just 12 miles away from our place. Sad news to be sure.
 

wllm

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This post is NOT about gun control, the 2A, black scary guns, hardening schools, or arming teachers. This post is an attempt to share thoughts about why indiscriminate public "mass" violence appears to be happening more frequently. If you feel the need to argue about all the things this post is NOT about, please take it to another place.

As for arguments that this post is not about hunting and therefore should be deleted - lots of discussions on this forum are not about hunting. We have discussed mental health in many threads. Wept with fellow members as they shared mental health issues with kids and suicide. It is appropriate that we do so. This is a community - shaped around public land hunting, yes - but a community nonetheless, and communities talk about all kinds of pressing issues. Further, HT users are largely gun owners and none of us or our families are immune from our growing mental health crisis. Discussions about guns and mental health are appropriate (and even necessary) amongst hunting families.

So, to my thoughts.

I have struggled with, "why does it seem worse now?" Many hypotheses have been floated, but the studies end up showing little correlation and no clear causation. Each may be a small straw in the bigger bundle, but none have been able to explain the increase. These include in part:

Increase in single-parent families
Increase in the number of firearms in the country
Increase in the perceived military nature of firearms
Violence in movies
Violence in music
Violence in video games
Loss of religious beliefs
Poverty
Drugs
Self-aggrandizement
Lack of opportunity
The internet causing isolation
Increase in school bullying
Excessive individualism
Decay of the mental health system
Background check "loopholes"
Increased perceived "gun culture"
etc

But if none of these actually correlate well with known shootings/shooters how do we make sense of a clear increase?

Another thought was triggered by my youngest daughter who is taking a social psychology class this semester. She was sharing some interesting observations about the "Riot Effect". The riot effect is the premise that in a given population a very very small percentage would be the first one to throw a rock through a window and start a riot, but a still small but meaningfully larger percentage of a population would join a riot if they saw the first person throw a rock through a window ("second rioters"). Further, a still small but larger percentage would join the riot if they saw 3 or 4 people already in progress ("third rioter"), etc etc etc until you reach a point where the proverbial "average person on the street" is grabbing a looted TV. That at some point, each person will participate in "mob behavior" if enough are already doing it. This is not "copy cat" behavior or "attention-seeking behavior", it is more of a threshold to anti-social action in a "mob setting".

In the case of school shootings now vs the 1970s, could the riot effect explain the difference? In a world with very limited communications about local events in other parts of the country (the 70s) would the very very low frequency of "first rioters" act as a natural cap on such activity? That only a few people in the country would act like this alone, and when they did act, a lack of national immersive coverage would fail to engender the larger number of "second rioters" to act. Not due to lack of "publicity", but rather via the failure to create a sense of common connection/mob for potential "second rioters".

It is a premise that a very very few people are pre-disposed to acting as a lone active shooter/bomber, but that a bigger number (while still small) would do it if they saw others -- and with ubiquitous internet and TV coverage of these shooters, do the "second" or "third rioters" now feel as if they are part of a "group/mob" of the disaffected - an event that wasn't likely in the 70s, where local news was local and national news was on tv for a half-hour a day.

This theory suggests that people haven't changed - the number of pre-disposed first rioters/shooters is the same as always, as is the number of "second rioters/shooters", but the 24/7 news cycle is creating a "virtual mob" that triggers latent "second" and "third rioters/shooters" so to speak.

There is a fairly solid body of evidence that mass violence events tend to come in clusters and that many shooters/bombers in recent years are very aware and tuned into prominent shooters of the recent past such as Eric Harris.

Who knows the truth, but at the moment, this seems to me like the best explanation I have heard to date. And sadly one that offers no simple solution or easy source of unilateral blame.

These would be my guess.

Drugs
Self-aggrandizement
Lack of opportunity
The internet causing isolation
Increase in school bullying
Excessive individualism

I would add excessive and flagrant use of vigilantly/paramilitary imagery in the marketing of firearms.
 

Farmerj

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Mass killings are not something that only recently popped up. They are part of the human condition. We will never see the day were the risk of one drops to zero. The risk presently is very nearly zero for any one school, person, town, workplace. But the risk is not zero, it never will be zero.


That is a large reason why I have come to think that limiting the carnage that these rare events occur, is as good as we are going to be able to accomplish. In many ways we are behaving better than back in any imagined past.

I will add that if you compare the homicide rates in the USA to most European countries, we are far more violent, by close to an order of magnitude. Our homicide rate is comparable to Ukraine, before the Russian invasion.
People want their utopia though…
 

BrentD

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That has to be shocking Brent, we don’t think about these tragedy’s hitting that close to home, until they do.
Exactly. I was pretty stunned, as was my wife. We know nothing about that church or the two ISU student victims or the shooter. But when it is that close, it does make a difference somehow. Ames has had a run of crimes lately, including another shooting last weekend - just not a fatal one, as chance would have it. There was a foreign female student knifed to death on a golf course by a homeless person a couple years ago and this is just not something that can happen here. In betwee, there have been a few other similar crimes. Things are not so copacetic in central Iowa these days.

