Pilot Letter: The real issues

https://www.pilotonline.com/opinion/letters/article_d1e6637a-c2bb-11e9-a2a5-2b3ff8e924bc.html

The writer sates, “The overwhelming mass shootings are by angry white men.” This is both true and false.

It is true that in raw numbers when men commit more mass shootings. It is false, or at least imprecise, to suggest that white men commit a disproportionate share of mass shootings. Whites, blacks, etc., commit mass shootings at rates that roughly correlate with their percentage representation in the population at large.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/476456/mass-shootings-in-the-us-by-shooter-s-race/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_ethnicity_in_the_United_States

I say “roughly correlate” because the correlation isn’t perfect and may be meaningless in some respects. For example, the vast majority of mass shootings are committed by men.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/476445/mass-shootings-in-the-us-by-shooter-s-gender/

This may be a more significant fact than the race or ethnicity of the shooter.

My personal view is that the number of mass shootings we are seeing is statistically insignificant to the point of being almost worth ignoring. Almost, but not entirely.

I see mass shootings as a cultural problem. They are literally a form of running amok.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Running_amok

Mass shootings are a symptom of a sick culture. To prevent them will require a cultural response.

7 thoughts on “Pilot Letter: The real issues

  1. …” that the number of mass shootings we are seeing is statistically insignificant to the point of being almost worth ignoring. ”
    I am sure the families of the victims would be so pleased to know that their loss is statistically insignificant.
    And the sickness of our culture is the proliferation of too easy to obtain firearms built to mimic weapons carried by our soldiers and the virus of hate that is overtly and covertly spread by our current POTUS.

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  2. Statistical significance is not just based on the number of dead. The wounded, some crippled for life, and the traumatized usually outnumber the killed.

    Then there are the families of the dead and injured. Wives, children, grandchildren, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents.

    Then friends, co-workers, employers, employees, teammates, civic club and church members.

    There can be many dozens, even hundreds affected for each casualty.

    Finally, the impacts of lost jobs and medical bills for many.

    There is the uncertainty of more such attacks, which is intentional for terrorist organizations and a byproduct of these lone wolf shootings we have been experiencing. People feel less secure. And random violence also adds to loss of control. A person can avoid personal attacks or individual crimes by how they act or where they go. But shopping at a mall has an expectation of safety that is now less certain.

    I don’t think the word insignificant applies here.

    IMHO

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    1. One could say the same things about babies drowning in bathtubs, or car accidents, or bar mitzvahs, for that matter. All of which invites the same question: So what?

      Do you mean to suggest that an otherwise valid social observation must be rejected or ignored or suppressed because it is insufficiently emotional?

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  3. Those examples are hardly in the realm of intentional terrorist attacks.

    But you obviously don’t think so.

    I suppose it is best to end this conversation.

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  4. I would agree that bringing race into it was invalid. Some things are just not about race.

    It is also true that deaths due to mass shootings are so few compared to the rest of the population that we must take care that efforts to stop them don’t cause unintended consequences that are worse than the problem. Denying tens of millions of people effective means of self defense could easily result in more unnecessary deaths than mass shootings contribute, even if the measures were successful.

    The common thread for mass shooters is that they are failures in life, with an extraordinarily high number of ‘incels’ compared to the general population. Start looking there, not at race.

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  5. “Denying tens of millions of people effective means of self defense could easily result in more unnecessary deaths than mass shootings contribute, even if the measures were successful.”

    A little hysterical hyperbole?

    If those millions are law abiding and sane, why would they be denied the right to bear arms?

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