A Dating Coach’s Take On Why Mass Shootings Happen

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I don’t consider myself to be a world expert in sociology, abnormal psychology or criminal justice. Nor am I sworn to the political right or left.

Given the conversation at hand, all of that might be an advantage in my case. At the very least, I have no problem “opening a can” on the conversation about the mass-shooting problem that nobody seems to be having. Whether that’s a can of worms or whoop-ass is for you to decide.

But either way, I’m not about to pretend I’ve figured out any definitive solution to such a complex issue. Rather, I’m simply going to present what has occurred to me naturally as a man who is immersed in the art and science of social dynamics and male/female relationships on a daily basis.

As such, the entire purpose of this post is simply to open the discussion among rational people who think for themselves. That means if you’ve been successfully propagandized by either the Right or the Left, prepare to be pissed off.

Remarkable stuff starts happening when one thinks for him or herself. I would love to have finished this piece sooner, but it’s been one of those posts where I’ve kept getting haunted by new and intriguing ideas even when I’m trying to think about something else.

I mean, by now Emily has grown accustomed to me leaping out of bed in the night, all but sprinting to my computer with a spring in my step and a light bulb glowing over my head. But this time it’s all been kicked it up a notch. Just last night I found myself driving home from the gym repeating “there’s a cause…pipe bomb…masculine self-fulfilling prophecy” over and over in my head so the spontaneous ideas wouldn’t evaporate before I managed to get home.

But the time has come. On with this crucial discussion.

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Let’s start here: blaming shootings in toto on a small subset of arguably valid, but politically convenient macro-influences is the lazy way out. Such causal oversimplification is not only rooted in breathtakingly-obvious logical fallacy, it serves to conveniently dismiss any ostensible need to examine each respective situation at a deeper level.

In effect, throwing a blanket over all mass shooting situations in the form of “gun control NOW” or even “impeach 45” might virtue signal political correctness, but it exonerates people from spending any real time or effort on the problem, lest they have to form intelligent thoughts leading to real solutions.

Blaming the President in particular is especially an “easy button” because one can simply offload the complexity of resolving anything (and everything) to The Desk Where The Buck Stops. That’s nothing more than pushing the responsibility up the food chain until there’s no one left to delegate blame and responsibility to.

But let’s face it, the true difficulty of this whole conversation most certainly lies in the simple fact that Donald J. Trump didn’t kill a bunch of kids in Parkland, Florida.

Neither did “guns” in general, nor lack of the laws governing them that one might wish were in place (although many of them actually already are).

One individual human being did. So we need to figure out what’s up with that guy, and any others like him out there.

Make no mistake. I completely understand that the United States has far more guns than any other country on earth. And I also get that acquiring them is too easy and the regulations in place are riddled with loopholes and potential cracks to slip through (e.g. Parkland, FL and Sutherland Springs, TX).

I also am sympathetic to the idea that nearly 100% of the high-profile mass shootings that have gone on couldn’t have been committed in quite the same way with sticks, stones, or switchblades…although even that is arguable based on real-world data.

So yes. We need to figure out how to have fewer guns in this country, especially fully automatic weapons.

And sure, we’ve got to do a much better job of keeping the guns that remain out of the wrong hands. Here in Texas, full-size pickups are among the most frequently stolen vehicles. Why? Thieves are looking for guns in the glove compartment.

But here’s the thing. Everyone is already talking about gun control. You don’t need an interloper like me to pile on.

For the purposes of this piece, I’m more interested in the widely-ignored HUMAN element of what causes a mere handful of people out of 330 million to use an infinitesimal percentage of the over 200 million guns in this country to commit the obscene atrocities they do.

There’s already a multitude of people out there who trivialize any other factor—including perhaps the ones I’m about to discuss—in order to make the point that the ONLY differentiator between our country with the massive problem and the rest of the countries without is the sheer number of guns available here.

But consider that most of these heinous mass shootings aren’t random acts. It’s not just Joe Sixpack who scored a cool AR-15 at a gun show. People don’t tend to go around taking pot shots at whomever they can find on a whim. There’s a cause that leads to the effect. The venue is chosen carefully so as to exact certain hate on a certain population or a certain subset of individuals within it.

Dammit, there’s a freaking PATTERN to the kind of guy (and yes, it’s nearly always a guy) who becomes a mass murderer. That’s the problem with obsessing over one scapegoat issue, going on a soapbox rant about it and saying nothing else matters.

But for the sake of argument, let’s concede the notion that if Nikolas Cruz didn’t have guns, then he wouldn’t have murdered and injured all of those innocent people.

That doesn’t change the fact that there would still be a Nikolas Cruz.

And in other countries where guns aren’t so easy to get a hold of, there are likely guys who would commit massacres if they only could.

Is that not still a huge problem? Or do we only care after something horrible happens?

Further, do we care enough to learn more about potential mass murderers and maybe even get them some help, or do we only care about keeping firearms out of their hands?

And while we’re at it, isn’t a psychopathic act committed with a slingshot still one too many if it could have been prevented?

Those are among the questions nobody seems to be asking.

And it’s not like guys aren’t killing bunches of people overseas anyway. Compared to plenty of other countries, pipe bombings or vehicular massacres are relatively rare here (Oklahoma City, The Boston Marathon and Charlottesville notwithstanding). When there’s a twisted, evil motive, or “reason why”, vengeful perpetrators will use whatever tools available to them to commit their calculated dirty deeds.

Yet, we’re still left to unravel why certain dudes with access to guns in this country are indeed committing mass murders. What are those PATTERNS that characterize shooters?

Finding answers is indeed fraught with complexity. There’s a distinct possibility (and I’d argue probability) that because each perpetrator of a mass shooting is an individual, you can’t blame just one or even a few cause factors for the overall problem.

Rather, I argue that there are at least thirteen such factors above and beyond the heavily politicized ones such as gun proliferation, insufficient gun control legislation, violent video games, Hollywood, the 2nd Amendment and (significantly) perpetrators slipping through the cracks despite extant controls and regulations.

Their potential validity deserves to be considered. But the frustrating part is each of these largely social factors can theoretically be debunked when taken individually rather than considered as potential components to an overall PATTERN of similarity between mass shooters. And some who want to blame it all on guns or DJT are quick to do exactly that.

Yet here’s the thing. Disproportionate gun numbers in this country aside, I would argue that the United States is a perfect storm—an optimal petri dish in which to cultivate the disease—when the entire context is considered. You simply have to think on a broader scale. That will be a running theme in the list below.

So then, on with the 13 “reasons why” that I believe are grossly underrepresented in debate on this issue.

Hang on tight for this one. There is so much to consider here that massively important nuances fly by in brief phrases below, even as the ideas tend to snowball.

Although elaboration upon all of them would require an entire book to do justice to, bear in mind I’ve written this piece primarily as a discussion starter rather than as a self-contained solution set.

Fair enough? Let’s rock this…starting with the biggest, heaviest one that nobody typically dares to ever mention, let alone explore in (inevitably controversial) detail:


1) “Emasculation Without Representation”

Masculinity has been summarily excused by many as utterly irrelevant, at best. A socially-influential and vocal minority goes so far as to pronounce it “toxic”.

Further, given the movement toward “non-binary” views on gender, society has opened the door to somehow vilifying anatomically correct cis-males themselves for being “patriarchal” or otherwise indelibly flawed, while simultaneously pronouncing their very maleness a myth. When you think about it, that’s pure kettle logic. Those two factors cannot peacefully coexist in any logical universe. Who really believes that one isn’t actually male if he physically has a penis? Yet said penis ownership means all social aspects of his “toxic masculinity” must be neutered and denied?

But somehow many men still let it get to them. In today’s agenda-driven political climate, a steady drum beat leads men to believe their very gender identity, especially any aspect of it related to power and dominance is “toxic”…or, wait…since gender itself is being spun as mythical, it doesn’t even exist at all.

This has led to a generation of boys growing up with their “fight or flight” instincts having been triggered like cornered animals. They’re compelled on a daily basis to either defend or deny their innate desire to think and act as male people typically do.

When you attempt to saw a cornered animal’s balls off, he tends to get violent in self-defense. Although that might not be done in the physical sense (short of trans-gender surgery), it damn skippy can be accomplished figuratively.

My evidence is purely anecdotal, but based on what I’ve heard for the past twelve years as a relationship coach, I firmly believe this is a MAJOR factor in countless spousal abuse cases.

Certainly, there are dozens of studies detailing how controlling men turn abusive, but in my research I found little about how controlled, emasculated men do also.

On one hand, you could attribute that to a legitimate desire to avoid victim-shaming, but there’s also no denying that two different human beings contribute to the unique dynamic in a particular relationship.

So then, what if there’s something to all of this? What if there might really not be a chicken and an egg here? Did innate “toxicity” create the need to neuter men? Or is it that men who feel neutered turn toxic?

As a practical example, consider the case of a woman who berates her husband constantly, finally putting her finger in his face while she laughs at him and belittles him. He gets fed up, physically grabs her finger and shoves it out of his face. She shrieks, “Ow! Ow! Ow!” for the brief second he requires to do that, then calls the police crying. Twenty minutes later the man is frog-marched by the cops out of his own home, as his wife smirks at him.