I know nothing about the motivational details of this crime, but in the context of this thread, I can't help but wonder if all the shooting in the news from elsewhere in the country could have spurred the shooter to choose last night as "why NOT right now" moment.

I do think the media has some role in this, but we, as consumers of the media also have to work to the numbers and not be easily manipulated by this as I think may be the case - is there really a big change in the amount of this now? And if so, has the media caused some of it simply by ceaselessly going on and on about it. Right now, radio and internet news services and talk shows of all flavors are talking about this nonstop. Experts of all stripes are being asked to weigh in and are glad to do so. It has removed Putin from the headlines to a large degree. It was time to move on to a new topic and along came Buffalo and Uvalde and off we go.

To much the same effect, I think George Floyd's murder has had such an impact because of its timing. Many other black men have been egregiously murdered by cops before this, and yet, this time, much more than any other, there was this huge and lasting huge effect on society. Why? I don't really know, but I think, perhaps, the news was ready for something else to replace whatever had been the current topic of the moment then.

Just some random thoughts from fly-over country.
 

Gellar

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Exactly. I was pretty stunned, as was my wife. We know nothing about that church or the two ISU student victims or the shooter. But when it is that close, it does make a difference somehow. Ames has had a run of crimes lately, including another shooting last weekend - just not a fatal one, as chance would have it. There was a foreign female student knifed to death on a golf course by a homeless person a couple years ago and this is just not something that can happen here. In betwee, there have been a few other similar crimes. Things are not so copacetic in central Iowa these days.

I know nothing about the motivational details of this crime, but in the context of this thread, I can't help but wonder if all the shooting in the news from elsewhere in the country could have spurred the shooter to choose last night as "why NOT right now" moment.

I do think the media has some role in this, but we, as consumers of the media also have to work to the numbers and not be easily manipulated by this as I think may be the case - is there really a big change in the amount of this now? And if so, has the media caused some of it simply by ceaselessly going on and on about it. Right now, radio and internet news services and talk shows of all flavors are talking about this nonstop. Experts of all stripes are being asked to weigh in and are glad to do so. It has removed Putin from the headlines to a large degree. It was time to move on to a new topic and along came Buffalo and Uvalde and off we go.

To much the same effect, I think George Floyd's murder has had such an impact because of its timing. Many other black men have been egregiously murdered by cops before this, and yet, this time, much more than any other, there was this huge and lasting huge effect on society. Why? I don't really know, but I think, perhaps, the news was ready for something else to replace whatever had been the current topic of the moment then.

Just some random thoughts from fly-over country.
It’s not just central Iowa. We’ve had some stuff in the Driftless too. A 40 something murdered his dad last fall by Decorah, just this week a man in his 20s robbed three houses at knife point by Waukon. Waterloo and Cedar Rapids have shootings everyday. People don’t fear the consequences.

I do believe the news, all news outlets, play a huge roll in the problem.
 

RobG

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Those who blame the "increased" murder rates on lack of God, family values, maybe haven't seen the data because murder rates have been trending down for 30 years. These mass shooting occurrences are up, but they are swamped out by all the other violence. I think the mass shootings are more common now because of the easy access to those types of weapons coupled with the copy-cat mentality when one deranged individual sees how a mass shooting devastates a nation. However, as Nameless's podcast points out, the number of people killed in mass shootings isn't even a rounding error.

(You can find this and similar graphs all over the net. I think the most widely accepted correlation is removing lead from the environment.)



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Hunt&FishCO

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Thought provoking thread - the lack of attention parents may have to pick up on the little things is an interesting theory.

This isn’t new - but the “celebrity” of the shooter/their trial/their background/ last words and what is accessible to the media given the cookie crumps of social media really isn’t helping the cause in my opinion. This is a relatively new phenomenon and the general public can’t help themselves from tuning in, it’s a vicious cycle because the media just feeds us more because it’s “engagement”.

This is fuel to the aforementioned ‘riot effect,’ and the copycat shooters who want to be remembered for ‘something.’
 

VikingsGuy

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To much the same effect, I think George Floyd's murder has had such an impact because of its timing. Many other black men have been egregiously murdered by cops before this, and yet, this time, much more than any other, there was this huge and lasting huge effect on society. Why? I don't really know, but I think, perhaps, the news was ready for something else to replace whatever had been the current topic of the moment then.

