“It’s never just guns. It’s never just mental health. It’s never just radical ideology. It’s never just sad manhood. It’s almost always a toxic combination.”
That’s what New York Daily News opinion editor Josh Greenman wrote on Twitter in the time after the mass shooting in El Paso, but before the one in Dayton. His statement highlights the confounding reality of these mass-shooting attacks. They are, each of them, an expression of malcontent perpetrated on a mass of people with a weapon.
Outside of that, there is little in the way of commonality. It’s not even always a gun that’s used to maim and kill. Sometimes it’s a car. Sometimes it’s propane tanks.
Every time these horrors happen we are inundated by loudmouths touting some solution – gun bans! video game bans! mental health crackdown! – they see as a supposed silver bullet for preventing future horrors.