Some hardline 3rd-wave Feminists (note the capital “F”, indicating the socio-political movement rather than the dictionary definition) may say, “oh, please” to that, admonishing men to “sit down, shut up and take it”.

Perhaps ironically, the impulse in men to demurely oblige as such is in lockstep with the agenda to destroy “toxic masculinity”. But “doing what he’s told” by angry women with an anti-male agenda only intensifies his frustration over perceived loss of manhood, which continues to simmer over time.

Therein lies the possible cause for not just domestic violence, but ultimately any other violence as well, up to and including mass shootings. As I’ll maintain throughout this piece, it doesn’t excuse it, but it does provide a credible explanation.

Even if you cannot personally relate, can you at least see how confusing and frustrating this bird’s nest of conflicting shame could be to a male human being?

Yet, the potentially disturbing fact remains. Just because those with a certain anti-male social agenda want their way doesn’t change the de facto reality: boys and men are naturally predisposed to want to be masculine, and that means feeling powerful and dominant.

Granted, what male human beings do with masculine self-empowerment can be either virtuous or vice-ridden. But make no mistake about it, the assumption that ALL male power is “oppressive” and “patriarchal”, without leaving room for say, dutiful protection and courageous heroism, is leaving a huge amount of psychological collateral damage in its wake.

To understand how profoundly this affects boys and men, consider that masculinity and femininity are the very building blocks of sexual attraction, and sex is the most powerful force in the universe. To fight that reality, one might as well fight a tidal wave. Yet, that’s what males who feel vilified are being told to do.

Hang with me here, because as messed-up as what I’ve suggested so far sounds, now comes the truly sobering part. This is where the wheels truly fall off.

You see, back in the real world, even the most ardent male-basher would be hard-pressed to label the 3rd grade boy eating his boogers and jumping in every time someone said “boo” to him as “oppressive”.

Kids like that get bullied. And the weaker such a boy seems, the more those only slightly less-empowered than he is start piling on. My educated guess is even the girls who didn’t feel so powerful compared to the boys pulling their pigtails may actually join the chorus.

When this dynamic is considered, you can visualize how it’s not those men (or boys) in a power position who commit mass murders. Rather, it’s man-boys who are left out of anything resembling any form of social power in this life, but who yet are still feeling blamed (I’d call it bullied) by anti-male propagandists for the perceived collective sins of “alpha males” and their “toxic masculinity”.

In other words, as hurtful as the social damage done to bullied boy feels, it’s all still overshadowed by the shameful imposed upon him for having been born with a penis. Hence my coining of the term “Emasculation Without Representation”.

Is there any wonder it’s the bullied who snap and commit heinous acts of violence, not the bullies?

Studies actually show that bullies are more likely to lead a classically “successful” life.

The apparent social success of the bullies only fires up the frustration factor exponentially for marginalized boys. It’s no more fair than accusing a lonely, dateless woman of being a prick tease, thereby visiting the sins of snobby, self-entitled Prom Queens upon all women for the sake of political convenience.

Similarly, when boys are routinely admonished to tone down the power, and then in turn disempowered from having an opinion about it, the sins of certain, poorly-behaving fathers are being visited upon everyone’s sons.

That masculine power (and social attention) boys starve for completely eludes them more often than ever before in human history. After all, the state of mind and emotions they’re naturally longing for has been dismissed to the very point of being not just irrelevant, but purely evil and loathsome (yet mythical?)

What’s more, their frustrated, lonely feelings and urges are in profound conflict with what they’ve been taught defines a man, which only makes them feel even more like they’ve been robbed and violated.

More frustration ensues, along with intensified anger. “How DARE those who are REALLY in power blame ME for everything?” Someone has to pay.

Okay, so I can fully imagine that one’s response to all of this might be, “See? Men really are violent and toxic!”

Well, first of all, such a generalization is not only insidious, it’s straight up misguided. The idea that all men are toxic because some men are(regardless of the “reason why”) is rife with logical fallacy.

But above and beyond that, remember the concept of the violence possibly being representative of a self-fulfilled prophecy. Essentially, if a man (especially a young, immature one) feels wrongfully accused of being the monster when in fact sees himself as the victim, he’ll be tantalized by the temptation to go ahead and do something monstrous so he at least deserves the vilification he has endured.

It’s like a weird, twisted closure of an open Zeigarnik Effect loop in his brain.

In the end, boys and men so affected by any or all of the sub-factors I’ve just shared may angrily attempt to “get their share” in one heinous, hate-driven act of frustration, aggression…and yes, despair.

And the cherry on top? The shame and taboo surrounding discussion of anything pro-masculine in the media looms so large that nobody ever even dares to call out this Elephant In The Room, lest they experience even more shame and rejection for even suggesting such a phenomenon could possibly be relevant.

So men and boys who are in fact experiencing and feeling exactly what I’ve described remain silent. They likely never even fully wrap their heads around it all because nobody is there to help. After all, they’re remaining silent as well. Then one day, the shoe simply drops…apparently out of nowhere.

Need to come up for air yet?

Well, not so fast because I’m just getting warmed up.

For example, the primary mitigating factor against boys descending into the abyss of feeling emasculated and systematically disempowered often never even enters into the picture because there are…


2) …Precious Few Active Fathers Or Positive Male Role Models.

Did you know that mass shooters generally (and some would claim absolutely) grew up without an active father figure in their lives? Thanks to the aforementioned trivialization of male significance in our society, this isn’t a popular angle of discussion for most. Yet the connection is irrefutable.

And not only are boys’ lives often devoid of a solid, positive male example in general, the same kids might very well grow up feeling experiencing extreme…


3) …Sexual Frustration.

First, when boys have no valid masculine role model, there’s often no legitimate mentorship available to them on how to treat women, let alone attract them.

And indeed, their extant masculine frustration is often compounded by repeated rejection from girls (and later women).

Out of desire to impress the girls, they did what they were told and freely neutered any semblance of their “toxic” masculinity. Yet they got zero attention from women in return other than, at best, the “Just Be Friends” talk.

Meanwhile, gender politics and sexual chemistry aren’t necessarily very good bedfellows. The classically masculine men still ended up getting all the girls, after all.

Words cannot describe how infuriatingly confusing this is to men who are left out of the fun, all the while having felt like they did exactly what women wanted.

Basically, it’s about the girl and not getting her, stupid.

Maybe the perpetrator’s issues are more social than political at first. Perhaps he can’t seem to inspire sexual attraction, creeps women out, or even dysfunctionally lashes out at “weaker” women in a twisted attempt to salvage some pathetic semblance of power.

But no matter what, the girls aren’t digging his scene, and the rejection foments more anger.

Anger turns into frustration, which turns to desperation, which turns to fear, which turns to hate, which ultimately turns to tragedy.

This pattern of violence has fit the explanation hand-in-glove in a number of mass shooting cases (e.g. Virginia Tech, Santa Barbara).

To make matters worse, many more women are angrier and more hateful toward men than ever. Their high-profile admonishment to men in general to back off has resulted in a legion of post-modern men who indeed capitulate to following that overarching warning rather than boldly leading with virtuous, non-“toxic” masculinity.

So guess what? Since some women can get angry and bitter toward men, another whole subset of men has surrendered to being reactive in kind.

In essence, if women hate them, they’ll hate them right back. The only difference on men’s part is the potential perversion of testosterone-induced power into extreme aggression.

Has anyone else noticed that #MGTOW is a recent enough movement so as to be defined by a hashtag? This shit wasn’t even on the radar screen a mere decade ago.

Meanwhile, did you know that at least two different mass murderers had sleazy, misogynist pickup-artist content on their hard drives? One irritatingly misogynist hate site got shut down after one of its members, Ellott Rodger, committed a heinous shooting in Santa Barbara, CA that targeted women. Let’s be brutally honest. Who would really be surprised if mgtow.com is next?

It’s really no wonder that habitual rejection by women is often confusing and all-the more rage-inducing to some men because of the…


4) …Porn Princess / Feminist “Anti Patriarchy” Dichotomy.

One could argue the significance of pain and frustration caused by porn in and of itself to men who don’t get any action.

But good grief, how does a young male mind reconcile politicized “rape culture” rants warning him to stop talking to women he’s never met before with ubiquitous, hi-def porn videos on demand for free, all of which seem to indicate women will bang anyone, anywhere, anytime?

The wholly unacceptable, yet in any case very real answer is many can’t.

This only exacerbates potentially-violent hatred toward women on the part of guys who can’t attract attention from any of them.

And then there’s…



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5) …Explosion In Mental Illness And Depression

Is it that we’re simply better at identifying and diagnosing cases than ever before? Or is is that something is happening in our culture nowadays that’s resulting in greater mental instability across the board? Trying to sort that out would be the subject of an entire book, let alone a blog post.

But regardless, consider that clinical depression can oftentimes be characterized every bit as much by lack of purpose or care about the future as it is sadness.

