Right-wing xenophobe murders at least 31 in El Paso. Self-described socialist kills 9 in Dayton.
Different hatreds, different ideologies. But is there a common thread? Criminologist Jillian Peterson and sociologist James Densley studied every shooter since 1966. As they write in the LA Times, the vast majority suffered “early childhood trauma and exposure to violence;” sought out “validation” in extreme communities; openly admired previous shooters; and nearly all were loners with an identifiable “crisis point,” like getting fired or expelled from school. Oh, and by the way, they’re men. Mostly young men.
We can argue til we’re blue in face about gun control and toxic political rhetoric, but until we admit that America’s young men are in a state of moral and existential crisis, we won’t even begin to address the madness around us.
Today on the BreakPoint Podcast, Shane Morris and I talk about the state of young men in America, and what the Church can –and must—do about it.