There are some things that have existed in America since our inception such as guns, crazy people who snap, economic recession and depression, poverty, unemployment, despair, bullies and even peer pressure. But what has not always existed in America is the type of mass shooting – single-event mass murder – that we saw the other day in Aurora, Colorado.
Along with the things that have always existed in America we also know our society has gone through several periods of change, such as the very distinct change in American society that began in the 1960s with LBJ, the Summer of Love, turn on – tune in – drop out, if it feels good-do it.
When I talk about our period of liberalization since the 1960s individual liberals try to point out the elections of Ronald Reagan, Bush, Bush and the Gingrich-led Republican Revolution in 1994. But the fact is that in spite of those electoral vctories at the national level American society has become exponentially more liberal since the 1960s.
Not counting Indian wars, racial terrorism, general terrorism & spree killers who killed over a period of days, I count 6 cases of single-incident mass murder, workplace murder and a school bombing in the 70 years from 1896 through 1966 in America. But in the 30 years from 1982 through 2012 I count 31 cases.
What changed in our society? What has gone so terribly wrong in modern America?
The single-event mass murders I was able to identify in America between 1896 and 1966 (I did not pick the time period) occurred in 1892, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1949 (WW II veteran) and 1966 (University of Texas tower sniper).
I find it significant that there is a gap between the period of 1928 and 1949 that encompasses The Dust Bowls and The Great Depression with extreme poverty and unemployment.
There is a second large gap from 1966 to 1982, but then the race is on!
I found 5 single-incident mass killings in the decade of the 1980s, 13 in the 1990s and 13 from 2000 to 2010.
I find it striking that as America has supposedly become more “compassionate” and liberal with modern welfare, food stamps, liberal education and pop culture, etc since the 1960s we have become an increasingly violent nation.
As women have left the home in droves for the workplace, familes have increasingly broken up through no-fault divorce, single motherhood is celebrated, God was removed from our schools and the public square, our children have been sexualized through our schools and pop culture and taught they deserve this or that; it is all about their self esteem; they cannot be judged; they are being held down by the evil rich; nothing is their fault, and everything else we have started killing each other en masse with increasing frequency.
I’ve seen some analysis that blames the increased violence on modern weaponry, but I disagree. The modern “assault rifle” used in Aurora, CO was only semiautomatic – one bullet fired with one trigger pull, not a fully automatic weapon and semiautomatic weapons have existed in America for a very long time.
Additionally, guns are no more available now than in America’s past. In fact, the exact opposite is true – guns are less available now in more places. Additionally, many studies show that crime increase with gun control and decreases with more gun ownership.
I think we have to have the courage to at least have this discussion without politically correct filters. There is a period in American history where society dramatically changed and a period in our history when these single-incident mass shootings accelerated and we owe it to our posterity to have this discussion.