Then consider how psychoses such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder can profoundly affect people’s sense of reality and their outlook on life in general. I don’t see how anyone could deny that with a straight face. To complicate matters, the ways such disorders manifest themselves are often inexact and erratic, with quite a bit of variance between individual patients.

The truth is the medical field still knows so little about mental illness in general that I for one am not confident doctors always positively identify it when they see it. Mental illness cases are infamously complicated, often taking years to definitively diagnose. Symptoms and diagnostic indicators of disorders such as those I mentioned above can often overlap. That’s why we could be decades away from arriving at a solution to how mental illness relates to violent crime, even as we all piss each other off in the interim debating a moving target.

Meanwhile, it’s a hard fact that U.S. prisons (especially the juvenile justice system) hold a wildly disproportionate number of inmates with a history of mental illness. That apparently doesn’t even include those who are sent to mental health facilities instead of jail, and by nature also cannot include those who are misdiagnosed or never diagnosed at all.

One is then compelled to wonder how Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Anti-Social Disorder play into all of this. Psychologists have already reported a link to physical violence.

It’s also important to mention that those with mental illnesses are often ruthlessly bullied, which as we talked about at length in point #1 can’t help matters.

Let’s get real here, this bullet point alone throws a lot on the table. But when considered alongside other potential “reasons why”, one’s mental state becomes an even more horrifying variable…especially given how HIPAA laws make sure (and much of the time rightly so) that nobody knows who the mentally ill folks even are, short of a subpoena.

The question remains, however, as to why there are so many mental issues. Is it the…


6) …Proliferation Of Pharmaceuticals With God-Knows-What Side Effects?

Modern day medicine is a marvel, but let’s not kid ourselves. Television commercials for prescription meds have become a running joke. The side-effects often seem more disastrous than the ailment the drug is designed to cure.

And that’s only the side effects they know about…or at least the ones they aren’t covering up.

Have you ever noticed that some of the gnarliest side effects are associated with anti-psychotic drugs? And yet, those who take them indeed benefit greatly from them, often depending on them to function “normally” in this world (whatever that even means). This is indeed one ginormous rabbit hole.

And don’t even get me started on “roid rage“, which despite the almost stereotypical reference still deserves mention.

Or maybe it’s all the…


7) …Fake Food.

The next time you encounter an ADHD child, watch what happens when you give him a massive amount of refined sugar and/or (God forbid) artificial food coloring.

Yet, many studies on the dramatic increase in ADHD completely overlook the effect of fake food on kids. But I’m telling you, all you have to do is conduct your own experiment. The kid will bounce off the walls and “act up” in ways that will convince you he might be some ethically-challenged primate other than human.

Who really knows what consuming a bunch of chemicals and processed garbage we’re not designed to eat is doing to us?

All we really do know from the proliferation of articles and studies out there, is factor #5, #6 and #7 indeed tend to blend together in unmistakable ways, playing a part in a statistically significant number of mass shootings.

Then there’s…


8) …Lack Of Faith In A Higher Power.

Okay, I fully understand this is a politically-loaded assertion, and usually the first talking point the “bible-thumping” crowd reaches for.

So fine, then. Let’s formally take any agenda to proselytize the masses off the table.

But even if you firmly believe genuine faith amounts to little more than a mere fairy tale, what’s undeniable is that it ties clear purpose and hope (or fear of punishment, if you prefer) to not injuring others.

It also encourages respect, honor and discipline…three values that most everyone would admit have declined in recent years with the gradual secularization of America.

As my guest on episode #91 of The Mountain Top Podcast David Murrow asserts, men in particular are less interested in church than ever before.

Without a clearly defined code of ethics to draw from, and a like-minded community to help foster them, what is personal character built upon? For many, faith is that foundation. And for many without faith, the cornerstone is never even set.

Undisciplined, disrespectful people who lack honor also tend to lack shame, restraint and yes…purpose.

At the very least, we can all agree that faith tends to give people hope in a better hereafter, whereas people without faith tend to lack such hope. Or if you will, people of faith may tend to fear the wrath of God lest they avoid a far worse hereafter, whereas those without a firm belief in a higher power may very well lack fear of divine judgment and ensuing eternal punishment.

Either way you wish to swing the pendulum, the point remains the same. Without hope and/or fear of God one lacks a key behavioral restraint factor that may very well lead to despair over a life devoid of ultimate meaning.

Bear in mind the simple fact that well over half (88 out of 153) of mass shooters die on the scene of the atrocities they cause. Whether the shooter dies by his own hand or his death manifests as a “police-assisted suicide” doesn’t matter. The point is these guys have to be at least considering the probability they’re about to end it all for themselves as well as others.

And, one could effectively argue that the chief coup against faith-driven ethics would be…


9) …Legalized Abortion.

Yes, this is another factor you often see associated with a right-leaning socio-political agenda. Fair enough. But at a certain twisted level of logic, if a culture is enthusiastic about maintaining its right to end a human life before it’s born, certainly said life can’t be all that much more significant after it’s born, can it?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t for a second believe that Roe v. Wade in and of itself brought about the widespread lack of respect for life that characterizes mass shootings. But combine this factor with depression or other factors that make the perpetrator undervalue his own existence and you can see how the snowball effect could turn violent.


10) Proliferation Of Hate And Other Social Media Ridiculousness

The problem of real-world social isolation driven by social media is practically a foregone conclusion nowadays.

But there’s an equally insidious factor that’s discussed far less often. Every one of us has the ability be our own one-person media outlet nowadays. That allows every opinion a soapbox, without filter.

These soapboxes in turn congregate together to yield pockets of angry, bitter groupthink. In their homogeneous, insulated echo chambers people easily trick themselves into somehow “normalizing” premeditated aggressive behavior toward specific other social groups they may feel at odds with (e.g. gays, Christians, Muslims, people of color, ”the privileged class”, police officers, Republicans), or even society in general.

And have you noticed just how angry and bitter people have become on social media? It’s as if being “furious” and “enraged” over anything one disagrees with is now what the in-crowd does. Indeed, hate is suddenly cool in certain circles, as long as it’s being directed at “politically correct” targets.

Those who preach “tolerance” are all too often brazenly intolerant of anyone whose vision of what should be tolerated doesn’t match their own, routinely ignoring the bald-faced irony as if it just doesn’t matter.

I’m far from the first to notice this trend toward edification of extremely angry emotions online. Time Magazine went so far as to call it a “fetish”.

Consider that three of the most horrific mass shootings in U.S. history have taken place since Trump was elected. Does that make it all his fault, or could it be that the unprecedented proliferation of politically-motivated hate speech since he first became a legitimate contender for the presidency could be the more culpable factor?

Even as what people openly say in their public social media accounts grows more and more vitriolic, the anonymity of the Internet consistently demonstrates just how ruthless people are truly capable of being in private. Consider how many everyday pedestrians in any given comment section can be so easily instigated to condone violent, murderous acts against each other, or even an entire demographic segment.

If you want, go ahead and blame the FBI for treating Nikolas Cruz’s YouTube comment with such a cavalier attitude. But there are freaking thousands of comments like that out there, and even plenty that don’t sound like immature attempts at ironic jokes (nobody is a “professional” school shooter).

Hell, give me ten minutes and I could probably file several complaints to the FBI based on comments at the bottom of any random Manosphere blog or ESPN story.

Have you stopped to consider how many full-grown adults are acting this way? Now ruminate on the dearth of positive role models for young men in America. Can you surmise even for a split-second that kids aren’t being influenced?

The truth of the matter is clear. Instigating ourselves and others until our collective blood boils has become de rigueur in present-day America. If for but a brief, fleeting second, consider the laughable irony of fervently emotional, bitter, angry, hateful rhetoric at an anti-gun violence rally.

Back in middle school in the late ‘70s our social studies teacher contended that The Holocaust happened because an entire population can easily be persuaded through propaganda to hate an entire subgroup.

I remember thinking in my young mind how ridiculous a thought that was. Yet nowadays I see the point.

There are plenty in this country who would condone slaughtering everyone who didn’t vote for their candidate. Even more would eagerly sign off on nuking millions of innocent civilians in Iran, Syria or North Korea completely off the map due to the actions of their respective governments. There were way too many people who marked Billy Graham’s passing with jaw-dropping hell-bent excoriation, and were willing to do so publicly. That scenario would have been unthinkable just five years ago.

Are we so naïve (or oblivious) that we don’t expect anyone’s thoughts and words to ever eventually turn to actions? More specifically, do you think for a second that someone who exhibits several of the other factors I’ve listed would never actually follow through with killing those he and his “support group” feel hatred toward?

Even though it’s indeed a major talking point in the media nowadays, another associated topic that demands discussion whenever social media is brought up is…


11) …“Virtualization” Of Human Relationships.

Lack of closeness and intimacy sounds damn lonely, which is never a good start. How many mass murderers have been described as “loners”?

When the only people you feel even remotely “close” to are primarily known to you by their Facebook accounts, are you actually interacting with human beings anymore? Typically, all you’re really seeing is a near-stranger’s fabulous “highlight reel”, often juxtaposed with a series of “brave” comments people would not likely say to each other’s faces.