Being just a few miles from ground zero, my thought is that the fact that it took 9 minutes for a cop to kill him while 3 other cops watched and dozens videotaped made this feel different. And all for a non-violent crime and zero implication that the officers or bystanders faced any threat at all. Most of the cop killings I am familiar with are "bang bang" situations and I think most people (rightly so) give LEO a lot of benefit of the doubt in those immediate life or death situations - there really was no excuse in this situation - we love our black and white narratives (no pun intended). Add to that the cop was generally known by the community to be a bad cop who routinely crossed the line.

And to wander further from the OP, what's up with all the focus on pedophiles. They are truly horrible and deserve a special place in hell, but why all the sudden attention? Hell, most of the country ignored the Catholic church's dissemination and later coddling of hundreds of pedophiles for decades.
 

longbow51

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Being just a few miles from ground zero, my thought is that the fact that it took 9 minutes for a cop to kill him while 3 other cops watched and dozens videotaped made this feel different. And all for a non-violent crime and zero implication that the officers or bystanders faced any threat at all. Most of the cop killings I am familiar with are "bang bang" situations and I think most people (rightly so) give LEO a lot of benefit of the doubt in those immediate life or death situations - there really was no excuse in this situation - we love our black and white narratives (no pun intended). Add to that the cop was generally known by the community to be a bad cop who routinely crossed the line.

And to wander further from the OP, what's up with all the focus on pedophiles. They are truly horrible and deserve a special place in hell, but why all the sudden attention? Hell, most of the country ignored the Catholic church's dissemination and later coddling of hundreds of pedophiles for decades.
I think because of the push, by Disney and others (see Libs of Tik Tok) to push sexuality, particularly gay and trans sex, on very young kids. And to change pedophile to "minor attracted person". And to mainstream experimental off-label use of hormones to block puberty with absolutely no clue as to long-term side effects.

And, for decades we eschewed genital mutilation as barbaric, and now it's seen as a rite of passage.

So that's my guess.
 

VikingsGuy

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I think because of the push, by Disney and others (see Libs of Tik Tok) to push sexuality, particularly gay and trans sex, on very young kids. And to change pedophile to "minor attracted person". And to mainstream experimental off-label use of hormones to block puberty with absolutely no clue as to long-term side effects.

And, for decades we eschewed genital mutilation as barbaric, and now it's seen as a rite of passage.

So that's my guess.
I am no fan of sex, gender and sexuality being a primary theme of the public discourse, but your understanding of the issue is likely overblown. The use of hormones to block puberty is extremely small - far from mainstream. And even so, I am not sure how the increased claim of "pedophile" correlates to a sub 1% of the population gender issue.
 

longbow51

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I am no fan of sex, gender and sexuality being a primary theme of the public discourse, but your understanding of the issue is likely overblown. The use of hormones to block puberty is extremely small - far from mainstream. And even so, I am not sure how the increased claim of "pedophile" correlates to a sub 1% of the population gender issue.
Well, the President of the United States is willing to let kids go hungry if schools won't let boys into girl's bathrooms and showers so maybe yeah, I'm a little more concerned than you.

And I tried to offer a reason why pedophilia might be such a concern now, but find it's just another excuse to argue.
 
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Irishman

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I think because of the push, by Disney and others (see Libs of Tik Tok) to push sexuality, particularly gay and trans sex, on very young kids. And to change pedophile to "minor attracted person". And to mainstream experimental off-label use of hormones to block puberty with absolutely no clue as to long-term side effects.

And, for decades we eschewed genital mutilation as barbaric, and now it's seen as a rite of passage.

So that's my guess.
Pedophiles have always been around. I think that in the past their crimes were hushed up. Of course it wasn't that long ago that people like Jerry Lee Lewis were marrying 13 year Olds, and it wasn’t even considered a crime. These perverts have always been around, it's just that more of them are getting caught today. While on the bad side, the internet has allowed all the hate groups to connect, on the good side it has allowed victims of Pedophiles to connect and come forward. It's not that there are more Pedophiles, it's just they aren't getting away with it as easily.
 

Bigjay73

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The suicide rate per 100000 has jumped 30% in the last 20 years. After reading a study on reasons behind mass shootings, I learned there is a very strong correlation between mass shooters and suicide, basically a large majority of school shooters really just want to comit suicide. Don't see how the uptick in school shootings can't be related to the rise in suicide rates
 

Doublegunner

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i don't understand how any rational person can say, with conviction, that guns are not the problem. I'm not infering that there aren't alot of other factors, but come on. Isn't there a saying about like "the first you have to do is admit you have a problem"
Rationally, I can't say that I agree with you. We have over 330 million people in this country with over 400 million guns in civilian hands. Given such large numbers of both it seems shortsighted to say that the gun is the problem. If the gun was the problem wouldn't we see huge numbers of these types of shootings? I think the gun is simply the tool. I hate to say it but With so many people in this country I think it's inevitable that we will see some of these types of shootings. It's interesting that people will blame the gun when some nut bag shoots up a bunch of people but won't blame alcohol or the automobile when someone drinks and drives.
 

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