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.
|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|
|Offense charged||Total||White||Black or
|Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter||8,695||3,948||4,522||99||98||1,271||5,195|
|Motor vehicle theft||55,776||39,160||14,700||828||789||12,037||32,770|
|Forgery and counterfeiting||43,870||28,841||13,903||284||738||5,454||29,011|
|Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing||65,878||44,428||19,816||789||731||9,839||40,555|
|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|
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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