If you’re truly a loner, that may be the full extent of your jealousy-prone, rage-inducing social life.

Remember my bit back in point #1 about how much it sucks for a guy to get shamed for being part of the “patriarchy” even as he feels completely powerless? Yeah well, you can throw the idea of being considered “privileged” even though he feels ripped-off onto that pile, too. It’s like being jailed for a crime he didn’t commit.

Ultimately, there’s neither much contentment nor fulfillment to be found there. That’s when a potential mass killer might start wondering how much easier is it to lash out in violence toward “people” who are nothing more to him than mere hate-inspiring avatars.

Yet for what it’s worth, and as twisted as it sounds, even the social outcast can find his angry niche in this global, virtual world and somehow feel like he “belongs”, albeit at the same empty shell of a level that even the winners of the social lottery find themselves willingly being drawn toward. Even so, much like in religious circles those communities instill values and offer some support to each other.

God help us all when the potential mass murderers discover each other’s “avatars” online.

This lack of real, visceral, face-to-face human interaction also gives rise to…


12) …Empowered Narcissism…

…which in turn excuses sociopathy or even solipsism, ever exacerbated by…


13) …Mass Media Attention And Eternal Infamy Granted To The Perpetrator…

…therefore offering ultimate validation in his warped mind of his angry, vengeful and murderous goals.

It’s one bitch of a way to earn a Wikipedia entry, isn’t it? (And no, I’m not going to link to any of them.)

Nevertheless, it could be that school shooting was deemed a “profession” by Nikolas Cruz because he envisioned himself as somehow having hit the “big time”, scoring a “starring role” in some real-life action-adventure plot.

Or maybe some mass shooters view themselves more as the “anti-hero” so venerated nowadays in TV and movies.

Hell, they might even have a shot at being the unqualified hero to those they related to most back on Facebook.


So there you have my 13 potential “reasons why”, any number of which might theoretically dovetail seamlessly with the more politicized factors in any given mass shooting tragedy.

And now, here’s what didn’t make the list.

In attempting to name what it is besides millions of guns that makes the USA so particularly different than other countries of the world, one might be tempted to cite the potentially volatile, but all-American trifecta of personal freedom, socio-ethnic diversity and a shared language.

Ignorant and flawed humans such that we are, studies repeatedly show (as if we needed them) that cultural, religious and ethnic diversity makes people act out in violent ways toward each other.

After all, when people are different from each other they tend not to understand each other. Humans tend to fear what they don’t understand, which often causes them to end up hating each other. It’s the same cycle I described in point #3 above.

Living in a nation with free speech, freedom of movement, a free-market economy and, of course, The 2nd Amendment as we do, there are quite simply more ways to conveniently hate on each other available to us. Lots of other countries crack down on that shit.

Then, when you take into consideration that at least 90% of us speak pretty good English in this country, it’s plain as day how easy it is for us to piss each other off and start shooting our millions of guns.

Cool story, bro…but for better or worse, none of that holds together.

As admittedly convoluted and/or biased as both the criteria and the data-gathering procedures can be, there are virtually zero studies out there that place America anywhere near the top of the list of either “most diverse” or “most free” countries in the world.

And hell, plenty of countries have populations who mostly speak a common language.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, there’s remains absolutely no hard data to support America being so “special” in any of these ways.

Now, someone could theoretically argue that America might be the most free AND diverse among countries that ALSO have an overwhelmingly common language.

Perhaps. But no studies have been done on that one.

Someone else might bring up the idea that America has probably championed freedom, diversity and common language for far longer than any other nation on Earth. Surely we’ve had more time to fully embrace, feel into, and reap the repercussions of everything those values bring, be it good or bad.

But again, that’s pure conjecture. There are no studies to defend that position either.

All we’re really left with, statistically speaking, are the millions of firearms.

Until we figure out what to do about that, why don’t we each do our part to understand and accept each other, even as we exercise new levels of wisdom to identify troubled souls who might potentially turn violent?

At the very least, that goes far beyond thoughts and prayers.


Be Good,

Scot McKay


P.S. Isn’t it refreshing to have your masculine nature celebrated instead of vilified? If you’re ready to rise above the fray and be the kind of virtuous man who deserves (and gets) an equally virtuous women into your life, then this is for you.

P.P.S. Want more? This very discussion is going on in even greater depth at The Mountain Top Summit group on Facebook. Join here and I’ll personally welcome you into our thriving community of high-character “big four” men.



70 Responses to “A Dating Coach’s Take On Why Mass Shootings Happen”

  1. Gary

    A few thoughts on guns:

    Mass killings chiefly occur where guns are prohibited and the establishment (gay bar in Florida, Sandy Creek and multiple other schools) does not take the measures required to protect its “patrons” against criminals with guns. It seems to me that there ought to be laws that would allow injured patrons to sue “gun free” establishments that failed to protect their “patrons” because it is obvious that “gun free” zones are to these teenagers and men what a pool without a surrounding fence is to a child (legal term: attractive nuisance).

    As Rush Limbaugh says, if you take away the guns from law-abiding citizens, only the criminals (he omits the heavily outnumbered police) who don’t obey the law will have them, and we’ll be in a worse state than we are now (evidence: Chicago).

    While I expect there would still be shootings if we did away with gun-free zones, I think there would be less mass killings for two reasons. First, there would frequently be early resistance to an attack. Second, knowing that there might be guns there might dissuade an attack in the first place. One of my friends says that more guns are not the answer. She may be right, but, if we want to avoid mass killings, gun free zones are certainly not the answer because they usually provide an attacker with a significant amount of time to wreak havoc and vengeance before resistance arrives.


    • There’s always that Scylla and Charybdis when it comes to banning guns from big venues, bars and govt. buildings, right? For example, if you don’t let everyone in bars have guns then drunk people won’t start shooting the place up like the Old West, but then again there won’t be anyone there to stop the occasional one who slips through, either.


      • Gary

        I’m not necessarily in favor of allowing patrons to carry guns into bars, and especially not in favor of forcing teachers and/or administrators to have access to firearms. However, I think that the Florida gay bar massacre could have been avoided if an armed policeman was situated about ten feet away from the door, so that when the altercation with the bouncers occurred, he would have been ready to defend the patrons. And a few armed policemen roaming the halls of schools wouldn’t hurt. And if a teacher has firearm training and would like to have access to a locked firearm on campus, I’m certainly okay with that.


        • You also mentioned the idea of taking away guns from people who already have them. One of the “knee-jerk” ideas is to go around door-to-door collecting guns. People apparently forget what happened when Janet Reno (i.e. high-level government) tried that with the Branch Davidians. Imagine the collateral damage were we to try it with the whole country. What, are we going to burn down everyone who exercises civil disobedience?


          • Gary

            Scot, my point was in the last sentence that said, “we’ll be worse off than we are now”. My example was Chicago where they are doing their best to take away guns, and they are experiencing more murders than ever. You do NOT want just the police and the criminals to have guns!!!

          • You’ll get no argument from me on that. But as for mass shootings, we need to look more at the profile of mass shooters than simply what they’re shooting with.

  2. Gary

    The secularization you mention is at least partially, and I think primarily, a product of the public schools where ethics is usually taught with no absolute right or wrong answers, just what the student thinks is best. If there are ten people in a boat and food, life preservers, or whatever for nine, each student is free to choose who to kick off the boat, and they are told at the end of the exercise that whomever they chose is “right for them”.

    In addition, most public schools teach evolution as fact, and ignore all evidence for creation. As far as I’ve heard, no one has any idea how the first cell might have been created. Man, with intelligence and at least 5,000 years of accumulated knowledge, has not created any kind of machine that can power itself (admittedly using outside fuel that it gathers) and perpetually self-replicate, much less a “machine” that can grow and form many systems (e.g., respiratory, endocrine, etc.) starting from a single cell. Yet, most schools teach that happened in nature without any intelligence or accumulated knowledge. In addition, each system requires all parts to be operational. If any part fails or is non-existent, the whole system does not work. For example, there is no benefit to having arteries, capillaries, and veins without a heart or vice-versa. Furthermore, the systems are integrated. The nervous system sends the heart the electrical signals to pump. This, and much other creation evidence is not taught in most public schools, I think because it is considered “religious”.

    The mantra of evolution is “survival of the fittest”, and this naturally causes students and men look to their own interests in this world (to which we are prone anyway), rather than looking to God, heaven, an eternal purpose, and, consequently, looking to the interests of others, at least from the Christian and Jewish perspectives.


    • Gary

      The above comment was supposed to open with this paragraph, the first sentence of which is the theme of the comment.

      I think the public education system is an underlying cause of many, if not all, of your reasons. Aside: It seems to me that ALL students should have the right to attend religious schools and pray under the direction of the teachers and administrators, not just those who can pay $3,000 or more per year. You don’t pay to vote because it is a right guaranteed by the constitution, and so is the right to exercise one’s religion.


  3. Rob

    I believe that Mexico has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world, but the murder rate is off the charts as being one of the highest in the world.


