The Elephant In The Room

I think it’s time we confronted the elephant in the room.  It’s time to get away from trying to treat symptoms with excuses or reasons that have nothing to do with the underlying condition.  Basically, we’re averting our eyes in a feeble attempt at trying to keep the boogie man at bay.  What is the underlying condition?  Male aggression attributable to something and honestly, I have no clue as to what that might be.

Here’s one statistic on the number of mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and October 2017, by shooter’s gender:

The one Male & Female number in the above chart directly relates to the couple in San Bernardino.  The two females are Jennifer San Marco — who killed seven people in a postal processing center in 2006, and Brenda Spencer — who killed a principal, a custodian, and injured eight kids.

Look at the number of males and I’ll add, the numbers include all races.  Below is a chart showing the number of mass shootings in the U.S. between 1982 and October 2017, by shooter’s race and ethnicity.

Now, you can call me sexist or racist but the fact still remains, “men commit over 85% of all homicides, 91% of all same-sex homicides and 97% of all same-sex homicides in which the victim and killer aren’t related to each other.”  (Source:  The Evolutionary Psychology of Mass Shootings.)

And now there’s this.  The following is from the FBI’s list on Murder Offenders by Age, Sex, Race and Ethnicity in 2016.   Note the row from 30-34 on down because the numbers change and those numbers change in a strange way.

Age Total Sex Race Ethnicity1
Male Female White Black
or African
American
Hispanic
or Latino
Not
Hispanic
or Latino
Total 16,964 10,310 1,295 5,004 6,095 1,533 5,566
Percent distribution3 100.0 60.8 7.6 29.5 35.9 12.2 44.4
Under 184 736 681 55 254 452 112 337
Under 224 2,905 2,632 270 1,002 1,798 456 1,364
18 and over4 10,180 8,938 1,216 4,653 5,124 1,364 4,993
13 to 16 374 343 31 130 228 56 174
17 to 19 1,413 1,289 122 478 882 213 680
20 to 24 2,593 2,288 301 913 1,587 387 1,251
25 to 29 1,941 1,726 212 808 1,070 285 944
30 to 34 1,339 1,156 176 649 627 182 609
35 to 39 931 805 124 490 402 126 483
40 to 44 643 555 88 359 258 96 320
45 to 49 509 432 75 294 195 56 249
50 to 54 440 381 58 277 146 41 229
55 to 59 276 234 42 185 80 17 141
60 to 64 190 173 16 124 55 6 104
65 to 69 114 101 13 77 24 7 65
70 to 74 51 46 5 39 10 0 28
75 and over 92 80 8 81 5 4 47

Source:  (emphasis added) FBI Expanded Homicide Data Table 2

I’m not a gambling woman — no pun intended — but, when I heard about the shooting early Monday morning, my first thoughts were a White male above the age of 50 and I was right.  He was precisely at the latter end of the group from 60-64.

Something happens to men at certain times in their lives and we need to talk about that.  Whether it’s jockeying for positions while young, showing bravado in gangs or violent crimes, or, as the chart shows above, possible anger or disappointment after a certain age.  Something is wrong and we need to address that elephant in the room.

Is it race?  No.  When I look at other charts on the FBI website, I see young Black/African American males leading in homicides and young White males leading in terms of violent (and other) crimes.

Here’s another chart from the FBI’s website for Arrests by Race and Ethnicity, 2016-Continued [13,049 agencies; 2016 estimated population 257,112,535]:

Arrests 18 and over
Race
Offense charged Total White Black or
African
American
American
Indian or
Alaska
Native
Asian Hispanic
or
Latino
Not
Hispanic
or Latino
TOTAL 7,746,661 5,438,937 2,029,020 159,676 95,820 1,107,822 5,042,957
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 8,695 3,948 4,522 99 98 1,271 5,195
Rape3 15,706 10,694 4,456 210 278 3,303 8,456
Robbery 60,974 28,627 31,042 569 520 10,195 38,667
Aggravated assault 282,409 179,119 91,946 6,024 4,455 56,473 176,851
Burglary 139,281 98,615 37,385 1,262 1,623 22,239 90,380
Larceny-theft 727,544 511,263 192,835 13,179 8,605 76,055 476,053
Motor vehicle theft 55,776 39,160 14,700 828 789 12,037 32,770
Arson 5,784 4,184 1,327 170 89 612 3,429
Violent crime4 367,784 222,388 131,966 6,902 5,351 71,242 229,169
Property crime4 928,385 653,222 246,247 15,439 11,106 110,943 602,632
Other assaults 751,641 498,197 227,129 14,080 9,729 104,185 483,175
Forgery and counterfeiting 43,870 28,841 13,903 284 738 5,454 29,011
Fraud 97,655 66,042 29,143 1,199 1,135 8,700 67,601
Embezzlement 12,055 7,416 4,310 97 197 1,081 8,654
Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing 65,878 44,428 19,816 789 731 9,839 40,555
Vandalism 124,095 84,578 34,963 2,750 1,508 17,250 81,666
Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc. 108,808 61,165 45,200 973 1,190 19,109 66,665
Prostitution and commercialized vice 29,927 16,662 11,268 119 1,816 5,071 20,316
Sex offenses (except rape and prostitution) 33,633 24,051 8,242 571 664 6,856 20,377
Drug abuse violations 1,165,103 823,868 315,024 11,504 12,676 184,752 748,841

Source:  Arrests by Race and Ethnicity, 2016 (Table 21C)

So, what’s the point of this:  We have a big problem here in the U.S.  Trying to pin the problem on Blacks, Whites, Hispanics or others is not the answer.  Whether it’s homicide, violent crimes, rape, sex offenses, drug abuse, etc., everyone has a number and for some the numbers are higher than others.  Pick your poison.

As far as the man who did the shooting from a comped room in a Las Vegas hotel, I don’t think the man cared about politics, he’s not a registered voter anywhere.  He lost a drastic amount of weight, was antisocial, reportedly treated his girlfriend horribly in public, lacked empathy, was reportedly on Valium, owned two single-engine planes he stopped flying, played high stakes video poker, and basically, the thrills got old like him or, to quote an old song, the thrill was gone.  We expect so much from men and when they can’t measure up, either in their own minds or yours, they fall.

When I was a young tail-end baby boomer, the statement “those who die with the most toys wins” or “there’s plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead” were common.  He got old and youth feels betrayed by age.  He may have simply been an old man targeting young people.  Call it jealousy, call it what you will, but the fact still remains, we’re losing our men and we need to find a way to catch them long before they fall.  At some point we will have to address it and to do so, we will need to call out the elephant.

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