What are we doing here? Or perhaps the right question to ask is: Why are our young men so broken?
What are we doing here? And perhaps the right question to ask is: What is wrong with our broken young men?
The shooters all pop up with the same profile. They are, with few exceptions, young males who are white and alienated and feel isolated. They are so isolated they decide to turn against the world. And in doing so , they take many people down with them as they often commit suicide by gunfire in a public and deadly fashion.
Naturally, women have grievances and mental health problems. They will knock over display kiosks or drive their cars off-road or they might even take their own life. They do not have the same level of testosterone-fueled rage or whatever it is that emboldens these young men to commit deadly acts of mass murder.
What is wrong with these young men? They play video games in other countries. And there is depression and mental health problems globally. Of course, the answer is the access to firearms. And that does fuel the fire. But why are they so broken? Why do they feel that this sense of empowerment is the only answer?
Perhaps if we begin to address this problem, not through the lens of partisan grievances or the simmering hatred that does bubble to the surface in our politics, then the answers might appear clearer. Many would think it is gender bias to suddenly just single out males as the culprit of these shootings.
And that would be the case if there were any instances where females also decided to become lone wolfs, and to go on rampages and kill indiscriminately. There is some psychology that focuses on these assault weapons and how they are marketed.
Perhaps it is a sense of empowerment felt with these big guns that the young boys and males don’t ever feel in any other part of their lives. And that is such a sad thing. I used to work in an anti-bullying program. And my work still has a self-esteem component that helps young women particularly. But it also addresses all young people who may feel they need to find confidence in their everyday lives.
It is apparent as I focus on this work that it’s far easier for women to admit they need help. And females also tend to nurture and support one another. However, there is a sad and lonely aspect to the profile that emerges for these individuals who go off the rails and just feel they must kill others to find empowerment in their lives.
The Sandy Hook killer and this recent Uvalde shooter were both sad specimens. And that is part of our societal failure to recognize the effects of bullying and also how deeply our young males are broken.
It is a sad irony that the marketers of these assault weapons somehow imbue the owners of assault weapons with magical powers of enlightenment and ‘coolness.’ These people are the opposite of cool. They are failures in their own lives, and they are society’s failures too.
This is not a condemnation of young American men! Of course, the majority of young men are the most promising students and they are shining examples of what success can be. However, there is a dark side to our American way of life that produces this sub-cult of young, alienated men who feel they have a grudge and a grievance that is all-powerful in their lives.
We need to recognize it and to at least begin to put a voice to what is becoming apparent as the common denominator in almost all these mass shootings. They are young men who have lost their way. Why are they so broken? And how can we begin to fix them and heal their tortured souls? That is the right question to ask….