  4. El Momle

    All valid points Scot – great article and worth the read.
    ‘reasonable gun laws’ is virtue signaling as no one ever suggests a course of action.
    Students marching for gun legislation – more virtue signaling- victim or not, what do students (minor children) know about effective legislation?
    Here are some effective ‘solutions’ to school shootings:
    – banks have armed security measures in place and schools could emulate. (armed guards, one point of entrance, video, locked doors etc)
    – remove the ‘gun free zone’ bs and allow conceal carry for teachers/administrators
    – have metal detectors at entrance.
    The above can be implemented rather quickly and in a cost effective manner – many retired vets can be used as armed security etc.
    Banning all guns because of an act of violence performed by an extreme minority? That’s the same as asking all men to have their penis chopped off because some men commit rape….


    • Glad you enjoyed it, man.

      Yet, I sit here amazed that I’ve written over 5K words on anything but guns and politics and sure enough, we’re getting some comments about guns and politics. It makes my point that EVERYONE talks about those aspects of this issue.


  5. El Momle

    That last line I wrote might seem excessive, but the analogy is correct.


  6. RogerL

    I would suspect the number one problem with these murderers is the mother drinking during the pregnancy, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome creates a screwed up child and an equally screwed up adult.

    Another top cause would be Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). The nut in Florida was adopted which means there is a higher probability his mother was drinking during the pregnancy and the possibly he had little physical contact the first couple years of his life (which triggers RAD).

    Your point about abortion is way off base, that is like claiming video games trigger violence. That paragraph is the first thing I’ve read from you where I’ve questioned your intelligence or competence. It is like finding out your hero is a bit of a douche.


    • All very good points, even the one about me being a bit of a douche. Hey, occasional lapses into douchebaggery are probably unavoidable for any guy who’s cured himself of “Mr. Nice Guy” along the way.

      But seriously, given my professional history working with troubled kids (which I didn’t mention in the article itself, lest I be a douche) I’m kicking myself for missing behavioral disorders visited upon kids by their dumbass parents.

      For what it’s worth, my thoughts on Roe v. Wade cheapening life aren’t original: http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2013/01/40_years_later_roe_v_wade_stil.html

      Anyway, stick around a while and I’m sure I’ll disappoint you at least another couple of times along the way, mere humanoid such that I am. Ha!


      • Gary

        I’m with Scot on the abortion issue. I once heard a story about a five year old looking at drawings of a baby’s development in the uterus. She looked and said, “Baby”. If a five year old can recognize the drawing of a baby while it’s in the uterus and call it a baby, certainly older people can, and it’s very easy to extrapolate from killing life inside the womb to outside the womb. And it is life inside the womb, which is why many pro-abortion folks have now say that it is not yet a person inside the womb; thus trying to change the argument from human life, which it certainly is, to personhood (shades of Nazi Germany and the Jews).


      • RogerL

        The homicide rate in the early 1970’s was around 9 per 100,000 but the past decade the rate has been around 5 per 100,000. Some have argued that Roe V. Wade contributed to the reduction in the violent crime rate, number 5 in the wiki on guesses on why the crime rates have gone down: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States


        • So in other words, we’ve selectively aborted the kids who we thought were more likely to become murderers?


          • RogerL

            Not intentionally but indirectly. A woman with a drug or alcohol addiction will have a higher chance of living at or near poverty because their addiction is the most important thing in their life. Having a baby will take money/time away from their addiction so she gets an abortion. If she carries the baby to term and raises it for a couple years the child will have a high chance of (FAS and/or RAD). If it is a male he will have a higher chance of ending up in the criminal justice system. If it is a female she ends up repeating her mother’s history of bad decisions.

      • RogerL

        For me this is not surprising at all because addicted parents are common for children who are adopted or in foster care. The article doesn’t mention if she was also a drinker but I would assume she was drinking the entire pregnancy. It would be interesting to know if the mother’s mother was also an addict. Surprisingly alcohol does much more damage to the fetus than all other legal/illegal drugs combined.

        My wife and I looked at adoption and learned the info above. In MN they make sure you know what you are potentially getting into. A terrible thing for a child to go through is to get adopted and then get sent back into foster care because the parents couldn’t handle the behavior of the child.

        The best statistically proven anti poverty and anti crime program that I’ve heard of is the Nurse Family Partnership. They help mothers during pregnancy and the first couple years of childhood.

        If you want a more peaceful and prosperous society donate here:


        • Rob

          Alcohol abuse and addiction is society’s dirty little secret. The long terms effects of alcoholism are a blight on one’s health and psychological well being. Two of my best friends were alcoholics. I say “were” because one died a few years ago from cirrhosis and the other is on disability due to permanent heart damage from 40 years of heavy drinking. Alcoholism is a disease and i sympathize without anyone that has this affliction. Detoxification from booze can be more dangerous than drug withdrawal. People can die from seizures when they abruptly stop drinking. It obviously causes health issues when pregnant women are told not to drink at any time before childbirth. For an alcoholic, a thousand drinks are not enough and one single drink is too many. It’s amazing that there is such a widespread casual acceptance of social drinking. I have been amused at parties where people obviously have had too much to drink and will express outrage that people consume illegal drugs. The most dangerous drug is the one sold at the corner store, restaurants and the local pub.


  7. Rob

    A woman living at or near poverty will receive more government assistance per the number of children she has. I know a man and woman who had their marriage annuled after the woman found out that her government aid would be reduced.


    • How do you think that related to the mass shooting problem, Rob?


      • Rob

        The 2 individuals i referred to do not necessarily have anything to do with mass shootings, but being “married to the government” does not encourage 2 parents to remain together, and may marginalize the presence of the father figuratively and literally. The tangible presence of the father in the family unit gives boys a male figure to emulate in a positive manner. This would not occur when the father is not an integral part of the family.


      • Gary

        According to reports I have seen, no male in prison (i.e. 0% of that population) had a good relationship with their father. Even if that figure is in error by several percent, having the government “kick out” husbands from the family (by offering more money) is probably not going to help improve any child’s relationship with their father and thus increasing the probability that they will become criminals, and perhaps mass shooters.


  8. Nate B

    Here’s something I wrote earlier today actually. I feel that all of your points are extremely valid, but as I have experience working with a lot of these younger high school alphas I feel this is relevant as well:

    In my opinion, this is due to the fact that in high school the dominant male is the fuck-boy alpha that snipes everyone around himself constantly. This likely due to the fact that high school children integrated game to protect their generation from predation by a ‘friskier’ older generation. Along with father figures that snipe them whenever they became happy. (you can see this all the time with parents as they will snipe their children whenever they reach an ‘un-safe’ level of happiness).

    The men that reject this type of bring others down to gain social status mentality and realize that this is happening at a subconscious level become extremely violent as they can see their chances of enjoying a healthy society dwindle to nothing.

    It’s clear as well that the las vegas shooting was the permission slip for these other men to act out.

    On a deeper level, these men serve our society by acting out the repressed rage that every man feels as he is not allowed by his female partner to be her friend. As she feminizes all her friends and tries to turn her man into a manly warlord kind of man.

    On a deeper level, women gain massively by a powerful society that enforces all aspects of relating. Men on the other hand (responsible for pushing all limits of reality) suffer massively when unable to express themselves. On top of that, expressive men are labeled feminine or gay compounding the issue of men being unable to express any emotion outside of gay/trans/queer cultures.

    So in high school, it’s be gay/trans just to express yourself, be a put others down to gain social status/sex, or withdrawal/rage via video games and porn…
    There is a last group growing which is the submissive male that over-emphasises class, style, and cleanliness whom succeeds (usually with a beard) pretty well in society.


    • Well, we choose to homeschool (or worldschool, technically) our kids. That’s obviously a nice solution for keeping our own kids from getting shot at school. But I don’t see that as a viable solution for everyone. There are mass shootings happening at places besides schools too, obviously. Should everyone just stay home from church, too?


  9. John Cannon

    It’s refreshing to see someone consider other factors that nobody is talking about. That’s what makes you a great dating coach.

    A convincing example that makes your point about this being about more than guns and politics is China.

    China has had many mass murders of children at schools using a knife or an axe or a cleaver, etc.

    This type of mass murder is definitely about more than guns and politics because Chinese citizens are not permitted to own guns and their political system is different from ours.

    An interesting question to me is: Why, at this time at the turn of the century, have both the US and China developed this problem? Why now?


  10. Athirson

    8) …Lack Of Faith In A Higher Power.


    The secular countries of Europe, plus Japan and Canada have homicide rates that are a fraction of what the US rate is. Contrast that with the more religious nations of Latin America, where the homicide rates are some of the highest in the world. And don’t even get me started on the mess that is the Middle East, where people hate on each other and want nothing more than to blow each other to smithereens, because—you guessed it—religion.

