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Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:37 PM

Masculinity, mental illness and guns: A lethal equation?

Masculinity, mental illness and guns: A lethal equation?
By Michael Kimmel, Special to CNN
Wed December 19, 2012

For the past few days, Americans have been weeping together and wringing our hands once again at the senseless tragedy of a mass murder inside a school. The horrific scene in Newtown, Connecticut, is now seared permanently in our collective conscience, as we search for answers. We'll look at the photograph of Adam Lanza and ask over and over again how he could have come to such a deadly crossroads.

...All the while, we continue to miss other crucial variables -- even though they are staring right back at us when we look at that photograph. Adam Lanza was a middle class white guy.

If the shooter were black and the school urban, we'd hear about the culture of poverty; about how inner-city life breeds crime and violence; perhaps even some theories about a purported tendency among blacks towards violence.

As we've seen in the past week, it's not only those living on the fringes of society who express anger through gun violence.

Yet the obvious fact that Lanza -- and nearly all the recent mass murderers who targeted non-work settings -- were middle class white boys seems to barely register. Look again at the pictures of Jared Lee Loughner (Tucson), James Eagan Holmes (Aurora) and Wade Michael Page (Oak Creek) -- a few of the mass killers of the past couple of years. (Yes, the case of Seung-Hui Cho, the perpetrator at Virginia Tech, the worst school shooting in our history, stands out as the exception. And worth discussing.)

Why are angry young men setting out to kill entire crowds of strangers?

more: http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/19/living/men-guns-violence/index.html

Michael Kimmel is distinguished professor of sociology at SUNY Stony Brook. His new book "Angry White Men" will be published next year.

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Reply Masculinity, mental illness and guns: A lethal equation? (Original post)
klook Dec 2012 OP
Bill USA Dec 2012 #1
mainer Dec 2012 #2
noel711 Dec 2012 #3

Response to klook (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:39 PM

1. if only the gun-huggers would be happy with machine cap-guns

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Response to klook (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:47 AM

2. "middle-class white boys" have families with the money to buy expensive guns

from the article: "Yet the obvious fact that Lanza -- and nearly all the recent mass murderers who targeted non-work settings -- were middle class white boys seems to barely register."

This skewing of mass shooter demographics is due more to disposable income more than anything else, I suspect. Poor kids have to make do with cheaper guns that don't fire as many rounds per second. It's the richer kids with the heavier firepower who end up killing more people at a time -- and getting the media attention.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:01 AM

3. Yes, that's abou it...

Testosterone poisoning...

class privilege + too much leisure time + too much $$ = disaster.

When was the last time a woman took an assault weapon
and unloaded into a crowd of babies?

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