Mass Shootings

It's Still A Masculinity Crisis

Professor Sut Jhally wrote about it 18 years ago.

He spoke about it 8 years ago (above).

I wrote about it 11 years ago.

We got possibly the biggest reminder of it in world history last fall.

The world has a serious masculinity crisis. And in the US, that crisis is directly linked to its gun violence epidemic

Laura KIssel raised the topic again this week. And the comments prove two things. First, they strengthen her argument. And second, they prove we will never even try to address this crisis. Not even try. 

The gun violence epidemic in the United States is both a public health and a cultural crisis. Since I last raised this topic in 2007, the number of firearms in the US surpassed the number of living citizens. 100 million new guns. This is our crisis now and until the end of this broken republic. 

America Has a Gun Crisis and a Masculinity Crisis

A glock .22 pistol, similar to one of the weapons used in the Virginia Tech massacre. Photo by Flickr user

Timothy N. Bass

used under a Creative Commons license

There are over 200 million handguns in the USA, owned by at least 60 million households and individuals, both law-abiding and not. And as one of my favorite teachers, Sut Jhally explained last decade, we have a serious masculinity crisis

. Those two facts together creates an explosive mix.

Another young male went on an armedrampage today. It has happened in high schools, universities, and workplaces. It has happened on trains, in shopping malls and restaurants. And it will happen again and again.

UPDATE, 14:40EDT: The death toll at Virginia Tech has been revised to 33, including the gunman. This means that today's massacre is the worst mass shooting in US history, easily surpassing U Texas Austin in 1966 and Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, TX in 1991.

VT is an ACC school, a major university, and this will change that campus forever. We have to go way back in US history to find the last time so many people were shot on US soil outside of the Civil or Revolutionary wars. And I think that event is the massacre at Wounded Knee. Remember Kent State? It saddens me to say that this is far, far worse in terms of the number of people directly affected.

Now this is slightly off-topic, but imagine an event like this occurring every day in the United States. That's what life is like in Iraq, a much smaller country, where more ordinary civilians know victims of events like these.

America, we have a problem. Now what are we going to do about it besides listen to politicians lecture us about it? We rank with Thailand, Slovakia, Colombia, and South Africa as having some of the highest rates of gun homicides. It is despicable. And massacres by citizens as opposed to gangs or police seems to be an American phenomenon. We're supposed to be better than that.