    The same pattern even holds true within the United States, where the South—you know, where they are supposedly so much more holy than the rest of us—is easily the most violent region. While poverty and racism no doubt also play into this, the fact remains that Southerners like their Bibles, guns and violence. Don’t think it’s a coincidence


    • I didn’t say it was “religion” that was a factor, I said it was “lack of faith”. HUGE difference. If you’re attempting to make the point that “religious” zealots tend to shoot bunches of people worldwide, you’d likely not get much argument from anyone. Jihad and other “holy wars” over the centuries and including today are clearly not in the spirit of the decline in hope and moral structure I’ve referred to above.

      As far as the South being “easily the most violent region” in the US, I’d like to see the study that shows that. Most of the studies I’ve found (e.g. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/blog/highest-murder-rate-cities) don’t really make a strong point for regional correlation.

      But that aside, I’m not even sure I can play along with your baseline logic to begin with even if the corollary you speak of is true. Is it really the people of faith who are doing the killing, or is it actually the opposite–people of faith getting murdered in cold blood by people who hate them? Consider that in such southern locales like Sutherland Springs, TX and Charleston, SC it was clearly the latter. Sure, Oak Springs isn’t exactly in the southern US, but even there it was people getting murdered because of their faith (albeit by an especially ignorant dumbass) rather than the people of faith doing the murdering.


      • Athirson

        See the Uniform Crime Report (https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/topic-pages/tables/table-2) for information as to how violent crime breaks down by region and by state.

        I couldn’t help but notice that for 2016, the only region that showed a decrease in homicide from the previous year was the Northeast. Which, as you are no doubt aware, is considerably more secular than the Midwest or South, where the incidence of homicide and other violent crimes is higher


        • Well, sure…when guys who fit the pattern I’m talking about are walking into southern churches and killing everyone. Cart and horse.

          But seriously, a decrease in crime year over year is not to be confused with raw numbers, and besides that annual stats are subject to fluctuation. If I’m not mistaken, violent crime rates in the US overall have been down for a couple of decades now. Even so, some of the most violent cities in the US are up north. Ultimately, a number of factors would contribute to overall numbers for mass shootings in particular, which is the point of OP.


          • Gary

            Scot’s comment reminds me of a 2004 St. Louis T-shirt. St. Louis and Detroit regularly vie for the most murders per capita. Someone told me that St. Louis is more honest in reporting, but I don’t know about that. Regardless, in 2004 St. Louis had the most murders per capita, and also beat Detroit in the World Series. The front of the T-shirt read (white letters on Cardinal red shirt) Brave enough to live in the most dangerous city in America. The back of the T-shirt read (edited for family audiences), “1. St. Louis; 2. Detroit; 3. Camden, NJ; 4. Compton, CA; Beating Detroit’s derriere in Baseball and Crime”. (FYI: I’m not sure of the order of the last two cities.)

    • Rob

      Gee, I didn’t know that St.Louis, Detroit, Baltimore, Milwaukee and Chicago were in the south. Thanks for the clarification.


      • Athirson

        You probably didn’t know either that Louisiana has had the highest murder rate of any state for 28 years in a row. Or that it is in the South. Or that of the 10 most violent states, where violent crime, gun-related deaths, and homicide flourish, half are also, not coinidentally, in the South.

        In fact, I bet you probably don’t know a lot of things


        • Perhaps also not coincidentally, that would mean the other half are in the North.


        • Rob

          Athirson, I do know that you are an imbecile and you need to turn off your computer, get out of the basement and get busy trying to get a life. As far as murder rates and geography is concerned, would you sleep better at night if most of the violence was taking place in Alaska or Hawaii? How about Puerto Rico? Once again, thank you for your concern about what i know and what i may not know, but please do yourself a favor and stop worrying so much about me. I really don’t wish to continue to keep playing tit for tat with you because you are incredibly boring. I suspect that you may have a breathtaking ability to grasp the obvious. I must now busy myself to go meet and spend the afternoon with a very cute young woman. Unless you have a flat tummy, a shapely figure and the same plumbing as this young woman, you will no longer command any of my attention. If i have hurt your feelings in any way, all i can say for now is “shame on me.”


  11. Rob

    I have to agree wholeheartedly with the points raised in sections 1,2,3 and 4. I had to resolve to myself rightfully or wrongly that i was not going to be one of those guys that was included within the most popular and well liked peer group members. The realization of this during my late teen years had repercussions that remain to this day. It is a deeply sobering and troubling place when you realize that you’re not going to be cultivated as a part of the “in crowd.” Some people never recover to such a blow to their self esteem and sense of self confidence and well being. If this were not the case for me personally, i cannot imagine any reason i would be writing these comments at 4am when i could instead be doing any one of a number of productive things if this state of mind were not present. This feeling of disconnection and being outside the bubble of society strongly contributes to my considerable skepticism to accept in toto the dating advice preachers and products that appear to oversimplify the dynamic of male to female relationships as nothing more than adhering to some majic template that is foolproof in its application.


  12. Anders

    You are wrong on several points here and right in others.
    Let me however focus on one point where you are totally wrong and I am very surprised you actually get this one wrong I must say.
    There is absolutely no need for “Faith In A Higher Power” if you have a solid belief in yourself. This “Higher Power” is nothing more than a make-believe friend to blame or seek comfort from when things are not going your way.
    A real MAN (I think you call him Big 4 or something in that range) does not need this higher power/make believe friend. He assumes responsibility for his life and his actions and deals with the situation at hand.
    A man learns right from wrong from other men, not from some “Higher Power”.
    In my book, the men that invented the various “Higher Powers” were nothing more than seeking to exploit humans for their own gains. With one notable exception: Bobby Henderson, the man who invented the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to prove the stupidity of religion in general and “intelligent design” in particular.
    In short, nothing good ever came out of “Faith in a Higher Power”. As far as I am concerned, the only difference between a deeply religious American and a Taliban is that the American shaves on a regular basis.


    • I wouldn’t expect agreement from you, but what you cannot argue are the statistics of how mass shootings have increased with the secularization of America. Also, name an example of a mass shooter who was a man of deep faith? No points for Satanism.


      • Anders

        You sure make it easy to prove my point.
        Mass shooter(s) of deep faith: Bataclan theater massacre, Paris, 2015. If you want to widen the killings to be not just gun related you can start counting the dead at WTC. I think you have heard about that event.
        As for your claims about a rise in violent crime it becomes tricky since American statistics is s bit shoddy.
        So let’s instead look at a place where there is really long-term stats available: Sweden.
        Back in the 1500 and 1600 hundreds Sweden was extremely religious. Everyone was forced by law to go to church and people were more or less brain washed (you can study the mindset of the Caroleans for a deeper understanding). Today the churches are pretty much empty. No one goes to church and very few believe in any “Higher Power”.
        So to the murder stats (which will represent violent crimes in general here) In the religious old times: about 5000 murders per year (according to the sources I have found) if we extrapolate the number of inhabitants to be equal to today.
        In today’s totally secularized Sweden: about 100 murders per year. Many of today’s murders are on top of this committed by immigrants or children of immigrants from dysfunctional countries in the third world.
        So now it is your turn.
        I want to see stats supporting your claim about a rise in violent crimes in the US and I would prefer the source to be an official agency.
        From my understanding your claim does at least not hold up for New York.


        • Anders, if you’re attempting to debate me here, you’re not doing a very good job. NOBODY is arguing that religious extremists kill people en masse, and I’d probably help you argue that religious battles and intolerance might be responsible for more bloodshed than any other factor in human history. You’ll also get no opposition from me that those who are forced into religious compliance would get pissed off enough to fight back, either.

          But AGAIN…(and I’m not going to go around on this a third time)…you’re conflating “religion” with “faith”. A REAL, ACTUAL ethical foundation and faith in God are what I’m talking about, not religion as an excuse to exert control over a throng of followers. Hell, given the logic you’re using, are you going to lump Jim Jones in with the “great men of faith” here while you’re at it?

          Although it’s a mere formality compared to the greater point, the OP is about the mass shooting problem in the United States, so European references aren’t relevant anyway. If anything, those mass murders only prove to the “ban all guns” crowd that people hell-bent on human destruction will find other weapons.


          • Anders

            > You’ll also get no opposition from me that those who are forced into religious compliance would get pissed off enough to fight back, either.

            If you are referring to the Swedish Caroleans you are mistaken. They happily marched into death for king and country. Not completely unlike the US military forces of today.

            > Hell, given the logic you’re using, are you going to lump Jim Jones in with the “great men of faith” here while you’re at it?

            Jim Jones was certainly not a great man but it is beyond a doubt that he was a man of faith.

            Since you did not provide any stats to prove your point I did some digging. Here the results.
            According to https://www.texastribune.org/2017/09/25/texas-murder-rate-went-again-last-year/ the year 2014 was a record low in violent crimes. This totally contradicts your claim about violent crimes going up (irrespective faith, abortion or any other cause).

