Another month, another mass killing. Last night I wrote this post on a friend’s Facebook post about the Sunday killing of parishioner’s in a Texas church.
Frustration. We are all tired of the mass killings. We all hear the same response. Endless analysis by anchor spokesmen on the entertainment news that now passes for journalism. We all hear the politicians direct attention away from gun reform laws to mental health. On the other side, we hear the politicians say it’s time for gun reform laws. We know the routine. We know the response. We know not one thing will change. The new conversation is now that nothing will change.
Let me ask you this, do you remember the name of the man who killed 58 people in Las Vegas last month? What about the name of the killer at the nightclub in Orlando? What is the name of the killer in Charleston, SC? Newtown? Aurora? Can you name them? Me either. I’ve forgotten. We’re desensitized. Did we give up after no reform following the slaughter of 20 first graders and six adults in Newtown, CT.
Maybe, just maybe we’re seeking solutions to an epidemic without knowing what caused the epidemic. I’m an ecologist and work in the environmental field. When an ecosystem collapses, it is never caused by one thing. Most recently I’ve been studying environmental health. If we have an outbreak of a disease that kills, name anything; dengue virus in humans, chronic wasting syndrome in moose, rabies in raccoons; how do you respond if you don’t know what caused the sickness? Just pretend for a moment you’ve never seen the disease. It’s new and you have no idea what is causing it. How do you respond? That is exactly where we are with the mass killings. We know who is dong it most of the time; White men. We know how they get the weapons that do the killing, they buy them legally. What we don’t know is why they do it. It is now an epidemic but who is studying what caused it? I’ve heard only one researcher ask the right question, “What makes White men so prone to this behavior?
We need the sociologists, the ecologists, economists, environmental health researchers, political scientists, lawyers, and philosophers to start working on finding the many possible variables that are causing or making it so easy for White men to open fire and kill crowds of innocent people. It’s time for citizens of all political views to be on the streets and at the door of every senator and representative. Take to the streets. We won’t get answers otherwise, and without answers to the the question we will never get resolution.