            As for banning guns etc, some countries in Europe have a very high level of guns, for instance, because a lot of people hunt.
            Or visit Zürich, Switzerland on a Friday or Monday evening and you will see a large number of men walking around with fully automatic rifles. Men going to or coming home from compulsory military service. Swiss are not particularly religious but we never hear about mass shootings in Switzerland. So obviously there is a difference in mentality between the US and Europe. But it is certainly not related to any faith in a higher being.
            Maybe the US needs to have a gun ban since Americans simply are not mature enough to be trusted with guns…

            So back to my initial point. Faith in a higher being is nothing more than a crutch for a man who lacks a strong belief in himself. It is a man putting hopes to a fairy-tale story instead of reality and science.
            A man of faith can lean back and wait for God to put the perfect woman on his path, thereby he would not need the advice of a dating expert like you Scott.
            He throws away his belief and starts taking action by learning from other men. Men like dating experts.

          • I’m not going to be douchey enough to pretend I’m some kind of expert in Swedish Caroleans. I was making point of potential agreement with you based on your comment. If you want to present a different theory on why more Swedish folks offed each other back then, go for it. But it probably wasn’t because of lack of gun control in the 16th and 17th century. And it won’t really be relevant to the 21st mass shooting problem in the US.

            If you really think Jim Jones was a man of “faith”, I’m not going to use valuable time debating that because there’s no manner of convincing you otherwise.

            We’re not actually debating “violent crime”. The piece is about mass shootings in particular. Those have gone up. Nevertheless, are you somehow saying because of your self-admittedly “shoddy” statistics we don’t have an increasing problem here in the U.S. since violent crime overall has gone down? If so, you’re on the wrong side of an extremely lopsided public opinion.

            My piece is specifically about factors *other* than guns, yet some of you want to debate guns with me. I’m not the guy to get into that debate with since I am a (rare) centrist on that topic. And again…you’re bringing up Europe, which isn’t the United States. But whatever, I’ll bite…the Swiss have a culture of neutrality. I wonder if that indeed has something to do with their relative “maturity” with guns. I’ve made the point quite vehemently (and in several different contexts) that Americans love to piss each other off. FWIW, you can throw “opposition to people of faith” on that pile, thereby strengthening my position that loss of faith has led to violence. Said opposition to faith was extraordinarily small throughout US history, but nowadays it’s become the cool thing to do (see notes on Billy Graham’s death in the OP).

            Lastly, I don’t want to get trapped into assuming you’re not a man of faith. But if you aren’t, and your opinions clearly point in that direction, you don’t have any frame of reference from which to assess the mindset and actions of those who do. It’s pretty much as simple as that. But for the counterpoint to your argument, see: “lifeboat joke“.

          • Rob

            Scot, there’s no point in any further “discussion” with an empty headed jackass. He should seriously look into getting a life rather than trying to bait other people in order to beef up his ego. He’s just a little man that talks a lot but has nothing to say. What a sad, pathetic excuse for a human being.

          • Anders

            @Rob: This is a debate between two adults, that is, men. Neither Scot nor I have anything to learn from you. Go to your room and stay there.

            So with that handled we can continue.

            The reason for Swedish people killing each other back in the days can be blamed on one thing in particular: alcohol. Plain and simple. Alcohol and violence go hand in hand, also today. Knife was (and is) the predominant weapon. Note however that nowadays since the healthcare is far better people usually don’t die from stabbing, hence the charge will be the equivalent to assault with a deadly weapon. Therefore the number of murders with guns is very hard to compare between then and now.

            Then the lifeboat joke. You seem to completely miss the point but it is in total support for my statement. It is about a man with strong faith that remains absolutely passive about the situation. For him to accept the offers he also would not require learning any special skills.
            If we move the story to relationships it would be as if he had just said yes to any of the women god present then they would live happily ever after, no effort required.
            We both know that is not how it works in reality.

            Swiss (and Germans for that matter) are VERY happy to argue. Many times over complete shit things. But once the dust has settled it is ok, very rarely do they resort to violence.
            I have however never heard two Swiss or Germans arguing over who’s make-believe friend (“god”) is the best. So there seems to also be a difference between the US and Europe.
            And remember, freedom of religion also means freedom for me to not be exposed to your faith.

            You are perfectly correct in your assumption about my faith. I have a very, very strong belief in myself.
            However, and here is the real kicker, my wife is religious and attends church every now and then. Our agreement is that we never discuss religious matters, mainly because she knows she will lose and lose hard. When she attends church I get me-time (as you can guess she never suggests that should join) so nap or sleep in is usually then on my schedule.
            So I know from very close experience how religious people think.
            But then right back at you. Have you ever been a “non-faith” person? If not, how do you know my mindset? If you ever were a non-faith person, who taught you morals and right from wrong?

            I also want you to explain to me as a non-faith person why Jones should not be considered a man of faith. His morals were real shit but that does not have anything to do with faith.

            PS I hope this lands right in the discussion thread. Since there is no reply option to your comment I am replying to my own comment. Please correct the location if it is out of place.

          • Anders, there’s an issue here with staying on-point with United States mass shooting, so I’m going to have to be protective of my time from here on out.

            But out of respect for taking your time to comment, I’ll respond to your last comment.

            First, anything that happened in the 16th century should likely stay out of the discussion, lest the anti-2nd Amendment crowd feel validated in claiming it’s outdated. Ha!

            But seriously, suffice it to say that guns were far less serviceable devices back then. Meanwhile, knives are actually still today the weapon of choice for mass murderers in other countries, particularly China for some reason. It’s probably because they have stricter gun control, and shit. But they’re still committing mass murders anyway, so in the end the central point of my OP is strengthened: there are MULTIPLE potential factors to consider, and we’ve got to look for PATTERNS. My problem is with the knee-jerkers who are obsessed ONLY with guns or ONLY with Donald Trump or ONLY with the FBI, NRA, RNC, etc.

            Alcohol intoxication is an intriguing potential factor, although I’m floored by the lack of any support for mass shooters acting under the influence. There seems to be only this out there on that subject, perhaps ironically.

            As for the lifeboat, again…it’s a joke told by *Christians*, not opponents. Christians are the ones who generally mock their brethren who expect some sort of “miraculous” in-person divine intervention instead of treating more temporal, less “miraculous” solutions as such. But then again, beliefs and expectations vary within the church itself, right? It’s a religious bird’s nest, but I think most reasonable debaters can agree that the Occam’s Razor (say, in the form of a lifeboat as opposed to a golden rainbow bridge from God) just might still apply in most circumstances.

            We’re in agreement that the Swiss are culturally different, but I think you’re on shaky ground bringing the Germans into a discussion like this. Just sayin’. And AGAIN…we’re talking about ‘Murica here and the unique set of PATTERNS that might present here relative to elsewhere.

            The whole freedom OF religion vs. freedom FROM religion debate has been a dead horse for two centuries now. It’s also far enough removed from the OP that I’m not going to go into it except to say the real, literal wording of the 1st Amendment implies that if someone wants to practice a certain religion the rest of us have to put up with it. Still, the debate has raged since the beginning on that one, depending on how you want to read it.

            As for your definition of faith vs. mine, that’s a true lose/lose conversation waiting to happen. Nobody ever won a logical argument about faith…which AGAIN…is not synonymous with mere religion (e.g. see Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis for a well-developed explanation there from an erudite man who went from avowed atheist to devout Christian, if you care to).

            Have the last word if you will, but I’m done. Cheers.

          • Anders

            Yep, I will take the opportunity to have the last word albeit quite late. A man has responsibilities and as fun and interesting as it might be to discuss various topics (despite the fact we are not sitting face to face with cold ones lining up in front of us), duties come first.
            Anyway, I have two point that I would like to make at the end.
            I think we are quite in agreement when it comes to gun control. In Europe we have loads of guns but rarely these mass shootings. Norway being the notable exception a couple of years back if you remember.
            There is however a distinct difference which I personally think has a huge impact. In Europe you have to have a valid reason to own a gun, be it for hunting, sports or the military. To get the permit to own a gun you have to pass a test for the field. Passing a test requires a certain level of intelligence and dedication and I am quite sure it is at this stage a lot of the potential mass shooters are filtered out in Europe. And for clarification, it is very, very, very rare to get a gun permit on the grounds of self defense. And even then you have to show your capabilities to handle the gun.
            So, in essence, the psycho profiling, the waiting period and whatever is proposed has absolutely no impact if you ask me. Instead the US should impose proper tests which would quickly filter out a bunch of nut cases.
            Now secondly faith.
            As I have already laid clear faith in some higher power is to me a total crutch. If we however look at it from the opposite direction meaning a man does not have any faith at all, neither in a higher power nor in him self, it is actually worse.
            In my book, a man must have some sort of purpose to his life and he must have faith he can achieve this purpose. If he does not have faith to achieve this purpose (assuming he even has managed to figure out some purpose) he ends up being a couch potato (or some Japanese dude dating some digital “girlfriend”). The way I see it, a faith in a higher power is better than nothing and is sort of a “fake it til you make it” step.
            And if you want to have an insight to what a total lack of faith does to a society, have a look at Stockholm. I always state, only half joking, that Stockholm is the first area in the world which is testosterone free. There is reason for why Stockholm is labeled “singles capital of the world”. A genuinely tragic sight. But that is a different topic all together.

        • Rob

          Anders, you are about as sensible as trying to piss up a telephone pole. You’re just all wet.


    • Gary

      Anders, I suggest that your statement, “A man learns right from wrong from other men, not from some ‘Higher Power'”, indicates a major problem.

      First, in some cultures they love their enemies, in some cultures they eat them, presumably both traits learned from other men in their cultures. So it appears that other men are not a consistent source of right and wrong. Unfortunately, religious leaders are not consistent either. Jesus tells us (Matthew 5:44 or so) to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. In sharp contrast, Mohammed tells his followers to wage war on their enemies (jihad, especially against Jews and Christians, is one of the five pillars of Islam). (Aside: I think Jesus got it right, not Mohammed.) The point of this paragraph is that other men are not a consistent source of right and wrong.

      Second, since men and religious leaders disagree on right and wrong, then someone who lacks faith in a higher power to determine right and wrong will reasonably conclude that he/she can determine what is right and wrong for themselves. If some insecure person wants to be noticed, they may well determine that a mass killing is an acceptable way to do that because all the other mass killers have been noticed.

      Consequently, I agree with Scot that losing faith in a higher power is a relevant cause for mass shootings. I, probably unlike Scot, also think that the higher power has to be the true triune God, not the “deity” of Mohammed.

      A question for you: If all right and wrong comes from other men, how can their be absolute right and wrong since other men disagree?


    • Gary

      I start this comment with intense disagreement with your statement, ‘This “Higher Power” is nothing more than a make-believe friend to blame or seek comfort from when things are not going your way.’

      The Law of Moses (Genesis-Deuteronomy) contains over 600 commands from God. I don’t know how many commands the Quran has, but since there are five pillars, it seems safe to assume there are at least five commands. I don’t know about the other “gods”, but the God of the Bible also condemns sin. So, most of these “make-believe friends” (your words) do more than provide us with “a god” to blame or to comfort us in our times of trouble, they also give us their view of right and wrong and eternal consequences. This is already MUCH more than a “make-believe friend to blame or seek comfort from” (and there will be more later). This view of right and wrong and eternal judgement may guide the steps of insecure men.

      Your statement, ‘There is absolutely no need for “Faith in A Higher Power” if you have a solid belief in yourself,’ seems reasonable from a mass killing perspective (see note at end regarding other situations). However, how many men have a solid belief in themselves? I suggest that it is very low. If we agree that a solid belief in oneself is sufficient to avoid a mass killing, it is certainly not high enough. For those who do not have a solid belief in themselves, the right higher power that provides guidance and condemns sin may dissuade them from killing at all.

      Without a “higher power”, there is no sense of eternal purpose for those who do NOT have a solid belief in themselves. No eternal purpose causes insecurity (resulting in mid-life crises, etc.), and no sense of eternal judgement. A higher power who provides security (forgiveness of sins to those who trust and follow), punishment for sins (for those who do not), and purpose (worshipping the “higher power”) are all things that would dissuade mass killings for those who do NOT have a “solid belief in themselves”.

      Since the “higher powers” disagree about right and wrong (see previous post), it needs to be the right “higher power”. The triune God of the Bible (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) tells us to do to others what you would have them do to you, and to love one’s enemies. Both teachings should discourage an insecure person from mass killings. In contrast, I think the World Trade Center and Boston Marathon tragedies, both also mass killings, can be squarely traced back to Mohammed’s teachings about Allah. So, it needs to be the right “higher power”. Since the Christian religion has been most prevalent in America, loss of faith in this God seems to me to be a most reasonable reason for the increase in the mass killings.

      The Bible tells us that without faith [in the triune God] that is impossible to please him, and I pray that you will repent and trust him for the forgiveness of your sins so that you might not suffer eternal torment. While a solid belief in yourself may keep you and others from being perpetrators of a mass killings, it will not stand in the court of the triune God.


  13. Frank

    Interesting points, though I don’t agree about abortion at all (pro-choice people generally not regarding early term fetuses as “babies” at all); and would have to see more data on the individuals who commit such mass murders to have a better sense of the impact of religion.

    But I think it’s moot, as the sort of religion I grew up with is on its way out. Too much of the dogma has been literally disproven by science, and more and more people aren’t buying into it any more. It has to evolve to survive.

    My own sense of the spiritual is far from any religious dogma, but also not in any way something that would predispose one to murder people en masse. Maybe more on that later, but I don’t have that much more time now.

    Great point about food. That, and other literally toxic influences, are the biggest part of the equation that tends to be overlooked. As a formerly very depressed, chronically fatigued, and emaciated individual who has made a remarkable turnaround due in large part to dietary improvement, mainly avoidance of many allergic foods and straightening out my gut ecology with a mostly organic, basically “paleo” diet, I can vouch for how critical these factors are to one’s mental and physical health and how fundamental they are to healthy masculinity.

    Balanced people do not get bullied in the first place! And may even prevent these situations by having the backs of those who are.


    • I have to admit, I’m fascinated by how the difference between true faith and religious affiliation is turning out to be such an esoteric concept.

      As for abortion rights, I’m not sure it’s whether one is pro-life or pro-abortion that matters as much as how one feels about the very nature of the procedure itself. And yes, there’s a difference.


      • Frank

        Ah, I catch your drift regarding religion, and faith, but many people I know who are out-and-out atheists and pro-choice won’t even kill mice that get in their homes, and use live cage traps instead and carefully relocate the little buggers.

        My brother is very much an atheist, but also thinks that provides more incentive to do well here, not having belief in a hereafter to fall back on. But he’s an exceptionally sane and rational person, and none of the other factors apply to someone like him. So there may be a “chicken and egg” situation going on here, where belief in a higher power might effectively dissuade those who are most likely to commit such a crime for other reasons.

        As for the abortion procedure, it can vary greatly. Taking RU-486, for example, which most pro-choice people support as the ideal procedure, if you want to call it that, is nothing. The later the term, the more difficult the procedure… just like the more “baby-like” the fetus becomes.

        But the fact is, as my own Mother, who is a retired nurse is quick to point out, late term abortions, in which the fetus is truly baby-like, rarely occur unless the fetus is dead or unlikely to survive and/or the mother’s life is in danger anyway. So what really is pro-life, in such instances?


  14. Frank

    Another factor that come to mind when reading some of the comments pertaining to other nations, such as Sweden and China, is that the US and China share one thing in common that Sweden does not have: great economic inequality, with a huge gulf between the super-rich and workers who work long hours and barely get by or (in the US) are unemployed and homeless.

    Poverty, especially when great wealth is in view, so to speak, is at the root of a great deal of frustration, as well as broken homes, poor nutrition, etc.

    There was not such massive economic inequality in the US a few decades ago. the nation has gotten wealthier, but most people haven’t.


    • But where’s the correlation between that and mass shootings?


    • Frank

      Mass murders, not necessarily mass shootings. You linked an article that pointed out instances of mass murders using other weapons in China.

      From the above posts I’ve noticed that European nations with low murder rates and high rates of atheism cited by those who are challenging the notion that lack of faith in a higher power correlates with mass murder also have strong social welfare systems and good working class wages. So does Canada, relative to the US.

      What greater indicator of value of life is there than a commitment to minimize poverty? I regard that as the most genuine pro-life attitude.


  15. Rob

    Anders, I’m not trying to teach Scot anything, and you’re too stupid to see any point of view other than your own. As far as you being a man, you apparently haven’t learned anything about how to do that either. You need to get over yourself and stop worrying about me.


  16. Dan

    A tour de force Scot. I’m with you on most of your points but, living in secular Europe, I really don’t agree on points 8 and 9. Seen from this side of the Atlantic, the US seems obsessed with religion and, consequently, abortion as an issue. Holland, with abortion freely available on demand, not only misses out on mass shootings, but also has an extremely low abortion rate. I just don’t buy the idea that belief in God makes people behave better towards each other. Rather, I’d say that lack of an ethical framework is the problem, not lack of belief. Other than that, great work talking about key issues that nobody else wants to tackle.


    • Again, it’s not about religion, it’s about true faith. BIG difference. My position is that faith offers both a cornerstone belief system AND hope. Sure, lots of people who are agnostic or even atheist can be decent people who won’t hurt anyone, but you’re far less likely to see someone with a firm ethical foundation and true hope commit such an atrocity…at least not unless there are other factors that override it (which has rarely, if ever, been the case in a mass shooting).


  17. Rob

    If you have that cornerstone belief system in place and follow it faithfully then you are more aware of consequences for not following the belief system. Most christians adhere to the Ten Commandments as their cornerstone.


  18. Gary

    The bloodshed by atheists Lenin, Stalin, Mao-Tse Tung, and Hitler (the Jews) far outweighs the total of all wars in all centuries combined. So while religious wars account for a fair number of deaths, it is nothing compared to what atheists did in one century (the bloodiest ever).


  19. Reevo

    Thank you for interviewing me. So lovely to catch up with you. Have a beautiful week!xx


  20. Jon

    I’m glad you wrote this. It’s so awful what our society is doing to men, basically trying to ignore them until they go and do something they regret. I wonder if that’s the plan.


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